From the clowns of the circus to the clowns of the rodeo; from the latest in the music, film and tech communities at SXSW to the community of rock balancing at Llano’s Earth Art Fest, you’ll find something for the whole family at these and more unique events across Texas this spring.
Houston Lone Star Flight Museum, Fly Girls of WWII, through July 10
At Houston’s Ellington Airport, Fly Girls of WWII is a fascinating, well-told exhibit highlighting the 1,830 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who were the daring yet largely unknown female flying heroes of World War II.
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, through Feb 26
Catch the last few days of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. (Ryan Bingham headlines the closing night show Feb 26.) Since 1949, it has grown to become one of the largest single events in the city of San Antonio, with approximately 1.5 million visitors entering the grounds each year.
Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, Cedar Park, Feb 23-27
The last Texas stop for this Cirque du Soleil glorious extravaganza designed for the whole family. Ovo plunges the audience into the hidden universe alive at our feet; an ecosystem teeming with life and unseen beings – insects that work, eat, crawl, flutter, feast, fight and court among each other in an ongoing explosion of energy and movement. Stunning.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Feb 28-Mar 20
Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $550 million to the youth of Texas and education. In this 90th anniversary event, with opening performer and fan-favorite Cody Johnson as Parade Grand Marshal (downtown parade is Feb 26), look for all the thrills and spills of the rodeo along with a music lineup that features a mix of genres including country, EDM, Latin pop, R&B/pop, Norteño, pop, rock and Christian. Nearly half of the artists will make their Rodeo Houston debut in 2022. Bonus: TX Whiskey, the Fort Worth distilling company behind the award-winning TX Whiskey and TX Bourbon, is a proud sponsor this year. TX Whiskey can be found in the East and West Clubs within the arena. There will be a Rodeo Consumer Sweep taking place for two winners to receive a pair of Club Level seats for George Strait night on March 20.
Huntsville, Texas Independence Day, Mar 2
Step forward, Texas, and celebrate Sam Houston’s birthday and Texas Independence Day Mar 2 in Huntsville. There’s a luncheon, coffee morning, and even the opportunity to get baptized as a Texan. Applications ($20) for the baptism ceremony are due today, Feb 21, so don’t delay! More info and registration here.
Bracketville, Fort Clark Days, Mar 4-5
Fort Clark was established in 1852 and remained in operation as a United States military fort for 100 years. Relive its history and the frontier days of South Texas with more than 100 living historians demonstrating activities from the period. The family-friendly event includes historic wagon tours, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, a 5K run and walk, cannon firings, and reenactments of the “Great Camel Experiment” of 1856-66, featuring real camels.
Austin, Downtown Contemporary Austin Free Week, Mar 7-13
The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center location is hosting a free week where guests can visit free of charge and see the exhibition Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams. And don’t miss the new mural on the 7th Street wall of the museum (700 Congress Avenue). The mural features images and details taken directly from Johsnton’s artwork. Plus, on Mar 12 from 11am-3pm, stop by Laguna Gloria to explore the beautiful 14-acre sculpture park and experience the art on view for Art Free-For-All. There’ll also be music and food trailers.
Austin, SXSW, Mar 11-20
Finally back in person after a 2-year hiatus, the 2022 SXSW conference and festival brings together the giants of the music industry (Grammy award winners Lizzo and Beck, for example), the rising stars, film premieres and the great tech minds of this generation. Pro Tip: Find SXSW free events here.
Disney+ Free Screening, Austin’s Long Center, Mar 12
Disney+ is bringing a fantastic, free to the public outdoor screening event to SXSW on Saturday, Mar 12 at the Long Center. Comics fans, fashion divas, and adventurers of all ages are invited to attend any (or all!) of the free events, including Disney’s Jungle Cruise, Disney’s Cruella, and Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend Of Ten Rings – and enjoy giveaways, photo ops, and more fun surprises throughout the day. No SXSW badges required!
Llano Earth Art Fest, Mar 11-13
The eclectic Llano Earth Art Fest includes the World Rock Stacking Championship, with some of the best known stone balancers from around the nation. Vendors, musicians and a free-flowing atmosphere combine in this annual gathering that evokes the peaceful, community-building spirit of earlier times.
Pixar Putt, Houston’s Discovery Green, through Mar 20
Sarofim Picnic Lawn at Discovery Green in downtown Houston is now home to the ultimate pop-up; an 18-hole mini-golf course featuring everyone’s favorite characters from Disney and Pixar Films. Pixar Putt is delightful for children to explore and interact with their favorite characters yet challenging enough for adults to have a great experience, too. The course is a mix of traditional mini-golf obstacles and other unconventional designs that are more hands-on. A large variety of characters are represented on the course; The Incredibles, Toy Story, Coco (a very challenging obstacle), and Up are just a few of the movies.. Adults-only (18 and older) sessions, Pixar Putt After Dark, take place Thurs-Sun, 7pm-10pm. Reservations (tickets start at $28 per person) are highly recommended.
Jazz Age Sunday Social, Dallas, Mar 27
The Jazz Age Sunday Social returns to Dallas Heritage Village. Enjoy a party unlike any other – a true vintage-inspired event done right, featuring traditional jazz, dancing, antique automobiles, ‘best dressed’ contest, ice cream, food, photo booth, vendors, classic games such as croquet, horseshoes, badminton, and more. Vintage costume is encouraged, but certainly not mandatory.
Old Settler’s Music Festival, Tilmon, TX, 4/21-24
Renowned Tejano accordionist Flaco Jiménez will once again combine his squeezebox talents with Los Texmaniacs for a special Saturday-night performance at Old Settler’s Music Festival. That pairing tops the list of artists rounding out the roster for the festival’s 35th-anniversary celebration, for which single-day tickets and non-camping packages are now on sale. Camping packages are still on sale at discounted rates, but will go up to full price on March 1.
The Surreal Garden, Austin, 4/21-30
The Surreal Garden at Austin’s Zilker Botanical Garden illuminates the beauty of the Garden at night with the unveiling of some incredible neon art from talented sculptors Greg and Sharon Keshishian. Dress in your best surreal attire and enjoy a night full of neon, music, dancing, local favorite food trailers, cash bars, interactive art sculptures, unlimited photo opportunities, and more!
Cover photo courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,
Julie Tereshchuk is the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Lifestyle Magazine.