Houston Family Magazine February 2020

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february 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 2

SEND YOUR KID TO CAMP 7 reasons why you should


What teens need to know


Managing kids emotions


Creating a party plan




Providing pediatric urgent care for your little star! A beacon of healing, right near you.

Convenient locations across Houston and virtually through, NightLight Connect, our pediatric telemedicine platform.

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features|in this issue 8 10



on the cover

HFM Kid Ambassador Charlotte B. is a Houston transplant and loves being a Texan. She enjoys dance, choir, theatre, singing and being a Girl Scout. This 10 year old aspires to be a photographer. Cover Photo by: CiCi Loo Photography Location: Lone Star Flight Museum houston family magazine


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editor's note


family FYI

What's in store for February

Local Tips and Happenings


Family finds


family travel




father knows best


mind, body & soul




I am Houston-Kids

all the feels

Get camp ready with this gear from REI

Keys to stress-free camping with the kids

Amanda Ducach, CEO of SocialMama Be kind, be awesome and help make the world a better place

Declutter. Organize. Live joyfully

Best Reads from Blue Willow Bookshop Sahana Gade, baking her way to the top on Food Network's Kids Baking Championship

Helping children identify and manage their emotions

dating safety

Everything teens and women need to know to stay safe

Think heart healthy

Those little lies that can ruin your health

Read us on the go! Download our app in the app store or google play.

Send your kids to camp

Here's 7 reasons why you should do it

HFM Kid Ambassador: behind the scenes Photo shoot at the Lone Star Flight Museum

Valentine's day party plan

Tips for a successful Valentine's Day kids party

tooth fairy troubles

10 reasons why she didn't come last night


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the big to-do

Activities for Families

camp directory

read us online at houstonfamilymagazine.com






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5 Houston family magazine

editor's note


Kimberly Davis Guerra kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

online editor Latesa Guerra

calendar editor

Chantal Lemieux calendar@houstonfamilymagazine.com

creative director

Casey Johnson casey@houstonfamilymagazine.com

event director

Mary Sue Kent marysue@houstonfamilymagazine.com

contributing authors


Chantal with Husband Fabio and Children, Oscar and Ruben

etting to the last month of dark winter days, the articles in this year’s February issue will bring light and sparkle to your life with stories that are positive and inspiring with a focus, one way or another, on the most meaningful things in life and the feelings that govern them. Our Father Know’s best feature – Be kind, Be awesome and help make the world a better place and our Family Life featureAll the feels: helping children identify and manage their emotions both reflect on how we approach ourselves, and how we teach our children to face the difficulties life throws at us with mindfulness. Calling all room moms, a Valentine’s Day Party Plan is a ray of sunshine, while Little lies that can ruin your heart health uncovers some hidden truths about staying healthy. Our Book Bites on love and kindness holds a special place in my heart for making me laugh with its list of sweet and funny children’s books. 2020 HFM Kid Ambassador Eshaan Mani takes us behind the scenes at our cover houston family magazine


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photoshoot at the Lone Star Flight Museum. You can check out his article in the issue and see his video interview online and on our social media channels. A big shout out to CiCi Loo Photography for making it a day to remember for our attending HFM Kid Ambassadors. Mark your calendar! Camp Fair kicks off on February 8th, with 4 locations this year to serve you better. Whether you are a seasoned camp mom or dad, or contemplating camp for your child for the first time, we are looking at all things CAMP. Camp fair is the perfect setting to meet camp representatives, ask questions, schedule tours and gather information on sleep away camps and day camps alike. The Camp Directory in this issue is a seamless resource to start your planning. 7 reasons parents should consider sending their child to camp is a heart- felt insight into the camp experience and for many of us it makes us reminisce of days when we were kids. Continuing the camp theme in our travel feature, we speak about camping trip tips, an

initiative aiming to bring more families to the quietest and possibly the most beautiful parts of reconnecting with nature. It may not be your cup of tea, however, trust me; there is no better feeling than gazing at the stars at night or having fun with friends or family at a warm and toasty campfire. Check out our resources, visit our camp directory and camp articles on our website at houstonfamilymagazine.com. We cover Houston’s busy event scene in our Big-To-Do - your city’s guide that treats living in Houston with kids as an incredible adventure; digging up all the extraordinary things our city has to offer for children and families, uncovering activities, parks, places, and culture. Think of HFM as a spoonful of sugar. I hope you will enjoy reading this February issue as much as the Houston Family Magazine team has loved creating it! Spread the word – signing up for our newsletter and joining HFM on social media Enjoy!


Mary Ann Blair Kimberly Blaker Katy M. Clark Kimberly Davis Guerra Sandra Gordon Tanni Haas Elizabeth Irvine Valerie Koehler Eshaan Mani Pam Molnar Jan Pierce Bert Pope

contributing photographers

CiCi Loo Photography Holly Young Photography Casey Ayala Photography

advertising sales Beverly Davis Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty Cherri Seawright

business development Myra Johnson


Gayle Wheeler-LeSueur, Graphic Designer


Midway Press, Ltd Dallas, TX

contact us:

1336 Brittmoore Rd, Houston TX 77043 (P) 713.266.1885 (F) 713.266.1915 www.HoustonFamilyMagazine.com Houston Family is published monthly by Houston Family Magazine, LLC. Houston Family is distributed free of charge, one copy per reader. Only Houston Family authorized distributors may deliver or pick up the magazines. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We cannot be responsible for the return of any submitted material. Houston Family is ©2019 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited.

FA M I LY F Y I | N E W S • E V E N T S • E N T E R TA I N M E N T


Giant Fruit Tree Sale!


argest single-day fruit tree sale in the country – Urban Harvest’s 20th Annual Fruit Tree Sale at Sawyer Yards on February 15th, 9a-1p. Over 4,000 fruit trees will be sold in just a few hours, and the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit’s community programming. From tropical to citrus and berry trees, there will be over 100 varieties available for purchase! As the sale has become more popular, Houstonians have begun to arrive an hour or more prior to the gates opening. Those who make a $250 donation to Urban Harvest by February 5 will receive access to the fruit tree pre-order site and the added benefit of receiving curbside service at the sale. Volunteers are also granted a special pre-order status in return for helping to unload trees and prepare the site for the sale. Volunteer spots are still available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (February 13-15), sign up at www.urbanharvest. org/fruit-tree-sale/ and click on Volunteer to secure your place.

Mother & Son duo open Memorial Area Restaurant


reated for the Memorial community by dedicated residents, Ember & Greens is a full-service restaurant and bar offering modern American fare with international influences. Mother-son duo Nadereh Ahly and Iman Yarjani founded the eatery to bring fresh, delicious food to the neighborhood with a variety of dishes ranging from healthy comfort food to vegetarian and gluten-free options that cater to the area’s evolving taste. Each dish is made-from-scratch with high-quality ingredients, and the restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere where guests can enjoy lunch or dinner. Ember & Greens is located at 9403B Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024, and hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday from 11am-9pm and FridaySaturday from 11am-10pm. For more information, please call 713.465.3333 or visit www.emberandgreens.com.


Calling All

Astros Fans!


estled north of Palm Beach, Fla., and just 43 miles away from FITTEAM Ballpark, the coastal-inspired Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa is offering loyal Houston Astros supporters a special ‘Spring Training and Sandcastles’ travel offer. Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa’s ‘Spring Training & Sandcastles’ special offer features savings up to 20% on best available rates, daily breakfast for two and a welcome amenity including a Hutchinson Shores beach bag, baseball and sharpie to ensure autograph opportunities will never be missed. Astros devotees may book the offer at this using code TRAIN for Spring Training Season stays between Feb. 20 - March 24, 2020. www.hutchinsonshores.com/special-offers/mlbspring-training-special-offer/

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 48th Annual BBP Regatta


oin us for Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race Saturday, March 7! Paddlers, ages 12 and up, are encouraged to participate in this 15-mile race along scenic Buffalo Bayou. Whether you’re entering competitively or paddling for fun, don’t miss out on this Houston tradition in support of BBP. Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) is the non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s most significant natural resource. https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/ BuffaloBayouPartnership/OnlineRegistration.html february 2020

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all the feels:

Helping Children Identify and Manage Their Emotions by Jan Pierce, M.Ed.


e’ve all been there. Your threeyear-old has a melt-down in the middle of the grocery checkout line or you become beyond exasperated when your eldest clobbers your youngest for no apparent reason. Feelings. They push us to our limits. They’re big and

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at times, seem to come out of nowhere. We realize we have difficulty managing our own emotions, so it’s easy to understand when our children have the same problem. Here are some strategies to help your children first identify their feelings, and then learn to manage them in acceptable ways.

NAME THE EMOTIONS It can be difficult for young children to understand what happens when they explode with emotions. They may not have the language to identify their feelings, they only know it’s big and has overcome them. It’s helpful to clearly name feelings as they arise in daily life. You can say, “I see that it makes you angry when your brother knocks down your block tower.” Another strategy is to find a simple feeling chart with visuals to help children when they’re feeling happy, excited, sad, or angry. (Take a look online to find a free printable chart.) Then you can periodically ask, “How are you feeling? Show me on the chart.”

MODEL EXPRESSING YOUR FEELINGS APPROPRIATELY Make it a habit to tell your children how you’re feeling. Model appropriate ways to say you’re upset or frustrated. You might say, “I’m feeling sad that it’s time to go to school and you aren’t ready yet.” Or, “It makes me very happy when you eat all your breakfast.” When everyone has had a bad day, you can own your part in the problem. “Mommy got very frustrated today and became angry. I’m sorry I raised my voice to you. Let’s have a better day tomorrow.” Children will be quick to forgive when you’re honest about your lessthan-perfect day. They’ll learn that managing our emotions is a human problem.

wouldn’t let her go to the ball.” Make it a family practice to show kindness to others and to serve in practical ways. “Let’s take some cookies over to Mrs. Adams. She gets lonely sometimes.” Or model being grateful: “I am so thankful for our home. We have a nice place to live and be a family.” Managing our emotions is a big task and isn’t learned in a day. It takes practice to identify the feelings that are inside and lots of opportunities to make good decisions as we express them in appropriate ways. Parents, you have the chance to make your home and family life a training-ground for raising kind, compassionate children who care about others and who can own their feelings in positive ways. You can help your kids with “all the feels.” Jan Pierce, M.Ed. taught elementary school for over thirty years. She is the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find Jan at www.janpierce.net.

REPLAY A SITUATION Sometimes it helps to replay a situation that went wrong to untangle and name the emotions involved. For instance, “It was time to brush teeth, but you didn’t come when I asked you to. Then we both lost our tempers.” Or, When Julie took your toy you became angry and you hit her. In our house we don’t hit, so what else could you have done?” You can also take the opportunity to play back a situation you’ve observed when out in public. You might say, “Did you see what happened when that little boy cried at the park today? He wanted a turn on the slide, but the bigger boy wouldn’t let him. How do you think the little boy was feeling?” At that point you may have to help your child identify feelings such as angry, frustrated or scared. Then you can ask, “What could that little boy

have done besides cry? Could he have asked a grown-up for help? Waited longer for a turn? Gone to play on another piece of equipment?” USE SIMPLE CUES

ongoing frustration that needs to be addressed? “You’re feeling like your older brother gets all the fun activities. What can we plan especially for you?”

Some parents find that using simple cues such as “Take a breath,” or “Slow down,” help a child to self-manage strong emotions. This may take some role-playing to master before the child is able to actually apply the strategy in the midst of a tough situation.

Wise parents create teachable moments throughout the day. They notice behaviors and give praise when good things happen. They verbalize their own feelings to help their children understand the wide range of feelings that we humans experience. They might say, “Wow, you really showed a lot of patience with Robby today when he said mean words.” Or, “I’m so excited that you have your ball game after school. I can’t wait to watch you play.” You can also use read-aloud times to notice the emotions shown by characters in your favorite books. “Hmm, I wonder how Cinderella was feeling when the step-sisters

Your child may learn to take a self-imposed time out to gain composure and cope with a challenging situation. A soothing activity such as water play can help to de-stress and become calm again. Ultimately you want to understand what caused any given emotion. What is your child feeling and what does he need? Is she overtired and merely needs a nap or is there an


MINDFUL KIDS This series of easy exercises serves as an introduction into mindfulness to teach little ones how to unlock their own sense of stillness and wonder in the present moment. Designed to empower young kids with basic techniques like awareness, breathing, meditation, gratitude, and stretching, we hope to embolden their inherent capacity for calm, confidence, and joy available to them at all times. This collection serves as a great addition to your kids’ morning rituals or bedtime routines. $20 • littlerenegades.com february 2020

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dating safety

what teens and women need to know, and when to call it quits


by Kimberly Blaker

n the United States, one in four teen girls has been physically or sexually abused by someone she’s dated, reveals the global movement for good, DoSomething. org. More staggering, one in three women will be physically abused by an intimate partner during her life, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. What’s especially concerning, a 2019 report, “Gender Differences in Patterns and Trends in US Homicide, 19762017,” found domestic violence is rising. The number of women killed each day in the US by an intimate partner has increased from 3 to nearly 4 just since 2014. So odds are you, your daughter, or many friends, family members, and co-workers have been or will be abused by a date or intimate partner. Before being in an abusive relationship, nearly all girls and women insist they’d never allow a guy to mistreat them this way. Nonetheless, many still find themselves caught up in an endless cycle of abuse that worsens over time. By that point, it becomes difficult and even dangerous to try to break free. The problem is that most abusive relationships don’t start out that way. That’s how so many women find themselves in these situations. Abuse is often gradual and subtle. More often, it starts as verbal or subtler yet, emotional abuse that involves manipulation, passive-aggressive behaviors, and other covertly abusive patterns. As a result, even strong and independent women can find themselves at the mercy of an abusive boyfriend or spouse.

So, there are several keys to protecting yourself. Know the early signs to look for, what constitutes abuse, and how to walk away from a potentially dangerous or abusive relationship. EARLY WARNING SIGNS In nearly all abusive relationships, there are early warning signs. Some signs may be visible, while many others fly just below the radar. So pay close attention from the very start, and be on alert for the following red flags. CHARM. Abusive men are often very charming. They quickly seduce you by lavishing you with praise and adoration from the outset. They may even profess their love very early on. With all the positive attention and affection, you’ll feel on top of the world – and that’s an abusive man’s game. A Don Juan will hook you and reel you in before throwing his first punch (figuratively and literally). After you’re wrapped around his finger is when the abuse usually begins. ISOLATION. Abusive men also want to isolate you to increase your dependence on them. They’ll find fault with all your family and friends and reasons why you shouldn’t be spending time with them. These men tend to be clingy, leaving you little freedom to maintain relationships with others. As you lose your network of support, you become increasingly dependent.

NARCISSISM. Often, abusers are narcissistic and feel they’re superior to others. They may covertly insinuate they’re superior to you, that is if they don’t say it outright. But in the beginning, it may be more evident in the way he treats others, particularly women. Abusive guys often belittle people and commonly are exceptionally rude to or critical of waitstaff, particularly if they’re female. LACKS EMPATHY. If the man you’re dating lacks empathy for you or others, this is an enormous tell-tale sign to run the other way. Narcissists are the most dangerous type of men to be involved with from an emotional standpoint. Not to mention, they’re often capable of domestic violence. POWER PLAY. Once an abuser is confident you’re hooked on him, he may run hot and cold in a flash. If you say or do anything that doesn’t please him, he’ll freeze you out. Then, as soon as you come around to his side, you’ll once again be the best thing that ever happened to him. CONTROLLING. Another red flag is if a guy monitors every aspect of your life. It’s true, in a good relationship, you should be open and honest with each other and not keep secrets. Still, if he often badgers you with questions about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and who you’ve seen, take this as a big warning sign. Does he insist on reading all of your text messages, emails, or social media messaging? If so, that’s a huge red flag.

With all the positive attention and affection, you’ll feel on top of the world – and that’s an abusive man’s game.

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PICKS FIGHTS. Picking fights is another common behavior. If the arguments seem to be for no rhyme or reason, odds are he’s testing you. Abusers don’t necessarily go from being the best boyfriend to batterer overnight. They often begin with small fights and more covert behaviors or minor acts of aggression and gradually intensify these to bigger feuds and more severe actions. As soon as you see any red flags, especially if you’ve seen multiple instances of a particular flag or more than one, it’s time to split. Abusers have an uncanny ability to manipulate women. So it isn’t worth the risk to wait and see if more red flags pop up. By then, you’ll likely be in way over your head.

relationship. When a boyfriend acts violently toward you, whether he merely shoves you or does something more violent, it’s abuse. Such actions show he lacks control of his behavior, doesn’t respect you, or both. Whatever the case, once a guy acts violently toward a woman, it’s sure to get worse. There are many other indicators of an abusive relationship, as well. Emotional and verbal abuse can be as destructive as physical abuse and are often a precursor to it. Maybe you’re currently with a man who’s emotionally or verbally abusive. If he calls you names that are demeaning or hurt your feelings, that’s verbal abuse. Yelling and screaming at you or threatening you are also forms of verbal abuse. Emotional abuse can include verbally abusive behaviors because words can cause psychological harm. But emotional abuse often comprises more covert acts as well. For example, your partner may use various means to manipulate you or make you feel guilty so he can get his way. He might say something hurtful but then claim he was joking. Of course, joking around isn’t always abuse. If it doesn’t bother you, or if he stops once you bring it to his attention, it likely isn’t abuse. But if he continues to joke at your expense despite knowing how you feel, then it’s abuse. There are numerous ways emotional abuse can occur. If your boyfriend tries to control you, belittles, discounts, or continually opposes you, or often denies something he said,

Emotional and verbal abuse can be as destructive as physical abuse and are often a precursor to it.

SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP So what are the signs of an abusive relationship? And what if you missed or didn’t heed the early warning signs and now you’re enmeshed? A good starting point to determine whether you’re in an abusive relationship is understanding what’s healthy versus unhealthy behavior during a disagreement. Conflicts inevitably happen in all relationships, even healthy ones. But there are healthy and unhealthy ways to argue. Name-calling, yelling, fault finding, pushing your buttons, threatening, destroying your property, or acting violently toward you are all unhealthy and a form of abuse. If your boyfriend or spouse does any of these during an argument, it’s indicative of an abusive houston family magazine


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these are all forms of abuse. Often, emotional or verbal abuse are the first signs that a relationship may turn physically abusive. But emotional or verbal abuse alone can be as destructive as physical violence. Whatever the form of abuse, you need to get out of the relationship for your physical and emotional well-being. CONSEQUENCES OF REMAINING IN AN ABUSIVE OR VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP Regardless of the form of abuse, there are many negative consequences of being in such a relationship. First, victims of abuse often experience the loss of relationships with family and friends and become isolated. Abusive relationships also break down a girl’s or woman’s sense of autonomy and self-esteem. Because abusers often tell their girlfriends or wives that they’re crazy, women often lose their ability to trust their judgment and perception of reality. Of course, there’s also the physical abuse that may occur. When it does, the frequency and severity worsen over time. Ultimately, many women become emotionally trapped in a physically abusive relationship or come to fear the violent repercussions that’ll result if they leave. So instead, women spend years enduring terror and violence – that too often turns deadly. HOW TO GET OUT AND WHERE TO GO FOR HELP Prevention is the first step to protecting yourself. So pay attention to early warning signs, and don’t brush them off. As soon as a red flag pops up, find the nearest exit and never look back. Don’t allow him to explain himself. Destructive and abusive men are great at rationalizing their behavior and gaining women’s sympathy. He’ll try to woo you into giving him another chance. So cut off all ties, and remember, you don’t owe him anything. You only owe it to yourself to protect

yourself from harm. But what if you’re in an abusive relationship and don’t know how to get out? First, talk to family and friends and ask for their help and support. But realize, abuse victims often flip-flop then try to rationalize the ill behavior of their abuser. If you do, concerned family and friends will try to set you straight. Keep in mind that as bystanders, they may be in a better position to judge the seriousness of the situation because they aren’t emotionally attached to the abuser. If family and friends tell you it’s in your best interest to leave, trust their judgment. Also, most communities have shelters for battered women. These usually provide food and shelter as well as assistance in finding work and affordable housing and childcare. The Houston Area Women’s Center has a 120-bed shelter as well as a residential facility for families and individuals fleeing from abuse. It also offers a host of programs and resources to battered women and their children. In all areas of the city, state, and country, you can also call the business line of your local police department, explain your situation, and ask for help. They should be able to put you in touch with a local domestic violence organization. Police can also come to your home and stand guard while you get your personal belongings out. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can also provide assistance. Call 1-800799-7233 (SAFE), and they should be able to direct you to help in your area. You can also call the Houston Area Women’s Center Domestic Violence Hotline: 713-528-3625 or 800-256-055 or Sexual Assault Hotline: 713528-RAPE or 800-256-0661 Finally, if your situation is an emergency, call 911. Kimberly Blaker is a freelance lifestyle and parenting writer. She’s also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an internet marketing agency, at kbcreativedigital.com

Family Lifestyle Photography families 路 babies 路 Children 路 couples 路 love

www.rorphoto.com //


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little lies that can ruin your heart health by Sandra Gordon


s it so bad to have a second piece of cake or to skip a week of exercising when you feel overwhelmed by work, kids, life? The experts say no, as long as you don’t convince yourself it’s always okay. “We all need an occasional break from being ‘good,’ says psychologist Carol Kauffman, Ph.D. But if rationalizing that you can be “bad” here and there becomes a pattern, it can sabotage all your stay-well efforts. Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. To

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defy denial and keep your ticker on track for the long run, we’ve dissected five common heart health self-deceptions. YOU TELL YOURSELF:

My “bad” cholesterol is high, but I don’t have to worry because my “good” cholesterol is high, too.

Reality Check: “A really high LDL (bad) cholesterol reading can outweigh the benefits of high HDL (good) cholesterol,”

says cardiovascular researcher Christie Mitchell Ballantyne, M.D. LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 and HDL cholesterol should be 60 or higher--preferably in the 80s. “The further you are from that optimal LDL level, the less likely a high HDL will protect you,” Dr. Ballantyne says. To lower LDL cholesterol, eat lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nonfat dairy and lean protein. One study found that adding plant foods (salad, vegetables, beans) to a low-saturated fat diet lowered LDL more than simply cutting saturated fat alone. And don’t cut out all fats: Eliminating unsaturated fats can cause both good and bad cholesterol to drop. Aim to get about 20 to 25 percent of your calories from unsaturated fats like olive and canola oil and less than 5 to 6 percent from saturated fat, which is found in animal products like meat and dairy.


I don’t have to work out— chasing my kids around is enough.

Reality Check: If you spend an hour or so a day running after your kids, you are getting some heart health benefits—a modest calorie burn, an immunesystem boost and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But it’s the more intense, sustained movement lasting 30 minutes or more that provides the maximum health and weight-loss benefits, says Heather Fink, R.D. The Solution: Transform kid duty into exercise. If you typically stroll in the park with your 2-year-old, for example, pick up the pace and try to log in 30 minutes. And while your child naps or plays, strengthtrain at home. Build a workout around push-ups, lunges, walking lunges, squats (sitting in a chair then standing up), calf

raises (going up and down on your toes when you’re standing on a stair) and tricep dips. “Try to do 8 to 12 reps and two sets of each exercise,” Fink says. You can also use easy at-home equipment such as resistance bands and hand weights. YOU TELL YOURSELF:

I can have two glasses of red wine—research shows it’s heart healthy.

Reality Check: One drink a day can slightly reduce your chances of heart disease. But make that two glasses daily and your breast cancer risk can rise 25 percent. Your odds of ovarian and esophageal cancer go up as well, according to the National Cancer Institute. Plus, one study found that women who had two to four drinks a day took in nearly 30 percent more calories overall than nondrinkers. Keep tabs on how much you’re pouring: Experts consider four ounces to equal one serving—about one-fourth to one-half of a big goblet. To get more mileage out of one judicious glass, “drink it when it really matters to you,” says psychologist Robert Rhode, Ph.D. “Decide whether you prefer it as an aperitif or if you’d savor it more with your dinner.” YOU TELL YOURSELF:

I can get by on five hours a sleep a night.

Reality Check: Skimping on shut-eye is okay every once in a while, but getting fewer than seven hours a night regularly will make you moody, irritable and less productive. “Sleep debt makes multitasking and the ability to focus more difficult,” says Clete A. Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Stanford University Center for Human Sleep Research in Palo Alto, California. The heart health consequences are pretty steep too. Getting less than seven hours of sleep each night can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which is one

of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. Moreover, being a sleep underachiever can lead to weight gain. People who typically get five hours a night also have 15 percent higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that can stimulate appetite, than those who get eight hours, according to researchers at the University of Bristol in the U.K. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing blood pressure, LDL (“the bad”) cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Excess weight also makes your heart work harder to send blood to all the cells in your body. If you feel like nodding off whenever you’ve got quiet time—a train ride or a long movie—you need more zzzzs. To get more sleep, try to go to bed earlier, such as 9:30 PM. If that’s not possible, try to grab an afternoon nap whenever you can. YOU TELL YOURSELF:

I’m not overweight, I’m just big-boned.

Reality Check: We know it’s hard to hear, but if your bodymass index (BMI)—a measure of fat based on height and weight is 25 or higher, you may need to lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight, says Dr. Ballantyne. Unfortunately, bone mass can constitute only 4 to 7 percent of your total weight—about 6 to 10 pounds if you weigh 150—and that’s considered too small to affect BMI. Calculate your BMI at https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/educational/lose_wt/ BMI/bmicalc.htm, the web site for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Read more tips on health & wellness online houstonfamilymagaine.com

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plan your 2020

MEMORIAL CITY MALL Saturday, February 8 10am - 4pm THE WOODLANDS MALL Sunday, February 9 Noon - 5pm RICE UNIVERSITY Saturday, February 15 Noon - 5pm SUGAR LAND TOWN SQUARE Sunday, February 16 Noon - 5pm

summer in a day


Meet with dozens of camp representatives to find the perfect summer program for your child! Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight. You’ll find them all at Camp Fair 2020!

Learn More: houstonfamilymagazine.com

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Meet with dozens of camp representatives to find the perfect summer program for your child! Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight. You’ll find them all at our 25th Annual Camp Fair!


Win A Free Week of Camp at YMCA Camp Cullen

R.S.V.P. TO BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED IN OUR DRAWING. Register to attend Camp Fair at www.houstonfamilymagazine.com

VENDORS • Athlete Training & Health • Building Brains Lego Educational Program • Camp Champions • Camp Invention • Camp Lantern Creek • Camp Olympia • Camp Quillian • Camppedia • Christian Youth Theater Houston • Club SciKidz Houston • Codeverse • Companion Camp • Elite University • Girl Scouts of San Jacinto • Health Museum • HelloFresh

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Ice at the Galleria ID Tech Language Kids Legacy Community Services Lone Star Flight Museum Mo-Ranch Summer Camp National Youth Theater Play-Well TEKnologies Rainard Gifted School Renewal By Anderson of Houston Rice ELITE Camp Salle Mauro Fencing Academy Sherwood Forest Faire Snapology

• Stars Gymnastics Star Daze • Summer ASAP from Westbury Christian • Summer Camp @HMNS • The Little Gym • Topgolf USA Granite Park • Topgolf USA Spring • YMCA Greater Houston • YMCA Camp Twin Lakes • Yorkshire Academy • And Many More!!

Visit HoustonFamilyMagazine.com for up to the minute updates prior to and after the events or call us at 713.266.1885. february 2020

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY

7 reasons parents should consider sending their child to camp by Sandra Gordon


ith summer calendars quickly filling up, it can be hard to try and squeeze in one more thing. But if you have never sent your kids to a summer camp, here are seven reasons why you should consider it!

WITH SO MANY OPTIONS, IT’S EASY TO FIND A GREAT FIT FOR YOUR CHILD. From sports camps and art camps to STEM-based camps and more traditional overnight options, summer camps are designed to serve a variety of ages and interests. The length of camp can range from a few mornings for younger kiddos to weeklong sleep-away camps for older kids. Local churches, school districts, houston family magazine


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and other organizations like the YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire, and 4-H offer a wide range of camps. With a little bit of research, you can easily find a camp wellsuited for your child.

CAMPS PROVIDE KIDS WITH EXPERIENCES THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE ACCESS TO IN “EVERYDAY” LIFE. Horseback riding. Paddling a canoe across the lake. Wilderness survival. Conquering a ropes course. Sleeping under the stars. Adventures are endless at camp, and your child will have an opportunity to try something brand new. For the youngest campers, trying a new craft activity or learning a new camp song can be so much fun!

CAMPS ARE A SAFE PLACE TO PRACTICE SOCIAL SKILLS. It might be awkward or uncomfortable for your child during those first few hours of camp when they don’t know a single soul. After all, stepping into a new social environment can be challenging. But the ability to comfortably communicate with new people is a life skill that all kids need, and a camp is a great place to practice! Camps also provide kids an opportunity to form friendships with a whole new group of peers they might never have met otherwise.

CAMPS GIVE KIDS A MUCHNEEDED TECHNOLOGY BREAK. No matter how old your child is, they could probably benefit from a screen hiatus, especially during the summer months. Spending time outdoors, learning a new skill, having fun, and forming new friendships is good for the body and soul!

SENDING KIDS TO CAMP IS BENEFICIAL FOR YOU, TOO. Driving away from your child(ren) on the first day might be a little gut-wrenching. But entrusting your kids to someone else for a while can be truly beneficial. Maybe it will free up time for some overdue self-care, or give you and your partner time to reconnect. Maybe it will provide an opportunity to hit the reset button with your

tween or teen. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder! Parenting is tough work, so don’t feel guilty if you enjoy this time to yourself. Chances are, your kids are having a blast without you!

YOUR CHILD’S EXPERIENCE AS A CAMPER COULD HELP LAND A SUMMER JOB IN THE FUTURE. Camps are staffed by amazing counselors who provide kids with all kinds of good, clean fun. Most of these counselors were campers once, too. Now they get to help a new set of youngsters make unforgettable summer memories, all while sharpening their own teamwork and leadership skills. Your child might have that same opportunity one day. What great way to spend a summer!

CAMP IS JUST PLAIN FUN. So many adults have fond memories from their days spent at camp, and kids who have been to camp often say it’s a favorite part of their summer. Odds are, your kids are going to love it! And for that reason alone, it’s worth sending them to camp. Mary Ann Blair is a mom of two boisterous boys. Besides chronicling her adventures in motherhood at maryannblair.com, she loves the outdoors, reading, and all things crafty.

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N


Alley Theatre



713.315.5441 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Alliance Fencing Academy



713.410.6655 Houston & Conroe, TX

AGES: 5-14

Bayou Bend Summer History Camp


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Art, Half-day

713.639.7759 Houston, TX

AGES: 9-11 & 11-13

Building Brains


TYPE OF CAMP: Full Day, Half-Day

888.55.BUILD 10 Locations in Houston

AGES: 3-12

Camp Allen


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

936.825.7175 Navasota, TX

AGES: 6-17

Camp Champions


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

830.598.2571 Marble Falls, TX

AGES: 5-17

Alley Play Makers camp allows your child to learn theatre skills, have fun in a diverse environment, make new friends, and discover ways to shine on and off the stage.

Alliance Fencing Academy’s summer and winter fencing camps are an opportunity for your child to have fun exploring one of the original and foundational sports of the modern Olympic games while picking up technical and competitive skills that will last them a lifetime.

Bayou Bend Summer History Camp, where 21st-century kids become blacksmiths, write with quill pens, make candles, play colonial games, and more!

LEGO I: campers will learn math and science by building simple machines with lego and K’Nex. Fun themes like circus fun, and transportation. LEGO II: campers will learn to build simple machines using gears, levers and pulleys and then motorize.

Camp Allen provides a fun & unique environment for young people to cultivate friendships, experience personal growth, and learn about the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

Camp Champions has created a tradition of excellence since 1967. With the facility and staff expected from a premier camp, Champions is distinguished by its developmental focus on building strong kids.

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19 Houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Camp Invention


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

800.968.4332 Multiple Locations

AGES: Grades K-6

Camp Lantern Creek


TYPE OF CAMP: All Girl, Overnight

936.597.8225 Montgomery, Texas

AGES: 7-17

Camp Olympia


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

936.594.2541 Trinity, TX

AGES: 6-16


www.camppedia.com 646.421.4941 Houston, TX

Christian Youth Theater Houston

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Adventure, Art/ Theatre, Half-day, Sports, Technology AGES: 4-17



281.580.4298 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Camp InventionÂŽ is the nationally acclaimed, nonprofit summer enrichment program created by the National Inventors Hall of FameÂŽ (NIHF) for kindergarteners through 6th graders.

Camp Lantern Creek is a girls sleep away camp created so girls can find their voices, try new things, take risks, be cheered on, push boundaries and so much more.

Camp Olympia is a private, overnight Texas Summer Camp for boys & girls ages 6-16 that offers one, two and three-week sessions with over 45 different activities choices for campers.

Find camps the easy way! Camppedia makes it easy for parents to find hundreds of spring & summer day camps for kids ages 4-17. Parents can customize their search by location, hours, and activities all on one single platform.

Christian Youth Theater Houston is an after-school theater arts training program for kids aged 5-18.


Sign your child up for a premier summer overnight camp experience at YMCA Camp Cullen. From water sports and zip lining to horseback riding and science experiments, a summer with us is sure to make it their BEST one yet!

Register today at YMCACampCullen.org!

Located along the shores of Lake Livingston, just north of Houston Ages 5-17 Week-long summer sessions & school year family camp

YMCA Mission: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Everyone is welcome. houston family magazine


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C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N Club SciKidz Houston

http://houston.clubscikidz.com 713.376.5939 4 Locations in the Greater Houston Area


TYPE OF CAMP: Technology, Academic, Half-Day AGES: 4-15


TYPE OF CAMP:Â Technology, Academic

832.862.8878 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-13

Elite University Summer Camps www.elitesummercamps.com


855.931.2586 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-12

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council www.gssjc.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

713.292.0300 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Houston Humane Society www.houstonhumane.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Adventure, Academic

713.433.6421 Houston, TX

AGES: 7-13


Our Summer Camp season will offer up to 42 summer day camp themes (S.T.E.M-based courses). From Robotics to Rocket Science, and even Mobile Game Design, we certainly have something for everyone!

The ultimate summer coding camp for kids! Week-long day camps where kids learn the fundamentals of technology in a fun and collaborative environment. Equipped with a robust curriculum and advanced technology, kids learn to code to bring their ideas to life.

Elite University Summer Camps is proud to celebrate 15 years of innovative, interactive, educational camps! EUSC provides camps from the following departments: STEM, Athletics, Visual and Culinary Arts, and Performing Arts. Each weekly camp offers a fun field trip, before/after care, and a full day of activities.

Girl Scouts is the world’s preeminent organization for girls in grades K-12.

Companion Camp at Houston Humane Society is a day camp for kids ages 7-13 to learn about animals, animal welfare, and the work that goes into running a shelter and wellness clinic. Campers will experience a newfound love for animals, how to be an animal advocate and the science of caring for animals. Junior Camp Counselor positions open for ages 14-18. Weekly sessions June 1 - August 14. Teen weeks (ages 12-15) weeks of June 22 and July 20.

Where dinos emerge from clay and physics is as easy as blowing bubbles

Enrollment begins

February 13, 2020

www.hmns.org february 2020

21 Houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Houston SPCA


TYPE OF CAMP: Adventure, Academic

713.869.7722 Houston, TX

AGES: 3rd-10th grade

iD Tech

www.iDTech.com 888.709.8324 Held at 150 Prestigious Campus Locations

Kanakuk Kamps

TYPE OF CAMP: STEM Education AGES: 7-19


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

417. 266.3000 Branson, Missouri

AGES: 6-18

Language Kids World www.languagekids.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

281.565.1388 Greater Houston Area

AGES: 3-5 & 6-10

Lone Star Flight Museum www.lonestarflight.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Technology

346.708.2517 Houston, TX

AGES: 11-14

The Houston SPCA is one of the leading animal rescue and protection organizations in the country with companion animals, small pets, horses and farm animals, native wildlife and exotics - all on one campus.

iD Tech is the world leader in STEM education, with 450,000 alumni and over 20 years of experience. Summer programs for ages 7-19 are held at 150 prestigious campuses including NYU, Caltech, and Imperial College London. Students build in-demand skills for futures in coding, game development, robotics, and creative arts. Visit iDTech.com.

Kanakuk is a premier summer camp experience for boys and girls with locations in Branson and Lampe, Missouri. Its 5 overnight camps provide children and teens with fun, safe and age-appropriate outdoor camping experiences that develop them spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. Sessions run from May 30 to Aug. 7 with 1, 2 and 4-week options.

Learning another language has never been so much fun! Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French & English immersion summer camps. Fun and innovative. Multiple locations.

A dynamic and interactive educational flight museum reaching the youth of Texas as a recognized experience of choice.


Gymnastics • Archery • Horseback Riding Culinary Arts • Medical Science • Creative Drama Karate • Robotics • Mixed Media Art Aerospace Engineering • Music Lessons • Fencing

June 1, 2020-August 21, 2020 Monday-Friday 7am-6pm Ages: PK 4-12

Find a location and save today at

invent.org/save 1,800+ locations nationwide!

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MEDICAL CENTER LOCATION! Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church 6221 Main Street • Houston, Texas 77030

www.elitesummercamps.com • 1.855.931.2586

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N Main Street Theater


TYPE OF CAMP: Theater, Half-day

713.524.7998 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-18

Mo-Ranch Summer Camp


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight, Adventure

830.238.4455 ext 266 Hunt, TX

AGES: 8-15

National Basketball Academy https://tnbabasketball.com


832.392.0749 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-18

National Youth Theater



832.510.7794 Shenandoah, TX

AGES: 6-12

Play-Well TEKnologies www.play-well.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

602.317.7448 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-12

Our 2020 Summer Camp: Engage! runs all summer long and takes place at 4 locations: Rice Village, Museum District, Bellaire, and Midtown. Students create an original play and dance piece!

Our camp is a premier co-ed residential Christian summer camp located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country along the beautiful Guadalupe River.

The National Basketball Academy and the Houston Rockets are proud to present the official Rockets Youth Basketball Program! Find camps, clinics, and training programs near you.

National Youth Theater (NYT) offers students the opportunity to gain vocal, dance, speech, and acting skills through all of our programs including theater classes, Broadway-style musicals, summer productions, and summer theater camps.

We offer Lego Engineering Summer Camps throughout Houston!

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Snapology of Cypress-Woodland www.snapology.com/cypress

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

832.777.SNAP (7627) Cypress, TX

AGES: 4-14

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp

www.sherwoodforestsummercamp.com 210.464.1867 McDade, TX

Stars Gymnastics

TYPE OF CAMP: Art/Theater, Adventure, Overnight AGES: 7-16



713.464.1996 Houston & Katy, TX

AGES: 4-12

St. Luke’s After School and All Day Camps https://stlukesallday.org 713.402.5075 Houston, TX

Summer ASAP! Camp at Westbury Christian School

www.westburychristian.org/summerprograms 713.551.8100 Houston, TX

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp AGES: 6-13

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Art/Theatre, Sports, Technology, VBS AGES: 3-10

IT’S WILD IT’S BLUE IT’S YONDER EXPERIENCE THE LONE STAR FLIGHT MUSEUM! • Historic Warbirds • Flight Simulators • Museum Exhibits • Texas Aviation Hall of Fame • Warbird Rides

20 minutes from downtown Houston

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Snapology provides interactive, STEM/STEAM programs for children featuring technology and/or popular building toys. Snapology engages children ages 1-14 using LEGO® bricks, K’Nex and technology. While the kids are having fun with familiar toys, laptops and iPads, we sneak in the learning. Shh, don’t tell them it’s educational!

Sherwood Forest Campers will experience many of the skills and trades of the Medieval era, which means making things with their own hands not drawing a picture on your screen with their fingers!

Stars Gymnastics offers a fun and safe environment for girls and boys ages 4 - 12 to spend an active day learning gymnastics and participating in group games and activities. Note: Stars is not a licensed childcare facility. We are a sports training facility.

Summer Camp is for children entering grades 1-6 in the Fall. Each session campers participate in many different activities including: arts and crafts, swimming daily (pool on site), games, science, cooking/nutrition, talent show, and gym activities.

Summer ASAP! at Westbury Christian School is for ages 3-10. This camp includes VBS, Sports, STEM, Time Travel & Art. Join us for a Christ-centered, high energy summer of fun!

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N Summer Camps at HMNS


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Technology

713.639.4651 Houston, TX & Sugar Land, TX

AGES: 6-12

Summer Incitement at Rainard www.rainard.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

713.647.7246 Houston, TX

AGES: 3.5 - 12

The Grand 1894 Opera House www.thegrand.com/summer-theatre-camp

TYPE OF CAMP: Arts & Theater

409.765.1894 Galveston, TX

AGES: 7-16

Texas A&M Sea Camp www.tamug.edu/seacamp

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Overnight

409.740.4525 Galveston, TX

AGES: 6-18

The ARTZ: Aerial Circus Endeavor (ACE) Summer Camp www.theartz8.com 281.972.9147 Houston, TX

TYPE OF CAMP: Full-day, Fitness AGES: 5-15

From robots and rocket science to mummies and spying, students can participate in a variety of week-long camps at the Houston Museum of Natural Science!

Each summer we look forward to opening our campus and sharing the Rainard experience with all gifted children, ages 3.5-12, in the Houston area. We use critical thinking and problem solving to encourage the complex and higher-level thinking on which gifted children thrive.

In partnership with Missoula Children’s Theatre, The Grand presents our annual Theatre Camp! Camp dates are July 20-24th. Camp culminates in a performance of MCT’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Hands on marine adventure camps at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Marine biology, marine science, oceanography and more!

Enjoy our full-day adventure so awesome that the little ones won’t want to leave. Kids will learn Fabric, Trapeze, Lyra, and hammock at our camp. Dates: June 1st- August 28th

March 16 - 20

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25 Houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY The Health Museum


TYPE OF CAMP: Spring Break Camp

713.521.1515 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-13

The Little Gym Summer Time Camps



11 Houston Area Locations

AGES: 3-12

Topgolf Houston-Katy



832.610.2030 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-12

YMCA Camp Cullen


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight, Adventure

936.594.2274 Trinity, TX

AGES: 5-17

YMCA Camp Twin Lakes


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

512.250.9622 option 6 Cedar Park, TX

AGES: 7-16

Spark your child’s curiosity at our Discovery Camps— designed to give kids the opportunity to have intelligent fun, make friends, and make the most out of their spring, summer and winter break!

Our Super Kid’s Quest Camps (3-8 years) combine physical activity, gymnastics, and games with arts, crafts, and special LEGO®. building! Our Skill Thrill Camps (6-12 years) focus on learning specific skills while reviewing and practicing all-around gymnastic skills. contact the location near you for details on camp days, times & cost.

Topgolf’s Spring Academy Registration is OPEN!

Nestled among the tall pines along the shores of Lake Livingston lies one of Texas’s premier camps. Campers take part in choice-based activities in a safe, fun and supportive environment.

YMCA Camp Twin Lakes-overnight camp minutes north of Austin. We provide a safe, supportive, and fun environment for campers to explore, play and make lifelong friends— all in the great outdoors.


s Package m o fr e g n Ra 30 $200-$3 5 EST $2


at the


• Basic, Classic, Ultimate or Frozen Party • 10 guests, party invitations & favors! • Private Room/Area • Admission & Skate Rental • and much more! FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: kaia.bowman@iceatthegalleria.com

Sharing His Vision. Teaching His Values.

Contact the Admissions Office Today admissions@stannecs.org or 713.526.3279


Create Your Own Play at MST! Ages 4 - 14 + Summer Shakespeare for Ages 12 - 18

MainStreetTheater.com houston family magazine


february 2020

4 locations across Houston!

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N


March 16–20

Camps available for grades K–12!




Official Airline of Alley Theatre

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ADVENTURE The Downtown Aquarium mixes family fun, exquisite dining & spectacular marine life!

Join the fun at Girl Scout camp! Two overnight camps near Conroe and one in Seabrook. Plus a day camp near Greenway Plaza.

Aquarium Adventure Exhibit • Carousel Train • Aquarium Restaurant Education Programs • Special Events Dive Lounge • Stingray Reef

410 Bagby (at Memorial) 713.223.FISH downtownaquarium.com

P CAME LIFe best is thlife

Weekly sessions starting June 14 for overnight camp and June 8 for day camp.

Sign up at gssjc.org/summercamp 713-292-0300

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FA M I LY F I N D S | T H E G O O D S T U F F REI Co-op Active Pursuits Jacket - Men’s $89.95 • rei.com

get p m a c y d a e r REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket Women’s $159 • rei.com

in wa ll R a o p R a in R EI C o s’ - K id Jac k e t rei.com • 5 $64.9 REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair $99.95 • rei.com REI Co-op Kindercamp 40 Sleeping Bag - Kids’ $69.95 • rei.com

R EI Co -o p N al ge ne All th e Th ings WideMou th Water Bo tt le - 32 fl. oz . $10.95 • re i.com

REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent $229 • rei.com

REI Co-op Camp Dreamer Self-Inflating Pillow $39.95 • rei.com

REI Co-op Traverse 70 Pack - Men’s $249 • rei.com

REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack - Kids’ $39.95 • rei.com february 2020

29 Houston family magazine


10 keys to a stress-free camping trip with the kids written by Tanni Haas, Ph.D. photo by Holly Young Photography


ids love to go camping, but camping trips can be stressful if you’re not properly prepared for them. Based on my own experiences as well as conversations with other parents, I’ve pulled together a list of some favorite stressmanagement tips.

backyard, pitch the tent there. If you don’t, lay out sleeping bags in the living room or spend an entire day at a nearby park: that’ll give the kids a good idea of what it’s like to go camping and be in the outdoors.


Packing for everyone can be a challenge. If your kids are old enough, have them pack their things in their own bags. Help them make a list of what to bring, and then let them pack themselves. Also make sure the bags are easy to carry or pull in

If your kids have never been camping, practice at home before you go. Pitching a tent and getting used to sleeping in it can feel strange if you’re not used to it. If you have a houston family magazine


february 2020


The Schultz family enjoys some family fun smore’ making!

case you decide to leave the car behind to go hiking.

INCLUDE THE KIDS IN PLANNING THE TRIP When kids are bored, they often act up, and you get stressed. To avoid that from happening, involve them in all aspects of the trip, from choosing the best camp site, to deciding what to do, to buying the equipment that you need. In fact, don’t just have the kids help you buy equipment like tents and fishing rods: have them shop with you for cooking supplies and food.

CHOOSING THE CAMPSITE When you review the campsite options with the kids, talk to them about what they’d like to do there. Choosing a campsite with activities that no one is interested in can backfire. Would your kids like to rough it, or do they prefer a site with lots of amenities? What activities would they prefer -

berry picking, hiking, boating, fishing, or swimming?

THE GEAR Wherever you choose to go camping, you’ll need some specialized gear – a tent, sleeping bags, a cooking device, and kitchen supplies. Buy quality stuff, make sure you know how to operate the equipment, and store everything neatly in boxes and containers.

TIME FOR UNSTRUCTURED PLAY One key to a stress-free camping trip is to leave plenty of time for unstructured play. You never know what will end up being exciting to the kids. They may make a new friend as soon as you arrive and can think of nothing better than to spend the whole time with them. Remember: you’re not there to accomplish anything other than to have a good time.

CAMPING SAFETY The kids may want to explore the camp site and surrounding areas with their new friend, but safety should always come first. Set ground rules for how far they can venture off and have agreed-upon emergency procedures for what to do if they get lost. If there’s no mobile phone service, give the kids a whistle and tell them to only blow it if they’re lost.

BRING LOTS OF CLOTHES While everyone hopes for great weather, there’s no guarantee what Mother Nature will bring. So, bring raincoats, warm sweaters and socks, and waterproof hiking boots. Even if the weather holds during the day, the temperature at night can drop dramatically.

RAINY-DAY ACTIVITIES If you find yourself stuck in the tent all day due to rain or the kids are bored with what the camp site has to offer, have alternative entertainment options. Bring electronic games, including some that don’t require internet access, board games, and playing cards for everyone to enjoy.

HAVE THE KIDS HELP YOU You’re going to be stressed out if you try to do everything on your own. Have the kids help you. Get them to pitch the tent and roll out the sleeping bags. Have them gather firewood, build a fire, help cook the meal, and clean up afterwards. The more you share experiences with each other, the more memorable the trip will be. Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at The City University of New York – Brooklyn College.

For a great Family Camping Checklist visit REI’s website at www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ family-camping-checklist.html

Hiking at Big Bend National Park

top camping areas around the u.s. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUNDS Marvel at the awe-inspiring vistas, granite icons, breathtaking waterfalls, and discover its fascinating history while you hike the trails suitable for all ages. Pines Campgrounds nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ pinescampgrounds.htm


Chisos Basin Campground nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/ basin_campground.htm

Enjoy the scenery, the wide views of the canyon and Colorado River.

Cottonwood Campground nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/ cottonwood_campground.htm

Mather Campground – S. rim Trailer Village with full Hookup nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ cg-sr.htm

Rio Grande Village Campground nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/ rgv_campground.htm

Wawona Campground nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ wawonacamp.htm

Dispersed camping or camping at large is permitted in the national forest outside the park.

Porcupine Flat Campground nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ porcupinecamp.htm


ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH CAMPGROUNDS Explore the Zion Canyon with its reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Watchman Campground utah.com/campgrounds/ watchman-campground Zion National Park – South utah.com/campgrounds/zionnational-park-south Lava Point Campground utah.com/campground/zionnational-park-lava-point

Combine your nature retreat with indigenous culture by choosing a campground on American Indian land. Havasupai Indian Reservation nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ havasupai.htm Hualapai Indian Reservation grandcanyonwest.com/ Navajo Indian Reservation navajonationparks.org/

Camping Options Outside the Park: Big Bend Ranch State Park Big Bend Resort and Adventures Maverick Ranch RV Park For a full list, check out nps. gov/bibe/camping-optionsoutside-the-park.htm

TOP PLACES TO CAMP AROUND HOUSTON. Galveston Island State Park tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ galveston-island/fees-facilities/ campsites Lake Houston Wilderness Park houstontx.gov/parks/parksites/ lakehoustonpark.html


Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park campjellystone.com

Enjoy a Texas National Park, Big Bend offers plenty of activities for visitors of all ages. The park boasts 150 miles of hiking trails through mountainous desert terrain.

Lake Livingston State Park tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ lake-livingston/fees-facilities/ campsites february 2020

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Lone Star Flight Museum Photo Shoot BEHIND THE SCENES

by Eshaan Mani, HFM Kid Ambassador photos by CiCi Loo Photography


n the hangars of the majestic Lone Star Flight Museum, five Houston Family Magazine Kid Ambassadors posed, laughed, and bonded at the first photoshoot of 2020. The unique location of our February cover shoot had so much to offer- a massive display of planes from the 20th century, a Flight Simulator, and stories and artifacts from over a century back - It was just perfect for a cover shoot. Donning their aviators and bomber jackets, Kid Ambassadors Charlotte, Gio, Gael, McKenna and Michael had a blast. Besides the stunning photos, beautiful bonds between the kids also have begun to form, within the first few weeks. Kid Ambassadors Gio, Gael, and Michael played together happily in between shots, crouching under the bellies of bomber jets and turboprop planes. The Lone Star Flight Museum also offers a Junior Ambassador Program (offered for ages 13-17) and Mason Howard, a sixth-grader and Ambassador at the museum, can vouch for “the super fun experience”. Mason explained that the program is an opportunity for kids to learn about flying, improve their public speaking skills, and help the local community. He joined after a camp counselor recommended him. You can also join the program by: • Going to lonestarflight.org/ education/lone-star-juniorambassador-program

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• Responding to a few questions, and • Lastly, attending a training day, which involves some seminars and flight training. Yes, you read that right! Flight training - the museum offers an extremely realistic flight simulation experience with Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D software. Mason encourages everyone who is ready to listen, learn, and have a lot of fun to join the Junior Ambassador Program. As you may be able to tell, behind the scenes of a cover shoot, there’s much more than the clicks of a camera. Throughout this experience, we spent the afternoon in the museum, basked in its glorious history, enjoyed the Lockheed Martin Flight Simulator, took some epic photos (courtesy of Cici Loo Photography), and grew closer as a Houston Family Magazine family. The Lone Star Flight Museum is located at 11551 Aerospace Ave, Houston, TX 77034. For more information about the museum and their programs, please visit lonestarflight.org.


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mom•me [ REAL LIFE MOMS ]

Amanda Ducach CEO of SocialMama interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra


ave you ever felt alone? Ever had to deal with something that you needed help with, but maybe didn’t want to put out on social media for the world to see? Do you need advice, a friend or just someone to talk to? Then you need SocialMama. Social Mama is an app that is designed to connect moms to other moms. While you may think “isn’t that what Facebook, Instagram, and other social media is for?” Yes and no. On other apps, you traditionally put your stories or posts out for the world to see. On SocialMama you connect with like-minded moms in your area seeking the same things you are. You find your village. Brilliant, right? We sat down with SocialMama CEO, Amanda Ducach to find out where this brilliant idea was born and more about the woman behind it. A few years ago, Amanda Ducach got a call from her best friend who was sobbing. Her friend’s son had just received a new medical diagnosis and she had no idea how to handle this new information. It was unchartered territory for her friend, and being 2,000 miles away, Amanda struggled to meaningfully help her friend. She knew that all she needed was another mom nearby to talk to; someone who had walked a similar path and could show her the light at the end of the tunnel. Thus, the idea for Amanda with Husband Vish Sharma

details | houston family magazine


From: Boston, MA • Born: New York City • Education: Johnson & Wales University and have a MBA in Leadership • Favorite Food: Cheese. Enough said. • Favorite Destinations: Buenous Aires, Tokyo & Japan • Favorite Author: Jhumpa Lahiri does the most amazing job of making me feel like I am drinking a mango lassi, on a street in New Delhi. The Namesake is my favorite. • Favorite Houston Location: I really love the buffalo bayou. The way that you can walk the whole city from River Oaks to the Heights in an afternoon.

february 2020

“Mothers are empowered through networking and connections” SocialMama was born. Amanda and her husband, Vish, created SocialMama a few weeks later. Did you know that 64% of moms feel friendless? That 90% of moms suffer the ‘baby blues’? SocialMama aims to change these statistics using an algorithm that matches likeminded mothers, considering things like geolocation, unique needs, and lifestyle preferences. Regardless of their parenting method, lifestyle, or how they look, SocialMama will find the perfect match for a mom. This drive to purposefully connect and make a difference is a driving factor for Amanda. From the first moment we met, her passion and authenticity shone bright. In a world filled with ‘grammable’ moments, her genuine desire to bring women together to walk this bumpy, jagged, obstacle-laden path to motherhood is completely refreshing. The fact that we are lucky enough to have her doing it in our backyard is icing on the cake. Originally hailed from Boston, Amanda came to Houston and found the city perfect for this startup. With our predominantly young, tight-knit population fighting the massive geography of the 4th largest city in the U.S., this community is a perfect launchpad for this type of company. The support of the city has been ‘a blessing’, according to Amanda. When I asked Amanda what her biggest surprise has been when starting her company, she stated ‘How hard it has been to launch a successful tech company. We literally failed at everything at first, but now we finally feel like we know what we are doing. Now everything works.” Isn’t that true of all the biggest triumphs in life? It’s those that push through those early defeats and continue to fight that win in the end. If it

was easy, then everyone would do it. “When you know people are in need of your product and you have the means to deliver it to them, it’s inspiring.” That dissection of the small-town community many of us grew up in has created an opportunity for problems that we never even dreamed of. In such a diverse and disconnected community, Amanda is sure that the solution to many of society’s problems could be solved with more connection. One of the recent discoveries that makes Amanda’s heart sing is the general forum area of SocialMama where moms are delving into surprisingly deep discussions. Topics of import and there is no mom shaming; just sharing and support. This is what it’s all about. That deeper sense of friendship. Quality, not quantity is what Amanda’s vision for SocialMama is all about. Partnering with local leaders, businesses and experts in Houston is key to continued growth and expansion of SocialMama. Expanding the universe of mamas out there to connect to, providing relevant information and conversation starters to help facilitate meaningful conversations with tools to make finding them a breeze will all be the backbone of this visionary company. So, if you are like every other mom, juggling time and priorities, and looking for someone to share in your struggles or just help you through a bad day. Download SocialMama and start building your village today. It’s free and you just may find a best friend for life. Get it on Google Play or the App Store or visit www.socialmama.us

spring edition

please join us A refreshing educational series where a team of experts enlighten, educate and entertain the Modern Houston Woman.

FAMILY fashion

health finance

february we d n e s d ay


6-9 pm

2 0 2 0

6100 Westheimer Rd. • Houston, TX 77057 Tickets Available at TheMommieSeries.com

Business Series with Bulletproof Future Planning: Part 2

Three Extraordinary Money Saving/Making Opportunities for Your Business guest speakers Wade Womac Kristen Womac Cort Dial February 26, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm The Cannon 1334 Brittmoore Rd. Houston, TX 77043 (Theater Room, Upstairs) TheMommieSeries.com Tickets Available for $35.00

Business Edition february 2020

35 Houston family magazine


be kind, be awesome and help make the world a better place


ert Pope is a father of four and the CEO of Awesome Company Worldwide, where he has launched the #BEAWESOME movement to make the world a better place. Awesome is the social network for kindness, where members are encouraged and rewarded for doing and sharing acts of kindness in their daily lives.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO CREATE THIS APP? After my wife Jill died in 2016, I was left to navigate raising our 4 children under 10. Making sure my children grow into beautiful kind hearted adults is my greatest goal. My children are growing up in a digital social world and I want to help provide them with the best tools possible. My children and I created AWESOME a Social Networking Game for Good. houston family magazine


february 2020

“Making it fun to do good”. Users create Kindness Challenges and also invite friends to receive points. Users are awarded points when they share the Kindness Challenge to one social platform. The users profile ring changes colors as points accumulate and each level is celebrated with an animated explosion. Users creating the most viral 30-day Kindness Challenges get gifts and prizes. This is a free platform.

HOW DO ACTS OF KINDNESS HELP BOTH THE PERSON DOING THE ACT AND THE PERSON BENEFITING? To be the recipient of an act of kindness is a joyous thing. Someone helping make your day more magical and without expecting it. That feeling warms your heart and the ripple effects it causes are limitless. Mother Teresa once

said, “kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless”. You can do acts of kindness anonymously... the effect on the giver is still powerful. The giver of kindness not only enjoys the understanding of the recipient being celebrated but the feeling of rewarding another is powerful. If you are feeling sad, mad, angry, depressed, all you need to do is something for another person. It does not have to be big, but each act will heal that part of you which was hurting.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO FIND WAYS TO BE KIND? When you become that ripple effect of kindness, the people around you are in a better place because of you- friendships, relationships, spouses, kids, pets all because you made a choice to be kind. When you

shine your light of kindness others around you will enjoy and respond magically. When you do it as a group, family or couple you will see a difference of your surroundings.

HOW CAN AN APP HELP PEOPLE BE MORE KIND? When looking for tools to generate and create kindness, I could not find any. There are great websites, lists of random acts to choose from but no tool to help facilitate the acts and have fun doing Kind acts like a game. This is why my family and I created AWESOME as a tool to have fun creating kindness around the world. Let’s make the World more Awesome together. To learn more about the Awesome and Give an Awesome apps, visit www.awesome.one. The apps are available on iTunes and Google Play.


KONMARI METHOD, SPARKING JOY PHILOSOPHY declutter. organize. live joyfully. written by Elizabeth Irvine want this item? De-clutter; get rid of, before you organize. 3. In this method, we work on categories. So if you keep say scissors, or clothing in spread out places—put a category of inventory in one place. You may not realize you own 9 pairs of scissors! Look at everything together. If you feel overwhelmed, just start with something small, such as your sock drawer. What about getting my husband to organize his things too?


You can’t tell others what to do with their organizing. “Shine like the sun”, and say something like, “Come and look at how amazing my sock drawer looks”. Lead by example. Focus on you and your space. Let go of trying to manage everyone else’s spaces.

Jane & Ashley of Simply Maven www.simplymavenhtx.com

recently sat down over a cup of tea and got acquainted with founders of Simply Maven, Ashley and Jane, a de-cluttering and organizing duo, certified in the KonMari method. We talked about joy, and how feeling joy is different for everyone. We also chatted about how to declutter and organize, and how these actions can make you feel. Read our Q&A below. Ashley gives her best tips and philosophy (which BTW— her degree was in philosophy) makes her perspective interesting and intelligent. What is the KonMarie Method? It’s a method started by a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo, she wrote the NYT best-selling book, The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up.

How did this method affect you? I realized I wasn’t asking myself a fundamental question. Do I really want to organize the things I had in my life? I lived in 700 sq. feet, and we were about to have a baby and needed more space. The process gave me a new mindset—I had to ask myself, “what am I spending my time and energy on.” Once I implemented the ideas for myself, it led to such a transformational time and experience for me. Three favorite tips for organizing: 1. Just start. Put it on your schedule, set a timer for 15 minutes to go through your junk drawer. You’re INVESTMENT is a huge payback. 2. Ask the fundamental question. Do I really need/

You and I share a passion for creating sacred space, spaciousness. It’s a very mindful process, do these items spark joy to my life? Ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish—are your items supporting your transition—you at your best. I think organizing your t-shirt drawer can change your life. A closet that makes you feel alive, confident, this can make you feel good. It puts you on a path, a ripple effect for the positive. The more you can remove the stress, the extra stuff, the more energy you have to put forward. Give me a story. My favorite story is about my first client and now my partner, Jane. Jane’s story is about a major change that occurred in her life. Her husband passed

away. She was making this huge transition. Her daughter had moved onto NYC and there was an overwhelming amount of things to let go of. Jane took the step and embraced the present moment and this new phase of her life. She learned how to say thank you and good-bye to items that she no longer needed. She was open to a new way of life. When Jane or anyone starts to look at the things around them, they begin to remove the obstacles. She moved from the burbs to a townhome. She now embraces this new life and has transitioned beautifully. What’s one last thing you want Houston Family Magazine readers to know? One last thing to mention—the spark joy thing. I don’t always use this word as a philosophy with the American audience. Instead I might ask, “What adds a lasting commitment?” “What does joy mean?” So I ask, instead of why does your t-shirt make you feel joyous? I ask. “Does that t-shirt make you feel special when you wear it? To hear my full podcast interview with Ashley, head over to www.elizabethirvine. com/blog/konmari-methodsparking-joy-philosophy.

SACRED SPACE: AN ONLINE COURSE TO TRANSFORM YOUR ENVIRONMENT www.elizabethirvine.com/shop/ sacred-space-online-course-elizabethirvine-truewellbeing february 2020

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calling all room moms:

a Valentine’s Day party plan


by Pam Molnar

very February 14th, thousands of students celebrate Valentine’s Day with a classroom party. They exchange Valentine’s cards, make a craft and play a few games. As a Room Mom, it is hard to come up with ideas that the kids have not seen before. If you are still struggling with ideas for your child’s classroom party, look no further. CRAFTS

VALENTINE’S DAY T-SHIRTS Purchase a white t-shirt for every child, along with pink and red paint, cotton balls and cotton swabs. You will also need removable glue dots. Using posterboard, cut out shapes of different sized hearts, arrows or other Valentines Day graphics. Have the kids place the shapes on the flat

shirt, securing with glue dots. Use the cotton balls and swabs to make dots of colors all around the edges of the cardboard and beyond. When done, remove the cardboard to reveal a white shape of the heart or cupid surrounded by a cool dot design.

FAMILY BRACELET The kids can make this project for their best Valentine (Mom) or the girls may want to keep it for themselves. Purchase elastic string and beads to make a family bracelet. Choose bead colors to correspond with birthstone colors – red for January, purple for February, etc. – and let the kids choose the bead colors for their family. Find heart shaped spacer beads to complete the design.



For this project, you will need ¼” thick corkboard cut into 4” squares, clear pushpins and colored yarn. Have the kids arrange the pushpins in the shape of a heart and wind the yarn around the pushpins to form a heart shaped frame. Ask the parents ahead of time for a photo of their child and have them available for the kids to put in the middle of the frame. Embellish the rest of the frame with foam stickers or jewels.

Kids love the game Twister! Create a Valentine’s Day version by taping 16 colored hearts on the floor. (Not enough room for 16? Make smaller rows or use less colors.) Create your own spinner or create colored dice – one with the heart color and the other one with the words for right or left, hands and feet.


MUSICAL HEARTS A Valentine’s Day spin on the two classic games: Musical Chairs and Hot Potato. Using hinged clothes pins, pass around a paper heart in while seated in a circle. Like Musical Chairs, play music as they pass the heart. If you break a heart, drop a heart or have the heart when the music stops, you are out. This game moves quickly!

MATCHING HEARTS This is a whole class game. Write the name of a famous couple (like Mickey and Minnie) or other items that would go together (salt and pepper or hat and gloves) on each half of a heart. Mix up the halves and pass the hearts out to the students. Can everyone find their match in 5 minutes? How about in 2 minutes?

houston family magazine


february 2020

PLANT A KISS ON THE MASCOT Recreate your school mascot or shine a digital version on the wall. Make enough paper lips for each student. Blindfold the student and have a partner (like one from the Matching Hearts game) tell him where to place the lips. The closest lips win.

SHAKEDOWN Fill an empty wide mouthed bottle (like Gatorade) halfway with candy hearts. Use super glue to attach another bottle mouth to mouth and tape around it to secure. For this game, have the kids roll the dice and then try to shake down all the hearts except that number into the other bottle. For example, if they roll a three, they need to shake down most of the hearts into the next bottle, leaving three remaining in the first bottle. For an added challenge, give them a time limit or create two shakers and make it a race. Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She has been a Room Mom for 10 years. For more party ideas, follow Pam on Etsy at Pam’s Party Printables.



Valerie Koehler, owner of the Blue Willow Bookshops, shares her favorites, visit BlueWillowBookshops.com

Love Z

by Jessie Sima

A little robot named Z finds a message in a bottle signed, “Love, Beatrice” and, unable to learn what love is from other robots, sets out on a quest to find the answer.

L is for Love by Greg Paprocki

Introduce brilliant babies to the ABCs with this primer about love and friendship with beautifully illustrated pages full of lovebirds, sweethearts, BFFs, and secret admirers.

I Am Love: A Book Of Compassion by Susan Verde

This book reminds us that we should act with compassion and kindness, live with gratitude, and take care of ourselves by practicing self-love.

Happy Heart by Hannah Eliot

Love From The Little Engine That Could Inspired by Watty Piper

The classic character that has spurred generations of children to believe in themselves inspires readers of every age with encouraging words of wisdom.

Each page of this adorable board book is die-cut in a different shape and has sweet, loving text, and bright, happy illustrations.

You Loves Ewe by Cece Bell

A side-splittingly funny picture book about a silly donkey, a cranky yam, and an irresistible ewe, packed with hilarious homonyms and humorous illustrations.

Technically You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

Love Sugar Magic by Anna Mertano

Leonora Logroño’s family owns a beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, conjuring delicious cookies and cakes and pouring a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.

In this cute romance for teens , Haley finds herself texting one of two cousins, both named Martin Nathaniel Monroe, one of whom she likes and one she thinks she hates.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Love That Dog shows how one boy named Jack finds his voice with the help of a teacher, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. february 2020

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Watch our Video Interview with Sahana and Eshaan online and on Facebook!

photo courtsey of Food Network


by Eshaan Mani, HFM Kid Ambassador

Sahana Gade stands at the kitchen counter, mixing the batter for various sets of sweet treats, sliding trays in the oven, and taking pictures of the entire, flurried process on her mom’s phone. She’s in the middle of the selection process for Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship, a show that airs every Monday at 8 pm. And she is paving the way for the journey of a lifetime. houston family magazine


february 2020


ahana’s love of baking began at age five while she helped her mother out in the kitchen. The first thing she ever made was Oreo truffles, which she describes as more of an experiment than actual baking. She only took her erstwhile hobby seriously at the age of eight, however, and began baking more complicated recipes. In early 2019, her mom asked her if she was interested in auditioning for the Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship. Sahana, agreed, but she didn’t know she would have to pass multiple levels of testing to prove her baking prowess. Food Network had a nationwide search for the best kid bakers to cast in their Season

8 of Kids Baking Championship, the most-watched show on the channel. The kid bakers were evaluated based on their baking skills and personality. After several grueling rounds, Sahana was chosen as one of the top twelve contestants. For the first episode, Sahana had to prepare a shag cake with peanut butter and mandarin oranges. The judges Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli loved the flavors in her cake. In the next episode, Sahana was asked to make a Neapolitan Cookie Sandwich. Unfortunately, her journey on Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship ended when the judges claimed her dessert to be too sweet. Sahana says she “wasn’t thinking clearly that day.” She had stayed up very late

Cure Your


Waterfront Dining • Shopping • Amusement Rides Stingray Reef & Exhibit • Midway Games • Arcade • Boardwalk Inn Hotel Event Center • Starbucks • Boardwalk FantaSea Cruises • Much more!

$5 ALL DAY ALL RIDE PASS! February Wintertime Blues Discount

Buy one all day ride pass at regular price ($24.99) get the second for only $5. Must present printed coupon to receive offer. Includes unlimited admission on all amusement rides. (Does not include Stingray Reef, Iron Eagle Zipline and the Boardwalk Beast) Discount not valid with any other offer, discount or promotion. Limit one $5 pass per purchase per coupon only. No cash value. Offer valid in February on the following Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays— Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 Note: Boardwalk Bullet will be closed for winter maintenance. HF

CHECK OUT OUR 2020 CALENDAR OF EVENTS ONLINE 215 Kipp Ave. Kemah, TX 77565 281-535-8100 • KemahBoardwalk.com

Facebook: @SweetTreatsDeSahana Insta: @SweetTreatsDeSahana Online: sweettreatsdesahana.wixsite.com/kidbaker

the night before, going through and memorizing her recipes and got only a few hours of sleep. Despite her loss, Sahana says the show was a wonderful experience. She sees it as a summer camp of sorts, where she learned a lot about managing time, working under pressure, thinking on her feet and last but not the least, making beautiful friendships. If she hadn’t found her passion for baking, she never would have been able to compete in the show. Sahana advises everyone to start doing what they love at an early age; you are never too busy to make time for your hobbies. On January 4th, 2020, Sahana unveiled her business, Sweet Treats De Sahana, at her viewing party for the first

episode of the show. Sahana hopes to spread the joy of baking and share the sweetness of her desserts with more people. She also hopes to find ways to help her community through her baking skills. I enjoyed speaking with eleven-year-old Sahana Gade, an inspiring, ever-upbeat, and very talented ‘baker extraordinaire’!

Watch Sahana in action on the Kids Baking Championship at www.foodnetwork. com/shows/kids-bakingchampionship/episodes.

Everyone visiting the Pleasure Pier will pay kid’s price!

January 1 - February 23


25th & Seawall | PleasurePier.com | 409-766-4950 february 2020

41 Houston family magazine

Our Houston Family Magazine 2020 Kid Ambassadors photo by Casey Ayala


the big


Discover everything there is to do in and around Houston. All events listed are FREE unless otherwise noted.


nuggle up on Valentine’s Day or enjoy the city. February in Houston is going to be great. We said goodbye to January and we are ready to join in on the many events, celebrations and exciting new shows happening this month.

February 1 The Bookworm book Festival Revel in a fun morning that celebrates emerging readers, and those who write for them. Panels of authors and illustrators share their newest books, offer insights into their craft and process, and take questions from the audience. bookwormfestival.org/schedule Jersey Village High School, 7600 Solomon St., Jersey Village 10am-1pm. All ages houston family magazine


february 2020

A Tale and a Treat Join the entertainment every Saturday with a themed story time and a snack. woodlandsevents.com Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands Mall 11am. Age: Toddlers & caregivers

Kids first Saturday at the Breakfast Klub Enjoy a fun day of music, activities, face painting, and a moonwalk! thebreakfastklub.com/ kids-korner The Breakfast Klub 10am-2pm All ages. Free with meal purchase.

Hug-a-Bug-a-Boo Interactive show with music & puppets. rosenberg-library.com Rosenberg Library. 3-3:45pm. Age: under 5 years old.

Bayou Bikers Bikers meet at Market Square Park on the first Sunday of the month for a 25-40 mile bike ride exploring the waterways of Houston (mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires required). Marketsquarepark.com Market Square Park 8am. All ages

Super Bowl Live in Downtown Houston Super Bowl Live is a free-to-the public fan festival that will be held in and around Discovery Green. Expect interactive games and exhibits, live music, food trucks, and family fun. discoverygreen.com Discovery Green Various time. All ages

February 3 Storytime in the Gardens

Hands-on Houston: Kinetic Sculpture Explore basic mechanics to learn how to make an object move, using cams and levers. Use cardboard, paper, straws, and glue to bring your sculpture to life, while discovering how art integrates with science. crafthouston.org/events/hands-onhouston-kinetic-sculpture Houston Center for Contemporary Craft 11am-3pm. Age: 5+

February 2

Chalk on the BlockBaldwin Park Bring the kids to stroll and watch artists create art with chalk. midtownhouston.com/event/chalk-onthe-block-17/ Elizabeth Baldwin Park 10am-2pm. All ages

A unique story time in a natural setting for parents and children to enjoy together. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/ Mercer Botanic Gardens 10am. All ages


febr u ar y 2 02 0 Remembering Home Open Studio FEBRUARY 1

ROCO in Concert: Beauty is in the Eye


The performance features the premiere of a new concerto by Kevin Lau for the erhu, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Roco.org

Inspired by artist Will Boone’s themes of time, space, and home, create a sculptural collage of your personal representation of home. camh.org

The Church of St John the Divine 5pm. All ages

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 2-4pm. All ages

February 4 Garden Tours Stroll through the gardens every Tuesday and Thursday with a garden docent as seasonal color, perennial favorites, and more are highlighted. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/ Mercer Botanic Gardens 8:30am. All ages. Stroller friendly

First Tuesdays at the Houston Zoo You’ll need a free ticket to enter the gates, so get them online and skip the ticket lines. houstonzoo.org Houston Zoo. 9-5pm (September-May) All ages

Teen Writing Club You can be a writer! Learn about elements of stories, work on your own writing, and share with other teen writers in our first ever Teen Writing Club. hcpl.net/events/23938 Spring Branch Memorial Branch Library 4-5pm. Age: Grade 6-12 ONLY.

February 5 A Little Day Music A Little Day Music is a series of free concerts presented at noon on the first Wednesday of the month in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Center. Each concert is designed to deliver DACAMERA’s signature programming featuring a variety of chamber music and jazz. Audiences are invited to enjoy their lunch while listening to the music. No reservations or tickets required. dacamera.com 12pm. All ages

Nature Discovery Center and Story time Visit the discovery rooms and enjoy the outdoor trails and play area. Plan to stay for nature story time which can include live animal encounters and a simple craft. naturediscoverycenter.org

Nature Discover Center Tues.-Fri. Noon-5:30pm, Sat.-Sun. 10am530pm, story time Wednesday at 4pm All ages

Come N’ Go Canoeing & Fishing

Intro to Backpacking I & II

Join staff at the canoe launch for a day of canoeing and fishing. Equipment provided. Wear weatherappropriate clothing, including closed-toe shoes, and bring a hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Canoes have a four-person maximum capacity. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department fishing rules apply. www.facebook.com/pg/ KickerilloMischerPreserve/ events/?ref=page_internal

Learn all about backpacking during an introductory two-part series. Topics include recommended gear and supplies, water purification, how to prepare backpacking meals, how to obtain permits, and more.

Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve 3pm. One adult per child (10 and under) required to canoe. There must be at least one adult per canoe.

Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic Show: Black Cowboys of the Old West Kids will learn about famous black cowboys Bill Pickett, Nat Love, and Mary Fields as Tommy incorporates astounding magic tricks. www.hcpl.net/events/22579 Katy Branch Library 4:30-5:30pm. Age: 3-12.

Lunar New Year Celebration Join us for stories, videos and crafts celebrating the Lunar New Year, and enjoy snacks! hcpl.net/events/25995

Spring Branch Memorial branch library 4-5pm. Age: Grade 1-5

February 6 Dissection Days on Free Family Thursdays at The Health Museum Explore the anatomy of your body and its organ functions with exciting activities and live demonstrations. Hands-on dissection take place every week. thehealthmuseum.org 3pm. All ages

Blue Willow Bookshop Story Time Bring your child to Blue Willow to enjoy stories, songs and an art activity every Thursday. www.bluewillowbookshop.com


Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve 5:30-6:30pm. Age: 15+

OLOGY Are you interested in Paleontology or Zoology? Discover the world around you through OLOGY. The suffix “ology” means “the study of.” Join us each week we will discover a new “ology” through fun crafts, activities, and books. hcpl.net/events/25851 Kingwood Branch Library 4-5pm. Age: under 8 years old.

February 7 Family story hour at Hermann Park’s family garden Story reading followed by an art or gardening activity. Located in the Family Garden in Centennial Gardens. Park in the free parking lot, walk into Centennial Gardens, and head to the right. The Family Garden is an edible, interactive garden with fruits, veggies, herbs, and more. hermannpark.org

Family Garden in Hermann Park 10am. All ages

Fly in for Story time Story time featuring an aviation-themed book followed by an interactive activity every Friday. lonestarflight.org

Lone Star Flight Museum 11am. All ages. Free with purchase of a general admission ticket

Family Bingo Night

houston family magazine PRESENTS THE 24TH ANNUAL camp fair Come out to explore the various camp options available for your child. Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight camp you’ll meet & interact with dozens of camp directors all in one place. R.S.V.P and you could win a free week at camp! Visit HoustonFamilyMagazine.com to register and for more information.

memorial city mall







Unplug and tune in to old-fashioned family fun! Join us for a fun-filled monthly Bingo night with your family and friends. woodlandsonline.com Rob Fleming Recreation Center 6pm. All ages

Blue Willow Bookshop 10am. Age: Toddlers and preschoolers

february 2020

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Reelabilities: Houston film and Arts Festival FEBRUARY 11-20

Spend some time with the friendly family educators: sit on a pillow and read, sketch a work of art and join an investigation of an artwork. mfah.org

This city-wide festival is dedicated to showcasing the film, art, and talents of people with disabilities. www.reelabilitieshouston.org

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Beck Building 1-4pm. All ages. Free with museum admission ticket.

February 8 24th Annual Houston Family Magazine Camp Fair Head over to explore the various camp options. Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight camp you’ll meet & interact with dozens of camp directors all in one place. Register and you can win a free week at camp! houstonfamilymagazine.com/2020houston-family-camp-fair

2020 Rodeo In the Park

Rainard Open House

Anti-Valentine’s Day Party

Round up your young Cowboys & Cowgirls and bring them out for some free rodeo fun and treats! eventbrite.com/e/2020-rodeo-inthe-park-presented-by-houstongeneral-go-texan-committeeregistration-70059643279

See why our school is the best choice for your child. While we tour the campus, you can experience our teachers and students engaged in our unique, educational environment that is designed to help gifted students thrive. rainard.org

Do you want to listen to angsty music, make black duct tape roses and graffiti printed book covers and movie posters? Ward people off with smelly foods? Watch the movie 10 Things I Hate About You (PG-13). rosenberg-library.com

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic - Main Campus, 2727 W. Holcombe Blvd 11am-3pm. All ages

February 9

Memorial City Mall 10am-4pm. All ages

24th Annual Houston Family Magazine Camp Fair

Birding 101

Head over to explore the various camp options. Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight camp you’ll meet & interact with dozens of camp directors all in one place. Register and you can win a free week at camp! houstonfamilymagazine.com/2020houston-family-camp-fair

Birding 101 is a class created to educate participants about the variety of bird life that can be seen on Galveston Island. Galveston.com

Moody Gardens 4D Theatre, 1 Hope Boulevard 9-11am. All ages

Community Tree Planting Work side by side to help reforest a portion of the trailhead with a variety of native trees, wildflower seed and milkweed plants. This effort supports The Woodlands Township’s reforestation program as well as the Plant for Pollinators program that helps protect our native bees, butterflies and moths. thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov Creekside Park West Trailhead of the George Mitchell Nature Preserve. 8am-noon. Age: 7+

Midtown Valentine’s Market Feel the love when Midtown Houston hosts a sweet Valentine’s Day Market. The pop-up market will feature a handpicked selection of quality crafts and arts. midtownhouston.com Elizabeth Baldwin Park 10am-2pm

Join us for a fun-filled hour and a half learning and sharing skills in knitting and crocheting.Eevery second Saturday of the month a guest crafter will demonstrate their special craft fortbend.lib.tx.us/event/craft-yourheart-out-4 Missouri City Library 10:30am-12:30pm. Age: Adult houston family magazine


The Woodlands Mall Noon – 5pm. All ages

Bubbles & More Play Day The Center will be set up with everything your kids need for a fun filled afternoon of outdoor play! You can feel like a kid again, too, if you join them in playing with bubbles, hula hoops, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, and more. naturediscoverycenter.org Nature Discovery Center 1-3pm. All ages

An Oscar’s themed Family evening Bring out your mink coat and dress up the kids to watch the best of 2019 movies during the legendary ceremony. Oscars.org 5:30pm. All ages

Craft Your Heart Out!

february 2020

See website for various locations and times. All ages

WinterFest and Snowslide at the Greenway Family and friends can enjoy a sled ride and winter fun for a great afternoon outdoors - hot drinks, a walk, great scenery, and a ride down the hill! facebook.com/ events/1294539817392108 Willow Waterhole Greenway 3-5pm. All ages

The Rainard School 1-3pm. All ages

February 10 Preschool storytime Stories, songs, and activities that will help prepare your child for school readiness with basic concepts including ABC’s, 123’s, Colors, and Shapes. houstonlibrary.org Central Library 1pm. Age: 3-5 years.

February 11 The Reading Circle Bring the kids to a read-a-loud book club that features the book club Narrator reading a chapter or two from the current selection. Participants are invited to practice their own read- a- loud skills in a friendly, no-pressure environment. houstonlibrary.org Central Library, Jesse H. Jones Central building 4-5pm. Age: 9-12

February 12 Lunch Bunch in the Garden Every second Wednesday of the month, join fabulous speakers at these free presentations covering diverse topics. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/ Mercer Botanic Gardens 12pm. Age: 12+

Tadpoles Club Join an interactive program every Wednesday that introduces preschool-aged children to nature with animals, puppets, short walks, crafts, and stories. hcp4.net Jesse H. Jones Nature Center 10:30am or 1pm. Age 3 and 4 only.

Rosenberg Library 4-6pm. Age: 13-18 grades 7-12 ONLY.

Happy Hearts Party Have a fun Valentine’s Day celebration! We’ll provide snacks, crafts and a wonderful time! Houstonlibrary.org

The Heights Neighborhood Library 10:30-11:30am. Age: under 5 years old.

February 13 Family Free Night at the Galveston Children’s Museum Every Second Thursday of the month you can enjoy a night of family fun. galvestoncm.org Galveston Children’s Museum 4-7pm. All ages

ReelArt An entrepreneurial program for adults living with disabilities who create art as an expressive outlet for creativity and as a life skill. reelabilitieshouston.org Houston’s Center for Art and Photography 6-8pm. All ages

Reading | Words & Art You are invited to an evening of poetry and prose. Houston-based authors and poets share new works inspired by the exhibition Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody. camh.org

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 6:30-7:30pm. Age 13+

Beginner Japanese Come ready to learn and to practice speaking out loud with others in Japanese. facebook.com/aldinelibrary Aldine Branch Library 4:30-6pm. Age: 9-12

Baby Day- Baytown Celebrate the extraordinary period of growth and development in infants and toddlers with infant yoga, music classes, dancing, curated art, storytime and more. babyday.us/event/baytown Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market Street 10am. Age: under 3 years old.

Kid’s Computer Class: Intro to Word This program is an introduction to Microsoft Word. fortbend.lib.tx.us

Missouri City Library 4:30pm. Age: 3rd – 8th grade. Limited seating. Registration is required.

Houston Zoo’s Family Nature Club: Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Show Mother Nature some love this Valentine’s Day! Join us for a Valentine’s themed scavenger hunt at Jesse. H. Jones Park and even create some special treats to take home for wild animals in your back yard. Houstonzoo.org Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center 10am-Noon. All ages. $10/family

February 14

Play Reading “Ursula, or let yourself go with the wind” Ursula tells the journey of Nadia, a 7- year-old, separated from her mother after seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border. As Nadia waits for her asylum to be processed, she reflects on the difficulties she is leaving behind in Honduras and the new reality she is facing. Stagestheatre.com Stages Theatre 2:30pm & 8pm. Age: 10+

Fermentation Friday at the Health Museum You’ll learn why the gut is the root of all health! Discover microbes up close and personal as we explore the important roles microbes have within our bodies from the food we eat to the medicines we take. You’ll even gain the tools to make your own probiotics with fermented foods. thehealthmuseum.org


ALAN GRATZ Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School

FEB. 23, 2020 10410 Manhattan Drive @bluewillowbooks


The Health Museum 10:30am. All ages

February 15 24th Annual Houston Family Magazine Camp Fair Head over to explore the various camp options. Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight camp you’ll meet & interact with dozens of camp directors all in one place. Register and you can win a free week at camp! houstonfamilymagazine.com/2020houston-family-camp-fair

Houston Natural Light Portrait Photographer


Rice University Noon – 5pm. All ages

Nature Walking Tour on the Bayou

Mardi Gras! Galveston Parade The parade begins on Strand Street at 20th Street, proceeds west on Strand Street to 25th Street, travels south on 25th Street to Ship’s Mechanic Row, then proceeds east along Ship’s Mechanic Row to 20th Street, and north along 20th Street to Strand Street. Mardigrasgalveston.com 10pm. All ages

Urban Bird Walk Wear your walking shoes and walk with an expert to discover the real wildlife of downtown Houston! discoverygreen.com

Discovery Green. Meeting point is at the Lakehouse Café in the park. 11:30am-12:30pm. All ages. Stroller friendly.

Valentine’s Day Projects For younger children, pick up some art supplies for at-home Valentine’s projects at Micheal’s Arts and Crafts and let the kids make some crafts or decorate cookies while you’re there. Multiple locations, see individual store schedules for details. Michaels.com

Enjoy a free walking tour in Buffalo Bayou Park highlighting the landscape and ecology of 19th century Texas that created Houston. buffalobayou.org Buffalo Bayou. Meeting point at the water works 10:30-noon. All ages

Baby Day- Houston Celebrate a day of bonding and delight between caregivers and children. Baby Day activities are tailored for infants and toddlers and range from infant yoga to music classes to dancing, curated art, storytime and more. babyday.us/event/houston/ The Health Museum 9am. Age: under 3 years old.

Houston Zoo’s Family Nature Club: Brazos Bend State Park Alligators, herons, and turtles, oh my! Spend the morning enjoying nature’s beauty at Brazos Bend State Park. We will hike some popular trails and practice with binoculars to spot the variety of wildlife found in the area. Houstonzoo.org Brazos Bend State Park 10am-noon. All ages. $12/person. State Park entrance fee is included with registration.

Various Store Locations. All ages

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Inspire Film Festival



A five-day cinematic experience dedicated to entertaining and inspiring audiences with films, speakers, and events that celebrate the human spirit. woodlandsonline.com

Enjoy the Extravagance of the Mardi Gras celebration. The fun commences with parades, performances, family events, feasting and other activities that come with hosting Mardi Gras island style. Mardigrasgalveston.com/family-events

Water Way Square, The Woodlands Various times, check the website for scheduling. All ages

Galveston’s historic downtown; 20th to 25th Streets and Harborside Drive to Mechanic Street. Check the website for times of activities. All ages

C E N T E R S TA G E | T H E A R T S C A L E N DA R Houston is rich with opportunities to see family-friendly theater performances. Here is a sampling of what’s available this month. Presentations are for all ages unless otherwise noted.

Finding Neverland A heartwarming theatrical event full of beautiful music tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters – Peter Pan. thegrand.com

Meet the President Brings you the U.S. Presidents! Literally. All of them. This one- hour show uses four actors (and the help of audience interaction) to play all 43 American Presidents in order. adplayers.org February 27-29

February 1&2

Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue This powerful portrait of a Puerto Rican military family by Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award® nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes is a breathtaking symphony of music, memories, and the things that mark our bodies… and our souls. mainstreettheater.com February 8-March 1

Peking Acrobats THE PEKING ACROBATS®, a troupe of China’s most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists and gymnasts complemented by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments. spahouston.org February 22

The Fantasticks Follow your imagination into a whimsical tale of young lovers, meddling parents, and a bond that matures in adversity. stagestheatre.com Though March 15

The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley® Stanley Lambchop is an ordinary boy… until his bulletin board falls off the wall and flattens him! Now he can slide under doors, attach postage and mail himself, and even capture thieves. mainstreettheater.com February 25-April 4

An American in Paris Romance! Adventure! Gershwin! Who could ask for anything more! In post war Paris, romance is in the air and youthful optimism reign. thegrand.com February 29

Guess who’s coming to dinner? A whirlwind romance is set against the backdrop of the ’60s, and involves a young mixed-race couple. Both families are forced to reckon with their ideas and prejudices in the face of pending nuptials. adplayers.org Through February 16

Water by the Spoonful Water by the Spoonful is an uplifting and heartfelt meditation on broken lives, forgiveness, and the strength to carry on. stagestheatre.com February 7-23

Camp David In 1978, powerful world leaders hammered out an agreement that inspired the entire world. Wright’s play delivers a tremendously human look at both the hope and the cost of that historic moment. alleytheatre.org February 14-March 15

We shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that showcases a repertoire from across the African American music traditions. spahouston.org

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February 9

Cirque du Soleil Alegria In a New Light Through spectacular performances, the characters in Alegría comprise people of two separate generations: the New Order and the Old Order. cirquedusoleil.com February 29 - April 12

Take me Out to the Ball Game A star slugger swings for the fences in a musical narration of the humorous poem Casey at the Bat. And, show your Texas pride as you sing and clap along to “Deep in the Heart of Texas” during a special Seventh Inning Stretch! Families can enjoy a craft station and other musical activities, like our Instrument Petting Zoo, in the Jones Hall lobby. houstonsymphony.org February 29

Yachty Gras Celebrate a Grand Night Boat Parade. yachtygras.com Kemah Boardwalk 7pm. All ages

Children’s Series: “Judy Moody & Stink” After seeing her classmate’s picture on the front page of the newspaper, Judy wants to be famous and sets off to find fame and happiness. All the while, Stink and his foul-smelling sneakers become a real distraction as he vies for the coveted Golden Clothespin Award. Judy Moody and Stink are the perfect pair for their imperfect capers that lead to fun, mystery, sibling rivalry, and, in the end, true friendship. cypresscreekface.org Mangum-Howell Community Center in Doss Park, 2500 Frick Rd. 11am. All ages

Play Reading “Teen Dad” Teen Dad subverts popular regional theatre “kitchen-sink beach house dramedy” to share a heartfelt, comedic exploration of generational trauma and recovery in a Black and Latinx family. Stagetheatre.com Stages Theatre 8pm. Age: 15+

February 16 24th Annual Houston Family Magazine Camp Fair Head over to explore the various camp options. Whether you’re looking for sports, music, adventure, technology, drama, or academic camps, day or overnight camp you’ll meet & interact with dozens of camp directors all in one place. Register and you can win a free week at camp! houstonfamilymagazine.com/2020houston-family-camp-fair Sugarland Town Square Noon – 5pm. All ages

Fiesta Gras Parade

Valentine’s Day Family day out Family date night under the sea Bring the family for dinner under the sea surrounded by the wonders of the world’s ocean at Downtown Aquarium. aquariumrestaurants.com

That’s Amore at Grimaldi’s Bring the family for a nice low-key Italian dinner set with traditional red and white tablecloth, dim lights and soft background music. The brick-oven cooked pizza is a favorite for the whole family. Grimaldispizzeria.com

Pinstripes A modern rustic restaurant where you can dine and play a game of bowling or bocce. pinstripes.com/houston-texas

Endless Love: Name a cockroach Want to show your Valentine that your love will last forever? Say it with a cockroach. These tough little beasts have been living, loving and roaming the earth for 350 million years. It’s even been said they’d survive a nuclear blast. You don’t have to capture and gift wrap a cockroach yourself. hmns.org Museum of Natural Science Daily. All ages. For just $5, you can actually name one.

Celebrate your heart at The Health Museum! Learn how engineers are repairing broken hearts, take a selfie with our giant neon heart, and check out a sheep heart dissection. thehealthmuseum.org

Parent’s night out Twilight Tour at Rienzi “Great Love Stories”

Bayou Bend Family Days: The Art of Movement

Romance at the Theatre

Explore the history and traditions of dance. Visits to the first floor of the house are hosted by Houston Junior Woman’s Club volunteers. Mfah.org/bayoubend Bayou Bend Gardens 1-5pm. All ages

St Valentine’s Day Concert Sway to the music with your loved ones so bring your best moves. tradersvillage.com Trader’s Village 12pm. All ages


The Health Museum Dissections demos on Tues, Thurs and Sat at 3pm in February. Age 7+

Join us for a day of celebration at the 4th Annual Fiesta Gras! Day at Mardi Gras! Galveston. The parade begins on Strand Street at 20th Street, proceeds west on Strand Street to 25th Street, travels south on 25th Street to Ship’s Mechanic Row, then proceeds east along Ship’s Mechanic Row to 20th Street, and north along 20th Street to Strand Street. mardigrasgalveston.com Strand District 1pm. All ages


Share a glass of wine as a harpist from Ars Lyrica Houston strums romantic melodies. Stroll through the galleries guided by Rienzi’s couple quiz. Explore stories of love, passion, and betrayal involving the greatest couples (and excouples) of history and mythology. mfah.org/calendar/twilight-tour-atrienzi-great-love-stories

Enjoy a date night at the theatre. Showings on February 14th include: Who’s coming to dinner; The Fantastiks; Water by the Spoonful; Elliot a soldier’s fugue. Please see Center Stage listings for additional shows and further information.

Benjy’s in the Village

This beloved institution in Rice Village offers the perfect location for a brunch, lunch, dinner or simple cocktails. Benjys.com

Helen in Rice Village

Trendy Greek eatery Helen in Rice Village presents a three-course Valentine’s Day dinner. helengreek.com/rice-village


FEB 22 3:00 PM 8:00 PM



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47 Houston family magazine

ON THE GO | CALENDAR OF EVENTS R.A.D Self Defense Class for Women FEBRUARY 17-20

Beat the Wintertime Blues on the Kemah Boardwalk

The Houston Police Dept. and the Midtown Houston Public Safety Committee will host a hands-on training with physical contact, striking pads and simulation scenarios to teach women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault by using easy, effective and proven self-defense tactics. midtownhouston.com

Enjoy the boardwalk every Friday, Saturday, Sunday in February. Buy One All Day Ride Pass at regular price, get the 2nd for just $5! Coupons located on the website or Facebook page. kemahboardwalk.com


Kemah Boardwalk. All day. All ages. Promotion ends February 29.

Houston Exponential, 410 Pierce. 6-9pm. Age 14 + Registration is limited and is required.

N O W E X H I B I T I N G | M U S E U M C A L E N DA R Education can be fun when kids get up close and personal with the diversified, cultural, artistic, historical and comtemporary exhibits available at Houston Museums and Enrichment Centers.



Outbreak: Epidemics in a connected world Our world is more connected than ever before by global travel and trade, by technology, and by our microbes. Explore the connections between human, animal, and environmental health, and discover how people around the world track down and respond to disease outbreaks. Through January 2020

Our Global Kitchen Our Global Kitchen illuminates the myriad ways that food is produced, moved, and enjoyed throughout the world. Through January 2020



Escaping Earth: The Kinetic Work of Casey Curran The exhibition features kinetic sculptures, asteroid paintings, and installations that reflect the haunting beauty of human innovation and its aftermath. January 25 – March 29



Radical: Italian Design 1965–1985, The Dennis Freedman Collection Italy’s postwar explosion of disruptive design showcases prototypes, one-of-a-kind, and limited-edition works by architects, designers, and collectives in furniture, lighting design, architectural models, paintings, and other objects drawn from the landmark collection. From February 14-April 26

Frances Bacon: Late Paintings Archizoom Associati, Panel, c. 1969, paint on panel, collection of Dennis Freedman. / Kent Pell, photographer

This exhibition from the Centre Pompidou in Paris features some 40 canvases, including an array of the artist’s monumental triptychs, which are among his most celebrated works. From February 23-May 25

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Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Fear, 1943, oil on canvas, illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 13, 1943, collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. © SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis. All rights reserved. www.curtislicensing.com

Norman Rockwell: American Freedom An exhibition devoted to Rockwell’s iconic depictions of FDR’s Four Freedoms—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. Through March 22, 2020



Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries Learn what 20 years of groundbreaking scientific research has revealed. About this mysterious wonder and World Heritage site, dating back 5,000+ years. Through March 22

Life in Stone Life in Stone, Gem Carvings by Gerd Dreher encompasses more than seventy exquisitely detailed, extremely realistic carvings of animals wrought from crystals of ruby, sapphire, citrine, amethyst, aquamarine, topaz, garnet, jasper and agate - masterpieces of the lapidary arts. Through March 22

febr u ar y 2 02 0 Homeschool Day at the Aquarium

Go Texan Day FEBRUARY 28


Show your western pride City-wide and let’s get ready to RODEOHOUSTON®! Participate in a city-wide celebration on Go Texan Day by dressing in your favorite rodeo clothes. rodeohouston.com

Homeschooled students and their families are invited for an educational day at the Aquarium! This is a special day for home schooled children to learn more about our animals and explore the wonders of the aquatic world. aquariumrestaurants.com

City-wide. All ages

Downtown Aquarium All day. Age: School age. Advanced registration is required email aquariumhouston@ldry.com for more details.

February 17

February 22

Little Explorers

Conroe Arbor Day

Explore Stem-based and sensory activities with your kids. houstonlibrary.org

Head over to learn all about planting and taking care of trees. Tree planting information will be available with each tree. The Montgomery County Master Gardeners will be assisting in handing out trees and providing free gardening tips. visitconroe.com

Central Library Jesse H. Jones Building 10:30-11:45. Age: under 5

February 18 Play Date at Delores Fenwick Nature Center Spend a day in nature by walking/ running the ~ 2 miles of trails with a edible fruit, explore the Fite Road bat colony observation area, the native bird rookeries and enjoy the Great Room which features live animal exhibits, touchable bio-facts, and a craft table. pearlandtx.gov Delores Fenwick Nature Center, Pearland 9am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday. All ages

February 19 Come N’ Go Canoeing & Fishing (See February 5)

Homestead Open House Discover the Redbud Hill Homestead and Akokisa Indian Village. Self-guided interpretive brochures are available in the Nature Center. hcp4.net Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center 1-4pm. All ages

February 20 Coffee House Live: Anson Funderburgh An intimate family-friendly atmosphere of live music and arts in the heart of West University Place. sahouston.com/coffee St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church 7pm. All ages

February 21 Watch a Race at Katy BMX Every Friday and Sunday, go and watch extreme bikers of all ages race around the dirt track at top speed. www.usabmx.com/tracks/1951 4603 Schlipf Rd., Katy Various times. All ages

205 Metcalf Street Conroe 9am-1pm. All ages. Free tree giveaway for Conroe residents on first come first served basis.

Go Texan Parade Cheer on the floats presented by Houston Livestock Rodeo. Visitconroe.com

Downtown Conroe 1pm. All ages. Free for spectators

Goodies from the Garden: Community Bed planting Bring the whole family along to participate in this hands-on garden crafting opportunity. This monthly program is led by our community gardeners, open to everyone, and all materials are provided. levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 10:30am-noon. All ages

ROCO Unchambered: Unraveled The Unchambered series continues into the new year with the unique program “Unraveled”. Roco.org The Church of St. John the Divine 5pm. All ages

Artist Demonstration: Kinetic Sculpture with Gary Schott Join a kinetic sculpture demonstration and discover how movement and humor is used to activate and engage an audience. crafthouston.org

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft 11am-2pm. All ages

Mardi Gras Festival and Parade in Kingwood The Town Center will host the Mardi Gras parade while enjoying live music, arts and great food. towncenterevents.com Kingwood Town Center Park, 8 North Main St. Noon-6pm. All ages

February 27

February 23

Fourth Thursday -Family FunQuest Spend some family fun time at the library listening to a story, making a take-home craft, and playing board games! www.countylibrary.org

Mardi Gras Children’s Parade Local firefighters and first responders host a parade dedicated to the families and children of Galveston with decorated floats and costumed kids. childrensparade.org 25th and Santa Fe Place, South on 25th, East on Postoffice, North on 19th Street, West on Strand, Parade ends 25th & Strand. 3pm. All ages

Rhythm and Soul Fest Enjoy an afternoon of R&B classics and live performances from great bands performing live on stage. tradersvillage.com Trader’s Village 12-5:30pm. Age: 10+

February 24 Walk in Nature Take the kids for a stroll, run, skip and hop along the trails at the Houston Arboretum. Stop in at the visit center for a scavenger hunt and explore the displays and bookshelves. houstonarboretum.org

Houston Arboretum Daily. All ages. Trials are stroller friendly.

February 25 Tour 1838 Michel B. Menard House Built in 1838 in the Greek revival style the house was occupied by Menard’s descendants until 1879. galvestonhistory.org Menard House 10-11am. All ages

February 26 Wednesday Wonders Let your imaginations soar and explore the world. www.hcpl.net

Central Library, Montgomery 4pm. Age: 0-12

Intro to Backpacking I & II (See February 6)

February 28 Go Texan Day Celebrate the Rodeo’s community contributions as the Mayor proclaims Go Texan Day 2020 for Friday the 28th. Dance to live music; eat lunch; take a photo with a Texas longhorn steer. rodeohouston.com City Hall, Houston 11-1pm. All ages

February 29 Art 12 Come out and support high school art students in Montgomery County. There will be a reception with silent and live auction items. All proceeds are awarded to the students. Visitconroe.com 127 Simontin St. 5-8pm. All ages

Mardi Gras Ball for Special People: “Out of this World” Annually celebrated by thousands, this free event provides food, fun and entertainment for people with special needs as well as their immediate families. moodygardens.com/get_involved/ hope_therapy/mardi_gras_ball/ Moody Gardens 12-4pm. All ages

African Hand-Drumming Enjoy the traditional tribal rhythms and spiritual gifts of West African djembe drumming in a special performance. fortbend.lib.tx.us Cinco Ranch Branch Library 2-3pm. All ages

Maud Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy 4:45pm. Age: 6 - 11

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10 reasons why the

tooth fairy did not come last night by Katy M. Clark


t glistened in the soft morning light, the single tear that fell from my eight-year-old daughter’s eye as she stood in our bedroom doorway. “Mommy, she didn’t come!” she breathed despondently. Then that single tear turned into a torrent. Oh, fudge. The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night. “Uh,” I stammered in reply, elbowing my husband awake. “What happened?” he mumbled. “The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night,” I replied. “Oh, fudge,” he said. Only he didn’t say fudge. How did we let this happen? Quickly I reviewed the night before. Exhausted by my first Girls’ Night Out in three months, I had gone to bed at 10pm (don’t judge) and left the money with my husband. He simply fell asleep before remembering his Tooth Fairy duties.

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There were more extenuating circumstances, too. Our daughter’s tooth had been wiggly for just a day. That was extremely short notice vs. those teeth that hang on by a (nasty!) thread for weeks. Plus, it had been months since she’d lost her last tooth. Our son, 12, had long since finished losing his baby teeth. My husband and I were definitely rusty in our duties as well as in the twilight of our Tooth Fairy career. Still, the plain, hard truth was that we blew it. The Tooth Fairy didn’t come. We sprang out of bed, soothing our daughter (and each other) with hugs and reassuring words. There HAD to be a good reason she didn’t come; we told our daughter. In fact, my husband and I, along with friends, family, and the internet, came up with many reasons.

10 Reasons Why the Tooth Fairy Did Not Come Last Night: 1. The dew was too heavy. Her wings got wet and she couldn’t fly. 2. The Tooth Fairy was on vacation and the substitute Tooth Fairy didn’t know what she was doing. 3. She couldn’t get to your pillow due to your messy room. 4. Too much traffic. She’ll leave earlier tonight! 5. She was sick. 6. Spreadsheet error. Your tooth was projected to come out on Friday so she wasn’t ready when it came out on Monday. 7. Some Tooth Fairies like snacks. Leave one out tonight and she’ll probably come. 8. Oh, look, she dropped the money on the floor over there. She must have

wanted you to keep your tooth as a souvenir. 9. You probably woke up and scared her away, even if you don’t remember it. 10. She ran out of money and will be back tonight. She’s a tiny fairy so she can only carry so much. My daughter seemed to calm down after she spent the day listening to our reasons why the Tooth Fairy did not come. All was made right with the world the following the morning when, hallelujah, the Tooth Fairy DID come. Moms and Dads, may your Tooth Fairy always remember to come. In case she doesn’t, may you find these reasons to be a lifesaver!

Katy M. Clark is a writer who embraces her imperfections as a mom at ExperiencedBadMom. com. She lives with her family in Michigan.

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