Houston Family Magazine June 2020

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June 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 6

SUMMER VACAYS road trippin’ thru Texas

PROJECT A DAY, KEEPS BOREDOM AT BAY 99 ideas for summer fun

STOP NAGGING your teen


a glimpse into the life


Now offering COVID-19 testing! Use our virtual care platform to see and speak directly to one of our providers from the comfort of your own home. We know that when your child is sick, having immediate access to a trusted and convenient after-hours resource is critical. You can now access the same care your little one experiences in our clinics straight from your phone. NightLightPediatrics.com/Telemed Convenient locations across Houston — we're right in your neighborhood.

COVID-19 Clinic Hours Weekdays 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Weekends 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Telemedicine Hours* Weekdays / Weekends 6 a.m. - midnight *Telemedicine is available for newborns to 21-year-old patients all across Texas.

Your night, made brighter.

Sugar Land - Cy-Fair - Pearland - Humble - Webster - Tanglewood - Garden Oaks - Katy 2 June 2020

houston family magazine

June 2020

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JUNE 2020




features|in this issue 8 10 15

on the cover

Amelia Conner is a 16 year old sophomore and a member of the Spring Branch FFA. She is currently raising a steer for show and loves spending time with her friends. Photographer: Kelly Bui with Moxie Kids Photography Hair & Makeup : Cori Aston Makeup Artistry Location: Kemah Marina Yacht Club houston family magazine


June 2020




15 30

Your new american dream


family FYI


publisher's note

Things you need to know about

Happy Mamma's Day!


camp lead in


camp lead in


book Bites


father knows best

Navigating the unknown, virtual or in-person summer camps Summer Camp,will it or won't it happen? Celebrate Fathers with these reads A glimpse into the life of Paul Ralia


family finds


i am houston kids


mind, body, soul


family tech

Transistioning to a simple, uncluttered life

Celebrate your graduate Reya Pal, Class of 2020

Elizabeth Irvine talks creative visualization Stress reducing apps for kids

Texas Road Trippin'

The sun on your face, the wind on your hair and the smell of the open road awaits this summer

a project a day keeps the boredom at bay 99 ideas for summer fun

how to stop nagging your teenager

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

Tips on talking to your teens, effectively

4 ways dads are different

A look at how dads parent different than moms

summer dresses

Our favorite sites to add some fun to your summer wardrobe

follow us on soial media



camp directory


Virtual Calendar

Activities for Families

family fyi VIRTUAL SWIM CLASSES BY THE YMCA HOUSTON ZOO OPENS TO THE PUBLIC JUNE 3 WITH NEW OPERATING PROTOCOLS On June 1 and June 2, the Zoo will host preview days for Zoo Members before welcoming back the general public to the beloved zoo-based conservation organization on June 3. Online tickets are now required for all guests. Anyone arriving at the Zoo without an online reservation will not be admitted. Tickets will be offered in three dayparts, 9:00 –11:00 a.m., noon – 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., which will limit the number of guests in the Zoo at one time and provide for increased social distancing. All tickets will allow free access to TXU Energy presents Dragons, a unique, limited-time special exhibit. Zoo employees are required to wear masks, and guests are highly encouraged to use face-coverings or masks to help protect the Zoo’s animals, staff, and other guests. The Zoo will manage traffic flow with a one-way path and limit the number of guests in the Zoo. Throughout the one-way path, guests will be able to see fan favorites like whooping cranes, alligators, giraffes, rhinoceros, chimpanzees, elephants, meerkats and many more. Whooping crane, gorilla, and cougar exhibits will have additional barriers to give extra protective space between the animals and guests. A complete look of animals along the one-way path can be found on the Zoo’s website on the downloadable map. For updated information, please visit www.houstonzoo.org

Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14 in Texas and 24 children have fatally drowned in Texas in 2020. In an effort to eliminate drownings and keep children safe this summer, the YMCA of Greater Houston is launching free virtual swim, learn to swim and water safety videos as part of its Safety Around Water program. The series will include more than 15 episodes featuring swim demonstrations for preschool and school-age children and general water safety tips. With the impact of COVID-19 the Safety Around Water program will look different, however the YMCA is committed to providing necessary resources and keeping families safe this summer. The virtual swim series videos include: • Preschool learn to swim series – Features how to introduce children to water, exhale in the water, submerge underwater, and techniques for the back and front float • School age learn to swim series – Features how to acclimate children to water, breathing and submersion techniques and how to teach the back float, front float and back glide. • Water safety series – Features life jacket and flotation safety, understanding that any depth of water is dangerous, pool safety checklist, the importance of having a “water watcher,” water rescue skills and the basics of CPR, and ways to help prevent drowning Visit www.ymcahouston.org/programs/swimming/drowning-elimination

GET ON THE WATER Numerous marine dealers across the country are reporting strong spring sales with consumers eager to get on the water, and Discover Boating, the nation’s consumer boating resource, saw triple digit growth in consumer web traffic and boat searches last month, signifying a high demand for close-tohome recreation. With boating restrictions lifting nationwide and the COVID-19 response dictating where and how far people can travel, the forecast for boating this summer is looking bright. Local boat rentals: www.discoverboating.com

HFM PARTNERS WITH PAYPAL Small businesses have been hit hard over the past two months. Cash flow has dried up for some, but, you still need to advertise. What are your options?! We can help! For those who want to get their message out to our readers/followers/subscribers, Houston Family has now partnered with PayPal to offer credit to our advertisers! For more information, contact kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com.

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Kimberly Davis Guerra kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

online editor Latesa Guerra


associate editor

Chantal Lemieux calendar@houstonfamilymagazine.com

creative director

Casey Johnson casey@houstonfamilymagazine.com

event director

Mary Sue Kent marysue@houstonfamilymagazine.com

contributing authors Kimberly Davis Guerra Tani Haas Christa Melnyk Hines Elizabeth Irvine Christina Katz Sara Lyons Cheryl Maguire Eshaan Mani Jan Pierce

contributing photographers

Chubby Cheek Photography Kali Singleton Photography Kelly Bui of Moxie Kids Photography Pop of Color Photography Ruth & Rene Photography

advertising sales Kristian Carroll Beverly Davis Amy Garrett Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty


Gayle Wheeler-LeSueur, Graphic Designer


Midway Press, Ltd Dallas, TX

contact us:

14123 Bluebird Lane Houston, TX 77079 (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 ©2020 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited. houston family magazine


June 2020

ABOVE// HFM Ambassador Michael G. enjoys poolside lounging at Cinnamon Shore in Port Aransas THE BIG TO DO Did you know our online calender is packed with even more great family friendly events? Check it out at houstonfamilymagazine.com. FIND US ON FACEBOOK @houstonfamilymagazine FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @houstonfamilymagazine CONTACT US Let us know how we’re doing. kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

I have never been so excited for summer to come! While many of you are thinking, ‘haven’t we been on break for months now? Why are you so excited about more time off??’ The simple answer – no more school! I realize that summer poses even more challenges now school is officially over. However, it alleviates so much stress and arguing in my household, that I am certain I am not the only one feeling a little stress relief! Now on to the new challenges in the year of the RONA! What to do with the kids now that school is out?! Do you sign them up for summer camp? According to our governor, camps can resume, given they are following the CDC guidelines. Do you feel comfortable sending your kids? If so, there are many programs available offering ‘IN PERSON’ camps. If not, there are also numerous virtual camps available to choose from. I personally am going to try a mix of both. Virtual in June and in person in July. Check out this month’s Camp Directory for more information. My family is also itching to hit the road. Like many of you, we just need a change of scenery. Do you agree? If so, this month’s Texas Road Trippin’ article offers some great ideas to get you outside and keep you safe. From the coast to the hills, we have ideas for day trips, as well as overnight stays. Without breaking the bank, there are some great options out there. Hit the road and explore. Whatever you are doing to kick off your summer, we hope it is the beginning of some semblance of normalcy for you & your family. We so appreciate the little things we have taken for granted and are looking forward to a healthy future. Remember to be kind, think of others and do your part. We so appreciate you!

Kimberly Davis Guerra Welcome to the world Baby Petty— Another addition to the Houston Family


Convenient, quality primary care. During these uncertain times, Houston Methodist primary care doctors are still available to provide personalized care for you and your family via video visit. Our doctors: • Can speak with you real-time via video

• Accept most major insurance plans

• Are seeing new and existing patients

• Are available for in-person visits, if needed

houstonmethodist.org/pcg 713.394.6724

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your new

A Simple, Uncluttered Life written by Jan Pierce | photo by Kali Singleton Photography

LOCATION: GALVESTON, TX houston family magazine


June 2020


Unscheduled time is like gold. Choosing to live more simply opens up possibilities for free play, exploration, rest and relaxation that is beneficial to the entire family.


o matter how you look at it, today’s American life is anything but simple. Our lives are busy, demanding and complicated. Just negotiating the coordination of the weekly family schedule can bring on a headache. Who will take Johnny to his soccer practice while someone else attends Sarah’s music recital? When can the dental appointment fit into your work schedule? Add to that the complexity of our technological world with constant tweets, texts and phone calls. Our calendars may be right there on our phones, but how in the world can we actually do all the things listed and reserve any quality family time? We’ve all heard of the growing cry for a simpler, lesscluttered lifestyle. But few of us have taken any steps toward making that happen. It seems too hard, too extreme. But, really, don’t you long for a simpler, quieter, more peaceful family life? Don’t you wish your family sat down together more often and just enjoyed one another? Don’t you secretly or not so secretly wish you could get rid of about half of your “stuff.” Stay with me because you can approximate a simpler life with just a few decisions and you may find you enjoy the results.

IT’S ALL ABOUT MAKING SPACE The more we own, the more upkeep and maintenance is required. For example if we own more clothing, we have more laundry to do, more expense in detergents, dry cleaning bills and time spent folding and putting away.

If our children attend multiple extra-curricular clubs, teams and activities, our schedules are so tight there is little time for homework or family fun. If we’re used to spending lots of money on fast food and entertainment outside of our homes, we miss the opportunity to stay home, cook simple meals and enjoy being together, entertaining ourselves. Every decision we make to simplify family life will create “space” in terms of time, money or enjoyment. Here are some of the ways families can make small changes that produce big results: • MINDFUL CONSUMPTION Your family may choose to drive older cars to be free of monthly payments. You might plan your wardrobes carefully and frugally, including some good quality thrift store items. You may limit eating out to one or two times monthly. • FEWER BELONGINGS Some minimalists go through their homes room by room and begin to declutter. They take a hard look at items and decide whether or not they’re really needed in the home. They may go through toys and clothing and pass them on to other families. It actually feels good to own fewer things and gain the space the unnecessary ones take. • SMALLER OR SIMPLER HOMES Few of us want to live in a tiny home, but we may make the decision to buy or rent smaller or older properties. We may decide to find a home with enough outdoor space to grow a garden or own a few animals. We may choose an urban environment that is

clean and simple, without unnecessary decoration. We may buy good used or retro furniture that doesn’t break the bank. • CONSCIOUS EATING Most of us eat out too often and know we’re not making healthy choices. Limiting restaurant eating and taking pleasure in cooking simple, healthy meals is a step in the right direction. Why not add soup night to your weekly meals and then find great recipes the family enjoys. • MAKING TIME FOR CREATIVITY How many families do you know who create works of art, make music together or simply spend quiet times chatting or journaling or reading good books together? These activities take a chunk of time but are so worth the time spent. The recent rise of group art nights reminds me that we all have a need to create in some fashion or other.

BENEFITS OF A SIMPLER, RICHER LIFE • LESS FINANCIAL STRESS Nothing puts more stress on family relationships than money problems. When the bills aren’t paid, or there isn’t enough money for food, it’s time to regroup and make a new plan. • MORE FREE TIME Unscheduled time is like gold. Choosing to live more simply opens up possibilities for free play, exploration, rest and relaxation that is beneficial to the entire family. • ABILITY TO GIVE When life is simpler and

the family is home together more often, there is the opportunity to volunteer time, energy or things. It’s also possible to share with others in practical ways. • APPRECIATION Most of us realize that when we have fewer possessions we’re more likely to value the ones we have. A comfortable winter coat may mean more than five or six of them, a durable set of wooden blocks may mean more to a child than many plastic toys that will break. • CLOSER, DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS When the family is on board to create a simpler lifestyle, there’s time to talk, work and enjoy life together. Maybe there’s time to bake bread or sit on the deck and observe local birds. Maybe the family gleans as much enjoyment from a simple board game as from the high-powered competitive sports most kids engage in. A simpler life can be designed to be the perfect fit for your family. Begin by merely setting some goals for healthier eating or by challenging each family member to reduce their possessions by twenty items. You may choose to maintain your sports schedule, but add a family game night with a homemade meal to your schedule. Small steps toward your “new American dream” will reap important benefits for your family. Jan Pierce, M.Ed., is a retired teacher and freelance writer. She is the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find Jan at www.janpierce.net. June 2020

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photo by: pop of color photography location: cinnamon shore, port aransas

written by Kimberly Davis Guerra

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June 2020

location: stella mare rv resort


OVERNIGHT STAYS Whether it’s in an RV, a cabin or a beach house rental, social distancing is the rage this summer. Here are some great opportunities to check out!

Galveston www.galvestoncvb.com location: pleasure pier, galveston

he sun on your face, the wind in your hair and the smell of the open road after a summer rain. Can you see it? Many a family traditionally would be hitting the open road as soon as the last school bell rang closing out the school year…but this summer is a little different. Plans have shifted or been completely cancelled due to this nasty COVID-19. So, what is a family to do? Kids still need to get out of the house. Parents need a change of scenery, more than ever. However, after being cooped up for over two months, many families are just plain hesitant to get out there in the world again, especially with their kids. Rightfully so. How can you make it a memorable and enjoyable summer and still stay safe? Here are some ideas for overnight stays and day trip destinations. Whichever direction you go, we think you will really enjoy just getting away and feeling a little normal again!

Just 45 minutes from Houston, Galveston offers a great getaway for Houstonians year-round. However, in the wake of the quarantine, families want to get going somewhere as soon as possible! Why not head out for a quick retreat straight down I-45 south?! SAND & SEA PROPERTIES www.sandandsea.com

Looking to getaway to the beach, but maybe you don’t have a lot of time or you need to be close to home? Look no further than Sun and Sea Properties. Their website offers a wide variety of homes in just about every price range and budget for rent. You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by visiting this site to see what inventory is available.

STELLA MARE RV RESORT www.stellamarervresort.com

Located on 25 acres just across from the beach, this lush property features numerous on-site amenities while offering you the opportunity to have your home away from home in prime location to the water. Don’t have an RV, no problem,

taway e g y l i fam home o t e s o l c they have 2 large beach houses on site that sleep 12+. Bring the whole family down and still have plenty of room left over to stretch out! June 2020

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location: south padre island location: cinnamon shore, port aransas

location: south padre island

South Padre Island www.sopadre.com

On the other end of the spectrum, you can head down to South Padre. A mere 5-6 hours away, you will definitely want to have a little more time to stay and enjoy the beach and all it has to offer! The traditional South Padre Island fireworks shows on the beach are back! Clayton’s Beach Bar is sponsoring firework shows over the Gulf every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer. Combined with the new, expanded opening of restaurants with 50% capacity in-house dining and bars allowed to be at 25% capacity, it’s a promising restart to the summer season on South Padre Island. “There’s nothing like fireworks to deliver that sense of celebration for visitors,” said Ed Caum, executive director for South Padre Island convention and visitors bureau. “As more of our Island businesses open, we are the safe, beautiful destination for Texas families.” houston family magazine


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SPI RENTALS www.spirentals.com

With over 130 beach rentals offered, your vacation could be just a click away. Take the stress out of planning your getaway. SPI Rentals offers on-site check-in for all guests, 24/7 response to emergency maintenance issues and friendly professionals who will assist you in planning every detail. They offer concierge services including grocery shopping, attraction suggestions, catering services and maid services. KOA SOUTH PADRE www.koa.com

Looking for something a little bit more rustic? How about a cabin at the KOA? Starting at

just over 4150 a night, these deluxe cabins sleep minimum of 4 and include full baths with tub and shower & a patio for sitting a spell.

Port Aransas www.portaransas.org

In between, just about 3.5 hours down I-59, once you cross on the ferry, you will arrive in Port A. With around 18 miles of wide, sandy beaches, Port A is the quieter of the beaches we’ve highlighted so far. However, just because it’s quiet, doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do! CINNAMON SHORE www.cinnamonshore.com

If you are looking for something straight out of a movie, this property is it. Whether you are In need of a small, cozy retreat or looking to house an army,

this property has it in all sizes. Part of the master-planned Cinnamon Shore community, the rentals offer guests access to the three resort style pools, two fishing lakes, two boardwalks to the beach, and multiple dining options on property including Lisabella’s fine dining restaurant right across the lane! Whatever your budget, they have you covered.

Matagorda Beach www.matagordabeach.org

Where the Colorado River meets the Gulf! Matagorda is located about 2 hours west of Houston and has approximately 58 miles of beach. 23 miles of the beach east of the Colorado River is open to vehicles. The remaining 35 miles of beach is west of the Colorado River and only accessible by boat, kayak, canoe or other watercraft.

location: devil’s waterhole, inks lake state park

Check out the Emergency Info page before you go! MATAGORDA BAY & NATURE PARK www.lcra.org

The water’s calling. This 1,333-acre park and nature preserve is located at the mouth of the Colorado River on the Matagorda Bay peninsula. Visitors can enjoy miles of Gulf of Mexico beachfront, birdwatching in coastal marshes, horseback riding on the beach and wetland paddling. Tent camping and RV amenities are available for overnight stays. There also is a gift shop with snacks and souvenirs. If you are looking for a different beach experience, this might be your hidden gem! (PS – they have a couple of Airstreams for rent!)

Marble Falls www.marblefalls.org

Marble Falls is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country on the Colorado River in the middle of the Highland Lakes area, the largest chain of lakes in Texas. Only a scenic 3 hour drive from H-town. Renowned for scenic beauty, visitors come to this area to experience our beautiful waterways and lush, rolling hills. Indigenous species range from American bald eagles during winter months to great old live oaks that shade the landscape throughout the seasons. Spring brings a burst

location: shell covered beaches in matagorda

of color with a multitude of wildflowers including our state flower, the bluebonnet. Fields and back roads are covered with blossoms as far as the eye can see. Many amateur and professional photographers and artists come to capture the natural beauty of the Highland Lakes area. INKS LAKE STATE PARK tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ inks-lake

In the mood for an adventure of camping, trail hiking, cliff diving, fishing and boating? Look no further than Inks Lake State Park. With its sparkling blue water, colorful rock outcrops and striking sunsets, you’re sure to have a wonderful time with your family. The park also offers onsite paddle boat, canoe and kayak rentals. The best part of the park is called “Devil’s Waterhole” Here you can explore scenic waterfalls, swim and dive off of the large rock formations.

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location: hidden falls adventure park

like getting out and stretching your legs, you can stop by the Baby room to cuddle with some of the little ones in person. Additional ticket price to play with the babies! $15 per person, kids under 2 are free. Open 7 days a week, 9a – 5p. ARTIST BOAT TOUR, GALVESTON www.artistboat.org

HIDDEN FALLS ADVENTURE PARK hiddenfallsadventurepark.com

Gear up for an amazing offroad adventure in the beautiful hill country at Hidden Falls Adventure Park. Here you can load up your own ATVs, UTVs, Jeeps or Dirt Bikes for a weekend adventure or make use of the on-site rentals. Camping options are available with choices from tent, RV, cabin, bunkhouse and motel rooms. The views are stunning, the terrain is tough and the fun your family will have is worth the drive. Admission per day is $25 Adult Driver, $15 Adult Passenger, $15 Minor Driver, $5 Minor Passenger, Kids 6 and under are FREE. HILL COUNTRY ADVENTURE RENTALS, MARBLE FALLS hillcountryadventurerentals.com

Offers equipment rentals of ATVs, UTVs and Dirt Bikes for those wishing to enjoy a day of off-road riding and adventure. Rental operations are open Thursday-Sunday only. ATV and Dirt bike rentals start at $150 for 2 hours UTV rentals start at $225 for 2 hours.

DAY TRIPS Within a 3-hour radius from Houston

Far enough to make you feel like you are on vacation, but close enough to get back home Within this big, beautiful houston family magazine


June 2020

state called Texas, we are blessed with countless destinations to visit with the kids that offer gorgeous natural venues, landmarks and attractions to see without interacting with huge crowds. Think smaller, or obscure attractions. Places you’ve always passed on the road, but never stopped. DINOSAUR PARK, BASTROP www.thedinopark.com

Located just 12m east of the Austin airport, this outdoor museum is a blast for all your little dino lovers out there! Meander down the half mile walking trail through the park and gaze at all of the lifelike dinosaurs on display throughout. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and have snacks in the car. No food concessions on-site. Tickets are $9 adults, $8 kids 2-12, kids under 2 are free. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Open Thursday – Sunday 10a – 4p. FRANKLIN DRIVE THRU SAFARI www.franklinsafari.com Located just past Bryan/College Station heading northwest on Hwy 6, you will find a 100acre paradise for over 1000 different types of animals. A great getaway day, that will keep you safe while the kids feel like they are out on safari! If you feel

Looking to connect with nature and create a beautiful piece of art, then this is the place for you. Hit the water for a three to four hour adventure that will find you out on Galveston Bay experiencing all of the amazing wildlife while taking in a little vitamin D. Kids must be at least 7 years old to participate. Be sure to check the weather before you head out. $75 per person ($50 if you bring your own equipment). Saturdays and Sundays 9a.

VILLAGE CREEK STATE PARK, LUMBERTON tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ village-creek

Paddle away! This primordial wonderland in Texas’ Big Thicket is home to more than 1,000 species of flowering plants, 300 types of birds and 50 species of reptiles. Admission is $2; free for ages 12 and under. DRAGONLADY AIRBOAT TOUR www.dragonladyairboats.com

Only passengers from your group will be on the airboat adventure! This is a private, very unique, and exciting airboat ride and swamp tour through the Blue Elbow Swamp, Sabine River and surrounding estuaries of Orange, TX. Pricing is the same regardless of number of passengers. $325 for private tour. Open daily. Must have reservations.

San Bernard National Wildlife REFUGE, BRAZORIA


www.fws.gov/refuge/Brazoria/ visit/plan_your_visit.html


Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge has a diversity of coastal wildlife, including more than 400 species of birds, 95 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 130 species of butterflies and dragonflies. Great place to take the kids fishing. Free. Open daily. SEA CENTER TEXAS, LAKE JACKSON tpwd.texas.gov/fishing/seacenter-texas/

Operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the complex features a 50,000-gallon stand-in for the Gulf of Mexico; kid-friendly touch pools; a boardwalk slicing into a 5-acre marsh; and a hatchery for redfish and speckled trout. Free. Closed Mondays.

The complex includes dozens of historical buildings ranging from a 140-year-old cantilever log barn to a general store that features much of its circa-1863 fixtures. When ready for a break, drop by the Pickett House for chicken and dumplings that will make you weep with joy. Admission is $4; $2 for children. Open daily. LAKE LIVINGSTON STATE PARK, LIVINGSTON tpwd.state.tx.us

Be a cowboy for an afternoon on a trail ride at Lake Livingston Stables. Guided rides on more than two miles of wooded trails. A one-hour ride costs $15. Not into horses? You can also enjoy fishing, boating and mountain biking. Wherever you and your family are headed this summer, be smart & be safe. There is no one that knows the needs of your family better than you.

Happy Summer and God bless Texas



written by Christina Katz | photos by Chubby Cheek Photography


amp, road trips, and family visits do a great job of keeping everyone engaged throughout summer. But what about those lazy days when nothing is planned? Every parent wants to enjoy kicking back when school is out, but too much lollygagging can lead to listlessness, and even squabbling. Staying engaged this summer does not have to mean overspending. Galvanize attention by keeping a fun list of summer projects that can be done with scant money and planning. Many of these projects encourage upcycling household items or picking up a few inexpensive items up at the dollar store or resale market. Consider any projects that may interest your children, and print out instructions you find online. Then pull all your summer projects into a folder, make a list of supplies, and pick them up to have on hand. Once the first chorus of “I’m bored” begins, you’ll be ready to dive into plenty of hands-on summer fun ideas.

1. Plant vegetable garden starts that everyone will enjoy eating. 2. Assemble a fire pit to fit the size of your family. 3. Make a beanbag toss ladder game for playing after dinner. 4. Sign up for a far-away pen pal and write weekly letters.

5. Create a sizeable stack of summer reading books by purchasing them used in stores or online. 6. Grab binoculars, a guidebook, and a notepad and take a bird watch walk. 7. Bake homemade granola for energizing yet economical breakfasts. 8. Create an ultimate croquet game with obstacles impeding each wicket.

10. Plant a flower-cutting garden from annual seeds for future bouquets.

11. Make sock puppets and construct a theater for performing with them. 12. Fill a window box with herb starts (except mint). 13. Blow bubbles with kitchen items and homemade bubble formula. 14. Create bedroom window banners with craft supplies you have on hand. 15. Research edible flowers and plant seeds in a sunny container.

16. Pack a picnic, a blanket and some outdoor toys to take to a new park. 17. Purchase an oversized bag of birdseed to make fresh bird treats all summer long.

9. Make a bug, worm, and caterpillar circus for the day, and then let them all go. June 2020

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18. Pull some ho-hum wooden furniture outside and give it a colorful makeover.

34. After you get dirty, wash the cars, the dogs, and yourself.

19. Host a neighborhood badminton competition.

35. Melt old crayons into rainbow crayons using muffin tins.

20. Construct a runner bean and morning glory tee-pee with long sticks and twine.

36. Make a watch-me-grow-up slideshow and send it to faraway relatives.

21. Mix up a batch of strawberry shortcake biscuits and serve with homemade whipped cream.

37. Gather seashells from old beach trips and embellish thrift store frames and mirrors.

22. Put a hinged box in a nice cool place and make a worm box.

23. Plant sunflowers in cups on a windowsill and then transfer them outdoors once they have sprouted. 24. Build butterfly ponds to attract winged friends into safe spaces. 25. Give outdoor mani-pedis on lawn chairs in the yard while listening to summery tunes. 26. Fill a large garden container with several types of mint. 27. Start a homemade instrument band. 28. Court hummingbirds with feeders filled with homemade syrup.

29. Paint colorful garden rocks and encircle the house with them.

38. Make enough desserts one morning to last a full week. 39. Research totem animals and paint faces and bodies to match. 40. Plan, price and construct a tree house or outdoor fort.

41. Have pets pose for photos you can use to paint watercolor portraits. 42. Construct a composter for turning grass, leaves, kitchen scraps, and twigs into potent fertilizer. 43. Have a paper airplane making and flying competition. 44. Once it's warm enough, camp out overnight in the yard. 45. Recycle whimsical items into a fairy garden in a shady spot. 46. Make homemade ice cream in a creative way.

30. Create grab-and-go tote bags with engaging activities for each family member.

47. Spray a glow-in-thedark mazes onto the lawn for evening fun.

31. Gather items that signify your era and bury them in a time capsule.

48. Put on an outdoor playoriginal or adapted.

32. Export table, chairs and china to host an outdoor tea party.

33. Add water to dirt piles and see who can get the muddiest puddle jumping. houston family magazine


June 2020

49. When a rainstorm is forecasted, don old bathing suits and swim goggles for a squirt gun fight with washable paints. 50. Pack up juice boxes and snacks for a long, leisurely bike ride.

51. Make a simple a lemonade stand with tables, signs, and everything for sale made from scratch. 52. Spend the day learning to juggle. 53. Lay on blankets in the yard and read books of poetry from the library out loud. 54. Make muffins or coffee cake with fresh blueberries and share some with an elderly neighbor.

55. Fill the wading pool, make fresh fruit slushies, and have a tropical beach party. 56. Wile away the day making models from kits on a porch or patio. 57. Plan a hydrated hike destination you can reach from home, then rest, then back. 58. Paint words, names or destinations on scraps of wood and make them into signposts around the yard.

59. Have a good, oldfashioned water balloon fight with the whole family. 60. Make a role model collage with images and words and then share what you admire aloud. 61. Gather all your birdhouses into one area and make a birdhouse village. 62. Fill a basket with finger foods and dine alfresco in distant view of your home.

63. Gather up white clothing and shoes, then tie-die them or decorate them with Sharpies. 64. Come up with a fantastic family vacation then start a vision board you can add to over time.

65. Research, practice and put on a magic show complete with hats and capes.

66. Create a family nature journal that includes pressed samples and photos you can add to all summer. 67. Build a little library by the curb and put your old books in it, so neighbors can trade you for theirs. 68. Cook up some spaghetti and mashed potatoes, get your grubbies on, and have an outdoor family food fight. 69. Hang rolled paper against a flat wall and let each child make a colorful graffiti statement. 70. Ask neighbors for empty water and wine bottles in a variety of colors and transform a post into a bottle tree.

71. Decorate bikes by day for a sunset bike parade. 72. Research another era and make retro paper dolls and outfits. 73. Make found-object wind chimes to hang by front and back doors.

74. Grab a couple ladders, pool noodles, and folding lawn chairs and construct an overunder obstacle course. 75. Dig up some of your sprouting flowers and transplant them into old shoes.

76. Make up photo scavenger hunts for each other. 77. Pick up a putter, sink some plastic cups and turn your yard into a mini golf course. 78. Research couple or group dances and have after-dinner practices.

79. Wrap small bouquets of flowers in moist paper towels and foil and place them on a stand by the road with a container for quarter contributions.

90. Design and make kites for fall winds.

80. Lay on blankets by day and study the constellations you will watch for by night.

92. Decorate a hat, pet leash, bike, car or yourself with fresh flowers.

81. Make masks, scrubs and lotions and have a botanical spa afternoon.

93. During the dog days, go into the garage and make a scarecrow family for fall.

82. Give everyone a pair of cutters or scissors and drive around town on a wildflower safari. 83. Virtually visit a far-away place of each child's choosing by visiting the library with each destination in mind. 84. Make a family patchwork quilt by giving each family member a certain number of squares to finish by the end of summer. 85. Make homemade pizzas from scratch with your fresh veggies and herbs. 86. Make origami with waterproof paper and hang them from tree branches in the yard. 87. Practice all day for a family talent night.

88. Practice colorful cookie, cake or cupcake decorating. 89. Study fashion history and then pull together fashions out of recycled materials.

91. See which board games can be played outdoors and have an all-day marathon.

94. Make your yard into an impromptu water park using all the water toys you have on hand.

From our family to yours, HAPPY DAD'S DAY! books • puzzles • cards games • pens • more

Curbside pickup available! Stay tuned for shop reopening plans. www.bluewillowbookshop.com (281) 497-8675 @bluewillowbooks

95. Make a colorful salad featuring veggies and edible flowers you grew. 96. Sit around the fire pit and share what you liked about books you read this summer.

97. Make mosaic stepping stones customized to each family member. 98. Brainstorm holiday teacher and coach gift ideas, then make non-perishable items. 99. Share what you appreciated about summer vacation with your family over freshly made pie. Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz remembers summer as a time when lazy days inspired imagination, creativity, and bliss, in the days long before cell phones.

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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

summer 2020 navigating the unknown virtual or in-person summer camps Who would have ever thought that would be something we would be discussing? After keeping our kids home, for the better part of the last 3 months, who would have ever thought that this would be an option for some parents? (I know I want to send mine off to the woods or the mountains to be one with nature for the better part of a month!) But, reality is, some parents are not comfortable sending their kids back out into the world, yet. Whatever your philosophy is at this time, it’s okay. It’s okay for you to choose which path your family will take without judgement or ridicule. Luckily, due to the current environment, there are many options for you to choose from. (And more coming available daily) We have compiled the latest information available from our advertisers to offer you the most upto-date directory of both day and overnight, local and out-of-town camps. As always, we recommend you visit the Houston Family and individual advertisers’ websites for the daily updates that are sure to happen throughout the summer. Either way you go, it is our hope that your child finds ways to spend time with friends, broaden their minds and strengthen their bodies while having a little bit of fun! It is summertime, after all! Camps offering both VIRTUAL ONLY and VIRTUAL & IN-PERSON options are noted througout.

enjoy your summer houston family magazine


June 2020

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 Alliance Fencing Academy



713.410.6655 Houston & Conroe, TX

AGES: 5-14

Asia Society Texas Center asiasociety.org/texas 713.496.9901 Houston, TX

Athlete Training + Health

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Art, Technology, Sports AGES: 6-12



713.568.8986 Katy & Spring, TX

AGES: 8-12

Building Brains LEGO Engineering buildingbrains.biz

TYPE OF CAMP: Full Day, Half-Day

888.55.BUILD 10 Locations in Houston

AGES: 3-12

Camp Allen


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

979.412.0376 Navasota, TX

AGES: 3rd-12th graders

Camp Champions


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

830.598.2571 Marble Falls, TX

AGES: 5-17

Camp Invention


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

800.968.4332 Multiple Locations

AGES: Grades K-6

Camp Olympia


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

936.594.2541 Trinity, TX

AGES: 6-16

Camp Lantern Creek


TYPE OF CAMP: All Girl, Overnight

936.597.8225 Montgomery, Texas

AGES: 7-17

Christian Youth Theater Houston www.cythouston.org/camps


281.580.4298 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

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.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS Registration now open for summer camps at Asia Society Texas Center, where cultures, art, and ideas converge!

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS Our sports performance spring break camp provides Student ATHletes ages 8-12 years old with a positive environment to increase their athletic ability through exposure to elite performance coaching and competitive athletic competitions by utilizing fun and games!

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.

Since 1921, Camp Allen has been providing kids with the best week of their lives! Located one hour northwest of Houston, Camp Allen offers week long residential camp sessions for ages 8-18. Camp Allen is the largest Episcopal summer camp program in the nation.

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.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS Camp Invention® is the nationally acclaimed, nonprofit summer enrichment program created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) for kindergarteners through 6th graders.

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.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL ONLY CAMPS 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.

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

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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 Club SciKidz Houston

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

Cy-Fair Music and Arts

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


TYPE OF CAMP: Art, Theatre

281.855.8855 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-13

Elite University Summer Camps www.elitesummercamps.com


855.931.2586 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-12

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft www.crafthouston.org


713.529.4848 Houston, TX

AGES: All Ages

Houston Humane Society www.houstonhumane.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Adventure, Academic

713.433.6421 Houston, TX

AGES: 7-13

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL ONLY CAMPS 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!

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL ONLY CAMPS Creative and Fun Music and Art Summer Camps for Kids Ages 4 to 13. Guitar, Drums, Piano, Singing, Instrument Discovery, and Visual Arts at our Cypress, NW Houston location.

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.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL ONLY CAMPS Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is a nonprofit visual arts center dedicated to advancing education about the process, product, and history of craft.

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.

FREE general admission for one year

FREE first-time visit to the DeBakey Cell Lab

$2 OFF Museum parking DISCOUNTS at the Amazing Body Store EXCLUSIVE invites to FREE admission to 300+ select museum events, participating Association mixers, and new exhibit of Science-Technology previews Centers (ASTC) DISCOUNTS on select Education classes, camps, and programs

Join Today! thehealthmuseum.org/membership houston family magazine


June 2020

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 Houston Neuroscience Brain Center www.hnbraincenter.com 713.299.6006 Houston, TX

iD Tech

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

iKids, Inc.

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Day Camp Ages: 10th - 12th grade

TYPE OF CAMP: STEM Education AGES: 7-19



713.665.5200 Houston, TX

AGES: 3-12

Kanakuk Kamps www.kanakuk.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

417. 266.3000 Branson, Missouri

AGES: 6-18

Kidz Building


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

713.382.9301 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-14

Houston Neuroscience Brain Center is a clinical research facility dedicated to optimizing the function of each person’s brain through individualized assessment, training, and education grounded in neuroscience. Our goal is to increase your child’s ability to learn and test.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL ONLY CAMPS 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.

iKids offers educational, creative, and recreational enrichment for children. After-School Programs, Summer Camp, and more! Fine Arts to Performing Arts, STEM to STEAM and everything in between!

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.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS Our camp delivers a design process that harnesses your child’s imagination to solve everyday problems. Our goal is to foster the next generation of disrupters with a unique camp curriculum that draws upon fundamental math and creative problem-solving skills.

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

Special Discount Tickets!* $5 Children (4-11) • $10 Adult (12 & up) *Cannot be combined with any offer or discounts


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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 Lone Star Flight Museum www.lonestarflight.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Technology

346.708.2517 Houston, TX

AGES: 11-14

Main Street Theater


TYPE OF CAMP: Theater, Half-day

713.524.7998 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-18

Mo-Ranch Summer Camp

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

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS 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!


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

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.

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS 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.


BRAIN CAMP Help Stop Your Teen’s Testing Anxiety Through Neuroscience Technology! Brain Camp is a two-week program for students entering the 10th through 12th grades looking to increase their ability to learn and test through peak performance neurofeedback. Space is Limited, Call Today for More Information.

Find a location and save today at

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

houston family magazine


June 2020

3730 Kirby Drive, Suite 930 Houston, Texas 77098


drron@hnbraincenter.com www.hnbraincenter.com

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 Play-Well TEKnologies www.play-well.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

602.317.7448 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-12

Scott Pera Basketball Camps at Rice University www.ScottPera.com


713.348.2859 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

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

We offer Lego Engineering Summer Camps throughout Houston!

Scott Pera Basketball Camps on the campus of Rice University are dedicated to providing basketball camps that are both instructional and informative along with creating a great atmosphere to learn!

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS 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.

Houston . Sugar Land . Katy



June 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 Summer ASAP! Camp at Westbury Christian School

www.westburychristian.org/summerprograms 713.551.8100 Houston, TX

Summer Camps at HMNS

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Technology

713.639.4651 Houston, TX & Sugar Land, TX

AGES: 6-12

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

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Overnight

409.740.4525 Galveston, TX

AGES: 6-18

www.theartz8.com 281.972.9147 Houston, TX

The Grand 1894 Opera House

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


TYPE OF CAMP: Arts & Theater

409.765.1894 Galveston, TX

AGES: 7-16

The Health Museum


TYPE OF CAMP: Spring Break Camp

713.521.1515 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-13

Topgolf Houston-Katy



832.610.2030 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-12

Xplor Preschool and School-Age www.XplorPreschool.com/Houston


(877) 322-2891 Houston, TX

AGES: 6wks-12yrs

YMCA Camp Cullen


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight, Adventure

936.594.2274 Trinity, TX

AGES: 5-17

YMCA Camp Twin Lakes


AGES: 3-10


The ARTZ: Aerial Circus Endeavor (ACE) Summer Camp

houston family magazine

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Art/Theatre, Sports, Technology, VBS


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

512.250.9622 option 6 Cedar Park, TX

AGES: 7-16

June 2020

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!

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS 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!

●● OFFERING VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CAMPS 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

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.”

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!

Topgolf venues across Houston are offering 3 days of nonstop fun for kids ages 6-12 with Spring Academy. Beginning March 9th kids of every skill level will get the opportunity to learn about the great game of golf taught by golf professionals from Topgolf Coach. From chipping, putting, and full swing, to the rules and etiquette, kids will learn everything they need to know to improve their game.

Xplor Preschool and School Age has two locations in the Houston area. We provide private preschool, after school and camp programs.

OFFERING FAMILY GETAWAY CAMP! 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.



Read Along With Dad

With this assortment of books from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.


by Randy White

From the bestselling author of the Doc Ford series for adults, comes a high-stakes, masterfully plotted story of courage, friendship… and sharks!

DRAGON HOOPS by Gene Luen Yang

In his latest graphic novel, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life and his family. His role as a father plays a major role in his life and is beautifully captured in this story.


THE STARTUP SQUAD: FACE THE MUSIC by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear

Girls mean business in a brand-new middle-grade series that’s Baby-Sitters Club for the next generation, co-written by Brian Weisfeld, a successful business executive, and father of two.


by Jason Pratt; illustrated by Chris Sheban

A tender, rhythmic picture book text that is an ode to the love between father and child, no matter how old the child (or parent) is.

by J.F. Fox

A new bedtime picture book inspired by WWE professional wrestling that will wear the kids out before you put them to bed--kids and their dads will love chanting “Let’s get ready to Wrestle!” every Friday night.


by Diana Murray; illustrated by Amber Alvarez

Everyone loves dads—humans, lions, frogs, prairie dogs, and even pelicans! See all these dads snuggle their little ones in this pitch-perfect picture book about appreciating papas of all kinds. Wild About Dads is a celebration of dads of every kind! It’s heartwarming and just the right amount of sweet.

I LOVE YOU MORE THAN by Taye Diggs; illustrated by Shane Evans

This is the third picture book collaboration by longtime friends Diggs and Evans, who continue to promote their picture books as well as literacy and art endeavors, causes, and organizations.

PAPA BRINGS ME THE WORLD by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

A poignant picture book that celebrates the bond between father and daughter and follows their long-distance trip around the world.

June 2020

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NAGGING YOUR TEENAGER written by Cheryl Maguire


s I watched a local theater production of the musical “13”, I smiled listening to the catchy tune. Then the teenagers on stage sang the lyrics in a mocking tone, “No, you’re not ready! No, it’s not time yet! No, it’s not right now! Wait until you’re older! Homework. Laundry. Dishes. Courses. Just settle down and hold your horses!” I squirmed in my seat and thought, “Do I really sound like that?” I’m guessing if given the opportunity my twin teens would say, “No mom, you are much worse.” “Parents can develop a habit of expecting their children to simply comply with demands made of them and nagging is a reactive behavior to increase compliance,” said Dr. Linda Kudla, a clinical psychologist at The Child and Family Institute. Dr. Kudla explained that

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June 2020

adolescents will typically respond to nagging by either avoiding their parent (which leads to an increase in nagging and perpetuates the problem) or react with more challenging behaviors (such as continued/ increased non-compliance, lying, sneaking, etc.). Dr. Sherry Kelly, a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist in Hartford, C.T., said, “Generally, nagging results from a difference in expectations. Like a bad math problem, if your expectations are significantly different from your teen’s expectations - they will disappoint you and you will nag.” Dr. Kelly explained that parents should stop nagging because this type of behavior can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety in teens. Here are some solutions on ways parents can change their nagging behavior:

CLARIFY EXPECTATIONS It is important to clarify what your expectations are so that you and your teen are on the same page. “Parents often have expectations that exceed actual life events. Be clear about what you want for your teen and listen to what they tell you about what they want,” says Dr. Kelly.

UNDERSTAND NAGGING IS DUE TO FEARS Figure out what are you afraid of and then either discuss these fears with your teen or find a way to manage it. “Nagging can be a sign of anxiety. When parents nag them they often feel anxious for their child and the nagging helps reduce their anxiety because

it makes them feel like they have a sense of control,” says Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPA, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist and owner of Heights Family Counseling, in Houston, TX.

UNDERSTAND THIS IS A NORMAL PHASE OF DEVELOPMENT Teens may not follow through with their parent’s requests because they are going through a normal stage of development of being independent of their parents. “Teenagers are gaining independence. It is normal for them to rebel or not always follow through, as it is part of this stage of development” says Rollo. Amanda Sasek, MS LMFT a licensed marriage & family therapist and clinic director/


owner of Radiant Living Therapy also discusses this development stage. “Parents need to recognize this is a normal developmental stage and work with it instead of against it. They need to remind themselves every day that their teen not listening to them is usually not an attack against them, but teenagers are trying to assert control at a time where they feel that they have very little control,” says Sasek.

CREATE GOALS WITH YOUR TEEN If parents and teens have a common goal then they are more likely to work together. “Sit down with your teen and discuss the chores that need to be done and then ask what they would like to do and when they would like to do them,” says Sasek.

REFRAME NAGGING INTO A CARING RESPONSE Dr. Kelly recommends ending the cycle of nagging behavior by implementing PAR: Prepare, Accommodate & Reframe. She explains what PAR means by saying, “Anticipate and PREPARE yourself for the situation that will trigger nagging responses. Second, ACKNOWLEDGE and ACCOMMODATE how you might feel (frustrated) and, third, REFRAME your nagging response into something helpful.” She goes on to say, “This is particularly important for parents to learn because nagging often is cloaked around criticism. You may feel like you are trying to manage or help get your teen in gear, but your teen may hear it as criticism.” Dr. Kudla explains that when an issue arises, an appropriate approach might

be to observe and describe the situation while working towards a democratic and mutually acceptable compromise. “For example saying ‘I notice you haven’t cleaned up your room yet. What’s up?’ then validating the reasons that it hasn’t happened yet and wondering what might help make it easier.” She goes on to say, “Ask if they need time or some help or suggest a fun outing to celebrate after it’s done.” Dr. Kudla explains that most issues can be resolved with compromise, and when adolescents feel like their parents understand and respect them, they’re more likely to have stronger relationships with them and less stress overall in their already stressful teenage lives.

SHOW GRATITUDE “There are several studies that show acknowledging gratitude immediately ‘lights up the brain’, softens the stress center of your brain, and makes you healthier and happier,” says Dr. Kelly. If you show appreciation for the things your teen does do then they will be more likely to do in the future. Originally published on Signature Moms. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Healthline, Your Teen Magazine, and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @ CherylMaguire05


GIVEAWAY STARTS JUNE 2 We’re Giving Away Great Prizes Every Tuesday, All Summer Long! Make sure you’re signed up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss your chance to win. Sign-up at houstonfamilymagazine.com Like & Follow us on social media for even more chances to win big!

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VISION A glimpse into the life of local cinematographer dad, paul Ralia interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra

houston family magazine


June 2020


n my quest for a ‘dad article’ for our June issue, I recently came upon videos created by a local cinematographer with 2 daughters under the age of 5. When I watched them, I laughed out loud. Lord knows, we all could use some levity in our lives, so I thought I’d reach out to see how these came about. Take a look for yourselves and then meet the man behind the lens. You can see all 7 episodes: www.youtube.com/channel/ UCZZM5WYAbRpy5kZ5mdDvBCw/featured?view_as=subscriber

HFM: I LOVE THE VIDEOS THAT YOU HAVE CREATED WITH YOUR GIRLS. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT YOUR INSPIRATION WAS? WHY COOKING? PAUL: Thank you! The inspiration was to just have some fun. I didn’t really put any thought into it beyond that. I’d been wanting to make videos with the girls that were more involved than random iPhone recordings. This shelter-inplace time has presented the perfect opportunity since I’ve unfortunately lost all my work and am home now every day. I’ve done a fair amount of cooking and recipe videos for clients in the past and I’ve always thought there was tremendous potential to add humor. My wife and I thought that if we had the girls bungle their way through some recipes it could be entertaining and they’d have fun in the process. It’s turned out better than we could have imagined.


IN YOUR EDITING. WHAT WAS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST THINGS THAT’S HAPPENED DURING FILMING THESE SESSIONS? PAUL: There are definitely funny moments that stand out, what you see at the end of Episode #7 is one of them for sure… But to be honest, it’s a bit stressful shooting these. My wife is working behind the scenes to prep the food, clean all the messes, and generally keep the girls happy. Meanwhile, I’m working the cameras and trying to direct some cohesion during what is just total mayhem. All this while preventing our 2 year old form eating raw eggs and our 4 year old from eating so much sugar that she explodes. I typically don’t realize all the funny things that happen until I’m doing the edit.

HFM: WHAT IS ONE SURPRISING FACT THAT YOU HAVE UNCOVERED DURING QUARANTINE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER SUSPECTED? PAUL: Prior to the quarantine I had endless, yet valid, excuses as to why I didn’t have time to clean the garage. Postquarantine I still have endless excuses, none of them valid. Turns out I just don’t want to clean the garage. In addition, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a surprise, but the degree to which we take our community for granted should really be something that we think about moving forward. The value of grandparents, family, teachers, school, friends, parks, restaurants, museums…. These things enrich our children’s lives so much, not to mention the impact they have on us. I

just hope moving forward we never forget how important they are and that we value and cherish all the people who love us and our girls.

HFM: WHAT ARE SOME OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT YOU HAVE ADDED TO YOUR FAMILY’S DAILY ROUTINE TO HELP PASS THE TIME? PAUL: The girls have started doing yoga which is hilarious to watch. We do a lot more family walks now which is great. I’m big into napping.

HFM: AS WE COME UP ON FATHER’S DAY, ANY ADVICE FOR DAD’S OUT THERE? PAUL: I’m not comfortable offering advice to other parents. There are just so many challenges associated with raising kids and I’ve got lots of room for improvement. My personal goals moving forward are: 1) Be more supporting of my wife. I knew being a stay-at-home parent was hard. Didn’t know it was this hard… 2) Engage my girls more often. Being present isn’t enough, need to connect emotionally more often. 3) Thank the family, teachers and friends who participate in our girl’s lives. They deserve way more than they get…. Paul is an awardwinning Filmmaker and Cinematographer who moved to Houston in 2015. Originally from Chicago, he was lured to Texas via Austin, where he lived for 12 years and acquired an unhealthy dependency on breakfast tacos and Tex-Mex. Outside of work, he enjoys taking his girls to MFA Houston and family time in Galveston.

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DADS ARE DIFFERENT written by Sarah Lyons | photo by Ruth & Rene Photography


here is no denying that there are differences between how moms and dads parent their kids. Just because dads may do things differently than moms doesn’t mean their parenting style is less beneficial to kids. A different perspective on how to handle challenges, how to have fun, and how to show affection is great for kids. Here are some great ways dads are different.

DADS PLAY DIFFERENTLY When I watch my husband interact with our kids, I notice one major difference, how they play together. My husband will often hide and when the kids start looking for him, he will jump out and scare them. He fills water balloons for an hour to have a water fight that lasts five minutes. He spends time building Legos and helping the kids learn how to follow the instructions. He wrestles with, laughs with, and good-naturedly teases the kids. They love it. Most of these things I would rarely do, some I would avoid if possible. Dads have a way of bringing houston family magazine


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silliness and fun into our kids lives, usually in the form of a game. The kids love it, the dads love it, and it strengthens the bond between them.

DADS ARE MORE FLEXIBLE This may not apply to all dads but many are a little more flexible than moms. When I was a little girl my mom had a weekly night out with her friends and my dad was in charge. This often meant fried egg and ketchup sandwiches and staying up late watching TV. I remember one day dad let us have ice cream for dinner. We walked to the ice cream shop and my brother and I ordered bubble gum ice cream cones. By the time we had walked home, we were covered in a sticky mess. Instead of a bath dad sprayed us down with a hose, took us inside and changed us right into our pajamas and called it a night. We all laughed the whole time, including my dad, and I remember thinking how mom would never have allowed that. The next night we went back to our normal routine but those little moments

of silliness and flexibility taught me that sometimes it’s okay to set aside the rules and routine and have fun.

DADS SHOW AFFECTION DIFFERENTLY Kids enjoy snuggling up with both mom and dad but in addition to sitting together reading a book or watching a movie, dads have a way of showing affection that is different from mom. They wrestle, tickle, and roughhouse. They lift kids up on their shoulders and carry them around and often spend time roughhousing and showing affection in a totally different way than women typically do. They carry kids to their beds and throw them onto a pile of pillows, which is usually rewarded with giggles and a shout of “Do it again!”. Dads have a knack for showing affection and having fun at the same time.

DADS ENCOURAGE KIDS TO TRY NEW THINGS I love how my husband encourages the kids to try new things. It is usually easier for me to just order food for the kids when we are at a restaurant but my husband lets them speak to the waitress themselves and order their own food. This teaches them independence and how to be comfortable speaking to other adults. If they are too shy to do so, he pushes them out of their comfort zone and tells them they can do it, gently encouraging them to try something new. There are so many situations like this. Dads often will push kids to try new things, learn to do things themselves, or tell them to follow the directions on their own. There may be differences between how moms and dads parent their kids but neither is right or wrong. Each parent has something unique to teach their kids and different ways of showing love.


Celebrate Your Graduate with party supplies from party city

As graduation ceremonies across Houston have been made virtual or pushed into mid / late summer, families have been left brainstorming ways to celebrate the Class of 2020’s achievements in lieu of the traditional pomp and circumstance. The experts at Party City are here to make it easy to mark the milestone and bring the party right to your graduate’s doorstep! GRADE-A GRADUATION BALLOONS: Using school color balloons, balloon bouquets and easy balloon column kits is a simple and fun way to deck out your home from centerpieces to backdrops to party decorations. Party City’s full page of graduation balloons, streamers, table decor and more will help you get ready to party.


COMMENCEMENT IN A BOX: Perfect for decorating your house and letting neighbors, friends and family know you have a grad in the house, complete with two (2) banners and back + pearl balloons. $54.99

DRIVE-BY GRADUATION IN A BOX: As lots of families are opting for a graduation parade to celebrate their 2020 graduate whether with family or other locals this box includes everything needed with “congrats grad” banners perfect for any vehicle and 30 balloons. $19.99

CUSTOM CONGRATS GRAD BACKDROP: While most parents unfortunately won’t be able to get that child walking across the stage photo, Party City is helping create the perfect photoshoot at-home backdrop. $39.99

GRADUATION ESSENTIALS IN A BOX: Includes a black graduation cap + gown and a giant inflatable diploma, offering a comical twist on the usual graduation photos. $19.99

HATS OFF CLASS OF 2020: This kit offers everything for an at-home celebration with plates, tablecloth, centerpiece and more. $42.99

Party City continues to monitor local guidelines, select stores in Houston are now offering same-day delivery and/or curbside pickup in addition all Houston stores have also opened their doors. Please check stores and business hours online at stores.partycity.com. June 2020

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Reya Pal

Class of 2020

written by Eshaan Mani, HFM Kid Ambassador

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orn when the world was grieving the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, and graduating as the world struggles through a pandemic as never experienced before, this year’s graduating class across the nation is a resilient one ready to take on the world.

Their graduation ceremonies have been canceled or postponed, as are several events leading up to the big day, including prom. Houston Family Magazine had the chance to speak with Reya Pal, Elkins High School senior in Sugar Land, who even designed her own prom dress. Her prom was unfortunately called off due to the coronavirus outbreak. Her mother, Tanya Pal, shared on social media that her daughter had been planning this out since the fall of 2019. “Conceptualizing her dress, drawing it out, shopping and pricing the right dress, finding the lace and other

embellishments, and finally starting the execution of her design in January after all her college applications were in”. Reya discussed the journey of creating her dress, the challenges she faced, how the coronavirus and subsequent cancellation of senior prom affected her, and the life lessons she learned from both designing her prom dress and the coronavirus outbreak. Reya was really excited for prom. But, surfing the internet, she noticed that the dresses she liked the most were far too expensive, hitting prices near $400. In October 2019, Reya struck gold; she found a plain teal satin dress for $60. But then, in December, one of her friends bought the exact same dress! Then, she remembered that her mom had designed her own prom dress back in the day, and that was her spark of inspiration. “I customized that $60 dress with fabrics and patterns. I looked through a bunch of floral designs and found the ones I liked the most. I cut the golden lace fabric into the patterns and sewed them to the dress. I also added rhinestones as a final flourish. It did challenge my patience and perseverance though.” By the end of January, Reya had gathered all the materials she needed and planned to put the dress together from February through Spring Break. In the first week of March, several Houston-area Independent School Districts, extended spring break due to concerns of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Reya wasn’t deterred; she saw the silver lining of the situation: she had more time to design her dress! “All of us [the students] expected a big shutdown, as soon as the virus hit. But I doubt any of us thought it would last this long. We thought we’d be back to school before prom.” But surely enough, one by one, all of the events leading up to Reya’s high school graduation were canceled. “I’m definitely

disappointed...we work hard for three and a half years for the last half of our senior year. That’s the semester when we get to have fun, work is light, hanging out with friends to seal high school memories, and there are lots of fun events. But now… not so much.” Pal’s prom dress project was not futile though. She had a FaceTime prom party with her friends to make up for the lost event. Besides getting better at sewing and celebrating virtually, Reya learned many valuable life lessons through the journey. She says she learned to plan further ahead and follow through with those plans. And she also learned to be nicer to herself when her plans or designs didn’t work out. Designing the dress over months taught her that patience is important in life. After the coronavirus took with it all of the major events of her last semester in high school, she learned to appreciate opportunities and events more and to not take anything for granted. And perhaps most importantly, this journey gave her a story to tell for years to come, just like her mom. I enjoyed speaking with talented Reya Pal and was impressed with her positive attitude, maturity, and outlook. COVID-19 is not strong enough to silence Reya or dent her passion and perseverance. And her dress is gorgeous!

Family Lifestyle Photography

families · babies · Children · couples · love www.rorphoto.com // RELICS.OF.RAINBOWS

A special shout-out to all high school seniors from Houston Family Magazine: We know that you’ve worked hard throughout their high school career, and deserve to celebrate this great milestone. Congratulations to every one of you and we wish you all the best as you start the next phase of your lives.

If you know a senior with a story to share, please email us at kidambassador@ houstonfamilymagazine.com.

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Learn how to use the powerful force of your subconscious mind written by Elizabeth Irvine


hink of the subconscious mind as a second, hidden mind that exists within you— its goal is to attract circumstances and situations that match the images you hold within. It doesn’t discriminate. It brings you what you need or desire— synchronicity, which you may think of as luck or coincidence— but actually it’s an inner collaborator. In 1974, I was 12 years old. Sharing a bedroom with my sister Mary, our closet doors allow us to display posters that inspire. My side holds the British pop group, the “Monkees,” with lead singer Davy Jones front and center. As a young teen groupie, I recall each night before sleep,

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religiously walking up to the poster and “kissing” Davy Jones, “Good night Davy, I love you.” Fast-forward to 1985, this is the man I married on the left, and what he looked like back when I was “in love” with the pop star Davy Jones on the right. A few months ago, preparing for a Vision Board workshop, I start to let my mind relax, and a vivid memory rises to the surface. This is how I realized what happened. I dig through an old chest to find a photo of my husband Ron at a younger age, similar to the Davy Jones poster. I find the photo—what if creative visualization— my whole-hearted feelings combined with visual energy, manifested my future husband!

REAP WHAT YOU SOW Your subconscious mind like a storage room of everything that is currently not in your conscious mind. The subconscious stores all of your precious life experiences, your beliefs, your memories—all situations you’ve been through and all images you’ve ever seen. By definition: the part of the mind that is not currently in focal awareness.

ARISTOTLE, EINSTEIN, WALT DISNEY All of these great ‘creative visionaries’ understood imagery as an essential part of thought, that we can’t think without pictures. Walt Disney’s work is a true reflection of creative visualization— he referred to as “Imagineering.” Disneyland is “the dream that you wish will come true.” We are a great part of a whole. It’s been written for thousands of years, we are not separate form, but part of a greater whole. Everything in the universe is made up of energy. Our thoughts are energy. It only makes sense that repeated images, affirmations, deeply

planted beliefs in fertile soil (when we are relaxed) take root and grow. We begin to act like a beautiful rose, radiating a strong beacon of energy that attracts the bee, within the larger web of reality.

A FEW DECADES OF CREATIVE VISUALIZATION Childbirth guided imagery In 1992, as a nurse and childbirth educator, techniques of imagery and creative visualization, through the Lamaze method became fun and a welcomed practice to teach. We ended each session with a beautiful birth visualization. These visualization techniques relaxed my couples and many remarked how the guided imagery was the best part of their day, often leading to very positive birth experience too. Yoga Nidra guided meditation In 1995, as a yogi, a new practice of Yoga Nidra, which translates to “sleeping with awareness” became a welcomed part of my day. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, we deeply relax and plant a seed of positive intention in fertile ground to grow.

PUT YOUR MIND TO IT Visualization is a way of seeing into your future. The Sanskrit mantra, hari-om-tat-sat, translates to “I step into my future that is already there.” Imagery is like a mental dressrehearsal. Choose a goal, live it, and feel as if you are truly experiencing it. For example, “I am healthy and vibrantly alive.” How does it really feel to have vibrant health, endless energy and a deep calm confidence? Your subconscious mind does NOT, CANNOT, distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. Practice makes perfect. Can you dedicate five minutes a day? It sounds too easy, but it’s actually quite a dedication. Just as unbeknown to me at the time, Davy Jones, was a genuine heartfelt feeling in my teenage life (just for a few minutes), but every night for probably a year.

IMAGINATION FUELED WITH FEELING Creative visualization is a practice, and it takes time and diligence. For me, waking and bedtime are natural moments, as well as my daily meditation practice, to practice this idea. What you focus on, is what you attract. I am healthy and vibrantly alive. Life is responding to you—and I hold the strong belief that our thoughts create our reality. Thoughts are vibrating energy, so we are consciously attracting to us, what matches the images within. Any image that comes in over and over, the subconscious remembers. Put your subconscious mind to work and it will guide you to whatever you tell it. The subconscious uses imagination and feeling to communicate. So, choose wisely, visualize it, and say it like you mean it. Want more? Sign up HERE https://www.elizabethirvine. com/affirmation-sign-up and we will send you The Rainbow, a relaxing creative visualization. More options? A one-to-one session is another powerful way to step into the practice of creative visualization. Read more Magic: A Supernatural Power Shows Up https://www.elizabethirvine. com/blog/magic-a-supernaturalpower-shows-up

Elizabeth Irvine: nurse, educator and award-winning author. She is the founder and owner of Truewellbeing Inc— you can purchase her books, jewelry and sign up for soulful workshops and retreats around the world.

Photo: Katie Wnukoski

Creative visualizations with our children In 2000, creative visualizations with our children become a fun and commonplace ritual before bedtime. These visual adventures where incorporated into a chapter of Healthy Mother Healthy Child. It’s obvious to see, for the past 25 years, creative visualization has been an effortless and natural part of life. There are many more stories to tell of manifestations, but let’s leave that for the future.

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STRESS REDUCING APPS FOR KIDS With schools closed and kids everywhere engaged in remote learning, stress is bound to run high. It can be difficult for kids to adjust to sitting in front of the computer doing school work for hours at a time while being apart from their classmates and other friends. One way to reduce some of that stress is to encourage them to download an app – or three. Below are some of the most kid-friendly, stress-reducing apps available, and the best part is that they’re all free. written by Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

BREATHE, THINK, DO WITH SESAME STREET (Available at: Amazon Apps, Apple Appstore, Google Play; Age range: 5-8) This app teaches kids how to relax themselves so that they can better cope with stressful situations. Divided into five interactive scenarios, kids help Cookie Monster take deep breaths, come up with plans for addressing these stressful situations, and then try out those plans. It includes a useful section with additional strategies and resources for parents.

DREAMYKID (Available at: Google Play; Age range: 9-18) This app teaches kids how to relax their minds with guided houston family magazine


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meditations, visualizations, and affirmations through calming, positive messages. There are issue-specific meditations that kids might find particularly useful, including meditations aimed at focusing on their schoolwork.

EMOTIONARY (Available at: Apple Appstore, Goggle Play; Age range: 5-12) This app enhances kids’ emotional intelligence by offering more than 100 short, simple, dictionarystyle definitions of common emotions, each accompanied by a unique emoticon. It helps kids to develop a richer, more expansive vocabulary of emotions, and it teaches them how to deal with those emotions so that they don’t become overwhelmed by their feelings. Kids can create and add their own emoticons for feelings that aren’t included in the app.


(Available at: Apple Appstore, Google Play; Age range: 5-18) This app is designed to help kids get a good, relaxing start to their day. It functions like an alarm clock and has more than 30 soothing, nature-inspired sounds to wake your kids up slowly and gently in the morning. The app can be used in the afternoon and evening, too, using the nap and a sleep timer function, for a stress-free end to their day.

RELAX MELODIES (Available at: Amazon Apps, Apple Appstore, Google Play; Age range: 5-18) Like Nature Melody, this app gives kids a soothing start and finish to their day, with more than 50 relaxing sounds and melodies. It has several

other features, including the ability to create unique mixes by combining sounds and melodies, a collection of socalled community tunes that represent the most popular mixes, and a number of accompanying meditations.

SUPER STRETCH YOGA (Available at: Apple Appstore; Age range: 9-18) Created by a well-known yoga instructor, Jessica Rosenberg, this interactive app teaches kids yoga through video demonstrations by other kids, with a focus on breathing and movement. It’s narrated by a character named Super Stretch and features 12 different poses with different skill levels. Kids can use the built-in camera to take pictures of themselves doing the various poses.

THREE GOOD THINGS: A HAPPINESS JOURNAL (Available at: Apple Appstore; Age range: 5-18) This app encourages kids to think positively by writing, every day, about three good experiences. The app helps kids think more positively by writing daily about three good experiences they’ve had. The app has a feature that lets kids upload and share their writings on social media.



(Available at: Apple Appstore; Age range: 5-8)

(Available at: Amazon Apps, Apple Appstore; Google Play; Age range: 5-8)

Like DreamyKids, this is a mediation app, but one geared towards younger kids. It has several guided meditations to help kids center themselves, focus on their breath, be in tune with their feelings, and experience empathy for others. Each meditation is narrated by a female voice that uses simple instructions to guide kids through various breathing and visualizing exercises.

Make your own future at SST.

Based on the PBS children’s show featuring the yoga dog, Wuf Shanti, this app teaches young kids yoga. It has brief video demonstrations, photos, and descriptions of a person dressed in a dog suit, who uses animal movements to explain yoga poses. The app also has meditations and videos about positive words and phrases that kids can use in stressful situations.

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


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37 houston family magazine


Time For

bonfires on the beach Cinnamon Shores, Port Aransas with some of our HFM Family

Photo by Pop of Color Photography

the big to do

Missing festival and outdoor concert season? Us too. Still, summer is shaping up to offer adventure in the great outdoors as we go off into the world in search of something fun to do. Virtual experiences are still plentiful. All events listed are FREE unless otherwise noted.

JUNE 1 Kidz Bop Dance Break Take a dance break every afternoon with the Kidz Bop kids. facebook.com/kidzbop Virtual Monday-Friday. 2pm. All ages

Mother Goose virtual storytime Storytime, songs and puppet shows will be posted on the FBCL website each week. fortbend.lib.tx.us

Virtual Monday. Age: infants 1-12 months of age

Virtual Family Storytime: The pigeon wants a puppy

Toddler Time virtual storytime every Tuesday

Enjoy storytime from the comfort of your own home. facebook.com/houstonlibrary

Families of toddlers and preschoolers may pick up to-go activity packets from the library for the month. These packets are available for pick up in June and July and contain fun craft activities that can be done at home. fortbend.lib.tx.us

Virtual 11-11:30am. Age: 0-9

JUNE 2 Detective Days at Bayou Bend: Hunts in the Gardens Unlock your inner sleuth and get ready to solve some. Follow the clues to solve seasonal riddles around Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens while learning about horticulture, art, design, and American history. mfah.org Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Tuesday–Saturday.10am –4pm. Age 6+

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Virtual Tuesday. Age: 1-3 years of age

TY Tuesday: Art together with Main Street Theater program Enjoy some of the memories of Main Street Theater shows and some fun activities for your children. mainstreettheater.com/atmst Various times. All ages

JUNE 3 Woodworking Group every Wednesday Learn how to design patterns and use various tools to build stunning creations. Bring your own supplies; equipment is provided. Space is limited. hcp4.net Doss Activity Building Wednesday. 8:30am. Age: 15+

Pickleball every Wednesday Join Mangum-Howell Center for this fun sport that is a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. This game is easy for beginners. Space is limited. Mangum-Howell Center hcp4.net Wednesday. 1pm. All ages

June 2 02 0 Houston Zoo Opening! JUNE 3

Tour Galveston Historical Sites JUNE 5

We’re ready to welcome you and your family back to reconnect with the animals you know and love. During this time online reservations are required for all guests and members. houstonzoo.org

The 1892 Bishop’s Palace, 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, and Historic Habor Tours & Dolphin Watch, will reopen this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. galvestonhistory.org

Houston zoo Every day. All ages

The virtual School-Age Program every Wednesday: Dragons The program will showcase exciting livestreamed or recorded videos of popular performers. The live-streamed and recorded videos will be shown on the FBCL website and/or a special Facebook SRC group page. Facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries Virtual age: 5+

JUNE 4 Gallery Talks at the Rienzi Learn more about the works of art in the Rienzi Collection. On selected Thursdays, Gallery Talks offer an insider’s look at a particular object or a special theme. Speakers include curators, conservators, educators, and librarians. rienzi@mfah.org Rienzi Collection Free with Rienzi admission. Reservations encouraged. various days, various times. Age. 13+

Gardening in the Children’s and Vegetable Gardens every Thursday Join a Mercer staff member to plant new plants, sow seeds, thin and harvest vegetables, and weed garden beds in the Children’s Garden and Vegetable Garden. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and water. Tools and gloves will be provided. hcp4.net Mercer Botanic Gardens Thursday. 9-11am. All ages

FemFest Houston: Voices of Asia (June 4-24) From the comfort of your home, celebrate women’s voices as we stage three readings of Houston premiere plays in a virtual setting. Featuring works written by Asian and Asian American women, the series highlights the talents and accomplishments of women playwrights from across the globe. Each play will be available to view for one week. Registration is free but required to receive the access link. asiasociety.org/texas/femfest-houstonvoices-asia Weekly. Various times. Age: 15+

JUNE 5 Detective Days at Bayou Bend: Hunts in the House Unlock your inner sleuth and get ready to solve some. Follow the clues to solve seasonal riddles around Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens while learning about horticulture, art, design, and American history. Upon finishing their assignments, detectives return their clipboards to the pickup point to receive a personalized certificate of completion. mfah.org Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Friday – Sunday. 1–4pm. Age: 6+

Kids Archery Classes every Friday until June 26 Children are invited to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. Participants can learn the basics of archery along with archery safety at the center’s fullservice, outdoor range. Bows, arrows, targets, and arm guards are provided. Registration is required, and space is limited, so sign up now to reserve your spot in the class, call 281-591-7830 to register. hcp4.net

Mangum-Howell Center, June 5 through June 26 9am. Age: 9-15

Special Virtual Family Program every Friday: Song Recycler Join in on a live-streamed or enjoy recorded videos of amazing performances. Families with children of all ages will enjoy watching these virtual events! Facebook.com/ FortBendCountyLibraries> Friday. 10am. All ages

Family storytime and Craft: There’s no place like space Dr. Seuss After the book reading, stay tuned in for a craft project to make a rocket ship using basic household items. Materials needed: toilet paper roll, plastic egg, 3 clothespins, markers, crayons or colored pencils. levyparkhouston.org Virtual. 10am. All ages

Friday-Sunday. Various times. All age

JUNE 6 Go birding Birds visit en-route from and to Central and South America, north in the spring, south in the fall. Galveston in fact sits astride the 95th meridian, the dead center of the trans-Gulf migration route. galveston.com/whattodo/outdoorfun/ birding Various locations Every day. Age: 13+

JUNE 7 Sunday Morning Hikes Come take a stroll with the Lake Houston Naturalist crew every Sunday.Meeting point is at the Nature Center. www.houstontx.gov Lake Houston Wilderness Park Sunday. 10am. All ages

Chapter one with HPL every Tuesday and Thursday All featured titles for the podcast change weekly and are available as eBook or eAudio. The podcasts highlight first chapter reads from awesome titles. houstonlibrary.org Thursday.10-10:30am. Age: 12+

Virtual Craft Time Learn how to make interesting crafts with your little ones. Themes change weekly houstonlibrary.org Virtual 10-10:30am. Age: 5+

STEM@your Library Log in for fun and education science experiments. Themes change weekly. houstonlibrary.org Virtual 10-10:30am. Age: 9+


JUNE 8 Nature Nesters A special program designed for children to connect with nature through activities, songs and crafts every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. pearlandtx.gov Delores Fenwick Nature Center, Pearland Wednesday- Friday.10am. Age: 4 and under

Virtual Family Storytime: There was an old dragon who swallowed a knight Enjoy storytime from the comfort of your own home. facebook.com/houstonlibrary Virtual 11-11:30am. Age: 0-9

JUNE 9 Outdoor Adventures: Tree ID Mystery Children will investigate trees from the roots to the tip-top branches. Lessons will focus on identifying trees, tree benefits, and exploring wildlife tree habitats. Participants will also meet an arborist and help plant trees in Mercer’s West Side Arboretum. Space is limited and registration is required. hcp4.net Mercer Botanic Gardens 9am – noon. Age: 6-11

Lunch Bunch: Local Impacts of Climate Change Climate change is an important topic for gardeners of all interests, whether you enjoy tending a bountiful vegetable garden, a wildlife-friendly native garden, or an inviting shade garden. Participants should bring a lunch and dress for the weather. Space is limited, and registration is required. To register, call 713-274-4160. hcp4.net Mercer botanic Gardens Noon. Age: 12+

The Virtual School-Age Program every Wednesday: Virtual Variety Summer Program The program will showcase exciting livestreamed or recorded videos of popular performers. The live-streamed and recorded videos will be shown on the FBCL website and/or a special Facebook SRC group page. Facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries Virtual Age:5+

Virtual Family Storytime: Tomorrow I’ll be brave Enjoy storytime from the comfort of your own home. facebook.com/houstonlibrary 11-11:30am. Age: 0-9

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ON THE GO | CALENDAR OF EVENTS The pyramids at Moody Gardens

Happy Father’s Day to all you amazing dads out there!


Take a drive out to Moody Gardens with the kids to (re)discover attractions in the pyramid rainforest, aquarium pyramid and dive into the ocean for a virtual ocean rescue clean-up project. moodygardens.com


Being a dad is no easy task and we appreciate all your hard work, guidance and dedication you give to your children. Enjoy your day!

Moody Gardens Every day. All day. All ages




Take a virtual tour of Moody Mansion or tour in person.

Virtual Family Storytime: Too many frogs

“Imagine Your Story” Summer Library Reading Challenge

Moody Mansion has been listed as one of the most famous historic houses open for tours in the nation by the Travel Channel. moodymansion.org

Enjoy storytime from the comfort of your own home. facebook.com/houstonlibrary

Children from infancy through schoolage are invited to read a lot of great books to kick off a great summer until September 30, and it is open to everyone, regardless of the county of residence. Prizes include books, gift cards, mugs, sippy cups and tablets. fortbend.lib.tx.us

Moody Mansion Every day. Various times. All ages

JUNE 12 Special Virtual Family Program every Friday: Game Show Contest Join in on a live-streamed or enjoy recorded videos of amazing performances. Families with children of all ages will enjoy watching these virtual events! Facebook.com/ FortBendCountyLibraries> Virtual 10am. All ages

JUNE 13 Second Saturday Settlers at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Head to Redbud Hill Homestead every second Saturday of the month for an afternoon learning the ins and outs of different aspects of settler life. hcp4.net/event/second-saturdaysettlers-homestead-fun/ Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center 1-3pm. All ages

Puppet Palooza Watch a recorded video showcase of FBCL’s own Youth Services librarians and their puppet extravaganza! Facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries Online 10am. All ages

JUNE 14 Go on a self-guided tour to African American Historic Places Galveston has rich ties in AfricanAmerican history as the birthplace of the Juneteenth holiday and as the site of many firsts in Texas for the AfricanAmerican community. galveston.com Various locations, Galveston Every day. All ages

houston family magazine


June 2020

Virtual 11-11:30am. Age: 0-9

JUNE 16 Outdoor Adventures: Birds of a Feather Ready for a day of feathered fun? Hit the trails for a bird hike, identify birds by how they look and sound, and share your findings on a citizen science program. Observe the natural habitats of birds, search for evidence of birds, investigate owl pellets, and more! Space is limited, and registration is required. hcp4.net Mercer Botanic Gardens 9am-noon. Age 6-11

JUNE 17 Family Nights: Micro-Mercer Explore the mysterious, tiny plant world at Mercer Botanic Gardens! Use hand lenses and microscopes to view the tiniest of plants found in the gardens. Observe plant cells, thin roots, pollen, seeds, and more. Then transfer your observations as scientific drawings into a keepsake journal. This is a free, family-friendly, dropin event. No registration required. hcp4.net

All Summer. All ages

JUNE 19 Special Virtual Family Program every Friday: The Armadillo’s dream Join in on a live-streamed or enjoy recorded videos of amazing performances. Families with children of all ages will enjoy watching these virtual events! Facebook.com/ FortBendCountyLibraries> 10am. All ages

Virtual Family Storytime: practice counting with the song ‘five currant buns’ Enjoy storytime from the comfort of your own home. facebook.com/houstonlibrary Virtual 11-11:30am. Age: 0-9

JUNE 20 All About Texas Bats Join a staff naturalist to discover which bat species live in Texas, their benefits, and the threats they face. Also learn ways to make your backyard and neighborhood bat friendly. hcp4.net

Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center 1pm. All ages

JUNE 21 Nature visits at the Joe Turner Nature Center Tour the Ecosystem Displays; the Bugs Room; the Reptile and Amphibians Room; and Eye on the Wilderness with lighting and sound effects. www.houstonparks.org Lake Houston Wilderness Park All day, Wednesday-Sunday All ages

JUNE 22 The pyramids at Moody Gardens Take a drive out to Moody Gardens with the kids to (re)discover attractions in the pyramid rainforest, aquarium pyramid and dive into the ocean for a virtual ocean rescue clean-up project. moodygardens.com Moody Gardens Every day. All day. All ages

Mercer Botanic Gardens 4-6:30pm. All ages

The Virtual School-Age Program every Wednesday: Magical Balloon Show The program will showcase exciting livestreamed or recorded videos of popular performers. The live-streamed and recorded videos will be shown on the FBCL website and/or a special Facebook SRC group page. Facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries Age:5+

Virtual Family Storytime: Mouse count Enjoy storytime from the comfort of your own home. facebook.com/houstonlibrary Virtual 11-11:30am. Age: 0-9



H O U S T O N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E . C O M / E V E N T- D I R E C T O RY/

JUNE 23 Scavenger Hunt Pearscape Trail Find each of the four-foot painted fiberglass “pears” when you follow the Pearscape Trail around landmarks such as Pearland Town Center, City Hall, and Independence Park. pearlandtx.gov Pearland City Hall All day. All ages

Outdoor Adventures: Creature Feature Investigate creatures that scamper, skitter, slither, and shuffle in the gardens. Search for evidence of animals while investigating the natural habitats of insects, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Learn animal identification and tracking techniques hcp4.net Mercer Botanic Gardens 9am-noon. Age 6-11

JUNE 24 Family Nights: Geocaching Gather your family and your hiking shoes. It’s time for some geocaching fun at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Hike and explore the trails of Mercer’s West Side Arboretum as you hunt for geocaches hidden among the natural environment. Meet at the Post Oak Pavilion at Mercer’s West Side Arboretum. This is a free, family-friendly, drop-in event. hcp4.net Mercer Botanic Gardens 4-6:30pm. All ages

The Virtual School-Age Program every Wednesday: Find the Beat with Andyroo The program will showcase exciting livestreamed or recorded videos of popular performers. The live-streamed and recorded videos will be shown on the FBCL website and/or a special Facebook SRC group page. Facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries Virtual Age:5+

JUNE 26 Special Virtual Family Program every Friday: The Magic Show Join in on a live-streamed or enjoy recorded videos of amazing performances. Families with children of all ages will enjoy watching these virtual events! Facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries Virtual 10am. All ages

Family Movie night: Captain Marvel In the 1990’s Carol Danvers is caught between two alien races in a galactic war. As the action heats up Carol questions her identity, her allies and the true strength of her powers. levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 8pm. All ages

JUNE 27 Take Me Fishing The Jesse Jones Park Volunteers will partner with Fishing’s Future and Texas Parks & Wildlife to teach the skills and share the joys of fishing. All equipment is provided. Please bring a lunch. Online registration is required. fishingfuture.org Jesse Jones Park 8:30am-2pm. Age 8+

JUNE 28 National Air and Space Museum Live Chats The National Air and Space Museum hosts an Air and Space Live Chat on Facebook Live. Each week features a different expert to answer questions from kids, students, and air and space enthusiasts. The live chats will be held every Thursday until the Museum reopens. facebook.com/airandspace/ Thursday. 12pm. All ages


ROCO in concert ROCO In Concert performances with the full orchestra will be broadcasting live. You can also enjoy their extensive online content library of past live performances with new curated playlists. facebook.com/rocohouston roco.org/live roco.org/performances/rocorooters-2 Every Sunday 2pm. All ages

Stages Showtunes Sunday! Join co-hosts Mitchell Greco and David Greiss for laughs, stories, and musical theater for Stages Showtunes Sundays on facebook LIVE. Join musical theater superfans as they discuss their favorite musical memories and engage audiences with fun trivia questions! Accompanied by DJ Dijon (Jordan O’Hara Smith), enjoy YouTube clips from some of Mitchell’s and David’s favorite musical performances. facebook.com/ events/229548998137274/ Every Sunday 6pm. All ages

Houston Center for contemporary Craft: Virtual activities Join HCCC from home to explore craft artists, exhibitions, hands-on activities, and more! Join us for fun art-making projects you can do at home (Mondays and Fridays), exclusive exhibition content (Wednesdays), and studio tours with local artists, resident artist features, and more (throughout the week). facebook.com/crafthouston

New content is posted on Facebook and Instagram every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 1pm. All ages

JUNE 30 Outdoor Adventures: Hike ‘N Hunt Calling all land pirates! Let’s go hunt for hidden treasures cached throughout the gardens by learning to geocache – a technique of navigating by hiking to a specific location of GPS coordinates. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160. hcp4.net Mercer Botanic Gardens 9am-noon. Age: 6-11

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NOW EXHIBITING | MUSEUM CALENDAR 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.





Temporary Hours of Operation

9am-5pm Mon-Sun

Monday- closed except selected holidays, Tuesday – closed

Cockrell Butterfly Center

Wednesday 11am-5pm, Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 12:30pm- 6pm

Admission: $25 adult, $16 children 3-11, senior 62+ and college students

Admission: $19 adult, $16 for seniors, $12 students and college-level students with valid ID

Embark on a tropical adventure in a living butterfly habitat! The rainforest conservatory, complete with thousands of live butterflies, tropical plants and a zen waterfall is enjoyed by guests of all ages.

Free for children for children under 12 years old.

Radical: Italian Design 1965–1985, The Dennis Freedman Collection

State of Water: Our Most Valuable Resource

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.

The exhibition showcases the designs and architecture behind the water systems we use every day.

Through July 5

People can be inspired by the collective beauty of our planet and come away with a renewed motivation to take care it.

Gaia – Earth by Luke Jerram

Frances Bacon: Late Paintings 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. Through August 16

Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library The traveling exhibition spans more than 4,000 years of Hispanic art and culture through some 200 objects: paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, maps, textiles, porcelains and ceramics, and metalwork and jewelry.

photo by cici loo photography


Through September 7

Through an African Lens: Sub-Saharan Photography from the Museum’s Collection


10am-5pm Tues.-Sat., noon-5pm Sun.

Admission: $10 12 years and up, $5 children

The list of premier photographers from Africa is evergrowing, with artists from midcentury being given a place in the larger history of the medium. Through November 8

Virtual Experiences #MFAHatHOME

Archizoom Associati, Panel, c. 1969, paint on panel, collection of Dennis Freedman. / Kent Pell, photographer Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Log in to social media to check out the virtual museum experience on: art inspire fashion, family-art activities, MFAH film, art-in-action, at-home-workshop activities.



Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm., Sat. 10am-5pm., Sun. 12-5pm

Admission: $12 adult, $8 for active-duty military and AARP members

Free for children, students and college-level students with valid ID FREE admission on Thursdays

houston family magazine


June 2020

Waltrip and Heritage Hangars Visit the panels detailing the history of aircraft, manufacturing and aviation training in Texas, as well propeller and engine exhibits line the. Visit the featured Norden bomb-sight, service vehicles, WWII command car, MUTT service Jeep, and interactive touchscreens with a view of cockpits.

The Book Smugglers “Would you risk your life to save a book?” That is the underlying question of Holocaust Museum Houston’s new exhibition. Through August 16

Samuel Bak Gallery and Learning Center Bak and his mother survived the Holocaust, The Bak Learning Center will help visitors understand the content of his works, as well as the rich symbolism used in his paintings.

Mikhal Kovner, brother of Partisan Abba Kovner, sorting books; Vilna, 1943 Courtesy of the Moreshet Archive, Israel


SUMMER DRESSES ASHER & KATE www.asherkate.com Heidi dress $56.00


LUVROSY www.luvrosy.com Luvrosy Deep V-Neck Print Sling Beach Dress $30.99

REXITT www.rexitt.com


Jungle Kitty Pink Leopard Print $37.99

www.corsme.com Solid color casual dress $36.88

SMAVTY www.smavty.com One Shoulder Color Block dress $49.99

June 2020

43 houston family magazine


IT’S SAFE TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR AGAIN. Your health has never been more essential. Memorial Hermann Medical Group has put new Safe Wait ™ measures in place to protect everyone, which enforce social distancing and other safeguards. Whether you opt to see your doctor in person or through a Virtual Office Visit, you can feel good about staying healthy.



June 2020


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