Sunday, December 31, 2006

Houston's New Year's Noon Party

Happy New Year, Houston Families! We joined the fun today at the Children's Museum of Houston for its New Year's Noon party. We had a blast. Little K was not sure what to think at first, but soon she was dancing and throwing confetti with a big smile. Kids decorated their own hats, noting fun expressions like "Wishing 4 Whirled Peas" and plenty of glitter. Others arrived early to design their own parade float. A band from New Orleans got us jazzed into the celebratory mood and led the children's parade to the center of the countdown. A critter from TV station PBS joined the stage and danced around. Then, the countdown to noon began with large glittering signs being held up by the museum staff to help families count down to the New Year. A mock ball was dropped with each count until we reached zero and the sky was filled with confetti. We danced to jazz music and sang quite a bit.

Even if you missed this celebration, our family wishes you a safe & happy New Year! Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Huge Christmas Tree

3 days until Christmas!!!

Holiday Fun in Houston:

The Houston Galleria at Westheimer and 610 is not only a great place to shop but is a gem of glistening treasures. Your kids will love to see the 55 foot, decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the ice rink. Santa visits with kids daily from 10 am -9 pm. If your child is old enough, give the ice rink a try. The chilly air helps bring in the holidays, too. It's busy there so hold onto your children.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best Mall for Santa Visit

Holiday Fun in Houston:
In case you & the kids haven't had time to visit Santa this year, here's a great time-saver. The Santa at Northwest Mall (on 610 near 290) had no line Wednesday. Plus, he's quite a jolly man! Santa starts visits at 11 am. The mall itself is pretty empty, which for once is a blessing. If you enter near the food court, you can make a bee line toward the center of the mall for a direct route to Santa.

Until the next nap time...

Christmas in the Air at Houston Ballet

5 Days until Christmas...

Holiday Fun in Houston:
The Houston Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" each holiday season and it’s another wonderful way to kick off the holidays. Children love the flying bakers, dancing sweets and snow-filled scenes. Adults can explain the story before the performance begins so youngsters understand the unfolding tale. Arrive early to be seated.
Recommended for kids 5+
Tickets begin at $22
Time: 2 pm and 7:30 pm performances

If you've found the activities posted on this blog to be useful to your family, check out the book 100+ Activities for Houston Kids, now in its second edition. It's a super aide in kicking off the New Year focused on your family without wasting time researching things to do.
Available in local book stores, Houston Invitation Service and online for only $14.95

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Afternoon Trip to Santa's Wonderland

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Nightly through 12/31/07: If your family likes looking at Christmas lights, you’ll love Santa’s Wonderland. Located in College Station, TX., you’ll need to plan this as a late afternoon into evening trip. There are literally millions of lights and themed displays that are amazing. Hayride tours are available or you can just drive through the park in your own car, tuning in to the local radio station established by the park. Tip: Head out of Houston around 3:30 pm so that you arrive in the Hempstead and Navasota around 4:30-5 pm. Stop for dinner at the Black Canyon Express Restaurant in Navasota (on the west side of Hwy. 6). This is a tasty treat and not expensive. The owner Kevin welcomes kids, too. Then, head to Santa’s Wonderland for the opening gates at 6 pm.

Physical location: From Houston, take 290 to Hempstead, then take Hwy.
6 north to College Station. Exit at Texas World Speedway. Cross over the overpass and stay on the feeder road. Travel nearly one mile. 979-690-7212

Until the next nap time...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Make Your Own Ornament

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Decorate your own tree ornament or a cookie plate for Santa at the Mad Potter. Spend a few minutes choosing an item to decorate and then take an hour or more (if you're inclined) painting your masterpiece. The store will glaze and fire these creations for pick up later in the week. Our family's kids just loved this.

Cost: $8 per child painter + $8-$16 per pottery piece

Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Lights in Houston

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Pack the kids and holiday treats like cookies & cocoa into the car to enjoy the Christmas lights around Houston. Two of my favorite neighborhoods are Shepherd Park Plaza and Candlelight Plaza that have holiday-themed streets. Also, check out Main Street in downtown for the marching soldiers on the sides of the buildings. The Heights also has "Lights in the Heights" display, which is fun to drive or walk through with kids in a wagon. For more details on where these displays are and additional lights around Houston, visit for a great list.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

SuperKid Contest + Alley Takes on Dickens

Hope you like the new layout of my blog. I thought I'd make a few changes to kick off the New Year right. Well, I'm ahead of the game for once!

I want to tell you briefly about the SuperKid Contest and being part of our mission to educate about the severity of food allergies. Here's a link containing a fun quiz about food allergies: The quiz takes less than one minute and is an easy way to learn about the potential hazards of food allergies. Did you know that people who were born without any allergies can later develop them? Wow. Good to know. I hope you'll take this quick quiz to learn more and share the information with your friends. The quiz and research is provided by the company AllergyKids, founded by former Houstonian Robyn O'Brien.

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Through Wednesday, 12/27, the Alley Theatre plays Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” but with a few twists. The Alley invites families to enjoy this holiday favorite by offering 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm performances. Tickets begin at $38 each.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa's Hot Line Free for Houston Kids

Holiday Fun in Houston:
This really does work. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or
you're a big kid yourself, try calling the 800 phone number below to listen to Santa Claus. He is very jolly and from Dec 13th - Dec 24th, there is a new message from Santa everyday. He reminds the children to be good and thoughtful to others and he sounds authentic. Best of all for parents, it is FREE! So encourage your youngsters to pick up the phone. 800-972-6242

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Don't Forget Your Camera, Houstonians

Don't forget to take your camera on all of those holiday activities. At yearend, you can burn them all to a CD with the year written on it for safe keeping.

Until the next nap time...

Holiday Flower Fun & Cautions for Houstonians

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Holiday fun on a budget is still do-able. Ask your kiddos to help you find Christmas flowers to decorate your home or porch. Poinsettias start around $4 (larger arrangements are about $10) and add great color for the season. This also provides an easy photo opp for Christmas cards and photo frames for family members. Remarkably, poinsettias are not as dangerous for kids as they once were thought, although most experts advice watching your kids around all plants and holiday decorations.

"Poinsettias are often thought of as one of the most dangerous holiday plants, but research has found that a 50-pound child would have to eat 500 to 600 leaves to be affected," said Ward Upham, instructor of horticulture, forestry and recreation at K-State.

Closer to home, experts at Texas Children's Hospital have published a helpful tip sheet for decorating your home with children under foot. Texas Children's Hospital suggests: "Mistletoe and holly can be poisonous and poinsettias can irritate a child’s mouth and throat." The point is: put your holiday plants out of kiddos' reach or on a porch, where you're able to watch them closely. The holidays present plenty of hazards (Uncle Larry and his overpowering cologne not withstanding!) without inviting dangers for our kids.

A special thanks to the MOPS in the Heights group, which welcomed me today as a speaker. I truly appreciate your support.

Until the next nap time...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Fun in West Houston

Holiday Fun in Houston:

Wonderland in Westchase
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006 5:30 PM
Location: Quillian Memorial Center 3663 Westcenter Drive Houston, Tx 77042

The Houston West Chamber of Commerce (HWCOC) is expecting more than 7,000 people to join us in 60,000 lbs. of snow during the holidays at Wonderland in Westchase, hosted by Westchase District, HWCOC and Quillian Recreational Center. The event is sponsored by Amegy Bank of Texas, MemberSource Credit Union, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers and First Methodist Church with corporate support from a number of Westchase area businesses. The event features child-centered activities, including face-painting, children’s crafts, hayrides, two moonwalks, climbing wall, hay rides, petting zoo, real snow, and – of course – Santa. Mrs. Claus reads children's stories, while choirs, handbells, harpists, and dancers provide entertainment on two stages. Bring a toy or non-parishable food item to support the West Houston Assistance Ministries!

Until the next nap time...

More Holiday Fun in Houston

For the first time, I watched the TV show "Brothers & Sisters" last night. I have to applaud it for showing ways to embrace both Christmas and Hanukah in one family -- no easy chore. Perhaps more important, I found its message to adults about valuing the true meaning of the holidays (however you celebrate it) wonderful. The show emphasized faith in God, in yourself and in your family members. Watching this show was a refreshing change.

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Friday, 12/15: Holiday Lights in Hermann Park is Houston’s version of “Central Park.” The event begins at 6 pm with the lighting at the Jones Reflection Pool. Children of all ages enjoy the holiday production presented by the Hermann Park Conservancy. Then, Houston families enjoy the lights on weekends throughout the month 6-9 pm. Pack up the kids with bikes, trikes or even roller blades and put that energy to good use. This makes a nice alternative to the usual after-dinner routine. Strollers are welcome.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Houston Holiday Celebrations

If you're looking for a fun holiday activity this weekend with the kids, I've got a few suggestions.

This Saturday, 12/9, take a drive with the family. A Candlelight Christmas is available at Washington on the Brazos State Historical Site in Washington (about an hour drive northwest of Houston). Hear stories of Christmas customs and traditions celebrated in 19th century Texas. Enjoy music, carols, buggy rides, and arts and crafts to take home. You can even decorate the historic house for the holiday. Activities in the afternoon are more geared toward kids while the evening is slightly more appropriate for adults. Light refreshments are served. If you can’t make it this weekend, head out later in December for a classic view. Our family plans to head up to Washington next weekend since we'll be attending the Symphony's "A Very Merry Pops" this weekend. (For details, see yesterday's entry.)
Adults $6; kids $4

Another option this Saturday is the Houston Symphony’s annual Christmas Family Concert. It offers holiday music and fun for youngsters with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The symphony offers a charming way to spend a morning as a family during the holidays. Youngsters can participate in arts and crafts before and after the children’s show. Each performance usually includes singing, dancing, costumes and a visit from Santa.
Recommended age: 4+ years;
Adults $15; Children $9;
Time: 10 am and 11:30 am performances

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Very Merry Pops in Houston

This weekend, 12/8-12/10/06, the Houston Symphony celebrates with “A Very Merry Pops,” which is a sing-along for kids of all ages. Young family members can take advantage of the matinee performances while older families can enjoy the evening productions. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with tunes from the Grinch to more traditional songs. Tickets begin at $28 each. This is one of our family's favorites.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Free Christmas Plays in Houston Heights

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Friday, 12/8 from 7-8:25 pm

Two FREE shows by the AD Players -- "Apostrophe" and "Wintery Kingdom" are appropriate for all ages. The Christmas plays will be held at the Baptist Temple in the Heights near the corner of 20th Street and Yale. A reception will follow, allowing kids to meet the performers and enjoy Christmas cookies and wassail. There will be a 15 minutes intermission with a Carol Sing between shows. The total time is approximately 85 minutes.

Until the next nap time...

Snow Hits Houston for Holidays

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Snow Flurries in Houston

Attention all kids ages 10 and under! The National Weather Prediction Center has forecast a major snowstorm at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on> > Saturday, December 9, 10 am - 4 pm. Don't miss out on this year's winter wonderland as we celebrate Snow Flurry III. This year, Santa and his reindeer will deliver 80,000 pounds of real snow along with holiday wishes. Learn more at

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dickens on the Strand for Families

12/2 – 12/3/06: Dickens on the Strand is Galveston’s return to the era of Charles Dickens and is a neat holiday activity. Families can walk the 10-block area in Galveston to see how characters from Dickens’ stories lived. Costumed vendors and performers stroll about to entertain all. Children’s activities include visiting the Royal Menagerie Petting Zoo, taking a ride on a pony and an elephant, playing in the “Snow on Sunday,“ joining in the Scrooge’s Scavenger Hunt, hearing a storyteller, participating in a Backyard Circus and joining in the Puppet Parade as well as crafts and other projects. Adult tickets are $12 at the gate. Children 7-12 are $6 at the gate. Children under 6 are free. TIP: Dress in Victorian costume to be admitted FREE.

This is a great way to spend a few hours or the day with the family focused on the holidays. 409-765-7834

Friday, December 01, 2006

'Tis the season. Yes, the Christmas season is roaring into full gear & the cold weather in Houston is a great reminder. In the spirit of the season, I promise to post more than 20 fun holiday activities throughout the month of December. Check back frequently for regular updates. Drum roll please. Here's the first Christmas activity for your family.

Holiday Fun in Houston:
Bundle up for fun for the whole family. Head to the Heights for “Holiday on 19th” tonight, Friday, 12/1 from 6-10 pm. Taste wassail. Shop for those on your list. Ride the trolley while listening to music and caroling. Grab dinner at any of the cafes and restaurants. The action takes place on 19th Street in the Historic Heights between Shepherd and Yale. Hope to see your family there, bundled up in coats and gloves but with plenty of holiday spirt.

Thanks to all of you who came to the official book launch at Barnes & Noble in West U last night. If you didn't make it but are interested in buying the new edition of my book 100+ Activities for Houston Kids, buy it online and I'll ship it straight to you. Alternatively, you can buy the new book at any of the following stores:
  • Barnes & Noble stores citywide
  • Berings (both locations)
  • Blue Willow Bookshop at Memorial & Dairy Ashford
  • Borders stores throughout Houston
  • Brazos Bookstore at 2421 Bissonnet Street
  • Houston Invitation Service at 2503 River Oaks Boulevard (across from Lamar High School).
  • Midsummer Books in Galveston
  • River Oaks Bookstore across the street from Lamar High School

Happy Holidays! Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas TV Specials = Family Time

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. So many of us get busy with the holidays that we forget to take time to spend with our little ones. I love finding opportunities to cuddle and some Christmas TV specials provide the perfect opportunity during the week. "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" airs tonight at 7 pm (central) on NBC. With singing from plenty of stars, this is one way to bring the season to your home and you can even get some decorating done. Happy holidays!

Remember: my new book "100+ Activities for Houston Kids" makes a great gift. Join us at the Barnes & Noble in West University on Thursday, 11/30 from 6-9 pm for the offical book launch party. Hope to see you there.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Charlie Brown Christmas Airs Tonight

Here's an easy way to kick off the holidays as a family. Tune in tonight at 7 pm to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on ABC. This fun classic sneaks in the real meaning of Christmas, while incorporating all the festivities. Plus, it's FREE so you don't have to pull from the holiday budget. Enjoy!

For more fun activities for kids in Houston, check out my book 100+ Activities for Houston Kids, now available in local book stores and through my Web site at And sign up for my FREE, monthly newsletter by visiting

Until the next nap time...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Art Mix is Great Mix for Kids

If you're looking for something to do with your kids during the week or looking ahead to the weeks when the kids are out of school for the holidays, consider Art Mix at 3701 W. Alabama. This place has wonderful, artful activities for children starting at 18 months of age. My daughter loved painting at the easel, reading books about art and gluing art pieces onto an animal cut out to make her own collage. I really like this because it's a creative way to interact with my child. Next time, we'll tackle play dough.

Art Mix offers regular classes for kids 2-12 years but -- extra cool -- it also has a "Pop In Studio," allowing families to get imaginative for only $5 per 30 minutes of play time. I really appreciated the staff teaching me how to work with my daughter. For instance, one lady showed me how to explain the glue to my 19 month old and how the glue holds the art cut-outs onto the paper. She also showed me how to help my toddler use little tots' scissors so that Little K will develop hand muscles. Art Mix gets a thumbs up. Thanks for creative play time!

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Houston Style

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? I love this time of year because most of us have a long weekend to stop and think about our blessings. It's no surprise that on a blog about kids that I'll say I'm most thankful for my family. It's true though. After losing a close friend this week, the value of family has been quite evident to me.

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to spend more time with our loved ones... however you define your family. If you're looking for family fun in Houston, here are some great ideas.

Thanksgiving morning at 9 am is the Thanksgiving Parade, underwritten by HEB. The parade begins on the east side of downtown, traveling 20 blocks starting at Minute Maid Park at Jackson and Texas. I always suggest taking families with youngsters to the beginning of the parade route. This allows the kids to see the parade participants when they're fresh AND prevents long waits before the parade arrives at your spot. The parade is FREE unless you want reserved seating. For $21 each, grandstand tickets are located in the TV Zone in front of Minute Maid Park at Jackson and Texas. Scheduled performances will stop in the TV Zone to be filmed for the television broadcast. For $13 each, reserved Turkey Seats are located outside of the TV Zone along Texas Ave between Jackson and Crawford. Performers will not stop outside of the TV Zone but you will have a guaranteed seat with great viewing as the parade passes by. I suggest heading downtown and not worrying about buying tickets. If you wake up late, you can still catch the parade on channel 11, KHOU. Parking is available along the parade route.

If you're not a morning person, don't worry. Another favorite is the Uptown Holiday Lighting Ceremony. The evening of Thanksgiving, the City of Houston kicks off the holiday season in grand style with the lighting of S. Post Oak Boulevard in the Galleria area. Fun for the entire family, Houston lights its outdoor Christmas trees and decorations to turn bustling blocks into glistening gems. Typical features include performances by local choruses, brief reenactments from the Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker, and a fireworks display to conclude the evening. Parents can purchase hot cocoa and cider from some of the nearby hotels. Children love the holiday souvenirs that vendors sell on the street. And, of course, Santa makes an appearance as well. Holiday music and concessions start at 4 pm. The band starts at 5 pm and the fireworks begin at 7 pm. This is another FREE activity for families and it's a wonderful holiday jumpstart.

Many blessings to you & your family this Thanksgiving. Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Living Life

I'm sorry.

Those are important words to learn at any age. I'm again learning them as I received news earlier this evening that my high school friend Kelly (Plummer) Lester passed away from liver cancer. Why do I bring this up on a blog about raising Houston kids? One: it's obviously on my mind. Two: it's the lesson we all learn again and again: live your life so you are not sorry for regrets. Live your life to its fullest.

My friend Kelly was a sassy gal who didn't take grit from anyone. Even in her last days, she made sure her husband was clear: she did NOT want to be buried wearing panty hose! That's my friend Kelly. But for parents, at least one lesson is to show our kids that life is short. (Kelly died at only 31 years of age.) Live life to its fullest and don't hold back. God didn't put us on this earth to live with a barrier around us or to live with hesitation. Instead, God said "here is everything for you to enjoy. Live." Enjoying life is so much more rewarding than worrying about the next test at school, wearing the right clothes or being popular. My friend Kelly thumbed her nose at all of that and instead loved life. When she could barely utter a word, she told another friend: "It's been a good ride." I choose to remember her that way. How will your children remember you? Add your comments to this blog to share with me & others your thoughts on the importance of being a good influence on living life. I hope to hear from you.

A salute to my Grandmother Frazier, who turned 93 this week, and to my friend Kelly, who was a great example of not letting life hold you back from enjoying it all.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Small Talk about Veterans Makes Big Impression for Kids

With a family full of teachers, I spoke with one of my aunts to learn how she explains Veterans' Day to her students. In turn, Aunt Kenny explained that she focuses the discussion on the fact that veterans and soldiers aren't always carrying a gun. She then asked her class of third graders to write an essay on the importance of Veterans' Day. I've included some excerpts of these essays below to give parents insight into childrens' thoughts on the war on terrorism and Veterans' Day. I have not corrected any spelling and grammar because I think the real copy shows how even young children hear the words adults use and have some grasp of what these words mean even when the kids are so young that they're unsure of how to spell the words.

"We honor the veterans because they fought for us and served in the war. They also protect us. That is why we honor them. It is very important to thank them for protecting the U.S.A. My grandpa served in World War II."

"I think we should honor veterans day because they try to keep us safe and try's to help are contry. I think veterans are people that helps us and do good things for us. If we didn't have veterans I don't know what we would do because they fight for us and saves are contry." - Shelbi

"We honor our veterans because they fight for our freedom. They protect our country. Some have been injured and some even get killed in war. Thank you, veterans for your service." - Sloane

"We honor are veterans because they risk their live to fight for the contry we LOVE and some times they die from it so we honor them. But they do not only fight. They can help them when they are heart and be a veteran." - Hannah

"We selibrayt Vetrens day becose the pepol in the army and navy and military give ther lifes up to sayv us. Vetrens day is like saying thank you to all of them. My cosen is in the army and she is in iyroc and I hope she is ok!!!" - Leyla

"If we didn't have soldiers we would be sick and if no war fought for us, Europe and other countrys would be controling us and we would not have any freedom." - Ciara

"We onor our veterans because there the people that helped America become a better place to be. Veterans are people that served the milatary. We our putting on a play to onor our veterans. My mom is a veteran. I'm sure that lots of veterans have to make sacrifices for there family." - Rachael

"We honor Veterans day because they fought to free are country. I hope we win all of the wars. I hope we beat the terist. Go USA!!!" - Brendon

"You should honor veterans because they at least served in war, helped get things read, and lots more. Veterans Day honors people like the unknown Soldier who fought in world war I. The veterans died to put world to peace. That is why veterans day is so important." - no name listed

Show your gratitude by attending Houston’s Veterans’ Day Celebration. On Saturday, a commemorative ceremony will take place from 10-11 am at Hermann Square in front of City Hall at 901 Bagby Street. At 11 am, there will be a moment of silence to honor all veterans and the signing of the WWI Armistice. A flyover will occur at 11:30 am, kicking off the parade, which will begin at Texas and Smith, head down Smith to Lamar, turn right on Lamar and conclude at Bagby Street. A post-parade "Rally for America" will culminate on the steps of City Hall. Our veterans deserve recognition and thanks. Your children will emulate your gratitude.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Go Bananas in Houston

Don't miss Go Bananas at the J, the 34th Annual Jewish Book &Arts Fair Family Day, Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Jewish CommunityCenter, 5601 S. Braeswood.

Fun activities for the whole familytake place throughout the day. Beginning at 9:15 a.m., as soon aspeople walk in the door, children will have an opportunity tomeet Curious George™, take a photo with him, and participatein art activities. Direct from New York, the FunkeyMonkeys makea much-anticipated return engagement for two live performances at10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. FunkeyMonkeys is the brain-child ofJosh Sitron, former composer for Dora the Explorer. Their livelyconcert will entertain and connect with kids, their parents andgrandparents.

Author Diane Levin Rauchwerger will speak abouther new book, Dinosaur on Hanukkah at 11:45 a.m. andHouston’s own Ellen Leventhal and at 1:30 p.m., Ellen Leventhal and Ellen Rothberg will speak on their first release, Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets.In addition to the concerts and author talks, Dan “Dante”Gordon will tell tales, Nitsana Lazarus will sing with herpuppets, and the Mad Science of Houston folks will entertain andeducate. To buy tickets for the concert or for information visit or call713-551-7255

Monday, October 30, 2006

Searching for Fun Houston Families

Is your family a Fun Family?

The University of Texas School of Public Health and the Kelsey Research Foundation are conducting a research study on family routines. If you have children ages 6 to 9 and are interested in participating, please call Dr. Liliana Escobar-Chaves at (713) 500-9637 or email her at or contact Ana Bedoya at (713) 500-9797 or

You will be compensated for your time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Spooky Weekend in Houston

If you haven't picked your pumpkin yet, be sure to head out to Dewberry Farm this weekend. It's fantastic. See my earlier blog entry for details.

Another great Halloween treat this weekend is the Zoo Boo. From noon to 5 pm this Saturday and Sunday, the Houston Zoo is decorated for Halloween with pumpkins and ghosts galore. Kids enjoy safe trick or treating while learning about creepy, crawly critters that live at the zoo. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes, which makes so many parents happy that their kids won't just wear the costume one day of the year!

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pumpkins at Dewberry Farm

If your family hasn't taken a trip to Dewberry Farm yet, there's still time. We almost didn't go this past weekend because it was pouring at our Houston house. I called Dewberry Farm to check the weather and it was NOT raining there. I thought they were maybe faking me out but we headed out to Brookshire to pick our pumpkin.

The best thing about Dewberry Farm is that after picking your own pumpkin from the patch, there are tons of fun kids activities. From heading up & then down the big slide, to jumping in the haystacks to exploring at the petting zoo, this place is a wonderful family activity. In fact, we again agreed this year that it's an annual tradition. This year, we were delighted to have our cousin Becca come with us. Perhaps she enjoyed it most of all.

Until the next nap time...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Communication in Families Starts Early

My husband & I were talking last night about those funny things that our parents used to do to us that we swear we won't do to our own kids. No, I'm not talking about how they punished us or how my parents always said "because I'm the mom/dad and I said so" without explaining the reason. Trent & I were discussing lighter things.

I remember hating to have my face washed. It was the typical tug-of-war that many families experience. The funny thing about it is that I hated this because the wash cloths in the kitchen constantly smelled like mildew! Groce! Unfortunately, at the early age of 4, I didn't even know what mildew was, much less could I verbalize this horrendous smell that being slimed onto my face. Finally, after years of stinky torture, I told my mom that the washcloth smelled bad. She sniffed it & I'll never forget her face. We both doubled over in laughter. To this day, I'm compulsive about washing little K's face with a new washcloth, even though it adds to the loads of laundry. It will be one thing my daughter won't be able to blame me for.

My husband tells the tale of his mother always carrying a tissue in her purse for emergencies. Trent says he'd see his mom blow her nose and then carefully tuck the tissue back in her purse. Days later, his mom would try wiping Trent's nose with that same tissue! Blah! Trent would scream, "No way. I saw you blow your nose on that tissue the other day." His mother explained that she had already "cleaned out the tissue" so it was fine. Trent today is scared of the tissue in his mother's purse. Pretty funny, huh?

What does all of this boil down to in my mind? Communication. As parents, we should try to remember that while our kids often seem so exceptional, their little minds aren't always able to keep up with ours. Instead of manhandling my daughter so I can wipe the donut crumbs from her face, maybe I should ask her if she can clean her face. "Yes, Kylie does it," I'll say. When she fights me on getting into the car, I should probably try to figure out WHY she doesn't like the car. (She only has the Elmo video and 50 books to keep her pleased. What else could she need in the car?) By starting to communicate and understand my daughter, I hopefully will be on the road to a more open relationship with her. Every step counts. And when Little K is entering middle school and has tons of questions about her world, I'll be trained to talk with her and listen to what she has on her mind. Little K may be more willing to share her thoughts because she has grown accustomed to sharing with me. Well, I'm hopeful. At least my daughter won't have to smell a dirty wash cloth.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Discussing Fire Safety with Houston Kids

I'm not a huge fan of videos or DVDs for kids because I'm constantly reminded that parents need to limit TV time. Okay, okay. I agree and I try to do that. But there is some good stuff out there. I actually remember telling my mom years ago some phenominal, new fact. Then, when she was SO impressed with her child's knowledge, I told her "And you said I couldn't learn anything from television!"

With Fire Fest being held in Houston this Saturday (see previous entry for details on Fire Fest), I wanted to get my daughter prepared for the fire truck noises so she could really enjoy FireFest and not be too scared. My husband & I bought Little K a video called "Elmo Visits the Firehouse" and I've been amazed. Not only does Little K love the Elmo (or "Melmo" as she calls the furry critter) video, she's learning about fire safety and to trust firefighters. Using the traditional back drop of child-friendly Sesame Street, the characters experience a small fire and learn how to respond safely. Elmo meets a firefighter who invites Elmo to the firehouse to learn more about firefighters and not be scared.

If your child is interested in firefighters or you'd like to approach the topic of fire safety with your youngsters in a nonthreatening way, I suggest renting or buying "Elmo Visits the Firehouse." It's a great precursor to Fire Fest this weekend but it can be played later as a positive reminder of important safety lessons. Check it out. Parents won't mind the singing and dancing either. :-)

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fire Fest Blazes in Houston

The Houston Fire Museum sponsors Fire Fest this Saturday, 10/21 to honor firefighters and educate Houstonians about what happens daily in the life of a Houston firefighter. The Houston program is so well regarded that aspiring firefighters from all over come to Houston to train. This is a great way for your children to learn how the fire department serves Houstonians. Bring the kids to enjoy fire demonstrations, fire trucks, music, food and fun. Plus, children love to shake hands with real firefighters.

Recommended age: 1+ years
Admission: FREE
Time: 10 am–5 pm
Physical location: HFD Val Jahnke Training Facility at 8030 Braniff (off Telephone Rd. behind Hobby Airport) 713-524-2526

For more cool ideas of things to do with your children in Houston, check out or purchase a copy of the book 100+ Activities for Houston Kids.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Halloween Haunts for Houston Kids -- All Ages

With the Halloween decorations out & about, I've been reflecting on favorite scary moments. What's yours?

Years ago, my little sister & I convinced our Dad & PaPa to rent us the movie Arachnophobia, starring John Goodman. This was exciting. We wanted to be scared yet be able to walk away from the fright. Our PaPa only agreed to half watch the flick as he visited with our parents during his visit to Houston from Ohio. My sister Colyn & I clung to the side of the sofa, enthralled by the movie about creepy, crawly spiders. The hair on our arms and the backs of our necks stood tall. My teeth clenched tightly.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed PaPa, creeping toward us. His smirky smile forewarned his horseplay but I sat quietly and watched. My lil sis was too engaged in the spooky film to notice otherwise. PaPa crawled close with a Pussy Willow branch in his hand. As he approached Colyn, he slowly rubbed the furry pussy willow against her leg.

"Ahhh!" she screamed. As terrified Colyn ran down the hall to escape the gigantic tarantula that was surely behind her, PaPa & I roared with laughter. The movie continued on by itself as we howled together. Later, Colyn rejoined us, promising to get us both back. She, too, smiled.

This is my favorite spooky story. (Sorry, Colyn!) So instead of paying hefty prices to take your kids to an overrated, teen-run haunted house, create your own spooky stories at home. Whether funny or slightly scary, doing it together is worth while.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Family Day on the Prairie This Saturday

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend?

Head out to the Family Day on the Prairie & Preserve Tour this Saturday, October 14 from 9 am - noon at Nelson Farms.

Dip a net in the crawfish pond and discover the creatures that live there. Sweep the prairie with pole nets to find out what insects live in the tall grasses. Learn basic birding and animal track identification. See birds and animal tracks. Learn about plants you can grow in your own garden to attract beautiful butterflies. Go on a scavenger hunt. Make seed balls for the demonstration prairie. Bring the whole family to enjoy a day on the prairie and find out why we like to say, "It's flat out wonderful!" For more information or to register, write to, call 713-523-6135 or visit For directions, visit

Until the next nap time...

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Trip to Bountiful Offers Important Lesson for Houston Kids

Guest blogger Colyn Frazier shares her thoughts on the play "The Trip to Bountiful" put on by the A.D. Players in Houston.

Explaining to your child about aging can be difficult endeavor. Why do they forget things? Why did they say this or that? It can be hard for a child to understand or even be patient with Grandma or Grandpa sometimes. But the education does not only have to be a sit down discussion or a stern word telling them to be nice.

The Trip to Bountiful”, playing at Grace Theater, is a great theatrical play set in 1953 to share with your older children, ages 12+. In a short two and a half hours, you and your child will laugh, cry and walk away with an appreciation for the elderly.

Jeannette Clift George, playing Mrs. Carrie Watts, brings sarcasm and humor to an otherwise “tear jerking” production about growing old. After living in the big city for 15 years with her son, Ludie, and obnoxious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, Mrs. Watts attempts another great escape to her home town of Bountiful in her last days of life. It is through this journey that she finds her inner peace and the audience finds a heartfelt connection to the elderly.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cornelius Garden Nursery Falls for Kids

Cornelius Nurseries did a wonderful job today with the Fall Harvest Festival. If you haven't gone yet, head out now! There's a moon walk for kids 3-12 years old. Since my daughter is still too young, we toured the nursery for the most beautiful, autumn flowers. "Little K", my daughter, had a great time picking some out. Then for $3, we bought her a miniature scarecrow who has ponytails! It's adorable. Little K also loved picking out her own small pumpkin and painting it. She wasn't able to decorate it as much as some of the bigger kids, but she had a blast all her own. This is a great way to spend 20 minutes to an hour with the family. Until the next nap time...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Great Bazaar This Weekend in west Houston

For families on the west side of Houston, here's a great bazaar that's fun for the whole family!

Where: St. John Vianney Catholic Church at 625 Nottingham Oaks Trail - Houston, TX 77079 Sunday, October 8, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00p.m.
RAIN OR SHINE. Rides for Children, Teens & Adults. Silent Auction, Arts & Crafts Show, Merchandise Mart, Variety of Food Booths, BBQ, Music & Live Entertainment. Raffle, prizes: Car, Trips, and more.

I don't attend church here but our family attends the bazaar every year. It's just that much fun. Hope to see you there!

Until the next nap time...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Preparing for Halloween Fun in Houston

Well, as promised in my October newsletter, here are some great suggestions for preparing for Halloween with children in Houston.

1). Make your own scarecrow, which will be a great decoration through Thanksgiving. Grab some old jeans, shirt and hat. Stuff them with old rags or hay. You can use an old T-shirt to make the head and paint a funny face to give the scarecrow plenty of personality. Prop your new friend up on a bench, hay stack or against a tree.

2). Use Halloween cookie cutters to make holiday cookies. My 1.5 year old loved pushing the cookie cutters into the dough last Friday. Of course, her enticement was probably a pinch of the dough!

3). Pick out your pumpkin from a pumpkin patch. Our family loves Dewberry Farms for its wonderful pumpkin patch and loads of fun activities. You can easily spend a few hours here. Wear jeans, comfortable shoes and a hat.

4). Create your costume and practice wearing it. Even if you're not on a strict budget, it can be fun to get creative and make a costume. Plus, it gets the kids involved early on so they can contribute to the costume making throughout the month. Last year, my mom made my daughter a Lady Bug costume for her first Halloween. We put her in black tights and a black leotard. Then "Grand" made a small set of ladybug wings that velcro'ed to the back of the leotard. Finally, Grand created a hat that included the antennas. It was adorable!

5). Produce a masterpiece. Your children will enjoy making their own Halloween decorations out of crayons/markers, construction paper, old buttons, candy sprinkles, pipe cleaners and more. Then, the youngsters can decorate their closet (who cares if the paint gets torn off in there?) or give the art to a favorite relative or neighbor.

6). Attend the Creepy, Crawly Critters on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 10 am at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. Your family will learn that spiders, snakes and other creepers play a key role in keeping nature in balance. Visit for details.

7). Head to the Bat Cave. On Friday, Oct. 20, starting at 6:26 pm, meet on the east side of the Waugh Street bridge at Allen Parkway by the viewing platform for the bat lecture. Bring a blanket and a snack/dessert for the kids. You'll learn so much about bats and then see them take flight. It's cool and not scary.

8). Turn on movie time. There are plenty of Halloween movies available for all ages. From the Peanuts Halloween special to Friday the 13th and Arachnophobia.

9). Get spooked at a haunted house. If your kids are older (middle school or older), haunted houses can be fun. Just be sure they feel comfortable in knowing that it's all pretend and encourage a group of friends to go together with one or two parents. A list of Houston haunted houses are available at

10). Carve your pumpkin a few days before Halloween. Add a candle to the center and watch it glow. Carving kits are available at most grocery stores but kids can help adults instead create their own fun face. Ask your kids to draw on the pumpkin the face they'd like to see. Have an adult do the carving. Then be sure to remind kids to be careful around the fire. Place the lit pumpkin in an area where it won't be easily pushed over.

As for trick or treating, thanks to the Bellaire Young Moms group and the Houston Police Department for these great suggestions:

Trick or Treating Safety Tips
- Shoes should fit (even if they don’t match the costume). - Avoid wearing masks when walking from house to house. Your child should be able to see properly through a mask. - Children should wear light-colored costumes with reflective tape for better visibility and the garment should be short enough to prevent tripping.
- Participate at church or local organization's festivities where the environment is more controlled.
- Carry a flashlight after sunset.
- Approach only houses that are lit. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times, should stay within their neighborhood, and only visit homes of people they know.
- Look for costumes made of flame retardant material. Avoid hard plastic or wood props such as daggers or swords. Foam rubber is a good substitute.
- Make sure your child eats dinner before heading out. Get the vegetables in early!
- Stay on sidewalks, obey traffic signals and don't cut across yards or driveways.
- Inspect candy before any is consumed. If any candy appears to be tampered with, throw it away. If this is your child's first time to trick or treat, remember that he/she could be 1 in 15 kids under age 3 who are highly allergic to the nuts in many candies.

For more information like this, sign up for my FREE newsletter by visiting It takes less than one minute to subscribe!

Until the next nap time...

It's the Little Things

Kids are funny. I try so hard to do fun, educational and creative things with my daughter, yet she finds joy in the littlest things. Yesterday, we went to Sears to get -- I can't believe it -- an ironing board. Oh, the excitement. My little monkey took a glimpse at the escalator and couldn't wait to go up. After wandering around the first floor, a salesman finally told me the ironing boards were hidden upstairs in housewares... probably because no one in her right mind would actually want one. (Sorry, Grammy, most people hate that chore!) Well, Kylie's smile grew ear to ear as we went up that escalator. As she waved to everyone and every clothing rack on the first floor, I smiled too. Shouldn't we all enjoy the simple things like an easy ride to higher ground? How do we lose the innocence and the enjoyment that youngsters revel in? More importantly, how do you get it back?

I'm going to try by focusing this week on the little things like the woodpecker that landed outside my window this morning. Later this afternoon, I think we'll fill up the empty bird feeder in our yard and see who comes for a snack. If no birds, at least we'll have goldfish crackers and apple slices to eat... and plenty of smiles.

Lots of fun things going on in Houston next weekend so check back later this week. Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Komen Race Takes Center Stage in Houston

There's still time to sign up to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this weekend. This is such a wonderful activity for the whole family. After walking, running or strolling the 5K (about 3 miles), your family can enjoy music and food in downtown as the party congratulates all its participants. Sign up in person this week:

Wednesday, Sept. 27: theGalleria on 1st Floor near Nordstrom
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 28: theGalleria on 1st Floor near Nordstrom
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 29: theGalleria on 1st Floor near Nordstrom
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

RACE DAY, Sept. 30: Sam Houston Park - Registration ONLY
6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Komen Race Takes Center Stage in Houston

There's still time to sign up to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this weekend. This is such a wonderful activity for the whole family. After walking, running or strolling the 5K (about 3 miles), your family can enjoy music and food in downtown as the party congratulates all its participants. Sign up in person this week:

Wednesday, Sept. 27: theGalleria on 1st Floor near Nordstrom
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 28: theGalleria on 1st Floor near Nordstrom
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 29: theGalleria on 1st Floor near Nordstrom
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

RACE DAY, Sept. 30: Sam Houston Park - Registration ONLY
6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Grown Up Songs for Kids

I subscribe to several parenting magazines but one of my favorites is Cookie. My favorite part of the magazine each month is the music recommendations. Sticking to a theme, the magazine suggests five otherwise considered "adult songs" (like "Car Wash" by Rose Royce & "That's the Way" by KC & the Sunshine Band) that kids adore. You can simply head out to iTunes and download any of the recommended songs for $1 each. Alternatively, my cousin Jon just recommended Baby Rock Records so I don't have to do the downloading myself. Baby Rock Records dedicates one CD to rock artists like The Cure and Led Zepellin but plays the music in softer lullaby tunes. I can't wait to try it out. If you check it out, let me know what you think. Either way you choose, these are great ways to enjoy music with your kids.

Until the next nap time...

Cornelius' Fall Harvest Festival

The weather outside is beautiful. What a great day to enjoy the park or have a snack and watch the birds & butterflies. My daughter & I love it! Hope your family does too.

Mark your calendars for Cornelius' Fall Harvest Festival. On Saturday, Oct. 7 (al9 am - 6 pm), Cornelius Nursery will have a family day and it looks super fun. Shop the old fashioned Farmer's Market with pumpkins, corn stalks, and seasonal decor. Choose a scarecrow for your yard. (It's perfect through Thanksgiving!) Take a photo of your child during the Picture Takin' Place -- a scene focused on a giant pumpkin cut-out and surrounded by corn stalks, hay bales, scarecrows and festive activity. Plus, kids can enjoy the Decoratin' Parlor, where they use paste-ons, safe markers, masks & feathers to decorate a pumpkin. Then your youngsters can have some gooey fun in the Slime Station. For more details, visit

Cornelius' Fall Harvest Festival

The weather outside is beautiful. What a great day to enjoy the park or have a snack and watch the birds & butterflies. My daughter & I love it! Hope your family does too.

Mark your calendars for Cornelius' Fall Harvest Festival. On Saturday, Oct. 7 (al9 am - 6 pm), Cornelius Nursery will have a family day and it looks super fun. Shop the old fashioned Farmer's Market with pumpkins, corn stalks, and seasonal decor. Choose a scarecrow for your yard. (It's perfect through Thanksgiving!) Take a photo of your child during the Picture Takin' Place -- a scene focused on a giant pumpkin cut-out and surrounded by corn stalks, hay bales, scarecrows and festive activity. Plus, kids can enjoy the Decoratin' Parlor, where they use paste-ons, safe markers, masks & feathers to decorate a pumpkin. Then your youngsters can have some gooey fun in the Slime Station. For more details, visit

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fall Festivals in Houston

As the temperature starts to cool off in Houston, many families start looking for outdoor festivals. And why not? There are so many to choose from. For a great listing of festivals this fall and into winter, check out the Houston Chronicle's online listing at It even includes our family's favorite Dewberry Farm.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Confession from a Houston Mom

My daughter doesn't look a thing like me.

I used to think this would be horrible. No, it's not because I think I'm a beauty queen in the making. As soon as I became pregnant, I wondered what my little one would look like. I repeatedly told my husband that I was going to be mad if our daughter didn't look a thing like me. "Not as mad as she's going to be," my husband laughed, softly touching his thinning red hair.

I looked at one of my friends and her son, who is a spitting image of his father. "How unfair. The mom did all the work!" I said. I really wanted my child to look as if we belonged together. A total stranger would look at us and never wonder where my daughter came from. My hair, my nose, my smile... just in a smaller size. But that's not how things worked out.

Instead, my 17 month old looks remarkably like my mother-in-law! I know. It should make me mad. It's enough to make you see red. But after getting to know my daughter for a year and a half, I've come to realize something. When people see us playing "Kissing Tiger" and having a tickle fest, no one wonders whose child she is. When I'm laughing and pulling the wagon down the street while my daughter is sweetly waving to every man, woman, child and animal on our way, nobody comments that she doesn't look like me. She is her own person and I couldn't be happier. Things have a way of working out for the best. It's another lesson my young daughter taught me.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Free Train Rides & Looking for Jean Painting in Houston

In addition to Museum District Day, Houston Area Live Steamers (HALS) is running FREE train rides this weekend. The hours are 10 am -4 pm this Saturday the 16th. For complete details, visit

Also, fellow Houstonian Leah heard about a place in Houston where kids can paint their own pair of jeans and then take them home to wear. I've been looking for this place but can't seem to find it. If you know about this, please email me.

Until the next nap time...

Houston's Museum District Day

Museum District Day is this Saturday, 9/16 from 10 am-5 pm. 16 museums will waive general admission fees so this is a great way to head to a few museums with the kids. Pack a lunch or snack and enjoy Hermann Park and then head to the Zoo (general admission fee does apply at the zoo).

Until the next nap time...

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Impacts Parents Still

As I dropped my daughter off at nursery school today, wearing an American flag dress, I wondered what parents felt like 5 years ago. I didn't have children then so it's hard for me to imagine. Instead, I found myself holding on to my little one a bit longer today. Her teachers quickly picked up on what was going on. My one-year-old was ready to play but mom was holding on in case there was another terrorist attack on the 9/11/01 anniversary. I wanted that image of my girl smiling to remain in my memory... just in case. My behaviour begs the question: should you hold on longer every day?

You just never know.

But my child doesn't know either. And so I'll go on like many parents who realize what happened five years ago and how different our lives could be if something tragic happened today, drastically changing our family. But I'll force the tears back and remember that I live by example and my daughter would rather play with friends than hide inside. We've got big plans tomorrow to attend MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and the playgroup for the children. The afternoon will unveil mommy & baby time just for us. At dinner, my toddler will throw peas on the floor and I'll grit my teeth in frustration. And then I will remember that just the day before I wondered how it would be not to have that time with her. So I'll be more patient and I'll smile in thankfulness for all that we have and all that our soldiers have given us. Perhaps this is one way to pay respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11/01 when you have a child that can't possibly understand. Have you forgotten? No, I doubt you have. Showing your children how to truly live life to its fullest is evidence of that.

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Family Tree with One Limb?

Ahhh... my little one is taking a Saturday morning nap. So what, you say? That morning nap has been "outgrown" for months. Its pleasant return on a weekend was a God send.

Which leads me to another thought... I was watching my daughter running through her grandparents' house earlier today and realized how much she's grown. At 17 months, her exploratory skills are being finetuned. But it seems just yesterday that she was learning to walk. I'm now at the point where so many adults ask when I'll have my second child. Will I? I'm not sure. Why is it that people are in a rush to build out my family tree? Perhaps ours will remain lean but strong. Or maybe another limb will be added down the road. In any case, I've decided to focus on the child I have for now but I hope I never pressure others to make family decisions that might not be right for them. After all, it's still a personal decision.

It's interesting, too, to note that in my effort to capture all of my daughter's special moments in photographs, I've actually learned something else. Her childhood memories will not be specific to one of those moments but all of them. Her life will not be one defining moment but a mixture of many. And so old mom can ease back a bit and not fret about forgetting the camera (again!). Life is full of many moments that aren't categorized and captured but experienced and relished. This weekend I hope your family enjoys many pleasant moments. My family will.

Until the next nap time...

Go Longhorns!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Curious George Debuts in Houston This Weekend

Looking for a fun activity for the kids this weekend?

When: Saturday, September 9 at 10 am, 11 am & 1 pm
Where: Houston Zoo at 1513 N. MacGregor

Join Ernie Manouse, Houston PBS Host of The After Party and InnerViews, at the Zoo for the Curious George Kick-Off Event. Kids will enjoy:
- Monkey Facts
- Curious George Video Presentation
- Goody Bags &
- A Surprise.

The TV show "Curious George" began on Labor Day and continues Monday - Friday at 7 am. Visit the Curious George website on PBS Kids for more details. If your kids are in school during the week, set your Tivo or video recorder so your family can enjoy this monkey on the weekends.

And don't forget Sunday, September 10 is Grandparents' Day! Take your child's local grandparents out to eat, to a movie or enjoy bowling. If your child's grandparents live out of town, prepare your youngster to call them this weekend. Or mail them a masterpiece created by your child.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kids Love Labor Day Weekend in Houston

Here are some great kids activities for Labor Day weekend in Houston.

Texans' Youth Football Day
August 31 is called Youth Football Day and it our last home game of the preseason. The theme of this game is a celebration of youth football. There are discount ticket offers for the game (vs. Tampa Bay @ 7 pm) and all kids are encouraged to wear their youth football (or any sport) jerseys or uniforms. There will be several youth-specific activities such as hundreds of jersey-clad youth football players on the sideline for the national anthem and a youth football game at halftime. See for more details.

Free Day at the Houston Zoo
Enjoy the cooler weather this weekend and head to the zoo. If it rains, enjoy one of the indoor exhibits.

Mad Potter Make Your Own Pottery
If you didn't see my entry about this earlier this week, be sure to check it out. This is a great family activity and helps your youngsters create a personalized gift for Grandparents' Day on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Childrens Museum of Houston
Kids will celebrate America’s hardworking citizens as they learn about Labor Day through engaging activities during the Labor Day celebration at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Visitors will discover that in 1882 the first Labor Day celebration in New York City ended in fireworks as they design their own glittering fireworks on paper. Make silly Mad Hatter hats as the popular Alice’s Wonderland exhibit comes to a close. Decorate the paper sack hats using streamers, stickers and crayons. Then, join Alice or the Mad Hatter for an exciting Labor Day parade. Don’t forget to wear your Mad Hatter parade hat! Also, gather in the Kids’ Hall for one last whimsical Alice’s Wonderland adventure.

WHEN: Monday, September 4, 2006
WHERE: Children’s Museum of Houston 1500 Binz, Houston, TX 77004
Labor Day Fireworks on Paper: September 4: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mad Hatter Parade Hats: September 4: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Labor Day Parade: September 4: 1 p.m.
Alice’s Wonderland Activities: September 4: 1 – 4 p.m.
Included with general Museum admission: $5 per person and $4 for seniors 65+. Children under two and Museum Members receive free admission. Twilight fees $3 daily after 3 p.m. Free Family Night every Thursday 5 – 8 p.m. COST:
For more information, visit or call (713) 522-1138.

Have a safe & happy holiday weekend. Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Labor Day Weekend Art Project=Grandparents Day Gift

With Grandparents' Day just around the corner (It's Sunday, Sept. 10), I wanted to get moving on finding just the right gift for 2 sets of hard-to-buy-for grandparents.

(Hopefully, my daughter's grandparents aren't reading the blog today.) Yesterday, we visited the Mad Potter on West Gray to try our young hands at make-your-own-pottery. My little one is only 17 months old but she did a great job. As you'll see from the photo, she enjoyed it.

For very young artists, the staff recommended painting with different shades of the same color. That way, the youngster's masterpiece doesn't turn brown with the mixed color palette. We chose a container and after the top dried, my daughter added her handprint in a dark blue. I even worked on my own project: a bowl with harvest colors for the autumn. Now I will tell you that after almost an hour, my daughter's attention span was nonexistent and she wanted to run & play, but she completed only one gift for Grandparents' Day. Looks like we'll be headed back for a second gift item later this week. Mad Potter fires the pottery to lock in the colors and add a nice gloss finish to the item. That process takes a week so consider that timeline when you're planning. This makes a good family project over Labor Day weekend and then you'll have grandparents gifts in time for the following weekend.

See for locations near you!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Race for the Cure Houston: Sept. 30

The Race for the Cure annual event in Houston has been changed from Oct. 7 to Saturday, September 30. This is a wonderful event for families. Our daughter joined us last year when she was only 6 months old. This is a good way to show your children the power of charitable activities. And it really is moving to see so many Houstonians -- young & old, male & female -- show up to support the fight against breast cancer.

Join our team by registering online at Hope to see you there.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ballunar Festival in Houston is Out of this World!

Check out the Ballunar Festival this weekend!

This unique weekend of fun takes place at NASA/Johnson Space Center - on August 25 - 27, 2006. The NASA/Johnson Space Center site transforms into the location of the RE/MAX® Ballunar Liftoff Festival. It is a one-of-a-kind tribute to human flight - from the beauty of mass hot air balloon ascensions to the high-tech world of modern space flight.
Visit this exciting and educational family-oriented event at NASA/Johnson Space Center and enjoy hot air balloon competitions, evening balloon glows, skydiving exhibitions, commercial exhibits, concession booths, food from local restaurants, arts & crafts exhibits, entertainment and various aviation equipment displays.

It's $10.00 per VEHICLE with free parking at Johnson Space Center and includes a NASA mini tour.

So have that little astronaut take an afternoon nap and head out this Friday night for the 6:30PM launch. Event lasts Friday through Sunday noon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jack & The Giant Visit Houston

"Jack and the Giant" are playing at Playhouse 1960 on weekends through September 17. The performances begin at 3 pm so it's a good after-nap activity for little ones. Older kids and adults will enjoy it too. The music is a welcome addition to this popular tale. Plus, tickets cost only $12 per adult and $7 per child.

Playhouse 1960 is a non-profit, community based theater located in Houston, Texas. Playhouse 1960 is located in the Willowbrook Mall area in northwest Harris County. Head south on Cutten Road from FM 1960 approximately 1 mile, then turn left on Gant Road. The theater is located in the small office park on your left a few hundred feet down Gant Road.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Kids Get Creative at Lakeshore Learning

I'm excited to report on a FREE activity for Houston kids. The Lakeshore Learning stores host a kids activity each Saturday from 11 am - 3 pm. It's ideal for children who can work independently but if your child is under 3 years old, you can attend and help your child. For instance, this next Saturday, August 26 is Beaded Necklace & Bracelet Day. Kids create brilliant jewelry using all sorts of fun beads—from fire trucks to animal shapes. They can take home their creations so they have a token to be proud of.

If you want, you can also stroll the store aisles for educational toys that are fun, too. Remember: the activity of the week is FREE.

The Houston store is located at 2405 Post Oak Boulevard (north of the Galleria, near Kenny & Ziggy's restaurant and Pier 1). Phone #713-355-1893. The Friendswood store is located at 19032 Gulf Frwy. Phone #281-461-6263.

Kids Get Creative at Lakeshore Learning

I'm excited to report on a FREE activity for Houston kids. The Lakeshore Learning stores host a kids activity each Saturday from 11 am - 3 pm. It's ideal for children who can work independently but if your child is under 3 years old, you can attend and help your child. For instance, this next Saturday, August 26 is Beaded Necklace & Bracelet Day. Kids create brilliant jewelry using all sorts of fun beads—from fire trucks to animal shapes. They can take home their creations so they have a token to be proud of.

If you want, you can also stroll the store aisles for educational toys that are fun, too. Remember: the activity of the week is FREE.

The Houston store is located at 2405 Post Oak Boulevard (north of the Galleria, near Kenny & Ziggy's restaurant and Pier 1). Phone #713-355-1893. The Friendswood store is located at 19032 Gulf Frwy. Phone #281-461-6263.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"Smoke on the Mountain" Good Musical for Houston Families

The AD Players showcases the musical production of "Smoke on the Mountain." This is the tale of Reverend Oglethorpe trying to energize his congregation that's struggling through an economic depression. The pastor introduces the Singing Sanders family in hopes of revitalizing his followers, which brings bluegrass music, dancing and hillarious characteristics that we all find in our family members. The AD Players does an excellent job of bringing quality theatrical performances with Christian values to Houston.

Performances are this Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 2:30 pm.
Tickets range from $24-$35 each.
Grace Theatre at 2710 W. Alabama

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Feelin' Groovy at the Galleria This Saturday

"Feelin' Groovy" is presented by Radio Disney this Saturday, 8/19/2006.

Head to the Galleria for an opportunity to learn all about eating healthy, staying active, and other safety issues. The Radio Disney team will host lots of fun games and activities. Families will also have the opportunity to meet some of the Kidgits characters. Not familiar with Kidgits? These are little critters that encourage family time and healthy living. The program centers around shopping malls nationwide and offers kid-friendly activities featuring the Kidgits.

Location: Nordstrom/Foley's Wing
Time: Noon - 3 PM
Cost: $5 for annual membership
Visit for more details.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Escape the Houston Heat

Want to escape Houston's heat and still have some enjoyable family time?

Noah’s Ark Pool is open through September and is a creative way to swim. My daughter loved the water slides that are decorated with rainbows, animals and an ark, tying into the Biblical story. There are also several fountains that squirt water so the kids can dance in the water streams. There's also a larger pool for regular swimming. Lifeguards patrol all pools. It's small enough to allow parents to manage young swimmers, but still offers plenty to do. Arrive early to avoid summer camps that typically visit around 1 pm.

Recommended age: All
Admission: $5 per person. Kids under age 2 are FREE.
Time: M-Sat 10 am–4 pm; Sun reserved for private parties only
Physical location: 10570 Westpark, Houston, TX 77042 832-668-1800

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Luau in The Woodlands

The Woodlands' Children's Museum is hosting a farewell to summer party this Thursday, August 10 from 4-7 pm with a luau theme. The party will include games, food, activities and special guests. If you're looking for a fun family night out this Thursday, head to this great museum.

The Woodlands' Children's Museum
located at The Woodlands' Mall, upper level

Until the next nap time...

Play in the Sand Day for Houston Families

August 11 is Play in the Sand Day so I vote for heading to the beach. Even if you can't make it on Friday, August 11, consider a Saturday or Sunday trip. I recommend visiting the beach in front of the San Luis Resort because it is groomed daily. The benefit? Your family can play on a clean beach without seaweed and trash. For lunch, head to the Rainforest Cafe, which is adjacent to the San Luis Resort. Then, you can head back to the beach. Or pack a picnic lunch with plenty of water and juice. Don't forget sun block, a plastic bag or two to put the sandy toys in after the day is finished, and a camera.

For more ideas like this, pick up a copy of 100+ Activities for Houston Kids at your local Barnes & Noble or Borders store.

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Heights First Saturday & Houston Mom of the Month

The Heights First Saturday event is today and is bound to be fun for the family. Grab some lunch at a local restaurant, stroll the streets to make new friends, peruse the shops and enjoy a FREE trolley ride. This is a lot of fun. Head out early for the kid-friendly atmosphere. Then, tonight adults can enjoy the annual White Linen Night. Details are available at

I'm so excited. I've been named "Mom of the Month" by Houston moms. Check out the article at

Have a great weekend!

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

August 4: School Supplies Drive

Running through Friday, August 4, DePelchin is requesting school supplies for local children who otherwise might start the school year without needed equipment. Please purchase items from the following list and bring them to DePelchin’s main campus 8 am - 5 pm.

School Supplies:
- Backpacks (mesh or regular)
- Fiskar scissors
- Elmer's glue
- Crayola crayons (16 or 24 packs)
- Crayola markers
- Crayola map pencils
- Pocket folders
- 1 subject spiral notebooks
- Grades 1-5 composition books
- #2 pencils
- Calculators
- Construction paper
- Yellow Highlighters
- Black and blue pens
- Red grading pencils
- Pink erasers
- Lunchboxes
- Rulers
- Kleenex
- 3 ring binders
- Notebook paper
- Graph paper
- Manila paper
- Mechanical pencils

School Clothes (children and teens):
- Khaki slacks or skirtsRed, white, or navy polo shirts
- White tennis shoes- Underwear
- White socks

For more details, visit

Cool Off at Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston is a great activity for families in greater Houston. Plus, it's inside so you'll escape the heat. Young visitors will enjoy the Kids Space Place, which serves as an indoor astronaut playground with lots of hands-on activities. Other astronauts-at-heart will love this place for the tram tours of the Johnson Space Center, interactive exhibits and more. Now through Labor Day, Space Center Houston is featuring the Super Heros exhibit, which allows children to experience Super Hero powers. Super Hero activties include:
- Use your super strength to lift a real truck
- Develop incredible night vision
- Experience the magic of flight
- Develop catlike agility and reflexes
- Climb a giant wall like a spider

Allow five hours to take advantage of everything.

Admission: Adults $18; Children (age 4-11) $14. See The Houston Chronicle for 50 percent off coupons. Parking is an additional $4.

10 am - 5 pm weekdays.
10 am - 6 pm weekends.

Space Center Houston is located at 1601 NASA Parkway (formerly NASA Rd. 1), Houston, TX 77058, approximately 25 miles south of downtown Houston in the NASA/Clear Lake area.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Combine Errands & Kids' Breakfast

Looking to combine fun with your kids and running errands? I've got a solution.

Ikea makes it easy to do both. Get your morning off to a great start by heading to Ikea on I-10. Each day between 9-11 am, you can get a healthy breakfast for only $0.99 per person. That's right. You'll get scrambled eggs, 2 bacon strips and breakfast potatoes for under $1. Then, pick up those organizational needs before the kids head back to school or check out the desks that Ikea sells. The 2007 catalog will give you a great sneak peak. For more details, check out this link:

Until the next nap time...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Guidebook Still Great Resource for Houston Families

As July comes to a close, families are beginning to think about the new school year. As exciting as it is for kids, don't forget to spend time together as a family before school resumes. Then, this fall dedicate time to your family by turning off the TV and doing a fun activity around Houston.

This fall, there are so many festivals that are great for families. Pick your own pumpkin at a nearby farm. Contribute to the community by participating in a kid-friendly fundraiser. Head to the best Halloween events for young and old kids. Where can you find all this information & more? 100+ Activities for Houston Kids is a great resource for spending quality time with your family this summer and fall. Pick up your copy at a local Barnes & Noble store or Borders stores. Our family went to each and every one of the activities in this guidebook so we offer insider tips to tackling them with kids. For just under $20, you'll be able to identify the best activities for your kids in a matter of minutes. This is also a wonderful gift for local parents and grandparents.

As Cathy Stucker said: "Megan is a Houston Mom who makes real-world recommendations for activities families can enjoy together. The next time you are looking for ideas for a fun outing, pick up your copy of "100+ Activities for Houston Kids" and choose one of the educational, adventurous or just plain fun things to do you will find there".

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Weekends in Houston

Disney's THE LION KING is recommended for a general audience. As an advisory to adults who might bring young people, Disney recommends this show for ages 6 and up. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket. (Yes, that means a lap child needs a ticket, but you can buy the least expensive ticket for $30 for him/her and hold your child in your lap wherever your seat is.) The show runs approx. 2 hours and 45 min, including intermission. For tickets, visit The show runs through August 13 in downtown Houston.

And don't forget about Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, which is in Houston through Sunday, July 23. Arrive an hour before the show to see an elephant paint, try on a circus costume, meet the clowns, shake paws with a performing pound puppy and more. It’s FREE with a paid ticket to the show. After all, it’s the greatest show on earth.
Recommended age: 3+ years
Admission: $12/person and up
Physical location: Reliant Stadium, 8334 Fannin 832-667-1000

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tips for Seeing Lion King Musical in Houston

Thanks to my friend Whitney, who provided the following tips for taking kids to see the musical "Lion King" at the Hobby Center.

Every person needs a ticket... even babies! You can buy the cheapest seats ($30) for the lap kids, even if you have more expensive tickets for the rest of the group. This is just something to consider when purchasing those tickets.

"The boys loved it- we went with a few other people, including two 5-year-old girls and another 3 yr-old boy. All of the kids were so into it, they didn’t wiggle or talk at all the whole time! It was a great introduction to Going to the Theater for them- we discussed the differences between plays and movies, the proper behavior for the theater, no popcorn, etc. The story line follows the Lion King movie almost exactly, so it helped that they all were familiar with the story. Like the movie, some of the parts w/ Scar and the hyenas were spooky, but the fight scenes were more stylized and less scary than the movie in my opinion! The kids (and adults too) really got a kick out of having the characters in the aisles at the beginning- it was nice that they could get a better look at the people in the costumes. I think it was worth getting the Orchestra tickets for that reason as well- they felt more connected to the action than the kids in the balcony."

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer Fun for Houston Families

On the third Saturday of each month, March through November, the members of Houston Area Live Steamers offer FREE train rides to the public. They have two club diesel engines that normally run the passenger trains but many times you will find a steam engine also running. They also have specially designed cars for the young and the young at heart, who enjoy hearing the clickety-clack of the rails.
Recommended age: All
Admission: FREE
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Physical location: 17802 Roberts Rd. in Hockley (Take 290 north to Roberts Rd. from central Houston.)

7/14-7/23/2006 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus visits Houston. This is true entertainment for all with morning, afternoon & evening shows. Arrive an hour before the show to see an elephant paint, try on a circus costume, meet the clowns, shake paws with a performing pound puppy and more. It’s FREE with a paid ticket to the show. After all, it’s the greatest show on earth.

Recommended age: 3+ years
Admission: $12/person and up
Physical location: Reliant Stadium, 8334 Fannin 832-667-1000

Houston Show Dates & Show Times
Fri, July 14: 7:30 PM
Sat, July 15: 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Sun, July 16: 1:30 PM and 5:30 PM (Bilingual Spanish/English)
Tue, July 18: 7:30 PM
Wed, July 19: 7:30 PM
Thu, July 20: 10:30 AM and 7:30 PM
Fri, July 21: 10:30 AM and 7:30 PM
Sat, July 22: 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Sun, July 23: 1:30 PM and 5:30 PM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Kids Cool Off with Noah in Houston

Noah’s Ark Pool is really a creative way to swim. My daughter loved the water slides that are decorated with rainbows, animals and an ark, tying into the Biblical story. There are also several fountains that squirt water so the kids can dance in the water. There's also a larger pool for regular swimming. Lifeguards are provided throughout the pools. As a parent, I like this pool park because it's small enough to be manageable with a young child, but still offers plenty to do. Gates open at 10 am. Tip: arrive early to avoid summer camps that visit starting around 1 pm.

Recommended age: 1+ years
Admission: The daily admission rate to the pool is $5 per person. Kids under age 2 are FREE. The admission for QMC members is $3 per person.

Time: Weekdays are usually 10 a.m.–4 p.m. May 15- September 4. Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sundays are for private parties only.
Physical location: 10570 Westpark, Houston, TX 77042 832-668-1800

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Take Nature Indoors

Here's a great way to enjoy nature without getting wet in all this rain.

· Hana & Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center is an amazing way to explore nature and its critters. The second floor of a house has been dedicated as the Discovery Room, featuring lots of hands-on learning experiences for children. One room has a wonderful life-size exhibit of a campground and the animals that you’d find in that setting, including two owl puppets that hide in an artificial tree. In another room, you’ll find a few aquariums with animals native to the Houston area such as snakes (yikes!), turtles and fish. Explore at the table of rubber bugs. Check out the child-friendly microscope to examine the smallest creatures. The butterfly exhibit shows visitors the evolution from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly by illustrating the butterflies you’ll see in our backyard. While my daughter is really still a bit young for this, she didn’t miss a beat with the puppet stage. If only she’d kept the rubber bugs alone! There’s also an outdoor sanctuary with a quail, bunnies and more.

Recommended age: 3+ years to foster an understanding of nature
Admission: Free
Time: Tues-Sun Noon-5:30 pm; Closed Monday
Physical location: 7112 Newcastle between Bellaire & Beechnut 713-667-6550

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Houston Family Fun for July 4th Weekend

WOW! There is so much going on this holiday weekend. Just don't overbook yourself trying to see it all. Here's a run down of fun family activities for July 4th weekend in greater Houston. Enjoy!

Friday, June 30 - August
Take your family to the production of 1776 on Galveston Island. It's been a tradition in our family to watch this video, but this year, we'll see it upclose. My father-in-law is actually acting in it. Go, Steve! This is a cool way to teach your family WHY we celebrate July 4th and this production is humorous. Matinee performances make it easier for youngsters to attend but there are also evening productions for those who enjoy a good show to cap off the evening. Tickets are $20 for students & senior citizens, and $25 for adults.

Friday, June 30 at 9:30 pm
Friday Night Fireworks happens every Friday night in June and July at the Kemah Boardwalk. It's hard for little ones to stay up that late, but if you have older kids and want something fun to do, this is great. Enjoy a nice dinner on the boardwalk and stay for the show. The same show will also happen on July 4th.

Now through Tuesday, July 4
The Children's Museum of Houston features various activities to teach kiddos all about Independence Day. Create pretend fireworks with paper, glitter & glue. Discover the science between rockets, aerodynamics and chemical reactions. And enjoy the museum's annual Butterfly Count, where you learn to identify various butterflies and create your own butterfly to take home. Starting at 9 am, kids can decorate a box as their special holiday parade float. Then, at 1 pm, children kick off the museum's July 4th parade and celebrate by marching with their floats throughout the museum.

Monday, July 3 at 7 pm.
Astros vs. Chicago Cubs
Well, it's the national pastime after all. Who can turn down baseball and a hot dog over our Independence Day weekend? Besides the game of two rivals, we loved the fireworks display after the game. Everyone just sits back in their chairs and RELAXES. The post-game traffic is a little lighter, too. This is a great way to spend a holiday night. The first 15,000 fans will receive a Minute Maid Fireworks Blinking Pins FREE. Game tickets start at $7 each.

Tuesday, July 4 starting at 10 am
Galveston celebrates July 4th, starting with a parade at 10 am at the Railroad Museum (25th and Strand). From there, the parade will wind its way through historic downtown Galveston from Strand to 21st; south on 21st to Postoffice; west on Postoffice to 24th, and finally south on 24th to Sealy. Next, a celebration will be held at the Sealy Pavilion, located across from the Rosenberg library. The celebration will include patriotic music and speeches, as well as refreshments. There will also be musical entertainment from Island etc’s show “1776”, and the Galveston Island Musicals’ production of “America the Beautiful”. Joe Huff of Galveston College, and Jim Guidry, of Guidry News Service will be hosting the event. (NOTE: My father-in-law Steve is acting in 1776 so we're really excited about this!) The fireworks will begin at 9:15 pm and will last about 25 minutes. The setting is at 37th and Seawall but the fireworks can be seen as far west as 81st and Seawall, and as far east as 14th and Seawall.

Tuesday, July 4 from noon - 11 pm
Pearland's Celebration of Freedom is an all-out family festival with craft booths and carnival rides. Admission is FREE but bring your wallet for all the food, music and rides.

Tuesday, July 4 at 1 pm
Astros vs. Chicago Cubs
If you missed the game on July 3, here's another chance. Plus, the first 10,000 fans will receive mini American Flags sponsored by Arne's Texas Size Party Store. Plus, take advantage of $1 hot dogs sponsored by Earl Campbell Sausage Company. Game tickets start at $7 each.

Tuesday, July 4, 4-10 pm
Chevy’s Freedom over Texas with Fireworks is presented by Shell at Eleanor Tinsley Park along Buffalo Bayou. This features a concert with rock ’n’ roll Grammy winners Los Lonely Boys. The Village People will prime concert-goers with such disco classics as “YMCA” and “Mach Man!” The concerts will be followed by a huge fireworks show in the nation, produced by the world-renowned fireworks artists, Pyro Spectaculars, presented by Souza. Plenty of children's activities will also be available. This is the biggest fireworks display in greater Houston. Tickets are $6 at the gate for adults: Kids 10 and under are FREE.

Tuesday, July 4 from 5-10 pm
Rosenberg’s signature July 4th event includes The Triumphs in concert, an inflatable carnival, KidZone, horseshoes and washer tournaments, food and refreshment vendors, hayrides through Seabourne Creek Park, and a great fireworks show. The Independence Day celebration will be held at the City’s Seabourne Creek Park located at 3831 Highway 36 South. Guests are asked to bring their lawn chairs, their family and all their friends, but to please leave the pets and alcoholic refreshments at home. Admission is free. General event parking will be available immediately south of the event site. Event Partner parking and handicapped parking will be available at the Rosenberg Civic & Convention Center at 3825 Highway 36 South. For general event information, contact the event coordinator, Rebecca Covell, at 832-595-3520 or go to

Tuesday, July 4 from 5-10 pm
The 21st annual Red, White and Bluefest will be held in Sugar Land at Oyster Creek and Lost Creek parks. If you stay for the fireworks, it's a long evening but a fun one. The holiday activities include:
5 - 9 p.m.: Children's Activities, Jugglers and Magicians
5:15 p.m.: Faces of America Parade
5:45 p.m.: Patriotic Pet Parade
6:30 p.m.: Two Tons of Steel (Rockabilly Music)
8:00 p.m.: Mayor David Wallace Welcoming Remarks
8:30 p.m.: Trent Willmon (Country Music)
9:30 p.m.: Fireworks Display
10:00 p.m.: Trent Willmon (Country Music) Avoid traffic by shuttling from Mercer Stadium, 16403 Lexington Blvd., to Oyster Creek Park from 4:30-11 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4 at 6 pm
Houston Symphony's Star Spangled Salute
Enjoy beautiful American tunes synchronized to the annual celebration at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park in the museum district. Thousands flock to this event site and it remains a great family outing. Bring a large blanket to lie on the hill so your family can lean back, relaxing to the sights and sounds. Music plays until dark when the music is then accompanied by wonderful fireworks.

Tuesday, July 4 from 6-10 pm
9th Annual Red, Hot and Blue Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza
The 23-minute fireworks show, shot over The Woodlands Town Center, is the second largest in the Greater Houston region, second only to downtown Houston. The soundtrack for The Red, Hot & Blue Festival Fireworks is simulcast on Houston’s Sunny 99.1 radio station. Admission: FREE. Concessions will be sold at the event.

Tuesday, July 4 at dusk
Fireworks Spectacular at Splashtown
Cool off in the pool and catch a thrill speeding down a water slide. Kick summer into high gear. Celebrate America's Independence Day with contests and entertainment for the entire family including fireworks at Six Flags' Splashtown. Park will be open 10am-10pm. Visit for details. General Admission: $32.99; Child under 48": $24.99; Kids 2 & Under: FREE

Tuesday, July 4 at 9:30 pm.
Kemah Fireworks
Again, if you have older kids, this is a fun outing. Stroll through the shops on the Kemah Boardwalk, enjoy a tasty dinner overlooking the water and then watch the fireworks show. This is the same show seen each Friday & Saturday throughout June & July.

Have a safe & happy holiday! Until the next nap time...