Definition of Winter Wonderland
Does Houston Qualify as a Winter Wonderland?
The words "winter wonderland" or even "winter activities" conjure up images of snow skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, and sledding. One can almost hear the song "Snow" from the musical, White Christmas, harmonizing in the background. Stop. Those would not be the images for Houston and winter activities. Times when snow has drifted gently from the Houston skies in the last many years are rare. So, would that mean that there are no winter activities in Houston? No, take a look at the two coldest months of a Houston winter, January and February and just a few of the possibilities available. The weather does turn chilly and often downright cold. Ice storms destroy tree limbs across the city often in fact. So, what do the residents of Space City do in the wintry months of January and February after the obvious December winter holiday activities end?
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
This is a big, big deal in Houston and occupies much of the month of January and February although the actual livestock show and rodeo begin at the end of February. Cowboys from all over the world compete in the contest. Top singers and musicians join the lineup of performers and play to packed audiences. Part of the proceeds from the rodeo and all its fanfare go to help education in Houston.
Call this one transition from winter to spring in Houston. Events leading up to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo begin in January and ramp up as the show and rodeo come alive at the end of February. Included in the overall celebration and tied to the rodeo are a plethora of fun events and activities. Armed Forces Appreciation Day, Black Heritage Day, Conoco Phillips Rodeo Run (marathon), Downtown Rodeo Parade, Future Farmers of America Recreational Contest, Go Tejano Day, Go Texan Day, International Days, Lil' Rustlers Rodeo, Paint the Rodeo Pink, Private Events and Group Outings, Rodeo Roundup, Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Show, School Art Contest, Sheep Dog Trials, Top Hands Horse Show, Trailblazer Events, Trail Rides, and a World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest all intertwine starting in January to bring alive what is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Exact dates for each event change each year but are easily found on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo website, www.rodeohouston.com. The rodeo and events leading up to it alone give enough entertainment for most in Houston.
Taking in a Live Performance
When it's chilly outside, a warm and welcoming theater fits the bill, playbill that is. Houston is a theater city. Live theater, ballet, and opera and orchestra performances grace the city's calendar all year-long. January and February are particularly great months for taking in a performance as the theaters are a welcoming respite from the cold conditions outside. Of course performances vary each month, but a quick search online can give the latest and greatest finds. The signature box provides links to the major live performance sites.
On that note of enjoying a live performance, another inexpensive opportunity exists. Theater Under the Stars hosts a competition between high school theater departments. Tommy Tune, the famous Broadway performer hailing from Houston is the namesake for the event, The Tommy Tune Awards. Schools compete with their rendition of famous Broadway shows. The shows are open to the public at high schools all around town. These are not run of the mill performances, but fabulous shows with unbelievable sets, costumes, and performances. Tickets typically run about ten dollars. These will not disappoint! The shows typically run from October through early March with the greatest number by far occurring in January and February. A quick look at the Tommy Tunes performance calendar provides the locations, shows, and dates. This is the BEST of winter activities ever for theater lovers. The awards ceremony for the winning shows models itself after the Tony Awards and is held in April at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
Visit a Museum
A trend is emerging here on most winter events doubling as those that avail themselves to visitors all year round. Perhaps that is the beauty of Houston. However, as stated above, it does get cold in those first two months of the calendar year. The idea that these events give an inside respite make them especially great winter finds. Museums in the city are no exception. A convenience factor is that the city boasts an actual museum district where the better known collections live within a few miles of each other. The larger and better known museums include Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Printing History, the Health Museum, and the Children's Museum of Houston. Other specialty museums exist as well. The signature box for this article has contact information for museums. Enjoy and learn! visiting a museum qualifies as a great winter activity in Houston.
Get an Inexpensive, Fabulous Foot Massage
OK, this one for sure qualifies as any time of year activity, but when the winter cold has one's skin feeling dry and itchy, nothing feels better than a relaxing foot massage with soothing lotion. Houston has a downtown Chinatown and one in the Alief area in West Houston as well. For between $20-$35 dollars for a full hour, a wonderful foot massage that actually includes the head, arms and hands, and back as well fits the bill as a great activity. More information is available at Should Be Tourist Attractions in Houston.
Whether one lives in Houston or finds themself a visitor in the winter months, enjoy the great city and all the great offerings to get out of the cold. Couple the event of choice with a visti to a few of Houston's Great Mom and Pop, Local's Favorites restaurants.