If you’re looking for live music in Midtown, this is the place to be. The Continental Club began in Austin in 1955 as a supper club and underwent many identity changes before becoming a music venue. In 1999, The Continental Club expanded to Houston and set up shop in an empty drugstore built in the 1920s. The Club is now a go-to venue for rock, soul, rockabilly, and more. The Continental Club has created a space for local bands to perform. They have also hosted big-name touring acts like U2, Ronnie Wood, and Nick Lowe. Check out their website for the current lineup.
John Henry Kirby Mansion
In a part of the city where new apartment high-rises and office towers are constantly going up, this 1920s mansion is a gem. The manor was built in the mid-1920s for John Henry, an entrepreneur with successful ventures in lumber and oil. The building has been used as office space for the past few decades. Recently, a company announced plans to build an office tower on the property and promised that the mansion would not be destroyed. This is more of a sight-seeing opportunity than a day trip, but it is worth seeing when you’re in the area.
Houston Fire Museum
This museum is great for kids and the young at heart. Houston Fire Museum is located in an old fire station built in 1898. The station was in use until 1969 and opened as a museum in 1980. The non-profit museum aims to educate the community on fire safety while preserving the history of the Houston Fire Department. Visitors can view exhibits on the fire department’s long history, check out three antique fire trucks, and kids can play in the ‘Station 7 ½’ room.
Houston Fire Museum, +1 713 524 2526
The Ensemble Theatre
The Ensemble Theatre is a performing arts institution dedicated to preserving and encouraging African American artistic expression in the community while entertaining a diverse audience. George Hawkins began the theater company in 1976 as a small touring group, and it has now grown to be the largest African American theater in the Southwest. The Ensemble Theatre’s season consists of six works created by national and local playwrights. In addition, the theater holds artist enrichment programs and a youth theater program. You can view their season schedule here.
The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main Street, Houston, TX, USA +1 713 520 0055
Elizabeth Baldwin Park
Elizabeth Baldwin Park is a 4.88 acre park known for its beautiful, shady oak trees and winding trail. The park has been a community recreation center since 1910 when it was acquired by the city of Houston. It started out mainly as a picnic lawn but has been upgraded over the past century to include picnic tables, a granite jogging trail, chess tables, and tennis courts. The park is a great spot to enjoy a little slice of nature deep in the heart of the city.
Baldwin Park, 1701 Elgin Street, Houston, TX, USA +1 832 394 8805
The Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston is a collaborative performance space for actors, dancers, musicians and artists in the city. The MATCH supports small and independent companies and artists by providing them with rehearsal space and a fully-equipped performance venue. The location of the center was carefully planned to be easily accessible to the Houston community. The MATCH consist of a traditional theater, black box theaters, and a dance-specific theater. There are four MATCH Boxes in total so several productions can fill the space at the same time. Check out their website for current productions and tickets.
The MATCH, 3400 Main Street, Houston, TX, USA +1 713 521 4533
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated to preserving and promoting the long history of African American soldiers fighting for the defense of the US since the Revolutionary War. Visitors can view exhibitions honoring African American soldiers of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. There are also exhibits showcasing the tools, weaponry, and artillery used by African American soldiers throughout history. Admission to the museum is free on Thursdays.
Station Museum of Contemporary Art
The Station Museum of Contemporary Art is an international arts forum dedicated to promoting free expression, social commentary, and civic engagement. The Station Museum hosts exhibitions by local, national, and international artists as well as film, music, and speaker events. Admission to the museum is always free. The Station Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, but it is closed when new exhibits are being installed. Be sure to check the schedule before heading out.
My Flaming Heart
If you’re looking for a unique souvenir or want to shop local, head to this boutique. My Flaming Heart sells clothes for men and women including vintage western wear and cowboy boots. Owner and designer Judy Masliyah creates custom-fitted, handmade pinup dresses for customers. Several local artists create one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry pieces and accessories for the boutique. My Flaming Heart also has a rotating collection of Texican and Mexican folk art pieces displayed on the walls that are for sale.