NOVEMBER 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 11
practice coastal distancing IN GALVESTON
parenting & politics
TIPS FOR TALKING WITH YOUR KIDS
the way home
A NEW WAY TO ADOPTION
THE HOLIDAY GUIDE
WE KEEP YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY TOP OF MIND. AND CLOSE TO HOME.
PRIMARY CARE, IMAGING, PHYSICAL THERAPY, 24/7 ER Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Centers give you easy, one-stop access to health care in your neighborhood. Plus, you can feel confident knowing that our Safe Wait â&#x201E;¢ enhanced safety measures help keep you protected. From wellness exams to 24/7 emergency care, you and your family can get the quality health care you need all in one place. Visit memorialhermann.org/ccc or call 713.222.CARE to houston schedule anNovember appointment. family magazine 2020
Advancing health. Personalizing care.
This holiday season, experience Christmas magic aboard the authentic THE POLAR EXPRESStm Train Ride, presented by the Texas State Railroad. Come dressed in your jammies and read along as the beloved childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story comes to life. Your golden ticket includes hot chocolate, cookies E YOUR and a silver sleigh bell from Santa Claus himself. ERV T O
THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of ÂŠ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s20)
BOOK TODAY !
3 houston family magazine
features|in this issue 8
on the cover
This month we feature Galveston, Texas for the ultimate winter getaway. There's so much to do and discover for a coastal distancing adventure!
houston family magazine
The Way Home Adoption
Local organization providing a new approach to family
Overcoming Eating Disorders
Enjoy the holidays even more with a trip full of fun activities on Galveston Island
Parenting Children in America's Divided Political Climate
Tips on how to talk to your children about the upcoming presidential election Helping build a healthy relationship to food and exercise during COVID-19
Choosing The Best Volunteer Activities For Your Family
Letter from the publisher
Virtual Community Involvement
Recipe Books From Blue Willow Bookshop
i am Houston kids
The Holiday Guide
mind, body & soul
Meet Lucca Incerpi, a kid with a mission Holiday Treats and Local Eats! Sam's Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Galveston- A Coastal Distancing Experience
5 things we can do to support our kids emotionally right now
the big to-do
Activities for Families
Winter Camp Spotlight
follow us on social media
support local | E D I T O R I A L
VIRTUAL EVENTS THAT HELP GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.
Kids’ Meals 12th Annual Harvest Luncheon Friday, November 13 Begins at 11:45 AM
2020 Buffalo Bayou Partnership Picnic Celebrating Five Years of Buffalo Bayou Park Thursday, November 5th from 6-9 PM. Guests will be treated to a seated picnic basket dinner on The Brown Foundation Lawn of The Water Works. For a socially distanced dining experience, only you and your guests will be seated together at a table. Or, we will deliver a picnic for you to enjoy at home while tuning into our virtual program. www.buffalobayou.org
TUTS Lights Up Houston Virtual Gala Saturday, November 7 Begins at 8 PM Enjoy an exquisite dinner delivered by Houston’s award-winning Post Oak Hotel while you experience this exclusive online event featuring Broadway superstar Brian Stokes Mitchell. Plus, you’ll be able to join in the fun of both a silent and a live online auction. All proceeds benefit TUTS, which has been a vital part of Houston’s arts community for 52 years. www.tuts.com/lightsup
IWrite Virtual Book Signing Brunch Special Guest Appearance by Matthew McConaughey November 14 at 11 AM The iWRITE Non-Profit Organization is over the moon about the 11th Annual VIRTUAL Book Signing Celebration! You will be a part of a groundbreaking (space-themed) virtual celebration with special guest appearances and exciting presentations from our newly published youth. Enjoy readings from our Editor’s Choice Recipients, take part in a by kids for kids author panel, and even test your space knowledge in our Space Trivia form Space Center Houston. You will be sure to leave inspired! www.iwrite.org
A vivacious Kid’ Meals’ “spokeskid” will emcee the luncheon and welcome guests to an inspiring, engaging and entertaining afternoon. Guests will join a virtual ride-along in a Kids’ Meals van to deliver meals directly to the homes of hungry children and will also enjoy a special “Who is Kids’ Meals” and “Cycle of Poverty” animated presentation. Attendees will also experience a virtual tour of Kids’ Meals’ newly expanded 18,000 sq. ft. space and virtually meet kids from the Kids’ Meals program along with a few of the thousands of volunteers including staff drivers who kept the program running during COVID. While learning the impact of hunger in Houston, guests will be able to participate in an online raffle and silent auction curated by Silent Auction Chairs Vanessa and Jeremy Goebel. For more information about Kids’ Meals including information about purchasing tickets to the Harvest Luncheon visit www.kidsmealsinc.org. November 2020
5 houston family magazine
Kimberly Davis Guerra email@example.com
Chantal Lemieux firstname.lastname@example.org
creative director/ production
Casey Johnson email@example.com
Mary Sue Kent firstname.lastname@example.org
contributing authors Kimberly Davis Guerra Valerie Koehler Mike McDonell Robbin McManne KD O’Brien Catherine Ruscitti
Brandy Dykes Photography Ruth & Rene Photography
ABOVE// Kim with son Bodhi, 2008
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.
Beverly Davis Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty
FIND US ON FACEBOOK @houstonfamilymagazine
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @houstonfamilymagazine
RR Donnelley Houston, Texas
14123 Bluebird Lane Houston, TX 77079 (P) 713.266.1885 (F) 713.266.1915 www.HoustonFamilyMagazine.com
Houston Family is published monthly by Houston Family Magazine, LLC. Houston Family is distributed free of charge, one copy per reader. Only Houston Family authorized distributors may deliver or pick up the magazines. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We cannot be responsible for the return of any submitted material. Houston Family is ©2020 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited.
CONTACT US Let us know how we’re doing. email@example.com
ABOVE// Spend your holidays enjoying everything Galveston Island has to offer this holiday season.
Letter from the editor
hen I decided to adopt my son 14 years ago, it was one of the hardest decisions I had ever made. I always wanted to be a mom, but unfortunately suffered with severe Endometriosis at a young age which left me unable to carry children. I remember vividly meeting with the adoption agency, filling out all of the countless paperwork, creating my ‘book’ for potential birthmothers to review and feeling like nothing was in my control. Little did I realize, that this was just the precursor to becoming an actual mom…. I share this story because November is National Adoption Month, a cause obviously near & dear to my heart. While my family chose to adopt a newborn, there are a staggering number of older children in the foster care system desperately in need of a home. This month, HFM spoke with two local women who decided that they wanted to make a difference in these children’s lives. Kendall Monroe & Ashley Fields started The Way Home Adoption to focus on working with the more than 11,000 older foster children in Texas. They are the only organization in Texas doing so. Their story will inspire you to make a difference. Speaking of making a difference, meet 13-year-old Lucca, our I am Houston Kid for November. Lucca worked with a local relief organization and businesses to raise over 4,000 books to donate to an elementary school affected by Hurricane Laura. His efforts will benefit an entire school of children for years to come. Wish your child thought more like Lucca? We have ideas of how you can start to lead by example and serve with your kids. Can’t serve? Check out our Support Local column this month for galas and fundraisers that have gone virtual this season. Show your support from the safety and comfort of your own living room. Either way, you will be setting a strong example for your kiddos to follow. Parenting & Politics is also a hot topic this month. With the election around the corner, what message are you sending to your kids? Parent Coach Robbin McManne weighs in on how to talk to your kids about the importance of the election and respecting others viewpoints. (Check out her video on our website for more detailed tips). Whether you serve your community & family through volunteering, philanthropy, adoption or by voting, know that it all makes a difference. It makes a difference in the adults our children will become, it makes a difference in our backyard and for generations to come. It’s been a long year. Hopefully, we are all adjusting to our new normal and we can enjoy a little family time this holiday season. Need some down time? Why not head down to Galveston for a quick getaway? For those of you who are home schooling, did you know that the Island has worksheets and curriculum just for you? Did you also know that there are over 2,500 rental properties available? Since we are all working virtually, why not head to the beach to work. The kids can take in some local history and science while you work on your Zoom calls from the back deck. Sounds like a great way to ease some the stress of the holidays! Happy Holidays!
EDITORIAL | BOOK BITES
The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs: 100+ Recipes That You’ll Love to Cook and Eat
Celebrate the deliciousness of the holiday season with these cook books picked by Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop. See more at BlueWillowBookshops.com
By America’s Test Kitchen Kids
Using kid-tested and approved recipes, America’s Test Kitchen has created THE cookbook every kid chef needs on their shelf.
Cooking Class By Deanna F. Cook
The kids are taking over the kitchen! Deanna F. Cook presents more than 50 recipes designed for the cooking abilities and tastes of children ages 6 to 12.
Teen Chef Cooks: 80 Scrumptious, FamilyFriendly Recipes: A Cookbook By Eliana de Las Casas
More than 75 fresh, flavorful, seasonal recipes from awardwinning chef and the 2016 Chopped Teen Grand Champion, Eliana de Las Casas.
The Primal Gourmet Cookbook
By Ronny Joseph Lvovski, Melissa Hartwig Urban
Over 100 gluten-free, grain-free, and dairyfree recipes based on the popular Primal Gourmet blog, fully endorsed by Whole30.
See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends By Sam Sifton
A cookbook to help us rediscover the art of Sunday supper and the joy of gathering with friends and family.
7 houston family magazine
family life | F E AT U R E
houston family magazine
GALVESTON A COASTAL DISTANCING EXPERIENCE written by KD O’Brien | photos from Galveston Tourism
As 2020 winds to a close, it’s easy to feel like you’ve exhausted every possible safe local activity— especially if you’re one of the many Houston parents suddenly faced with home-schooling your children for the first time. Now more than ever, it’s worth taking a look around to see what other regional destinations have to offer. Whether you’re looking for a way to liven up your kids’ dayto-day routine, supplement their online learning experiences, or just take a relaxing getaway, Galveston has something compelling to offer.
An edu- tainment destination
or parents who have unexpectedly become homeschool teachers this fall, balancing the desire to keep kids interested and engaged with the need to continue their education can be a tremendous challenge. To meet that challenge, many families are taking a “road-school” approach to their home-schooling journey, visiting local sites of interest and using hands-on experiences to jump-start kids’ interest in local history, geography, and art as well as core curriculum subjects like math, science, and English. Galveston has a wealth of potential destinations for families who want to try this approach, including:
GALVESTON HISTORICAL FOUNDATION This island institution manages and maintains some of the city’s richest
historical sites. Families can visit and board the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, a floating, sailing museum—one of only three of her kind of ships left still sailing in the world. The foundation also manages the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, a meticulously preserved time capsule of Victorian architecture offering educational field trips with a focus on history, math, and science.
THE TEXAS SEAPORT MUSEUM Home of the ELISSA, also houses the Galveston Historic Seaport, which compiles extensive immigration records from Galveston’s time as one of the main national immigration ports— second only to New York City’s Ellis Island. Elementary-aged kids may enjoy learning about the immigration
experience during Galveston’s heyday as an immigration port, and older kids may benefit by using the foundation’s records as a jumping-off point to do family genealogy research, learning about their own immigrant roots, or tracing the journey of one of the immigrants coming through the port of
Galveston and learning what became of them and their descendants. Families looking for a larger educational project could even use the visit as the seed for a larger U.S. history project, tracing contrasts and parallels between the immigrant experience for those entering the port of Galveston in the 19th century and immigrants coming to America today.
THE BRYAN MUSEUM Not only is the Bryan home to an extensive collection of art and artifacts from the American Southwest, the building itself—a former orphanage and survivor of the Great Storm of 1900—is rich in its own history, with much to offer both casual visitors and students of local art and history. Whether you’re supplementing lessons about state history by showing students artifacts from the region’s first native settlers or viewing the Bryan’s large and
immersive diorama showing the Battle of the Alamo, or stepping back in time by viewing relics from the building’s time as the Galveston Orphans Home, this building vividly brings the history of the region to life. Like many of the other Galveston museums and historical sites, the Bryan also offers at-home educational resources as well as educational tours and activities for in-person visits.
MOODY GARDENS For kids who need a dose of excitement with their science lessons, the Moody Gardens pyramids might be just what the doctor ordered. As the home to plant and animal life from Asia, Africa, and South America, as well as a wide range of lectures and guided tours from experts, the Gardens offer ageand grade-appropriate content for a
wide range of young scholars. Moody Gardens also offers supplemental activities to support educators (that’s you, homeschooling mom and dad!) on their website to help you bridge the gap between “fun family trip” and “things they’ll need to remember for science class next year.” If your focus is on history more than science, the Moody Mansion—another Great Storm survivor—provides a fascinating glimpse into what life in Galveston was like over a century ago. This year, students in 4th and 7th grade are admitted to the Moody Mansion free of charge in order to help with their studies in Texas history. For more resources on Galveston as a home-schooling destination, including curriculum guides and worksheets, head to visitgalveston.com.
Relaxation, wellness and self-care
Even if you’re not unexpectedly homeschooling this fall, odds are you’re still feeling the weight of this year and its unprecedented challenges. Luckily, Galveston is also home to many wellness and recreation destinations where you can safely unwind and recharge. Outdoor activities like kayaking at the Coastal Heritage Preserve or hiking in the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve
are naturally “socially distant” and also can serve equally well as diversions for the whole family or a weekend date for parents sans kids. For an adults’ getaway, a luxurious staycation at the Hotel Galvez & Spa or a visit to the Spa San Luis, both of which have taken considerable safety precautions in the wake of COVID-19, might be just what you need. Even a quick yoga session on the beach or a bike ride around town can be a great, cost-effective way to reset your mind, unwind your body, and release some anxiety as the year winds down. And, if you’ve discovered a newfound love for cooking this year, you may want to visit one of the local seafood markets before you head home for some of the freshest catches the Gulf has to offer. Regardless of what you and your family are looking for in a local destination this fall, Galveston is worth your time. Especially if you and your family have only ever experienced the city as a beach day trip, it’s high time to see everything else the island has to offer.
Forget Social Distancing, Try
Coastal Distancing visitgalveston.com
INSIDER TIP Save 40% on 4+ attractions PICK UP AN ISLAND PASS The Galveston Island Pass is your key to adventure and savings while exploring the numerous attractions that make Galveston so special. Passes are valid 30 days after purchase. www.galvestonislandpass.com
family life | F E AT U R E
The Way Home Adoption A New Approach to Family interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra
This topic is very near to my heart. My son was adopted at birth from a local, private adoption agency. We went through three birthmothers before we were successfully matched. It was extremely stressful and at times we weren’t sure if we would have the strength to push through. We are very glad we did.
doption is a heartbreaking/ lifechanging experience for everyone involved. Especially for those kids who aren’t adopted at birth or at a young age. Often times, they are stuck in the foster care system for most of their childhood. If this happens, the odds are stacked against them that they will move on to live happy, healthy and productive lives. For this reason, A Way Home Adoption was born. The company was formed by two local moms, Ashley Fields and Kendall Monroe. It is their mission to try to combat these staggering statistics and find these foster kids A Way Home.
HOW/WHY/WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO START THE WAY HOME ADOPTION? If every child aging out of foster care THIS year had a home, we’d have a societal saving of $6.5 billion in the United States! For every youth that ages out of foster care and enters a world of homelessness, poverty, unemployment or the criminal justice system, the houston family magazine
community loses an engaged and contributing member to society. Instead, society gains a lonely adult often in need of continued, expensive public support. Studies show there’s an estimated savings of $235,000 in total public benefits, including child welfare and human services costs, per child for every child that is adopted before aging out of foster care. If adopted before emancipated, children are: • 21% less likely to be suspended or expelled from school, and about half as likely to be delinquent or arrested • 32% less likely to be incarcerated • 34% less likely to have poor interpersonal relationship skills and are 60% less likely to be socially disconnected as young adults • 22% more likely to be in the labor force as young adults However, only 9% of the adoptions will be of children ages 11-17, although the age group makes up one third of those who are waiting. Most of
these older youth will spend an average of 55 months in foster care and have lived in more than 6 homes prior to leaving foster care on their 18th birthday. These children fare much worse than their same age peers. These are just a few statistics describing the outcomes of growing up in foster care: • 25% of emancipated foster youth are incarcerated by age 20 • 68% of emancipated foster youth will receive public welfare benefits within the first four years of aging-out of care • Only 45% of foster youth completed high school • By age 19, nearly half of young women who have aged out of foster care have become pregnant. And by age 20, nearly half of that group has experienced a second pregnancy. This is why we developed and founded The Way Home Adoption, an agency that partners with our local foster care system to find permanent homes for teenagers who have been lingering in long-term foster care, those for whom
traditional adoption efforts have failed. Prior to developing The Way Home Adoption, in both of our careers, we saw over and over again how teenagers in foster care fared worse than their peers. They are moved more often, adopted less, and on their 18th birthday face a life on the streets. It was always clear there was a problem. We decided it was our responsibility to find a solution. We studied the best way to do older youth adoption, and then formed our organization, The Way Home Adoption, based on those findings.
IN LOOKING OVER YOUR STATS, YOU HAVE IMPRESSIVE PLACEMENT RATES. WHY DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE SO SUCCESSFUL? We were strategic about not re-creating the wheel. We leaned on evidence-based approaches that we know increase the likelihood of success for both the youth and the family. We also made sure the stakeholders in our local child welfare system thought our services would fill a niche.
IF A FAMILY IS UNABLE TO ADOPT, HOW CAN OUR COMMUNITY SUPPORT YOU? There really is a role for everyone to play! Everyone can help raise awareness by sharing the stories of our youth. Individuals and businesses can host our Hearts Who Need Homes gallery in their physical buildings and on their social media sites. Everyone can help these children gain more visibility. We also rely on the generosity of the community to keep our doors open and continue to serve children. The Way Home Adoption doesn’t receive any funds from the government or fees for our work. We are solely supported by individual donations, special events, and community grants.
IF A FAMILY IS INTERESTED IN ADOPTING OR FOSTERING, HOW DO THEY GET INVOLVED? IS IT EXPENSIVE?
For more information visit www.thewayhomeadoption.org Our success is evidence of the level collaboration we have within the system.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT ADOPTING OLDER KIDS IN FOSTER CARE? That it is “too late”. One of the number one questions we get asked is how much of a difference can be made with
a child who is already in his/ her teen years. The answer is that there is still time. Studies on brain development are now able to scientifically prove that years of trauma can be healed over time. It won’t happen overnight, but adoption does change the trajectory of a child’s future for the better, even a 17-year-old.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS IN THE COMING YEAR?
IN 5 YEARS? We hope to be an example for other counties and even other states. The Way Home Adoption won’t ever be able to expand to be state-wide, mostly due to the timeintensive nature of each case and the number of cases we have in our own back yard. But we hope that our program will prove that these strategies work and worth implementing in every child welfare jurisdiction.
If you are interested in older youth adoption reach out to us at info@thewayhomeadoption. org. Our Enrich & Engage program is something you will not find in another agency in the state. Interested parents can go through a training and background check to become a volunteer with our youth. Studies show that the youth and family are more likely to end up in a successful adoption if they knew each other prior to taking steps toward adoption. Our program is the only one that creates a space for these natural relationships to occur before becoming a licensed adoptive parent. It is not expensive to become an adoptive parent. There are about 30 agencies in Houston that provide licensing for foster to adopt families. While private adoption is known to be costly, being licensed and adopting a teenager through the state is not.
13 houston family magazine
WHAT KINDS OF FAMILIES ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? WHICH ONES ARE MOST SUCCESSFUL? The first thing we look for is someone the child already knows. We sometimes refer to this component of our program, Reconnect, as the ‘cold case unit’. For every child we serve our first step is re-look at biological family, former foster parents, former teachers, etc. Sometimes the perfect parent for a child is already in their community. The next step is looking to the community for a family that meets the needs for that individual child. Because of this, it looks a little different on each case. The ones that have an open mind to allowing the child to fit his/her own mold, and not their own, are the most successful. For older youth, we think you should consider adoption because you have the resources, room, and love to give. Many families don’t think they “need” any more children. We tell people that you may not need another child, but a child needs you. Adopting a teen in foster care is a way to give back to the community by giving a child the one thing that can make the most positive impact on their future: the gift of a family.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE STORIES THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE? Most of my favorite stories are the seemingly mundane interactions between our youth and volunteers. These kids have such amazing reservoirs of kindness and resilience. I sometimes feel like they are Houston’s best kept secret one we hope will not stay a secret for much longer.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST MILESTONE YOU HAVE REACHED? In our second year the houston family magazine
state commissioner of Texas Department of Family Protective Services signed an unprecedented agreement with The Way Home Adoption which allows us to work with youth in foster care. This agreement allowed us to collaborate with CPS while entrusting us to recruit for our children in new ways that previously hadn’t been done. It’s a big vote of confidence that we take seriously and feel honored to have. Ashley is a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 10 years of child welfare and nonprofit experience. She began her child welfare career as a caseworker for Child Protective Services in Houston and then in Philadelphia. Her expertise includes program development, volunteer and staff supervision, and advocacy. Ashley graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with Bachelor of Arts degree. She also holds a Masters of Social Work with a focus on nonprofit leadership and administration from The University of Houston. Kendall Pace Monroe has a background in development and fundraising, specifically in the non- profit sector. She has worked as a major gifts officer before moving into a planned giving role specializing in estates, trusts, and charitable planning. Kendall graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communication. She also holds a Masters of Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, graduating Cum Laude.
INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES? Head over to thewayhomeadoption.org and help a great organization.
WHAT’S NEXT STARTS NOW.
All of us are going through something different, but wondering the same thing: “What’s my next step?” We’re helping people get through unexpected challenges and come out the other side even stronger. Now’s the time to regain certainty and confidence. Let’s connect and start planning what’s next for you. LET’S GE T 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. Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), 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 Representatives who operate from agency offices of NMWAC. Certified 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.
"Books and gifts from our family to yours."
· In-store shopping appointments · Curbside pick-up · Book bundles & subscriptions · Giftwrapping · Shipping (281) 497-8675 @bluewillowbooks · bluewillowbookshop.com · (281) 497-8675
Family Lifestyle Photography
families · babies · Children · couples · love www.rorphoto.com // RELICS.OF.RAINBOWS
DEC. 5-6, 2020 - GALVESTON’S 47th ANNUAL VICTORIAN HOLIDAY EVENT - DICKENSONTHESQUARES.ORG OFFICIAL SPONSORS ™
15 houston family magazine
family life | F E AT U R E
Parenting Children In Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Deeply Divided Political Climate written by Robbin McManne
houston family magazine
The world is watching the election in the United States. There is confusing,
and contradictory information out there, so how do parents make sense of the
election, and how do they talk to their kids about it?
s parents, we want to be the source of information for our kids. They are looking to us for what to believe, and how to act. We need to remember how strong our influence is on our kids so let’s use this election to talk about the government and your own personal values. There are big issues the world is facing, and our kids’ lives have been turned upside down because of it, they’re worried, they’re feeling scared and unsafe and if they see you demonstrating fear, worry and stress, they’ll feel even more unsettled. I want parents to know they don’t have to have all the answers to their kids’ questions. If you don’t know, be honest, and look things up together. Keep things as age appropriate and simplified as you can.
ASK YOUR KIDS OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS. Who would they vote for? Why? What do you think makes a strong leader? What do you think of the candidates? What do you like and not like? You may not realize it, but our kids are talking about the election and remember, they are looking to you about what to say and how to act so make sure you are being a good role model. When you enter into a discussion with your kids, make sure you are prepared to listen to them. If they have different opinions from you, find out how they came to that? I would be careful about turning this into lecture about your beliefs, but rather an opportunity for you to learn what your child knows, thinks and feels.
IF YOU ARE TUNED INTO THE ELECTION, YOUR KIDS MIGHT PICK UP ON THE FACT THAT THE ADULTS RUNNING, MAY SAY UNKIND THINGS, TRY TO MAKE THE OTHER PERSON LOOK BAD, OR LIE. If they ask you questions about why grownups are acting this way, you can explain to them that sometimes adults can act badly but that doesn’t give us the permission to do the same. You can tell them that just like everyone, sometimes a person’s behavior is bad, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad person. You can offer them some examples where you can demonstrate cause and effect, where this person acted badly, and that resulted in an unfavorable outcome for them. That there are natural consequences for adults too! Use this opportunity to talk about your family values and why you have them. Ask them, if they see someone behaving badly, what they think about it. What would they do in that situation? Would that change their vote?
WITH THE TWO SIDES OF THE ELECTION, AND PASSIONATE SUPPORTERS ON BOTH SIDES, HOW CAN YOU SHOW YOUR KIDS IT’S OK TO DISAGREE WITH SOMEONE FROM ACROSS
THE AISLE, AND STILL BE FRIENDS? Tell your kids that if someone wants something different from you, that doesn’t mean we have permission to be rude, mean or judgemental. Show them that although they are different parties, there are some similarities. What are they? Focus on what you can agree on. The fact is, both parties want the best for the country, the economy and the people, and there is more than one way to achieve desired outcomes! It’s ok to disagree with someone but focus on the commonalities and avoid getting into petty battles. Just because we don’t agree, it doesn’t mean you are my enemy.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMIND KIDS THAT YOU CAN’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE AND READ. This means we need to look at the news we are consuming and where it’s coming from. Teach them that different media outlets will report stories differently because they can take sides. Show them that you can question and challenge what you consume. Ask, does that sound true? Demonstrate what it means to fact check. Can you find a non-partisan source with the facts that don’t lean to the right or left? We also need to show them that getting their news from social media can be a bad idea because in this election in particular, each side is working hard to vilify the other and this is the worst part of politics. That’s why it’s important to encourage them to ask lots of questions.
When I interviewed award winning political campaign strategist, John Shallman, on my Podcast, Parenting our Future, he suggested using political cartoons to demonstrate how we are allowed to challenge the political system. Show them cartoons, ask them what it’s trying to say and if they agree or disagree.
EMPOWER YOUR KIDS AND SHOW THEM THEY HAVE A VOICE! That it matters and they can question, and fight for the things they believe in. Show them examples of other kids who are making a difference like Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager who organized and inspired a climate change movement adopted all over the world.Show them where they can make a difference in your community or school.
WHAT MATTERS MOST IS THAT YOU ALLOW FOR OPEN AND HONEST DISCUSSIONS WITH YOUR KIDS. Ask lots of open ended questions, solicit ideas and thoughts, and listen, really listen to what they have to say. Do your best to lead by example and keep things simple and age appropriate. Robbin McManne is a Parent Coach with a top 20 Parenting podcast in the US, UK, and Canada. She’s also the author of the book, The Yelling Cure, which focuses on minimizing stress and fostering understanding and connection with children.
17 houston family magazine
family wellness | E D I T O R I A L
Overcoming Eating Disorders
HELPING BUILD A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP TO FOOD AND EXERCISE DURING COVID-19 written by Catherine Ruscitti, PsyD CEDS; Clinical Director at the Eating Recovery Center Houston
here is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a real and serious effect on our mental health. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, such as eating disorders, are on the rise. There’s no shame in feeling increased stress, especially because it can come from any number of challenges we’re facing right now. This might include financial strain, social isolation, changing school regulations and schedules, and fear of getting sick. Even with all the work parents do to shield and houston family magazine
protect their kids, and even if kids don’t fully understand all the rapid changes around them, they are still susceptible to feeling that stress as well. 91% of children report they know their parent is stressed, and children who say their parents are always stressed are more likely to report being stressed themselves. Children model their parents’ stress management skills, so healthy coping techniques will promote better well-being for the whole family. For kids and adults alike, changes in mental health can lead to an altered relationship to food. Some people turn to food in boredom or for
comfort, using it to regulate emotions and cope with increased stress. On the flip side, some use strictly monitoring their food intake as a way to cope with anxiety; it can give them a feeling of control when everything else around them feels completely out of control. Additionally, an increased concern around health – and potentially more time to think about it during social isolation – can lead to a hyper focus on weight, which often has a negative impact on body image and self-esteem, especially in the formative years of childhood and adolescence. It’s important for parents to
lead by example. Be aware of modeling a healthy relationship with food, exercise and body image. Make food together as a family, teaching kids about a variety of foods as they help prepare and serve meals. Practice mindful eating, where you connect over food rather than eating while watching TV or doing other tasks. Allow yourself and your kids to enjoy many kinds of food, avoiding the labels of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for any specific foods. And remember that food is fuel that gives us energy to do the things we love most – it’s not the enemy. When it comes to exercise, try to think of it as joyful
“For kids and adults alike, changes in mental health can lead to an altered relationship to food.”
movement. Encourage your kids to participate in physical activities that they enjoy as a way to have fun and feel good. Avoid tying exercise to losing weight, earning food, or punishing yourself. Associating physical activity with fun and feelings of joy and connection help build a healthy relationship to exercise and fitness. To support and build positive body image, avoid comments about weight – your own and your child’s. An increased focus on weight can have a negative impact on selfesteem and body satisfaction. Instead, focus on gratitude for how resilient our bodies are and what they can do for us. Given the close relationship of mental health with food and exercise, it’s important to lay the groundwork of learning healthy ways to cope with underlying stress and mental health issues. Here are a few ways you can help your kids build skills and resilience: • Increase social connection within pandemic guidelines. Look into physically distant outdoor activities you can do with your kids, and potentially with their friends. Create virtual game nights or video playdates and participate in drive-by birthday celebrations. • Create routines and structured down time. As much as you can, have regular mealtimes and bedtimes. By
implementing structure and predictability, kids know what to expect…and what’s expected of them. • Practice self-care as a family. This might include taking family walks or bike rides or having at-home movie nights. Carve out quality family time dedicated to fun activities together. • Practice healthy sleep hygiene. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Turn off all screens at least one hour before bedtime. Create a routine around preparing for bed, which might include bathing, brushing teeth and reading time. Practicing sleep meditations, such as through an app or recording, can also help calm the mind to enhance restful sleep. • Help the whole family practice stress management by taking rest breaks; practicing mindfulness; taking medications as prescribed; treating physical illness; and talking about emotions. This includes validating your kids’ emotions, with statements like, “I can understand why you might feel frustrated because doing school virtually is really hard, because you miss your friends, and because it’s hard to sit still for so
long.” Let them know you understand what they’re going through and that what they’re feeling is okay. • Practice coping with distress. This can include relaxation techniques like deep breathing or distraction activities like listening to music, reading, playing a game, or playing with something tactile, like silly putty. Encourage kids to get creative by coloring, doing an arts and crafts project, or writing a story. Provide them out outlet for emotional expression, such as journaling, talking it out – or drawing emotions if talking is too difficult. The key to using coping skills is to practice them regularly – especially when distress is lower – so they are easier to use when emotions become too much. • Connecting with the five senses can also help, especially if you turn it into a game. Have your kids name five things they see that are blue, name four things they can hear, find three things they can touch that have different textures, smell two things that have an aroma, and eat one thing with a strong taste, such as a mint. • Finally, be sure to practice self-compassion. These are really hard times, with myriad unforeseen challenges. Being hard on
yourself is an added layer of stress; be forgiving. And remember, small changes make a big impact. If there’s only one thing that you change but you can do it consistently, you can make a lasting, positive
impact for your family.
EATING RECOVERY CENTER HOUSTON Conveniently located in a vibrant city conducive to the social aspects of eating disorder recovery, the ERC center in Houston, Texas focuses specifically on eating disorder treatment for both adults, adolescents, and children, with a unique, separate Binge Eating Program unique to adults. 7515 S Main St Ste 400 Houston, TX 77030 Phone: 713-750-9607 eatingrecoverycenter.com Treating: Adult, Child & Adolescent Level of Care: Intensive Outpatient Partial Hospitalization Virtual Treatment
19 houston family magazine
family life | F E AT U R E
er th e g o T er te n u l o V
Choosing The Best Volunteer Activities For Your Family written by Sandi Schwartz
Volunteering as a family is such a wonderful way to bond and to feel better overall. When we make others happy, we experience an amazing biological phenomenon called a “helper’s high” that is the result of our brain releasing chemicals called endorphins. We experience an energy in our body that is similar to the rush we feel after we exercise. These positive feelings make our kids happier and healthier by reducing stress and anxiety and feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression.
houston family magazine
Finding the right family volunteer activities can be overwhelming at times. You may feel uncertain about what is expected and question whether your children can participate. It is so important that your children feel comfortable where you volunteer, get inspired by the work you do, and enjoy themselves. Without these three components, our children won’t reap all the amazing benefits of volunteering. Plus, we want them to love helping others so they continue to do so for a lifetime. When searching for the appropriate activity, consider the following priorities:
PROJECT FOCUS The first step is to brainstorm as a family to decide what types of volunteer activities you are interested in doing. Ask your children who they would like to help. Is there a particular cause they feel passionate about, such as feeding homeless people, making art for other children, helping animals, or visiting the elderly or sick? What interests, skills, and talents do your family members have? Do you prefer to be indoors or outdoors? Do you wish to work directly with people or do something quiet like painting or pulling weeds? The options are endless, so it is important to narrow down your choices and focus on projects that your family will get the most out of.
ORGANIZATION’S MISSION Do your research before you sign up with a specific organization. Find out the group’s history and how it got started, the goals and mission, who its leaders are, and how it is funded. Check their website, search online for press coverage, and visit sites like www. charitywatch.org and www. charitynavigator.org. If possible, ask a current or past volunteer about the pros and cons of the organization. Getting a referral from someone you know is the best option, especially
because your children will be participating.
LOCATION Next, you will want to make sure you search for projects that are close to home so you do not have to drag your kids far to volunteer. Check your local paper, call charitable organizations, or search online to find the perfect places for kids to volunteer in your area.
Before you show up, find out exactly what you will be doing. Will there be heavy lifting involved? Will you have to get down and dirty? Will the project be a boring and repetitive task that will make your kids annoyed? Make sure the activity is something that your kids will actually enjoy before you invest your time.
Urban Harvest’s mission is to cultivate thriving communities through gardening and access to healthy, local food. www.urbanharvest.org
Although rare, check to see if there are any fees to volunteer. You may also want to consider any other costs involved like travel, equipment such as certain clothing required, or requested products or monetary donations.
No matter what, safety needs to come first when children are involved. You may want to avoid going to activities in neighborhoods that make you uncomfortable. Your kids may be scared to talk to strangers, so consider starting with familiar people and places. As they get older, you can start to venture out and expose them to more mature situations.
Several volunteer options for kids and adults. Visit the Take Action section of the website to sign up! https://kidsmealsinc.org/
TIME COMMITMENT Decide how much time you have to volunteer. It could be once a week, once a month, or once a year. Start slow and gradually increase your involvement if the project is working out well. You may choose to volunteer with different organizations each time to expose your children to a wide variety of experiences.
AGE RANGE GUIDELINES
FUN FACTOR Finally, if it isn’t an enjoyable experience for your kids, then what’s the point? Choose projects that involve your children in a fun way, but also teach and inspire them. Avoid topics and activities that are too serious and sad for young children. Be sure to engage with them afterwards and ask what they thought, and if they would be willing to do it again.
for the whole family
URBAN HARVESTCOMMUNITY GARDENING
TEXAS WILDLIFE REHABILITATION COALITION Learn how to care for injured and abandoned wild animals. www.twrcwildlifecenter.org/ volunteer/
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY PROJECT Helping bring homeless children joy through celebrating their birthdays. www. thebirthdaypartyproject.org
SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEXAS Dedicate your time to help children and adults with intellectual disabilities achieve their dream! www.sotx.org/become-avolunteer
Look for activities that your whole family can participate in. Before you commit to a project, check to see if there are any age INTERFAITH MINISTRIESrequirements MEALS ON WHEELS listed. It may THANKSGIVING take some hunting Donate your time to help around, but support and feed our you should homebound seniors in the be able to Greater Houston and Galveston find ageAreas. appropriate www.imgh.org/events/ options. Even thanksgiving/ babies can take part in nursing home visits, GALVESTON BAY FOUNDATION VOLUNTEERS charity walks, and By volunteering with the Galveston Bay Foundation, you gain valuable field training beach cleanups. and experience in environmental conservation and restoration. https://galvbay.org/volunteer/
21 houston family magazine
family life | F E AT U R E
houston family magazine
g n i d l i u b y t i v i t i s po
5 Things We Can Do To Support Our Kids Emotionally Right Now written by Mike McDonell
With each passing day during this pandemic, it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook. Our desire to return to a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;normalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; life gets questioned and hope and faith become challenged. To varying degrees, isolation, fear, and loneliness have become a greater part of our lives. It is simply part of the struggle we are all facing. Without a doubt, our kids are facing that too.
rior to this pandemic, our youth were experiencing the highest rates of anxiety and clinical depression ever. According to the National Institutes of Health, anxiety disorders in adolescents increased 20 percent from 2007 to 2012. Today, 1 in 3 teens will experience an anxiety disorder. The percentage of teens who experienced at least one major depressive episode increased rapidly at about this same time. Today, 1 out of about every 5 girls reports experiencing symptoms. Startlingly, the suicide rate for
young people ages 15 to 19 increased by 76 percent from 2007 to 2017 and nearly tripled for adolescents ages 10 to 14. Covid-19 has further provided reason for anxiety and depression among our youth, setting the stage for an even worse epidemic of compromised mental health. An April survey of nearly 3,300 high school students taken by Active Minds, found that roughly 20 percent say their mental health significantly worsened under COVID-19, and 8 in 10 students overall are struggling with focus on school and work.
We must as communities, as families, and as individuals, focus our attention to our children and youth with a greater degree of concern and purpose. The one thing we all need right now more than ever is connectedness. The sense of belonging, of being part of strong healthy relationships with one another is absolutely essential. It is what our children are craving from us and those around them. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve compiled a list of 5 things we as parents can do to support our kids and provide them with a foundation to stay healthy during these troubling times.
23 houston family magazine
LET YOUR KIDS TALK IT OUT Every day should involve opportunities to connect with your child and allow for them to express themselves. Some kids open up easily and others don’t give us but a word or two. So, prompt them with questions like, “Tell me about your day. What was your favorite part and what didn’t you like?” or “It’s pretty scary at times. Tell me about what you’re scared about most.” At overnight camp, we complete every day with ‘Apples and Onions’. Taking turns, each camper tells everyone something great about their day (an apple). Then each describes a negative experience or feeling (the onion). Campers are encouraged to listen fully to their peers and then offer productive comments or suggestions. Kids open up, kids share their feelings, and in doing so create a more healthy and confident perspective for themselves.
A HEALTHY BODY PROVIDES FOR A HEALTHY MIND We’ve all learned that the extra time at home during the pandemic can either motivate us to care for ourselves physically or binge Netflix way too much. The former not only provides a healthier situation for our body, but aids in putting our mind in a better place. When we are eating well and exercising, we typically feel better about ourselves, which then provides us with the confidence to tackle those mental challenges. This is particularly true for our kids. Stay active, get outside, and shut down the screens. There is nothing more destructive than not allowing children to play and move their body. Creating regular opportunities for being
houston family magazine
Every day should involve opportunities to connect with your child and allow for them to express themselves. healthy will pay huge dividends for a healthy mind.
TAKE CARE OF YOU, BECAUSE IT TAKES CARE OF THEM Focusing on caring for your kids and ignoring your personal health is just not sustainable for them or you. Your child looks to you first for an example and is the most powerful tool for teaching your child. So care for yourself. Take time to relax, meditate, exercise, and maintain your own social bonds. Doing so will make you happier and more productive when it comes to supporting your child. Seek Professional Help When They Need It Unfortunately, most children don’t get mental health services from professionals. Be an advocate for your child. If they are experiencing repeated nightmares, showing signs of persistent anxiety, demonstrating aggression, disruptive behaviors, or regressive behaviors that are not normal, then seek help.
SEEK POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS AND CONNECTEDNESS The absence of physical interaction and connection
with friends and family has a long-term impact on our kids. They, like us, are social beings. Their validation comes first and foremost from other humans in close contact with one another. For most, the pandemic has drastically reduced those opportunities. So, seek opportunities to connect with a variety of people. Create social distancing get-togethers in the front yard, Facetime the cousins each week, or schedule a watch party with the grandparents. These opportunities for connection don’t come readily right now, so plan them. The more opportunities you create, the more your child will feel part of the lives of others. Being a parent in ‘normal’
times can be one the most challenging jobs. In a pandemic like this, it can be overwhelming. All the more reason for coming together and refocusing our attention where it matters most. Take the time to try out these 5 things. I am confident they will go a long way in helping your child see through the fog of uncertainty and fear, and in doing so will clarify your vision for the future and improve your own mental health in the process. Hang in there. Mike McDonell is a father of three and the founder of KidVenture Camp. Learn more at www.kidventure.com
I AM HOUSTON
Lucca Incerpi When most teens are focused on sports or girls or video gaming, one local boy has chosen to use his time and energy to make a difference. Thirteen-year-old, Lucca Incerpi, has teamed up with Texas Relief Warriors as a book drive leader. He has worked with local businesses and raised over 4,000 books for an elementary school in DeRidder, LA. who lost all their books and library in Hurricane Laura. The champions that helped him: • Burn Boot Camp Cinco Ranch & Memorial City • Mrs. Donuts in Memorial • The Briarwood School in Spring Branch When Lucca isn’t rounding up book donations, you might find him open water swimming. He has already swam Alcatraz and will be swimming a double crossing of La Jolla Cove, CA this December! He is a youth dyslexia advocate and uses his open water swim to help kids with dyslexia find their strength (Swim for Dyslexia) This young man is on an excellent path and is a true testament to how much one person can do to make a difference in this world. Start in your own backyard and do what you can to help. No matter how small. It will not be small to the person who is the lucky recipient of the gesture. When he grows up, Lucca wants to be a marine engineer or a naval architect. Whatever path he chooses, the world will be a better place for it. Lucca will deliver the books to Carver Elementary School in DeRidder. Look for more pics in the coming weeks!
25 houston family magazine
the holiday guide | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N
HOLIDAY TREATS LOCAL & EATS Luxury Cheese Boards from The Chatty Mouse
Absolutely YUMMY boards for upcoming holiday get-togethers! You must check out this local small business! Prices start at $55+ www.thechattymouse.com
To spice things up, the Bloody Mary Brunch Box ($140) from Hog Island Oyster Co. features their signature Bloody Mary Mix, plus 36 extra-small oysters and a jar of housemade pickles for garnish. Merchant’s Daughter Hard Cider ($32) uses high quality apples sourced from New York’s Hudson Valley, and the delicious Cranberry & Tomato Chutney ($25) from Meal Mantra makes a great fall condiment option. https://doorstep.market/
Wine from Lost Draw Cellars
Enjoy a delicious glass of wine grown right here in the Texas Hill Country! Lost Draw is committed to producing quality wine and showcasing the Lonestar State’s unique terroir by using 100% Texas-grown grapes. Bottle start at $25+ www.lostdrawcellars.com
a perfect gift for him Burbon Whisky from Blackland Distillery
Brewed in Ft. Worth, Texas, Blacklandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s small batch bourbon showcases reverence for the American bourbon legacy while delivering a wholly distinct expression. Not a Burbon Fan, they also brew Rye Whisky, Gin & Vodka. $38 per bottle www.blacklandfw.com
Gourmet Dates from Bateel
Enjoy an assortment of plain, filled and chocolate dates. Boxes are customizable and include 28-190 dates depending on size of box ordered. Starting at $89 www.bateelusa.com Now open in City Centre
Sweet Treats from Fluff Bake Bar
Delicious local treats from cookies to ice cream, tarts + more! Their pumpkin whoopee pies are the best! They just reopened last month, so show them some love! www.fluffbakebar.com 1701 West 15th Street, Houston
support a local business
27 houston family magazine
mind body and soul | E D I T O R I A L
SAMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PUMPKIN SOUP 1 1/2 1 to 2 lbs
small to medium pumpkin unsalted butter mixed root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, potatoes rutabaga, turnips, etc)
bay leaf, thyme or other herbs
4 cups 1/2 cup
vegetable or chicken stock heavy cream optional garnishes( drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, parmesan cheese, finely chopped thyme)
Cut off the top of the pumpkin and save the top to use as a lid. Scoop out the inside/ seeds (you can save seeds to roast with salt and olive oil). When the pumpkin is clean, scoop out as much pumpkin meat as possible without breaking through the skin. Add the pumpkin meat to a larger bowl. Set the pumpkin and lid to the side. Heat your butter with a drizzle of olive oil in a large soup pan. Chop your onion, add to the pan and sautĂŠ until tender. Chop your root vegetables to all roughly the same size, add to the bowl with pumpkin as you go. If you have some white wine open pour a splash into your onions, let it reduce, then add your root vegetable and enough stock or water to just cover the vegetables. Add herbs, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Give it a stir halfway if you want. Add stock or water if it is drying out too much. Remove herbs. Let the soup cool slightly and transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. You might have to work in batches or use an immersion blender (if you have on). Once your soup is pureed, put it back in your pot, reheat gently and add cream. Add salt and pepper to flavor as needed.
Sam shares his own recipe of beautiful and delicious Autumnal pumpkin soup. His recipe calls for pumpkin and root vegetables for maximum flavor, but canned pureed pumpkin works if you are short on time. houston family magazine
Ladle the soup into the pumpkin, put the lid on and serve. I like to serve with bread at the table and garnishes if desired.
Generosity of space. Millions of twinkling lights and our soaring 48-foot Christmas tree. Hundreds of enhanced cleaning protocols. Boundless family-friendly holiday events, from snow tubing and ice skating to our brand-new I Love Christmas Movies™ immersive pop-up experience featuring ELF™, THE POLAR EXPRESS™, and more! November 13 – January 3 | ChristmasAtGaylordTexan.com ELF and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc. (s20) THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s20)
29 houston family magazine
the big to do | C A L E N D A R O F E V E N T S
the big to do
You may notice the days getting shorter and the air crisper, but November weather in Houston usually offers mellow sunny days for strolling through any of the city’s many parks and by the end of the month, enjoy the unveiling of spectacular holiday window displays and dazzling lights and decorations as they begin to sparkle across the city.
Galveston Railroad Museum | Galveston Texas Photo provided by Galveston Tourism
All events listed are FREE unless otherwise noted.
NOVEMBER 1 Día de los Muertos Gather families and friends to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who are no longer living. Enjoy live music and a face-painting tutorial in a virtual setting. discoverygreen.com Discover Green 6-10pm. All ages
houston family magazine
Texas Renaissance Festival (weekends through Nov. 29) Bring family and friends to the magical kingdom, an enchanted world filled with kings and queens, knights and nobles, fairies and elves, pirates and peasants, and other fanciful delights. texrenfest.com 21778 Farm to Market 1774, Todd Mission 9am-8pm All ages, $13+
ROCO Connections: Musical & Literary Ofrenda ROCO’s annual celebration of Día de los Muertos presented in collaboration with MECA @ TBH and Grupo de Teatra Índigo. Roco.org Live streamed 5pm. All ages
Day of the Dead Celebration Guests can enjoy a variety of Dia de los Muertos festivities, including dancing with mariachi and salsa bands, watching performances by the Danzas Folkloricas de Solei, taking photos with a skeleton stilt walker and more! kemahboardwalk.com Kemah Boardwalk 1-9pm
Novemb er 2 02 0 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Nancy and Rich Kinder Building opening To celebrate the opening, the MFAH will offer FREE general admission across the entire campus from November 1 through 8. mfah.org Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 9am. All ages
Mommies & Mimosas This play delves into the delicate and complex realm of female friendship as the women come together to navigate feelings of failure and conflicting senses of identity. kgmcaboxoffice@ uh.edu Virtual 2pm. Age: 18+. Free admission with RSVP
NOVEMBER 2 States of Mind: Art and American Democracy (until Dec. 19) Reflecting on some of the most pressing topics facing American democracy, States of Mind: Art and American Democracy encourages dialogue around current social and political issues. Discoverygreen.com Discovery Green All day. All ages
Nature Hikes at the Arboretum Venture out for a family-friendly hike through the Houston Arboretum. Explore the ecosystems to learn about the local wildlife, plants, and natural history. houstonarboretum.org Houston Arboretum and Nature Center All day. All ages.
NOVEMBER 4 Nature Story Time and Discovery Center Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5
Music in the Gardens Children partner with their parents and experience rhythm and music principles in a natural outdoor setting in various locations throughout the garden. Classes use Kindermusik curriculum’s songs, instruments, and movement. hcp4.net/parks/mercer
Movie Night: Brave In Scotland, Princess Merida is a skilled archer and daughter of the Queen and King who wants to carve her own path in life. However, Merida’s defiance of an age-old tradition unleashes peril and leads to chaos in the kingdom. Levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 6:30pm. All ages
Preschool-aged children can enjoy nature through stories, crafts, puppets, short walks, and animals with this interactive program led by a staff naturalist. hcp4.net/community/parks/ jones 10:30-11:30am Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Age: 3 to 4 only. No younger or older siblings. Reservations are required
Texas Renaissance Festival
Movie Night: the campaign Forget about trekking to the theater for your movie fix and head to Market Square Park for a free outdoor screening. Bring your blankets and watch as a veteran politician and congressman, runs against an unlikely candidate. marketsquarepark.com Market Square Park
NOVEMBER 5 Blue Willow Storytime
Celebrate 30 at the Lone star Flight Museum (Nov. 5 – 8) A weekend of great stories, photos from the past, aircraft tours, Hangar Talks, demonstrations and so much more will mark this anniversary. Lonestarflight.org Lone Star Flight Museum All day. All ages. Free admission for veterans.
Craft: “Give Thanks” Pillow Hug
Get out and VOTE!
Celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving with a thoughtful craft kit. Featuring fall leaves, this fleece throw pillow will add a touch of autumn to your sofa or bed. hcp4.net/mhc
Virtual 5:30pm. All ages
Tadpoles Club (Nov. 11 & 18)
10am. Age: toddlers and preschoolers.
Are you looking for classes that inspire, motivate, and teach you? Midtown Houston is partnering with Pop Shop America to teach us how to DIY your own vision board. facebook.com/midtownHOU
The Gordy 5pm. Age: 21+
T E X AS R E N A I S S A N C E F E S T I VA L
Mercer Botanic Gardens 10:30am. Age: 2-3
Join us each Thursday virtually as we read stories, sing songs, and do an art activity. The themes change weekly. www.bluewillowbookshop.com
Teach you Tuesdays: DIY your own vision board
a weekly by reservation-only, sociallydistanced happy hour. stageshouston.com
pick up craft kit at Mangum-Howell Center 11am-1pm. All ages
Stages Repertory Theatre presents Thursdays at The Gordy Stages welcomes patrons back to The Gordy with Thursdays at The Gordy,
Texas Arbor Day Celebrate Texas Arbor Day among the trees at Mercer’s West Side Arboretum with a tree planting demonstration and receive a complimentary sapling while supplies last. hcp4.net/parks/mercer Mercer Botanic Garden 1-4pm. All ages
Raggle Taggle Scarecrow Craft Pick-Up Staff will have craft kits ready for participants to create a fun scarecrow decoration. hcp4.net/communitycenters/bsl craft pick up at Big Stone Lodge 2:30pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 7 Young Audiences of Houston: Open Dance Project Dance Workshop Young Audiences of Houston offers family friendly, live art experiences perfect for a wide variety of ages. Levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 1pm. All ages
Take Me Fishing In partnership with Fishing’s Future and Texas Parks & Wildlife, staff and volunteers share the skills and joys of family fishing. All equipment provided. fishingsfuture.org
2020 Texas Renaissance Festival Schedule ALL HALLOWS EVE October 31 & November 1 HEROES & VILLAINS November 7-8 BARBARIAN INVASION November 14-15 HIGHLAND FLING November 21-22 CELTIC CHRISTMAS November 27-29 Get Your Tickets at www.texrenfest.com Please Note: There will be NO gate ticket sales. ALL tickets are DATE SPECIFIC and will need to be purchased in advance. TRF will enforce patron mask requirements per the guidelines and mandates of the State of Texas.
Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center 8:30am-2pm. All ages
31 houston family magazine
the big to do | C A L E N D A R O F E V E N T S Big Top Vintage Market (nov. 7 & 8) Shop for all things vintage, antique, junk, industrial and re-purposable under the big top in Old Town Spring Market. facebook.com/ events/239250160411719/
NOVEMBER 11 happy Veterans Day
Zoo Lights Grand Opening! (November 14-January 10, 2021)
Houston Symphony presents Classical Live from Jones Hall
virtual various times. All ages
NOVEMBER 8 Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary Escape to this small but enchanting nature sanctuary for a reprieve from the city. Within its 17.5 acres of hardwood and pine forest and freshwater habitats, the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary provides an important home for native wildlife. houstonaudubon.org Edith Moore Nature Sanctuary 7am-7pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 9 Shadow drawing and collage with the HCCC Join HCCC from home to explore craft artists, exhibitions, hands-on activities, and more! crafthouston.org Virtual All day. All ages
Nature Story Time and Discovery Center Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5
NOVEMBER 12 Brew Lights Enjoy Zoo Lights without the kids! Stroll through the Zoo with your favorite brew during this 21 & up experience. Houstonzoo.org 5:30-10:30pm. Age: 21+. Tickets $29+
Stages Repertory Theatre presents Thursdays at The Gordy Stages welcomes patrons back to The Gordy with Thursdays at The Gordy, a weekly by reservation-only, sociallydistanced happy hour. stageshouston.com
Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo. Interact with Candy the Zoo Lights Zebra presented by HEB, take a selfie on a giant ice throne, and take a socially distanced photo with Santa in his workshop. Houstonzoo.org Houston Zoo 5:30-10:30pm. All ages. Admission tickets are required.
Hangar Bash The 3rd Annual Hangar Bash is about Red, white and YOU to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII with nostalgia and charm, award winning BBQ and some of your favorite craft beers and wine. Lonestarflight.org 4pm. Age: 21+
Contemporary World Festival Virtually at the Miller featuring talented DAA dancers as well as well as amazing dance companies showcasing a world of cultures and multiple dance genres. milleroutdoortheatre.com Live stream 7pm. All ages
Emma Theriault in conversation with Victoria Aveyard Emma Theriault will appear in conversation with Victoria Aveyard to discuss her new book The Queen’s Council: Rebel Rose. facebook.com/BlueWillowBooks/live/ 7pm. Virtual. All ages
Houston Cinema Arts Festival (Nov. 12 -22)
The magical story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole on select days in November and in December. texasstaterailroad.net/events/ polarexpress/
Women’s Restorative Hike This beginner-friendly, one-hour hike through Mercer’s gardens and forest is for those who believe in the restorative power that nature has on the mind, body, and spirit. hcp4.net/parks/mercer Mercer Botanic Gardens 8-9am. Age: 18+
Texas State Railroad. Palestine Depot Select days and times. All ages. Ticket prices vary.
A Play: Freefall Two brothers from the South Side of Chicago struggle to define their relationship, torn apart by their pasts as an ex-con and the policeman who threw him in jail.
Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center 10am-1:30pm. All ages
Wildflowers for Wild Women Join a member of Precinct 4’s Trails as Parks for a walk-through at Mercer’s East Side Gardens while we chat about local wildflowers and how women have been historically connected to the language of flowers. hcp4.net/parks/mercer Mercer Botanic Gardens 9-10am. All ages
iWRITE 11th Anniversary Book Signing Brunch Celebrate this year’s newly published 100 young authors and illustrators! By attending the event, you will be furthering iWRITE’s literacy mission to build student confidence through writing. Guest appearance from Matthew McConaughey iwrite.org/virtualevent/ Virtual 11am. Age: 10+
Virtual Book Fest Participate in the virtual Book Fest featuring special guest speaker Kevin Kwan, author of the international bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians. The day-long event will also feature a readings hour and various workshops. fortbend.lib.tx.us
Pasta Stained Glass Join HCCC from home to explore craft artists, exhibitions, hands-on activities, and more! crafthouston.org/learn/virtual-learning Virtual All day. Age 5+
Virtual and in-person Various times. Age: 15+
The Polar Express (runs from November 13 – December 27)
Join Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center for its 34th Annual Pioneer Day, featuring authentically outfitted reenactors, settler skill demonstrations, and folk music performances. hcp4.net/community/parks/jones
The 12th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival will take place virtually and at drive-ins across Houston. The festival will feature over 20 films, Q&A sessions, performances, and workshops. hcaf2020.eventive.org/schedule
Jones Park’s 34th Annual Pioneer Day: Recreates 1830s Texas
Virtual Various times. All ages
The Gordy 5pm. Age: 21+
houston family magazine
Virtual 8pm. All ages
Old Town Spring, 26303 Preston Ave. 9am. All ages
In the ongoing classical livestream series, musicians from the Houston Symphony take the stage at Jones Hall performed in small, socially distanced ensembles. houstonsymphony.org/tickets/concerts/ andres-conducts-mahler-9/
ROCO in concert: Oceans A nature-inspired program featuring the orchestra – conductorless! Celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birdie, the concert will feature a new work by Anna Clyne for strings, Stride. Roco.org Live stream 5pm. All ages
Prelude Concert Have a great time in this music experience is geared toward babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and the grownups who love them! Levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 4:30pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 16 How to write a story with your Preschooler Childhood is full of opportunities to nurture a child’s imagination through storytelling…which is one of the many steps to story writing. iwrite.org/creative-writing-activities/ preschool-story-writing/ Virtual All day. Age: 3-5
NOVEMBER 17 Elizabeth Holmes. HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style There’s always more than what meets the eye, especially when it comes to royal style. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are global style icons, their
Novemb er 2 02 0 every fashion choice chronicled and celebrated. Knowing they stand in this sartorial spotlight, the duchesses select clothes that send a message about their values, interests, and priorities. bluewillowbookshop.com Blue Willow Book shop 7pm. Age: Adult
Sip & Stroll at the Houston Arboretum Enjoy a quiet evening out on the Houston Arboretum trails and get a behind-the-scenes look at the newly renovated Nature Center. The dimly lit walk will include two glasses of wine or beer and delicious cheese offerings. houstonarboretum.org/events/sip-stroll/
L I G H T I N G F E S T I V I T I E S & T R E E FA R M S
Houston Arboretum 5:30pm. Age: 21+. $40 member/$45 nonmember
Craft: Customized Trinket Box Stop by the center to pick up a kit of unfinished wooden trinket box kit. Once finished, the box can be used as a treasure chest, jewelry box, or gift container. hcp4.net/mhc
Take home craft Mangum-Howell Center 11am-1pm. All ages
Goldilocks and the three plays This engaging play teaches the 3 essential parts of a story (Beginning, Middle and End) and explores characterization. The central character “Tiffany” pretends to be Goldilocks, The Big Bad Wolf, and The Troll in the familiar stories about the 3 bears, 3 pigs and 3 Billy Goats. milleroutdoortheatre.com Virtual 10am. All ages
VIRTUAL Children’s Story Time Join in for a virtual sing-a-long and reading by AndyRoo & the AndyRooniverse and a special reading from iWrite Literacy Foundation. facebook.com/midtownHOU Virtual 11:30am. All ages
NOVEMBER 18 Coffee Cake Book Club Coffee Cake Book Club meets the third Wednesday of each month to discuss contemporary and classic authors with like-minded individuals. Email Valerie at firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation. bluewillowbookshop.com Virtual 11am. Age: 15+
Nature Story Time and Discovery Center Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5
NOVEMBER 19 Reading: Words & Art You are invited to an evening of poetry and prose. Houston-based authors and poets share new works inspired by the exhibition A Counting. Virtual reading 6:30pm. Age 15+
NOVEMBER 20 Play a Game, Create a Story! Let’s roll a story. This activity is a lot of fun for the whole family! iwrite.org/creative-writing-activities/ roll-a-story/ Virtual All day. All ages
The Carrier (Nov. 20-22) A post office in Houston’s Third Ward, 2020. Supervisor M. Bell’s recent promotion threatens to drive a wedge between her and her postal carrier friends and subordinates. eventbrite.com/e/the-carrier-by-patrinarandolph-tickets-125184096001 Virtual 8pm. All ages
Old Time Christmas Tree Farm,- Spring Texas Ruth & Rene Photography TREE LIGHTING & FESTIVITIES Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular (Nov. 30) Ring in the season with the Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular in the heart of downtown Houston. The spectacular event is a holiday tradition of music, lighting the official tree, Santa, and family fun which will be reimagined this year to follow health and safety guidelines. houstontx.gov/mayorsholiday
Holiday Lighting Celebration (November 24) The historic Hotel Galvez & Spa invites guests to celebrate the start of the holidays with the official City of Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration, a special appearance by Santa Claus, and live holiday entertainment by local performers. hotelgalvez.com
CHRISTMAS TREE FARMS
Houston’s Got Bollywood and Dance
Zoo Lights (November 14-January 10, 2021)
It’s the best of the best of Bollywood Dance Theater at The Miller! Combining several years of previous Houston’s Got Bollywood, showcasing diverse dance styles like Hip hop, Folk, Indian Contemporary and Bollywood Fusion. milleroutdoortheatre.com
300,000 LED lights illuminating more than 50 animal-themed light displays, 15 miles of tree-lighting, and seasonal songs and stories. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the Zoo and take in the whimsical colorful projections over 15 feet tall, life-size lighted animal sculptures. houstonzoo.org
7705 FM 362, Brookshire
The Nutcracker (Nov. 21 & 22)
Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas (November 13 January 3)
14558 Tree Farm Road, Magnolia
Enjoy the magic at Gaylord’s winter wonderland with 2 million lights, a 54foot-tall Christmas tree, family events of snow tubing, gingerbread decorating corner and build-a-bear workshop. Christmasatgaylordtexan.com
9029 Mustang Bayou Road, Manvel
Virtual. 7pm. All ages
This fairytale ballet boasts an enchanting Tchaikovsky musical score and a timeless story of a child’s belief that good triumphs over evil and that dreams really can come true. Our young cast of dancers invites you to share their journey to the magical Kingdom of Sweets. woodlandscenter.org The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 2pm & 8pm. All ages
VIRTUAL Family Capoeira Try a virtual Family Capoeira class, a unique Afro-Brazilian martial art that develops discipline, coordination, strength, and rhythm. Instruction is provided by the Brazilian Cultural Institute and is open to family of all sizes and skill levels. facebook.com/midtownHOU Virtual 10am. All ages
Uptown Holiday Lighting (November 24) This fun-filled family event kicks off the holiday season with more than half a million twinkling lights, a sparkling electric light parade, an exciting holiday stage show and a special appearance by Santa Claus. The annual festivity will be adapted to follow new health guidelines. uptown-houston.com.
Dewberry Farm dewberryfarm.com
Spring Creek Growers springcreekgrowers.com
23803 Decker Prairie-Rosehill Road, Magnolia
Red Caboose Christmas Tree Farm Holiday Acres
High Star Christmas Tree Farm highstarfarm.com
19020 Becker Road, Hockley
Old Time Christmas Tree Farm oldtimechristmastree.com
7632 Spring Cypress Rd. Spring
Double Creek Farm
1288 Oakdale Loop, Livingston
33 houston family magazine
the big to do | C A L E N D A R O F E V E N T S NOW EXHIBITING | MUSEUM CALENDAR
Young Audiences of Houston: Visual Arts workshop Young Audiences of Houston offers family friendly, live art experiences perfect for a wide variety of ages. Levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 1pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 22 Baytown Nature Center Great place to spend the morning, bring the whole family for a fun educational adventure. Then stay to picnic, hike, or fish. baytown.org
Houston Museum of Natural Science photo: Brandy Dykes photography
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS HOUSTON
Temporary Hours of Operation
Wednesday 11am-5pm, Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am6pm, Sunday 12:30pm- 6pm Monday- closed except selected holidays, Tuesday – closed
Inaugural Installations: Kinder Building The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building is dedicated to the Museum’s international collections of modern and contemporary art.
Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library The collections of the New York–based Hispanic Society Museum & Library focus on the art and culture of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines, from antiquity to the early 20th century. Through January 3, 2021
HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE
Cockrell Butterfly Center Embark on a tropical adventure in a living butterfly habitat! The rainforest conservatory, complete with thousands of live butterflies, tropical plants and a zen waterfall is enjoyed by guests of all ages.
Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life The exhibit delivers a breathtaking encounter with the inner workings of the human body and shows the effects of poor health, good health and lifestyle choices.
Baytown Nature Center. 6213 Bayway Dr. Baytown. 10am-noon. All ages.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm., Sat. 10am5pm., Sun. 12-5pm
Mandela: Struggle for Freedom The U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects, explores the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. Through January 3, 2021
GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes This interactive exhibition tells the story of the bicycle from inception to present day. Visitors learn how bikes work; what the history/evolution of the bike is; the science and technology behind the machine; and how bikes have impacted our culture. Through May 21, 2021
Mercer Botanic Gardens 9am-12:30pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 24 Tough Broads Out at Night Book Club Tough Broads Book Club meets the fourth Tuesday of each month to discuss contemporary and classic authors. Email Valerie at girlboss@bluewillowbookshop. com for an invitation. Virtual 7pm. All ages
Join HCCC from home to explore craft artists, exhibitions, hands-on activities, and more! crafthouston.org/learn/virtual-learning Virtual All day. Age 5+
NOVEMBER 27 Shadow Box: Virtual Open Studio
Virtual Open Studio All day. Age 5+
Renowned mezzo-soprano and HGO Studio alumna Jamie Barton stars as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s one-woman opera. Based on an episode of Child’s TV program, The French Chef, brings audiences into the chef’s storied kitchen as she bakes a chocolate cake. houstongrandopera.org/events-tickets/ hgo-digital/bon-appetit/ virtual 7:30pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 28 HMNS: plants and pollinators The Houston Museum of Natural Science comes to Levy Park to offer an opportunity to learn firsthand from Museum experts. Levyparkhsouton.org Levy Park 2pm. All ages
NOVEMBER 29 Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Br’er Rabbit A fun-packed combination of AfricanAmerican folklore and American popular culture, Br’er Rabbit is family entertainment that focuses on the Golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” milleroutdoortheatre.com Virtual 10am. All ages
NOVEMBER 25 Nature Story Time and Discovery Center Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring
houston family magazine
Craft: Papier Mache Letters
Houston Grand Opera presents HGO Digital: Bon Appetit!
THE HEALTH MUSEUM
FREE on Thursdays 2-7pm
Let your children connect with nature while creating a unique pressed leaf coaster that makes a perfect autumn gift or décor for the holiday table. hcp4.net/parks/mercer
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9am-5pm., Thurs. 9am-7pm., Sun. 12-5pm
Make Your Own Pressed Leaf Coaster (Nov. 23 & 24)
October 17 – May 31, 2021
Admission: $10 adult, $8 senior 65+, free for children under 2
Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5
Create a mixed media collage within a box to share your favorite memories of family and friends. camh.org
your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org
An estimated 300,000 Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the Waugh Bridge every evening at dusk to find food. Buffalobayou.org Waugh Bridge Dusk. All ages
NOVEMBER 30 Craft: Colorful Branch Bouquet Join HCCC from home to explore craft artists, exhibitions, hands-on activities, and more! crafthouston.org/learn/virtual-learning Virtual All day. Age 5+
Learn at home . . . OUR home!
Novemb er 2 02 0 G A LV E S T O N H O L I D AY F E S T I V I T I E S
Education is more challenging this year. Moody Mansion helps teach history and other social studies – as well as subjects like architecture and the decorative arts – in a safe, no-touch environment. The gift shop features books on Galveston and Texas history, geography and nature.
Moody Mansion Open daily at 2618 Broadway • Galveston Island moodymansion.org • (409) 762-7668 •
Dickens on the Strand, Galveston
The holiday season on Galveston Island is full of tradition, from its popular Festival of Lights to the renowned Victorian festival Dickens on The Strand. This year, the island’s family friendly festivities will continue with adjustments and new guidelines for social distancing and health safety. Holiday in the Gardens (Nov. 21 – Jan. 2)
Stroll through Festival of Lights, a mile-long trail of illuminated holiday displays, live music, festive food and more. Other attractions include an Arctic Ice Slide, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D experience, Holiday 3D films and train rides. Moodygardens.org
A Railroad Christmas (Nov. 27 through Dec. 23)
Visitors will have the opportunity to get a socially distanced photo with Santa as Mr. Claus. On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can enjoy Movies at the Museum in the courtyard. galvestonrrmuseum.org
Dickens on the Squares (Dec. 5-6)
This year’s Victorian festival will be held at separate locations. The event will offer guests timed, ticketed access to specially crafted Dickens experiences at the following locations: Hendley Green, Old Galveston Square, Saengerfest Park, Galveston Historic Seaport, and Pier 22. galvestonhistory.org
Holiday with the Cranes (Dec. 12)
Bird lovers can learn about them and see them up close. A presentation and self-guided field trips on the island’s West End is included. galvestonnaturetourism.org
The Santa Hustle (Dec. 20)
Santas, Santas everywhere! The Santa Hustle returns to Galveston for a 5K and marathon on Dec. 20. Participants will receive a Santa hoody, hat, beard and buff, and they’ll enjoy festive snacks along the way. A portion of race registration proceeds will benefit the Galveston County Food Bank. www.santahustle.com.
35 houston family magazine
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G | H O L I DAY C A M P S S P O T L I G H T
How will you know which camp is the best fit for your child? There are a number of factors to consider. Among the most important questions to ask, however, are whether the camp will have activities that appeal to your child, and how comfortable you both are with the camp environment. When it’s the right one, kids have a great time and come home with many happy memories. Check out our holiday camp spotlight for camps offered during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.
ALLIANCE FENCING ACADEMY Ages 5-14 Dec 21-24, 2020 Alliance Fencing Academy’s winter camps are an opportunity for your child to have fun while picking up skills that will last a lifetime. Our camps are ideal for parents looking to help their children maximize their time off during holiday breaks with different sessions for all levels.
Locations in Houston & The Woodlands www.alliance-fencing-academy.com
CAMP ALLEN Family Camp Nov 6-8, 20-22 and Dec 11-13 Camp Allen is offering (2) different camps this holiday season. Fall Stays are available two weekends in November. The family can retreat out to the Piney Woods on Camp Allen’s 1200-acre compound for a couple of days of fishing, hiking, biking, tennis and more! Or, head on out his December for Holiday in the Pines! This is one for the books! Ziplining, Rock Climbing, Archery, Sledding, Horseback Riding and more! Plan to be sipping hot chocolate around the campfire with your family under the stars in Navasota. www.campallen.org
Bring Back the Joy Thanksgiving Camp and Winter Camp
houston family magazine
KIDVENTURE Ages 3-11 Nov 23-24 and Dec. 21-23 and 28-30
AT CAMP ALLEN
Relaxing stays for family, friends and individuals.
Kidventure’s Holiday Camp is a 26 year Houston tradition. We’ve crafted two amazing Holiday Camps for kids. Each is designed to make your child’s time off extra memorable, fun, and rewarding. Kidventure will be providing both Thanksgiving Camp and Winter Camp at select Houston locations. Be a part of the magic and make your camper’s holiday one they will never forget. Numerous Houston locations www.Kidventure.com
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ACADEMY Ages 5-15 Dec. 21-24 and Dec. 28-31 TNBA Houston Holiday Basketball Camp are an excellent way for boys and girls of all ages to improve their game and have a blast at the same time. During our basketball experience, the participants will learn a variety of drills to make him or her a more complete basketball player. All aspects of the game will be covered and coached by our highly trained and qualified TNBA coaches. The kids will have a chance to use what they learned in a variety of fun competitions. We hope you join us this Holiday and take your game to the next level! https://tnbabasketball.com/rockets/#register
Looking for a secluded get-a-way this Fall? We've got the perfect solution to social distancing: 1,200 acres of Piney Woods!
FALL STAYS INCLUDE: 2 nights hotel lodging, served meals in dining room with private table for each family, hike & bike trails, 2 lakes for fishing, disc golf, pickleball, volleyball, and tennis courts, park & pavilion access, an outdoor movie (weather & attendance permitting.)
We have the following weekends available for Fall Stays:
For more information or to register online visit campallen.org
PINECOVE CHRISTIAN WINTERFEST Grades 1-12 Dec 18-20 What better way to celebrate Christmas than by decking the halls with friends, old and new, all weekend? Use code HFM2020 to receive 15% off the price! 2 Locations – East or Central Texas www.pinecove.com/winterfest/
YMCA GREATER HOUSTON Ages 5-12 Thanksgiving and Winter break camps Beyond the bell! School breaks will be here before you know it! Join us for our YMCA Holiday Camps where your child will have a blast participating in a wide-array of enrichment activities, fun and games. Camp at the Y is about discovery. Kids will find unknown talents, try new activities and make lasting friendships and memories. Space is limited, so register in advance! 26 locations – Check for specific dates & times www.ymcahouston.org
CLASSES AVAILABLE IN
HOUSTON & THE WOODLANDS
Enroll Today For Boys & Girls Ages 5 and Up • Teenagers & Adults Home of 4 World Champions, 2 Olympic Medalists and over 30 US National Champions
ALLIANCE-FENCING-ACADEMY.COM November 2020
37 houston family magazine
DON’T PUT YOUR HEALTH ON HOLD
SCHEDULE AN IN-PERSON OR VIRTUAL VISIT TODAY. Routine checkups are essential to long-term health. That’s why Memorial Hermann Medical Group has put enhanced safety measures in place at all locations, ensuring every visit is a safe one. Whether you opt to see your doctor in person or through a Virtual Office Visit, you can get the care you need with peace of mind. To schedule a same-day or next-day appointment, call 832.658.MHMG (6464).
Advancing health. Personalizing care. houston family magazine