For anyone looking for a good time on the cheap, and especially those of you who've drained your bank accounts on back-to-school supplies, we've got you covered. From an opera open house to a bluesy grape stomp, a superheroine-themed art show to a solar eclipse-themed party in the park, none of these events will leave you with empty pockets. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and seven of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of Texas
The Heritage Society
Noon Thursday, $5
Andrew J. Torget, an assistant history professor at the University of North Texas, pulls back the surface of the widely shared pioneers-looking-for-freedom myth that dominates stories of Texas’s early settlers along the Brazos in Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850, to explore the money crop they came to cultivate: cotton – often picked by slaves. Texas Monthly’s Michael Ennis called Torget’s book, which its author will lecture on Thursday at The Heritage Society, “the most nuanced and authoritative rewriting of Texas’s origin myth to date” and Doug J. Swanson said it is both academic and accessible – an all too rare combination.
Film and Psychoanalysis: Lion
The Jung Center
7 p.m. Thursday, free
Saroo Brierley’s story is an amazing one. At the age of five, he got lost, separated from his mother in India, was found almost a thousand miles away, taken to a government center for abandoned children and eventually adopted by an Australian couple who took him to Tasmania. Brierley found his way home over 20 years later with a little help from Google Earth, and it’s this story that’s dramatized in 2016’s Lion. Screening as part of The Jung Center’s Film and Psychoanalysis series, Zürich-trained Jungian analyst Jennifer Embry will be on hand to discuss the film’s portrayal of loss, profound searching and what it means to be found.
“Celebrating Houston’s Founding Modernists: Featuring David Adickes, Henri Gadbois & Leila McConnell”
William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art
10 a.m. Friday, free
Stop by William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art on Friday for their 12th season opener: three solo exhibitions from Houston artists David Adickes, Henri Gadbois and Leila McConnell, plus an assortment of works from their contemporaries. “In the Beginning” shines a spotlight on Adickes’s early work; Gadbois’s “Texas Woodlands” features his works on Texas’s woodland landscapes; and McConnell’s “The Search” is comprised of her “sky paintings” and collages. And note: After checking out the exhibits, you’ll probably want to make plans to come back Saturday for the opening reception and artist panel, moderated by Bill Reaves and featuring all three artists.
Take Two: Captain America: Civil War
Houston Museum of Natural Science
7:15 p.m. Friday, $5
DC may have grabbed the box office and a lot of headlines this summer, but Marvel is still winning the superhero arms race and films like Captain America: Civil War show why. The hero versus hero team-up movie sees Cap and Iron Man falling on two very opposing sides, with directors Anthony and Joe Russo successfully incorporating some heavy themes, balancing a lot of storylines and even introducing new characters. With Avengers: Infinity War less than a year away and Marvel set to release about three movies a year for the foreseeable future, rest assured the superhero bubble has not yet burst.
Opera in the Heights Inaugural Open House
9 a.m. Saturday, free
In the spirit of their 22nd season theme, “Emerge and Discover,” take a peek behind the curtain at Opera in the Heights’ first open house, an opportunity for anyone with an interest in opera to come out to Lambert Hall to learn more about it while partaking in some delicious breakfast bites or popcorn, face-painting, photo ops and giveaways (like tacos from Taco Deli). Of course, there will also be opera – live performances taking place every 20 minutes and chances to meet the Opera in the Heights singers. And, since you’re interested in budget-friendly activities, be sure to inquire about subscription and ticket discounts while you’re there.
Grape Stomp with Little Terry and the Bluesbirds
Haak Vineyards & Winery
5 p.m. Saturday, $10
Come out to experience the 25,000 square feet of the first winery and only commercial vineyard in Galveston County with Haak’s popular Grape Stomp, this year featuring a harmonica-driven blues concert from Little Terry and the Bluesbirds. Award-winning Haak wines and gourmet concessions will be available (with food service starting at 5 p.m.) and Little Terry and the Bluesbirds will go on at 6 p.m. Expect quite a crowd so be sure to bring your own lawn chair, and if you see this in time, buy your tickets in advance by August 18 for only $7 (children 12 and under are free).
"Fight Like a Girl: Comic Heroine" group art show
Hardy & Nance Studios
6 p.m. Saturday, free
This may well be remembered as the summer of Diana of Themyscira (daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons) as Wonder Woman reigned over the box office, earning $400 million in North America alone while also being the first female-led superhero flick also directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. East End Studio Gallery will capture some of the magic still in the air in their “Fight Like a Girl” art show, where all the work on display will reference and reflect female comic superheroes and all that they embody, their strength and grace reminding us that we are all (and can be) heroes.
Main Street Square
8 p.m. Saturday, free
Eighties comedies get no better than 1984's Ghostbusters. At the time, the film was the most expensive comedy made to date but has since proved to be well worth it, spawning a franchise that's included toys, two animated series and last year's reboot. Still, we've never stopped returning to the battle between the four paranormal investigators and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man on Dana Barrett's New York apartment-building roof, so make the trip downtown to see it on the jumbo LED screen Saturday. Chairs will be provided and food trucks will be on hand for snacking purposes.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Incredible India: Unity in Diversity
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8:15 p.m. Saturday, free
Mark Twain once wrote that India was “the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” The awesome diversity of India Twain alluded to will be on full display at Miller Outdoor Theatre Saturday night when over 100 local artists take the stage to perform a mix of classical, folk and contemporary dances that will transport you through time and space to celebrate 71 years of India’s independence. Expect beautiful costumes, multiple languages and a variety of instruments throughout the evening, produced by Indian Performing Arts – Samskriti in association with the Consulate General of India in Houston.
Eclipse Over Houston
Noon Monday, free
If you haven’t heard yet, on Monday the moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, resulting in the first solar eclipse visible over the United States since 1981. To experience the partial eclipse we’ll be seeing here in Houston, pack a lunch and make your way over to Levy Park, where folks from the Lunar and Planetary Institute will be gathered and safe, solar viewing glasses will be available. If you can’t make it out to Levy Park, try the sister event at the Clear Lake City-Harris County Freeman Branch Library, and remember, don’t look directly at the sun without proper viewing equipment.