It's Life

The Ultimate Girls Day in the River Oaks Shopping Center

RIVER OAKSThere are very few areas in Houston where you can spend an entire day in. I mean, park the car and walk around and be entertained for, like, 10 hours. Maybe you could do that in the Galleria area, but that would be a LOT of shopping and eating. Downtown too, but that would be a lot of parks and drinking in bars. Honestly, I’m at a loss… except for the River Oaks Shopping Center.

The center, at West Gray and Shepherd, has everything from three (3!!!) Starbucks, a book store, a movie theater, tons of boutiques, plenty of restaurants and bars, beauty spots and even an exercise studio and an arts and craft spot. Do you need anything else?

Point is, you can make a whole weekend trip out of the shopping center that, if you’re like me, have driven through hundreds of times and ran errands in, but never done a whole day in. And, I’m gonna tell you how.

Morning workout at RYDE

We’ve blogged about RYDE before, as well as spinning in general, but let me reiterate. It’s awesome. And, if you do the day right, you are going to consume a lot of calories, so why not do some preemptive cycling, huh?

There are classes starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, and it’ll get you jacked up for the rest of your day.

Alternative, if you’re a cardio hater: Pure Barre.

Post workout coffee and croissant

Like I said, there are three Starbucks spots at the same intersection, so you don’t even have to cross the street!

Another local find is Epicure Cafe, which is right by RYDE, and has amazing coffee, pastries and omelets if you want the full breakfast.

Blowout from Full Blown

You’re definitely a little sweaty from RYDE, and you got to get your hair on point for the rest of your day, right? Full Blown Dry Bar is brand new to the center, and Anastasia and I actually got to try it out. Me, a blowout expert, and Anastasia, a blowout virgin, both loved everything from the sleek and chic space and our personable stylists to the high-quality products and, of course, the end style.

First of all, you might be thinking, how is it different from Dry Bar, etc. First of all, it’s Houston-based. This is the one and only location—no chain stuff. The owner was actually there! Secondly, it’s very high fashion focused. The space literally feels like a photography studio or fashion show space. We were like, wait, where’s the runway. Also, they will have a screen projection system that plays fashion and beauty videos, so by the time your hair is done, you’ll have your catwalk walk down. Third, there are no menus. Your stylist knows what’s up, so trust him or her. They will ask you questions and try to make your hair exactly how you imagined it — or better. PS. There aren’t mirrors right in front of you, which I LOVED. It’s really awkward to watch yourself for an hour. I leave hating my face, haha. There are mirrors that you can eventually look in, but it makes it more like a fun reveal!

The products: Full Blown uses R+Co. and Oribe products, which I actually haven’t seen at any other salon. I have seen it, however, in my Birchboxes and Ipsys and have since become obsessed. So, it was awesome to get to be styled with a product I know and love already… plus try out some more!

Pro tips: Get a mimosa (and they also have an espresso machine!) and ask for Yuristy or Crystal — those ladies hooked us up! With Crystal’s tips and small touch ups, my blowout lasted 3 days. THREE DAYS, Y’ALL!

Nail it at Nail-Tique

Full disclosure, I haven’t been here. But if you want to go the extra mile in the beauty department, cross the street and book a mani/pedi at this swanky spot. It might be a little pricier than your usual spot, so keep that in mind.

Brunch or lunch at Americas

13161979_10206222708076544_1610865236_nSo, brunch is only on Sundays and is a $35.50 buffet that leaves you so full and missing absolutely nothing. The lunch menu is also great, PLUS you get $3 drinks.

Anastasia and I again got to try out the brunch, being the brunch experts we are. Here’s where we blogged about that fab, filling feast.

Early afternoon movie at the River Oaks Theatre 

You’re going to need to need a minute after that large lunch/brunch. Take a siesta in the seats of one of Houston’s oldest theater. You will not be able to see the newest hot release here, but you will get a good flick nonetheless — and one probably no one has heard of.

Shop till you drop

Now that you’ve let your food settle, hit one of the adorable boutiques right around the corner. Anastasia and I shopped a tad on our ROSC day. Here were our favorite spots:

  • Annie Albritton, for cute tops and jewelry

  • KB Casuals, for super fun things (Closed on Sunday when we went, but I’ve browsed before!)
  • Salt Studio Boutique and Vikari, for TBH, IDK (both are also closed on Sunday which was sad bc we window shopped and they looked cute!)
  • Em & Lee, for rompers and statement necklaces

  • Hemline, for fashion-forward outfits (Didn’t make it here, but will be going back!)

Light dinner at Cafe Ginger

Your fill from brunch has worn off, so now it’s time to refuel. Keep it light with some of the Chinese restaurant’s sushi options (I know, a mix of Asian cuisine, but what can I say).

Potting at The Mad Potter

Look! People who love me!! (I think) #birthday

A post shared by Natalie J. Harms (@nataliejharms) on

Enjoy some wine time and arts and crafts at this spot. No, it’s not just for kids. (Yes I had my 22nd birthday there.)

Desserts at… take your pick

There’s a chocolate shop, ice cream, frozen yogurt, macarons, or you can head to Epicure Cafe, if you didn’t make it for coffee — or want to go back!

Drinks at Local Pour

Finally, close out your night at Local Pour (which also has great brunch and dinner menus!). The restaurant turns into a club at night, complete with a line out the door and a live band that will rock your world. Hope you brought your dancing shoes!

8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Girls Day in the River Oaks Shopping Center

  1. I’m brand new to Houston and I found your blog through instagram…and it’s AMAZING! It’s such a great resource for people new to the area. Y’all are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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