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Riding METRO to Weekend Events Feb. 27-28

"Heart & Seoul" at Children's Museum

 

From finger-lickin' good barbeque to soulful jazz, you can find fun events here in town. To make your commute easy, ride METRO and avoid the large rodeo crowds, save on parking and party with no worries. Leave the driving to us. Here are some highlights this weekend:

Event: World's Championship Bar-B-Que. The world's biggest pre-party to the world's biggest rodeo, more than 250 teams compete in a traditional Texas cook-off. Most team tents are invitation-only, but you can still enjoy a delicious chopped beef sandwich, drinks, live music and dancing

When:  Friday, Feb. 27, noon to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 28, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: NRG Park, 1 Reliant Parkway.

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line (North), exit at Reliant Park Station (NRG Park). The last northbound train departs at 1:41 a.m., and the last southbound train departs at 3:27.

Event: The 17th Annual Moores School of Music Jazz Festival. This two-day music feast features home-grown saxophonist Shelley Carrol, who has traveled the world making music. You'll also get to hear the UH Jazz Orchestra and the Moores School Jazz Festival All Stars, a band of seasoned musicians led by Noe Marmolejo, UH director of Jazz Ensembles and association professor of music.

When: Friday, Feb. 27, 7:30; Saturday, Feb. 28, 7:3 p.m.

Where: University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd.

Getting there:

Bus: 77 MLK/Liberty with a stop at UH and Calhoun. On Friday, the last northbound bus towards downtown departs at 11:26 p.m. and the last southbound towards MLK is at 1:42 a.m. On Saturday, the last northbound bus is at 11:51 p.m., and the last southbound bus towards MLK is at 1:23 a.m.

Event: Heart and Seoul: Growing up in Korea. This world premiere imports modern-day Korea to Houston. You'll meet five Korean kids who will share their love of K-Pop (Korean pop), their habit of texting to talk; and their drive that keeps them studying at "hagwon" (cram school) to improve their chance of being accepted to a good college.

When: Through May 10. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Children's Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz.

Getting there:

Bus: 60 South MacGregor - Stops four blocks from the museum on Southmore and Crawford. 1 Hospital and 8 South Main: Both buses stop five blocks away from the museum at Main and Binz. 

METRORail: Red Line (North). Exit at the Museum District Station.

Be sure to check the Google Trip Planner to get the exact bus or train from your starting point. #RideHoustonMETRO

 

 

Happy Year of the Goat!
Montage of METRO at Lunar New Year event 

Millions of Asians around the world celebrated the Lunar New Year, which began on Feb. 19. Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in China. People born in the Year of the Goat (also called "Year of the Sheep") are tender, polite, loyal, clever and kind-hearted. They are sensitive to art and beauty.

Here in Houston, METRO celebrated the Lunar New Year on Feb. 21 and 22 at the Viet Hoa Center, where volunteer Ambassadors staffed a METRO booth and distributed brochures and info about our services.

"The 2015 Lunar New Year celebration was a great turnout...we had a blast!" said Terrie Belle Chester, an Ambassador at the event.  On Valentine's Day, METRO also celebrated at the Chinese Community Center.

The Year of the Goat is a big year for METRO. In April, we expect to open two new rail lines - the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southeast). And in August, we are scheduled to launch our new bus network, bringing  you a bus every 15 minutes or less, seven days a week, on the new frequent network.

 

Houston Gets National Spotlight
Reimagined network map 

As METRO prepares to roll out a massive redesign of its local bus routes, Houston got the national spotlight on Monday in an NPR/WBUR Boston radio interview with one of the designers of our System Reimagining plan.

Jarrett Walker, a public planning transit consultant and author of Human Transit, said on Here and Now that Houston is overhauling its bus network without increasing operating costs.  He explains that for many cities, Houston included, bus networks were put in place decades ago and have grown obsolete.

"What tends to happen with bus networks is because it's so easy to change a bus route, it's changed for not very good reasons...it grows more complicated, confusing and inefficient," Walker said.

Walker said METRO's new bus network will be running far fewer routes with much higher frequency. "It's like pruning a tree...which (routes) are working, which are necessary, and take out the pieces that are not working."

He said that public transit succeeds precisely because of the diversity of people it carries - it's not a rich vs. poor thing.

"One of the great things about Houston is that although they do have a light-rail program, they understand their city gets around on buses to an extraordinary degree, and only buses can begin to address the scale of need," Walker told NPR.

Click here to listen to the 10-minute interview, "Redesigning Houston's METRO System without Breaking the Bank."

 

Catch Your Ride to the Rodeo
 

Old cowboy bootsIt's time to kick up your boots, Texas-style, and head on down to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, preceded by the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest.

 When you're ready to party, catch METRO for an easy ride in and out.

Starting Thursday, Feb. 26, you can enjoy a round-trip shuttle service to NRG Park from any of these Park & Ride lots: Maxey Road, Monroe, North Shepherd or West Loop.  The shuttles run from Feb. 26-28 and March 3-22.

Round-trip shuttle prices are $4 from Maxey Road, Monroe and West Loop, and $6.50 from North Shepherd. Learn more about shuttle prices, shuttle schedules and detailed Park & Ride information.

Here are shuttle hours :

Monday - Thursday:  North Shepherd - 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Monroe - 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; West Loop - 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Friday: North Shepherd - 4:30 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Monroe - 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; West Loop - 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Saturday: North Shepherd, Monroe and West Loop - 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The last inbound bus from these Park & Ride lots to NRG Park departs at 9 p.m.

You can also ride METRORail for only $1.25 one-way to NRG Park. We'll have continuous northbound service until 1:40 a.m. and southbound until 3:25 a.m. On Sunday, METRORail will run continuously northbound until 11:24 p.m. and southbound until 1:15 a.m.

If you park at the Fannin South Park & Ride for $20 per vehicle (cash only), your round-trip train fare for all passengers to NRG Park is covered by your parking fee.

#RideHoustonMETRO

Japanese Students Visit METRO
Japanese university students on tour in the USA visit METRO 

Fourteen Japanese university students in the Knowledge Investment Programs (KIP) visited METRO last Friday and rode the rail, asking questions ranging from Houston's car culture to METRO's new light-rail lines being built.

Bruce Krantz, senior director of Construction, led the tour. While the students rode the Red Line, they learned about the two new lines - the Purple Line (Southeast)  and the Green Line (East End) - scheduled to open this spring. The students were a bit jet lagged, having just arrived from Japan. Houston was one of three stops on a 10-day tour that includes Boston and San Francisco.

KIP is a non-profit organization that promotes awareness of social issues among top-level college students attending Tokyo-area universities.

The Japanese visitors were, of course, accustomed to riding trains. The Tokyo subway systems consist of 131 miles serving 205 stations. Two subway systems served the capital. Nearly half of all commuters in Tokyo travel by rail. The trains are so crowded that uniformed workers sporting white gloves and hats help push people onto the train and make sure riders don't get caught in the doors during morning and evening rush hours.  They are called "oshiya" or "pushers."

"They were very appreciative of the tour and our time," said Linda Trevino, senior Stakeholder Affairs representative.  The students later used the information they gathered and made a presentation on rail that evening.

 

 

Fun Events for Feb. 20-22 Weekend
 

Montage of three events

From exhibits of ancient warriors to a free blues concert by an up-and-coming native Houstonian, the city has a lot to offer this weekend. Check out some highlights - and remember, take METRO. You can relax and leave the driving to us so you can party.

Event: Samurai: The Way of the Warrior. Forget Star Wars. This is the real deal at the Houston Museum of Science. Seven centuries of Japanese history and tradition are on display, including rare examples of the samurai's intricate armor and advanced weaponry.

When: Daily, 9 a.m.  - 6 p.m. until Sept. 13

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 South Main, 65 Bissonnet

METRORail: Take the Red Line, exit Museum District.

Event: Prematurely Discarded: Photographs by Chuck Ramirez. Mundane objects, some discarded, attain new reverence and attention through the eyes of artist and graphic designer Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010). Taking a minimalist approach, Ramirez gave these everyday objects a playful look. Free.

When: Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. until Feb. 25

Where: Octavia Art Gallery, 3637 West Alabama

Getting there:

Bus: 78 Alabama/Irvington (runs on weekdays only on Alabama end), 73 Bellfort Crosstown, 82 Westheimer-West Oaks,  81 Westheimer-Sharpstown, 53 Briar Forest, 25 Richmond. If you take the 81, 82 or 53, or 25 Richmond, you will need to walk a few blocks.

Event: Nick Greer and the G's. This red-headed, versatile musician with his signature bow tie moves easily between piano pop and hip-hop. He launched his career at an open-mike event in Montrose at the age of 14. Come listen to this rising star as he mixes blues and funk.

When:  Saturday, 9:30 p.m. and March 7 and March 14. 

Where: The Corkscrew, 1308 W. 20th St.

Getting there:

Bus: 40 Pecore/Telephone. Note: The last bus back into downtown departs at 10:35 p.m.

Check out Google Trip Planner to get the specific bus from your starting point.

Find Your New Route Here
 

 

System Reimagining logo

METRO is in the midst of a huge redesign of our local routes - making our system easier for you to ride. Routes will be in a grid patterns, and buses on the high-frequency network will arrive every 15 minutes or less - seven days a week.

Want to know how your current route will be changed?

View the new bus network route maps here. There's also a System Reimagining icon on our home page - just click and view for an overview comparing the old system map with the new one, as well as individual route maps.

Central Station Opens Today

Central Station

If you're riding the Red Line today, you may notice a new stop: Central Station.

The new station officially opened this morning. Located in the 700 block of Main between Rusk and Capitol, the station is north of Main Street Square and south of Preston. It will become a transfer point when the new Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast) open in April.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:30 a.m. today commemorated the opening with appearances by METRO and city officials, including METRO Board Member Christof Spieler,  Bob Eury, executive director of Houston Downtown Management District, and Robert Gallegos, Houston City Council member.

METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert expressed appreciation that METRO and its partners worked together to give  Houston a new station .

“We also want to thank our partners, Bob Eury and the Downtown Management District, for helping to secure funding for upgrades to this station and the other two Central Station platforms on Rusk and Capitol," said Lambert.

The Downtown Management District was instrumental in getting funds for the granite slabs and artwork from John Runnels on this platform and the two other new ones downtown.   

Ride the rail – and check out Houston’s newest train station.

College Student Rides METRO
 

 

Jeffry Hong, METRO intern & UH student

Meet Jeffrey Hong.

He's an honors college student at the University of Houston and an intern in the UH Bonner Leaders program, interning at METRO.

Every morning, Hong rides the bus to get to his internship at 1900 Main St. and he avoids traffic gridlock by riding the HOV lanes. He also shows how easy it is to get on a light-rail train to collect his data.

Watch his You Tube video here. He made this video at the request of his former high school principal, who wanted to find out what he was up to as a college student, having taken his school's "science and engineering pathway."

METRO helps him get to where he needs to go. If you're a student, you can ride for half price.

Celebrating Valentine's Weekend

 

Montage of three events

If you're looking for some romance this weekend, check out these events around town. From enjoying a vibrant dance troupe doing moves most of us can only dream about to a soulful, romantic movie of star-crossed lovers, there's something for everyone.

Let METRO do the driving, while you and your date hold hands and eye gaze. (texting - not!) Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Event:  Duo. Met Dance is celebrating 20 years this season with the addition of six members, and this weekend's program showcases more intimate dances on a smaller scale than the troupe's usual large ensemble. The dances range from an athletic, dramatic piece to a humorous one at the end. The one-hour show gives you plenty of time for some dance moves of your own afterwards.

When: Tonight and Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: Studio 101 at Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring St.

How to get there:

Bus: 66 Yale, 50 Heights, 85 Antoine.

Event: Bernadette Peters. The actress/singer's one-night performance with the Houston Symphony will feature one song especially for Houstonians, "My Funny Valentine" in a nod to Valentine's Day. She'll also include songs from her Broadway shows, including, "Fever," "When You Wish Upon a Star," and "Some Enchanted Evening."

When: Tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Jones Hall for the Performing Arts

How to get there:

Bus:  3 Langley, 85 Antoine and 163 Fondren.

METRORail: Red Line, exit Preston Station.

Event: Hiroshima Mon Amour. This 1959 film is a romantic tale of time, memory and oblivion.  A married Japanese architect meets a married French actress in Hiroshima, who has gone there to shoot a film about peace. He reminds her of her first love, a German soldier in World War II.  This artful film doesn't name the two characters. They are simply "he" and "she."

When: Tonight and Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.

Where: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet.

How to get there:

Bus: 60 South MacGregor; 8 South Main; 1 Hospital; 65 Bissonnet; 11 Almeda/Nance; 34 Montrose Crosstown.

METRORail: Take the Red Line, exit Museum District Station.

Use Google Trip Planner to find your specific bus from your starting point. #RideHoustonMETRO

Rail to Partially Shut Down
 

 

Rider Alert icon

METRORail will partially shut down beginning tomorrow through Monday, Feb. 16, so we can do track maintenance.

Service will be interrupted between Fannin South Station and Smith Lands Station from 10 p.m. tomorrow until normal service resumes on Monday at 4:30 a.m. We'll have dedicated bus shuttles running every 10 minutes during regular rail service hours.

Bus service will require more travel time, so please allow sufficient time for your trip. We'll also have staff standing by to help you.

Click here for more information. Thanks for your patience as we keep your METRORail running. #RideHoustonMETRO.

Board Approves System Reimagining Plan

System Reimagining Map

A major redesign of METRO’s local bus routes that would give riders more frequent service was approved today by the Board of Directors in a special board meeting. 

Called Transit System Reimagining, the bus network would offer service every 15 minutes or better, seven days a week, on high-frequency routes. The plan has been in the making for more than a year with numerous community meetings for feedback.

The plan connects more people to more places faster, including to major employment hubs. On the frequently-traveled grid, the current route miles of weekday service would more than double from the current miles. These high-frequency routes would provide bus service every 15 minutes or less. Other color-coded networks in the system will have buses running every 16 to 30 minutes, and 31 to 60 minutes.

METRO staff explained the latest tweaks to the plan, based on community feedback. For example,  all bus signs and bus headers will list the bus route, name and destination. Currently, the destination is not listed.

“This is a great opportunity. It builds a foundation for us to grow in the future,” said Tom Lambert, METRO’s President & CEO. “Transit will either make or break this community. We will either work to be part of the solution to improve the ability to move safely – or we will choke this community.”

Kurt Luhrsen, vice president of Planning who was in charge of this project, said the new frequent network will connect a million people to a million jobs. Right now, 25 percent of riders experience frequent service. That will increase to 75 percent of riders. And 58 percent of riders’ trip times between 30 key destinations will be faster by 10 minutes.

“Giving people more time to spend with their family or go to a second job…or go to a movie…is really important in giving them a better quality of life,” said Luhrsen.

The board passed the System Reimagining plan unanimously, and attendees broke out in applause. METRO expects to launch the plan in August. 

#RideHoustonMETRO 

 

 

 

Love on Wheels
 

 

BART Train with a heart in the window

Have you found love on METRO?

In the San Francisco area, a couple found love on BART and are about to celebrate 15 years of marriage.  Anna and Dentrick McNorton met 19 years ago on a BART train.

Click here to watch their story.

And now tell us your story. We'd love to feature it as Valentine's Day approaches.

Downtown's New Bike Lane
 

City's first dedicated bike lane downtown

Good news for bicyclists. It's about to get easier to bike around downtown.

The city has begun work on its first dedicated bike lane downtown. You may have noticed over the weekend that city workers were adding bright green paint, a bicycle icon and giant arrows indicating traffic flow to a lane on Lamar, just east of Sam Houston Park.  

In the next few weeks, workers will be installing plastic humps to separate cyclists from the remaining three lanes of auto traffic.

This dedicated bike lane will connect the east and west sides of downtown so cyclists can pedal safely across the city. This lane will connect the Buffalo Bayou trails to the west with the Columbia Tap trail that runs along east downtown.

The bike lane is expected to open in mid to late March. Click here to read more about the city's bicycle master plan. The photo posted appeared in the Houston Press. #RideHoustonMETRO

Weekend Events for Feb. 6-8

 

Montage of three events

This weekend is full of fun activities for date night and family night. Here are a few highlights. Take METRO to get there, and you'll save on parking fees and avoid navigating through traffic.

Event: Takis: The Fourth Dimension. This collection of 25 groundbreaking works by Greek artist Takis relates his scientific journey using art. Defining the "fourth dimension" as "invisible energies," Takis uses light, sound, kinetic energy and magnetism to create paintings that use 3-D components held in mid-air by magnets or statues that gently touch to produce spontaneous sounds.

When: Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Free.

Where: The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross.

Getting there:

Bus: Weekday: 78 Alabama/Greenway Plaza; 34 Montrose.

Weekends: 82 Westheimer-West Oaks; 81 Westheimer-Sharpstown

Event: Jason Moran. This native Houstonian is an acclaimed pianist and composer, whose most recent work can be heard on the new civil rights movie, Selma. A former Third Ward resident, Moran was commissioned by Da Camera of Houston to create Holed Up, a multimedia tribute to artist Robert Rauschenberg.

This world premiere features Moran's trio, The Bandwagon, along with vocalist Horace Grigsby and guitarist Marvin Sewell.

When: Saturday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.

Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas.

Getting there:

Bus: 50 Harrisburg/Heights, 88 Hobby Airport, 85 Antoine Limited

Event: Harpeth Rising. This unique band, which plays contemporary music with an eclectic assortment of banjo, violin, and hand percussion, is composed of former Indiana University students and is now one of the hottest acts in contemporary folk music. Based in Nashville, the quartet plans a spring release of its fifth studio album, Shifted.

When: Saturday, Feb. 7

Where: UniTunes Coffeehouse, 1900 Bering Dr.

Getting there:
Bus: 6 Tanglewood; 32 Renwick.

Check out Google Trip Planner to find your specific bus from your starting point. #RideHoustonMETRO

 

 

The Future of Transportation
 

 

Just what can we expect 30 years from now in transportation?

Omaha could be the next Los Angeles with traffic gridlock that matches Los Angeles today.

Forecasters predict 70 million more people will be living in the western and southern parts of the country - and some of them may be getting around in a driverless car.

That's according to a newly released report by the Department of Transportation, which spent a year writing this blueprint for the nation's roads, rails, ports and air control towers.

"Our transportation system hasn't caught up with the 21st century," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who released the DOT report on Monday. The 316-page document uses sources from the government and the private sector to emphasize critical decision points facing the nation.  

"Let's just be honest. We've been moving from crisis to crisis," said Foxx. "Part of the purpose of doing a report like this is to get people to think about it before it happens."

The report, "Beyond Traffic," suggests a holistic approach to highways, transit, aviation, shipping and pedestrians.

Some highlights of the report:

  • The nation's population will remain suburban because of the housing supply and infrastructure.
  • Urban areas will be larger and less dense.
  • Evolving technology will demand government flexibility, and regulations may be needed to encourage innovation.

Check out the report, and share your ideas to the DOT, then comment below to share your ideas of what Houston transit should look like in 30 years. We'd love to hear from you!

 

ReelAbilities Film & Arts Festival

 

A city-wide festival celebrating the lives of people with disabilities opens on Sunday, Feb. 8,  and includes an array of stories from a blind pianist prodigy to a teen-ager who doesn’t let a wheelchair prevent him from worldwide adventures.

The festival includes seven films and a panel discussion in venues across the city. Three of the films are free, but you must register to attend. The festival is hosted by the JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusionin collaboration with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.  

Take the family to see the free viewing of  “Dolphin Tale 2” at the Children’s Museum and find out how Winter, the dolphin, is dealing with his prosthetic tail. Opening night features the Swedish film “It’s All About Friends,” a drama about a depressed New York cinematographer who opens his heart and mind to people with disabilities.

“Touch of the Light” is based on the true story of blind Taiwanese pianist Huang Yu-Siang, who plays himself in the film. Leaving his village behind for the university in the big city, Huang meets an aspiring young dancer. This coming-of-age film shows how these two young people fulfill their dreams with the power of positive thinking.

Check out “A Whole Lott More”(free), featuring a car manufacturing firm in Toledo, Ohio, that employs more than 1,200 workers with developmental disabilities.The factory has been threatened with closure and has a year to re-invent itself. The film highlights the contributions disabled people can make given with the right support.

Click here to reserve your seats and click here to see a detailed, printable schedule. #RideHoustonMETRO

Parlez-vous METRO? Hablas METRO?
 

International students learning about the Q Fare Card

Hop on our buses or trains, and you may hear more foreign languages being spoken. That's because METRO has just completed an outreach to international students at the University of Houston and Houston Community College.

The five outreach events were conducted on UH's main campus and at the Marriott on Westheimer for HCC students, as well as at HCC's main administrative building on Main Street. Students came from China, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Europe, Nigeria, India, Nepal, Central America and South America.

In the past three weeks, METRO received about 700 applications for student METRO Q® Fare Cards.

At each event, METRO staff explained how to ride our system and distributed hand-outs, including a METRO Q® Fare Card application. Students filled out the application on-site, and then METRO began processing the applications, mailing a METRO Q® Fare Card back with the student's name on it in about a week.

METRO is one of the city's best bargains. Students ride for 50 percent off the $1.25 fare on all local, Park & Ride and light-rail service. And all METRO Q® Fare Card holders earn five free rides for every 50 paid rides on their METRO Q® Fare Card.

#RideHoustonMETRO

VAST Academy Learns About METRO
 

VAST Academy students at METRO

Students from the VAST Academy (Vocational Advancement and Skills Training), HCC's post-secondary transition program for "differently abled" persons seeking employment and independence, came to learn how to ride METRO last Friday.

About 23 students toured the RideStore and learned where to go to load money on a METRO Q® Fare Card or where to replace one. The students were taking a newly created class, "Exploring Houston," that includes map-reading, Internet research and time management for a trip.  All the students had intellectual or developmental disabilities - called IDD.

"This is the first step in learning to travel in downtown Houston," said Brigid Wilson, HCC faculty, of the group's first field trip.

Ramona Crayton, Public Affairs representative who organized the field trip, called it a rewarding experience. "We take things for granted that we don't need assistance to load money on a Q Card or to ride the bus. These students were so willing and open to learn," said Crayton. "They gave us an opportunity to teach them and help them understand how our system works. "

Students learned about bus and rail safety, along with trip planning.

"We're hoping we will open their world and help them achieve independence," said Crayton.

#RideHoustonMETRO

Taking METRO to Weekend Events
 

Montage of three events

It's Super Bowl weekend, and there are plenty of fun activities to do when you're not watching the Big Game. This weekend, try taking METRO to get there and avoid traffic and parking problems.

Event: Fly Dance Company. Take the kids to the Children's Museum where you'll witness the birth of break dancing, watch health awareness skits and learn about hip-hop from the Fly Dance Co.

When: Saturday, Jan. 31, 3 p.m. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: Children's Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz

Getting there:

Bus: 60 South MacGregor; 8 South Main; 1 Hospital; 65 Bissonnet; 11 Almeda/Nance; 34 Montrose Crosstown.

METRORail: Take the Red Line, exit Museum District Station.

Event: The Magic Flute. Go high-brow and check out Mozart's tale of a prince rescued by three attendants to the Queen of the Night. The attendants then ask the freed prince to rescue the Queen's imprisoned daughter - and give him a magic flute for protection. The opera's in English with projected English text.

When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas

Getting there:

Bus: 50 Harrisburg/Heights, 88 Hobby Airport,  85 Antoine Limited

Event: Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This exhibit features 100 images of wildlife from a worldwide competition organized by the Natural History Museum in London and the BBC Worldwide. This year's winner in the 10 years-and-younger category was Carlos Perez Naval of Spain, whose Stinger in the Sun photo features a yellow scorpion, with raised tail, against a setting sun.

When: Through May 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 South Main, 34 Montrose Crosstown

METRORAIL: Take the Red Line, exit Museum District.

Use Google Trip Planner to find your specific bus from your starting point.

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