MFAH Mixed Media

April 26 | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

MFAH after hours is back to showcase the museum's stunning van Gogh exhibit alongside DJs and a cash bar. Already seen the exhibit? The party debuts an immersive van Gogh-inspired art piece commissioned by Tim Steinke. 

Tickets $25. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 5601 Main St. 713-639-7300. More info and tickets at mfah.org.

Independent Bookstore Day

April 27 | Multiple Locations

Indie bookstores like Brazos, Murder by the Book, Blue Willow, and River Oaks Bookstore are alive and well in Houston, and this industry holiday gives you one more excuse to support. Brazos has a full lineup filled with storytime, poetry buskers, happy hour, and discussions about the state of the indie press; check with other stores for individual programming.

Free. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet St. 713-523-0701. More info at brazosbookstore.com.

12th Annual Nature Fest

April 27 | Bridgeland

Activities truly run the gamut at this annual celebration of all things outdoor, ranging from laser tag to train rides to petting zoos to face painting to food trucks. Crowds are expected to swell to as many as 13,000 folks, so get the Cypress-area community sooner rather than later. 

Free. Oak Meadow Park, 18310 House Hahl Rd. More info at bridgeland.com.

The Phoenix

Thru May 10 | Wortham Center

Houston Grand Opera's 66th world premiere production, this opera within an opera follows the impossibly true story of Lorenzo Da Ponte, following his life from 18th-century Venice to the United States, where he endeavors to start the nation's first opera company. "The parallel appeal to Da Ponte is that he lived so long, he lived across what seem to be impossible moments of history that never should have aligned in somebody’s life," composer Tarik O'Regan tells us. "But they do.”

April 26–May 10. Tickets from $26. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-228-6737. More info and tickets at houstongrandopera.org.

Cirque de la Symphonie

April 26–28 | Jones Hall

With contortionists and jugglers and aerial flyers launching themselves across the Jones Hall stage, we dare you to call this symphony program boring. The orchestra plays support, underscoring the action with memorable tunes from John Williams, Tchaikovsky, and more.

Tickets from $56. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575. More info and tickets at houstonsymphony.org.