Whether you like museums, parks, great burgers, seafood, free attractions, Houston offers many great things to see and do. From culinary tours and cooking classes, to championship golf and kayaking, couples can plan a fun weekend getaway in the city. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, take a romantic walk through the Cockrell Butterfly Center and dine at excellent seafood restaurants. Here are the best things to do in Houston, TX for couples.
1. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
© Museum of Fine Arts
One of the largest museums in the country and one of the best things to do in Houston, Texas, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) is located in the heart of Houston's Museum District and boasts a collection of more than 64,000 works from six continents. Spanning more than 6,000 years of history, the main collection is housed in two main galleries, the Audrey Jones Beck Building and the Caroline Weiss Law Building, which are connected by the underground Wilson tunnel.
The museum is also home to the Cullen Sculpture Garden, an urban oasis designed by Isamu Noguchi that features modern and contemporary sculptures by renowned artists such as Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, and Ellsworth Kelly. The Rienzi House museum features an exquisite collection of European artworks, décor, and gardens while the Glassell School of Art offers studio art classes and educational workshops for adults.
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-639-7300
2. The Cockrell Butterfly Center
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Based at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Cockrell Butterfly Center and Brown Hall of Entomology offers visitors a fascinating insight into the world of butterflies and insects. The center features a variety of exhibits, displays and presentations, and is one of the top places to go in Houston.
The Rainforest Conservancy, a spectacular three-story glass structure with a 50-foot waterfall filled with exotic plants and living butterflies is especially popular, and vast exhibition halls showcase some of the world’s largest and weirdest arthropods. If you are looking for things to do in Houston TX for nature lovers, this is a fascinating place to visit. Friday’s are “Feeding Frenzy” time, and visitors can enjoy Small Talk Tuesdays, where some of the center’s live collections are taken out for a walk.
5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-639-4629
3. The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
© The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Located in the Houston Theater District in the heart of downtown Houston, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is Houston’s premiere entertainment complex. The center is home to two state-of-the-art acoustically distinguished theaters, the Sarofim Hall and Zilkha Hall, which seat 2,650 and 500 respectively. Here, patrons can enjoy world-class and critically acclaimed theatrical performances and special events. If you are wondering what to do in Houston today, check the performance schedule at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
An exquisite three-story Grand Lobby has beautiful architectural features such as a gold leaf ceiling, a vast steel-column supported roof, and a second-floor terrace overlooks verdant Tranquility Park. If you are looking for romantic date night ideas in Houston, this is the place to go. Enjoy fine dining before or after the performance at the elegant on-site restaurant that serves contemporary American cuisine.
800 Bagby Street, Ste. 300, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-315-2400
4. Houston Food Tours
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Experience the culinary side of Houston with a fantastic walking tour to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and cafés. During these tours, you have the opportunity taste delicious food along the way and take in some of the beautiful architecture. The walking food tours take guests to both popular and lesser-known areas of downtown Houston, from the historic Main Street and Market Square to Green Street.
The tours provide information about the development of the city’s heritage, architecture, and culture, and they stop at an array of eateries and bars, allowing you to savor a range of cuisine and beverages. Phone: 713-554-1735
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5. Space Center Houston
© Space Center Houston
Part of the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.’s extensive science education program, Space Center Houston is one of the USA’s most popular tourist attractions, welcoming more than 800,000 visitors every year. The center was established in 1992 with the aim of educating, encouraging and inspiring young learners to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a fun and engaging way. World-renowned for being the home of NASA Mission Control, International Space Station Mission Control and astronaut training, Space Center Houston takes visitors on a journey behind the scenes and into the world of space. Using space exploration to inspire wonder and interest in science and math, the center presents over 400 temporary and permanent exhibits, artifacts and items from space, and other various attractions related America’s human spaceflight program.
1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas 77058, Phone: 281-244-2100
6. Well Done Cooking Classes
© Well Done Cooking Classes
Celeste Terrell and Kathryn Hood started Well Done Cooking Classes in 2009, and they have been teaching people how to cook and have fun in the kitchen ever since. With the aim of offering great service, excellent food, and good fun to their patrons, Well Done Cooking Classes provide a variety of classes for every level of chef or cook, ranging from beginner to advanced.
Classes cover all aspects of cooking; you will learn everything, from information about the ingredients to various cooking techniques. Classes can be enjoyed with a group of friends or individually. Participants experience hands-on classes and execution of tasting recipes, as well as tasting the fruits of their labor. All equipment and ingredients are provided for the classes, as well as complimentary water, although guests can bring their own beverages if they so choose.
7. Wildcat Golf Club
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Wildcat Golf Club features two championship 18-hole golf courses: The Lakes and The Highlands, along with a variety of other first-class facilities. Designed by Roy Case, the course ranges in elevation and boasts beautiful views of the NRG Stadium complex and Houston's downtown skyline.
Facilities at the club include private practice facilities, Top 100 Golf Shop, deluxe meeting rooms, valet services, and the Vista Grill, a fine-dining restaurant with spectacular views overlooking the course. The Club also offers a range of private golf classes taught by professional golfers for all levels of players.
12000 Almeda Road, Houston, Texas, Phone: 713-413-3400
8. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
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Located in the heart of the city, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a green oasis of fauna and flora for the public to enjoy. The center features a range of fun-filled activities that will engage and delight visitors. You can go to the Discovery Room, where you can learn more about Houston’s urban wildlife and natural habitats, visit the Wildlife Garden, which is home to birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife, and stop by the Nature Shop, which sells all things nature-related.
The center offers a broad range of educational programs for families, adults, and children such as “Nature and Wildlife,” “Food and Nature,” and “Hands on Nature.” Hour-long guided tours for adults are held Tuesday through Saturday. If you are looking for things to do in Houston today, the center hosts a variety of special events throughout the year.
4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, Texas, Phone: 713-681-8433
9. Siphon Coffee
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Rustic-industrial chic, comfortable sofas, and a pleasant vibe are not what make Siphon Coffee stand out among the many great coffee shops in the Houston neighborhood of Montrose. It is their siphon-made coffee, brewed in a 19th century device that produces a delicate and unique cup of coffee that is highly valued among coffee connoisseurs. They also serve excellent espresso made of locally roasted coffee, craft beer on tap, a nice selection of wine, and wonderful pastries. Guests can enjoy a chai latte, organic salads and inventive soups and sandwiches.
701 West Alabama St, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 281-974-4426
Next read: 24-Hour Restaurants in Houston
10. Lawndale Art Center
© Lawndale Art Center
Lawndale Art Center was founded in Houston in 1979 by artist James Surls in a 100,000-square-foot abandoned warehouse. It was a part of the University of Houston and its goal was to provide studio and exhibition spaces for the university graduate students in sculpture and painting. Lawndale Art Center became a non-profit organization in 1989, and in 1992 it moved to a 1930s art deco building in Houston’s Museum District designed by Joseph Finger. The center’s galleries show works from about 500 artists every year in more than 20 innovative art exhibitions. It also organizes informal talks and discussions and special annual events, such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Design Fair, and The Big Show. Lawndale became known as an outlet for controversial art by regional artists and served as a prototype for other alternative art spaces in Houston.
4912 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-528-5858
11. Etoile Cuisine et Bar
© Etoile Cuisine et Bar
Open Monday through Sunday for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Etoile Cuisine et Bar is a warm and welcoming European-style café and bar that serves a seasonal menu of classic French fare. Owners Chef Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui have designed both the dining space of the restaurant and the menu with the intention of giving diners a feeling of being in France.
Everything from the stylish interior décor and high standards of service to the delicious cuisine has a French air. French favorites such as Foie Gras Poêlé and Coquilles Saint-Jacques Provençale can be found on the menu, as well as an extensive cocktail program and an excellent wine list.
1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd, Houston, Texas, Phone: 832-668-5808
12. Christie's Seafood and Steaks
© Christie's Seafood and Steaks
Christie's Seafood and Steaks was originally opened as a food stand in 1917 by Theodore Christie and has been operated as a full-service restaurant since the 1930s. The restaurant, which moved to its current Westheimer location in 1979, continues to craft all of its entrees from its original recipes, continuing a tradition that has become legendary in the Houston area over the past century. Fresh Gulf seafood entrees are served up throughout the day, including famed wild shrimp platters prepared blackened, pan-grilled, Creole-style, or stuffed with housemade crabmeat dressing. Seafood platters highlight Mississippi catfish, fried oysters, and stuffed crabs, while entrees include Cajun favorites like crawfish etouffee and opelousas. Diners can also enjoy clever po'boy sandwiches, U.S. Choice steaks, and house specialties like Gulf snapper almondine or chicken madeira.
6029 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77057, Phone: 713-978-6563
13. James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
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Built to host magical light and musical performances, James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace can be found on the Rice University campus in the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion. Spanning two levels and accommodating up to 120 people, the structure is made of concrete, steel, and stone and has been acoustically engineered to ensure outstanding musical sound.
An LED light sequence projects onto the ceiling just before sunrise and at sunset to accompany the musical performance, transforming the space into a unique and breathtaking work of art. Reservations are required for Sunset but not for Sunrise. Admission is free. Check their web side for current schedule and reservations.
6100 Main St., Houston, Texas, Phone: 713-348-4758
14. Rienzi, Houston, TX
Located at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Rienzi is a separate building that holds the museum’s collection of European decorative arts and paintings. Designed by prominent Houston architect John Staub and nestled on four acres of wooded gardens in the historic River Oaks neighborhood, the former home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III now houses an impressive collection of European works of art, including paintings, ceramics, decorative arts, and miniatures. Rienzi also offers a variety of educational programs and workshops for adults, as well as lectures, musical performances, and special events throughout the year.
1406 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas, Phone: 713-639-7800
15. Latin Bites Cafe, Houston, Texas
© Latin Bites Cafe
Latin Bites Café brings a slice of South America to the streets of Houston by serving authentic Peruvian and other South American cuisine. Managed by Chef Castre, who uses his knowledge of Asian, European, and New American cuisines to create his own take on Latin fusion food, this family-owned restaurant serves a range of small plates with a contemporary flair. Experience a range of flavors in traditional entrées such as Andean risotto, lomo saltado, and arroz chaufa, and don’t miss their exclusive seafood brunch, which features a variety of fresh seafood dishes. Happy Hour offers a selection of handcrafted cocktails, wine, and craft beers, as well as a range of delicious small plates.
5709 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-229-8369
16. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC)
© Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is a cultural and educational center that focuses on the history of arts and crafts and the role they play in today’s society. With an emphasis on objects made from a variety of materials such as clay, glass, fiber, and recycled materials, HCCC provides exhibition and studio spaces for local and international artists to showcase their work. It also serves as an excellent educational resource for artists and educators alike. Exhibits feature unique and innovative works by local and national artists while the Craft Garden demonstrates the connection between nature and the materials that stem from it.
4848 Main Street, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-529-4848
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17. Minute Maid Park
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Minute Maid Park is considered a gem of the downtown Houston skyline and is home to the Houston Astros. Featuring a full-sized, vintage locomotive running on a 800-foot track along the left-field wall, the ballpark was built to be reflective of the historical relationship Houston has with railroads. In addition to attending a baseball game, visitors also have a chance to take a one-hour tour of Minute Maid Park. During the tour, guests can visit the Historic Union Station, the Visitors’ or Astros’ Dugout, broadcasting booth, and more. Be prepared to walk about one mile and climb ramps and stairs.
501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002, 713-259-8000
18. Pondicheri Cafe
© Pondicheri Cafe
Located on the southwest corner of Kirby and Westheimer in the West Avenue complex, Pondicheri Café serves a creative menu of authentic Indian food in a casual, laid-back setting. Open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant is owned and managed by Anita Jaisinghani, who shares her love of Indian food and rich Indian culture through her exotic cuisine.
Her menus feature Indian street food favorites such as paneer paratha, pav bhaji, and lamb samosas. Polished concrete floors and walls featuring special honeycomb tiles from India create a relaxed atmosphere, while freshly baked savory and sweet treats are available daily in the adjacent Bake Shop.
2800 Kirby, Ste. B132, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-522-2022
19. Arnaldo Richards' Picos
© Arnaldo Richards' Picos
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, Picos, owned and managed by Arnaldo Richards and his wife, serves authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine. Located on Kirby Drive, the casual restaurant features a menu that visits all seven regions of Mexico, from the South Pacific Coast to the Gulf, with dishes that are made using seasonal ingredients and that are bursting with unique flavors from each area.
Enjoy exclusive tequila dinners, where specific dishes are paired with special tequilas from around Mexico, or pair your meal with colorful handcrafted cocktails such as the famous Shaker Margarita, a variety of craft beer, or fine local wines from the extensive wine list.
3601 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX, Phone: 832-831-9940
20. Paulie’s Restaurant
© Paulie’s Restaurant
Resting on the edge of River Oaks and owned by Paul Petronella, Paulie’s Restaurant is a casual, laid-back Italian eatery that serves delectable and authentic Italian cuisine. Serving a variety of handmade sandwiches and Panini, freshly made soups, and crisp salads for lunch, the restaurant also features daily specials, including house-made pasta, hearty veal, meat and chicken dishes, and fresh seafood.
Enjoy delicious sweet treats such as home-baked cookies, brownies, bread pudding, and key lime and pecan pie with gourmet coffee made from freshly brewed beans from the Greenway Coffee Company for dessert.
1834 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-807-7271
21. JP Morgan Chase Tower Observation Deck
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Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, and standing at 75 stories (1,049 feet) tall, JP Morgan Chase Tower is the tallest building in Houston. The 60th floor is home to an observation deck that is open to the public to enjoy the impressive panoramic views across the city at no charge. Take the fast elevator, which travels at a speed of 1,000 feet per minute and admire the magnificent vistas of Houston’s downtown skyline, NRG Park (formerly Reliant), the Texas Medical Center, the Galleria, and Greenway Plaza. This is one of the best places in Houston to enjoy an amazing view on your romantic weekend getaway.
600 Travis St, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-223-0441
22. Houston Symphony
© Houston Symphony
Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America's oldest performing arts organizations. Based out of the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston, the Symphony enjoys a distinguished musical history under the direction of world-renowned musical directors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Hans Graf, and Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who is currently at the helm.
Today, the Houston Symphony performs approximately 300 concerts and recitals, performing a variety of classical and POP concert series, family series, and symphony specials. During the summer months, the Symphony presents a range of free concerts for the public, including the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights at the Miller Outdoor Theatre and the annual Fiesta Sinfónica at Jones Hall.
615 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-224-7575
23. iFly Indoor Skydiving
© iFly Indoor Skydiving
iFly Indoor Skydiving offers the unique indoor experience of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane! A state-of-the-art wind tunnel generates enough power to create a wall-to-wall cushion of air and true free fall conditions, allowing visitors to experience the adrenalin rush that accompanies the feeling of flying without a parachute.
No experience is necessary, and the center caters to all ages and levels of “flyers,” including those with physical disabilities. All equipment and flight gear are provided, and highly trained and accredited instructors lead you through the process to ensure utmost safety at all times. Each flight lasts for about an hour and is the equivalent of one and a half skydives.
9540 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX, Phone: 281-942-4359
24. Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company
© Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company is an urban craft brewery that has been making small batch craft beer since 2011, and it offers tours around the working brewery. Featuring two unique series of craft beer, namely the “Heritage Series” and the “Secessionist Series,” the brewery aims to honor the pioneering history of Texas with their innovative beers.
Enjoy a walking tour of the brewery where you will learn about the history and heritage of pioneering Texas, the history of the brewery, and how its popular beer is made. Tours include tastings of the brewery’s beers.
2101 Summer St, Houston, TX 77007, Phone: 713-750-9795
25. Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
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Located at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH), the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens are the home to the museum’s collection of American decorative arts and paintings. Displayed in the former house of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg, which is situated on 14 acres of beautifully manicured gardens in the historic River Oaks neighborhood, the collection consists of a range of paintings and decorative arts, including ceramics and silver.
The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best things to do in Houston TX for couples who love art. Bayou Bend is also home to the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center, which includes the Kitty King Powell Library and a retail store where visitors can purchase copies of their favorite paintings and other works of art. The gardens may still be closed due to flooding.
6003 Memorial Drive at Westcott Street, Houston, Texas, Phone: 713-639-7750
Stages Repertory Theatre
Watching a live musical or theatrical performance can be a fun, enjoyable, and romantic activity for those who have a passion for performing arts. At the Stages Repertory Theatre, couples can enjoy fantastic shows together at an establishment that encourages all its visitors to live deeply and love boldly. Explore the relaxing and chic Albert and Ethel Herzstein Lobby before paying a visit to The Edmundson Gallery. The Lancaster Lounge offers guests complimentary wines, as well as several other refreshments, which can be enjoyed in the lounge’s intimate setting. Meanwhile, the theatre also features three different stages: the Sterling Stage, Smith Stage, and Levit Stage, each of which hosts fantastic performances by local and visiting performers.
800 Rosine Street, Houston, Texas 77019; Phone: 713-527-0123
Gerald D. Hines Waterfall Park
The Gerald D. Hines Waterfall Park is the perfect place to take your partner for a romantic walk and to take some unforgettable photos. The park is located in the heart of Houston, where it is one of the most popular city green spaces. If you have not yet visited this park, you have a great treat in store for you; just moments away from the hustle and bustle of the city you can take a serene walk under the lush canopy of more than 180 towering oak trees and be enveloped by the mist from the semi-circular cascading water fall which stands 64 feet tall.
2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, 713 966 7799
The Events Company, Houston, Texas
The Events Company is a lovely Houston wedding service overseen by acclaimed event producer Richard Flowers, offering complete turn-key service to make couples' special days memorable and low-stress. The company has worked with high-profile clients throughout the United States, France, Puerto Rico, and Cabo San Lucas, operated as part of the Landry's organization since 2003. End-to-end services include destination selection, budget development contract negotiations, and full logistics planning, helping couples secure the perfect venue in their dream destination. Catering management is also provided, along with entertainment booking, lighting and sound design consulting, and transportation services booking. All clients can enjoy personalized service to help plan exquisite events and create the wedding day celebration of their dreams.
1237 N Post Oak Rd, Houston, TX 77055, Phone: (713) 426-5800
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Attraction Spotlight: Art Car Museum
Located in Houston, the Art Car Museum is a contemporary art museum that showcases the beauty and artistic nature of cars. The Art Car Museum is fortunate enough to have an abundant amount of art cars as permanent attractions. The Art Car Museum’s collection showcases the revolutionary art form and how it is historically and culturally significant.
The Art Car Museum, also known as Garage Mahal was founded in February 1998. Ann and James Harithas were passionate about art, specifically the Art Car movement. Ann and James first thought of creating the Art Car Museum when Ann created the Collision show in 1984. The Collision show showcased car art, specifically the Mad Cad by Larry Fuente. This sparked an artistic and cultural movement across the United States. Eventually, the Collision show became so popular that an Art Car Parade and the International Art Car movement were created.
The Art Car Museum prides itself at providing visitors with an experience that demonstrates how there is a revolving door between art and automobiles. The museum’s location, in Houston, Texas, is perfect because Houston is known as the art car capital of the world. Aside from the amazing art that is located in this museum, the Art Car Museum is known for its unique scrap metal and chrome architectural design, which was created by David Best, one of the world’s most renowned car artists.
While each of the Art Car Museum’s pieces of art have a colorful similarity, each art car is crafted with a unique material, texture, and inspiration. Art car artists manipulate vehicles by dismantling the foundations or attaching new mechanics and designs. Some art car artists go as far as completely deconstructing a vehicle. Thus, they are able to create the perfect aesthetically pleasing vehicle.
The range of variety among art cars differ upon what the artist is attempting to express. Common objectives that art car artists want to convey are political, cultural, or economic opinions. On a deeper level, art cars demonstrate how minority groups and other subcultures are among the heaviest influencers of art in the United States.
By walking through the Art Car Museum, you will have the chance to explore the world of the art car, as well as its history. Even though the art car movement officially began only a little over a few decades, the foundations of the art car movement date back to older times in Cuba, Mexico, and Pakistan.
The art car movement is continuously evolving and expanding. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the bulk of the Art Car Museum’s collection is comprised of special attractions. The Art Car Museum wants to ensure that its visitors are experiencing the newest, most revolutionary, and most impactful art cars of the time. It’s important to note that these special attractions are only displayed for a limited time at the Art Car Museum. Prior to visiting the Art Car Museum, prospective visitors should check the museum’s website for an updated version of their special attractions.
Summer Exhibition is a special art exhibition that the Art Car Museum displays every summer. The Summer Exhibition gives the general public exposure to the world of art cars and the Art Car Museum is a festive and seasonal manner. Among the golden-plated and altered art cars sits a photograph collection from a renowned photographer. The Summer Exhibition 2016 photographer was Tom Massimin. Massimin’s photograph collection, Art Car World, showcased the art car movement throughout the years. His collection even had a concentration of the different art cars that were displayed throughout the years at the annual Summer Exhibition.
Annual Open Call Show is an annual art exhibit that the Art Car Museum holds. This special exhibit is different among the rest because it changes every day. In order for an art car to be displayed, an artist simply has to call the Art Car Museum and reserve an exhibit space. There is no entrance fee or jury that decides which artists are displayed. It’s important to note that in order for artists to have their work displayed on any given day, they have to be among the first 100 people to call.
The Art Car Museum is continuously working towards providing the general public with endless amounts of information about the art car movement. Through interactive activities, lectures, and special classes, participants can learn about art cars in a fun and educational way. One of these educational programs is the Children’s Mini Art Car Workshop, which teaches children how to build and design their own mini-art car.
140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007, Phone: 713-861-5526
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