Special Events

5 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: Biking to Beyoncé and Selfies With Pets

Play like a kid again at The FOMO Factory, an immersive art pop up.
Photo by Gabriela Velasquez
Play like a kid again at The FOMO Factory, an immersive art pop up.
You don't have to climb the highest mountain in Tibet or embark on a peyote-fueled trip inside a sweat lodge to discover the secret of happiness. It comes from having a servant's heart, so this week we're sharing a few opportunities for volunteering and service to others. We've also got an out-of-this-world kinetic light show at Space Center Houston, a chance to boost your dog's social media feed at The FOMO Factory, and a Third Ward bike ride to the music of Queen B.

Experience an out-of-this-world holiday light show with the most technologically advanced light display in Texas: Galaxy Lights, presented by Reliant. Throughout Space Center Houston they've placed the light displays around flown space vehicles and historic rockets, plus there are LED orbs synchronized to holiday music to create a kinetic wonderland. Then board the NASA Tram Tour to stargaze at an indoor meteor shower, walk through an illuminated tunnel with more than 250,000 synchronized lights, and view a 3-D projection of Commander Quest's adventure aboard the International Space Station. The original film that shows real astronauts celebrating holidays, Holidays in Space, screens every half hour from 6:15 to 9:45 p.m., then be sure to snap a stellar selfie at the Earth photo station in Independence Plaza.

Galaxy Lights, presented by Reliant  continues through January 5  from 6 to 10 p.m. daily (closed December 24-25) at Space Center Houston, 1601 Nasa Parkway. For information, call 281-244-2100 or visit spacecenter.org/galaxy-lights. $15.95 to $19.95.

click to enlarge 3rd Ward Tours is back with its most requested bike ride featuring an all Beyoncé playlist. - PHOTO BY ALAN MOORE
3rd Ward Tours is back with its most requested bike ride featuring an all Beyoncé playlist.
Photo by Alan Moore
Hop aboard a new Dutch bicycle tricked out with LED lights and slow cruise your way through the streets of Houston while jamming to an all Beyoncé playlist. Presented by LetsDoThisHouston in partnership with 3rd Ward Tours, the Beyoncé Daytime and Night Light bike rides have proven to be among the most requested. Come experience this unique music-themed bike riding event and remember to wear comfortable clothing and stay hydrated.

The Beyoncé Daytime Bike Ride is scheduled for December 21 as 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the Beyoncé Night Light Bike Ride is scheduled for December 21 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and the Beyoncé Sunday Night Light Bike Ride is scheduled for December 22 at 6 p.m. Sunday at 2301 Elgin by the yellow container. For information, text Alan at 281-942-4850 or visit letsdothishouston.com/product-category/bike-tour. $12.99 to $27.60.

click to enlarge Escape to puppyhood in this immersive pop up. - PHOTO BY GABRIELA VELASQUEZ
Escape to puppyhood in this immersive pop up.
Photo by Gabriela Velasquez
Leave the real world behind and explore 17 vibrant rooms at The FOMO Factory during this multi-sensory immersive pop up at The Galleria. Special theme nights this week include Pride XMAS on December 20 and Dog Day on December 22. Your social media feed will blow up with pix taken at the ball pool, the giant sand castle, a life-sized coloring book, the prom room, and a rainbow seesaw. Billie Eilish has already experienced this colorful world, so what are you waiting for? Bring your selfie sticks, as well as DSLR, mirrorless and other types of cameras, but leave the large equipment at home. For those bringing their dogs on Sunday, call ahead to ask about special rules and requirements.

The FOMO Factory is scheduled through February 16 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (closed Tuesdays) and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays at The Galleria, third floor, 5085 Westheimer. For information, call 713-338-9833 or visit thefomofactory.com. $23 to $125

If you think the Thanksgiving Super Feast was monumental, City Wide Club is doing it again and getting ready to serve thousands on the day before Christmas. Not only will everybody receive a hot meal at the 41st Annual Christmas Eve Super Feast, they'll also be eligible for clothing, household items, shoes, blankets, haircuts, toys, coats, jackets, flu shots and medical examinations. There are several shifts available for prepping in the kitchen or serving, though there are other ways to help with this massive undertaking: Organizers need nonperishable foods, plus toys and household items, so see if your office can host a food or toy drive.

The 41st Annual Christmas Eve Super Feast is scheduled for December 24. Kitchen volunteers are needed for prep day on December 23 from 8 a.m. to noon and noon to 4 p.m. Monday. Volunteers during the Super Feast are needed on December 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 12:30 to 4 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Tuesday at George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 713-752-2582 or visit citywideclub.com/volunteer-registration. Free.

click to enlarge After visiting incarcerated parents, children will receive gifts, smiles and hugs. - PHOTO BY DAVID ATWOOD
After visiting incarcerated parents, children will receive gifts, smiles and hugs.
Photo by David Atwood
For a child, there's not much to smile about this time of year when a parent is behind bars. But what if that scary visit to the Harris County Adult Detention Center ended with presents and a visit with Santa Claus and his elves? It takes a village to put smiles on the faces of these innocent children, and working together to change the world through love during Christmas at the Jails VII are the Houston Peace and Justice Center, End Mass Incarceration Houston, The Positive Black Male Association of Houston, and Bering United Methodist Church. Volunteers are needed to bring unwrapped gifts, offer a friendly smile, or to make a tax deductible donation.

Christmas at the Jails VII is scheduled for December 24 from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday at Harris County Jails at 1200 Baker and 701 San Jacinto. For information, call Michael at 281-714-8278 or visit hpjc.org/event/christmas-at-the-jails-vii. Check the Facebook page for last minute updates or make your donation at hpjc.org/donate. Free.

click to enlarge Volunteers during the NBA Day of Service at the Houston Food Bank. - PHOTO BY STATE FARM/FLICKR VIA CC
Volunteers during the NBA Day of Service at the Houston Food Bank.
Bonus event: As we say farewell to the end of a decade and begin to think about our New Year's resolutions for 2020, remember that hunger is a year-round problem. Good habits begin with small actions so consider volunteering your time and talent with the Houston Food Bank; visit houstonfoodbank.org/ways-to-give/give-time for more information.