6. MANGO'S With its final farewell show scheduled for the end of March, now would be a good time to go and visit Mango's in Montrose before the last waltz; this DIY venue has made a name for itself hosting indie-rock, noise, metal, punk and hardcore shows since the days after Hurricane Ike in September of 2008.
It should be noted that Mango's has never done anything the conventional way, and its Web site currently lists shows scheduled up until past mid-April, after the scheduled farewell show. Mango's Facebook page says the doors will be shut for good in May. Take your younger kids to a show here before it's gone forever, they'll thank you for it later.
403 Westheimer, mangoshtx.com
5. SUPER HAPPY FUN LAND This East End DIY venue books acts that often can be described as being out on the fringe; if you would like to go see some music that is unconventional, not part of the mainstream, and sometimes extreme, this is the place for you. Super Happy also supports the local art scene and has an art gallery on site; young kids will be fascinated by the giant Cabbage Patch Kids, stuffed animals and other interesting knick-knacks lying about.
Owners Brian Arthur and Olivia Dvorak treat all of the touring bands who come through as family, and during next month's SXSW Overflow Festival will offer bands who are traveling through the area to Austin for South by Southwest a place to play, as well as food and a place to sleep and shower if they like.
3801 Polk, superhappyfunland.com
4. DISCOVERY GREEN When Discovery Green opened in 2008, the 12-acre park replaced concrete parking lots and helped spark the revitalization of Downtown Houston as a leisure destination and not just a place to work, which continues to this day. There is a lot to go do and see here: live music and music festivals, art installations, an ice skating rink, a flea market, and a dog show are just a few of the fun things scheduled throughout the year. Discovery Green also stays true to its name, as it continues to utilize sustainable, environmentally friendly, "green" building and operations methods.
1500 McKinney, discoverygreen.com
3. CACTUS MUSIC Yes, Cactus Music is one of the few remaining record stores in Houston, but it is also a live-music venue that hosts lots of great bands and artists for in-store performances that are always free. Many of the musicians who perform at Cactus during an afternoon show will also have a gig at another venue in the city on the same night, so Cactus provides a rare opportunity for Houstonians to see their favorites perform twice in one day.
Parents can bring their younger kids along with them to see bands perform live here and introduce them to the joys of live music and buying vinyl records and CDs; the kids will also find some of the fun and unusual toys sold here appealing.
2110 Portsmouth, cactusmusictx.com
Story continues on the next page.