Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Houston Families Love Hermann Park, Butterfly Center

Sorry for not updating this blog in a week! We've been super busy checking out lots of activities. This weekend we visited the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Museum of Natural Science. The butterflies were gorgeous but Mom didn't care for the iguana lurking in the bushes. (LEFT: Photo of baby butterflies being released into the rain forest in Cockrell Butterfly Center.) At 1 year old, Kylie wanted to touch everything, which is not conducive to the butterflies. While this is a great thing to do, I suggest waiting until your kids are at least 3 years old. Kids under 3 get in FREE and can understand what's going on and NO Touching! (smile)

Perhaps my favorite activity is Hermann Park. This has changed a lot since I was a youngster running around. The reflection pond is so relaxing and Kylie loved looking at the ducks. Grab a picnic and a blanket and head to Hermann Park for an easy-going afternoon. Bring a change of clothes and a towel so your kid(s) can play in the fountain at the edge of the reflection pond. A group of 4 can take a 30-minute ride on a paddle boat for only $8 (that's only $2 per person, which I think is a good deal). Take a stroll on the paved sidewalk beneath the tall trees and see other families playing soccer or tag. Elementary age kids will enjoy rolling down the park's hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre. If you park on the curb, parking is free, although you may have to drive around a bit to find a spot. Pack some cool drinks in nonbreakable containers and dress cool. It's well worth the trip!

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kids Activities for Easter

Holy Week is upon us and I've been trying to think of ways to show my daughter, nephews and Goddaughter the true meaning of Easter without beating it over their heads. Here's a great way that my friends Stacey from MOPS shared.

Sometimes referred to as the jelly bean poem, this simple activity is great for encouraging kids to talk about Easter. When the kids look at the jelly beans, you ask them what the colors might mean about Easter. They always have a lot of answers, but guiding them to the answers in the poem below give the true meaning of Easter. You can print a copy of the poem to put in their Easter baskets with a bag of jelly beans in each color of the story.

Red is for the blood He gave,
Green is for the grass He made,
Yellow is for the sun so bright,
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made,
White is for the grace He gave,
Purple is for His hour of sorrow,
Pink is for our new tomorrow.

A handful of jelly beans, simple, colorful and sweet, remind us of the reasons He makes our life so complete.

Another kids activity to try is to bring meaning to everything in the Easter basket. You can use old, raggedy baskets or even a box to explain that when Jesus came his birthplace was alot like our box or basket. Nothing new, nothing pretty- an old stable. Then put grass in it to remind your family of the manger hay Jesus slept in. Use candy animals to signify His birth surrounded by animals. Add a cross to symbolize Jesus dying on the cross and talk about His wonderful life, then His death. But then focus on the eggs, which bring new life. Just as Jesus' death was awful and sad, it brought new life to all who believe. I love the eggs! Some folks even add a random thing or two -- one family says they had a rooster in their basket and the kids remembered the rooster crowing and Peter denying Him. There are many lessons we can learn and teach our children from everyday life.

Have a wonderful, blessed Easter. Until the next nap time...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Kids Bike Race & SPCA's Mutt Strutt

Looking for fun in Houston this weekend? Here are two great activities for kids.

The Heights Holy Mackerel Bike Race is Saturday, April 8 and is presented by the Baptist Temple in the Heights and the Woodlands Cycling Club. Kids age 3-10 can participate in the Kids’ Races ranging in distance from 30 to 135 yards. Youngsters age 10-18 can ride in the Juniors category race, which is sanctioned by USA Cycling and is part of the Lance Armstrong Junior Olympic Road Series. Adults 18+ years can race for cash and prizes in the Pro-Am series. Don’t forget your helmet!

Recommended age: All ages
Admission: $10 at check-in on race day
Location: Baptist Temple at 230 West 20th street near Yale in the Heights

The SPCA’s Mutt Strutt is Saturday, April 8, with the walk starting at 10:30 am and post-walk activities continuing until 3 pm. The walk raises money for the SPCA’s animals is a great parade for the kids. There are also several FUN contests for your animals such as best costume, most vocal, best physically challenged and more.

Recommended age: All ages (Dogs must be at least 6 months old.)
Admission: $35 through race day
Location: Fish Plaza in front of the Wortham Theater in downtown Houston
www.SPCAHouston.org 713-869-SPCA (7722)

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bluebonnets & Veggie Tales

It's bluebonnet time in Houston. This past Saturday, my daughter Kylie went with her Grand & PaPa to learn about the bluebonnets. They are in full bloom in Hempstead, too. Kylie loved playing with the flowers and the outdoors.

While Kylie was on a bluebonnet adventure, Mommy & Daddy worked the 2006 Houston Children's Festival in downtown. While we sold plenty of copies of our guidebook 100+ Activities for Houston Kids, a visit with the Veggie Tales was a weekend highlight. (Yes, I have shorts on behind that crazy apron.) If your child loves music, get tickets to the upcoming Veggie Tales concert on April 20 & 21. More details are available at http://www.bigidea.com/events/live/ but ticket prices range from $10.50- $21 each. This is great Christian music set to fun, silly tunes. The characters are full of life and great entertainment.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kids Activity Queen Heads to Houston Children's Fest

As heard on radio stations 89.3 KSBJ and 92.9 Q Morning Zoo!!!

Don't forget about one of the best kids activities in town. The Houston Children's Festival is this weekend, April 1 and 2 from 10:30 am - 6:30 pm. This is so much to do at this event. Music, plays, cartoon characters, hands-on activities, rides, animal shows and more. Don't miss this family-fun opportunity.

Visit the Kids Activity Queen at Booth M302 on McKinney Street across from City Hall to find out about more GREAT activities for kids in Houston. After all, summer is just around the corner & you don't want your little ones bored to tears. Hope to see you at the festival!

Until the next nap time...