Donovan Park is heaven on earth for children, and all ages at that. Located in the heart of the neighborhood, the kids call it ‘castle park’ for the way the structure resembles that of castle turrets. Privately managed by the Houston Heights Association, it is gated, safe, and open to the public. Its wooden jungle gym is in perfect condition and hiding spots are abundant. Even adults can enjoy themselves while eating lunch in the picnic areas. They might even have a blast on the epic wooden train! Painted mosaic tiles have been installed since 1995; it’s truly a charming little place.
700 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 713-861-4002
Since 2006, every year on the first Saturday of August, the folks of the Heights get together in their finest white clothing and participate in several activities to attract attention to their local businesses. Think of White Linen Night like a huge block party for a good cause. The event gets more and more engaging every year, with live music, art, and plenty of restaurants to dine in. The event is free and certain streets are blocked off, making it pedestrian friendly and a fantastic affair to take the family.
Houston, TX 77007, The Heights
Looking for the road less traveled? Bayou City Bike Tours is a sure way to get an entertaining history lesson and a good workout in historic heights. California cruisers and helmets are provided, and the guides are fun and knowledgeable. The near eight-mile trip is attainable to anyone’s ability, since there’s plenty of stopping for group interaction and to discuss history; it hardly feels like the tour has been traveling that far.
1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX 832-387-5631
Like art shows? Like car shows? The Art Car Museum, also known as ‘Garage Mahal,’ displays a unique and exciting combination of both. One contributor says, ‘once you start putting stuff on your car, you never stop.’ Local artists take the hunk of metal and transform it into captivating contemporary art with personal statements. The cars on exhibit rotate every so often, and there are even parades. Admission is free, and everyone can find something enjoyable.
140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 713-861-5526
Live music. What more needs to be said? Fitzgerald’s is a dive bar established in 1977, making it one of the oldest venues in Greater Houston. It is commonly known for its intimacy; there’s no such thing as a bad seat, since it’s small and snug. The floor downstairs is perfect for dancing, and the upstairs balcony is usually open once it gets a little crowded. The tickets are at affordable prices, and they book a variation of bands, including indie bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Stars, and Father John Misty.
2706 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 713-862-3838
Vintage clothing will never not be in style, and you can find them for cheap at Sand Dollar Thrift Store. Sand Dollar has a huge selection of ’80s and ’90s clothing and are organized by color! Spend hours in here trying to piece together cute outfits or browsing through old records. Many hidden treasures are to be discovered, like neat knick-knacks, secondhand books, and good old-fashioned sweaters that grandpa (and today’s hipsters) will love. Every month, they have an ‘everything half off’ sale, as if things weren’t already amazingly cheap enough.
1903 Yale St, Houston, TX 713-923-1461
Looking to add a retro charm to your home with some of amazing finds? Thrift shops aren’t the only place to find intriguing elements. August Antiques has plenty of eclectic items, ranging from art deco to metal outdoor fixtures and architectural pieces; some of it even dates back to the ’40s and ’50s! Not to mention the plentiful rare books and religious artifacts. Plus, they’re always getting in new shipments. The owner is well informed on everything in relation to antiques and is willing to negotiate prices, too.
803 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 713-880-3353
Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery houses many authentic and vibrant Mexican kitsch. The gallery is well organized and shows off everything that is Mexico, including dia de los muertos items and some traditional clothing. Art, cookbooks, and memoirs can be unearthed in this gem of a shop. It’s a wonderful place to bring the children and learn about another culture. The owners are sweet and occasionally travel themselves to bring artifacts here to the Heights. Speaking of sweet, complimentary hojarascas (Mexican sugar cookies) are offered upon walking in.
241 West 19th St. Houston, Texas 713-880-2420
Once a church, Aurora Picture Show is now converted into a cinema where moviegoers sit in the pews to worship a huge screen… Or just to watch movies. It is a non-profit organization that promotes independent films and new media arts. The films are put together by guest artists. Viewings consist of poetry, independent children’s shows, experimental pieces, and sometimes live performances. One memorable example is a live-action documentary with a live band as the soundtrack. It’s a great opportunity to experience something new and an alternative to the typical movie theater that just dries out an entire wallet.
2442 Bartlett St, Houston, TX 713-868-2101
Nikara Montgomery is an aspiring animator from Houston, Texas who seeks to write and produce cartoons that will make you forget your worries, if for only an hour or so.