Houston Family Magazine March 2020

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March 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 3







Now offering pediatric Telemedicine 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.

Simply download our partner app at NightLightPediatrics.com/Telemed to talk to one of our doctors. Convenient locations across Houston— we're right in your neighborhood. School Year Hours: September – May Weekdays: 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. Weekends: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Holidays: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Your night, made brighter. houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

NightLightPediatrics.com #Connect2Care |

Enter To Win A



For complete contest rules and to enter, visit HoustonFamilyMagazine.com No cash value; non-transferrable. Prizes will be collected by winners on dates/times coordinated by HFM & vendors so that winners can be photographed during the redemption of prizes for before & after looks. Reveals will be published in the May 2020 issue of Houston Family Magazine. Winners will be announced through HFM Social media pages, on the HFM website and in Enews on March 15th, 2020.


MARCH 2020




features|in this issue 8 10 12


on the cover

HFM Kid Ambassador JENNA D. is a big animal lover and enjoys being outdoors playing soccer, skate boarding, wake boarding and tumbling. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and Student Council. She aspires to be a dentist when she grows up. Cover Photo by: Traci-Marie Photography Location: Houston SPCA houston family magazine


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tips for communicating with children

How to build a line of open communication with your kids


publisher's note


family FYI

March Happenings!

Things you need to know about


mind, body & soul


father knows best




family travel



Nourish yourself, body and soul

5 ways we can teach happiness to our kids

Raina Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston

JL Bar & Ranch in Sonora, TX Best Reads from Blue Willow Bookshop

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

Saving Money when your kid is eating everything Learn ways to cut cost and save at the grocery store

doggie daycare & pet resorts

What you should know before choosing your provider

celebrate saint patrick's day 6 ways to celebrate with your kids

try family camp

A great alternative to traditional summer camps

behind the scenes: houston spca

Check out our HFM Kid Ambassador Photo Shoot

money saving travel apps

10 apps to make your next vacation a breeze


44 19

the big to-do

Activities for Families

camp directory

read us online at houstonfamilymagazine.com


WE’RE NATIONAL LEADERS IN IN-UTERO FETAL DIAGNOSIS AND INTERVENTION. We know when you’re expecting, unexpected things can happen. That’s why from the second you find out you’re going to be a mother to the moment you’re holding your baby, we’re right there with you. At The Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, in partnership with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, we provide specialized care personalized to you and your baby, well before your baby’s first breath. Advancing health. Personalizing care.

memorialhermann.org/fetal MARCH 2020

5 Houston family magazine



Kimberly Davis Guerra kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

online editor Latesa Guerra

calendar editor

Chantal Lemieux calendar@houstonfamilymagazine.com

creative director

Casey Johnson casey@houstonfamilymagazine.com

event director

Mary Sue Kent marysue@houstonfamilymagazine.com

contributing authors Kimberly Davis Guerra Tani Haas Elizabeth Irvine Sarah Lyons Cheryl Maguire Eshaan Mani Mike McDonnell Jennifer Wolf

contributing photographers

Heart & Lens Photography Holly Young Photography Jenna Duncan Photography Traci-Marie Photography

advertising sales Kristian Carroll Beverly Davis Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty Cherri Seawright

business development Myra Johnson


Gayle Wheeler-LeSueur, Graphic Designer


Midway Press, Ltd Dallas, TX

contact us:

1334 Brittmoore Rd, Ste 2602 Houston, TX 77043 (P) 713.266.1885 (F) 713.266.1915 www.HoustonFamilyMagazine.com

Houston Family is published monthly by Houston Family Magazine, LLC. Houston Family is distributed free of charge, one copy per reader. Only Houston Family authorized distributors may deliver or pick up the magazines. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We cannot be responsible for the return of any submitted material. Houston Family is ©2020 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited. houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

ABOVE// Kimberly Davis Guerra riding horseback at at JL Bar & Ranch in Sonora, TX

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



don’t know about you, but 2020 has been kicking my butt! Maybe it’s that I have a lot on my plate. Maybe it’s that it’s the beginning of a new decade. Or maybe I’m just getting old!! Whatever the case is, I’m glad that Spring Break is here and we will be getting out of town for some much needed R&R! What are your plans? If you are looking for a new place to visit, and you’d like it to be semi-close to home, then check out this month’s Family Travel piece on the JL Bar & Ranch in Sonora, TX. It’s a beautiful property filled with everything Texans enjoy - hunting, fishing, hiking, ATV rides, horseback riding, great food and some of the prettiest sunsets and starfilled skies around. It’s definitely worth the 4.5 hr. trek from H-town! If you aren’t able to get out of town, but need something for the kiddos to do, be sure to review this month’s Camp Directory. Chock full of day & overnight camps, the directory offers something for everyone’s interests and ages. For instance, the SPCA’s Critter Camp! Did you know that along with the adorable cats & dogs that can be found at our local facility, you can also find horses, pot bellied pigs, chickens, rats, guinea pigs, screech owls and more? If you love animals, this is a great place to learn more and give back! Take a peek behind the scenes at this month’s cover photo shoot with our HFM Kid Ambassadors! They are a great group of kids and so easy to talk to. However, that isn’t always the case. Especially with your own kids. If you are having difficulty communicating with your child, Sarah Lyons tells us how we can do a better job in this month’s Tips for Communicating with Your Child. Sometimes, it’s just about putting down the devices and doing something together. Other times, there may be more to it. Take a few minutes to read this one and give us your thoughts if it helps! I don’t know about you, but my tween is growing like a weed and I have the grocery bill to prove it. With baseball season starting, I know it is just going to get worse! Cheryl Maguire is here to save the day with tips on How to Keep Your Kid from Eating you out of House & Home! That + a winning lottery ticket and we might make it through to summer! Whatever your spring break plans are, we hope you & yours have a great time together! Thank you for choosing Houston Family Magazine.

family fyi THE NEW RESTAURANT ON THE BLOCK Looking for new eateries to hit up over Spring Break with the Kiddos? Check out Memorial’s Ember & Greens, a


full service restaurant offering up American fare with international influences. Run by a mother & son dynamic duo, their vision is to offer a great atmosphere with a little something for everyone. With Wagyu cheese

Get ready for the 8th Annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus on April 4th. People of all abilities are invited to participate in the 8th annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The event features non-competitive 1K and 3K courses. Strollers, walkers and wheelchairs are welcome. Enjoy food, refreshments, activities, games and visits by special guests and mascots after the run/walk at the Family Fun Zone, presented by H-E-B. The entry fee is $8 per person. Registration ends on March 23rd. Visit texaschildrens.org/ funrunwest

burgers that ooze deliciousness and their crisp Watermelon & Arugula salad followed by their Skillet cookie, their mission is accomplished! www.emberandgreens.com/menu


The month of March brings women, families and medical communities together for Endometriosis Awareness Month. During this time, millions of people all over the world honor this month to recognize the 176 million women who suffer from this disease. Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue much like endometrial tissue (the inner lining of the uterus) migrates to areas outside the uterus, like the ovaries and the Fallopian tubes. Endometrial-like cells may transport to other parts of the body as well. This causes extreme pain in the pelvic region, and can also cause cysts, adhesions, heavy periods, bleeding between periods, and infertility. This month, we stand together in support of women who suffer from endometriosis, and we push for funding so that a cure can be found.

3RD ANNUAL LEMON CLIMB HOUSTON Join Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) for the third annual Lemon Climb Houston on March 28th, 2020 and support the fight against childhood cancer! The Lemon Climb Houston is an inspirational stair climb where participants are challenged to walk, run or race up 35 or 75 flights of stairs to the top of the tallest building in Texas, the 600 Travis building. After finishing, climbers can go to the 60th floor sky lobby and enjoy views of the city before heading to the outdoor plaza full of delicious food, drinks and music. The entry fee is $25 per person, learn more at www.alexslemonade.org/campaign/lemon-climbhouston#event-information MARCH 2020

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tips for communicating with children written by Sarah Lyons

houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

“Getting kids to open up at any age can be challenging.”


ommunicating can be a challenge in any relationship but when it comes to our kids we can feel like it’s even more problematic to get them talking, especially when it comes to difficult topics. Every parent wants a healthy and open relationship with their children. How can you foster a relationship that encourages your children to share the ups and downs of their daily life? ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS When your child comes home from school and you ask “How was your day?” you may get the quick answer of “Fine.” and nothing else. Try to ask specific questions like “How did the math test go?” or “Who did you sit with at lunch today?” Listen to your child and ask follow up questions when possible. Roe Hunter, marriage and family counselor at Lifeworks Counseling in Madison, MS says “I suggest that you ask a question like “How are you today?” and then wait patiently. Allow for silence to feel uncomfortable. If the child is quietly thinking, wait some more.” Giving kids the time to speak when they are ready is key. SHOW INTEREST IN WHAT THEY LOVE “It is important to be aware and actively listening to your child.” says Hunter. “Tune into their desires, needs, wants and interests. Ask engaging and curious questions about what interests them.” When you show your child that you

are interested in what excites Parents begin building their them you are actually showing relationships with kids from them you are interested in infancy. Your reactions to them as a person. We may not situations and relationships be thrilled by the latest toy with others show your child craze, video game, or sports how you will respond to them. statistics but if Roe Hunter we show kids we says “Getting are interested kids to open up in what they at any age can say and are be challenging. “Establish really listening When we to them, it will model secure a healthy make opening attachments not up about other, just with our relationship more difficult, children but with your topics easier in with our spouse, the future. friends, family kids through members, and BE A SAFE children your actions God; PLACE take notice.” over time so Establish Kids will start a healthy to share when relationship you become they feel secure with your kids and comfortable. a safe and through your “In order to get actions over time a kid to open secure place so you become up regardless of a safe and secure age, you must when they place when they embody safety.” need you. says Hunter. “Safe need you.” As you try people are Secure. to continue the Aware. Forgiving. conversation Empathetic. with your kids (S.A.F.E.)” Everyone needs a remember to ask questions, place they can feel secure and show interest in what interests safe to share what they are them, and to be patient feeling without judgement or and give them time. “Quiet criticism. When a child shares kids seem to need a longer something that surprises or period of ‘warming up’.” says upsets you, remain calm. Listen Hunter. “Give the child the and talk through the situation message that this is okay.” and try to be understanding. Letting your child know you Overreacting or anger will cause are available when they are the child to shut down. ready to talk will help foster communication over time. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP OVER TIME Relationships don’t happen overnight and building one will take time and trust.

Sarah Lyons is a Midwestern freelance writer and stay at home mom to her six children, including four-year-old triplets.

QUALITIES OF A SAFE PERSON • People who are loving and have a good reputation for being loving over time. • People you can watch and observe from an emotional distance and are gentle with you during the trust earning phase. • People who are willing to earn trust, rather than demand it. • People who can accept imperfections in others. • People who have grace for imperfections. • People who have endured pain themselves but are recovering or have recovered. They are empathetic to your pain. • People who can speak the truth to you lovingly. • People who bear good fruit in your life. (If you find you are becoming healthier and are encouraged to grow when you are around them.) • People who are honest and can confront gently, with compassion. • People who views relationships equally. Safe People by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

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El v is


S a die

B o dh i

Ev a

Jo sh u a


MARCH 2020



written by Cheryl Maguire

f our A fe w o rs as s ado id A m b K e M F m H so of f e at ing sh o w o f o r ite f o o d s . v t h e ir f a

houston family magazine

How To Save Money

y teenage son stood in front of the opened refrigerator, gazing into the abyss. I envisioned dollar bills floating by his head as the cold air escaped, no doubt causing our electric bill to skyrocket. “Could you please close the refrigerator door?” I asked trying to remain calm. “There is nothing to eat and I’m starving!” he groaned as he dramatically held his stomach. “The refrigerator is empty because you ate everything from my grocery shopping trip three days ago.” My son began his growth spurt over the summer. He sprouted up a full three inches, rendering him unrecognizable to our friends and family. At the same time, something else was unrecognizable and growing exponentially—my grocery receipt. As an avid coupon clipper and money-saving guru, I knew I needed to do a “deep dive”

of this situation to figure out how to reduce the spending. Otherwise, his college education fund will dwindle down to nothing because all the money will be spent on feeding his endless appetite. I’m sure there are many other people like me out there. So I’m sharing with you what I learned from my comprehensive money saving research so your money will go towards that college fund instead of your grocery bill.

SAVE MONEY ON PROTEIN A research study found that a group of infants who ate one egg per day had a 47 percent lower rate of stunting (being too short) than the control group. Protein is essential for teens to eat since is it is responsible for tissue growth. Most teens need ½ gram of protein per pound of body weight. Eating protein will also help your teen to feel full. Protein can be found in eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese,

milk, fish, chicken, meat, turkey, tofu, broccoli, beans, and nuts. One way to save on these items is to check your weekly local grocery sales flyer and then purchase protein foods on-sale. You can cook meals for the week based on the weekly sales flyer. So if chicken is on-sale you can look up chicken recipes. Another money saving tip is to ask the meat department what day they offer marked down meat. Sometimes the meet can be as much as 50% off the regular price because the expiration date is near.

STOCK UP ON SALE ITEMS AND FREEZE When items go on sale, stock up and freeze it. Instead of buying one pound of meat purchase two; use one and freeze the other. This will hold you over until the next sale since most grocery items have a sale cycle. For example, ground beef may go on sale every three weeks.

BUY FROZEN FISH AND FRUIT A Norwegian research firm found that frozen fish is the same quality as fresh and is often significantly less expensive. Sometimes frozen fish is marked down as much as 50% off the regular price. Similar to fish, fruit is frozen when it is ripe and maintains all of its nutrients. When fresh fruit isn’t in season, it can be pricey but the price of frozen fruit remains the same all year (with the exception of sale prices). The price also does not fluctuate between the types of frozen fruit. For example a 16 oz. bag of raspberries is the same prices as a 16 oz. bag of blueberries. But the price difference between fresh raspberries and blueberries is usually significant.

CLIP PAPER AND ELECTRONIC COUPONS Coupons are no longer only found in the newspaper. You can print coupons online by going to the manufactures website or

coupon sites like Coupons.com, RedPlum.com, SmartSource. com or Lozo.com. There are also electronic coupons which you clip online and it is added to your store card. Similar to a paper coupon, when you purchase the item the money is deducted on your receipt. These electronic coupons can be found at grocery store websites or SavingStar.com. If you don’t get the newspaper coupons, some libraries offer a coupon box containing the newspaper coupons which are available for anyone to take.

USE MONEY SAVING APPS There are a variety of cash back grocery store apps. After you purchase select items you can earn money back by submitting your receipt. Some grocery store cash back apps are Ibotta and Checkout51.


Saving money is an investment of your time, but it is worth it. Once you figure out how to cut spending even in one area such as on buying protein, you will see your grocery bill start to shrink. On my most recent excursion to the supermarket, the teen cashier proclaimed, “Wow, you saved over $100. I’ve never seen anyone do that before.” When you can impress a teenager, you know you’re doing something right. Now if only I could figure out a way to make my grocery shopping trip last longer than three days. Cheryl Maguire is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, Upworthy, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessing, Your Teen Magazine and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @ CherylMaguire05

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Doggie Daycare & Pet Resorts

What you should know before choosing your provider!


written by Jennifer Wolf-Pierson | photo by Nicki Gaylord Photography

ot a new puppy? Are you planning a vacation, or just need your furry friend out of the house for the day? There are many reasons why pet-parents seek daycare, training and lodging. Here are some of the things you should think about as you start your search.

houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

CERTIFICATION: How do you wade through and figure out who actually knows what they are doing when it comes to pet care? Compare it to childcare. Would you take your preschooler to a facility that was not certified? No! So why would that be an option for your pets? There are some great training programs and certifications

that all pet care professionals should have under their belt. At a minimum, the provider needs to be CPR and First Aid certified. The professionals who are taking it up a notch are probably members of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA), as well as The Dog Gurus, for professionals who want to offer safe off-leash group play.

These associations provide endless continued education opportunities and individual certifications like Canine Specialist or Feline Care Providers. If you are like me, you want the best of the best! The select few that make it to this level are certified independently through the Professional Animal Care Certification

All dogs are pack animals and just love to play with other dogs. WRONG! Many dogs actually do not enjoy group play or daycare.

PET SITTING: I am just going to say two things on this subject: • What if something happens between the times of the sitter’s visits? • Do you really want a stranger to have access to your home while you’re away? PRIVATE HOME FACILITIES: Do the care-givers check that all vaccinations are current? Who is coming into the home… are there visitors, children, or neighbors involved or around your pet? Are there places for pets to be away from other, non-family pets if they want to be? Are they left alone or unattended with limited peopleinteraction? Imagine a group of elementary students home alone! Yikes! HEALTH:

Council (PACCC). This is not an easy task to accomplish. Each certified professional must have pet care experience, animal care references, and complete a 150-question exam with an 80% or higher grade! But, that’s not all; they must also participate in continued educational opportunities to keep their certification! To date, there are only fourteen Certified Pet Care Providers in Texas, and only two are in the greater Houston area. You can check and see if your provider is certified at www.paccert.org. RESORTS: What do the rooms and play yards look like, smell like and sound like? Does the resort allow unannounced tours? The key to a great experience is a friendly, welcoming, at-home atmosphere. Take a look at

the floors. Are they clean? Are they slip-resistant? Concrete is one of the worst surfaces to use in the pet areas, because it is porous and absorbs everything, is hard on the dog’s pads and can be very slippery! Is there a calm, quiet environment, or are all the pets barking and nervous? No one, not even the dogs, like listening to that all day! And no….noise does not come with the territory. Check out the materials used for the partitions, doors or dividers between the rooms. The space for lodging, at a minimum, should allow each pet to comfortably stand and turn around freely. A good rule of thumb would be 4 ft. by 8 ft. of floor space and 6 ft. in height. Stackable enclosures or crates generally can’t offer this and should on be used as shortturn holding spaces or napping dens during daycare breaks.

call them the “only children”. They want to be the center of attention and just do not understand or enjoy spending time with non-family dogs. If you have an “only child”, does the facility offer other activities like individual play or enrichment play; or will your dog be required to be a part of the “group” to attend camp for the day or for overnight lodging? Places that do not offer alternatives may overlook some behaviors that are not appropriate in group play. You don’t want your dog in a group with other dogs that don’t want to be there, because the level of arousal or tension may be too high to be safe. It’s much more fun when all the doggie participants are happy to be playing with others! Happy hunting for that perfect pet care provider who will love and care for your fourlegged kids!

What is the plan if something goes wrong while you’re away? Do the care-givers know basic first aid or know the early warning signs of illnesses? Hopefully, you will find a facility that focuses on the health and happiness of each pet first. Professional, caring providers will tell you that they do not “play vet” when there’s a problem - they will immediately seek care at the first sign of any upperrespiratory cold, tummy ache or scratch. Who is responsible for the bill if an illness or accident happens? Some of these folks will even take care of the veterinary costs! Obviously, there are health situations where the provider wouldn’t cover the cost for treatment, such as pre-existing or age/ breed specific conditions, but their first responsibility should be your pet’s health and safety.

Jennifer Wolf-Pierson, CPACO is a certified pet care professional serving the Spring/Woodlands/ North Houston area. Jennifer currently is General Manager at ABC Pet Resort & Spa. When she is not playing with the guests at the resort, she is consulting with pet industry businesses and startups across the country. Last year, she was honored to be a co-speaker at the International Boarding and Pet Care Services Annual Conference. To learn more about ABC or Jennifer visit www.abcpetresort.com


ABC Pet Resort & Spa Phone: 281.444.9414 Web: www.abcpetresort.com 17024 Bamwood Drive Houston, TX 77090

All dogs are pack animals and just love to play with other dogs. WRONG! Many dogs actually do not enjoy group play or daycare. As professionals, we are seeing a completely new group of pet personalities trending; I

ABC Pet Resort & Spa offers dog and cat boarding as well as grooming and doggie daycare.

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13 Houston family magazine


body and soul


written by Elizabeth Irvine

ack in my nursing days, I loved nothing more than to grab a glazed donut and coffee to keep me going. It was a quick fix that I thought would take me through the endless tasks ahead of me. I now realize that the sugar-caffeine high felt fantastic for a short while, but later left me no where to go but down as the effects wore off and I became irritable and hungry.

Plain and simple, good food makes you feel great. Over time, my eating habits changed and new healthy choices led to increased energy, an even temperament and an overall healthy diet. Through the years of observing my healthy eating, led our children to develop their own habits, to understand how much better healthy food makes them feel. The foundation of good nutrition is becoming attentive to the choices we make about our food and how that food makes us feel. Our own healthy example leads them more clearly and effortlessly than any words you can say. Our son Sam was the inspiration for writing my first book, Healthy Mother Healthy Child. He’s now all grown up and cooking up his own healthy lifestyle….

Elizabeth Irvine: Nurse, educator and award-winning author. She is the founder and owner of Truewellbeing Inc. — visit her website to purchase her books and intentional jewelry, and sign up for soulful workshops and retreats around the world. www.elizabethirvine.com.

Healthy Mother, Healthy Child www.elizabethirvine.com/healthy-mother-healthy-child What mother doesn’t want a healthy happy child? As a former ICU nurse who builds from a solid scientific base, and adding a good dash of a mother’s common sense in this comforting, easy-to-follow guide, Healthy Mother Healthy Child, Elizabeth tackles topics from childhood obesity to calming techniques for children to ways your family can go “green” — creating health from the inside out. houston family magazine


MARCH 2020


with Sam Q: At twenty-four years old, your passion for cooking inspires many. How did you get into cooking? A: I went away to college and had to eat dorm food my first year. I realized that my sophomore year it was a necessity for me to have a place where I could cook my own healthy food. Q: Do you cook everyday? A: Yes, I do cook every day. I also like to have leftovers in the freezer as it’s a good way of pretending you cooked that day, when it’s actually your work from another day. Q: Do you pay attention to the seasons when you cook and why? A: Yes, I follow the seasons when cooking. I feel it’s cheaper and seasonal food always tastes better. Q: What do you enjoy most about cooking? A: For me, cooking is a meditation. My mind kind of goes into a blank space of “no thinking” during the process and this is a relaxing feeling.

“Sam describes his cooking as a “meditation”. Everyone does things in their own way, and I feel meditation can refer to any process that leads you to an inner state of heightened relaxed awareness— there’s really no right or wrong way of doing it. For Sam, cooking is simply a different technique that can be used as a tool to help you focus and quiet your mind.”


1 whole chicken (around 4 pounds) 1 lemon 1 whole head of garlic Fresh herbs (rosemary or thyme work well) Potatoes two onions salt and pepper olive oil Two tablespoons butter kitchen string (optional) (Optional) If you have time take your bird out of its packaging, take the giblets out of the cavity and pat the bird dry with paper towels. Salt the bird inside

and out. Place in your fridge uncovered for a few hours or preferably overnight. This helps draw out moisture, giving you crispier skin when it roasts and allows the salt to penetrate and season the meat. RECIPE: Preheat oven to 425. Take your bird out, remove the giblets and pat the bird dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper (if you did the step above still season the bird just add a little less salt). Place the chicken in a roasting pan/ something large enough to hold the chicken, potatoes,

and onions. Cut your lemon in half. Cut your whole head of garlic in half crosswise. Stuff the bird with your lemons, garlic, and herbs. Tie the legs together with kitchen string (or they’ll be ok hanging out if you don’t). Cut your onions into quarters and place in a large bowl. Cut your potatoes into roughly the same size as the onions and place in the bowl. Pour olive oil over the onion and potato mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Give them a toss. Place onion and potatoes around your chicken.

mixture. Place chicken in oven legs first. Roast for 1-hour 20minutes or until the juices run clear when cut between leg and thigh. Remove chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest 20 minutes. Carve and serve.

Melt your butter and pour it over your chicken and veg


(Another optional step) I like my veggies very crispy and gnarly so when you take your chicken out take a wooden spoon and scrape the veggies around in all the chicken juices and put the veggies back in the oven for the 20 minutes while your chicken is resting.

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15 Houston family magazine


ways to celebrate saint patrick’s day with the kids



written by Sarah Lyons

ach holiday brings the opportunity to participate in unique celebrations with your kids and Saint Patrick’s Day has no shortage of fun festivities. Whether you are lucky enough to be Irish or just love celebrating the holiday, try these fun and educational ideas to bring some luck to your home.

EAT ALL THINGS GREEN Celebrate the day by feasting on all things green. For breakfast, try some green eggs and ham while reading the Dr. Seuss book to your kids or dye your pancakes green just for fun. For lunch, try serving up a buffet of green foods - broccoli, celery, salad, guacamole, and grapes. Wash it all down with some green juice. Who knows? Maybe your child will try some new foods trying to get good luck on St. Patty’s Day.

ATTEND A PARADE Check sidebar for a local Saint Patrick’s Day parade and attend as a family. Go green by painting your face or picking up some silly hats or headbands at the local dollar store. See which family member can dress in the most green for the event.

SET A LEPRECHAUN TRAP The night of the 16th, have your kids set a leprechaun trap using a box or laundry basket. Put gold coins inside to attract your leprechaun, but remember,

leprechauns are very sneaky and do not like to be seen. In the morning, your child may awake to see that the leprechaun has taken their gold coins and left them a small gift or treat.

SCAVENGER HUNT Create a scavenger hunt for your kids (or let the leprechaun leave the first clue in the trap). Make it educational by asking kids to answer a question or riddle to figure out the next clue or leave an interesting fact about Saint Patrick to learn more about the holiday. Have your kids follow the clues through the house to find a pot of gold coins at the end

MAKE A RAINBOW Saint Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a rainbow. Have your kids use watercolors or finger paint to create their own rainbow. Vanilla

pudding with food coloring makes for a fun and edible finger paint. Put food coloring in cups of water and let kids experiment by mixing them to see what colors they can create. Using eye droppers and ice cubes trays lets you sneak in a little fine motor practice too. Make sure to offer some Lucky Charms cereal as a snack for a little inspiration.

EXPLORE THE IRISH CULTURE Learn about the Irish culture by checking out books or movies about Ireland and the history of Saint Patrick’s Day from your local library. Have the kids watch a video of an Irish dance performance (YouTube is a great place to find one) and have the family try some of the dance moves themselves. This activity will get the whole family moving and probably produce some giggles too. For the crafty, try painting or drawing an Irish flag or four leaf clover. If you are lucky enough to be Irish, make a family tree and discuss your heritage. For dinner try serving a traditional Irish meal like corn beef and cabbage. If this isn’t a family favorite, Reuben sandwiches may be a good alternative. There are so many ways to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day that do not involve the stereotypical party we may first think of. Parents can get creative with crafts and activities that are family-friendly and sure to become a well loved tradition in years to come. Share your fun, St. Patty’s celebration photos with us @ #HFMKids! We’d love to see them.

Check out this month's calendar for Saint Patrick's Day parades or festivals to attend as a family. houston family magazine


MARCH 2020





March 26, 2020 11:30am-1:30pm sixty vines

2540 university blvd. • houston, TX 77005



Huntington Learning Center

College Excellence

Tickets available at TheMommieSeries.com for $35.00

April 10 – May 3, 2020

by John Leonard Pielmeier

800 Rosine Street Houston, TX 77019 713.527.0123 StagesHouston.com

A long-lost journal from the notorious – and much maligned – Captain Hook offers the true tale of Peter Pan, and nothing is as you have been told! Awardwinning playwright John Leonard Pielmeier (Agnes of God) joins Stages’ favorite Donald Corren (Bobby Riggs in Balls) to create a one man tour-de-force that tells the Pan story from Hook’s point of view. Finally discover the friendly alligator, the helpful tick of the clock, the true love of the island’s indigenous population, and the real price of never growing old in this magical, theatrical romp for the whole family.

Houston Natural Light Portrait Photographer


MARCH 2020

17 Houston family magazine


Fcamp amily

a great alternative to traditional summer camps written by Tanni Haas, Ph.D. photo by Holly Young Photography


hen most parents hear the words “summer camp,” they think of the place their kids are literally desperate to go to after a long, exhausting year at school. But summer camp isn’t just for kids. More and more families are choosing to spend part of their summer at “family camps,” for the whole family. So, what’s family camp and why should you consider it as an alternative to a traditional summer camp? Like traditional summer camps, family camps are places where you: (1) stay for a period of time, (2) participate in different activities, and (3) sleep in cabins and tents. There are all kinds of family camps, ranging from ones focusing on arts and crafts, sports, to outdoors activities like hiking, cycling, or canoeing. Unlike traditional

houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

Looking for a great Family Camp, check out Mo-Ranch! Located just 4.5 hours North of Houston in Hunt, Texas. www.moranch.org

summer camps, you do it together as a family. There are several reasons why you might consider signing up for a family camp this summer: It’s a great way for you and your kids to share experiences in a completely different, more fun and relaxing, way than you usually to. We’re all so busy these days, with long days at the office and school bags full of homework. Even on weekends, we don’t get to spend a lot of time together, with the kids doing extra-curricular activities and even more homework. Family camp is a great way to wake up together to a day of fun activities and no tight schedules, worries or distractions. Most family camps have a no-electronic-device policy, a good thing since technology is one of the biggest distractions to being together. Once the kids realize that there’s no opportunity to text or go online,

and you can’t access your work e-mail, you start to focus on enjoying each other’s company. Family camp is a great way to strengthen your bonds not just with your own immediate family but also with your extended family - grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins. Plan your family vacation together as a group. Think about the best time for all of your to go away, talk about the kinds of activities that you all would enjoy, and then look for a family camp that you can all afford and get to without too much trouble. If it’s not possible to get your extended family to join you, family camp is a great way to meet and develop relationships with like-minded parents. Although many of the activities are geared towards the whole family, there are times where you can engage in more adult activities with other parents, like enjoying a glass of

wine together. Most parents are used to their kids coming back from summer camp telling them about all the exciting things they did, funny things that happened, and wonderful friends they made. Wouldn’t it be great if this summer you made all those memories together instead of just hearing about them after the fact? The American Camp Association’s “Find a Camp” database (see http://find. acacamps.org/) lists more than 300 family camps of which 230 are ACA-accredited. I’m sure you’ll find one that’s just right for your family. 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.

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


Alley Theatre



713.315.5441 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Alliance Fencing Academy

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



713.410.6655 Houston & Conroe, TX

AGES: 5-14

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.

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Art, Technology, Sports

Registration now open for summer camps at Asia Society Texas Center, where cultures, art, and ideas converge!

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

AGES: 6-12

Athlete Training + Health



713.568.8986 Katy & Spring, TX

AGES: 8-12


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!

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

Enrollment begins

February 13, 2020

www.hmns.org february 2020

19 Houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Building Brains LEGO Engineering http://buildingbrains.biz 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

Find a location and save today at

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

houston family magazine


TYPE OF CAMP: Full Day, Half-Day

february 2020

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.

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.

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 Camppedia

www.camppedia.com 646.421.4941 Houston, TX

Christian Youth Theater Houston

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



281.580.4298 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Claire School of Dance www.clairedance.com


713-880-5565 Houston, TX

AGES: 3-11

Club SciKidz Houston

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


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


TYPE OF CAMP: Technology, Academic

832.862.8878 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-13

THE #1

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

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

Camps for toddlers to pre-teens. Dance and crafts: Frozen, Fairy Magic, Princess Camp, On Your Toes, Dance Intensive. Also Camp Cupcake and Oooh La La Paris! Camp.

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

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


FOR AGES 7-19 Coding. Game dev. Robotics. Digital arts. This isn’t just a camp. It’s an experience unlike any other. Here, you push past the boundaries of school, finding your squad and bonding over the latest tech. Led by expert instructors, you will build the skills needed to forge a brilliant future.

HELD AT 150+ ELITE CAMPUSES INCLUDING: Rice | The Woodlands Preparatory School | Trinity | Carnegie Mellon The University of Texas at Austin | TCU | SMU | Tulane NYU | UPenn

Request your brochure today!

iDTechCamps.com | 1-888-709-8324 february 2020

21 Houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Cy-Fair Music and Arts


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

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council www.gssjc.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

713.292.0300 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft www.crafthouston.org

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.

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


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

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

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.

Easter Brunch S u n day , A p r i l 1 2 T H • 1 0 : 0 0 a m - 3 : 0 0 pm


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

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

O V E R 4 0 brunch items to choose fr o m ! Brunch Purcha se Includes: Photos with the Easter Bunny 50% Off All-Day Adventure Pass • Easter Egg Hunt Visit online for full schedule and event details.

Reserve Today! 713.223.3474




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

www.elitesummercamps.com • 1.855.931.2586 houston family magazine


february 2020

4 1 0 b ag by S T . • h o u s to n , t x • D O W N TO W N AQ U A R I U M . C O M

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

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Day Camp

713.299.6006 Houston, TX

Ages: 10th - 12th grade

Houston SPCA Critter Camp www.houstonspca.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Adventure, Academic

713.869.7722 Houston, TX

AGES: 3rd-10th grade

iD Tech

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

iKids, Inc.

AGES: 7-19

TYPE OF CAMP: Art, Theatre, Academic

713.665.5200 Houston, TX

AGES: 3-12


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

417. 266.3000 Branson, Missouri

AGES: 6-18

Critter Camp is an educational camp designed for students entering 3rd – 10th who have a passion for animals and want to learn more about animal advocacy and veterinary skills. Each day, campers will explore topics related to animal welfare, play animal inspired games, create crafts for themselves and for the animals, and, of course, join their groups in spending time with some of our adoptable animals

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



Kanakuk Kamps

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.

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.

Summer Camp at Xplor Preschool & School-Age

• • • • • • •

Day camp with extended hours Field trips and events Nature and science Arts and crafts Sports and games Music, dance and drama Swimming Spring Locations 21401Rhodes Rd. 8615 West Rayford Rd.


For more information, visit xplorpreschool.com/houston XPLOR_HoustonFamily-Camp-Mar20_7.375x5.indd 1

february 2020

2:25magazine PM Houston family 23 2/12/20

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 Language Kids World www.languagekids.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

281.565.1388 Greater Houston Area

AGES: 3-5 & 6-10

Lone Star Flight Museum www.lonestarflight.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Technology

346.708.2517 Houston, TX

AGES: 11-14

Main Street Theater


TYPE OF CAMP: Theater, Half-day

713.524.7998 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-18

Mo-Ranch Summer Camp


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight, Adventure

830.238.4455 ext 266 Hunt, TX

AGES: 8-15

National Basketball Academy https://tnbabasketball.com


832.392.0749 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-18

Learning another language has never been so much fun! In our fun and innovative immersion summer camps, your child will develop conversational skills in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, English or American Sign Language while making friends and developing curiosity for other cultures! Multiple locations, schedules & payment options. Register in one or several weeks.

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

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

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

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


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.

March 16 - 20

3730 Kirby Drive, Suite 930 Houston, Texas 77098

REGISTER TODAY! CALL 713-299-6006 houston family magazine


february 2020

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 National Youth Theater



832.510.7794 Shenandoah, TX

AGES: 6-12

Play-Well TEKnologies www.play-well.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

602.317.7448 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-12

Pyramid Kids Camp at Moody Gardens www.moodygardens.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Science

409.744.4673 Galveston, TX

AGES: 3 years - 8th grade

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

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

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

We offer Lego Engineering Summer Camps throughout Houston!

We invite all curious young minds entering grades K-8th to participate in our Wild Marvels Summer Camps! Designing a better future for all living things. PreK camps also available throughout the year for 3-5 year olds.

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!

Registration Open!

Learn more and register at AsiaSociety.org/Texas Week-long, hands-on programs delving into Asian traditions, art, and culture.

2020 SUMMER CAMP DATES: Monday, June 8 – Friday, June 12

Filmmaking with Writers in the Schools (WITS) Digital Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26

Adventures Along the Silk Road Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10

Manga POP and Manga Digital Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24

On to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games! Monday, August 3 – Friday, August 7

Dances of China Located in the Museum District 1370 Southmore Boulevard, Houston, TX 77004

february 2020

25 Houston family magazine

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



713.464.1996 Houston & Katy, TX

AGES: 4-12

Summer ASAP! Camp at Westbury Christian School


AGES: 3-10

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

Summer Incitement at Rainard www.rainard.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

713.647.7246 Houston, TX

AGES: 3.5 - 12

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

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Overnight

409.740.4525 Galveston, TX

AGES: 6-18

Houston . Sugar Land . Katy

houston family magazine


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

february 2020



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

Summer 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!

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

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

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

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 The ARTZ: Aerial Circus Endeavor (ACE) Summer Camp 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

The Kinkaid School www.kinkaid.org 713.243.6421 Houston, TX

The Little Gym Summer Time Camps

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Academic, Sports AGES: 4-16



11 Houston Area Locations

AGES: 3-12

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!

Non-Kinkaid and Kinkaid students are welcome to participate in all summer school sports camps and academic classes. Our Summer School offers a variety of programs for Pre-K - 10th grade. We offer both enrichment and remedial courses taught by Kinkaid faculty. Athletic and art camps also available. June 1 - 26, 2020

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


June 8 - August 7

K-8th grade explorers create their own adventure!

REGISTER TODAY! ALLEYTHEATRE.ORG/HFM • 713.315.5424 Dates are subject to change.



Official Airline of Alley Theatre

february 2020

27 Houston family magazine

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


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

512.250.9622 option 6 Cedar Park, TX

AGES: 7-16

Yorkshire Academy

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Art/Theatre, Technology

www.yorkshireacademy.com 281.531.6088 Houston, TX

AGES: 24 months - 6th grade

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.

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.

Yorkshire Academy’s Summer Program offers a wide array of camp options for 24 months–6th grade. Ex.: Academics, 50 enrichment camps- such as cricket, yoga, robotics, art, Spanish, and themed camps - half day, full day, or full time care.




Kids will learn about craft materials and processes through hands-on projects, conversations with teaching artists, and more. KINETIC SCULPTURE NATURAL FABRIC DYEING CLAY SELF-PORTRAITS 4848 Main St., Houston, TX, 77002 Wed - Sat, 10 AM - 5 PM; Sun, 12 - 5 PM


houston family magazine


MARCH 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

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

P CAME LIFe best is thlife

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

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

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

20 minutes from downtown Houston


MARCH 2020

29 Houston family magazine



Jenna Eva

Eshaan houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

eron m a c , a v e jenna,

GEAR UP FOR CRITTER CAMP! SPRING BREAK: MARCH 16-20 SUMMER: JUNE 8-AUGUST 14 www.houstonspca.org/education/critter-camp/


by Eshaan Mani, HFM Kid Ambassador photos by Traci Marie Photography


he Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was filled with Houston Family Magazine (HFM) Kid Ambassadors cuddling puppies, petting gerbils, and posing with horses on Friday, February 7. The special location of the March photoshoot was perfect for everyone, young and old alike - cute animals are found at every turn, many of whom are ready for adoption. Smiling ear-to-ear, Kid Ambassadors Jenna, Eva, and Cameron had a ton of fun. As local Houston photographer, Traci-Marie

clicked away (www.traci-marie. com), the Kid Ambassadors bonded with each other as well as with their new animal friends. Eva made friends with Kipper, a chocolate-colored pony who was eager to meet new people and pleaded with her mom to let her take home Winnie, a cute puppy, while Cameron and Jenna posed with (surprisingly adorable) rats clutched to their chests. All three of the Kid Ambassadors had lots of fun playing with Buddy, a six-yearold dog whose size belies his sweetness. The cute canine frolicked about, bounding from one end of the enclosure to another, tennis ball in mouth,

on a beautiful sun-drenched afternoon in the neatly manicured lawns of the SPCA. The Houston SPCA has many opportunities for kids and families. HFM had the chance to speak with Cory Beech, who works at the SPCA. When asked what the SPCA does, she replied: “Here at the SPCA, part of my job is to educate students, children, and the Houston community about animals and animal welfare, as well as how to understand them and help their community. In turn, we learn how to respect and understand each other more.” She explained that the SPCA offers camps during summer, winter, and spring break. They include veterinary camp, critter camp, stem week, and forensics camp. Check out their website at www.houstonspca.org. For all those who like fun facts, the most exotic animals the SPCA has ever had have been bears and lions. The SPCA worked with local zoos to find

these creatures a new home. Cory encourages everyone who has an interest in helping out their animal friends to stop by the SPCA and volunteer. She guarantees you’ll get something out of it! As you can see, behind the scenes of a photoshoot, there’s a lot more than just posing. The Kid Ambassadors enjoy time together and get to see and play with so many cool critters. We spent the afternoon in the facility, enjoyed seeing dogs, horses, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and more, took wonderful photos (courtesy of Traci-Marie Photography), and grew closer as an HFM family. Visit us on Facebook and Instagram @ HoustonFamilyMagazine for behind the scenes video footage and more information about our HFM Kid Ambassadors.


MARCH 2020

31 Houston family magazine


Lindsay Pearce and Family at Hermann Park, Houston, Texas

We caught up with LOCAL MOM and counselor LINDSAY PEARCE of Lindsay Pearce Counseling and asked her how she recognizes and rewards happiness in her own children. houston family magazine


“Happiness is an emotional state, just like sadness or anger. As parents we naturally want our children to be able to avoid the inevitable pain they might experience from sadness or anger, because well, who wants to see their child hurting? However, I believe one of the most important gifts we can give our children is the ability to experience, process, and cope with all emotional states, not just the ‘feel good ones.’ I believe that if they can understand their painful emotions they will be even better equipped to fully experience their feel-good emotions. I recognize their happiness in the same way I recognize their anger and their sadness...with my presence and my love. I listen, validate, and reflect. And then I give them the space to feel what they need to feel and allow them to see that they can trust me with all of it and that I can handle all of it. I believe my kids are happier when they know they can also be sad when they are feeling sad.”

MARCH 2020


written by Mike McDonnell, Kidventure Owner & CEO | photo by Jenna Duncan Photography

e’ve got to ask ourselves as parents, what is the single most important thing we can teach our kids to be? I would contend it is to be happy. This answer seems simple enough, but the road map by which we often place our kids on is anything but focused on this one endeavor. We look for the most skilled coaches who can train our kids to be the best athletes. We work to have our children placed in the best academic opportunities so they can earn the highest scores and grades. We strive to ensure they get accepted to the best colleges so they can be better positioned for a promising career. By doing that at all times, we teach our kids to define their own value and merit by those benchmarks. All of this wrangling and jockeying for our kids’ benefit is often anything but beneficial. Imagine for one moment that, as parents, we agreed to create opportunities for our children not based on their athletic advancement, academic achievement or career potential, but on the opportunity for them to experience and exercise happiness. In effect, we give ‘happiness’ a greater value for our children than any other factor in our decision process. In order to do this, we first have to understand what it is that makes them (and us) happy. That’s a pretty elusive definition, but essentially for me it is anything that fulfills our needs or our soul. Parents must make a good number of decisions for our kids. As kids grow and mature,

they begin to make more and more decisions on their own. The problem that I’ve witnessed over the past several years is that more and more parents continue to make decisions for their kids. Those decisions are often times not based on what makes their kids happy, but rather what makes the parent happy. Part of this dilemma is a result of the pace of life and speed to which our decision process has increased. That speed often compounds the universal parental fear that “if my child does not excel, they will be left behind.” Frankly, we don’t take the time to really think about what our children need. It’s much quicker and easier to decide for them. Over the course of over 25 years running summer camps for thousands of children, I have seen the direct impact of placing happiness at the forefront of caring for kids. We employ a little over 300 counselors, directors, and support staff in our camp programs. Our curriculum at camp involves athletics, games, art, science, etc.. Our first priority for filling these positions, though, is not based on expertise in those activities. Rather, our biggest criterion is the ability and aptitude to create happiness in a child. We provide great curriculum activities, events and projects, but the end goal is to create an opportunity where a kid feels great about themselves, develops greater confidence in the process and has fun. Essentially, we are fostering happiness. And in the end, happy kids are more excited about trying new things,

striving for success and dealing with inevitable failure. Isn’t that what we want them to do for themselves? So what can we do to help foster a greater level of happiness in our kids? Here are five practices for fostering happiness as a parent: 1 | Choose To Surround Your Kid with Happiness Makers My kids love to play sports and they have been coached by a number of individuals. I seek out coaches who’s number one lessons are those that apply off the field. I want a coach who is concerned more with the value of my child than the score of the game. Yes, I am competitive and love to win, however; the greatest wins come win my kid feels great about himself and that is internal score, not an external one. 2 | Let Your Kid Choose We have a tendency as parents to move our kids towards our own likes and passions. That is sometimes great. But if your kid wants to opt for a yoga class as opposed to soccer, give them the chance to lead. True happiness is self-generated and actualized. It is a choice. Giving your kid the opportunity to choose their happiness is essential. When they are no longer under your roof, they will be better off understanding how to make happiness happen on their own. 3. Change Your Vernacular When praising your child, let them know they are loved not for what they do but for who

they are. You are your child’s most powerful advocate. Make your words demonstrate that at all times. 4 | Recognize and Reward Happiness We tend to reward our kids for tangible things like scores, points and benchmarks. Start asking your kid if what they did made them happy. If it did, praise them for that alone, no matter the score. If it didn’t, that says something also. 5 | Demonstrate Happiness Yourself Do things in your life that make you happy and generate happiness. Volunteer and give back. Show gratitude for even the small things and place a higher importance on the experiences instead of the possessions in your life. Take time to value and partake in happiness yourself. The greatest gift you can give your child is yourself. Happy parents make happy kids. Miserable parents, well…you understand. Happiness is way underrated. It’s time we began valuing this greatest of human endeavors for what it is. If we are to grow our children to be happy and healthy adults, we must first provide them with the opportunity and tools to be so when they are children. Pharrell sang it best, “Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth.” It is the truth, and it’s time we approached parenting like it is.

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mom•me [ REAL LIFE MOMS ]

Rania Mankarious

CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra

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hen you think of the CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, I wager to bet that the last image that comes to mind is a soft-spoken, petite mom of three hailing from Boston. However, as I’m sure you have found, looks can be deceiving. Rania Mankarious made

Houston her home by rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. Citing a personal mission to serve families and engage the public to better society, Mankarious did the unthinkable and made the extraordinary move of taking an internship at Crime Stoppers of Houston in 2006 - even though she was an attorney with a master’s degree. Mankarious knew she had to be a part of Crime Stoppers, an organization unlike any other, and push it to its full potential. She worked vigorously and by 2008 became the organization’s Director of Marketing. Catching the eye of the community in March 2013, she was chosen to lead Houston’s leading public safety non-profit organization, Crime Stoppers of Houston, as the Executive Director. After positively impacting abused children, domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, homeless animals, entire

the risks kids face right now do not necessarily stem from their schools or where they live but rather who they are engaged with online. student bodies and school campuses, neighborhoods and businesses, Mankarious was named Crime Stoppers first CEO in 2018. Through her years at the helm and working side-by-side her incredible team, Mankarious’ legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids”, her footprint has elevated the organization to new heights. She’s created the first ever Crime Stoppers Safe School Institute – a full suite direct service program that got the attention of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. She was asked to train the entire state of Texas and Crime Stoppers organizations nationwide on proactive school safety. In the fall of 2019, she will launch Crime Stoppers’ first webinar series with local, statewide, and national experts. Other firsts for Mankarious include

launching and expanding the organization’s Safe Community Program, Parents Against Crime, and the critically important Fallen Hero Program. We recently sat down for a cup of coffee to find out about the woman behind all the achievements.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO HOUSTON. I was born and raised outside of Boston, MA in a town called Framingham. I attended Boston College where I received a dual degree in Psychology and theology and minored in Pre-med. I loved to study and

would have done anything to extend my time at BC! I finished and went onto do a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and then Law school. I met my husband, Ramy Mankarious, when he was doing his residency at MASS General. He was a native Houstonian. We ended up getting married and I moved to Houston. That was 2004.

WHEN WE MET, YOU DISCUSSED THE MOTIVATION TO ‘SOFTEN’ CRIME STOPPERS. CAN YOU EXPAND ON THAT? Since its inception in 1980, Crime Stoppers has been focused on its mission to “solve and prevent crime”.

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Publisher, Kimberly Davis Guerra & Rania Mankarious

For the longest time, the “solving and preventing” focused on finding wanted felony criminals and bringing them to justice - the idea was that in doing so, you solved a crime and by placing a felony criminal behind bars, you prevented further criminal activity. While on some level, that’s true, I saw “prevention” very differently. To me, there was a whole world behind crime prevention that meant engaging parents on topics that were of interest to them (the safety of their children, their kids schools, their homes, their kids online, etc.) or homeowners, business owners, animal lovers, etc. Crime prevention was a world of research and study, education and discussions that brought people into the conversation. The truth is, everyone cares about their health and everyone cares about their public safety. In creating content that applied to everyone, we broadened our reach and base and eventually, through many years of hard work, became houston family magazine


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Houston’s Neighborhood Public Safety nonprofit and the hub for all things public safety related.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION IS ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION? One of the biggest misconceptions about our organization is that we are a part of the police department or that the only tool we offer the community is our anonymous tip line. The truth is, we are an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization. We have proudly partnered with law enforcement since our inception and created a wonderful, first-of-its-kind, community driven public safety organization. We have three main programs - our Tip Line Program (which operates our anonymous tip line and partners with law enforcement); our Safe Schools Institute (which sends trained staff into schools to talk to and train students, teachers, school

administration and school based law enforcement on roughly 10 crime trends / topic that kids are dealing with right now) and our Safe Community Program (which sends trained staff into the community to talk to businesses, neighborhoods, parents, and community stakeholders/partners/media, etc about all the crime trends and issues that they need to be aware of). Beyond our three main programs, we also offer Victim Services, have the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters and Memorial Garden for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO THE HOUSTON PARENTS ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY? The risks kids face right now do not necessarily stem from their schools or where they live but rather who they are engaged with online. Our hope is that parents understand that as long as kids have a way to connect to others via social media, they face potential risks that are very real - we are seeing kids targeted by human traffickers online; we are seeing kids blackmailed for photos online; we are seeing kids stalked, followed, harassed, bullied and abused online. Couple this with the fact that parents are overwhelmed by all the newest gadgets, apps, social media platforms etc. and you have a situation where kids navigate an online world with little guidance.

We work hard to address this through our cyber-safety presentations for kids and our Parents Guide to Cyber-safety presentations for parents.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR PARENTS TO GET INVOLVED? Understand the risks; be reasonable in your requests (you can’t ask kids to fully stay off social media); talk and talk and talk to your kids in an age appropriate manner about the issues they may face; know what apps your kids are on and all their passwords; balance privacy with good parenting; be involved in your child’s school; know their safety plans.

AS A MOM OF TWO, WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR FOR YOUR OWN FAMILY? I don’t allow my head to go there, but I am always talking to my kids about safety.



Downtown Houston 410 Bagby St. Houston, TX 77002 Downtownaquarium.com 713-223-3474

Galveston Island 2501 Seawall Blvd. Galveston, TX 77550 Pleasurepier.com 855-789-7437

Kemah Boardwalk 215 Kipp Ave. Kemah, TX 77565 Kemahboardwalk.com 281-535-8100


Visit websites for more information, rules & regulations online.

WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN? If you don’t know how to do something, say so - but then do everything in your power to figure it out.

WHAT WAS THE BEST PARENTING ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN? Be present and shower your children with love. If you want to learn more about Crime Stoppers of Houston, please visit their site www.crime-stoppers.org

Want to meet Rania, join us on April 29th for the Summer Edition of the Mommie Series where she will be one of the guest speakers! Visit themommieseries.com for more information.


NOT IN YOUR FINANCES. That sunrise on the water. The inaugural meal in your new kitchen. Or that first timefor anything. With a personalized financial plan from Northwestern Mutual, you can focus on the things that matter most. Now, and years from now. We think of all the what-ifs. so you don’t have to. That way, you get to spend your life living.

LET’S GET STARTED Jennifer Steil, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP® Wealth Management Advisor jennifersteil.nm.com

07-1011 © 2019 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Nortwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (scurities), a subsidiary of NM, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA and SIPC. Jennifer Steil is an Insurance Agent(s) of NM. Jennifer Steil is a Registered Representative(s) of NMIS. Jennifer Steil is a Representative of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, WI (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), a subsidiary of NM and federal savings bank. All NMWMC products and services are offered only by properly credentialed Representaties who operate from agency offices of NMWAC. Cerified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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10 money-saving travel apps to help plan your next family vacation written by Tanni Haas, PhD


raveling can be very expensive, especially if you have a large family. Thankfully, there are many apps that can save you tons of money, whether you’re planning a fancy vacation abroad or a more modest road trip. Most people know about apps for Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and Uber. But there are many other great travel apps. Here’s a list of some of the very best ones. They’re all free, so download them before your next trip.




(Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)


When traveling by plane, we all hope that the flight will depart and arrive on time, and with all our luggage onboard and intact. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. AirHelp will alert you if you’re eligible for compensation when your flight is delayed, overbooked, or cancelled, and if your luggage is damaged, lost, or stolen. All you have to do is to scan your boarding pass. You can expect to receive up to $450 in compensation per person. www.airhelp.com

BESTPARKING (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

Road trips can be great fun but not when you can’t find a convenient and inexpensive place to park the car. Bestparking helps you find the right spot wherever you travel throughout North America. Indicate where you’d like to park and for how long, and the app generates a list of available spots and rates for the nearest lots and garages. You can search by address, landmarks or sites, or by neighborhood. www.bestparking.com houston family magazine


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(Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

Sometimes, after a long flight or trip in the car, you need a place to rest or regroup for a few hours. When that happens, Dayuse comes in handy. This app lets you search, book and pay for hotel rooms for short stays. The cost can be up to 75% less than if you’d reserved a regular hotel room for the night. The app is available in Asia, Europe and North America.

(Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

On a road trip, you don’t just need convenient and inexpensive places to park the car: you also need lots of gas. GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas at the nearest gas station. You can search in advance or as you’re driving. The app has a gas estimator, which calculates how much gas you need based on the car you’re driving and the distance you’re traveling. www.gasbuddy.com/App

HOTELTONIGHT (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

If you’re a planner and like to organize everything in advance, then HotelTonight isn’t for you. But if you’re going on a last-minute trip, or if you don’t mind being spontaneous and reserving a hotel room once you get to your destination, this app can save you money. It lets you search nearby hotels and find the best last-minute deals.

It includes ratings, reviews, and photos from other travelers so you can see what to expect. It’s available in Asia, Europe, and North America. www.hoteltonight.com

ROME2RIO (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

Whether you’re planning a domestic trip or a vacation abroad, there will be times when you can get to your destination in different ways. Rome2rio lets you compare different modes of transportation (bus, car, ferry, flight, train) and find the fastest and most inexpensive solution. All you have to do is to enter your location and ultimate destination, and the app will generate and compare all travel options. This app is available worldwide. www.rome2rio. com/about/ rome2rio-app/

TRANSIT (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

If you want to save even more money on transportation costs, consider using public transportation whenever possible. For that, download Transit. This app saves you both money and time by letting you pull together departure times for all nearby buses and trains so you don’t have to look through individual schedules one at a time. Enter your desired destination, and the app displays all public transportation options as well as fares. www.transitapp.com

TURO (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

If you need a car but don’t feel like renting one from one of the many, well-known car rental companies, consider getting one from Turo. Much like Airbnb for accommodation, this is a

peer-to-peer car rental app, which lets you rent cars directly from other car owners. You can expect to pay about 35% less than if you rented a car from a commercial rental company. The app is available in Europe and North America. www.turo.com

WIFI FINDER (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

Whether you’re traveling at home or abroad, using your cell phone when WiFi isn’t available can be very expensive, with high roaming charges. Get Wifi Finder. This app helps you find free Wifi all across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Even if you’re not being charged extra for roaming on your phone, this app comes in handy – it helps you find places where you can use your tablet or laptop computer free of charge.


XE CURRENCY (Available on Apple Appstore; Google Play)

To make your vacation as inexpensive as possible, you need to know the foreign exchange rate. The more foreign currency your get for your dollars, the cheaper the place is for you. XE Currency helps you find affordable destinations by displaying the foreign exchange rate in real-time. You can monitor up to 10 different currencies simultaneously, which is especially useful if you’re visiting multiple countries. www.xe.com/apps/

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.

Staying Local for Spring Break? Check out our Calendar of Events for free family friendly activities to do all over the greater houston area!

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JL Bar & Ranch

A luxurious slice of serenity in Sonora, Texas


written by Kimberly Davis Guerra | location photos provided by Murphy O’Brien

nless you are a frequent traveller on I-10 W heading towards El Paso or Big Bend, you probably have never heard of Sonora, TX. Located just past Kerrville, about 4.5 hours west of Houston is a beautiful little town called Sonora, TX. With a population of just over 3,000, you can imagine why you might not have heard about it. Touted as a great weekend getaway or stop over on your way to Big Bend, this little Texas town offers quite the bang for your weekend buck. Well that is, if you plan on staying at the JL Bar & Ranch. It truly is the oasis in the heart of the desert in terms of resorts in this part of Texas. With a

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quick exit off I-10, you pull up to the manned gates of the ranch within minutes. With eager anticipation, you roll up the very long drive to the main house to find a smiling face to greet you. Built as a family retreat, this 13,000 acre property has all the bells and whistles of a Texas billionaire’s playground. Test your target skills at their world class sporting clay course, enjoy a horseback riding adventure, off-road biking, hiking, or for the wine and culinary enthusiast, enjoy a cooking class & wine pairing. For a relaxing experience, enjoy the wildlife, nature education, and top-notch spa offering a variety of ways to reconnect with your zen. There truly is something

for everyone. The day we arrived, it was a crisp and beautiful spring day. With a beautiful blue Texas sky overhead, we rolled along I-10 at a quick clip and arrived raring to go. Luckily for me, our first day was extremely quiet and started off with a trip to the Spa! So, with a quick jaunt across the property from our amazing cabin, I was ready to relax. From the moment I entered, the aromas washed over me and immediately gave me a peaceful feeling of serenity. The helpful and attentive staff signaled that I was in the right place and it was time to decompress. I must admit, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to my spa treatments, especially a massage. It is about more than the treatment. It’s the

table, the aromatherapy, the oils or lotions, the lighting. All of these factors into the experience and I must say I was not disappointed at JL Bar & Ranch. Tip - be aware that this is a small spa with limited personnel, so plan accordingly if you want to get in!

Quick Facts 4.5 Hours from Houston Population: 3,000 Property Size: 13,000 Acres

Activities Trail & Bike Riding ATV Adventures UTV Rides & Ranch Tours Horseback Riding Putting Green Skeet & Trap Shooting 3D Archery Hunting Shooting Lessons Salon & Spa Game Room Health & Wellness Center Paint & Sip Classes Cooking Classes Wine Cellar & Tasting Room And More!

Book Your Stay! www.jlbar.com

As I made my way back to the cabin, the temp had dropped considerably, as it tends to do out in West Texas. However, as the sunset on the horizon, my heart was warmed as I looked over to see my son enjoying a solo game of mini golf before dinner. Running around on the course, he looked truly relaxed and it was a relief to see him without a screen in his hand! Only there for an hour and it was already a ‘win’ in my parenting book! Now over to the dining hall, which was even closer than the spa! With a Friday night Fajita night, guests of the resort, along with the locals, find their way to the ranch to enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine and lively entertainment. Serenaded by a very talented local artist, we enjoyed plate after plate of family style Tex-Mex offerings. Dinner was equally impressive. While there were evening festivities afoot that included karaoke, billiards and various sports on TV, I opted for an early night knowing what kind of day we had coming. Yoga in the morning, followed by ATVs, skeet shooting and horseback riding all before dinner! A content head hit the pillow with dreams of the day to come.

An early morning alarm and I was off to my private yoga class. While kids are welcome, my son opted to sleep in and join me for ATVs afterwards. For those of you who partake in the practice, you cannot go wrong with the optics here. No matter if you are practicing on the lawn or in a great hall in front of the fire, all vantage points offer a sweet sense of peace and calm only nature can provide. This is definitely something you do not want to miss participating in. From here, I grabbed a quick bite and it was off to the ATVs. My son had never been offroading, so we opted for a 4 seater Raptor. A group of 2 Raptors and our guide hit the MARCH 2020

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trails for our excursion just before lunch. As we headed off into the backside of the ranch my son started giggling and shouting with pure joy as we hit the dirt roads. It was a beautiful, cool day so visibility was perfect. He got to witness several herds of deer running through the trees, several birds of prey, herds of cows and a few ranch dogs keeping everyone in line. He loved it when we went fast, but I think just the experience of trying something new was the best part. After a hearty, delicious lunch, we headed out to shoot skeet. It is open to kids, as well as adults, so I brought my son along to check it out. Our guide was wonderful & patient, but my son was not a fan of the gun. The kick back in his shoulder wasn’t working for him. So, after a few rounds of mom shooting away, our guide suggested we hit up the pistol range after horseback riding. As we were whisked away to the stables, I noticed what a great day we had been having as a family. This truly offers just the right amount of activities and space for all ages and interests! Once at the stables, we were greeted by our guide and given a quick intro to the horses and the ranch dogs that would be accompanying us on our ride. I don’t know what my son enjoyed more, the actual ride or the stories behind the houston family magazine


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animals! To make it even better, we encountered a black tailed deer nicknamed Bucky, who hangs out with the horses and dogs on the backside of the property. This is one smart buck considering the hunters cannot hunt back there, and therefore he is safe to wander, sleep and eat without worry! After our ride, we had a short window of time before dinner to hit up the pistol range. Off we went for a few quick rounds of target practice with our 9mm. Once we had our safety lesson, time flew. AS expected, my son really enjoyed shooting the pistol much more than the rifle. Without the recoil, he could get over his fear and focus on the targets. It was a great first time experience. Now it was time to clean up & enjoy some delicious dining! No more family style. Tonight everything was cooked to order and did not disappoint. While the menu was not immense, it offered ample choice for both adults & kids, carnivores and pescatarians! From Chilean Sea Bass to Wagyu beef, each dish was cooked to perfection. We filled our bellies and dragged our tired soles off to sleep under the clear Texas sky. The late morning check out was much appreciated the next day, as I truly could have slept for 24 hours! Not only was I happily exhausted, the beds are so exquisitely comfortable!

I secretly wanted to steal my luxurious robe, but thought that might not set the best example for my son. So, I reluctantly packed up our bags and checked out of my newest fave destination in West Texas. I selfishly almost didn’t want to share this find with you in hopes to keep it all to myself! However, it is just too wonderful not to share! If you are looking for a couples retreat, family reunion, hunters weekend, girls getaway or just a place to put up on your way to Marfa or Big Bend, you have to make a point to stop in to the JL Bar & Ranch. You will be happy that you did. To learn more or book your stay visit www.jlbar.com.

Bodhi took part in some horseback riding & shooting lessons.


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

Bird Watch

by Christie Matheson

Just outside your front door is a whole world full of treasures. All you have to do is look for them. A bird watching book for trips and your backyard for the whole family.

Airport Book

Plan A Galveston Adventure!

by Lisa Brown

Plan Your Disney Getaway With Ease!

Follow a family (and a sock monkey) on their way through the complexities of a modern-day airport, from checking bags to security clearance, a wait at the gate and finally being airborne.

Go Birding or Beach Combing

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

When Ever Wong’s parents send her away for the summer, she’s expecting a strict, educational immersion program in Taiwan. Instead, she finds the infamous “Loveboat.”

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World

by Birnbaum’s Guides

Discover new theme park offerings, including Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Epcot’s new Ratatouille-inspired attraction.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Laurie Roddy

Get outdoors with this guide to 60 of the best hikes within an hour from Houston, leading you to scenic overlooks, wildlife hot spots, and historical settings.

Explore Houston’s Best Hiking Trails! Wipe Clean Vacation Time by Roger Priddy

This activity flip book is packed with all kinds of fun activities to keep young children interested and entertained through holidays, rainy days, and long journeys.

Love Sugar Magic: A Mixture of Mischief by Anna Meriano

It’s spring break in Rose Hill, Texas, and Leo Logroäno is discovering her magical abilities, helping in her family’s bakery, and solving mysteries.

Photo Adventures by Jan Van Holleben

An activity book that shows children how to bend reality with just a camera and a playful outlook. Take this with you on your spring break trip. Best for kids 8 and up.

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Houston Family Magazine 2020 Kid Ambassadors Eshaan, Jenna, Eva & Cameron at the Houston SPCA photo by Traci-Marie Photography

the big


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

Toast the arrival of spring, where budding blooms and fresh festivals brighten the city. From Irish-themed events to books, music, theatre productions and the arts, check out what’s happening around town.



Sunday family zone + studio

Storytime in the Gardens

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

Mercer invites parents and children to listen to a unique story in the natural setting of Mercer. Storytime garden locations may vary each week. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/

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

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

Family Fest Sunday Join us for our Family Festival with BBQ, vendors, games for the kids and neighborhood comradery. salem4u.com

Salem Lutheran Church, 22601 Lutheran Church Rd. 10:30am. All ages houston family magazine


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Mercer botanic gardens 10:30am. All ages

MARCH 3 Alligator Feedings Everyone is welcome to watch as the DFNC team feeds some of our favorite friends every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. pearlandtx.gov/departments/parksrecreation/facilities/delores-fenwicknature-center


Houston Zoo. 9-5pm (September-May) All ages

MARCH 4 Nature Discovery Center & Story time Visit the discovery rooms and enjoy the outdoor trails and play area. Plan to stay for nature story time which can include live animal encounters and a simple craft. naturediscoverycenter.org

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

Storyime A playful program featuring singing, storytelling, movement, and more planned to promote early literacy development and to encourage one-onone interaction between children and their caregivers. Galveston.com Rosenberg Library 10:00am. Age: under 5 years old

MARCH 5 Adventures in STEM Festival Family Night Can you shoot a ping-pong ball through a soda can? Make ice cream in 60 seconds? Suspend a magnet in mid-air, no strings attached? sanjac.edu/central-campus

Delores Fenwick Center 11am. All ages

San Jacinto College Central Campus, Pasadena 6-8pm. All ages

First Tuesdays at the Houston Zoo

Gardening in the Children’s and Vegetable Gardens

You’ll need a free ticket to enter the gates, so get them online and skip the ticket lines.

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.

Ma r ch 2 0 2 0 Aquarium Live SATURDAY NIGHTS

Rally in the Alley


Get those classics ready and cruise down for some great family fun. Trophies, live music, delicious food, vendors, and antique shops. Pre-68 american vehicles only. facebook.com/events/the-depottomballtexas/rally-in-the-alley/1050712488604480/

Live every Saturday night at the Downtown Aquarium stage. There are bands Rockin the Bayou all night. aquariumrestaurants.com Downtown Aquarium 6:30pm. All ages

Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a widebrim hat, sunscreen, and water. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/ Mercer Botanic Gardens 9-11am. Age 16+

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

Blue Willow Bookshop Story Time Bring your child to Blue Willow to enjoy stories, songs and an art activity every Thursday. bluewillowbookshop.com Blue Willow Bookshop 10am. Age: Toddlers and preschoolers

MARCH 6 French Culture Festival A kick-off celebration of the Festival will take place in Houston, featuring three francophone and American bands will perform. discoverygreen.com Discovery Green 6-10pm. All ages

Family story hour at Hermann Park’s family garden Story reading followed by an art or gardening activity. Located in the Family Garden in Centennial Gardens. Park in the free parking lot, walk into Centennial Gardens, and head to the right. The Family Garden is an edible, interactive garden with fruits, veggies, herbs, and more. hermannpark.org Family Garden in Hermann Park 10am. All ages

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

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

Tomball Depot 10am-5pm. All ages.

Friday Night Live Music in the Park

Homeschool Family Expo & Spring Break Jamboree

Join us every Friday at Betsy’s for music, food, drinks & fun! Event presented by Evelyn’s Park & Betsy’s and featuring local musicians in collaboration with Local Music Festival. evelynspark.org/events/friday-nightlive-32

Take a look at everything homeschool and make new friends. homeschoolfamilyexpo.com

Evelyn’s Park 6:30pm. All ages

MARCH 7 Divercity Project Bring your blanket and friends and enjoy an eclectic concert on the lawn. This new bi-monthly music series showcases Houston’s diverse cultural landscape through original compositions. Our inaugural performance spotlights Jazz with an emphasis on African roots. In partnership with Houston Brass Quintet and Houston Arts Alliance. facebook.com/ events/302987210609367/ Market Square Park 12-2pm. All ages

Fenwick Fledglings Every week, a different nature topic is explored. The Great Room features live animal exhibits, touchable biofacts, and a craft table every Saturday. pearlandtx.gov/ departments/parksrecreation/facilities/ delores-fenwick-naturecenter Delores Fenwick Nature Center 10am. Age: 5+

48th Annual BBP Regatta Watch the largest kayak and canoe race in Texas. buffalobayou.org Buffalo Bayou 7:30am-2pm. All ages. Free for spectators.

Klein ISD Multipurpose Center located at 7500 FM 2920 Rd, Spring, TX 10am - 4pm. All ages

Hangar Hangout at Houston Wings On the first and third Saturday of each month, join us to hang out in the hangar and see our collection of WWII-era aircraft, and enjoy our WWII museum with its unique collection of memorabilia and artifacts. Free admission makes it a great family activity! houstonwing.org West Houston airport 10am-3pm. All day

Craft Community Day Join HCCC and Lawndale for a day of free family fun, including artist demonstrations, hands-on activities, exhibitions, and tasty treats. crafthouston.org/events

Houston Center for contemporary Craft 11am. All ages

Observational Movement Drawing | Drop-In Experience reflect on the everyday motion of the body as a tool for drawing. Use motion to explore pattern, rhythm, and shape— solo or with a partner—create drawings on paper, or dance in the space. camh.org Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 1-4pm. All ages

HFM Kid Ambassador Sadie Cullen Sculpture Garden

FREE THURSDAYS: Children’s Museum of Houston www.cmhouston.org

**FREE Admission for Bank of America cardholders the first FULL weekend of the month.

Health Museum


Museum of Fine Arts, Houston www.mfah.org

**FREE MFAH admission Saturdays & Sundays for all kids 18 & under with a library card

Houston Museum of Natural Science www.hmns.org

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum


Houston Museum of African American Culture www.hmaac.org

Holocaust Museum Houston www.hmh.org


Menil Collection www.menil.org


Cistern History Tours www.buffalobayou.org

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O N T H E G O | C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S MARCH 8 Daylight Savings Time! Spring forward 1 hour.

The Heights Morning Market Food, mimosas, and coffee cocktails are available while you peruse the booths. heightsmorningmarket.com 3106 White oak dr. 10am-2pm. All ages

Waterway nights: concert series Enjoy live music by local and regional performers in the picturesque setting of Waterway Square at Waterway Nights. thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov The Woodlands Town Center. 6:30-8:30pm. All ages

Gulf Coast Volleyball Association Season Opener Head down to the beach to watch the Season Opener tournament. Bring the family for a walk or hop on your bike and stop to check out the teams volleying for the win. galveston.com East Beach, Galveston 9am first game. All ages.

Baby Storytime Develop baby’s social, motor, and literacy skills while having fun. houstonlibrary.org Heights neighborhood library 10am. Age: 0-18 months.

MARCH 10 Spring Break at Bishop’s: Bishop’s Palace Calling Cards Late 19th century Victorian residences make your own calling card! A fancy way to say you stopped by to say hi, calling cards were the height of Victorian paper craft. galveston.com

Bishop’s Palace, 1892 Bishop’s Palace 11:30am-12:30pm. All ages

MARCH 11 Mommy or Daddy Wednesday Enjoy discounted admission ticket for a day at Moody Gardens, toddlers under 5 are free. moodygardens.com Moody Gardens 10am-8pm. Under 5 years old.

Spring Break at Bishop’s: Decorative Découpage Come on down to the 1892 Bishop’s palace and do some decorative decoupage with our docents! Born in the 18th century as an inexpensive way to cover furniture, the decoupage was a popular Victorian pastime. galveston.com Bishop’s Palace, 1892 Bishop’s Palace 11:30am-12:30pm. All ages


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

Walk in the Woods: Encounters with Wildlife

MARCH 2020

Spring Break Family Fun Looking for some fun things to do with the kids over the spring break holiday? Check out these great events below!

Take a guided walk to observe and discuss local wildlife. thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) 6-7:30pm. All ages. Registration is required.

MARCH 13 Tot Shabbat Enjoy songs, crafts and laughing with your little one. erjcchouston.org Evelyn Rubenstein JCC 11:15-Noon. Age Under 5



houston family magazine


FUNomenal Spring Break (March 16–20) Celebrate Spring Break with five days of fun for the whole family. Activities will include Mad Science shows, hands-on crafts with Girlstart, Touch a Truck Tuesday, WITS Young Writers Workshops with Houston Public Library Express and more. discoverygreen.com/springbreak

HCCC SPRING BREAK (March 16–20) Each morning of the week, participants can experiment with new materials, tools, and techniques through hands-on activities. Throughout the day, families are invited to spend time in the galleries, sketching, looking at art, and talking with experienced docents. crafthouston.org/events/hccc-spring-break-2

Spring Break: Downtown Aquarium Houston, Kemah Boardwalk and Galveston Island Pleasure Pier. (March 6-22)

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade & Concert

Buy one pass for $69.99 and enjoy three parks with unlimited visits. Get your tickets online.

Celebrate the luck of the Irish at the 61st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade (noon-1:30 pm), now with a new route in Historic Market Square. Continue the fun at Market Square Park with food, games and live music. downtownhouston.org

Fort Bend Library system

Market Square Park Noon-1:30pm. All ages

Bank of America Screen on the Green Enjoy family-friendly movies with a view of the downtown Houston skyline. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs and arrive early for contests and other activities. discoverygreen.com Discovery green 8:15pm. Age: 5+

Visual Storytelling | Drop-In Experience create a storyboard to illustrate your own family narrative. camh.org Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 1-4pm. All ages

12th Annual Creekwood Fishing Derby Grab your poles, cast your lines, and try to reel in a big one! Prizes are awarded for the longest, heaviest, and smallest catch of the day. facebook.com/ events/622137964872912/

Creekwood Park, 3383 S. Panther Creek Drive, The Woodlands 8-10am. All ages


Families and children of all ages are invited to Spring Fling March 9- 16. Unwind with special activities all day, all free, all open to the public! These are just some of their activities: Movie, Puppet shows, Story time, magic shows, and art fortbend.lib.tx.us

Levy Park The urban oasis is hosting special Spring Break activities such as Museum of natural science showcase, crafts and storytime, table tennis tournament and so much more. Levyparkhouston.org

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center If your kid loves the outdoors, explore the trails at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Pack a picnic and have it at nearby memorial park. houstonarboretum.org/

Home from College: Houston Zoo College students in these local schools get FREE admission any day with a valid ID: University of Houston, Rice University, St. Thomas University, and Texas Southern University. Students at these colleges save $2 off admission with ID: Houston Community College, Houston Baptist University and South Texas College of Law. Houstonzoo.org

The Square at Memorial City Mall (March 11-15) Memorial City Mall is a hot spot for events. Each day features something new and evenings include a free, outdoor movie, circus acts and live concerts. memorialcity.com

Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center (March 11-15) Spring Breakout returns to this wonderful park in with free daily classes. Reservations are required with limited spots available. hcp4.net/parks/jjp

Lone Star Flight Museum Spring Break Fly in for exciting kid-friendly experiences. A different event will be hosted each day. Check website for exact days of events, times and pricing. All ages Lonestarflight.org

Family Day: Derrick of Distinction

2019-20 SEASON

“Oil Rigs” can be compared to vehicles: they come in lots of shapes and sizes! Using unconventional materials (spaghetti, linguine, and marshmallows), compete with other visitors to design, build, and test your very own model of a derrick. How tall can your distinctive derrick grow, and how much weight can it support? oceanstaroec.com Ocean Star offshore drilling & rig museum 10am-3pm. All ages

Special St. Patrick’s Day Story Time

Children’s Roundup

Story time is a tradition at Brazos, perfect for kids ages 2 to 9! Each week, we invite a rotating cast of great readers/ performers to read both classic and contemporary picture books. brazosbookstore.com

Calling all 3rd-5th graders who want to learn a little history and try their hand at old fashioned crafts and games. Mark your calendar for the 2nd Saturday of each month for a fun interactive experience led by the Museum Education staff. thebryanmuseum.org The Bryan Museum, Galveston 10:30am-Noon. Age: 3rd-5th graders ONLY.

2nd Saturday Depot Crafts, games & other activities followed by a movie under the stars in the park. Movies begin at dark & you’re welcome to bring a picnic dinner, and your furry friends too! tomballtx.gov Historic Tomball Depot 4pm. All ages

MARCH 15 St. Patrick’s Day Festival at the Park Join us for a free, family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Festival featuring a leprechaun scavenger hunt for kids, family photo booth, food & drink and live music. levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 6pm. All ages

Bayou Bend Family Days: To your health Explore the historical gardens, live performances, crafts for kids, and learn how textiles are woven into daily life. mfah.org Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens 1-5pm. All ages

MARCH 16 3rd Annual Woodlands Shamrock Shindig Gather family and friends to enjoy Live music, bagpipers, Irish dancers, green beer, a kids’ zone, vendors, and more. woodlandsonline.com Lake Robbins Town Green Park, The Woodlands. Noon-9pm. All ages

MARCH 17 St Patrick’s Day. Activities you can do with your kids • • • • •

Have a Pot ‘o’ Gold Treasure Hunt Make Shamrock Necklaces Create St. Patrick’s Day Carnations Prepare Irish Potato Candy Make a Leprechaun Trap

2421 Bissonnet 10:30am. All ages

MARCH 18 Little Listeners Story Time Join in for a traditional story time for ages 2-5. Stories, songs and crafts! bellairetx.gov Bellaire City Library 11-11:30am. Age: 2-5

The Jelly Belly Schmelly Show It’s Balloon time, enjoy the show of balloons made in so many ways – it’s incredible! Your kids will love it. houstonlibrary.org Heights Neighborhood Library. 10:30-11am. All ages

MARCH 19 Comedy Night at HPL Enjoy family friendly laughs as Houston’s emerging comedians tell their jokes every 3rd Thursday of the month. houstonlibrary.org Central library, Jesse H. Jones Library 6-8pm. Age: 10+

Sunrise Labyrinth walk: Vernal Equinox The public is invited to participate in Seasonal Sunrise labyrinth walks. Each walk begins approximately 10-15 minutes before sunrise. galveston.com To access the beach labyrinth, use the seawall steps located at 17th and Seawall Boulevard. 7:15am. All ages




MAR 27 8:00 PM




Getaway to

ADVENTURE! Make the Kemah Boardwalk your favorite destination. MARCH EVENTS 6-15 Spring Break Celebration 6-22 Spring Break Pass 21 Porsche Car Show 21 Celtic Festival 28 Camaro Car Show 28 GCIC Jazz Festival CALENDAR OF EVENTS ONLINE

Parachute Play time Enjoy a morning of toddler fun as the children are encouraged to learn and develop as they play movement games, participate in song and dance, and experience the famous 20-foot rainbow parachute. citycentrehouston.com City Centre Plaza 10am-noon. Age: under 4

TGIF Brown Bag Lunch Concert STAY THE WEEKEND! 281.334.9880

Get out of the office and enjoy a concert while you have lunch. baytown.org Town Square, W. Texas Ave., Baytown 12-1pm. All ages

215 KIPP AVENUE • KEMAH, TX 77565 • 281-535-8100 • KEMAHBOARDWALK.COM Just minutes from Houston on Galveston Bay.

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47 Houston family magazine

O N T H E G O | C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S Angleton Market Days

Kemah Boardwalk Celtic Festival

MARCH 21-22


Don your kilt and celebrate Celtic culture with bagpipes, beer, dancing and art! kemahboardwalk.com

Over 200 vendors, great food, lie entertainment and antique tractors too! Free admission and parking! angleton.tx.us/325/Upcoming-Events

Kemah Boardwalk Check website for exact show times. All ages

Angleton fair grounds 9am-5pm SAT, 11am-4pm (SUN). All ages

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

Aperio, Music of the Americas Presents ‘Tangos & Provocations’ Enjoy an evening of entertaining and irreverent contemporary works for chamber music ensemble and actors. stagestheatre.com March 10

“YAMATO – The Drummers of Japan – Jhonetsu” This is the epitome of the Japanese spirit, a roaring sound that will make you experience new exciting adventures with the roaring sound of the taiko drums. thegrand.com March 21

“Viva MOMIX!” The Illusionists High-tech wizardry and death-defying stunts - this is modern magic’s dream team! Do you believe in magic? smartfinancialcentre.net

In an endless search for another gravity, Artistic Director Moses Pendleton combines athletic dance, riveting music, outrageous costumes, inventive props and pure talent to create an entertaining multimedia experience that will surprise, enchant and astonish! thegrand.com March 28

March 8

Season Premier: Hands on percussion Get your heart pounding with the beats from Hands Percussion! With ground breaking innovative performances which include contemporary and traditional percussive music. milleroutdoortheatre.com

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

The Great Divorce Mesmerizing fantasy about heaven, hell and the choice between them! Four actors portraying 22 characters take a strange bus trip from hell to the outskirts of heaven where they are given an opportunity to stay or return to hell. adplayers.org March 3-15

houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

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

Based on George Orwell’s futuristic novel, 1984 brings us the story of Winston Smith and a stark vision of a world in which freedom of action, word, and thought are controlled by Big Brother. How far are we from realizing Orwell’s nightmare? alleytheatre.org March 6-29

Drum TAO 2020 Is an internationally-acclaimed percussion artists, return to Houston with another modern, high-energy performance that showcases the ancient art of Japanese drumming. spahouston.org

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

Cry it out

March 28-April 19

Camp David

March 27

Through April 4

On maternity leave for the first time, Jessie and Lina tiptoe to their shared backyard for a precious cup of coffee and a chat during naptime. This new comedy takes an honest look at the absurdities of being home with a baby, the dilemma of returning to work, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship. mainstreettheater.com

March 20-April 5


Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat

March 10-15

In a small liberal arts college, two student-led support groups work to help mitigate sexual assault on campus. stagestheatre.com

Through March 15

March 20

A classic tale told and retold that is timeless. The Cat in the Hat appears, to take Sally, her brother, and the fish on a madcap adventure! mainstreettheater.com

Sensitive Guys

Though April 12

Honky Tonk Laundry

Adam’s El Niño

After inheriting the Wishy Washy Washeteria from her grandmother, Lana Mae hires Katie to help run the business, but the two soon join forces to convert their good ol’ laundromat into the town’s hottest honky-tonk. stagestheatre.com

Combines mesmerizing music with biblical verse and the words of Spanish and Latin American poets—trailblazing women writers, both ancient and contemporary, in particular—for a unique and captivating account of the story of Christ’s birth. houstonsymphony.org

Though May 24

March 14 & 15

Ma r ch 2 0 2 0 Tomball German Heritage Festival

Hermann Conservancy Kite Festival

MARCH 27-29


Celebrate German heritage with music, authentic food and drinks, live performances, a petting zoo with pony rides, and arts! tomballgermanfest.org

Kite flying, face painting, food trucks, roam ing characters, and live entertainment will add some color to your Sunday. hermannpark.org

Downtown Tomball Various times. All ages

MARCH 21 Saturday Guided Nature Hikes Venture out with an Arboretum Guide for a free, family-friendly guided hike through the Houston Arboretum. Explore our ecosystems to learn about the local wildlife, plants, and natural history of our beautiful nature center. houstonarboretum.org/guided-naturehikes/ Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 10am or 11am. All ages. Stroller free options for both time slots.

Saturdays in Smither Park & Artists at work See local artists hand-place repurposed materials to mosaic the park’s many structures. orangeshow,org/Saturdays-park Smither Park All day. All ages

Katy Market Day Peruse the stands and shop local the 3rd Saturday of every month. katymarketday.com Downtown historic Katy 10am. All ages

Pet Palooza Featuring 1-Mile Doggie Dash Calling all party animals! It is bound to be a barking great time with pet-related vendors, free goodies for your furry companions, free food for you, music, and more! You and your pup can go for the gold in the 1-mile Doggie Dash or just spend the morning relaxing while enjoying the festivities.

The best place for FREE family entertainment.

ci.la-porte.tx.us/970/Pet-Palooza-Ft-1Mile-Doggie-Dash Little Cedar Bayou Dog Park, La Porte 9-11am. All ages

Nowruz Spring Festival Join the Azerbaijanian American Cultural Alliance and other central Asian countries in a cultural celebration of the commencement of spring (Nowruz) in the Plaza! sugarlandtownsquare.com Sugarland Town Square 11am-9pm. All ages

Hangar Hangout at Houston Wings See March 7

Miller Hill and Jones Reflection Pool, Hermann Park 10am-5pm. All ages


Unplugged at Discovery Green Enjoy some of the best musical acts in town to perform an acoustic concert on the park’s main stage. This popular series challenges up to five bands to rethink and rearrange their songs using only acoustic instruments, resulting in a unique and intimate performance. discovergreen.com Discovery green 4-8pm. All ages

MARCH 23 Little Explorers Discover STEM activities that allow your child to build, code and use their imagination.

Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria Enjoy a special pop-up performance by Cirque Du Soleil! discoverygreen.com

MARCH 24 Be My Neighbor Day Meet Daniel Tiger! Enjoy story time, music by Uncle Jumbo, crafts station, a neighbor village, fun photo opportunities, Toddler Town and more! The event is produced in partnership with Houston Public Media and the Fred Rogers Productions and teaches the importance of community, giving back and being a good neighbor! dicovergreen.com Discovery green 10:30am-1pm. All ages



Jesse H. Jones Central Library 10:30-11:45am. Age: 5+

MARCH 25 Lego Mania Let your imagination run wild as you build far-out things with Lego. houstonlibrary.org Jesse H. Jones Central Library 3:30-4:30pm. Age: 5+


Discovery green 12:30-1pm. All ages

MARCH 28 2020 Heights Kids’ day of Music The Heights Kids’ Day of Music is a music festival all about showcasing local musicians and arts organizations to Houston families. submit.haatx.com/event/2020-heightskids-day-of-music/ Love Park 10am-2pm. All ages

Prelude Concert Series A family-friendly,45-minute live music experiences geared toward babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the grownups who love them. Pack a picnic and come sing and dance with your children in the park! levyparkhsouton.com Levy Park 4:30pm. Age: under 7

Tune Time Get your toes tapping and voices singing with this circle of music. houstonlibrary.org

McGovern-Stella Link Library 1-2pm. All ages

GCIC Jazz Festival A celebration of Houston-area community colleges and their significant contribution to the local jazz scene. kemahboardwalk.com Kemah boardwalk. Concerts throughout the day. All ages


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O N T H E G O | C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S

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



Wednesday–Saturday: 10– 5pm, Sunday: 12-5pm FREE Admission

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



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



9am-5pm Mon-Sun

$25 adult, $15 children 3-11, senior 62+ and college students FREE every Thursday 2-5pm

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

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

Norman Rockwell: American Freedom

Through March 22

An exhibition devoted to Rockwell’s iconic depictions of FDR’s Four Freedoms—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want.

The Art of the Brick

Through March 22

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

Artist Nathan Sawaya showcases his collection of inspiring artworks made exclusively from the LEGO® brick. The world’s largest display of LEGO art ever features original pieces as well as re-imagined versions of the world’s most famous art masterpieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Through March 29

Through April 26

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. Escaping Earth: The Kinetic Work of Casey Curran Top: Tusk, Bottom: We Spoke Houston Center for Contemporary Craft



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

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

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

The Hands that Feed Houston The Hands That Feed Houston is a photo documentary that celebrates the farmers and ranchers that feed Houston. houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

Through May 25

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. Through May 25

A History of Photography: Selections from the Museum’s Collection Comprises a series of installations that trace the course of photography from its invention to the present day, showcasing important new acquisitions and treasured masterpieces. Through May 3 Peace by Pieces by Nathan Sawaya Art of the Brick Exhibit Houston Museum of Natural Science


Kinsmen Lutheran Church, 12100 Champion Forest Drive 4pm. All ages

MARCH 30 Tween Craft Katy Bubble Run Cheer on your neighbors as they run a 1K,5K or 10K through bubbles. https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/Katy/ KatyColorRun5K Kingsland Baptist Church, Katy 12pm. All ages. Free for spectators.

Spring Faire Celebrate May Day, an ancient festival welcoming spring in a community decorated with bountiful fresh flowers, and there will be music, food, maypole dancing, games, and crafts to create a fun, festive environment for families from the whole North Houston community. greatoakschool.org

Let your inner artist come out. Supplies provided based on a weekly theme. houstonlibrary.org

S E E E V E N M O R E FA M I LY F R I E N D LY E V E N T S I N O U R ONLINE EVENTS CALENDAR! houstonfamilymagazine.com/event-directory/

McGovern-Stella Link library 4-5pm. Age: 9-12

MARCH 31 STEM at your library Explore the world of science, technology, engineering, and math with weekly activities and themes to engage all kids. houstonlibrary.org Oak Forest Neighborhood Library 3:30-4:30pm. All ages

Great Oak School, 715 Carrell Street, Tomball 2pm. All ages

MARCH 29 A.D.PLAYERS presents John: His story, written by Jeanette Clift George This live performance brings to life the great miracles performed by Jesus chronicled in the Gospel of John.

Thank You Sponsors!



To all of the sponsors, attendees and everyone who came out to make our 2020 camp fairs such a huge success. Missed Camp Fair? Check out our Camp Directory Running Now- June in print and online. MARCH 2020

51 Houston family magazine

houston family magazine


MARCH 2020

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