Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Best Things in Life

While we all now attempt to exercise our fair share of personal responsibility in our finances, it is an especially salient time to remember that the best things in life are (often) free.

Many communities have free events every week, and in large cities such as Houston, different parts of the city often have local events, from small neighborhoods to larger suburb cities or even micro-neighborhoods in the downtown area.

Here are two such events, both very different and appealing to different tastes. Of course in addition to this there are countless musician recitals at local colleges and churches, film festivals, area parks with nice amenities for kids, zoos, and in Houston, its world-class museums are now entirely free thanks to a giant grant from an estate. The museum district of any town should never be overlooked, nor should special arboretums and state and national parks.

Here are local events in Houston that caught my eye because they sound unique, fun, and free.

SpringFest to offer wine, art, music

The 11th Annual SpringFest, one of the largest wine exhibition and tasting events in Houston, will take place in Historic Old Town Spring Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8.

Wine enthusiasts are invited to attend this Texas-style event featuring local wineries showcasing top Texas wines, micro-brewed beer tastings, original art work from local artists, exhibits with furniture and art, and live entertainment featuring performances from Davin James, Shake Russell, Max Stalling, Todd Fritsch, jazz ensembles and more. The event is presented by Houston Press and KVST 99.7 FM.

Admission is free on Friday and Sunday; free Saturday until 4 p.m.; and $10 on Saturday after 4 p.m.

And another from an internationally renowned neurologist (a personal favorite topic):
Neuroscientist to speak March 18-19 at Lone Star College-North Harris

Dr. Janet Zadina, an internationally recognized reading specialist and cognitive neuroscientist, will speak March 18 and 19 at Lone Star College—North Harris, 2700 W.W. Thorne. Area teachers, counselors, and any professionals or community residents interested in hearing about brain research and education are invited to attend any or all of her four presentations, which will be offered free of charge.
The schedule is as follows:

* 9:30-11 a.m. March 18: “Anxiety and the Brain: Overcoming Hidden Stress Triggers,” Room CE-101 in the Continuing Education Building.

* 1-4 p.m. March 18: “Using Brain Research to Enhance and Energize Instruction,” Room CE-101 in the Continuing Education Building. ...

* 10-11 a.m. March 19: “Is It All In Their Head? How Brain Research Informs Our Understanding of Learning Differences,” Room CE-101 in the Continuing Education Building.