Thursday, February 23, 2006

MarquE Offers Amusement for Kids 3+ Years

Today, Kylie and I went to the MarquE on I-10 and Silber to check out its activities beyond Jillian's. (See my earlier blog entry about Jillian's. It was a blast!) While there's not a lot for toddlers to do at the MarquE, there is some. Pump It Up has inflated structures that kids can play on indoors. This is great for a rainy day or one that is too cold or hot... the latter being more likely in Houston. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, Pump It Up has "Pop In Playtime" for the very young. It's similar to the mommy & me groups that many young families participate in. Kylie & I are hoping to join "Pop In Playtime" one day, so check back for our review or check it out yourselves. It costs $6/child and is held from 10 am to noon. Be sure to wear socks. Pump It Up is a great option for a birthday party, too.

The MarquE also has the Putting Edge, which is the indoor, glow in the dark putt-putt golf course & it's cool! I recommend it for kids age 3 and up. This is a good family activity. We went at about 5 pm on a weekday and it was not too crowded but families were enjoying themselves.

Another easy and inexpensive activity? Kylie & I soaked up the sunshine in the courtyard near the movie theater. Kylie liked looking at the large fountain, but she loved the small spherical fountains that she could touch. Since she's still under a year (barely!), I could hold her over the spherical fountains so she could put her hands in them without getting soaked. No need for a spare set of clothes. Thank you.

On a hot day, families can also grab a bite to eat at any of the restaurants at the MarquE & then treat yourselves to some ice cream. Yum! Overall, the MarquE gets a big thumbs up in my book. I just wish there was more to do with toddlers.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

No Child Too Young for Houston Fun

This is the little girl who started it all for me: Kylie. My active 10-month old gave me so many reasons to find fun kids activities in Houston. I grind my teeth when parents say their children are too young to do much. I disagree wholeheartendly. Kylie & I have seen so much of Houston and we love it. I'll start posting photos here regularly of the trips we make.

Don't forget to email me with your recommendations for kids activities. Email those ideas to I'm also looking for suggestions on family-friendly (NOTE: Kid-friendly) restaurants. Let me know which letter grades you give Houston restaurants. One grade for its kid-friendliness and one grade for the quality & taste of the food. Dig in!

Until the next nap time...

P.S. - Check out my guidebook packed with fun kids activities in book stores now. It's called 100+ Activities for Houston Kids and it's an annual publication so you don't miss a lick!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Aquarium Food Less than Stellar, But Great Entertainment for Kids

We went to the Downtown Aquarium tonight for Brent's birthday. As always, the kids were mesmerized by the fish. Even Kylie at 10 months was really excited to see the fish. For a 1-2 hour dinner with young kids, the Aquarium makes a great option. The kids menus and coloring activities also keep children occupied at the table. Unfortunately, we spent $20+ on adult dinners that were less than spectacular. My husband's shrimp brochette tasted of freezer burn and my snapper was mediocre, although the price tag was not. I just wish the chefs would invest more into the food since the Downtown Aquarium is a restaurant after all. Otherwise, just call yourself an amusement park and focus there.

My suggestion: take the kids to the Downtown Aquarium during the day for the activities (I love the ferris wheel) and sights, but skip the meal. The adults will be glad they did.

Until the next nap time...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Kids Activity Queen on 93Q; Colonial Park Rocks

So Exciting... I was on 93 Q Morning Zoo radio show this morning talking about the 1st Annual Valentine Skate tomorrow at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink as well as tips for parents for taking youngsters to the rodeo later this month. Tune in to 93 Q during the 8-9 am hour on the first Friday of each month for regular updates from the Kids Activity Queen. Yea!

Colonial Park in West University is such a great park. Not only is the equipment newer & brighter in appearance, but it offers more equipment than many other area parks. Plus, the forts and climbing structures are great for encouraging vivid imaginations. Last Thursday during our trip to Colonial Park, two darling children were playing in a fort that has several steering wheels. I naturally thought of playing in a car, but the little boy said he was driving his "castle ship." Let your kids go wild with their imagination.

My little Kylie loves the swings. The park has traditional swings, baby swings & a swinging bench so take your pick. The sand volleyball court also serves as a sandbox. I always hear kids talking about tackling the slides: the red, the blue, the curvy one... you pick. The seasaw is a treat that hasn't been forgotten hear. And remember monkey bars? My daughter is too young for them but she likes me to help her touch them. She's an eager 10 month old. There's also a large field for running and burning off energy. Although it's cold outside, a few laps around the field will get those little bodies heating up. Enjoy!

Directions: Take Weslayan south past University Blvd. Turn right (west) on Case, which will dead end into the park.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Feb. 10-12 Weekend for Houston Kids

It's cold outside. Call me a wimp but I'm dragging my feet AGAIN to get to StrollerFit with my daughter later this morning because it's just too cold to be outside. It's gonna be cold this weekend so what can you do with the kids?

The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters is visiting Houston at the Toyota Center. They're playing against the New York Nationals so head to one of the games this weekend and root the Globetrotters onto victory! Tickets start at only $12. Games are on Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 1:30 pm.

If sports are for your little ones, drive to the Hobby Center for a performance of Dora's Pirate Adventure, starring Dora the Explorer & her cousin Diego. Performances run through Sunday and tickets start at $16. Saturday & Sunday have performances at 11 am, 2 pm, & 5 pm. Fun, fun, fun and learn more Spanish while you're at it.

Don't forget the Valentine Skate on Tuesday, 9:30 am - Noon at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. Kylie & I will be there, using our stroller to conquer the rink & laughing lots. Admission is only $4! Hope to see you there.