Beyond the Hedges

When I have free time at Rice, I try to go out and explore the city. Houston is the third largest city in the country and we have an unparalleled number of leisure activities to partake in. Here is my list of the top places to visit:

  • The Galleria: The Galleria has everything – stores range from basic shoe stores to the more unusual stores, such as a Tesla store complete with model cars. In addition to hundreds of stores, there are a variety of restaurants and even an ice skating rink (with rental skates available).
  • Wild West: If you aren’t from Texas, you may not be familiar with the dance form called “two-stepping.” Even if you are from Texas, and maybe even Houston, you may still have never heard of two-stepping. That’s okay. Two-stepping is easy to pick up and it’s really fun to go with friends. Most people go at night, usually during the week.
  • Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 & RPX: It’s the movie theater. I always enjoy taking in a good film once in a while, and this theater is conveniently located near Rice, has lots of show times, and comfortable seats.
  • The Fine Arts District (Downtown): Once in a while, Rice will have ticket giveaways and discounts to shows via Passport to Houston. I’ve been lucky enough to see an opera (Marriage of Figaro) and a symphony (Mahler Symphony No. 5). Other fun parts in Downtown include Discovery Green, a park filled with festivals almost every weekend.
  • Rice Village: The Rice Village is the nearest mall to Rice (a short walk, and the Rice bus has a weekend route to the Village as well). There are tons of restaurants and niche stores that are great to check out, especially a boba tea store (your newest favorite drink once you arrive at Rice).

This concludes my short list of places to visit; the majority of places are very close to Rice and are within the 610 loop. Next time you have a free evening or weekend, go out and see some of the best places that Houston has to offer!

McSkate

The Sunday before finals week, I went ice-skating with a bunch of my friends from McMurtry, my residential college. McMurtry had reserved the ice rink in the Galleria, one of Houston’s largest malls. We had the whole ice rink to ourselves, and we skated, laughed, fell (well, those who had never been ice-skating before, like me, did), and created memories. With the help of my roommate and another friend, I learned how to ice-skate! I managed to go around the rink six times without falling – progress!

McMurty was not the only residential college that had an ice-skating outing. Residential colleges do events like this – off-campus and on-campus – at various times during the year. There are study breaks, cultural events, etc.

What the residential colleges do is an extension of what Rice does for its students. In between all of the tests, papers, and projects, there is fun – room to relax and enjoy being with friends. During finals week, Rice brought dogs to Fondren, the library. I, along with many other students, got to pet adorable dogs to de-stress.

Whether it’s ice-skating at the mall or petting dogs in the library, at Rice, there are plenty of opportunities to have a great time with people you care about.