The Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Pancakes, Bats and the Bayou

Pancakes, booze and body painting are just a few of our favorite things, getting this weekend off to a really good start. But the fun keeps on keepin' on with performance art in the East End, the cool and casual White Linen Night in the Heights, and a celebration of creepy, crawly, slimy critters at Repticon Houston. But don't let another weekend go by without checking out all the great things to see (bats) and do over at Buffalo Bayou Park.

A little art. A little delight. And a ton of syrup. That’s not just the eight-year-old’s sugar-filled dream come true; it’s a show that will blow your mind. The Pancakes & Booze Art Show is making its romp through Houston, bringing paintings, performance art and steaming-hot fun. Want to view some fine art and street art from more than 100 artists? Check. Want to see live body painting? Check. Want to sink your teeth into some delicious pancakes while taking in a day of culture? Check. All bases are covered when it comes to this one. There’s a cash bar, live music and DJs, and just about the largest collection of art-minded intellectuals gathered in one space. And just in case you didn’t pick up on it the first time: pancakes. “We pride our event on giving everyone an outlet to showcase their art. We love supporting all artists and giving them a chance to show off their work,” says Tom Kirlin, the show’s creator. We look forward to it this Friday night as well, Tom.

8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday. Warehouse Live, 813 Saint Emanuel. For information, visit $5. 

Calling all Kylie Jenner lip challenge participants: Exhale, rip that shot glass from your lips and listen up. As part of the Pilot on Navigation (formerly Frenetic Theater) Artist-in-Residence Program, Urban Souls Dance Company is presenting Visceral, a full-length dance work exploring the ever-changing nature of beauty standards. Choreographers Alexis Anderson, Lauren Burke (one of our 100 Creatives in 2014), and Ladonna Matchett collaborated to create the piece, which combines modern dance and ballet technique with Africanist aesthetics, the writings of philosopher John Dewey and personal experience. “I’ve struggled growing up having a deeper complexion,” says Anderson, who delves into skin color in the theatrical dance production. Though the piece is minimalist and abstract, the dancers use literal beauty tools such as hair extensions, makeup and mirrors. The Visceral experience includes art installations that use Victoria’s Secret catalogues and advertisements ripped from the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine, live music and an interactive component. We're intrigued, making Visceral one of our picks for Saturday night.

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. 5102 Navigation. For information, call 832-649-2096 or visit $15 to $20. 

It's time for the tenth annual White Linen Night in The Heights, which showcases local artists and vendors, plus plenty of delicious sidewalk stands from popular neighborhood food joints from 6 to 10 p.m. on the 200 and 300 blocks of 19th. Hayden Jones and the Roosevelt House Band are kicking things off for an early set over at Emerson Rose, where you'll also find Steel City Pops and their pop cart. At Blissful Indulgence, check out the new art installation by Lisa Chow, then follow the sounds of Maria and Jesus Lozano to view art by Zachary Miles Alva over at Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery. Don't forget to wear your finest white linen fashion this Saturday evening. While not officially part of this event, neighboring streets often do something special, as well. For example, Sonoma Wine Bar at 801 Studewood is breaking out its sangria and beer stand, with watermelon-blackberry sparkling sangria for $6 and baked artichoke dip with a baguette for $2.

6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. 200 and 300 blocks of 19th Street. For information, visit

Now that we’re on the other side of the longest day of summer, and the Army Corps of Engineers has finished emptying the reservoirs into Buffalo Bayou, it’s time again to experience the joys of living in the Bayou City. The folks over at Buffalo Bayou Partnership have come up with some creative ways for exploring wildlife, including a free scavenger hunt (look for the selfie-friendly public art pieces by Anthony Thompson Shumate). Pick up and return forms at 3422 Allen Parkway or 105 Sabine; there’s swag for those who answer all the questions. We’re also psyched that spots for the spooky-eerie Cistern are opening up again. “It’s cool, literally and figuratively,” says Trudi Smith, director of public relations and events. “Thursdays are free, and Friday through Sunday they’re two dollars per person.” For those not content to stay on land, Bayou City Adventures rents out kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards from Lost Lake on weekends. “You paddle downstream and you’re shuttled back to where you started.” Don’t miss the bats under Waugh; summer is peak season and there are hundreds of thousands of them. Smith says you can hear them and definitely smell them. We think a cruise down the bayou sounds like a great way to get with nature, making this one of our picks for Sunday. Bayou City Adventures does rentals in two hour increments: kayaks for $30 to $40, canoes for $45 and stand-up paddleboards (by reservation only) for $30.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Through September 5. Buffalo Bayou Park, Shepherd to Sabine, between Allen Parkway and Memorial. For information, call 713-752-0314 or visit Free to $45. 

If you're looking for a pet that doesn't bark, isn't interested in chewing your slippers and won't shed fur on that brand new sofa, then get yourself over to Repticon Houston, the three-times-a-year extravaganza that offers all kinds of cute and cuddly (and possibly slimy) creatures and accessories. Consult with the experts about which reptile or amphibian is right for your household, get feeding tips and see the shiny new enclosures and tanks. All God's Creatures Reptile Rescue is planning to bring 27 adoptable reptiles to the con, so be sure to visit their booth and support this group's good works. There's a live animal demonstration by Thomas the Snakeman at noon on both Saturday and Sunday, and Jungle Jewels Reptiles is presenting bearded dragons at 3 p.m. on Saturday and again at 1 p.m. on Sunday. It's also a great people-watching event, so get up your courage and come hold a snake or iguana this Sunday.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Pasadena Convention Center and Fairgrounds, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena. For information, visit

Sam Byrd, Alexandra Doyle and Katricia Lang contributed to this post.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney