Get cozy with online events, films & more virtual Things to Do at Home

Lion dancers from Houston Shaolin Kung Fu Academy | Courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center

Pass the time while you chill out at home with online celebrations, events, performances, exhibitions and more virtual things to do at home.

While Houston faces an historic cold snap this week, it’s very likely that we’ll all be spending some time at home over the next couple days and in need of some entertainment to pass the time.

We’ve gathered a wide variety of online celebrations, festivals, performances, exhibitions and more virtual things to do at home while we wait out the weather.

Online Events, Tours & More Virtual Things to Do at Home

Virtual Festivals, Celebrations & Events

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, performers in Mardi Gras for All Y’all | Courtesy of the band
  • JFK Library presents the 10th Annual Presidents’ Day Family Festival Online | FREE – Join the JFK Library for a virtual program featuring presidential storytelling, creative at-home activities, musical performances, and more to bring history to life for all ages. Participation is free and no registration is required. Videos will be available to watch following the initial broadcast through Sunday, February 28, 2021. 11am to 2pm.
  • Midtown Houston Presents Virtual Children’s Storytime on Facebook | Tuesday, February 16 | FREE Join Midtown Houston for Children’s Storytime, with music from AndyRoo & the AndyRooniverse along with a special reading of Beatrice the Little Camper Gets Rescued from author Lori Helker. This event will be held online via Midtown Houston’s Facebook page. 11:30am.
  • 2021 ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival presents ReelPeople: UP Abilities | Tuesday, February 16  Get inspired during presentations from Tony Award-winner Ali Stroker and award-winning documentary filmmaker Dan Habib, who will shed light on the world of disabilities, when the 2021 ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival presents a conversation with the powerful pair and an audience Q&A following the discussion. $10. 7pm to 8:30pm.
  • Asia Society Texas Center presents Lunar New Year 2021: A Virtual Celebration | FREE – Taking place live across four dates, Asia Society Texas Center’s at-home celebration of the 2021 Lunar New Year brings two weeks of online events, including cooking demonstrations, craft activities, dancing and musical performances and more. Videos are free and available to view after they debut.
  • Mardi Gras for All Y’all Virtual Experience from New Orleans | FREE – This past weekend, a virtual event held in New Orleans helped to open the Mardi Gras season with iconic artists, chefs, musicians and personalities at famous New Orleans venues like Mardi Gras World, Antoine’s, Dookie Chase’s and more. While the livestream event has passed, each night’s celebration can still be viewed on Facebook and YouTube. Click here to see Part 1 of 3.
  • 4th Annual Mayor’s History Makers Awards | FREE – Held virtually this year, the annual event honors the community service of eight Houstonians through a video vignette series, released throughout the month. Catch up on the ongoing virtual event, with the stories of Carol Mims Galloway, Sue Johnson, Dr. LaShondra Jones, Dr. Beverly Nolan and Commissioner Grady Prestage.

Virtual Plays, Performances & Films

Still from “Angst”, featuring Michael Phelps | Courtesy of ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival
  • Watch the films of 2021 ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival | FREE – As the film festival that celebrates the stories of those living with disabilities gets underway, sixteen thought provoking films are available now to stream for free, with account registration. These films can also be watched during the Festival’s livestream events, which also includes discussion segments. Click here for more information.
  • Austin City Limits Streaming Concerts – The long-running series airing on PBS has opened some of their archives, releasing more fan-favorite installments recorded at the Austin studio. Check out sets from the current season, as well as previous years, from acts like Billie Eilish, Buddy Guy, Mac DeMarco, Run the Jewels and more. While some are free to view, others require a minimum $5 membership charge.
  • Alley Theatre presents The Man with the Flower in His Mouth | FREE – The Alley Theatre’s digital spring season continues with the online production of this short play about two strangers that meet at a train station in the middle of the night and their conversation that unwinds as they get to know each other better. The play was created by Nobel Prize-winning dramatist Luigi Pirandello. Free with registration.
  • Houston Grand Opera presents 33rd Annual Concert of Arias | FREE – This year’s annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers was live-streamed for the first time ever and brought together some of the best talent in opera to identify candidates for HGO’s internationally renowned HGO Studio program, which nurtures young artists. Though the live event has passed, you can still view the concert on Facebook, YouTube and MarqueeTV.
  • The Ensemble Theatre presents I, Too, Am America – In the spirit of poet Langston Hughes, this jazz-infused program celebrates the contributions by Black people to the American culture through music, drama and choreography. $25.
  • Main Street Theater presents The Book of Magdalene – Combining faith with tough love and magic, this contemporary story follows Magdalene as she searches for something to help her feel alive again after a catastrophic event. Pay-what-you-can from $20 to $54.
  • The Curse of Professor Zardonicus on Amazon Prime – Directed by University of Houston alum, Gabriel Theis, this Houston-based feature film debut follows a young man that recruits a film student to help him prove the existence of an urban legend. Free to stream for Amazon Prime subscribers. Click here for a free 30-day trial.
  • ROCO Listening Room | FREE – In this performance archive of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, visitors can stream many of the favorite programs and compilations over the past decade-plus featuring a wide array of works, from soloists to chamber quartets and more.

Virtual Museum Tours, Exhibitions & Archives

Detail of “Ambivalence” by Alexis Pye | Courtesy of Project Row Houses
  • Online Digital Archives of the African American Library at the Gregory School | FREE – Explore the extensive Black history of Houston and the surrounding region through photography, documents and oral history collections through the online archives of this Fourth Ward special collections library.
  • Project Row Houses presents Round 51: Local Impact II | FREE – While the Third Ward arts collective remains closed to the public, you can visit virtually the works of six Houston artists that have created installations that explore distinctive interests and social justice issues from their perspectives. Artists featured include Colby Deal, Junior Fernandez, Alexis Pye, Mich Stevenson, Lanecia A. Tinsley, and Jasmine Zelaya.
  • Houston Center for Photography presents Togethering Virtual Exhibition | FREE – In response to a call launched by HCP in April 2020, thousands of photographs were submitted from around the world, illustrating the solidarity needed globally to confront the pandemic and providing moments of humor, deeply-felt isolation and self-reflection in this online exhibition.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Virtual Experience | FREE – Though you can’t visit the Museum District focal point, you can log on to see diverse virtual offerings, including access to art collections, selected exhibitions, film screenings, art-making activities, recorded lectures, artist’s talks and more.  
  • HMNS at Home | FREE – The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers digital museum experiences from the comfort of your home. Dive into their online collection with video archives and virtual tours, and connect through their social media. Check out their fossil exhibit, The Land that Time Forgot, or learn about mummification in their Life and Death in Ancient Egypt exhibit.
  • NASA at Home | FREE – Find crafting ideas, science experiments, videos, activities and more with NASA’s wide array of at-home materials that provide an out-of-this-world educational opportunity.
  • Global Museums Virtual Tours | FREE – Don’t be limited to the Houston city limits while you explore virtual museums from around the world, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Louvre in Paris and more.

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

You can find more fun in our interactive event calendar and 365 Weekend Guides.

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