The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has long hosted free admission days on Thursdays, inviting the public to come and tour their extensive collections across two massive buildings in which you could easily spend an entire day. If Ferris Bueller had lived in Houston instead of Chicago, we imagine he would have ended up here, gazing at William Bouguereau's The Elder Sister and parking Cameron in front of Damien Hirst's End Game, a much more appropriate piece of art for inducing a nervous breakdown/existential crists than Seurat's cheerful Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. I mean, that part of the movie just never made sense to me. But I digress.
If you can't pull a Ferris of your own and play hooky all day, make the most of the museum's extended admission hours on Thursday evenings and head down to the plaza of the Beck Building for the MFAH's weekly happy hour. From 6 to 8 p.m., the MFAH brings in bartenders, plenty of seating and a DJ (sadly, you can't hear the music from inside the EDM-worthy Turrell tunnel that connects the Beck and the Law building, and also don't try to make out inside The Light Inside because the docents definitely do not like that).
Though admission to the MFAH is free on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., you'll need to bring cash for the bars, which often make specialty cocktails inspired by the various exhibitions the museum is currently hosting. Beer and wine, naturally, are also both available. Parking is also free, though I'd recommend downtown and Midtown folks just hop on the light rail, which stops conveniently right outside the MFAH.
If you get hungry, the MFAH always has a food truck parked just a few steps away, though you could take the opportunity to explore some of the area's restaurants post-happy hour. MF Sushi's grand sashimi temple just reopened a few blocks away, Lucille's and its excellent fried chicken is right next door and the Monarch Bistro at the Hotel Zaza has put together a killer Houston Restaurant Weeks menu this year, which means the fun doesn't have to end at 8.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St., 713-639-7300, mfah.org