Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend in Houston

This holiday is not just another good day off from work and school. Discuss the importance of Memorial Day with your family. Ask a veteran family member or friend to explain how he/she served in the military to ensure our freedoms today. You can have fun and still honor those who have protected us in the past as well as those who serve today.

Here are some fun activities to do on Memorial Day weekend in Houston with your kids.

Head to the Houston Heights World War II Memorial. Planned, financed and constructed by Reagan High School alumni, this small memorial is a good visual reminder of the sacrifices others have made to maintain our freedom. There is also a grassy area, where your family can have a picnic and enjoy the holiday.
Recommended age: 1+ years
Admission: FREE
Time: Dawn to dusk
Physical location: intersection of Heights Blvd. and 11th Street

Besides the regular exhibits available, the Children’s Museum of Houston celebrates this holiday with the kids. Children can make their very own flag to take home and will hear a short presentation on the meaning of Memorial Day. Help your child make a Memorial Day flag to give to a veteran in your life.
Recommended age: 3+ years
Admission: $5; Kids under 2 are FREE
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Physical location: 1500 Binz in the Museum District 713-522-1138
How would you rate this?

Enjoy a FREE day at the Houston Zoo! What a fun way to start your summer.
Recommended age: 1+ years
Admission: None today
Physical location: 1513 N. MacGregor 713-533-6500

Monday, May 22, 2006

Adults & Kids Like Amazon Grill

Amazon Grill is a good place to grab a bite to eat when you have little mouths to feed, but want a break from the "Just Kids in Mind" mentality. We tried this restaurant for the first time last night and really liked it. The restaurant is casual so I didn't feel terrible about the food my daughter dropped on the floor. I really liked the relaxed atmosphere and the self-serve salad bar, where you help yourself to plantains, chips, salsa and salad while your meal is being prepared. My fish tacos were delicious and our daughter liked her quesadillas. We were all members of the clean plate club so no complaints on the food.

High chairs are available but no slings for the very little ones. Amazon Grill does have a small kids menu that's very tasty. I wish they had a coloring page or other kids activity though. Plus, my sister entertained my daughter on the patio while the rest of us finished our dinner.

Kid Friendliness: B-
Food Quality: A-

2 Houston locations:
5114 Kirby Drive
Houston, Texas 77098
P: 713-522-5888

Hours of Operation:Mon – Thurs 11am-10pm
Fri 11am-11pm
Sat 9am – 11pm
Sun 9am-9pm

9600 Westheimer (at Woodlake Square)
Houston, Texas 77063
P: 713-933-0980
Hours of Operation:Mon – Thurs 11am-9pm
Fri-Sat 11am-11pm

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Kids Activity Queen on KHOU = Missed Opportunity

So I've gotten a lot of questions about my appearance on Great Day Houston last week. Honestly, it was frustrating.

The producer Marc Isaacs was very helpful. I'll say that. But, the host Whitney Casey confused my book 100+ Activities for Houston Kids with another competing book. For example, Whitney talked about the Cry Baby Matinee, saying that it was recommended by the other book when, in fact, it's recommended by mine. Plus, I was actually on site to talk to Whitney about fun kids activities but the other book's author was not.

Another frustration is that the show asked author Just Jackie to discuss the kids activities. Jackie was on the air talking about activities highlighted in my guidebook, rather than asking me, the author, to discuss them. I've actually been to these activities with kids so I have firsthand knowledge of what Houston families need & want to know. It seems like a missed opportunity for me and for KHOU. The majority of the activities that the show discussed were actually taken directly from my book. (Cry Baby Matinee, Cockrell Butterfly Exhibit, Alley Theatre) Wow! That's frustrating. Better luck next time for us all.

As for the weekend recap: the Strawberry Festival was fun Saturday but it's expensive and far. After a long drive, we found the entry fee had been changed from $8 per person to $10 per person. The student discount was no longer accepted even though the Web site and brochure described it. That left a sour taste in my mouth. The festival had a ton of fun rides. My daughter loved the rubber duck game and the carousel. My sister loved the strawberry shortcake. My husband & I loved the weather. But then, we packed up for the long drive back to central Houston. With gas prices so high, I wish the Strawberry Festival would have lowered its prices.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Houston Families Head to the Ballpark

Sunday is a great day to head to Minute Maid Ballpark with the kids to cheer on the Astros. First, it's a 1 pm game so the kids won't be out late. The Astros are playing the Texas Rangers, so there's the whole Houston vs Dallas competition. (We know which city is best!) Plus, the first 10,000 adults (age 16 and up) get a FREE Astros T-shirt. This is the lone star t-shirt and it's super cool. CHARGE!

Hungry? Head to CHEW CHEW EXPRESS (Sections 133 & 416), which provides smaller meals for younger fans. Squeeze Play is located on the northeast corner of the ballpark at the Right Field Entrance near Section 133. Young fans, accompanied by an adult, can test their speed with an interactive Squeeze Play game or their hitting prowess in the Splatting Cage. To cool off, fans can indulge in delicious slushies at the Minute Maid juice bar. With the availability of picnic tables and several TV screens, this is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy a day at Minute Maid Park. Look at for Junction Jack, the Astros mascot, who loyally attends every game.

Note: Fans age 2 and under may be admitted to Astros games without an admission ticket. However, they must sit in the lap of an accompanying adult. 16 family restrooms are available throughout the ballpark so, yes, Daddy can change the diaper or take the little tikes to the bathroom!

After the game, kids age 5-15 can run the bases on the field. How fun! Help your kiddo play out his/her baseball dreams by rounding those bases. The line begins on the Main Concourse at Section 134 near Minute Maid Squeeze Play. Runners exit the field near the end of the Astros Dugout at Section 127. Parents are welcome to occupy the seats in that area, however, aisles must remain open and uncluttered. Parents and children should communicate with one another prior to the event and coordinate their plans to meet after the children finish running.Parents should use discretion in allowing children 5-8 to take part in the event.Children that cannot find their parents will be directed to a holding area in Section 127. (Thanks to for much of this info.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Strawberry Festival Great for Houston Family

Looking for a fun Houston activity for your family? A great thing to do this weekend is the Strawberry Festival in Pasadena... home of the world's largest strawberry shortcake. Yummy! This event has your typical pony rides, circus activities, arts & crafts, and music. Plus, kids as young as 3 months can participate in the Baby Parade. Show of your kid's smile! See for directions.

In honor of the Strawberry Festival, be sure to check out the recipe (in Wednesday's blog entry) for the Best Breakfast Sundae using strawberries. The audience from KHOU's Great Day Houston show loved it and so will your Houston family.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fruit the Kids Will Love

Interested in the Best Breakfast Sundaes recipe that I'll share with Whitney Casey and the audience of "Great Day Houston" later today?

Best Breakfast Sundae
Serves 4 individuals

· 2 cups Cheerios cereal
· 2 cups of vanilla yogurt
· 4 tablespoons of jelly
· 4 large, sliced strawberries (or fruit of choice)
· 4 whole strawberries (or fruit of choice)
· Sprinkles
· 8 oz. cups or glasses

Choose your desired fruit. Place one tablespoon of (selected fruit) jam in the bottom of one 8 oz. cup. Put ¼ cup Cheerios on top of the jam. Then, add the sliced fruit to just cover the top of the Cheerios. Add ¼ cup of yogurt on top. Cover with another ¼ cup of Cheerios, followed by sliced strawberries and top with remaining yogurt or add a dollop of whipped cream. Add your choice of sprinkles to add extra fun for kids of all ages.

Sponsored by the annual guidebook 100+ Activities for Houston Kids, available at

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kids Activity Queen on "Great Day Houston" Show

Great news! I will be on channel 11's "Great Day Houston" show this Wednesday between 9-10 am, talking about my guidebook, this weekend's Strawberry Festival and cooking a yummy Strawberry Breakfast Sundae that's healthy for moms and kids. Hope everyone will be cheering me on.

School is almost out. What will you do this summer with the kids? Grab Your Copy of "100+ Activities for Houston Kids" by native Houstonian and mom Megan F. Salch.

1 pm – 3 pm
Sunday, May 21
Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt Square
3003 West Holcombe Blvd.
Front door book signing

Monday, May 15, 2006

Contest for Kids at The Health Museum

Hey Parents! Help your kids name a new mascot for your chance to win a$1,000 gift package - including a field trip and lunch for your kids' entire class at The Health Museum!

Mascot Bio
Age: 10
Parents: Johnny & Priscilla Smith
Grandparents: Gramps & Granny Smith
Birthplace: Houston, TX
Occupation: Teaching people about health & fitness
Job Title: Mascot, The Health Museum
Favorite Pastime: Playing all sports, making healthy snacks & exercising

How to Enter the Contest:Visit the Museum's new Web site and look for the apple mascot who points out health tips.Correctly identify three of the five tips, write them down and send them along with your suggested Mascot name to the Houston Chronicle via mail or online at by May 19, 2006.

Three finalists will be selected, one from each of the following agecategories: Pre-K - Grade 2; Grades 3-5; and Grades 6-8. The winner will be announced on June 1 at The Health Museum.

The winner will receive nearly $1,000 in fabulous prizes including:a field trip plus lunch for the winner's entire class for up to 40 children to be taken Fall 2006; a Family 4-pack of tickets to see "It's Nano World"; a Family Membership to the Museum and more!

Get those creative juices flowing and help us name the museum's new mascot! Remember, the contest deadline is May 19, 2006. For contest rules and an official entry form please visit

Friday, May 12, 2006

Gift for Mother's Day Personalized by Kids

I saw a really cool Mother's Day gift this morning that kids can do themselves. The Kroger grocery store located in the Garden Oaks & Oak Forest area is inviting kids to decorate their own sheet cake for their moms. How fun! Hey dads, take your kids to Kroger for some fun on Saturday while Mom gets a little R&R. For $6, you'll have a personalized gift for Mom, too.

Physical location: 1352 WEST 43RD ST, Houston, TX. 77018
Phone: (713) 681-0901

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What's your family's favorite Houston restaurant?

What's your family's favorite eatery? Now through June 16, anyone who emails me a family-friendly restaurant with a letter grade for food quality and a letter grade for kid-friendliness will be entered into a drawing for two free passes to the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink AND a $15 gift certificate to Mission Burritos restaurant. Ready? Here's an example of what to submit:

Mission Burritos 1609 Durham Drive, Houston, TX 77007; 713-426-6652
Kid Friendliness: A
Food Quality: A
Other thoughts?

Just email your family's favorite to

Sign Up for the Kids Activity Queen's Monthly eNewsletter — FREE!

Until the next nap time...

Water, Water Everywhere

Looking for something fun & FREE to do with your kiddos? Head to the Williams Tower & Waterfall this weekend. Well, it's no longer officially called "Williams Tower" but that's what most Houstonians call it. My daughter loved the noise of the rushing water and the feel of the spraying water when she ventured toward the center of the waterfall. This is another great photo opp. There's also a nice grassy area in front of the waterfall for kids to run around on. Bring a snack and just chill out.

Visitor parking is available in the nearby parking garage for only $1. Don't waste your time trying to park at the apartments. Just head for the garage.

2800 Post Oak Blvd. near the Galleria

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Who Says Grocery Shopping Can't Be Fun in Houston?

The weather in Houston is warming up but the fruit and vegetables are ripe at Farmers Market. After enjoying this place as a child, I get just as much delight watching my own daughter stuff juicy strawberries in her mouth.

Use this as an opportunity to teach children how food arrives at the store by speaking with the local merchants. Plants and flowers are also available as well as seasonal items such as piƱatas, pumpkins, etc. This is a stroller-friendly place. Go in the morning before the day heats up. I suggest starting in the outdoor area, where the prices are usually better than in the indoor market. Yummy!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

May Offers Fun for Houston Kids

This time of year, there's so much to do in Houston. If you're looking for fun activities for kids, here are some great ideas for this weekend.

May 6 – 7: Get a sneak peak at some of the wild - wheeled animal -inspired Art Cars that will roll in Everyones Art Car Parade this weekend at the Houston Zoo. The Zoo's address is 1513 N Mc Gregor. The cool penguin mobile home, Ant-CAR-tica, Rancha, the Zebra, the Tiger Jeep, The Roachster and other animal oriented cars will excite the Zoo crowds this weekend. Next week, I'll share more info on the Art Car Parade that will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 1 pm on Allen Parkway. Mark your calendars for my favorite event of the month.

School is almost out. What will you do this summer with the kids? Grab Your Copy of 100+ Activities for Houston Kids by Houston native & mom Megan F. Salch. This guidebook shares OBJECTIVE reviews of tons of fun kids activities. If I didn't think the activity was worthwhile, it's not included in this guide. Trust me. I left plenty crummy activities out. This makes a great Mother's Day gift (note: May 14) for moms and grandmothers in the greater Houston area. Order a copy at, visit a local bookstore or join me at any of the upcoming book fairs in town. I love talking with parents and grandparents about fun things they can do together with their kids. There's no substitute for family time.

10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Saturday, May 6
Barnes & Noble Westheimer & Voss
7626 Westheimer
Book fair

2 pm - 5 pm
Saturday, May 6
Barnes & Noble Town and Country
12850 Memorial Dr.
Book fair

1 pm – 4 pm
Saturday, May 13
Barnes & Noble Westheimer & Voss
7626 Westheimer
Book fair

1 pm – 3 pm
Sunday, May 21
Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt Square
3003 West Holcombe Blvd.
Front door book signing

10 am – 11 am
Thursday, June 1
Barnes & Noble Copperfield
7026 Hwy. 6 N.
Book event with children’s story time

Interested in more kids activities? Subscribe to my f*ree email newsletter Houston Family Fun. Sign up at

Until the next nap time...