As one of only five cities with an active ballet, opera, symphony, and playhouse scene, the city of Houston is a must-see for any fan of the performing arts. Learn more about what to see in Houston for your next trip by checking out our guide to the experiencing the Houston fine arts below!
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For your next trip to Houston, we’ve got a few recommended stops sure to satisfy those group members who love visual and performing arts. With a 100-year-old symphony, award-winning opera, one of the nation’s largest ballet companies, and various theaters for plays and other live productions, Houston is a perfect destination for those who want to experience world-class performances without traveling all the way to NYC.
Houston’s visual and performing arts scene holds multiple distinctions that make it a can’t-miss destination. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas at just over a century old; the Houston Ballet is the fourth largest ballet company in the United States; and the Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the world to win two Grammy awards, two Emmy awards, and a Tony award. Aside from these three permanent organizations, the city also houses multiple theaters and playhouses that offer plenty of opportunities to see a variety of shows.
Performances centered around these four disciplines-- opera, symphony, theatre, and ballet-- are sprinkled throughout more than 500 citywide organizations, many of which are housed in the Houston Theater District, on the north side of downtown. If you’d like to see a performance for yourself next time you’re in Houston, we’ve got all of the best stops listed below. Make the most of an arts-focused Houston trip, or sprinkle these stops in with one of our other recommended Houston itineraries!
When you’re traveling to multiple stops with a group, staying organized can be difficult. Splitting your group into separate cars can cause some members to end up late and others to end up completely lost, throwing your trip off track.
Instead of leaving group members to fend for themselves, book a private coach from Longhorn Charter Bus, one of Texas’s most-trusted coach providers. We provide full-sized coaches to large groups, minibuses to small bands of travelers, and a variety of sizes in-between to groups of any size. On your bus, you can find reclining seats, air conditioning, WiFi, televisions with DVD players, and more to make your trip through Houston as comfortable as possible.
Craft your own itinerary based on our suggestions, or create one that’s completely unique to your group’s interests. Wherever you choose to go, we’ll help you schedule the perfect itinerary and make sure your group arrives to each stop right on time.
Be sure to pay a visit to any of the local arts-focused organizations that make Houston unique, whether it’s for a show or for a tour of their impressive facilities:
Houston Grand Opera
Located in Wortham Theater Center
Address: 501 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (832) 487-7000
The Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the world to win a Tony, a Grammy, and an Emmy-- actually, make that two Grammys and two Emmys. This world-renowned organization puts on 6-8 productions per season, all of which mainly feature American composers. The four theaters in their home at the Wortham Theater Center have a combined capacity of more than 3,300 seats.
Tours given at the Houston Ballet Center for Dance
Address: 601 Preston Street, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 523-6300
As the fourth-largest professional ballet company in the United States, the Houston Ballet keeps busy by producing over 85 performances each year, maintaining the Houston Ballet Academy, and regularly giving tours of their new 115,000-square-foot Center for Dance in the city’s theater district. The company has won numerous gold medals in international competitions and serves as a cultural ambassador for the city of Houston.
Performs at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
Address: 615 Louisiana Street Suite 102, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 224-7575
This Grammy Award-winning orchestra has been performing steadily since 1930, calling the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts home since 1966. Through educational programs, community activities, and performances, the symphony hopes to inspire audiences throughout Houston.
These local theatres offer shows of all types throughout the year, plus opportunities to tour backstage and get a glimpse of the hard work that goes into putting on a successful production.
The Music Box Theater
Address: 3733 N Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: (773) 871-6604
Houston’s only cabaret theater is run by 5 Houston-based actor-singers known for putting on original 2-act comedies throughout the year. These shows are based on popular music, keeping even original shows familiar so that all audiences can enjoy a few drinks, a few laughs, and an enjoyable night in the relaxing atmosphere.
Address: 615 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 220-5700
Alley Theatre is Texas’s oldest professional theatre company and one of the oldest resident theatres in the United States. This nationally-recognized company produces well-known classic plays as well as new, lesser-known works to create a diverse and impressive repertoire. The theatre has traveled to Broadway, 40 American cities, and multiple international cities throughout its 70-year history, earning it the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.
Miller Outdoor Theatre
Address: 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (832) 487-7102
The Miller Outdoor Theatre’s annual 8-month season includes a line-up of music, ballet, Shakespeare, musical theatre, films, and more-- always completely free to the public. This impressive outdoor structure includes all of the typical theatre accoutrements, such as an orchestra pit, all necessary theatre equipment, lights, curtains, and scenery, plus a 110-ton air conditioning system to keep viewers comfortable in the Texas heat.
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Address: 800 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 315-2525
Aiming to expand Houston’s reputation as a world-class cultural hub, the Hobby Center supports all forms of the performing arts with an emphasis on musical theater. Aside from a top-notch performing space, the Center also offers private event spaces with beautiful views of the Houston skyline, perfect for weddings, corporate gatherings, movie screenings, and more.
When you’re not attending an unforgettable show, check out some of Houston’s local art museums, many of which are among the top-rated in the country:
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Address: 1001 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77005
Phone: (713) 639-7300
Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts contains over 60,000 pieces housed in 300,000 square feet of exhibition space, making it one of the country’s largest art museums. The collection’s history covers more than 6,000 years of works from six continents, making it the most diverse art collection in the Southwestern United States. The collection contains photographs, paintings, costumes, musical instruments, and much more.
Address: 2305 Dunlavy Street, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 522-2409
The Archway Gallery is one of the country’s oldest artist-run galleries, having been in business since 1976. Artist-members bring their work to the gallery and often remain on-site for tours, offering personal insights into the creation of their pieces. Sculptures, pottery, paintings, and more in a variety of styles are available for viewing and for purchase.
For more trip ideas, check out our guides to Houston travel, one for a 2-day vacation and another for 3 days in H-town. When you’re ready to book your bus, call Longhorn Charter Bus at 713-344-0553 to secure the perfect transportation for your group. We’ll get you to all of your preferred fine arts venues as well as the best local restaurants, attractions, and more. Call us today for a free quote on your trip!