The weekend after New Year's Eve is one of the deadest on the whole arts calendar, so this week we decided to take a different approach to our weekend picks. Instead of highlighting new events—of which there are almost none—here are five exhibitions, plays, and family activities that end their run this weekend.
For 11 months of the year, the animals are the undisputed stars of the Houston Zoo. But each December the elephants and giraffes temporarily take a backseat to Zoo Lights, one of Houston's most beloved new holiday traditions. This year's festival features over 2 million lights strung around the zoo grounds, as well as carolers, food and drinks, and screenings of The Polar Express. Oh yeah, and the animals are still there—they just might be sleeping.
Thru Jan 4. $10.95–14.95. Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr. 713-533-6500. houstonzoo.org
The Grinch's Holiday Workshop
Step into the world of Dr. Seuss in this interactive experience at the Children's Museum of Houston, based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Kids can explore Whoville, sit on the Grinch's sleigh, take a picture with Cindy-Lou Who, make Grinch finger puppets, and even draw their own Who-ville character on the huge mural.
Thru Jan 4. $9. Children's Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz St. 713-522-1138. cmhouston.org
Panto Rapunzel (And Zombies)
A panto (short for pantomime) is a type of musical developed in England in the 18th century and usually staged during the holidays. Usually based on a fairy tale and chockful of jokes, dances, zany characters, and audience participation, the form has proved popular at Stages Repertory Theatre, which has mounted an annual holiday panto for years. This year's version, very loosely based on the Rapunzel story, involves an evil Governor (no, he's not named Rick) who's trying to build a zombie army and conquer the world.
Thru Jan 4. $21 & up. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy., Suite 101. 713-527-0220. stagestheatre.com
Dario Robleto: The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed
Houston-based conceptual artist Dario Robleto presents three landmark recordings of the human heart: the first heartbeat recorded, the heartbeat sent into space on the Voyager probe, and the first beat-less heart. In addition to these recordings, the exhibition includes hundreds of small sculptural assemblages inspired by the connections Robleto began to see between the Apollo program and the quest to build an artificial heart.
Thru Jan 4. Free. Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St. 713-525-9400. menil.org
Robert Hodge: Destroy and Rebuild
This superb show surveys the career of Houston multimedia artist Robert Hodge, who assembles old newspapers, posters, and other ephemera into daring collages that examine African American history and culture, many of them juxtaposing famous images from European art history with lyrics by contemporary hip-hop artists.
Thru Jan 4. Free. Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd. 713-284-8250. camh.org