Houston Family Magazine July 2024

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Pearl Fincher Museum’s summer exhibition,

“The Toy Canvas: Artists at Play”

This summer, the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts has curated a one-of-a-kind exhibition that features toys as contemporary art.

“The Toy Canvas: Artists at Play” features toys in photography, LEGO® brick builds, inflatables by FriendsWithYou, toys as sculpture, Madame Alexander dolls, and more.

These engaging artworks invite the viewer, young and old, to reimagine how we play and the toys and memories of our childhood. The exhibition explores the theme of play, with inventive works that address the kid in all of us.

“This art has not been seen in Houston before, so this is a unique opportunity for all ages,” said Courtney Gardner, director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts. “Visitors will be transported into a realm where nostalgia meets innovation. I hope you’ll join us as we rediscover the magic of play, and the infinite possibilities of our imagination.”

“The Toy Canvas: Artists at Play” includes an interactive play zone where visitors can discover their own creativity. The space offers a variety of STEAM activities such as building challenges with LEGO® bricks and MAGNA-TILES®, a giant Lite Brite, digital drawing tools, and a literacy zone.


The Board of Directors of the Lone Star Flight Museum has enthusiastically named Anna Hawley the new President & CEO of the museum. Currently serving as the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, Hawley will succeed museum CEO Lt. Gen. Doug Owens USAF, (ret), who has led the organization for the past eight years. She assumes the leadership role beginning June 1, 2024.


Located at 6815 Cypresswood Drive in Spring, TX, the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The summer exhibition continues through August 31, 2024, and admission is free. For more information, visit pearlmfa.org.

An annual celebration of a native plant or animal found along Buffalo Bayou, Summer Species includes nature walks, public art, and more! This year we’re celebrating the butterflies that call Buffalo Bayou home. www.buffalobayou.org

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we celebrate the U.S.A.’s 248th birthday, it’s a good time to think about what makes our country so special.

It’s said that America is a land of immigrants. As of 2021, immigrants to the United States from more than 200 different countries around the world.

The United States is the world’s third mostpopulous country, after India and China. As of 2022, the U.S. population is 333.3 million.

It is also the third-largest country in the world, after Russia and Canada.

We celebrate Independence Day on July 4 because that’s when the Declaration of Independence was ratified. The resolution for independence was actually passed on July 2, 1776.

The largest state in the country is Alaska, which once belonged to Russia. The smallest state is Rhode Island, one of the original 13 colonies.

The 13 stripes on the U.S. flag represent the original 13 colonies. The 50 stars represent the 50 stages. The flag has been revised 27 times.

The U.S.A. also holds14 territories. Five of them are populated. American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are in the South Pacific. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Caribbean.

There are 574 federally recognized Native American tribes, and 9.7 million Americans are registered as Native American.

The official bird of the United States is the bald eagle. The official flower is the rose, designated in 1986 through a proclamation signed by thenPresident Ronald Reagan. In 2004, Congress passed legislation naming the oak tree the country’s official tree.

The oldest public park in the U.S. is the Boston Common, founded in 1634 and still used as a park today.

The oldest city in the country is St. Augustine, Florida. In 1513, explorer Ponce de Leon landed there and claimed it for Spain.

The first president and first lady to live in the White House were the second president of the U.S., John Adams, and his wife Abigail.

Fifteen of our presidents are from two states, Virginia (eight) and Ohio (seven).

The U.S. was the first country to call its head of state President.

The very first Independence Day celebrations began in 1777, in Boston and Pennsylvania. Both included fireworks.

The oldest newspaper continually in print is The Hartford Courant. Originally called The Connecticut Courant, it began publication in 1764. Today, it’s the largest paper in Connecticut.

The U.S. has the world’s longest border. It’s 5,500 miles long and runs between the U.S. and Canada.

Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Washington, D.C. did not become the country’s capital until 1790. Prior to that, there were eight others: Philadelphia; Baltimore, Maryland; Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania; Princeton, New Jersey; Annapolis, Maryland; Trenton, New Jersey and New York City.

The longest river in the U.S. is the Missouri River. It flows through seven states: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

The country’s largest lake is Lake Superior, which holds three quadrillion gallons of water.

Road Trip

This Summer

There's a lot to see in the Lone Star State, and it's worth the miles to pack everyone in the car and go exploring.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few stops worth the drive!


Up in the Texas High Plains, where the views stretc h for miles, Lubbock has a lot to offer. It's a great spot for a weekend away, and if you find yourself heading to New Mexico or C olorado, you'll definitely want to include a few days here along th e way.

Check into the Cotton Court Hotel, a boutique affair from Valencia Hotels that's in downtown and designed in homage to the city's cotton industry past. It's thoughtfully designed ro oms and public spaces with fire pits, a pool and lawn games ares a re a great way for families to kick back and relax.

Check out the National Ranching Heritage Center where you can explore a series of historic homes that tell the st ory of ranching in the U.S. Visitors can also take in an array of prog ramming and gain a deeper understanding of how vital ranch and farm life is today.

Prairie Dog Town, located in Mackenzie Park, is ope n dawn to dusk, year round. It's a great place to spot these cute critters going about their routines.

The public art collection on the Texas Tech University campus is impressive, and families can take guided or self-gu ided tours. Download the app and go it alone, or, book an art c art tour for between five and 12 people. Bonus: it's a terrific way to see the university campus if you've got kids who are thinki ng about college choices.

A trip to Lubbock isn't complete without a stop at Evie May's Pit Barbeque, just outside the city limits. Smoked meat s, delicious sides and a casual, family friendly atmosphere awai t. Don't miss the pork ribs or the brisket.

Your trip to Lubbock will be one your family will r emember.

Waco is a three-hour drive from Houston, making it perfect for a road trip getaway. This city on the Brazos River has a lot of history, excellent museums and lot of things for families to do. The city has many surprises, with a wealth of indoor and outdoor recreation and attractions. There are lots of budget-friendly hotels from chains like Days Inn, Comfort Suites and Marriott.

Consider The Element, where kids stay free. This Marriott property blends the flexibility of an extended-stay hotel with the chic feeling of a boutique property. Rooms that have kitchenettes, and the hotel has a pool, laundry facilities, an onsite snack-and-sundries shop, and a restaurant serving easy Mediterranean fare.

History lovers should set out to explore the Waco Mammoth National Monument, where visitors can walk the park's trails and see the archeological dig site, where a Mammoth family rests in situ. The Dr Pepper Museum explores the history of the popular soda, and you can get a handmade float at the soda fountain. And the Mayborn Museum, on the campus of Baylor University, covers the history of Central Texas, with exhibits showcasing centuries of Texas life. The campus itself is worth a stroll, with beautiful architecture and greenspaces.

For families who want to enjoy the outdoors, Waco has loads to offer, given its proximity to the Brazos and Basque rivers. The city's parks and recreation department has a wonderfully detailed paddling trail map you can download to plan your kayak or canoe adventure. At Brazos Bluffs Ranch, you can go horseback riding along the Brazos.

Stop for lunch or dinner at George's, a Waco comfort-food tradition since 1930. Look for an array of sandwiches, burgers, wings and more. Magnolia Table wins raves for its breakfast, lunch and dinner options, served in a casually upscale environment. Jo's Crunchy French Toast is a favorite.

A stop in Waco is not complete without popping by The Silos for some serious shopping and a sanck or two. You are sure to make some great finds and there’s ample spots for some great selfies!


Bandera is a pleasant 4.5 hour drive west of Houston. A straight shot, for the most part down I-10 will lead you to the “Cowboy Capital of the World’. Where its commonplace to still see horses tied to hitching posts in town and a dude ranch is never more than a 5 minutes drive away!

A blending of Indian, Mexican, Polish and Western cultures gives Bandera a unique ambiance not found elsewhere in Texas.

With its sweeping hills and rustic natural landscape, Bandera is truly a wonderland for families who love to be outdoors. Whether you are looking to hike, bike, fish, hunt, ride or rope, there is something for everyone.

There are (8) different dude ranches to choose from if you are looking for that experience. Dixie Dude Ranch would be #1 on our list as it is an actual working ranch that allows you to really understand the daily life of a West Texas Rancher. This 725 acre ranch is something to see.

Rather take in the sites in a little more luxury? Head over to Hill Country Equestrian Lodge for a little R&R. Private rides and instruction along with spa services offer a relaxing getaway in the beauty of Texas Hill Country.

Instead of hopping on a horse, hop in the water. Medina River is the place to kayak and tube in the cool, clear waters. Both Medina River Company and Paradise Watersports can hook you up with what you need for a beautiful day on the water.

For such a small town, there is not a shortage of places to eat. The Backyard Bistro offers Farm to Table delights for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Brick’s River Cafe serves up local fare with a killer view. And Jimmy’s Burgers serves up the best beef in town! Bonus: it happens to be next door to the Bandera Brewery, which is pet & kid friendly!

If you are looking for an authentic West Texas outdoor adventure, head out to Bandera. You will love it!

Body positivity is a movement to accept bodies of all sizes and types, rather than those that conform to societal ideals of beauty. It emphasizes self-acceptance, inner worth, and appreciation for a body's abilities.

It’s always a great time for parents to think about how they can help their kids feel good about themselves and their bodies. Research shows that nearly two-thirds of kids are selfconscious about some aspect of their physical appearance and that negative body image issues affect even kids as young as 3 years old. There’s a lot you can say and do to nurture a positive body image. Here’s what the experts suggest:

Value all bodies

The first and most important thing is to make your kids value all bodies. Explain to them, says Sumner Brooks, a registered dietician and author of How to Raise an Intuitive Eater, that “bodies come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes [and that] there isn’t one good way to have a body.” Joslyn Smith of the National Eating Disorders Association puts it even more pointedly: Tell your kids that “all bodies - including yours - are good bodies.”

Love the body you’re in

You can inspire your kids to love their own bodies by asking them “what they like about their body and why,” says Diana Chillo-Havercamp, a licensed clinical social worker with expertise in children. This could be anything from how their eyes, ears, and noses let them experience the world in different but exciting ways to the beauty of the color of their skin. “A regular practice of saying affirmations,” notes Ana Reisdorf, a registered dietician: “can reduce negative self-talk and build your children’s confidence.”

Focus on what bodies can do

Another way to cultivate a positive body image is to “teach children to appreciate bodies for what they can do rather than how they look,” says Dr. Amy Slater, a clinical psychologist and one of the leading researchers on body image issues. Instead of asking them whether they think they’re too thin or too thick – and how they ideally would like to look – talk to them about all the things they can do and would like to do with their bodies, whether it’s riding a bike, learning a cool dance, mastering skateboarding or becoming a better swimmer. These conversations will make them feel good about themselves and inspire them to try to stay healthy and strong.

Promote a guilt-free relationship to food

It’s also important to promote a guiltfree relationship to food. Instead of telling your kids to only eat “good” nutritious food and avoid all “bad” junk food, which isn’t realistic or sustainable, teach them to listen to their bodies and don’t eat any more than they need. Kids need to learn, as Dr. Renee Engeln, a professor of psychology, puts it, “to listen to their bodies’ own cues about hunger and satiety.” To do that, says Milda Zolubaite, a registered nutritionist, never tell your kids that they need to clean their plates. Instead, “promote eating until full versus eating until all food is consumed,” say Drs. Sasha Ulrich and Deidre Paulson, family physician and clinical psychologist, respectively.

Encourage physical exercise

Encourage your kids to be active and exercise. “Physical activity, even a 10minute walk,” says Dr. Angela Celia Doyle, a clinical psychologist, “has been shown in research to improve body image.” Make sure, though, that you suggest physical exercise as a way to stay healthy and strong rather than to lose weight.

Model a positive body image

Kids look to adults for guidance on how to feel about themselves and their bodies, and no adults are more influential to kids than their parents. Try to cultivate a positive body image yourself and project that image to your kids.” As Ms. Reisdorf puts it: “Work at being the role model your children need to see.”

Teach your kids media literacy

Despite best efforts to nurture and project a positive body image, chances are that your kids will be influenced by the super-skinny bodies they see on TV and social media. Explain to them that many of these images are digitally-altered and edited and that, even when the images are real, they don’t represent healthy bodies that they should try to copy. “Help your child become a savvy media critic,” says Dayle Hayes, a registered dietician, “by talking about bodies on television, in magazines and on the internet.”

Encourage kids to read books with a body positive message

All Bodies are Good Bodies by Charlotte Barkla & Erica Salcedo Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor & Nabi Ali Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders & Carol Rossetti.

Use Summer to Help Get Kids Ahead Ahead Summer SummerLeaps Leaps

A recent survey by the Academy for Educational Development found that nearly half of American parents (43 percent) just want their kids to have fun and relax during the summer. Second and third priorities for their children are learning new things (24 percent) and preparing for school (22 percent).

As parents, we may still hold on to the idea from our childhoods of a carefree, happy summer when “kids can just be kids.” Research spanning 100 years demonstrates that students score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer. All young people experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities.

Most students lose about two months of gradelevel equivalency in math computation over the summer months.

Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class counterparts make slight gains.

This data begs the question: How do we not only help our children prevent summer learning loss but actually make gains and enrich their summer learning? While there are many academic camps for children to combat learning loss and even get ahead, summer budgets may be stretched already. Once you have taken the day trips to the local museum, park or zoo and had some positive, educational conversations with your children, you may be asking, “Now what?”

The Parent Institute, the U.S. Department of Education and the nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) have ideas for creating a learning-rich environment. They have been combined together for this simple, do-it-athome summer learning list to advance your child’s literacy and mathematic acuity.

The key to summer learning is FUN! So make summer learning fun and natural.

1. Want your children to be good readers? Let them see you read. Share their love of books and reading. Parents may say to children, "This was my favorite book when I was your age," or "I can't wait to start my new book."

2. Try relaxing your family's bedtime rules once a week on the weekends. Let your children know that they can stay up as late as they want, as long as they are reading in bed.

3. Cook with your children. Have them use measuring spoons, cups and tools for a hands on lesson in volume and science vocabulary, like liquids and solids.

4. Try holding D-E-A-R times at your house. "DEAR" stands for "Drop Everything and Read." During DEAR time, everyone in the family sits down for some uninterrupted reading time.

5. With young children, try reading to them during bath time. Careful with the splashing.

6. Have children make a "book" about themselves, with their own illustrations and wording. "A Book About Me" is a great way to help your child see him or herself as "somebody."

All children are at risk of losing more than academic knowledge over the summer. Children can lose their health. Most children gain weight two to three times more quickly on summer break.

7. Help your child discover his or her roots by talking with family members over the summer. Then ask your child to write that family member a thankyou letter and share all he learned that he didn’t previously know.

8. Let kids overhear you praising them to others, particularly about how impressed you are with how they are learning. Always praise their reading efforts.

9. Encourage children to read biographies about successful people. As children learn about the traits that make others successful, they are often motivated to adopt those same success patterns in their own lives.

10. Motivate your children in math by challenging them to figure out how much change you should get back from a purchase. If they get the amount right, they get to keep the change.

11. Encourage kids to collect things. Whether they collect rocks, shells, leaves, or bugs is not important. By collecting, children are learning new ways to make sense of their world.

12. Estimating is an important math skill. We estimate how much our groceries will cost. We estimate how much time we'll need to complete a project at work. You can help your child learn to estimate at home. Here's one idea: As you're driving, estimate the distance to your destination. Then estimate how much time it will take to get there. Use the odometer or a map to check your work.

13. Talk about geography in terms children can understand: go through your house and talk about where things came from. A calculator may have come from Taiwan. A box of cereal may have a Battle Creek, Michigan or White Plains, New York address. Talk about where the wheat for your bread came from. Where was the cotton for your blue jeans grown? Tell your children where your ancestors came from. Find the places on a map.

14. Show your child that writing is useful. Have them help you write a letter ordering something, asking a question, etc. Then show them the results of your letter.

14120 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77079 www.yorkshireacademy.com | Phone :281-531-6088


Grades Served: 18 monthS - 5th grade School Type: Private Elementary & Pre-School Afterschool Programs: Coding, Yoga, Chess, Piano, Tae Kwon Do, Golf, and dozens more Recognitions: The first and only Ocean Guardian School in the Houston area

Yorkshire Academy, a private school located in the Memorial area, was established in 1984 with its primary goal being to create an environment in which children can develop to their fullest potential at their own individual rate.

Yorkshire’s tag line “A Little School Making a Big Impact” rings true. Yorkshire provides top notch academics, stellar enrichment classes, and a nurturing environment which makes students feel welcome and secure.

Yorkshire strives to develop the whole person, guiding each child with experiences to enhance his or her own self-image, whether it be excelling within dynamic classroom academics, singing and dancing in amazing musical productions, earning a 1st place academic competition ribbon in math, or mastering the latest technology in the computer lab. Yorkshire students graduate with all the tools necessary for middle school success.

www.yorkshireacademy.com Call 281.531.6088 to schedule a personal tour

The HFM Kid Ambassador Program empowers our kids to try new things, make new friends & encourages growth socially & academically! Stay tuned to watch their accomplishments this year


3001 W. Bay Area Blvd


11900 Crane Brook Dr. Woodlands

10601 Falconwing Dr. www.bbmacademy.com

Our Mission: To Nurture Little Minds and Grow Big Hearts for a Better World

At Big Blue Marble Academy, we understand what developing minds need to be successful in preschool and in life. Research shows that the first five years of a child’s life are transformative for growing children’s minds and developing their social-emotional skills. Whether you’re looking for early care, daycare, preschool, or after-school care, we’ve designed our programs around what your child needs for their age and stage of development.

At the core of our curriculum is a focus on global education, which enhances children’s perspectives and understanding of the world outside their community. We teach children the importance of giving back and helping others in need through hands-on activities and “Heart Projects.” We provide the structure children need, while also encouraging their natural curiosity and love of learning. Big Blue Marble Academy provides a true home away from home for your child.

A College Prep Montessori School, Teaching Early Childhood through Grade 12.

School of the Woods, the oldest continuously operating Montessori school in the Houston area, provides an educational program proven and strengthened through more than four decades of successful experience.

The Main campus is nestled cozily in a close-in neighborhood in Spring Branch approximately 1 mile north of I-10 off Wirt Rd.

The campus is heavily wooded and landscaped with native Texas plants. The sylvan environment is an integral part of the curriculum. The buildings were designed to integrate with the natural environment of the campus. They are cottage style structures sized to fit the needs of the students.

In addition to a robust academic program, students at School of the Woods participate in both sports & the arts. Music, Theater, Dance and Performance Arts, as well as Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Swimming and Track & Field are all available!

Regis' core strength is teaching boys and creating scholars and gentlemen 7330 Westview Drive Houston TX 77055 P: 713-682-8383 TheRegisSchool.Org

At its founding in 1991, The Regis School of the Sacred Heart became the first and only 3 Pre-K through eighth grade all-boys Sacred Heart school in the Houston area, fulfilling a need in the city’s Catholic community.

The school’s founders—with the guidance of Archbishop Fiorenza—envisioned a unique educational environment for their sons, simultaneously grounded in rigorous academics and the Sacred Heart Goals of faith, intellect, service, community and maturity.

The Sacred Heart Goals shape not only curriculum development, but also teaching practices, character education and—most importantly—spiritual development.

Based upon the Sacred Heart Goals, Regis students move through a deliberate progression from a guided learner to an active participant to an effective contributor, and ultimately to become an engaged leader called The Regis Experience.

1424 Sherwood Forest, Houston TX 77043

P: 713-465-0288 TheBranchSchool.Org

As a private school focused on inspiring students to love, learn, and lead, The Branch School instills a drive toward discovery, intellectual resilience, and leadership ability across our preschool, elementary, and middle school program. All of our students, preschool through grade 8, experience project-based, hands-on learning with a Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) focus.

This hands-on, project-based STEAM program makes Branch students deeper thinkers and more enthusiastic learners, laying an important early foundation of scientific knowledge and technological know-how. Our challenging academics and collaborative learning opportunities help each student develop critical-thinking capacities, creative problemsolving skills, and a lifelong love of learning – making us one of the best private schools in Houston.

OPEN HOUSE JAN 27TH, 2024 - RSVP @ TheBranchSchool.org

11059 Timberline Road, Houston, TX 77043

P: 713-647-7246 Rainard.Org Houston’s only school for Gifted & Talented Students

Our Mission:

The mission of Rainard is to embrace the needs of gifted children by nurturing the individual’s intellectual growth, social skills, and emotional development in an environment that inspires the joy of learning.

Why Parens Choose The Rainard School:

We Embrace the Gifted Interest Based Learning

We Focus on Nature

Multi Age Small Class Sizes

Gifted Instructors

Learning Outisde the Classroom

Gifted Community

Fluid Learning Environment

To find out more, schedule a tour @ rained.org.

for green time for green time

Kids are spending an exorbitant amount of time glued to their electronics these days. The latest survey by Common Sense Media found that American teenagers ages 13 to 18 spend an average of six and a half hours of screen time per day on social media and other activities like video games. Screen time continues to increase as kids are online more during the school day and for socializing with their friends. With this boost in screen use, we have also seen a rise in mental health concerns with tweens and teens. The increase in young girls’ digital technology use, for example, is often linked to the rise in depression and suicide since 2012 in the U.S.

One way to balance out all this screen time is to get outside and engage with nature, which has been shown through scientific research to have an abundance of health benefits. All of us need healthy breaks away from screens throughout the day to recharge and get back to a balanced state, both mentally and physically. Spending some time outside will help kids relax and then come back energized and inspired as they continue with their day. If they do not get these necessary nature breaks in between school, homework, and their other commitments, they could burn out before they even have the chance to receive their high school diploma.

Every year, the organization Fairplay organizes Screen-Free Week to shine the light on the importance of taking breaks from screens. Screen-Free Week is an annual invitation to play, explore, and rediscover the joys of life beyond adsupported screens. During this week, thousands of families, schools, and communities around the world will put down their entertainment screens for seven days of fun, connection, and discovery.

Even though this week is about turning off screens, Screen-Free Week is not just about going without technology. As we all know, much of our lives these days depend on screens: paying bills, ordering food, filling out forms before visiting the doctor, keeping up with family and friends, communicating with our children’s school, our own work, our kids’ schoolwork, and more.

Instead, let’s spend time during Screen-Free Week recognizing how we can start building a nature habit to turn some screen time into more green time. An hour once dedicated to YouTube becomes an hour spent outside on a family bike ride; ten minutes scrolling on social media turn into ten minutes taking care of a pet or plant; a movie on a rainy afternoon is replaced by time spent reading and learning about nature.

You can celebrate Screen-Free Week at home, in your school, in your community, or anywhere – just put down those entertainment screens and choose an activity that helps you connect to nature because, as we discuss all the time here, it will help you and your loved ones feel happier and calmer.

Here are some other ideas for replacing screen time with green time all year long:

Instead of eating dinner in front of the television, take your meal out back or on your balcony. Instead of planning birthday parties where kids watch a movie or play video games, suggest getting a group together for a barbeque; swimming; outdoor sports game; or an exciting adventure like camping, boating, kayaking, river rafting, mountain biking, or doing a ropes course.

Instead of your kids locked away in their rooms with their computer doing homework, suggest they head outside to get some of their work done to enjoy the fresh air. Maybe they even want to draft an essay the old-fashioned way with a pencil and paper to get a much-needed screen break.

Instead of your kids making TikTok videos all day, get their creative juices flowing while engaging with nature outside by doing activities like nature photography, drawing or painting nature scenes, nature journaling, writing nature poetry and stories, and even listening to music while relaxing in the backyard.

Instead of hosting family holiday dinners at your dining room table, set up your gathering outdoors.

As you can see, there are so many ways to swap screen time for green time. Get started by taking the ScreenFree Week Pledge. You will also find other amazing resources over on the Fairplay website, including a Screen-Free Bingo Game and a list of 101 Screen-Free Activities.

Tyler Texas is known as the Rose Capital of the United States! rose bushes found in the United States are packaged and shipped from this area. Tyler's amazing rose garden, which blooms from March until the first frost each year, boasts more than 32,000 rose bushes representing 600 varieties of roses. So if you are looking for a fun day trip, Tyler is definitely worth the ride.

Located just under 4 hours away from Houston, this trek is perfect for those days you feel like getting in the car for a drive.

ratitude is one of the most important ways for us to get a happiness boost, providing us with so many wonderful psychological, physical, and interpersonal benefits. It improves our health, reduces stress, and helps us focus on the positive. Stepping back and being thankful for what we have gives us energy, inspires us, and transforms us. It also helps us realize that life is truly a gift.

Learning how to be grateful is definitely something that we should pass on to our kids. If you can get them into the habit of expressing gratitude from an early age, it is likely to have a positive effect in the long run. Here are some ways to build a gratitude habit in your home.

Gratitude Journals

One of the most popular and effective ways to express gratitude stories is through journaling. It encourages our kids to acknowledge the positive moments in their day, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Whether it is a smile from a stranger, a good grade on a test, a gift from a relative, or an awe-inspiring sunset, they will begin to feel calmer and more joyful by appreciating these experiences. Our children can greatly benefit from keeping a gratitude journal, but it’s important that we keep it fun for them such as with multimedia ideas like blogs and videos

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Thanksgiving Dinner Every Night

Just because Thanksgiving is in November doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate Thanksgiving traditions year-round as we sit down together at the dinner table. Enjoy your time with your family and encourage your children to tell you all about their day and the things to be grateful for. Ask them to remember to thank siblings and other family members. Some families find it helpful to put together a gratitude jar to collect their thankful statements all year, and then they can go through everything they wrote each year on Thanksgiving.

Bedtime Routine

The most important stress buster that I added to my life was introducing a gratitude prayer with my children every night as part of their bedtime routine. We go around the room and each say one thing we are thankful for that day and one thing we hope for in the future. It is such a special time we share together, and has become a key part of our lives. I love this practice because it gives me a chance to think about gratitude everyday, even if I don’t always say everything I am thinking out loud for my children to hear. And when you do it with your children, they hold you accountable. My children love it so much that they now need to say thank you before they can fall asleep. You can also read books about gratitude at bedtime, such as The Thankful Book by Todd Parr and My Grateful Book by Diana Smith.

Spontaneous Moments

Finally, try finding gratitude moments with your children throughout the day. A great time is during the car ride to and from school or when you are waiting in line at a store or in the doctor’s office. Connect with your children by asking them what happened during their day what they are grateful for. Make gratitude part of your children’s afterschool routine.

Add some fun and interest by asking your kids to use the alphabet, colors, shapes, or other categories to guide what that are thankful for. For example, ask them to find one thing they are grateful for based on the colors of the rainbow: the delicious red apple they had during lunch, the bright blue sky, and the beautiful purple flower blooming in front of your house. Next, spark their appreciation for nature by taking them to awe-inspiring places like gardens, the beach, parks, and hiking and camping spots. And just when your day seems stressful and out of control, take a gratitude break to calm everyone down and to gain a new, more uplifting perspective.

doing everything for your kids STOP

Set them on the path to independence

As you're watching your kids walk across that graduation stage this month and next, you're probably thinking on the future, of how they'll head off to college in a few months, ready for their next journey in life.

But now imagine sending them off to college and still having to call to wake them up every morning to make sure they get to class on time. Sounds shocking, right?

When I was in college twenty years ago, I can recall going multiple days, maybe even up to a couple of weeks, without communicating with my parents. Sure, this was before cell phones, text messaging, and Facebook, but it just wasn’t necessary to talk to my parents that often. They gave me plenty of freedom to live my own life and to explore and grow during those incredible years as I blossomed into an independent adult. Somehow, I figured out how to register for classes, study, eat, do laundry, meet new friends, get over break ups, and handle bad grades all on my own.

Nowadays high school graduates enter college as children, incapable of taking care of themselves. According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How To Raise An Adult, overparenting and prolonged childhood are an epidemic in this country. As the Dean of Freshman at Stanford University for 10 years, (one of best universities in the world), Julie LythcottHaims witnessed firsthand some disturbing trends of college students. Although they were more successful on paper than ever before, with pages of accolades like awards, high test scores, leadership roles, varsity letters, overseas experiences, unique community service projects, etc., these students were also less familiar with who they were, and their own goals and dreams. So many of them appeared to be robot-like, blindly following the directions of their parents to participate in certain activities and take classes that would land them acceptance letters from the finest institutions possible.

She also noticed that these kids couldn’t do much for themselves, and still relied on mom and dad to help them. They were constantly on the phone with their parents asking for advice, and requesting that they take care of basic tasks like registering them for classes, sending them special packages, advising them on their homework, and even contacting professors if they did not receive the perfect grade How on earth will these young adults ever hold a job and function in the real world if they can’t take care of themselves during college? We hear a lot about how millennials are difficult to work with in the job market—self-entitled, narcissistic, lazy, and tough to manage.

Lythcott-Haims makes it very clear: we have no one to blame but ourselves. The patterns that lead to this detrimental behavior start right now, even if your kids are in Kindergarten. Are you one of these types of parents?

Over protective. You view the world as unsafe, scary, and unpredictable so you do everything possible to protect your children instead of preparing them to learn how to handle life’s challenges themselves.

Tiger parent. You provide fierce direction to your kid, telling them that you know what’s best for them to achieve success in this world.

Excessive hand holder. You do everything for your kids to make life as pleasant as possible for them. You are their concierge, chauffeur, handler, scheduler, and secretary.

These helicopter parenting styles are impeding our children. So my parents today feel like their kids can’t be successful without them helping at everyone turn and hovering over them. They spend so much time

planning, protecting, directing, and nagging that they are ultimately stunting their growth. We are taking away the ability for our children to learn self-efficacy, says Lythcott-Haims. This incredibly important skill is a fundamental aspect of the human psyche. It is when individuals realize that their own actions lead to outcomes, that they have power to direct their own lives. “If our children are to build self efficacy, then they

need to do more of the thinking, planning, deciding, hoping, coping, trial and error, dreaming, and experiencing of life for themselves. We may ensure some short-term goals by over helping, but it comes as a long-term cost to their sense of self. We should be more concerned that they have the habits, skill set, mindset, and wellness to be successful no matter what their future holds,” she announces.

This is worrisome because we all want our children to be able to function without us, to fulfill their dreams and live happy, healthy, successful lives. Listening to her presentation really opened my eyes. So, how can we stop doing everything for our kids? Here are some steps to get started on this whole new parenting perspective. Consider using the summer ahead to make some changes.

Stop Making Everything About You

Many parents try to live through their children because they are unsatisfied with their own childhood. They may even refer to their child’s grades and activities as “ours." Learn to separate what’s yours from what’s theirs. We also have to stop trying to mold our kids into something they are not. We will all be much better off if we love our children for who they are and support them.

Teach Them New Skills

The only way our children will learn to do things for themselves is if we provide opportunities for them to learn new skills. This starts during pre-school when we ask our children to dress themselves and use a fork properly. With each new year, there are so many chances to help develop their skillset. The best way to teach our kids a new skill is to: 1) do it for them, 2) do it with them, 3) watch them do it on their own, and 4) let them do it on their own. Wouldn’t you rather gradually teach your kids and not have to cram everything in on the way to college move in day?!

Let Them Fend For Themselves and Learn From Their Mistakes

It is so important that our children learn how to speak up for themselves and communicate with authority figures and peers alike. We have to stop trying to clean up all their messes for them and protect them from failure. The only way they will grow is if they make mistakes and learn how to handle them.

Give Your Kids Experiences

Even if it is totally out of your comfort zone, try to let your kids experience activities without you that will help them build selfconfidence and independence. Sleep overs, all-day sports or other competitions, camping trips, and sleepaway camp are some good examples. Last summer my son went off to sleepaway camp for four weeks, and it was very difficult for me. I cried for days worrying about him. But, you know what? When I saw him on visiting day, I was blown away by how happy he was and how mature he acted. I was petrified that he would pick up bad habits and become a rotten kid, but the opposite happened—he became an even more amazing version of himself.

By adjusting some of our parenting techniques now, we can better prepare our kids for a successful life ahead of them.

Summer Reads Book Bites

The Calculation of You And Me by Serena Kaylor (Wednesday Books) Teens

A calculus nerd enlists her surly classmate’s help to win back her ex-boyfriend, but when sparks start to fly, she realizes there is no algorithm for falling in love.

The Unwedding by Ally Condie (Grand Central Publishing) Adults

Ellery Wainwright is at a resort in Big Sur, celebrating her anniversary by herself. Things soon turn south with a big storm and a dead body in the pool.

The Wedding People by Alison Espach (Henry Holt & Co) Adults

A propulsive and uncommonly wise novel about one unexpected wedding guest and the surprising people who help us start anew.

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone (Yearling Books) Middle Grade

How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma: Grab a pre-packed suitcase and fasten your seatbelt: G’ma’s not conventional, so this trip won’t be either.

Beach Bummer by Ryan T Higgins (Disney) Toddlers

Everyone is enjoying fun in the sun except for Bruce. It’s too hot, too sandy, and too windy, and Bruce would rather be doing nothing. In the shade. Where it’;s cool.

Duck Duck Taco Truck by Laura Lavoie (Doubleday Books) Picture Book

It’s a summer showdown at the beach as two taco slinging ducks see their turf taken over by an enterprising goose. A rollicking, rhyming, beachy readaloud.

If You Spot A Shell by Aimee Jicuro (Random House Studio) Picture Book

This cheery picture book captures the excitement of summer and encourages children to see their collected seashells in an entirely new way. Exquisite illustrations.

A Is For America by Greg Paprocki (Gibbs Smith) Toddlers

An engaging collection of 26 illustrations featuring more than just fireworks, parades, and the American flag.

Also includes iconic moments from American history.


Tips for Hosting the Perfect BackyuardBash

With the advent of summer comes the dawn of summer camps, summer sports, and summer vacations. It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of the season’s voracious time consumers and forget to take a moment to sit back with friends for an afternoon or evening of summertime fun.

This year, why not be the awesome family on the block who throws a backyard party for all to enjoy? With some simple set-up, and inexpensive activities, your event can be just the icebreaker that your neighborhood needs to form fond memories and lasting relationships.


• The first thing arriving guests will notice is your lawn, so be sure to address any glaring issues before they walk the green carpet. Choose themed lawn decorations, like custom inflatables that can be tailored to a specific theme, to give your guests a festive welcome. Explore custom-printed inflatables by clicking here to see how they can turn your yard into a joyful setting.

• Give your decorations some zest! Fill a jar with water and lemon slices, then add a simple bouquet of daisies or whatever flowers you have growing in your garden.

• Buy bandanas and fold them to form a pocket for serving flatware. Make a bandana table runner by attaching 10 bandanas, end to end, with fusible hemming tape. Thank you, Martha Stewart!

• For an affordable and creative display stand for treats and chips, without the expense or chance of breaking, overturn a small vase or decorative paper cup and set a sturdy plate on top.

• Give folding chairs a fun makeover with some bright spray paint. Say chartreuse or neon pink?

• Randomly hang paper lanterns on tree branches as a fun and festive beacon that guides guests to where the party is.

• Break open the box of Christmas decorations, and string some lights around the yard or patio cover.We love the larger bulbs, which bring on a European air. They instantly set the warm, inviting mood.

• Get some rainbow fire crystals for your fire pit. Buy them on Amazon for $14.95 for a pack of two.


• Post an overhand or umbrella over your buffet to protect it from the elements.

• Stretch out your spread with thoughtful placement of food: Place chips and salsa, veggies, and salads near the beginning, and end with more expensive food items, like meat and fruit. People will tend to fill up their plates before they get to the end. (Thanks, Brittany Egbert, of One Charming Party, for this tip).

• Create a beverage station where guests mix drinks and mingle. A fun idea is to pull a dresser outside and use it as a self-service bar. Set it up with accessories in the drawers and bottles set out on top. Pretty and practical!

back to the house for refills.

• Keep track of drinks with different color rubber bands.

• Use a drink dispenser. It’s so much easier for even young guests to fill their own glasses.

• For drinking glasses, use mason jars.

• Set up a separate condiment station with salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, etc,. to keep the food line moving and create another gathering point for conversation as guests freshen up their food.

• Be sure to have lights ready for when the sun goes down, so your guests can still serve themselves.

• Keep insects out of drinks by topping glasses with patterned cupcake liners. Poke a hole through the center for a straw.

• Instead of lugging bags of ice home from the grocery store, plan ahead. A few days before the party, start filling up large zip-top bags with ice from your freezer’s ice machine and pull them out as needed.

• An alternative to keeping your cooler cool is to fill up some water balloons (in fun colors), freeze them, and use them in place of ice in a cooler. They’re more festive than ice, especially when placed in glasses. When you notice them sagging, just pop them back in the freezer.

• For under $2 you can make a noodle beverage boat for the pool. Go to the local dollar store, and buy a pool noodle, a medium sized plastic storage container (with a locking lid) and some waterproof nylon rope. Cut the noodle into 4 pieces (two Long, and two shorter). Use the rope to tie them all together, and wrap the noodle and rope around the lid of the plastic container.


• Help your guests stay comfortable outdoors throughout the day and into the night. Leave out amenities like sunblock, bug spray, hand wipes, and, if it might turn chilly, light blankets.

• Plant lemongrass as a natural way to keep mosquitoes away. Buy a mature plant from an Asian market or grocery store. When you get it home, trim the tops of the plant and remove any dead parts. Plant it in a clear jar of water and place on a sunny windowsill. Within a few weeks, it will develop roots and can be transplanted to your garden.


• Make a giant outdoor water bed for the kids using a roll of plastic drop cloth and duck tape (W$10 for both at Walmart for under $10). Get the kind that rips off into ten 10′ squares. Duck tape the squares together and fill with water. Kids will love it, and so will the adults!

• Who’s’ up for night-time ring toss? Grab some glow necklaces and glow bracelets from your local dollar store, drive a stake into the ground, and let the tossing begin.

• Make a DIY splash pad. Lay out a clean tarp and secure it with small, metal stakes. Put a Hop-Scotch sprinkler (around $25 at Target or on Amazon) on top of it. Attach a water hose, and you have a roomy area for everyone to jump, run and splash around in. Water stays on the tarp, eventually transforming the space into a slip ‘n’ slide for them too. It’s also a great place for adults to sit and cool down.

• Get crafty. Enlist the kids to help you make stepping stones out of cement, cereal boxes, and glass stones. Your artsy guests will enjoy the activity, and you’ll have a wonderful leave-behind souvenir for years to come.

• Croquet, anyone? Set up pool noodles for a game of kickball croquet. Another trip to the dollar store will get you plenty for cheap. You just cut the pool noodles in half down the middle, so you get two arches out of each noodle. Use garden stakes to keep the arches in place on the lawn. Gather up a few kick balls and kick the ball through the course croquet style! First one to get their ball to the finish wins!!

• Everyone loves a parade. Set up a table with ribbons, streamers and bows, then unleash the kids in a bicycle decorating challenge. Let them show off their craftsmanship with a neighborhood parade.

• Time for some throwing practice. Rather than organizing a space-consuming game of football, hang a tarp between two trees and cut out shapes (squares, ovals, diamonds) at varying heights. Label each shape with a number of points. Kids take turns throwing a football. Whoever has the most points at the end wins!

• Say cheese! Hang painted vintage frames from tree branches as a darling photo station where guests can preserve party memories.


If you really want to stand out in your neighborhood’s annals of summer party history, check out some of these exciting products:

Invite Bandz Kit: Set the tone for awesomeness with this online party planning tool that lets your kids be “the hosts with the most.” A set of uniquely coded collectible silicone wristband “invitations” lets kids invite their friends in a memorable way. The party guests access the host’s personalized online party page and private social community–the Friendz Hub. $14.99 – $59.99. shop.markedprivate.com/

WHOM: Let the kids run around, while the adults have a blast at your summer party with this new card game that pits friends against friends in a game of secrets and big reveals. Pre-selling on Kickstarter for a $25 pledge. Pledge more and get a limited “Selfie Package,” (you’re drawn into a future piece of game art). www.thewhomgame.com

Jumbo Bananagrams: Want to fight summer brain drain out at your party? The jumbo version of this family favorite features 3×3 inch, waterproof tiles, making it ideal for poolside educational play. $44.99. www.bananagrams.com

Rollors: This eco-friendly outdoor game is the ultimate alternative to traditional lawn sports! The concept is a combination of bocce and horseshoes, with a thrilling element of chance. $49.95. http://rollors.com/

Frogglez: Leave it to a dad to create brilliant swimming goggles that stay in place with a neoprene strap instead of rubber. Now you don’t have to interrupt the fun to cut kids’ hair out of the goggles! $16.95. www.frogglezgoggles.com

Movie Party Rental: Did you know you can rent everything you need for a fabulous outdoor movie party? Available in packages for 5, 50 or 100 guests, this 2-story high inflatable screen turns your backyard into a drive-in movie theatre, without the cars! From $299 http://www.funflicks.com/

Making Moments Together Extraordinary

Soak up the fun at Paradise Springs Water Park! Prepare for heart-pounding slides, refreshing pools, a lazy river, private cabanas, and an extraordinary day you’ll never forget.

Backyard fun Backyard fun Inexpen$ive Ways to Spend Summer Days

Short on funds this summer? A lack of cash does not have to mean a shortage of summer fun!

Outdoor ecstasy for your cooped up kids is as close at hand as your back yard. Even when these fun ideas are not completely free, they are still pretty darn cheap.

So open up the back door and let the kids out while you let the summer fun in. These activities are fun for kids of all ages, grown up kids included.

1. Build a worm box

2. Play "Kick the Can"

3. Stage a backyard puppet show or play

4. Use a wagon as a mobile sandbox

5. Experiment with original sun tea combinations

6. Be a backyard geologist

7. Arrange a stuffed animal parade

8. Chase moths or butterflies

9. Host a neighborhood "Trashion Show"

10. Drape together a napping tent

11. Paint large stones bright colors for the walkway

12. Host a neighborhood water balloon fight

13. Construct a ladybug house

14. Wash the car (or the dog)

15. Come up with alternatives to the lemonade stand

16. Create an over-sized map for an outdoor treasure hunt

17. String together a giant bubble wand

18. Pretend to be a professional outdoor photographer

19. Fill a wading pool with mud instead

20. Set up the sprinkler or slippery-slide

21. Arrange a fairy garden

22. Use sidewalk chart somewhere besides the sidewalk

23. Construct a city out of recycled items

24. Grow some plants from seed

25. Erect and attempt an obstacle course

26. Break out the bathing suits and body paints

27. Shape a bug maze with tiny rocks

28. Draw or paint what you see in "En Plein Air"

29. Fill and bury a time capsule

30. Cut and arrange flowers

31. Squirt empty cans off of a ladder

32. Prepare a sunset picnic

33. Put fresh batteries in the walkie-talkies

34. Chase fireflies with recycled jars

35. Play past-your-bedtime flashlight tag

36. Camp out in the yard overnight



Join us for a weekly story time featuring some of our favorite animals! Each week we will read a nature-themed book, observe biofacts and/or live animals, and then venture out on the trails for a selfguided hike.

Ages 18m – 3yo. 9-10:15am, 10:3011:14am. $5 member / $7 nonmember. Every Monday in July. www.houstonarboretum.org

Music in the Garden

Build your own garden which will include the seeds of over 20 types of butterflies attracting flowers to bring these colorful creatures to your landscape. All supplies to start your garden are included. Meet inside the Mercer Visitor Center.

Ages 2-5 and caregiver. 11:30a-12p. Free.


Story Time

Children and parents are introduced to books in a pre-school social group. Pre-school age and caregiver. 10:3011a. Free. Also July 15. www.pct3.com/MBG


Join us for a morning of nature discovery as we explore the different habitats.

Ages 5-10yo. 9:30-11:30am. $15 member / $7 non-member. Every Tuesday in July. www.houstonarboretum.org

Rhyme Time for Babies / Toddlers

Rhyme Time is a group class focused on gently exposing your child to an environment of music through songs, movement, singing and first introductions to instruments. It’s an excellent way to interact with other families in our community, while fostering socialization for babies.

Ages 6-24 mo. 9:30a. $9 / person, children under 1 free. Every Tuesday.

https://woodlandschildrensmuseu m.org/


The annual tradition that is ever growing stronger returns to unite communities, delight families and honor our greatest public servants once more! All ages. 8pm. Free. www.woodlandscenter.org

Nature Story Time

Preschoolers and their caregivers join us on Wednesday afternoons for nature stories, live animals, touchable specimens, and a simple craft. 4 pm. 2-5 yo. Free. www.naturediscoverycenter.org

Blossom Brigade

Come out and volunteer with Mercer staff in the Pollinator Garden and Honeybee Corral. 16+. 9-11a. Free. Every Wednesday until the end of the month. www.pct3.com/MBG

Buffalo Bayou Wellness Walk

Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership on a free Wellness Walk led by Laura Conely, founder of Urban Paths. Anyone and everyone is invited to walk through the paths of Buffalo Bayou Park while discussing topics including mental and physical health as well as the benefits of being exposed to nature. All ages. Free. 6:30 pm. Every Wednesday. www.buffalobayou.org

Happy 4th of July!

Photo Credit: CiCiLoo Photography
Animal Tales
Discovery Days
Star-Spangled Salute –Houston Symphony


Freedom Over Texas

This year’s Freedom Over Texas is an event filled with six-hours of festivities, tradition, and live concert stages, along Allen Parkway. Freedom Over Texas will feature local, regional, and national entertainment and will be capped off with a musically choreographed, “Texas-sized” fireworks finale. All ages. 4-. $10 / person www.houstontx.gov

Happy 4th of July!!!!

Star Spangled SaluteHouston Symphony

This is our biggest performance of the year and we want to celebrate with you!

Celebrate Independence Day with a performance of patriotic favorites followed by a grand finale of fireworks at 10:00 PM!

All ages. 8:30-10:30pm. Free. www.milleroutdoortheatre.com


Sail the scenic waterway on a 90minute, guided tour from downtown to Waugh Drive Bridge and back to watch the emergence of the 250,000+ Mexican free-tailed bats that live under the bridge. Ages 4+. $30 / person. 7:35-9:05 pm. Every Friday. www.buffalobayou.org

Storybook Theatre – Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses Pete teaches us that a positive attitude can change a grumpy day into an awesome day!

All ages. 11a. $9 / person, children 1 under, free. woodlandschildrensmuseum.org


A foot-stompin’, toe tappin’ tribute to the greatest names in country music, including songs by famed singers and songwriters like johnny cash, hank williams, kenny rogers, dolly parton, carrie underwood, and faith hill. Featuring our own houston symphony!

All ages. 8:30-10:30pm. Free. www.milleroutdoortheatre.com

Tree ID Walk

Any season is a great season to learn about trees! Jim McKee, a Master Naturalist, tree lover, and bird watcher will be leading more walks throughout the year to teach us how to identify the trees that live here in Russ Pitman Park. You’ll learn how to use leaf, bark, twig characteristics, and more to identify local trees. 10-11a. Adult. Free. www.naturediscoverycenter.org

Trail mix

Features live music, magic, and more! Join us trailside as Andy Roo takes you on an adventure through the AndyRooniverse along with magicians Dave and Jake Rangel. Enjoy unique hands-on pop-ups and giveaways to amp up the fun! Sessions are outdoors, weather permitting. 10a-11a. All ages. Free. www.themkt.com

Face Painting

Enjoy free face painting by two professional artists. Ages 3-18 yo. 1-3 pm. Free. www.pct3.com/MBG

Rock The Row

Enjoy live music on scenic Lake Woodlands on Thursday evenings at Hughes Landing! Rock the Row features local and regional bands playing a variety of favorites. 7-9pm. All ages. Free. Every Saturday. www.visitthewoodlands.com


Sound Healing Meditation

Find your center and practice meditation in the spacious and tranquil Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Adult. $15. 10-10:45am. Also July 7,10,13,14,17,21,24,27,28. www.buffalobayou.org

Zumba by Tiny Fitness

Join the party and sweat with Tiny Fitness to rhythms from around the world!

Ages 16+. 9a Sunday & 6:30p Monday. Free. Every Sunday & Monday. www.levyparkhouston.org

The Woodlands Farmer’s Market Shop for items made by local artisans and grown by area farmers. 9a-1p. All ages. Free. Every Saturday. www.visitthewoodlands.com



Board Games and Bubbles

Join us at the trevilion at Evelyn's Park Conservancy in Bellaire for kid friendly board games and whimsical fun! (weather permitting).

Ages 11-. 11a-12p. Free. Every Monday. www.evelynspark.org

Kids STEM - Rain Cloud Experiment

Explosions, gadgets, and pulleys, OH, MY! Join us for exploratory activities that make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math FUN!

Ages 5-10 yo. 2-3 pm. Free. Hillendahl Neighborhood Library. www.houstonlibrary.org

Family Storytime & Craft

Join us for a cross-generational literacy experience! Family Storytime features a story followed by a craft that accompanies the reading. All craft supplies are included as a part of this free program. Ages 5yo and under. 10a. Free. Every Tuesday. www.levyparkhouston.org

Baby Storytime

Baby Storytime In-Person Stories, rhymes, movement and songs that will engage you and your baby. Develop your baby’s social, motor, and literacy skills while having fun!

Ages 0-18 mo. 10:30-11 am. Free. www.houstonlibrary.org

Children with an adult companion can join a Naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails. Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as bees, wildflowers, and lizards!

Ages 2-4 yo. 9:30-10:30am, 11am-12pm. $10 member / $12 nonmember, per child, per class. Every Thursday in July. www.houstonarboretum.org

Cistern Tour, Houston
Discovery Green, Houston
Blue Willow Blue Willow
Buffalo Bayou Cruise: Bats
The Legends of Country Music featuring Houston Symphony
Tiny Trekkers


Family Nature Night

Come for a night of family fun at the Center complete with themed paper and food crafts, a brief guided nature walk in the park, and an engaging, interactive presentation by Head Naturalist Eric Duran with live animals and specimens. All ages. 6:30-8pm. Members $10 / person. www.naturediscoverycenter.org

Slow Flow with Stephanie McCarrey

This is an all-levels yoga flow for beginners to experts that will help you build strength and mobility. The Vinyasa flow is set to the beat of the latest top 40 and throwback favorites.

Adults. 7p Wednesdays & 8a Fridays. Free. Every Wednesday & Friday. www.levyparkhouston.org

Crazy About Critters host The Learning Zoo

Laugh, learn and get hands-on during an educational animal encounter on stage.

All ages. 11a. $9 / person. woodlandschildrensmuseum.org/

Baby Bump Social Towne Spring

Houston Family Magazine - Fun Fest July 27th

Mercer Garden Tour

See what's in bloom and explore the 'roots' less taken on this approximate one-mile tour. 9-10a. Ages 14+. Free. www.pct3.com/MBG

Movie Night and Frozen Party

Join us at Central Green for a Frozen Party to help cool everyone off in this Summer Heat!!

There will be Snow Cones, Frozen Mascots, face painting and a craft table for the kids to enjoy before the movie. All ages. 7:30-9:30pm. Free. www.centralgreenpark.com

Bring a fellow pregnant friend, your partner, a family member, or join us on your own! Enjoy light refreshments and ask our experts all of your questions about pregnancy and parenthood. Adult. 6-7:30p. Free. www.motherhoodcenter.com

Market Street Spring Concert Series

Market Street presents its spring concert series from April to June in Central Park. Blankets and lawn chairs welcome. All ages. Free. 6-8:30pm. https://northhoustonmoms.com

Batty Bridge –Family Field Trip 12 13 14

Join us at the Center to learn about bats, make some crafts and munch on some snacks. Then head over to Waugh Drive with us to visit the bat bridge on a bat filled field trip! All ages. 6:30-9:30pm. Members $10 / person. www.naturediscoverycenter.org 11

Presented every 6-8 weeks in partnership with downtown galleries, artist studios, nonprofits, and local businesses, ArtWalk takes place inside existing art spaces. This popular event is free and open to everyone. All ages. 6-9pm. Free. www.visitgalveston.com

Memorial Market Summer Series

Immerse your senses in a fusion of flavors, artisan crafts, and one-of-a-kind produce. All ages. 9am-1pm. Free. https://www.visithoustontexas.com/event/mem orial-market-summer-series/104590/

Play It Cool!

Join Anna, Elsa, Hans, and Olaf for a Frozeninspired sing-along extravaganza that will have you belting out your favorite tunes as you journey through the enchanting kingdom of Arendelle. All ages. $19.95 / person, 1 yo and under free. 9am-2pm. www.cmhouston.org

Second Saturday Bird Survey

Work on your bird watching skills while helping the Arboretum monitor bird populations on a fun, relaxed morning walk. We welcome all levels of bird watching skill and all ages (as long as you’re quiet).

8-10a. All ages. Free, donations accepted. www.houstonarboretum.org

It’s a H-town Thing 713 Day Festival

Join Houston Hotties Social Hour for our anual 713 Day Festival! First 20 Guest receive a FREE drink, every guest gets a Swag Bag. Shop our curated vendor market, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and celebrate the culture.

Adult. 12-4pm. $15. www.eventbrite.com

Texas New Music Festival

Texas New Music Ensemble will bring Houston 8 days of concerts, film screenings, guest lectures, and more! Over 50 composers, choreographers, and instrumentalists will present 28 World Premieres during this epic celebration of new art and music.

Adult. $20 / show. Various times. Run through July 21. https://matchouston.org

Galveston ArtWalk

The Music of Abba

Mamma Mia, here we go again! Dance, jive, and have the time of your life as the Houston Symphony salutes Swedish pop supergroup ABBA. World-renowned a cappella sensation Rajaton joins the orchestra for all your favorite ABBA hits: “Mamma Mia,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” and so much more. All ages. $40+. 8pm. www.houstonsymphony.org

Teen Make-It Mondays : Potion Bottle Keychain

Join us for another Craft Central and see where inspiration takes you!

12-18yo. 11am-12pm. Free. Barbara Bush Library www.hcpl.net


Kids Garden Tour

A lively, hands-on garden tour for kids of all ages! Registration required. All ages. 10am-12pm. Free. www.pct3.com/MBG

Baby Storytime

Stories, rhymes, movement and songs that will engage you and your baby. Develop your baby’s social, motor, and literacy skills while having fun! Intended for children ages 0-18 months and their caregivers Ages 0-18 mo. 10:30-11am. Free. Heights Neighborhood Library. www.houstonlibrary.org

Coffee Cake Book Club


Blanket Bingo 17

This month’s book will be Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Adult. Free. 11a. www.bluewillowbookshop.com

Pre-School Storytime

Join us at the Barbara Bush Branch Library for Pre-School Storytime with Ms. Caroline! We will read stories, sing songs, and exercise our creative bodies. Look forward to the occasional bilingual surprise! Pre-schoolers. 11:15am-12pm. Free. Barbara Bush Branch Library. www.hcpl.net

This popular park favorite is back! Join us for an exciting new season of Blanket Bingo, Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of fun, music and great prizes! $10 admission (cash only) includes one bingo packet (approx. 9 games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. Packets will go on sale at 6 PM and Bingo will begin at 7 PM. Adult. $15. 6-9pm. www.buffalobayou.org

Movie Night at Helix Park – The Parent Trap

It's a showtime summer at Helix Park! Join us for movie night as we relax and enjoy freshly popped popcorn, various candies, and an assortment of drinks while watching "The Parent Trap" All ages. 6-8 pm. Free. www.visithoustontexas.com


Bee-come fascinated with our local bees as staff and volunteers guide you through Mercer’s gardens. Learn about resident colonies of carpenter bees and honeybees, their critical role in the environment, and Mercer’s conservation efforts through holistic gardening practices.

Ages 5+. 8:30-10am. Free. www.houstonarboretum.org

Song and History of Mardi Gras Indians

Interactive and lively music performance about the history and culture of the Mardi Gras indians.

Ages 4-12 yo. 4-5 pm. Free. Also July 15. www.pct3.com/MBG

Garden Cruisin’: Tour De 4

Board the Mercer cart under the Mercer staff building for a one-hour leisurely tour through the gardens where you’ll experience the beauty and tranquility that thousands of plants, flowers, and trees can provide.

Adult. 9-10a & 11a-12p. Free. Also July 21. www.pct3.com/MBG



Screen on the Green –The Lion King

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of this beloved film!!!

All ages. 7-10p. Free. www.discoverygreen.com

Scales and Cocktails

Enjoy a tasty cocktail as you meet some scaly, cold-blooded friends up close and personal. You’ll learn why there’s no need to be afraid of snakes, lizards, and turtles, and discover the important roles they play in the ecosystem. Finally, we’ll go on a hike to enjoy our nighttime trails.

16+. 7-9 pm. $35 member, $50 non-member. www.houstonarboretum.org

Dinner Cruise on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat

Enjoy beautiful views of Offatts Bayou, plus an Italian dinner buffet and cash bar with dinner cruises aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat.

All ages. 6:30-9pm. Prices vary. www.visitgalveston.com

Family Blanket Bat Chat

Join our colony! Come find out all about our friends who fly at night: bats! We will learn their basic biology and behavior and discuss what makes them so special, and even do some bat crafts. BYO blanket and we will lay out under the stars to listen (with bat monitors) and watch for bats flying around above our heads!

All ages. 7:30-9:30pm. Members $10 / person. www.naturediscoverycenter.org

Dog Days of Summer

Unleash your creativity at a workshop where you can craft your very own Bluey or Bingo stuffed animal, ready to be your loyal companion on all your adventures. All ages. $19.95 / person, 1 yo and under free. 9am-2pm. www.cmhouston.org

Summer Species: Butterfly Walk

We’re fluttering into summer with a series of nature walks exploring this year’s Summer Species, butterflies! Learn about local butterfly species, life cycle, and habitat on this discovery tour of Buffalo Bayou with Nancy Greig, founding director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center (now retired).

All ages. Free. 9-10:30 am. www.buffalobayou.org

Beyond Bees!
Yellow Rose Carriage
Houston Zoo
Children's Museum
Brazos Bend State Park
Color Factory
George Observatory


Dive into the delicious world of DIY ice cream making workshops, where you'll concoct creamy creations bursting with your favorite toppings and mix-ins, turning every scoop into a masterpiece.

All ages. $19.95 / person, 1 yo and under free. 9am-2pm. www.cmhouston.org

Ringling Bros B&B Circus

Be a kid again and come enjoy the circus.

All ages. $21 and up. Various time. July 19-22nd. www.ticketsonsale.com

Saturday Garden Club

Learn something new and get your hands in the dirt! Individuals and groups will volunteer with Mercer staff for unique and fun projects throughout the garden. Ages 16+. 9am-12pm. Free. www.pct3.com/MBG

Between the Pages with Mrs Kimberly

Come join us for a book ready and discussion Tweens. 2:30-4pm. Free. www.hcpl.net


Sugar Land Space Cowboy vs Tacoma Raiders 21 I Scream for Ice Cream – National Ice Cream Day Celebration 24

Enjoy some outdoor minor league baseball at this great field. Bring the whole family and enjoy the water park in center field!!!!

All ages. Tickets $18+. 7:05 pm www.milb.com/sugarland

Boogie Bash-Summertime Bop

Come celebrate the season with summer musical fun as we move and play with beach balls and scarves. We’ll also be marching with rhythm instruments and singing summer food songs.

All ages. 11a. $9 / person. woodlandschildrenmusuem.org

Secrets of Puppetry

Puppeteer Greg Ruhe shares multiple characters including marionettes, shadow puppets, recycled materials puppets and hand puppets through theatrical storytelling.

Ages 4-18 yo. 2-2:45 pm. Free. www.pct3.com/MBG

Looking at Art Lady Presentation

Come learn and laugh with art history! Children and adults will enjoy this light-hearted journey through art history. Famous paintings throughout time will plant a seed of interest in the fine arts for you and your child. All ages. 11a. $9 / person, children 1 under, free. woodlandschildrensmuseum.org

Christmas in July 25

Join us on Thursday, July 25th at Equal Parts Brewing for our Christmas in July Fundraising Icea Cream Social. Bring a toy and receive a discount. All ages. 6:30-10pm. Free. www.equalpartsbrewing.com

Sunset Sweat at Houston Botanic Garden

Get after-hours access to the grounds of Houston Botanic Garden for a one-hour Tabata-style strength and cardio class that meets every Monday for six weeks, intended to help train muscles and get in better shape.

Adult. 7-8pm. $20 / person. www.hbg.org


Sunset Bingo at Levy Park

Join us for Bingo benefiting Levy Park! Bring a blanket or utilize the park’s furniture and enjoy tunes from DJ Del Sur while you daub your way to great prizes! $10 (cash only) purchases one Bingo packet with 8 games. Adult. 6-9 pm. $10 / card. www.levyparkhouston.org

Chicken for Linda! (Linda veut du poulet!)

This very French animated feature is a unique visual marvel of handpainted animation with bright, colorblocked characters and a story that is an intoxicating blend of slapstick comedy, musical, and family drama. All ages. 7-8:15pm. Adult $24, Senior and youth $20, 12 under free. Caroline Wiess Law Building www.mfah.org


Houston Family Magazine Funfest

Come out and enjoy face painting, games, giveaways, activities under every tent, arts and crafts, door prizes, music, onstage performances, HFM goodie bags and more! New this year: Live musical performances by Legacy Man and upcoming, local pop star, Shanear Nicole. All ages. 11am-3pm. Free. houstonfamilymagazine.com

Knight and Day

Immerse yourself in the majestic melodies of live Renaissance-style music that will transport you to the courts of kings and queens. Channel your inner knight or lady as you craft your own shield to defend your honor and fashion a regal flower crown fit for royalty. All ages. $19.95 / person, 1 yo and under free. 9am-4pm. www.cmhouston.org

Gardening for Butterflies

Set the table for butterflies (and moths) in your backyard! In this class you’ll discover the best ways to support butterflies in your space from nectar plants for adults to host plants for caterpillars. Ages 12+. 10am-12pm. $20 member, $35 non-member. www.houstonarboretum.org


Museum of Natural Science

The museum comes to the park to offer an opportunity to learn firsthand from museum experts. Encounter real specimens and artifacts from the museum collection in an intimate educational atmosphere. All ages. 2p. Free. www.levyparkhouston.org

Houston Museum of Natural Science
Buffalo Bayou Wellness Walk
The Bryan Museum, Galveston
Heritage Society
Smither Park

Encanto: The Sing Along Film Concert Tour

Disney Concerts brings this production to the stage in the Woodlands, featuring the entire full-length animated film, Encanto, along with an on-stage band that will perform all of the recordbreaking hit songs. All ages. $25 and up; 15% off when you use promocode BRUNO15 at checkout. 7:30-9:30pm. www.wodlandscenter.org

Monday Bingo Night at Galveston Island Brewing 29

A weekly, family-friendly Bingo Night, featuring prizes on every round, in the new indoor brewing facility. All ages. 4:30-7:30 pm. Free. www.visitgalveston.com

Friday Night Fever: Beginner’s Salsa Dance Lessons

KDENCE Studio guides participants through an hour-long introduction to basic salsa moves, followed by a fun 30-minute dance session. All ages. 6-7pm. Free www.themkt.com

30 Boogie BashRhythm Stick Fun

Children will learn the concepts of keeping a rhythmic beat to music and imitating rhythmic patterns that a woodpecker might make! Ages 1 yo+. 11a. $9/person. woodlandschildrensmuseum.org/

The Market at Grisby at Watson’s House of Ales

The Energy Corridor District hosts the first ever Market at Grisby, a signature artisan market featuring a live music duo with Josie Arias, gift card giveaways.

All ages. 10:30am to 2pm. Free. www.watsonshouseofales.com


Jurassic World : The Exhibition

An immersive, thrilling experience that takes fans of all ages into the world of dinosaurs. Board the ferry to Isla Nublar, walk through the iconic gates of Jurassic World and come face to face with dinosaurs from the popular film franchis.

All ages. 10a-6p. $36 / person. jurassicworldexhibition.com/houston

Museum of Fine Arts Houston www.mfah.org


Tues.-Wed. 10am-5pm., Thurs. 10am-9pm., Fri.-Sat. 10am-7pm., Sun. 12:15-7pm.

$24 adult; $20 senior 65+, $20 children 13-18 & students (19+) (children under 12 free) FREE every Thursday 10am-9pm


Jacolby Satterwhite: A Metta Prayer

The expansive multimedia installation fuses choreography, video, animation, lighting, and music to reimagine a kaleidoscopic, computer-generated world.

Through October 13, 2024

Raqib Shaw : Ballads of East and West

In his luminous paintings, Raqib Shaw blends Eastern and Western influences to create mesmerizing works of art that merge fable, history, and autobiography. Through September 2, 2024

Houston Museum of Natural Science www.hmns.org

Hours: 9am-5pm Mon-Sun

$25 adult, $16 children 3-11, senior 62+ and college students FREE every Thursday 2-5pm

Death by Natural Causes

Heinous killers or misjudged miscreants? You be the judge as the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s most lethal exhibit- Death by Natural Causes

On going

The Health Museum www.thehealthmuseum.org

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9am-5pm., Thurs. 9am-7pm., Sun. 12-5pm

$10 adult, $8 senior 65+, free for children under 2 FREE on Thursdays 2-7pm

DeBakey Cell Lab

Gear up with a lab coat, gloves and goggles and travel through experiment stations. Permanent Exhibit

Amazing Body Gallery

Take a larger-than-life walking tour through the human body and learn more about how your major organs work in this permanent exhibit. This exhibit includes approximately 30 interactive video and audio kiosks that invite guests to pose interesting questions about human anatomy and health information. Permanent Exhibit

Lone Star Flight Museum www.lonestarflight.org

Hours: Tues.—Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 12-5pm

Admission: $14 child, $18 adult

Visit the aerospace museum and its 25 aircrafts. Ongoing Exhibits





Main Street Theater

Through July 28, 2024

Bonjour! Fancy Nancy is ready for the spotlight! Along with her best friend, Bree, Fancy Nancy couldn’t be more excited about their upcoming dance show. After all, it’s all about mermaids, and who knows how to be a fancy, glamorous mermaid better than Fancy Nancy? A fancy, frilly story that will have fans shouting, “Encore!”



Midtown Arts & Theater Center

JULY 14-21, 2024

Fancy Nancy The Musical Main Street Theater

8 days of concerts, film screenings, guest lectures, and more! Over 50 composers, choreographers, and instrumentalists will present 28 World Premieres during this epic celebration of new art and music.

All ages. Various times. Tickets $20 / concert www.matchouston.org

Ages 5+. Various times. $25.50+. www.mainstreettheater.com


Main Street Theater

July 13 - August 11, 2024

Things begin innocently enough, but as they reach further into Arthur’s darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds… Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story is alive and well in this spine-tingler of a play!

Adult. Various times

Tickets $25.50 and up. www.mainstreettheater.com


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion with Houston Symphony

July 26, 2024

Celebrating the film’s 35th anniversary, the “Batman” tour arrives at the Pavillion. Guests who attend will enjoy the film projected onto a larger-than-life screen while Danny Elman’s iconic musical score is performed by a live orchestra.

Ages 13+. 8-10 pm. Free. www.houstonsymphony.org


Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

July 5 & 6, 2024

Les Misérables is the world's longest running musical - a true modern classic based on Victor Hugo's novel and featuring one of the most memorable scores of all time. With Countless awards to its name, Les Misérables is as groundbreaking today as it was when it first premiered in London in 1985

All ages. Various times. Tickets $43. my.tuts.com


The 1894 Grand Opera, Galveston

July 20, 2024

The Texas Tenors are the most successful music group and third highest selling artist in the history of America’s Got Talent! Since appearing on the series in 2009, JC, Marcus and John have performed over 2,000 concerts, recorded five studio albums, and produced two PBS specials.

Adult. 8 pm. Tickets $75+. www.thegrand.com


Smart Financial Center

July 7, 2024

Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.

8pm. All ages. $49 - $316.50 www.smartfinancialcentre.net

THE BOY AND THE HERON Museum of Fine Arts

July 6 & 7, 2024

Winner of the 2024 Oscar for Best Animated Film and over a dozen international awards, this latest film from Studio Ghibli follows young Mahito, who moves to his family’s countryside estate after losing his mother.

7-9pm. Age: 13+ Tickets $7-9 www.mfah.org


Smart Financial Center

July 6, 2024

Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.

8pm. All ages. $40 - $388.18 www.smartfinancialcentre.net


FIDDLER ON THE ROOF A.D. Playter Through August 4, 2024

Fiddler on the Roof is a musical set in the early 1900s in the small Jewish village of Anatevka in Imperial Russia. The story follows the life of Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman, as he tries to maintain his religious and cultural traditions while dealing with the challenges of poverty, anti-Semitism, and the changing times.

Ages 5+. Various times. $41-$81.. www.adplayers.org


The Ensemble Theatre Through July 28, 2024

It’s 1937, and three generations of porters are hard at work on the luxurious Panama Limited train. Midwest blues songs flavor their journey from Chicago to New Orleans as the porters confront dark secrets from their past and tough truths about their future together.

Adult. Various times Tickets $15. ensemblehouston.com

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Alley Theatre Through August 425 2024

Ugly Duckling at The 1894 Grand Opera House, Galveston

A secluded island, ten strangers, and a deadly game of survival. Experience the tension and drama live on stage as Agatha Christie’s classic novel comes to life in a chic cliffside house. The clock is ticking, and the suspense is palpable. The body count rises as the characters grapple with their own secrets and guilt. Can you solve who is behind it all?

Ages 5+. Various times. $54+. www.alleytheatre.org


Miller Outdoor Theatre July 12, 13, 19 & 20.

Our annual family-friendly series showcasing favorites from the classical repertoire and rising stars of the orchestra world!

All ages. 8:30 pm. Free www.milleroutdoortheatre.org

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Alley Theatre July 13, 2024

Multi-platinum pop icons New Kids on the Block have announced THE MAGIC SUMMER 2024 TOUR. Reimagining the smash 1990 tour of the same name, Donnie, Joey, Jordan, Jonathan & Danny will bring back the magic for fans old and new, this time with special guests and Paula Abdul and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Ages 5+. Various times. $54+. www.woodlandscenter.org


Smart Financial Center July 7, 2024

The Isley Brothers are an iconic American musical group known for their influential contributions to R&B, soul, funk, and rock music. Originating from Cincinnati, Ohio, the group was formed in the early 1950s by brothers O'Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley, and Vernon Isley.

8pm. All ages. $49+. www.smartfinancialcentre.net


events must be submitted 6 weeks prior to event date to be considered for print issue. Online Calendar submissions can be sent 1 week prior to event.



Main Street Theater

Through July 28, 2024

Bonjour! Fancy Nancy is ready for the spotlight! Along with her best friend, Bree, Fancy Nancy couldn’t be more excited about their upcoming dance show. After all, it’s all about mermaids, and who knows how to be a fancy, glamorous mermaid better than Fancy Nancy? A fancy, frilly story that will have fans shouting, “Encore!”



Midtown Arts & Theater Center

JULY 14-21, 2024

Fancy Nancy The Musical Main Street Theater

8 days of concerts, film screenings, guest lectures, and more! Over 50 composers, choreographers, and instrumentalists will present 28 World Premieres during this epic celebration of new art and music.

All ages. Various times. Tickets $20 / concert www.matchouston.org

Ages 5+. Various times. $25.50+. www.mainstreettheater.com


Main Street Theater

July 13 - August 11, 2024

Things begin innocently enough, but as they reach further into Arthur’s darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds… Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story is alive and well in this spine-tingler of a play!

Adult. Various times

Tickets $25.50 and up. www.mainstreettheater.com


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion with Houston Symphony

July 26, 2024

Celebrating the film’s 35th anniversary, the “Batman” tour arrives at the Pavillion. Guests who attend will enjoy the film projected onto a larger-than-life screen while Danny Elman’s iconic musical score is performed by a live orchestra.

Ages 13+. 8-10 pm. Free. www.houstonsymphony.org


Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

July 5 & 6, 2024

Les Misérables is the world's longest running musical - a true modern classic based on Victor Hugo's novel and featuring one of the most memorable scores of all time. With Countless awards to its name, Les Misérables is as groundbreaking today as it was when it first premiered in London in 1985

All ages. Various times. Tickets $43. my.tuts.com


The 1894 Grand Opera, Galveston

July 20, 2024

The Texas Tenors are the most successful music group and third highest selling artist in the history of America’s Got Talent! Since appearing on the series in 2009, JC, Marcus and John have performed over 2,000 concerts, recorded five studio albums, and produced two PBS specials.

Adult. 8 pm. Tickets $75+. www.thegrand.com


Smart Financial Center

July 7, 2024

Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.

8pm. All ages. $49 - $316.50 www.smartfinancialcentre.net

THE BOY AND THE HERON Museum of Fine Arts

July 6 & 7, 2024

Winner of the 2024 Oscar for Best Animated Film and over a dozen international awards, this latest film from Studio Ghibli follows young Mahito, who moves to his family’s countryside estate after losing his mother.

7-9pm. Age: 13+ Tickets $7-9 www.mfah.org


Smart Financial Center

July 6, 2024

Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.

8pm. All ages. $40 - $388.18 www.smartfinancialcentre.net




Treat yourself to a dose of Americana at the Galveston Beach Band concert. This free show will take place at the Eugenia and George Sealy Pavilion and will feature a diverse mix of show tunes, big band numbers and jazz along with a special children’s parade.



Galveston Island will celebrate its annual Independence Day with a parade featuring a procession of floats, decorated vehicles and performers. The parade route is Seawall from 22nd St. to 45th St.



You won’t want to miss this stunning display of fireworks lighting up the night sky to celebrate America’s Independence Day. This 20-minute show will take place on the beach near 37th St. and Seawall Boulevard, with the beautiful Gulf of Mexico serving as the backdrop.



Head to East Beach and learn to create architectural gems –crafted from sand – during free sandcastle lessons.


SATURDAY, JULY 6 FROM 5:30 - 9:30 PM

Join the fun at Palm Beach as a DJ brings your favorite music to Galveston. Dance, relax along the lazy river, eat, drink and more at this family-friendly event. Fireworks will light up the sky over Offatts Bayou at 9 p.m.



Enjoy a free concert featuring Two Tons of Steel at Saengerfest Park in historic downtown Galveston.

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