HMDA Summer 2016 Guide

Summer is in full swing in Houston and it is a great time to explore the arts in our city! Here are various ways one can enjoy the arts this summer:



Cool Nights presented by TXU Energy at The Houston Zoo

As temperatures rise in Houston, one can find cool alternatives to beat the heat in the Museum District. Visitors can enjoy extended hours at the Houston Museum of Natural Science or stay up late with the animals at the Houston Zoo during Cool Nights every Friday evening from June 10 through August 5.

Free Museum Thursdays are also a budget friendly way to enjoy the district during the week. Guests will be able to enjoy free admission and extended hours at participating museums. Click here for more information on free admission times.


Challenge yourself to try something new this summer by adding a little culture to your daily routine. The possibilities are endless with all the ongoing programing and events the Houston Museum District has to offer. Here are just a few of the many exciting options that are available for visitors:

Enjoy Happy Hour at a Museum

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston offers free general admission and extended hours every Thursday. After your visit, check out the latest exhibition-inspired specialty cocktails, enjoy beats from a local DJ, and satisfy your hunger with bites from the evening’s food truck.

Join a Member Group

Stay actively involved with your favorite museums. Each of the 19 museums in the district offers a variety of membership groups.

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May 2015 Capture Crawl at the Alley Theatre Renovation (Photo: Caroline Docwra)

Capture Crawl is a Houston Center for Photography members-only group that provides a platform for HCP members to photograph interesting and unique locations around the city of Houston in a casual and social atmosphere. Every month a new destination will be chosen, and cameras and skill levels of all ranges are welcomed.

Enjoy Art Outdoors

Whether taking a stroll through MFAH’s Cullen Sculpture Garden or spending an evening outside during one of The Menil Collection’s outdoor celebrations, the arts are not limited to interior confines this summer.

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Lonnie Holley. Photo: Matt Arnett

An Outdoor Celebration of As Essential as Dreams with Lonnie Holley | Friday June 24, 2016 7:30pm-10:30pm | The Menil Collection

Take a Class and Relax

For many, the summer months are a time to unwind and relax. Take time for yourself by joining one of the many meditation classes offered at The Jung Center or by increasing your energy during Tai Chi by the Reflecting Pool outside of the Rothko Chapel.

Jung Center Houston

Jung Center Houston

Mandalas: Entering the Sacred Circle | Friday, June 24, 2016 | The Jung Center


Immerse yourself in the arts this summer by exploring many of the new and free exhibits in the Museum District:

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Installation view of Jae Ko’s “Force of Nature, Shiro” at Grounds for Sculpture 2015-16. Photo courtesy the artist.

Celebrate the opening of Jae Ko’s solo-exhibition, flow流at a free and open to the public reception at The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston on June 17 from 6:30pm-9pm.



Natasha Hovey, “Positioning,” 2015. Glazed ceramic and matte medium. Size variable. Photo by Natasha Hovey

In Residence is an annual exhibition of clay, fiber, glass, metal and mixed media that celebrates Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s Artist Residency Program, which has supported makers and their ingenuity in the field of craft for the past 15 years.



Untitled (Naomi Campbell by Steven Klein for Balmain) (detail), acrylic on magazine page, 10.75 x 8 inches, 2016.

This summer Rice Gallery visitors will be treated to the color and energy of Crosstown Traffic, a new Summer Window installation by Michael De Feo. This is the 7th exhibition in the Summer Window series, which features works visible through the glass wall while the Gallery is closed for the summer.



Sheila Pepe, Put me down gently, 2014 (detail). Commissioned by the ICA Boston for the exhibition, Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present. Photo: Rick Lozier Photography

On view between June 11-Augsut 6, 2016, Sheila Pepe’s exhibition at DiverseWorks is a commissioned installation that serves as an open meeting space and platform for several events, including a video installation by current MFAH Core Fellow Sondra Perry.


Though school may be out, kids can continue to explore and learn through the multiple summer camps and workshops available in the Museum District.


Xplorations Summer 2016 at The Houston Museum of Natural Science

2016 Explorations Summer Camp | Houston Museum of Natural Science

Xplorations Summer Science Adventures are week-long, hands-on science summer camps featuring science activities for children ages 6 – 12.

Summer Art Explorers | The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Families can embark on artistic adventures with games, toys and storybooks in the galleries during free museum Thursdays.

Camp Zoofari Summer 2016 | Houston Zoo

Camp Zoofari is the place for kids ages 4 through 12 to learn and have fun with an animal-centered curriculum created just for them.

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Photo courtesy of the Houston Center for Photography.

2016 HCP Summer Camps | Houston Center for Photography

Summer Camps include lectures, hands-on activities, creative writing, indoor and outdoor photography sessions, editing and group discussions

Summer 2016 Discovery Camps | The Health Museum

Kids can enjoy a summer of innovation with multiple Discovery Camps for ages 5-13.

The Glassell Junior School Summer 2016 | The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Glassell Junior School is an art school for young people ages 3–18, devoted to nurturing creativity and dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the arts and an awareness of the world.

ExploreAsia Camps | Asia Society Texas Center

Entering its fourth year, ExploreAsia Camps engage Houstonians ages 6 to 11 with the arts, culture, and history of Asia.