Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Houston Zoo suspends"'Free First Tuesdays"

I learned this morning that the Houston Zoo will stop offering its "Free First Tuesdays" promotion -- at least through the end of the summer. There are concerns about heavy traffic outside hospitals in the nearby Texas Medical Center. According to Fox26, "On June 5, more than 12,000 people visited the zoo, causing a massive traffic backup."

Our family headed to the Houston Zoo for Spring Break in March 2011, when it took 45 minutes to park. Little K still talks about how frustrating that wait was. This past Spring Break, the City of Houston and the Zoo worked together to announce plans to accommodate 350,000 visitors during one week.

To me, it seems as if the Zoo should be interested in developing a parking garage in the area  in order to encourage visitors to quickly park and enter the zoo so the Zoo can make more money. The other attractions could also take advantage of the parking garage. Shoot, I would even pay to park if I could do so quickly. I have to do it at the doctor's office. Why not a public attraction that I'd like to support but don't want to wait for. Just my two cents.

What do you think? 

For more fun ideas of things to do with kids in Houston, check out my book focused on this topic. 

Until the next nap time...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Touring the Police Station

Little K is spending an extended weekend with her CiCi (sweet name for her paternal grandmother) in Galveston. CiCi has outdone herself with planning various activities and I'm super impressed. Thursday evening, they unpacked and then headed to the Club for swimming and dinner. I think CiCi may rethink doing this one on her own as it sounds like CiCi got soaked more than she should have.

Today, they ventured to the Galveston Police Department, where CiCi knows some of the officers based on a lot of volunteering she has done. The photos speak for themselves. I can't wait to learn more about this adventure. When I was young, we never did this and I really think it's important to teach kids about the great jobs that police officers do... besides give their parents speeding tickets. Little K even told me this morning that they were going to the police station to take a tour IF there were no robberies that the police had to take care of first. CiCi had explained that the police officers' first job is to keep everyone safe so if something popped up, the officers would need to take care of that first. Little K understood how serious that was. :-)

Hope you enjoy these pics and consider arranging a field trip of your own to your own police station. If they can do it, I think this would make a great school or scout field trip. Respect the badge.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ways to Cool Off in Houston's Summer

My car thermometer said the outside temperature yesterday was 101 degrees in Houston. The temp could be off a bit but not much. The weather is so hot that someone last night compared it to heating up your oven and then putting your face inside. So how do you help your kids enjoy the summer while staying cool? 

Summer with a splash. There are several splash zones around town but the newest is at the Houston Zoo. Free with paid entrance to the zoo, your kids can seek refreshment and laughter in this new splash zone.  The Kathrine McGovern Water Play Park (shown left) is 13,500 square feet of fun with 37 different water play features, from a friendly and colorful sea serpent to a tall ‘fill and spill’ water tree, and a variety of ‘water weavers’, fountains, jets and misters. Shoot! Even I want to try this one out. Now I just have to figure out how to squeeze this into my work schedule. :-) Check out the video so you can see the park and kids in action.  

Of course, there's also Gateway Fountains at Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston. I love to sit to the side, sipping on iced tea, watching Little K and friends frollick in the fountain. It's free and an easy way to escape from the heat. Before or after, kids can also enjoy playing on the John P. McGovern Playground, which is just steps away. 

Regardless of which splash zone you choose, remember to bring a towel, change of clothes and plenty of smiles.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, June 01, 2012

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program in Houston

Keep your kids' minds engaged this summer with the help of Barnes & Noble stores. Kids can read any 8 books over the summer, track their progress in this printable journal and then turn the completed journal into any local Barnes & Noble store to receive a FREE book as a reward. The journal is simple, straight-forward & available in both English and Spanish.

If your child's school has a suggested or required reading list for the summer, those books can double count. Alternatively, Barnes & Noble has recommended books for each school grade level, helping to guide your family on which books to select from the library or book store. I'm actually looking forward to comparing Barnes & Nobles' recommended list for 2nd graders with the list that came home from my daughter's school. We have a whole host of books to choose from.

Take advantage of this cool way to keep those little minds developing yet allow your children to choose their favorite books. It's a win-win, plus reading is a great activity for kids when it's too hot to be outdoors, it's raining or the parents are tied up making dinner or another similar chore. Enjoy!

Until the next nap time...

Summer Art Detectives in Houston

MFAH Summer Art Detectives
Thursdays, June 7–August 9
11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Every Thursday throughout the summer, the MFAH Art Detectives program gives families the chance to investigate a different work of art through various interactive activities and experiences, including art making in the studio or sketching in the gallery!

For each investigation you complete, you´ll earn an art pin and an entry into a drawing for an MFAH Family Level Membership!

Don´t miss our Summer Kick-Off Performance with Mercury - The Orchestra Redefined on Thursday, June 7 at 2 p.m. Listen to captivating music as a family in the gallery.

Find out more about Summer 2012 at the MFAH. Questions? Contact
Until the next nap time...