Family Vacations in Texas

Family Vacations in Texas: Everyone's Art Car Parade and Festival

Photo courtesy Jackie Harris (artist), and Harrod Blank (photographer). More than 200,000 people line Allen Parkway through western downtown to watch Everyone's Art Car Parade and Festival.

Pictu­re a car completely covered in singing fish -- that's the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir car -- and it's one of more than 250 outlandishly decorated automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and other contraptions that are featured in Houston's Everyone's Art Car Parade. This outlandish event features creative and outright crazy-looking vehicles parading through the city streets.

The event, held the second weekend in May, starts on Friday, when art car caravans travel to schools and hospitals. Saturday is parade day, and by 9:00 a.m. the cars are parked in ready position at a tailgater carnival. This part of the festivities allows families to view the cars while enjoying entertainment and food. In the early afternoon, the zany parade winds its way through the streets of Houston, followed by a big street party.

Some entries from previous years may give you an idea of how crazy these cars can get. You might see a car that looks like a giant dolphin, or "R U Game," a car completely covered in game boards and pieces and spouting bubbles from a bubble machine. Other jaw-dropping favorites include a car covered bumper-to-bumper in buttons, a racecar transformed into a sleek metallic lizard, and a car completely covered in grass from a recently mowed yard. Prizes in all types of categories are awarded to the cars on Sunday.

There's an award for Best Classic Car; Best Contraption (which can be just about anything that moves, including couches, lawnmowers, wheelchairs, and even a touring bathtub); Best Lowrider; Best Political Statement; and many others. Parade-goers get to vote for their favorite to decide Everyone's Choice.

For a rollicking good time outdoors, visit Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, featured on the next page, and enjoy tube rides and water rollercoasters.

Everyone's Art Car Parade and Festival Information

Address: State Routes

Taft St. and Allen Pkwy

Houston, TX

Hours of Operation: Second weekend in May

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Family Vacations in Houston: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Space City.
  • Texas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Texas, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.