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Houstonopoly: Classic Board Game Brought to Life, Houston Style

Updated: 
Thursday, August 26, 3:31 pm
Eliot Aiman
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Eliot Aiman, Katharine Stepanian,

Buzz summer interns, Eliot Aiman and Katharine Stepanian, pose for a photo in front of the classic "We Love Houston" sign. 

Running into my living room, classic Monopoly box in hand, I’d throw myself onto the carpet and yell for my parents and brother, Jared, to come play. Before they even had a chance to respond, the board unfolded  with “GO,” “Boardwalk,” and “Park Place” oriented to sit in front of me - I liked to keep my eyes on the prize .  

Monopoly is the first board game I remember learning, and it probably would have become my favorite if my brother wasn’t always the one winning. But I loved the game enough to start a collection: Austin-Opoly, Fortnite-Monopoly, Monopoly Empire, Monopoly Ultimate Banking, and of course the Original. 

Go To Jail

Buzz summer interns, Katharine Stepanian and Eliot Aiman, get sent to jail. 

As my brother and I got older, our Monopoly days faded. Sure, he was probably bored of winning, but I mostly think we just got busy with other activities. However, when Jared was sent home from college in March 2020 due to Covid, which was a whopping five miles away since he goes to Rice, I decided to pull out the old board games.

Like many families, with a new abundance of time, we found ourselves sitting around the table more often, rolling dice, dealing cards, and shouting “That’s not fair, did you just cheat?!” 

Now, as vaccinations continue to roll out, and our communities seem to be returning to some sense of “normalcy,” a new pop-up in Rice Village, Houstonopoly, pays tribute to a game that has connected us all through the generations and, for many of us, over the past year.

Group photo

Buzz residents Laura Locastro, Kristen Wallis, Mary Hooton, Kyle Santolini, Rhett Ross, and Owen Raun stop on a game tile to snap a photo. (Photo: Eliot Aiman) 

The venue, which is open until Aug. 29, was designed by Sherrie Handrinos and offers a totally Instagrammable photo-opp for friends and family. Handrinos explained that she designed the pop-up by including classic Houston locations and events within her Monopoly board. 

The life-sized board maintains its core Monopoly features, such as chance cards and jail, but the stadium chairs and beautiful spray paint murals of Houston natives like Beyonce and Travis Scott fuels a sensation of Houston pride. 
    

Mural

Houston artist Franky Cardona's mural of Beyonce inside Houstonopoly. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

If you’re looking for something fun to do this summer with friends and family, and a way to maintain the board-game fun we all got back this year, head to Houstonopoly at 2501 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX 77005. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children, free for kids under three, and you can purchase them for specific time slots online. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Tues.-Thurs.; Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed Mondays. Parking is free, and masks are requested while not snapping a picture.

Find more information and purchase tickets here to pass Go.   

  • Space City

    One stop on the life-sized board is "Space City" themed. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

  • Jail

    Buzz summer intern, Katharine Stepanian, stuck inside "jail" at Houstonopoly. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

  • Classic Monopoly items

    This wall inside Houstonopoly is dedicated to classic Monopoly cards and game tiles. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

  • Map

    A stop on the Houstonopoly board highlights neighborhoods and streets in the Houston area. (Photo: Katharine Stepanian)  

  • Eliot Aiman

    Buzz summer intern, Eliot Aiman, sits in a Minute Maid Park-themed stadium chair. (Photo: Katharine Stepanian)

  • Travis Scott mural

    Buzz summer intern, Katharine Stepanian, stands next to the spray-painted Travis Scott mural designed by local artist Franky Cardona. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

  • Space City
  • Jail
  • Classic Monopoly items
  • Map
  • Eliot Aiman
  • Travis Scott mural

Space City

One stop on the life-sized board is "Space City" themed. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

Jail

Buzz summer intern, Katharine Stepanian, stuck inside "jail" at Houstonopoly. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

Classic Monopoly items

This wall inside Houstonopoly is dedicated to classic Monopoly cards and game tiles. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

Map

A stop on the Houstonopoly board highlights neighborhoods and streets in the Houston area. (Photo: Katharine Stepanian)  

Eliot Aiman

Buzz summer intern, Eliot Aiman, sits in a Minute Maid Park-themed stadium chair. (Photo: Katharine Stepanian)

Travis Scott mural

Buzz summer intern, Katharine Stepanian, stands next to the spray-painted Travis Scott mural designed by local artist Franky Cardona. (Photo: Eliot Aiman)

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