Houston International Festival
Houston, TX 77002
Date: April 21 to 23, and 28 to 29
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Click here for ticket prices
Founded in 1971, Houston’s International Festival celebrates a city tradition rich in culture and diversity. Cultural education will be as abundant as the entertainment this year, with Eternal Tango and themed zones for families to explore. Plan to spend the day exploring this festival, and buy tickets in advance to score the best seats for special events.
Parking for the Houston International Festival is available at several different downtown parking garages. Depending on the distance from the event, the cost of parking can range from $5 to $10 per vehicle.
Things to do
800 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Price: $75 to $300 per admission
Hours: Sat, April 21 – 8 p.m.
The Houston International Festival is spotlighting Argentina this year with one of the country’s most beloved pastimes: tango. Hector Del Curto brings his famous Eternal Tango orchestra to downtown Houston for a Saturday evening performance straight out of Argentinian culture. Based out of New York City, the Eternal Tango orchestra features several of the world’s leading tango musicians and is one of the few active tango ensembles of its size in the world.
Price: $3 to $4 for children age 3 to 12/$12 to $30 for adults and children age 13 and older
Hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day of the festival
Little Tranquility Park
A fun, educational experience for kids of all ages, the Kids Zone features an International Stage with performances by Indian and Chinese dance troupes and a Kids Creative Corner where children may demonstrate their creative talents. This family friendly area promises face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, a miniature golf course, rides and balloon artists.
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Silk Road Zone
Upper Sam Houston Park
This cultural journey takes place mostly in the Far East. Guests may walk along a 100-foot reproduction of China’s famous Great Wall, learn about Indian culture, stroll across a Venetian-style bridge, and enjoy live entertainment by Chinese and Indian dance troupes.
Music, arts, and crafts are the main attractions in the Latin Zone, with salsa music, cumbia, Latin rock and pop, and a dance floor where guests may practice Eternal Tango’s killer moves. It also offers guests a chance to meet former NBA stars at NBA nation.
Lower Sam Houston Park
Like its name suggests, the International Zone is all about world culture, and in this zone, attendees may feast on international cuisine, shop in the International Market and marvel at the cultural highlights from Houston’s 17 sister-city relationships.
Lower Tranquility Park, backside of city hall
Experience the culture of Africa and the Caribbean islands in the African/Caribbean zone, an area of the Houston International Festival that is certain to intrigue the entire family. Cultural exhibits, a marketplace featuring artwork, and an entertainment stage with Caribbean reggae and native African highlight this educational area.
Where to Stay
Doubletree Hotel Houston Downtown
400 Dallas St. Houston, TX 77002
Price: $100 to $200 per night
Doubletree Hotel is a full-service hotel located close to the intersection of I-45 and I-10 and close to Houston’s business and theater districts. It is connected to Allen Center and Heritage Plaza via sky bridges for added convenience, and its location is ideal for guests who want to be close to a large number of entertainment and dining facilities.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Houston Downtown
1700 Smith St. Houston, TX 77002
Price: $150 to $200 per night
Crowne Plaza Hotel is often promoted as the place to meet, play and stay. This lodging establishment features 259 hotel rooms and 18 deluxe suites, and all rooms come complete with Tempur-Pedic mattresses for a great night’s sleep. Meeting rooms, complimentary Internet access and other services abound at this comfortable downtown Houston hotel.
500 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002
Price: $17 adults/$10 children
Hours: Mon to Sat – 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Birraporetti’s is a great Italian restaurant that combines the delcious taste and variety of pasta dishes along with a fully stocked Irish bar. Guests may choose among appetizers, salads, signature sandwiches and specialty pasta dishes. The unique Italian/Irish combination has kept customers coming back for more than three decades.
909 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002
Price: $25 adults/$15 children
Hours: Mon to Wed – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thurs – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sat – 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
This dinner club features a wide variety of main dishes, appetizers and desserts including salmon, red snapper, ribeye steak and champagne chicken. Once the meal is complete, guests may enjoy live entertainment and dancing, as well as a fully stocked bar with premium drinks, all the way to close.
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Bryan Carey is a Houston, Texas resident with an avid interest in restaurants, dining, breweries, wineries, festivals, cultural events, museums, theatre, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. He has been writing about entertainment, travel, and related topics for more than fifteen years and has thousands of articles to his credit. His work can be found at Examiner.com.