Over the course of the remaining month, you’re likely going to hear something along the lines of the following on at least a couple of occasions: “Man, August needs to get over with it so it’s not so damn hot outside.” This is certainly a fair sentiment, as August certainly ranks as the hottest month here in the Bayou City. Of course, to assume the heat tempers (no pun intended) after August is pure lunacy. If anything, September in Houston is just as brutal as August. Point being, it’s hot in Houston, it’s been hot in Houston for a while now, and for at least the next six weeks or so, it’s going to continue to be hot in Houston.
On top of that, Houston isn’t Phoenix. This isn’t some city where you can step out of the 100-degree sun and into the 80-degree shade. Thanks to humidity, there is literally no escaping the sweltering summer heat. In short, now is the time to find activities that are indoors, or at least in close proximity to indoors. Fortunately, Houston doesn’t lack for options when it comes to activities that don’t involve sweating through your T-shirt. (This list is in alphabetical order.)
Not all local breweries are climate-controlled, though fortunately, a number are. If you’ve been making plans to go on a tour of local breweries in and around Houston, now is the time. In addition to established forces in the local scene like St. Arnold’s and Karbach (which features a climate-controlled bar/restaurant), Houston is home to a number of other top-flight breweries, including but not limited to Platypus, Spindletap, Holler, No Label, and Brash.
Sure, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is THE venue in the Houston area for major concerts, and White Oak Music Hall’s Lawn is great also. That said, there are a number of Houston-area venues that are a bit more, shall we say, climate-controlled. On tap at House of Blues in the coming weeks are City and Colour (August 28) and Ben Folds (September 14), while Revention offers up Modest Mouse on September 12 and the Flaming Lips on September 29. Toyota Center continues to bring in big acts like J. Cole (August 18) and Enrique Iglesias/Pitbull (September 22). Meanwhile, Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land has really emerged as a force on the local scene since opening earlier this year, and features Mary J. Blige (August 25) and Sturgill Simpson (September 7) in the coming weeks.
GET YOUR GAME ON
It's no coincidence that places like Dave & Buster’s absolutely bank during the summer. It’s hot as hell outside, and people – particularly those with children – are looking for something to do. Why not play some pop-a-shot or skee-ball while knocking down a glass or two of overpriced beer? Are you a young, upwardly mobile type who has no time for children or those who choose to have them? Head on over to Kung Fu Saloon on Washington for a little Sunday Funday, complete with free arcade games like NBA Jam and Street Fighter II. Hell, Track 21 out near Katy offers indoor go-kart racing year-round.
GO TO THE MOVIES
True story: in 2011, that one summer day where it got up to like 108 degrees, I went to the movies. All day. Couldn’t tell you what I saw that day, and August isn’t exactly peak season at the cinema anyway. That said, the theaters are dark and climate-controlled, and you’re not paying the AC bill. Plus, Dunkirk is apparently very good.
It's damn near 100 degrees outside again today. Why not flip the narrative and pretend you’re basking in some winter paradise? The Galleria has an ice skating rink, as does Memorial City Mall. Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center offers daily public skating sessions, as does Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex. Had enough of the Houston heat? Pretend you’re enjoying a Minnesota winter.
JOIN A GYM
Houston is a fitter city than which it often gets credit, which means jogging and biking trails galore. However, due to the furnace that is our city in the summer, Houston also features a number of local and national chain gyms. Most have specials and discounts for those that choose to join, and some will even watch your kids while you work out. Plus, three miles on the elliptical machine sure as hell beats one mile as you roast on some nearby jogging trail.
MINUTE MAID PARK
The Astros are actually good this year, even if the lack of a trade deadline deal considerably hampered their quest for the franchise’s first World Series title. Either way, the Major League Baseball regular season runs through September, making Minute Maid Park – and it’s retractable roof, which is pretty much closed everyday anyway – a nice way to get indoors while checking out a contender. Plus, the Astros still have four Wednesday home games left on the schedule, meaning four more editions of $1 hot dog night at Minute Maid Park. A tip – bring cash; it will enable you to visit the hot dog carts the organization rolls out for Dollar Dog night, thereby saving some time at the concession stand line. (501 Crawford, mlb.com/astros)
Houston boasts one of the finest collections of museums in the country, making now the perfect time to get a little culture on while eschewing the triple-digit weather. The Menil Collection. The Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum of Natural Science. The Contemporary Arts Museum. The Holocaust Museum. Hell, even the Children’s Museum of Houston. Each provides an interesting and unique way to spend the day indoors. See houmuse.com to get started.
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Houston features a number of quality water parks, including Typhoon Texas and Wet n’ Wild Splashtown. However, not only does Schlitterbahn’s Galveston location have the Schlitterbahn pedigree – the original location in New Braunfels is the best waterpark in America, and it’s not even close – it also has a section of the waterpark that happens to be indoors. That makes for a great opportunity to beat the heat while splashing around the park’s covered lazy river or getting down on a couple of waterslides. The fun even continues well after the heat subsides; Schlitterbahn Galveston opens its indoor section of the park as an enclosed, climate-controlled indoor waterpark during the fall, winter and spring. (2026 Lockheed, Galveston, Schlitterbahn.com)
If you’re physically able to withstand five hours on a golf course in August, then by all means, do you. Hell, even devoting an hour to the driving range after work is enough to induce a heat stroke. Top Golf, meanwhile, allows you bang away at the sticks for an hour or two from the confines of a shaded, climate-controlled bay. Plus, bays are discounted from 10 a.m. to noon at all local locations, making it a cool and cost-effective way to beat the heat. (3 Houston area locations, topgolf.com)