All across the state, entertainment venues take to heart the invitation to take it outside

With pleasant weather for so many months out of the year, Texas offers a very full season of outdoor concerts and other performances. From lawn chairs under the stars to an open-air theater carved into a canyon, there are plenty of opportunities to be entertained in the great outdoors.

Every summer, “Texas Outdoor Musical” happens at the open-air Pioneer Amphitheatre in Palo Duro Canyon. Against a backdrop of canyon walls, with the night sky above, the big production starts with a lone horseman, spotlighted on a tall cliff, who gallops down to the canyon floor. The musical extravaganza is loaded with drama and music that tells the European settler story of the Lone Star State. Enjoy a barbecue dinner and a backstage tour for the full experience.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands, near Houston, is a popular open-air place to catch contemporary and performing arts shows from symphonies to major pop artists, ballet companies and more. The pavilion holds plenty of covered seating and offers a spacious lawn for blankets and lawn chairs as well.

The Rustic is making outdoor music waves in cities across the state. Check out the original in Uptown Dallas, where any night might feature fusion, country or Americana. The Rustic’s other outposts in Houston and San Antonio also feature a rocking roster of live music as well as food and drink.

San Antonio insiders recommend The Cove for outdoor tunes and fun. A creative, organic, vegan-friendly menu complements a jam-packed live music calendar with genres from jazz to swing.

Austin’s latest and greatest public offering is the revamped Waterloo Park, near the state capitol and the Dell Medical Center. Its 11 acres of paths, gardens, and playscapes include the impressive Moody Amphitheater, a 5,000-person-capacity venue with a year-round calendar of concerts, cultural events and community events and festivals. 

Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston’s Hermann Park is as historic as it is beloved by generations of Houstonians who have watched plays, dance and musical performances on its stage. With a mission established nearly 100 years ago to offer cultural and educational events free of charge to the public, the Miller’s eight-month season of professional entertainment is said to be the largest “always free” program in the U.S. Chamber music, jazz, singer-songwriters and drama productions of Shakespeare’s work are among the eclectic, quality offerings that the Miller carefully curates.