Hard to believe it’s been 26 years, though I remember the excitement of taking my own kids to  the first one:  in a few weeks, on Sunday, the 25th of August, our city's outstanding arts organizations will offer the annual Houston Theater District Open House. This is a  free, fun-filled, family day of learning more about Houston’s many major performing arts organizations.  Hours are from noon until  5:00 (well, the symphony concert starts at 4:00)  This is probably the only such event in the country, and is offers youngsters the opportunity to explore performing arts  venues with which most kids and even some adults  are completely unfamiliar.  This is really a unique opportunity for kids to explore different seating levels, stages, the whole terrain of concert halls like Jones Hall, the Wortham Theater, and the Hobby Center, and the Alley Theatre, all of which required extensive renovation after the Harvey flooding.

But there is much more than just seeing big music spaces. Adults and children alike can  enjoy activities and live performances by several  of the Theater District’s groups including: musical theater shows, behind-the-scenes backstage tours, interactive "musical instrument petting zoo," meet-and-greets with costumed performers, complimentary trolley rides between venues, food trucks, and a free Houston Symphony concert at Jones Hall at 4 PM. Parking is no problem, as there is the huge underground parking facility as well as nearby garages and surface lots.

The annual event presents a preview of Houston’s vibrant arts season, and there is special pricing for many of our arts organizations' seasons.  Yes, it’s quite hot outside, but very cool inside all the venues.  Children of all ages will really get a lot from this rare opportunity.  Details of the schedule of the day’s performances, as they are finalized can be found at http://theaterdisctrictopenhouse.com