The 15 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: May 19 to 21, 2023

The Houston Symphony performs on stage with wall lighting in green, orange and blue behind them
Actor Kyle MacLachlan joins the Symphony for "Oedipus Rex" this weekend | Courtesy of Houston Symphony

Take a tour of H-Town’s weekend highlights with our 365 Houston guide to the best things to do in Houston this weekend, from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21, 2023.

Every weekend, Houston has plenty of happenings to be found around town—but which ones are the highlights that can help you plan an enjoyable weekend of outings?

We’ve whittled down our extensive Weekend Guide to offer you some of our favorite things to look forward to from Friday to Sunday.

Looking for more things to do? Dig deeper for all of our weekend picks with the 365 Houston Weekend Guide, or comb through our Calendar for even more events, activities, and things to do this weekend.

The 15 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: May 19 to 21, 2023

  • 50th Annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival at Pasadena Fairgrounds | Daily – Barbecue, music, a kid’s zone, mutton bustin’ and more highlight this annual Pasadena festival, packed with family fun. Single day tickets are $15; $5 for ages 6 to 10; free for ages 5 and under. $30 for weekend passes. Times vary
  • TUTS presents Rent at Hobby Center | Daily | Opening Weekend – The epic musical re-imagining of La Boheme became an anthem to love and acceptance that won the Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Awards. This brand new production gets a run in Downtown, courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars. $40 and up. Showtimes vary.
  • 2nd Annual Activation Festival at the Ion | Friday, May 19 | FREE – The final day of this three-day bash features a full afternoon of networking opportunities, panel discussions and industry insights, as well as a wrap-up Block Party from 5pm to 8pm where a number of local businesses will show off dynamic tech on the plaza, along with food trucks and a “battle of the bands” competition. Free, but advance registration is required. Times vary.
  • Skylab 50th Anniversary Celebration at Space Center Houston | Friday, May 19 – This exclusive event gives guests after-hours access to Space Center Houston and a special cocktail hour in the Skylab trainer exhibit. The reception will include passed hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine with liquor available to purchase, live music and the unboxing of Skylab artifacts, followed by a discussion. $75. 7pm.
  • Umami Fest Night Market at Railway Heights | Friday, May 19 & Saturday, May 20 | No Cover – This umami-packed, Asian-inspired food festival and night market will rock street food and merchandise vendors, artists, night market games and prizes, and entertainment. 3pm to 8pm.
An outdoor scene at the Ion with people gathered at tables and walking around
The Ion District hosts three days of business and tech programming at the Ion Activation Festival | Courtesy of the Ion
  • Houston Symphony presents Oedipus Rex at Jones Hall | Friday, May 19 & Saturday, May 20 – Actor Kyle MacLachlan (of Twin Peaks fame) joins the Symphony to narrate Stravinksy’s epic Greek tragedy, accompanied by an all-star cast of singers for this monumental season finale. $29 and up. 8pm.
  • Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park | Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21 – The Astros host the A’s in a three-game weekend series. The first 10,000 fans in attendance on Friday will snag a Kyle Tucker bobblehead or an Alex Bregman camo jersey on Saturday, and Orbit’s birthday celebration caps the weekend off with a koozie giveaway. $35 and up. Times vary.
  • Ascend AAPI Fashion Show at the Julia Ideson Building | Saturday, May 20 | FREE – This immersive experience at the historic library in Downtown Houston celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and features dynamic programming from Project Runway and Houston-native Chloe Dao, Tina Zulu and more. 2pm to 5pm.
  • iFest USA at Discovery Green | Saturday, May 20 | FREE – Held around the world, this festival gathers artists and cultural representatives for a day of exchange between cultures, communities and diverse peoples that promotes peace, love and friendship. Expect live music and performances, gourmet foods, and unique art on display. Free with registration. 2pm to 9pm.
  • Plantasia: Botanical Art Show 2023 at Hardy & Nance Studios | Saturday, May 20 | FREE – Nearly 70 local artists exhibit their botanical-themed artwork from across a variety of mediums and styles. Plus, you can shop plants for your home from Eden Plant Co, and enjoy a complimentary bar with Karbach brews and other beverages. 5pm to 9pm.
A training exhibit with a mannequin astronaut floating in space
Space Center Houston celebrates the 50th anniversary of Skylab | Courtesy of Space Center Houston

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

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

Be sure to subscribe to our free Weekend Guide email to receive a round-up of great things to do this weekend in Houston in your inbox every Thursday.

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins always keeps an eye out for what's ahead on Houston's horizon while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston. When he's not passing along the latest events, destinations and hidden treasures in H-Town, he loves diving into the city's food scene, shopping local and learning about Houston's rich history.