Animals

5 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: Rusty Riders, Crafty Cats and GoT Crawl

Cosplayers from all seven kingdoms will be converging downtown this weekend for the Winter is Coming Pub Crawl and costume contest. We expect to see more than a few Kingslayers, Mothers of Dragons and a Dothraki or two.
Cosplayers from all seven kingdoms will be converging downtown this weekend for the Winter is Coming Pub Crawl and costume contest. We expect to see more than a few Kingslayers, Mothers of Dragons and a Dothraki or two. Photo by BagoGames/Flickr via CC
It seems like an eternity waiting for the final season of Game of Thrones but, until that happens, we can all channel our alter egos in this weekend's Winter is Coming Pub Crawl. We've also got a bike ride to see the holiday lights, a sing-along at Discovery Green, and the opportunity to craft with cats. A bunch of Houstonians are chipping in to clean up and maintain Buffalo Bayou and the Edith L. Moore Sanctuary and we've got the 411 on how to join in. Keep reading because most of these events are free.

click to enlarge EastEndBikeRide hosts the annual Rusty Riders Christmas Lights Ride, with a new meet-up location for 2018. - PHOTO BY ABRAHÁN GARZA
EastEndBikeRide hosts the annual Rusty Riders Christmas Lights Ride, with a new meet-up location for 2018.
Photo by Abrahán Garza
It's time for the 9th Annual Rusty Riders Christmas Lights Ride, where bicyclists decorate their rides and head out at a social pace to view the amazing lights in and around the downtown area this season. It's a night-time ride, so make sure you've got both head and rear lights, check your tire pressures and don't be late. Organizer EastEndBikeRide has set the meet-up at a new location this year so gather at Houston's City Hall/Hermann Square near the reflection pool and get ready to roll out at 7:30 p.m. sharp.

7-10 p.m. December 14, Hermann Square, 900 Smith, facebook.com/events/750267141982382, free.

click to enlarge Members of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus will perform this Saturday at Discovery Green's interactive art installation, "GUST: Celebrating a Decade of Discovery." - PHOTO BY JEREMY KEAS
Members of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus will perform this Saturday at Discovery Green's interactive art installation, "GUST: Celebrating a Decade of Discovery."
Photo by Jeremy Keas
If you haven't had a chance to check out Cocolab's amazing interactive art installation, "GUST: Celebrating a Decade of Discovery," then don't miss out (the site-specific artwork is up through March 20 at Discovery Green). Visitors can actually use their breath to make the custom-made pinwheels blow in the wind. This Saturday evening members of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus will be on hand for a holiday sing-along led by HGOco Music Director and Composer-In-Residence Damien Sneed. Their performance, Transforming the Spirit in Song, will be held on the Hess Deck making for a nice accompaniment to the after dusk light show in "GUST." Come back next Wednesday for a free class on motion photography and consider entering your pics in an upcoming art exhibit.

7-8 p.m. December 15, Transforming the Spirit in Song, Discovery Green, Hess Deck, 1500 McKinney, 713-400-7336, discoverygreen.com/gust, free.
6:30-8 p.m. December 19, Be the Artist: Houston Center for Photography Workshop, 1500 McKinney, 713-400-7336, discoverygreen.com/gust, free.


click to enlarge Cosplay isn't mandatory, but it will surely make this Winter is Coming Pub Crawl a lot more fun. Plus you'll be eligible to win one of the costume contests. - PHOTO BY DOWNTOWNFEST HOUSTON
Cosplay isn't mandatory, but it will surely make this Winter is Coming Pub Crawl a lot more fun. Plus you'll be eligible to win one of the costume contests.
Photo by Downtownfest Houston
Game of Thrones returns in April and we'll find out how much havoc the Night King can bring now that he's in control of the dragon turned wight Viserion, whether the evil Cersei will marry Euron Greyjoy or be murdered by her brother, and if Jon and Daenerys will get creeped out to discover they've committed incest. Until then, Downtownfest Houston and Nightcrawlers Pub Crawls are teaming up to bring us the Winter is Coming Pub Crawl, complete with a costume competition, drink specials, themed drinks and a walking photographer to capture this moment for posterity. It's a 21 and up event so no dire wolves (pets) or small folk (children) allowed.

3-9 p.m. December 15, Downtown Houston (bars and locations will be announced with ticket purchase), facebook.com/events/1857082877643420, $15 to $20.

click to enlarge El Gato Coffee House is hosting Holiday Craft with Cats, where we'll make a Christmas tree holiday card, a tree ornament picture frame and garland tassels. Petting is included, as is adopting one of the resident cats. - PHOTOS BY EL GATO COFFEE HOUSE
El Gato Coffee House is hosting Holiday Craft with Cats, where we'll make a Christmas tree holiday card, a tree ornament picture frame and garland tassels. Petting is included, as is adopting one of the resident cats.
Photos by El Gato Coffee House
Sundays at El Gato Coffee House are made even more purr-fect with plenty of things to do between cat-petting sessions. Start the day early at 11 a.m. for Holiday Craft with Cats, then come back in the afternoon for a Cat Lovers' Book Club (4 p.m.) and Yoga with Cats (5:45 p.m.). At the crafting event guests will make a Christmas tree holiday card, a tree ornament picture frame and garland tassels. Avid crafter Chynna DeHoyos leads the class and — who knows — you might meet your new best feline friend.

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. December 16, El Gato Coffee House, 508 Pecore, Suite A, 832-968-3006, elgatocoffeehouse.com, $18 to $25.

click to enlarge On the third Saturday of each month, Buffalo Bayou Partnership hosts community-wide volunteer days to help pick-up trash, pull weeds and mulch. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BUFFALO BAYOU PARTNERSHIP
On the third Saturday of each month, Buffalo Bayou Partnership hosts community-wide volunteer days to help pick-up trash, pull weeds and mulch.
Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Whether or not you're on board with the Paris climate accord, everybody can agree it's a good idea to keep our waterways free of trash for those extreme weather events (hello, last week). Buffalo Bayou Partnership hosts volunteer workdays on the third Saturday of every month, letting adults and kids as young as nine pitch in to pick up trash, remove weeds, mulch and perform a variety of other tasks. This Saturday's workday is at full capacity, but check the website and get in the queue for next month's workday; this is the Bayou City after all.

8:30-11:30 a.m. December 15 (full), January 19, February 16 and March 16, The Water Works, 105 Sabine, 713-752-0314, extension 206, buffalobayou.org, free.

click to enlarge Come out once a month to help maintain the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. Volunteers meet the fourth Saturday of each month (third Saturday in November and December); volunteers should pre-register by Wednesday. - PHOTO BY BRAD BILLETDEAUX
Come out once a month to help maintain the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. Volunteers meet the fourth Saturday of each month (third Saturday in November and December); volunteers should pre-register by Wednesday.
Photo by Brad Billetdeaux
Any graduate of Memorial or Westchester High School will remember the excitement in exploring the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. Compared to the concrete jungle outside, this 17.5-acre wooded preserve seemed like a whole other world: it had a mysterious lady who lived in a log cabin with her cats and dogs, there was always the danger of running into snakes and armadillos, and it had the chirping sounds of more than 200 species of birds. Edith Moore is no longer there (she died in 1975), but the sanctuary is now home to the Houston Audubon Society and they host 4th Saturday Family Work Days once a month. Folks get together to fill bird feeders, pick up litter, remove invasive species and help maintain trails. Volunteers should pre-register by the Wednesday prior.

9 a.m.-noon December 15 (for those who pre-registered), January 26, February 23 and March 23, Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, 440 Wilchester, [email protected], 713-932-1639, houstonaudubon.org, free.
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