Our My Top 5 feature showcases Houstonians who are shaping the culture in the city and impacting people’s lives. In turn, they share their own favorite things to do in Houston when they’re not hard at work. This week, we’re very pleased to feature Mary Alice Parmet, chairman of the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market. The 2016 Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market will be held at NRG Center from Wednesday, November 9 to Sunday, November 13, with more than 280 merchants from across the country selling unique gift items, including home décor, gourmet food, clothing, toys, candles, jewelry, novelties, and accessories.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Mary Alice Parmet
- Cockrell Butterfly Center – Located within the Houston Museum of Natural Science, this butterfly sanctuary is among my favorite places to visit in all of Houston. It’s impossible to not become relaxed when you’re surrounded by lush tropical plants, the sound of falling water, and the fluttering of brightly colored butterflies. With its three-story glass structure and a 50-foot waterfall, the Conservatory lets me escape the sights and sounds of our bustling metropolitan city and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a rainforest environment.
- Oxheart – This is not just a restaurant; it’s a culinary experience. From the intimate and relaxed atmosphere to the amazing and indescribable courses, there’s something to love for everyone at Oxheart. I appreciate how the menu offers only two choices, the Tasting Menu or the Garden Menu, with each course a work of true culinary art. Houston has so many amazing restaurants, but this one stands in a class all by itself.
- Brazos Bend State Park – My husband and I love to walk the nature trails through the wetlands in search of wildlife. Never had I seen so many alligators, turtles, and birds in one location than when I’ve visited Brazos Bend State Park. We always pack a picnic lunch and dine in the shade under massive oak trees with Spanish moss hanging down while enjoying the breeze that rolls across the wet lands. May is our favorite time to go there because the weather is nice and the alligators are most active during that time of year.
- Texas Medical Center – I can not help but be really impressed by the Texas Medical Center. I feel very lucky to live in a city with such outstanding medical and research facilities. Every time I drive though the Medical Center, I am amazed at the new facilities being built. People come from all over the world for healthcare that we have access to in our own back yard.
- Houston Ship Channel – Nothing says, “Houston” to me more than taking the Port of Houston Authority’s Ship Channel Tour. I’m in awe when seeing the international cargo vessels up close, along with the tugs and fireboats. I know Houston stores sale merchandise from all over the world, but visiting the Houston Ship Channel makes me appreciate all the efforts that go into getting products here.
About Mary Alice Parmet
A Texas girl through and through, Mary Alice has lived in the Bellaire area for more than 20 years. Originally from Austin, she moved to Houston to work in the Texas Medical Center after receiving a nursing degree from the University of Texas. Having been season tickets holders with the Houston Ballet since the ’70s, Parmet got involved volunteering with the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market after retiring. In her role as Nutcracker Market Chairman, Parmet recruits other volunteers, selects the theme, and assists with securing sponsors. The 2016 Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market “The Twelve Days of Christmas” will be held at NRG Center from Wednesday, November 9 to Sunday, November 13, with more than 280 merchants from across the country selling unique gift items, including home décor, gourmet food, clothing, toys, candles, jewelry, novelties, and accessories. Ten percent of all merchandise sales, plus the proceeds from admission and special event tickets, stays right here in Houston supporting the various programs of Houston Ballet and its Academy.