Houston Family Magazine January 2020

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january 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 1


The Grand 1894 Opera House


20/20 VISION





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

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

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features|in this issue 8 10

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on the cover

HFM Kid Ambassadors take the stage at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston dressed as characters from past performances. Brianna, Conrad, Ryanne, Michael, Jack, Cailyn, McKenna, Alexa & Grace Cover Photo by Pop of Color Photography houston family magazine


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the grand 1894 opera house

Celebrating 125 years of performances

curing caroline

A story of hope and family love


family fyi


publisher's note



Local Tips and Happenings

Welcome to the New Year!

Best Reads from Blue Willow Bookshop


mind, body & soul


i am houston




father knows best


family travel

20/20 Vision: Focused, Calm, Grounded Ghazal Qureshi, Founder of Idea Lab Kids

Jennifer Steil, Financial Planner at Northwestern Mutual Ways to Handle Stress

Ski Getaway to Tremblant, Quebec

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

happy family, happy life

8 simple secrets of happy families

12 ways to exercise

Without spending a dime

help your child do well in school Tips from elementary through college


galveston museum day


the big to-do

announcing our 2020 hfm kid ambassadors


education directory

Experience everything Galveston has to offer

See our new team of kids

Activities for Families

read us online at houstonfamilymagazine.com

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





Houston Filmmaker Premiere Honoring Hurricane Harvey Heroes


ocal filmmaker, Syed Hasan, captured the integrity of the Houston community during its time of crisis in 2017 as Hurricane Harvey devastated the city. As everyday heroes came to the rescue of those in despair, the city became “Houston Strong”. The film 100 Boats was developed to pay homage to the incredible generosity of the individuals from near and far whose contributions made the difference between life and death. The premiere will take place on Thursday, January 9th, 2020 at The Landmark River Oaks Theater. Red carpet arrivals will begin at 7pm with the film premiere to begin at 7:30pm. The film has a run time of 40 minutes. The local honorees, chosen by Hasan for their heroism and unparalleled spirit, will be present and receive special recognition during the event. General admission for the film is $10.00 and tickets are available for purchase at www.100boatsfilm.com.

New in Town


or those looking to add premium CBD products to their health regime in 2020, The Apothecary’s proprietary products are some of the best in town. I recently visited The Apothecary, a Houstonbased, female founded CBD company to check out their in-house product line which includes oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, bath and beauty products, as well as its line of products for pets, The Apawthecary. Houstonians can shop The Apothecary’s products in-store at 1208 W. Gray Street in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, all shoppers can make purchases on their site, www.theapothecarystores.com.

By donating your used bricks, you can help share the power of play with children who need it most. If you are like me, you probably have bins of Legos around your house that haven’t been touched in years. Clean out those bins and give back – win – win! Visit this website to receive your free shipping label and together we can Rebuild The World! http://givebackbox.com/lego/

Grand Opening Save the date for Stages Theatre’s Grand Opening Celebration of The Gordy. Come and get your first look at all three stages in action. Ribbon cutting ceremony at 2pm. Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 800 Rosine Street, Houston, Texas. For more information visit www.stagestheatre.com.




or all those looking to get their kiddos involved in T-Ball, Baseball or Softball, now is the time to register. Before you know it, registrations will close and your kids will be forced to wait another year before they can play. Visit Houstonfamilymagazine.com for listing of sports associations in your neighborhood. january 2020

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publisher's note Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change. jim rohn

Kim celebrating the graduation of her daughter Dr. Latesa Guerra along with her mother Beverly.


feel like this year is such a milestone for many people in my world. Last year was a year of change, upheaval, purging and planning. This year, it’s all about new beginnings. New beginnings in relationships. Have you found yourself stuck in a rut? Fighting with your kids or your significant others? You know you are not a tree, right? You can move. You can change directions. Assess what the obstacles/challenges are in your world and realistically look and see what changes can be made. It could be as simple as waking up earlier to have more ‘you’ time in the morning before dealing with your day to selling your home and moving to a new city for a fresh start. Whatever you need, take the time to realize that you can make a different choice.

New beginnings for your family. My sister and brotherin-law are expecting their first, my newly married daughter is buying a new home and opening a practice with her husband, and one of my staff is having her third baby! Lots of baby love in the HFM office this year! New beginnings/endings at HFM! Some of the staff is leaving, promotions are happening, newbies are starting. We have launched Houston BABY Magazine as a quarterly this year to better serve the growing population! We have added Rice University as a 4th location to Camp Fair this year! We are collaborating with more local writers, bloggers, business owners to offer more editorial in both print, video and online to address the latest hot topics of discussion facing parents today. And, last but not least,

Want to become part of the HFM Family?


january 2020

Kimberly Davis Guerra kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

online editor Dr. 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 Sandra Gordon Patrick & J.L Hempfing Christa Melnyk Hines Elizabeth Irvine Casey Johnson Chantal Lemieux Pam Molnar

contributing photographers

we have a new crop of Kid Ambassadors to introduce you to for 2020! Be sure to take a look at our newest recruits, check out their videos and their stories. We look forward to getting to know them better, helping them to find their voices and passions, explore new adventures and make new friends along the way. We will miss the 2019 crew, but are confident that the next class will shine bigger & brighter based on the stellar examples set by the 2019 Kid Ambassadors. We thank them for all of their energy, laughter & light they brought to our world. Here’s hoping your 2020 turns out to be one for the books! Happy New Year to you & yours!

Kimberly Davis Guerra

We are currently looking for interns, marketing and sales professionals. Interested? Email bev@houstonfamilymagazine.com houston family magazine


Pop of Color Photography Quy Tran Photography

business development Myra Johnson

advertising sales Beverly Davis Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty


Gayle Wheeler-LeSueur, Graphic Designer


Midway Press, Ltd Dallas, TX

contact us:

1334 Brittmoore Rd. #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 ©2019 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited.



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

My Art Book of Sleep by Shana Gozansky

Sleep is part of every child’s day... and this board book has 35 fullpage artworks featuring sleep, accompanied by a brief, tender, readaloud text.

Check out the whole Baby Medical School Series!

My Doctor’s Visit by Cara Florance

Ever wonder what a stethoscope does, or what a doctor is searching for when looking in your ear? Here’s a good explanation for the very young.

Just Feel: How To Be Stronger, Happier, Healthier, and More

What To Know: The Bicycle

by Mallika Chopra

With full-color illustrations, this is an engaging and easy-to-read guide that introduces kids to the building blocks of resilience and grit.

by Lucas Arnoldussen

This informative picture book shares facts about bicycles and includes rhymes, a mini-quiz, a pullout page, and more to keep kids interested as they learn.

This Moment Is Your Life (And So Is This One) by Mariam Gates

This lively, hands-on guide to meditation, mindfulness, and yoga is a perfect introduction for tweens and teens.

Teen Chef Cooks by Eliana de Las Casas

Chef Eliana inspires kids, teens, and families to embrace seasonal cooking and to use fresh, local ingredients when possible.

The Complete Cookbook For Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen

Using kid-tested and approved recipes, America’s Test Kitchen has created THE cookbook every kid chef needs on their shelf.

The Healthy Teen Cookbook by Remmi Smith

Teen master chef Remmi Smith is on a mission to bring healthy and easy recipes to the busy teenagers of today.

Inspire Healthy Eating Habits at a Young Age with these Teen Cook Books. january 2020

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photo by Mark Britain

the grand 1894 opera house celebrates 125th season!


by Kimberly Davis-Guerra

an you imagine what life was like in 1894 in Galveston? According to The County Information Program, Texas Association of Counties, the population in 1890 Galveston was approximately 31,476. Compared to the over 291,000 today, it seems tiny. Less than the half the size of today’s student population at Texas A&M! However, think about how many people that was on that island. The first gasoline powered automobile wasn’t even available yet, so folks definitely stuck close to home. Life centered around their home, church and community. Entertainment was extremely hard to come by until....The

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Grand Opera House opened on January 3rd, 1895. Hailed as one of American theatre’s finest creations, Galveston’s Grand Opera House was built to last. It has survived the Great Storm of 1900, Hurricanes Carla, Alicia, Ike & Harvey as well as countless tropical storms. The Great Depression came & went. The population grew and popular interests changed along with it. However, The Grand 1894 Opera House has stood the test of time and is looking better than ever. As one of the few American theatres actually constructed for live performances, this venue offers a unique experience for the average patron. From the moment you enter the building,

you can feel the history oozing out of every nook & cranny. From the minute you are greeted by the gorgeous statue at the foot of the red carpeted staircase, you feel transported back in time. Back to a day when going to the theatre was a luxury not afforded by most. Being transported into a story surrounded by the opulence of The Grand 1894 Opera House surely must have been the talk of the town when the velvet curtains were drawn back on opening night back in 1895, because it still feels that way today. What The Grand 1894 Opera House lacks for in size, it only seats approximately 1,000, it makes up for in character. The thoughtful design allows

every patron to experience the performance with the best view. Designed in a non-traditional manner at the time, the curved seating offers viewers, big & small an opportunity to witness excellence on the very large stage! Whether you choose to be on the first, second or third floors, you are in for a treat! Over the years, The Grand 1894 Opera House has showcased extremely popular artists as well as the best kept secrets. Some of the standout performances have been by the great BB King, our own Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. Theater performances include Annie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cabaret, Miss Saigon, Rent, the Sound of Music and so many more.

Grand Opera House Interior photo courtesy of Rosenberg Library

K I C K I N G O F F 2020, T H E G R A N D 1894 OPERA IS OFFERING 12 SHOWS BETWEEN J A N U A RY – M AY. A L L A R E FA M I LYF R I E N D LY A N D O F F E R SOMETHING FOR E V E RYO N E ! • The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston • The Oak Ridge Boys • Finding Neverland • Lyle Lovett

photo courtesy of Rosenberg Library

1900 storm damage photo courtesy of Rosenberg Library

JOIN THE C E L E B R AT I O N ! If you are interested in celebrating the 125th Anniversary, tickets start at $125 for A Night of Stars on January 3, 2020. Dress as your favorite character from one of the theater’s past shows and enjoy music by Rob Landes and scrumptious cuisine by some of the best Galveston has to offer!

• An American in Paris • One Night of Queen


Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 25th Anniversary! 10am – 5pm Tons of Free Fun! Mark your calendars now to celebrate with The Grand 1894 Opera House as they present the 25th annual Grand Kids Festival. It’s sure to be a day filled with non-stop performances and art activities on Postoffice Street in Galveston’s historic downtown Cultural Arts District between 20th and 23rd Streets. New this year: • Inspirational Ground Stickers - Inspirational quotes re: art on the grounds throughout the festival. • 3 selfie stations - one on each block • Speed painter Jessica Haas • New Musical guests, New Storytellers, New Artists, The Mobile Dairy Classroom & more! Old friends coming back for the celebration include: • Missoula Children’s Theatre with Beauty Lou and the Country Beast • Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet theatre with Thimbelina

• Beautiful: The Carole King Musical • Yamato – the Drummers of Japan • Rob Landes Trio • VIVA MOMIX • The Texas Tenors • The Temptations Subscriptions are available. Tickets@thegrand.com Support the Official Opera House of Texas as deemed by the Texas Historical Commission and transport yourself back in time. Back to days when life was a little bit slower, families were a little bit tighter and a night at the theatre made you feel special. Visit the 1894 Grand Opera House and play your part in helping to continue the history being made every day within those beautiful walls.

• Smart Family Literacy • Toni Simmons • Dave Kleevan “Critterman” • Sky Kings Birds of Prey • United Freestyle stunt Bike Team

photo by Allen Sheffield

For the latest information on The Grand Kids Festival, please visit the festival website at www.GrandKidsFestival.com. january 2020

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A Story of Hope and Family Love by Kimberly Davis-Guerra | photos by Quy Tran Photography


ouston Family Magazine’s mission is to empower families to lead their best lives in this wonderful city of ours. As a part of my job, I like to get out in the community, meet new people, and hear their stories—it helps me understand what parents need, what they care about, and what obstacles real families are facing in our city today. When I met Keri Henry and she spoke about raising awareness about her niece Caroline’s rare illness, I immediately knew that this was the kind of story that other families in our community needed to hear— not just to raise awareness about the disease itself and the potential implications that Caroline’s treatment may have for countless other patients, but

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because of the inspiring way Caroline’s family has banded together in pursuit of her treatment, and the remarkable circumstances that led to her being diagnosed and treated for an illness that is still a mystery to so many. Caroline has Charcot-MarieTooth (CMT) disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, CMT is a group of inherited disorders that cause nerve damage. This damage shows itself mostly in the arms and legs, or the peripheral nerves of the body, and eventually leads to muscle atrophy all over the body. In Caroline’s case, the first affected were her respiratory muscles, making everyday breathing tough and the common cold potentially fatal. Caroline first began to show symptoms when she was only

nine months old. Although specialists were initially unable to pinpoint exactly what was wrong with her, she had one advantage other children in her situation almost never do: her grandfather happens to be a well-known pediatric neurosurgeon. Caroline’s grandfather, Dr. Stephen Fletcher, has been practicing medicine since 1979. He started his neurosurgical career at Hermann Hospital, where he has remained since 1985. He was acting Chief of Neurosurgery at Hermann Hospital in the late 80s, Chief of Surgery at Kingwood Medical Center from 1992 to 2001, and Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at UT Children’s Memorial from 2003 until 2011. Dr. Fletcher’s research interests have included congenital facial and

Caroline with her grandfather, Dr. Fletcher

skull anomalies in children, brain tumors in dogs, and in utero surgery for fetuses with spina bifida defects. He now has a new focus: peripheral nerve disease caused by genetic mutation. At this point in time, Caroline’s disease is incurable. However, over the past seven years, considerable progress has been made. Dr. Fletcher and a team of scientists, geneticists, and doctors have helped develop a therapy for Caroline with potential implications for the treatment of over 2.8 million other patients. To simplify an explanation of an extremely complex process, the research team has discovered a way to attach a piece of a “good gene” to a virus that eventually goes to every cell in the body, blocking the “bad gene” from expressing itself. This type of personalized gene therapy has incredible implications for the future of medicine—especially for the millions of patients like Caroline who have an inherited form of a rare disease, like muscular dystrophy or ALS. The Fletcher family is in a race against time to find the remaining $2.6 million for

funding the treatment that could reverse Caroline’s rare disease—and, if successful, be applied to millions of other patients. Once Caroline gets this treatment, Dr. Fletcher already has a team in place to begin to restore the use of muscles that have been inactive for seven years. Like the program Fletcher’s team has developed for personalized gene therapy, this new treatment for muscular regeneration has the potential to be revolutionary, not just for Caroline, but for countless other patients suffering from ailments ranging from degenerative muscular illnesses to spinal injuries, restoring muscles that would otherwise have remained unusable and allowing them to regain mobility that otherwise might be lost forever. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed thinking about medical innovations that could change the lives of so many people—millions who are suffering now, and countless others who may never have to suffer the way Caroline and her family have suffered. In some ways, the idea of an experimental, theoretical cure remains just that—theoretical

Caroline with her aunt, grandfather, twin brother and cousins.

and difficult to fully absorb, especially for those of us who aren’t research scientists. What is very apparent and easy for anyone to understand, though, is the love Caroline’s family, especially her grandfather, has

for her. After working all day at the hospital, Dr. Fletcher can most often be found working with Caroline in the pool or sleeping by her bedside— whatever support she needs. To him, it’s simple: january 2020

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Caroline enjoying a walk with her grandfather.

“Caroline is tough, lovable, and anyone would do the same for their loved one. It only seems natural to devote this energy. ...She rarely complains, and her twisted body is for others to see. She sees herself as complete and the real deal. She is competitive, appreciative, and outshines all.” For parents of children with special needs, daily life can be overwhelming. Support and compassion from knowledgeable communities is essential. For families dealing with problems similar to those Caroline and the Fletchers have faced, Dr. Fletcher recommends the American Brain Tumor Association, Hydrocephalus Association, and The Charcot Marie Association of America. Personally, I have found that getting to know the Fletcher family has made me reflect on the way children with special needs are often perceived by outsiders, compared to the very different way their loved ones

see them. While out and about, I have seen many parents look away when they encounter children with special needs. However, their own children are often curious, innocently asking what is “wrong” with the other child. If your child asks you these kinds of questions, I encourage you to take the opportunity to demonstrate kindness and empathy. Teach your children that these kids are the same inside as they are. They all want the same things: to be happy, to play, to be loved, and to be seen for their potential rather than their limitations. You can look for more information on Caroline and her journey on social media @ CuringCaroline. Looking for charitable contributions? Please consider donating to this local and personal cause that will not help just one, but many: www. cmtausa.org/cure-caroline. As we begin a new year and a new decade, there’s no time like the present to

prioritize your own and your family’s health. If you have suspicions that something is not quite right with your child and their development, speak up and seek out medical professionals, support groups, and organizations that might be able to help. According to Dr. Fletcher, you can never “annoy” your doctor when it comes to getting to the root of your child’s health concerns—it’s their job to support you. Stay tuned to Houston Family Magazine to watch Caroline as an HFM Kid Ambassador—we look forward to helping her explore all that our wonderful city has to offer in 2020!

Caroline is tough, lovable, and anyone would do the same for their loved one. It only seems natural to devote this energy. ...She rarely complains, and her twisted body is for others to see. She sees herself as complete and the real deal. She is competitive, appreciative, and outshines all.

If you or anyone you know might suffer from CMT, Dr. Fletcher wants to hear from you personally. You can email Dr. Fletcher directly at pedibrainsurgeon@gmail.com. You can also contact Keri Henry, Caroline’s aunt and the director of Curing Caroline, at kerifhenry@gmail.com. Donations can be made at www.cmtausa.org/cure-caroline houston family magazine


january 2020


20/20 VISION

focused. calm. grounded


written by Elizabeth Irvine

ife, as you know it-- the flurry of busyness, the constant spin-cycle and repeat. What if, family, work and all responsibilities are left behind? There is an opening, much like cracking open a window on a beautiful day. In this new free void, wide open space is brought forward from a sense of no worry and no giving to everyone else first, she came back to her own power and remembered who she was. January is a month to set fresh intentions for positive change. The New Year brings with it the opportunity to begin again. 2020, a vision, a chance to see clearly. Whether you are taking a quiet moment for yourself (or attending a retreat with other like-minded souls).

A STRONG 20/20 VISION STARTS WITH CLARITY. Take a moment to ask yourself these questions: • What do I love to do? • What are my unique talents? • How do I feel when everything seems to be in alignment, and things tend to fall into place? • What kind of environment do I want to live in? Now, use these questions to help you form a new moto, a new direction for 2020. WHAT IS GETTING IN YOUR WAY? For me, it’s all about removing what gets in the way of appreciating the abundance that is already there. To give the tensions of the

mind a much need reprieve. In quiet sacred space, shifts occur that change the direction of your life-- harmonious, happy and joyfilled, is how we are meant to live. In this new place, other habits spontaneously fall away without much effort or suppression. To retreat is to temporarily leave behind the usual distractions we all face, for long enough to allow a deep sense of true relaxation, hear the whispers of your heart and allow an inner shift to occur. A retreat can be a major turning point in your life. It’s a time to leave your routine and familiar environment and join likemind women to explore possibilities for positive change and bring a new inspired way of living for yourself and those around you. Truewellbeing is offering a weekend retreat in June 2020 in the mystical Santa Fe, New Mexico.

TWENTY-TWENTY VISION SOUL SPACE RETREAT June 12-14, 2020 For details www.truewellbeing/retreat january 2020

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happy family, happy life Learn eight simple secrets of happy families by Christa Melnyk Hines

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appiness can vary depending on our personal circumstances. But why are some families more resilient and happier despite the obstacles life throws their way? THEY HANG OUT TOGETHER. Happy families feel a strong sense of connection with each other. According to childfamily therapist Jennifer Jackson-Rice, LSCSW/LSCW, real connection takes as little as five minutes a day. Sit next to each other during homework time, cook together, read books at bedtime, and chat with each while driving to activities. Create calmer, more cheerful mornings by prepping the night before or getting yourself up a little earlier. “That connection in the first part of the day can carry kids throughout the day,” JacksonRice says. Michelle Hon, a mom of two boys, ages 4 and 2, agrees. She says that the first 30 minutes in the morning and the last 30 minutes before bedtime helps her family feel grounded, calm and loved. “We do a lot of snuggles and cuddles in the morning, and we try not to make that a rushed time in our home,” Hon says. In the evening, she and her husband Michael stick to a bedtime routine with their sons, which includes reading books together and quietly reflecting on the day. THEY CHEER FOR EACH OTHER. Celebrate your kids’ interests and successes by acknowledging their efforts rather than zeroing in on what went wrong: • “I loved watching you play.” • “I like how you colored this so neatly!” • “Great job on your test. I can tell you really concentrated.” “When we praise our children, self-esteem goes up. When self-esteem is high, connection

is good, behaviors are good,” Jackson-Rice says. THEY SEEK FULFILLMENT. While material items like the latest electronics, designer jeans and trendy toys may bring fleeting joy, they won’t deliver lasting contentment. “I don’t think we can teach our kids to be happy if we’re looking to external sources to feed that emotion,” says Cati Winkel, a parent coach. And that includes looking to others for validation of self-worth, which can result in behaviors like people-pleasing or obsessing over likes on social media. “This is where we get a lot of shame. People become really unhappy because they have unrealistic expectations to live up to,” Winkel says. Research suggests that children, who grow up to be happier adults, are encouraged early on to engage in activities that they enjoy and that help them develop their strengths. Foster their innate sense of curiosity and explore a variety of activities with your kids, ranging from hobbies to volunteer work. The intrinsic rewards of participating in activities that deliver personal gratification contributes to positive selfesteem and confidence. THEY EAT TOGETHER. Multiple research studies show that eating dinner together can lower the incidence of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression. Kids who dine with their parents are more likely to have higher grade point averages, higher self-esteem and even stronger vocabularies. If possible, turn off the TV and put aside electronics to be in the moment around your dinner table with your family. “Sometimes we forget that life needs to be simple. It’s ok to sit around the table and have dinner together. In the quest for bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, we forget to simply be still,”

Jackson-Rice says. “We forget to simply connect...to be with our kids.” THEY SHOW AFFECTION. Families today face plenty of stress. One simple antidote is to hug more. “An eight-second hug is one of the best ways to give and get self-care,” Winkel says. “An eight-second hug releases oxytocin and great feel-good, stress-relieving hormones. Hug your babies. Hug your kids. Hug your partner.” Hon’s youngsters show affection for people who visit them by blowing kisses and waving goodbye when it’s time for their visitors to depart. “From an adult perspective, I know we’re expressing gratitude and making people feel loved and valued and that makes me really happy,” Hon says. “There’s nothing like getting kisses blown to you from a two-year-old from the street!” THEY GOOF OFF. Play and laugh together. “Then, your kids get to experience you as human,” Winkel says. Sing together in the car, make up zany songs when it’s time to brush teeth, exchange riddles or jokes, jam to funky music in your living room, or make a funny face to defuse a tense situation. Manage power struggles playfully. Is your preschooler refusing to get dressed? Respond by dramatically trying to put their clothes on. “It helps them lighten up a little bit. We don’t have to be all serious all of the time,” Winkel says. Also, follow your child’s lead. Play dolls, legos or craft together. If your child likes to bike ride, explore new trails together. Schedule a family board game night or play video games together. Jackson-Rice says her two teens love Snapchat so she signed up for the app too. “They love it when I’m snapping a picture of what I’m doing. It’s a little silly for me, but that’s the way they connect

and what they’re passionate about right now,” she says. THEY CREATE COMMUNITY. Not all parents can rely on their family of origin to provide positive emotional and practical support. If this is the case for you, focus on building friendships through your neighborhood, church, or your child’s school. The Hons rely on a family of “adopted” aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas to help them with their youngsters, which also helps them nurture their marriage. “My kids go to the zoo all of the time with a little set of aunties that we have,” Hon says. “That’s their thing. That allows my husband and I to have quiet time in our house or quality time out.” THEY HONOR EMOTIONS. Empathize with your child when they’re upset, listen and validate their feelings and verbally label their emotions. Avoid taking your child’s behavior personally or rushing to fix their problems. Given the opportunity, kids can often peacefully problem-solve and negotiate with siblings and playmates without parental interference. According to relationship expert John Gottman, kids who learn to self-soothe move through negative emotions faster. These same kids also tend to form stronger friendships, which is another key to longterm happiness. Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband are the parents of two boys. Christa’s latest book is Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.

Read more parenting tips online at

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a dozen ways to exercise without spending a dime


written by Pam Molnar

ith the holidays over and bathing suit season just a few months away, people begin to reevaluate their exercise routine. Is it time to step it up? Should you join a gym? According to Statistic Brain, the average cost of a monthly gym membership is $58, yet 67% of people with gym

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memberships never use them. If you are looking to save a little money and still feel comfortable in your bathing suit this summer, check out these exercise options that won’t cost you a dime. 1. BORROW WORKOUT DVDS Whether you enjoy the calming stretches of yoga or the more

intense workouts of P90, your local library carries of variety of exercise videos for all skill levels. Most rental periods are one week for videos, giving you the opportunity to try a lot of different exercise routines. 2. TUNE INTO YOUTUBE Discover thousands of cardio, fat burning, dance, yoga, and general fitness videos. With YouTube available on so many devices, there is no excuse for not finding a time and place to exercise. Head to the park, close your office door or workout in the privacy of your own home. 3. WINDOW SHOP AT THE MALL That’s right! Lace up your shoes and head to the mall for some free indoor exercise. Walking at 3 mph can burn over 200 calories per hour. Download the Map My Run app and set your activity to walk. This free app will track your pace, time, distance and calorie burn. Walk with a friend, push a stroller or simply wander the mall and people watch.

4. DO THE STAIRS Head to a nearby hotel or office building and take the stairs. Set the timer on your phone or simply count the number of flights you take. Can’t get away from home? If you have stairs in your house, turn on some music and start climbing. Want to get outside? Try the bleachers at the local high school. 5. JUMP ROPE Every garage has an old jump rope or tie down rope. Get out in the sun and start jumping. This is an easy activity to involve your older kids. Try making it a competition – the one who jumps the least times has to do the dishes. 6. GO OLD SCHOOL Remember middle school gym class? Put on a t-shirt and shorts and start with the basics. Try jumping jacks, pushups, sit ups, squats and lunges. Structured workout suggestions can be found on Pinterest or by Googling “calisthenics routines”.


basement. Lifting boxes, moving furniture and heavy cleaning can burn up 400 calories per hour.

Invite your girlfriends to come over and crank up the tunes for a kitchen dance party. If your kids have a game console, ask them to play Just Dance with you. Don’t have the game? Borrow it from a friend!

11. PLAY SPORTS AT THE LOCAL PARK Pull out the soccer ball, tennis rackets or basketball for a quick pick up game with family or friends. For added exercise, bike or walk to the park.

8. GET OUTSIDE AND RUN You see joggers everywhere – on trails, city streets or in local parks. For motivation, sign up to do a local 5K with your friend or spouse.

CLEANING THE HOUSE Dusting (15 minutes) – 45 calories Mopping (15 minutes) – 85 calories Washing Dishes (15 minutes) – 42 calories


CALISTHENICS Jumping Jacks (10 minutes) – 56 calories Push Ups (5 minutes) – 32 calories Sit Ups (5 minutes) – 28 calories Jumping Rope (10 minutes) – 126 calories

State parks have free admission and are open year round. Stop in the information center for a trail map and enjoy the outdoors while hiking through nature. Many parks allow dogs on their leashes so bring your four-legged friend for some exercise, too.

9. USE WHAT YOU HAVE Make your own weights by filling empty water bottles and milk jugs with water or sand. Place on a scale and mark the weight on the bottle. Look online for exercise routines that use kitchen chairs, walls or stairs.


Pam Molnar is one of the 67% who underutilizes her gym membership. With two of her children in college, she plans to try a more budget friendly exercise routine in 2020.

10. DO SOME SPRING CLEANING Now is the perfect time to clean out the attic, crawlspace or

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average woman is 63.8” tall and weighs 166.2 lbs. With that in mind, the chart below shows how many calories the average woman can burn without having to pay for a monthly gym membership. Want to find the calorie burn for your own weight and height? Check out HealthStatus.com.

Running 6 mph (30 minutes) – 378 calories Walking 3 mph (30 minutes) – 164 calories Hiking (30 minutes) – 224 calories Stairs (30 minutes) – 304 calories

PLAYING SPORTS Frisbee (20 minutes) – 76 calories Tennis (singles, 30 minutes) – 229 calories Soccer (casual, 30 minutes) – 264 calories Dancing (30 minutes) – 224 calories Jump on Trampoline (15 minutes) – 70 calories

Your Montessori adventure awaits.

Enroll now and get

There is nothing quite like the authentic Montessori Method. This winter, we invite your child to discover their true potential at our school.


• Mixed-age classrooms • Certified Montessori teachers • Practical, hands-on learning First Colony Montessori South 2511 Williams Trace Blvd. Sugar Land, TX • 281.980.6100

TOUR TODAY. Montessori.com

Cinco Ranch Montessori 2530 S. Peek Rd. Katy, TX • 281.392.0011

Longwood Montessori 12839 Louetta Rd. Cypress, TX • 281.655.5900

FREE Must enroll and attend by February 28, 2020.

*Programs and hours of operation may vary by school. Offer is free registration for new enrollees only. Offer is valid on a space-available basis for all age groups. No cash value. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Limit one coupon per child. One time use. Child must enroll for a minimum of three full days per week, and not previously enrolled at a Learning Care Group school. Certain restrictions may apply to subsidy families-see school for details. Learning Care Group is not responsible for and cannot replace or redeem lost, stolen, destroyed or expired coupons. Offer not valid for Learning Care Group associates or their immediate families. Offer valid at participating locations only and subject to availability. Offer does not guarantee enrollment. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. ©2020 La Petite Academy, Inc. Must enroll and attend by February 28, 2020. Coupon Code: WinterFreeReg. GMU11

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january 2020

17 houston family magazine


help your child do well in school


by Sandra Gordon rom crawling, walking and babbling to the angst and rebellion of the tween and teen years, children constantly go through a predictable set of developmental stages physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. “Along the way, any of these areas can be ahead or behind the others in their timing, then switch, which can be confusing for parents,” says Vivian Seltzer, Ph.D., professor of human development and behavior. You can start out with a precocious learner who is seemingly ahead of everyone else, for example, only to find out two years later that his classmates have caught up and they’re speeding ahead. Not to worry. It’s all just part of growing up. Still, “knowing where your child is developmentally can help you understand and support him,” Dr. Seltzer says. Most kids don’t need a lot of help navigating the landscape, especially the older they get. But it helps to be aware of where they’re at so you can guide them along the way and step in if you need to. Use our guide to help your child make the most of every age and stage, from kindergarten through high school. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: MILESTONE MANIA


From Kindergarten through fifth grade, kids make major strides, from initially learning how to transition to school and being comfortable with a classroom routine to

learning how to read (Kindergarten and 1st grade) to reading to learn (the 3rd grade and beyond) in all subject areas. Emotionally, they begin to develop their academic selfesteem based on feedback from you and their teachers. By the 4th and 5th grade, they’re moving from concrete to abstract thinking. “When concrete thinkers see the Statue of Liberty, they see it as a lady with a torch. An abstract thinker also sees it as a symbol of freedom and democracy,” says Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D., an educational and clinical psychologist. By the 5th grade, kids are also beginning to set goals, work independently, function better in groups, make more complex decisions and become organized with their school and homework. SUCCESS RX


Reinforce what your child is learning in school with activities at home. For example, let your second grader count change at the checkout and measure the ingredients while you’re baking cookies together (fractions). Have her tell time. Talk about numbers while you’re driving, such as how fast you’re going, the distance you’ll travel and how long it will take to get there. Play board games together involving money, time, logic or vocabulary such as the family edition of Monopoly, Scrabble or Apples to Apples. On the weekends, take family outings to museums and zoos to visit exhibits that coincide with school subjects. “If your child is learning about Egypt, take a trip to a local museum with an Egyptian exhibit,” Branstetter says. “It reinforces curiosity, sends the subtle message that school is important and shows your child that school and home are connected.”

DEVELOP A HOMEWORK HABIT. Make doing homework automatic by coming up with a routine that fits your child’s personality. Some kids like doing homework right after school. Others need to burn off steam by playing for half an hour first (set a timer) before getting down to business. Whatever you choose, stick to the schedule you establish for your kids as much as possible. To minimize distractions, keep the TV off during homework time and their phone in another room. For younger kids, begin each homework session by asking your child to explain what she’s supposed to do then gauge if she can do it alone of if she needs your help. If you’re not around when your child does his homework, let him know you’ll look at it when you get home and be sure to follow through. “’Praise him when he completes him homework by emphasizing the process, such as ‘You worked really hard to learn your math facts’ rather than the product ‘Good job on learning your math facts,’” Branstetter says. “Praising the process teaches persistence, which is a skill kids need for school success.” MIDDLE SCHOOL: HORMONE HAVOC What’s happening now: In middle school—the 6th through 8th grade, kids are starting to go through puberty and the physical changes can make them feel like they’re not in control of their bodies. “It’s a complicated time physically, socially and emotionally,” says Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and founder of the Better Parenting Institute (www. betterparentinginstitute.com). During this difficult age and stage, their sense of self is also developing. “There’s a lot of exclusion in middle school,” Panaccione says. Cliques can provide a safe haven as kids try to figure themselves out. SUCCESS RX


The mood swings and overreactions, such as total hysteria over whether

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a boy or girl looked at your child in the hallway, are a normal part of this phase of development. “Don’t take it personally. Just understand that your child is going through a lot,” Panaccione says. Be supportive but don’t minimize the problem or try to fix it either. “Middle schoolers don’t want you to solve anything,” Panaccione says. Instead, use phrases like: “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “Gosh, that must have been embarrassing for you,” rather than “Just ignore it” or “Just get over it. It’s not a big deal.” It is a big deal to your child. Placating won’t help and can be harmful. “It can push your child away because she’ll feel like you just don’t get it,” Panaccione says.

DON’T BE TOO CONCERNED IF YOUR CHILD STARTS TO HANG WITH THE WRONG CROWD. “As kids develop and decide who they want to be, they need to decide who they don’t want to be,” Seltzer says. They may try on various groups, including one that’s not your favorite, to see what feels right. All kids have friends their parents don’t like. But kids are good self-barometers. “Don’t butt in unless you think their friends are dangerous,” Seltzer says.

EMPATHIZE ACADEMICALLY. In middle school, the work load gets more difficult because kids have to meet the demands of up to seven different teachers instead of just one. “It’s a big challenge. The best thing you can do is allow your child to vent,” Panaccione says. If your child complains that one of his teachers gives too much homework, for example, you might say, “Well, what do you think you might need to do, given that he gives lots of homework?” rather than “He’s only trying to teach you.” The idea is to help your child solve the problem, find his own way and keep the lines of communication open so your child will continue to feel comfortable talking to you about even bigger problems that might come along later.



In high school, kids forge their identity academically, socially, morally, sexually and spiritually while trying to figure out who they are apart from you. “High schoolers question everything and may even rebel against your opinions and beliefs,” says Panaccione. If you’re a Democrat, for example, your child might say he’s a Republican. If you’re a meatand-potatoes family, she’ll become a Vegan. You get the idea. SUCCESS RX


Allow your child to question your opinions and values and express himself. Ask questions such as, “Oh, why do you think so?” rather than lecturing or yelling. “It’s a great time to find out who your kids really are,” Panaccione says.

NOTE DRAMATIC CHANGES. It’s normal for high schoolers to be just as moody as middle schoolers. But if your teen shows a drastic change in personality, behavior, a significant drop in grades, study habits or attitude, or a dramatic shift in appearance, dress or grooming or interests, goals or activities, know that something’s up. “Talk to your teen about your concerns,” Panaccione says. Start by saying something like: “I’m concerned you’re spending time in bed when you used to be out with your friends.” Then listen to what your child has to say. If the behaviors are a sign of rebelling against a lack of freedom or privilege, be open to discussing and compromising. If you’re concerned your child may be suffering from depression or another mental health disorder, seek professional help. “Your child’s primary care provider or the school guidance counselor is a good resource for a referral to qualified child/teen psychologists in your area,” Panaccione says.

HELP YOUR CHILD DEAL WITH COLLEGE PRESSURE. By the 11th grade, college pressure comes on strong. Start talking college now only if your child is ready to. “Some kids are focused. But most have no idea what they want to do or major in,” Panaccione says. To reduce anxiety, Panaccione tells her high school patients they don’t have to know what they want to do going into college. That’s where they’ll figure it out, which is something you could say at home, too. Also, listen to your child’s wishes for college rather than pushing your agenda. “To be successful, kids should end up going to a college that’s right for them,” she says. january 2020

19 houston family magazine


education directory your exclusive guide to educational resources in and around the greater houston area!

ARCHDIOCESE OF GALVESTON-HOUSTON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS As the largest private school system in Texas, our 60 Catholic Schools serve students in grades Pre-k through 12. Actualize your child’s potential and choose a Catholic school.


CHILDTIME LEARNING CENTER At Childtime®, we provide nurturing care and creative learning experiences. This is where bright futures take shape. We empower children for success in elementary school. Our School Readiness Pathway offers specialized curriculum and developmentally appropriate programs for infants to school-age students.

Childtime.com 877.624.2602 7 convenient locations in Houston

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january 2020


ne of the most important things we will be faced with as a parent is making sure that our child receives a good education. With so many different options available, it makes it very difficult to make a choice. By investing your time and researching the options, you can be sure to make the right decision for your child’s future. This directory will help you start the process. Since it only provides a small amount of the information you need to make your selection, please call the school directly and schedule a tour. Information is crucial, but once you meet the staff and walk the halls, you will be able to make a more informed choice. For more information on education, school choices and resources, be sure to visit HoustonFamilyMagazine.com anytime for more editorial to help support you and your family everyday.



Corpus Christi Catholic School is a diverse community committed to sharing our faith, and to challenging the whole child through academic excellence, physical development, and social-emotional growth in a respectful and supportive environment.

Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart is Houston’s only school for girls Pre-K3 - 12th grade. Your daughter will expand her intellect, faith, conscience and sense of self within our dynamic sisterhood.

www.corpuschristihouston.org 713.664.3351 4005 Cheena Houston, TX 77025

CYPRESS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL The mission of Cypress Christian School is to provide students and education based upon academic excellence and biblical values. Serving grades K-12 throughout northwest Houston since 1978.

www.CypressChristian.org 281.469.7745 11123 Cypress N. Houston Rd. Houston, TX 77065

www.duchesne.org 713.468.8211 10202 Memorial Drive Houston, TX 77024

HOUSTON CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL Houston Christian High School engages students to become impactful leaders through an empowering, dynamic education within a spiritual worldview. Houston Christian is an independent, nonprofit, coed day school accredited by Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and serves nearly 500 students in ninth through twelfth grades.

www.houstonchristian.org 713.580.6000 2700 W Sam Houston Parkway N Houston, TX 77043

LA PETITE ACADEMY La Petite Academy® offers nurturing care and creative learning experiences for infants and beyond. Here, your child will discover respect, collaboration, and the joy of learning. With our STEM curriculum, science, technology, engineering and math are part of everything we do in the classroom. What a great place to start.

LaPetite.com 877.861.5078 10 Convenient Locations throughout Houston


There’s nothing quite like the authentic Montessori Method for early education. Here, self-direction and self-discipline lead to self-discovery, as we prepare your child for the future. Children learn in their own way, at their own pace, through the practical application of sensory-based and self-directed activities.

Montessori.com 281.655.5900 8 locations in Houston


Building bridges to the future


At St. Francis Episcopal School, learning goes beyond the classroom walls. For eighth-graders, a field trip to the Port of Houston and the city’s bayou system opened their eyes to the math behind the history, evolution, and current state of our city’s waterways. They then put equations into practice, producing scale-model cranes and presenting their mathematical functions to an audience. It’s just one of the many ways our teachers bridge the gap between abstract concepts and real-world


applications—bringing learning to life.


VISIT StFrancisHouston.org/Tours

CALL 713.458.6131

E-MAIL Admissions@StFrancisHouston.org january 2020

21 houston family magazine




Rainard School for Gifted children addresses students unique academic and social needs. Since 1986, Rainard school has provided Gifted students with an individualized, supportive, and rigorous learning environment.

Second Baptist School is a Christian, college preparatory school pursuing educational excellence by equipping students in PK3 through grade 12 to live biblically, think critically and lead courageously.

www.rainard.org 713.647.7246 11095 Timberline Road Houston, TX 77043

ROSEHILL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL Our goal at Rosehill Christian School is to partner with families and lead children both spiritually and academically. The growing faculty and facilities enable Rosehill Christian School’s student/teacher ratio to remain low, and classroom technology is rapidly advancing to keep pace with the changing instructional needs and learning styles of today’s youth.

www.rcseagles.org 281.351.8114 19830 FM 2920 Tomball, TX 77377

SCHOOL OF THE WOODS Serving Houston since 1962 as a leading Montessori education resource, School of the Woods offers a diverse learning community at all grade levels from preschool through college preparatory.

www.schoolofthewoods.org 713.686.8811 1321 Wirt Road Houston, TX 77055

www.secondbaptistschool.org 713.365.2310 6410 Woodway Drive Houston, TX 77057

ST. FRANCIS EPISCOPAL SCHOOL St. Francis offers an inspired education with rigorous academics, thoughtful religious instruction, competitive athletics, robust fine arts, advanced technological instruction, and compassionate service learning.

www.stfrancishouston.org 713.458.6100 335 Piney Point Road Houston, TX, 77024

ST. LAURENCE CATHOLIC SCHOOL Celebrating nearly 30 Years of Excellence in Education. SLCS serves students in PreK-8th grade and is conveniently located in the heart of Sugar Land, TX. Twice recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of excellence. Learn more at wwww. stlaurenceschool.org.

www.stlaurenceschool.org 281-980-0500 2630 Austin Parkway Sugar Land, TX 77479


2700 W Sam Houston Pkwy N | Houston, Texas 77043 | 713-580-6000 | www.houstonchristian.org houston family magazine


january 2020


Active Faith


Joyful Transforming

Intellectual Values Community Service

Strong Worldwide Network


Personal Growth Innovative Bold Immersive Learning

Character Respected Technologist

All- Girls


Campus Tours

Offered Through February

Sacred Heart Supportive Strong

education for girls


Sunday, January 12 || 2 p.m.




Discover Duchesne Attend this event to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be a student at Duchesne! Take part in a rotation of classes with Duchesne faculty and speak with current Duchesne students and parents about their experiences at the school.

Catholic Register at

Dedicated FacultyGlobal Expansive Curriculum

Empowered Character Supportive Inspired




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23 houston family magazine





Set your child up for success with an education from St. Mark. With a NEW K-8 school building and a dedicated staff, it’s a great time join this growing community!

A fully accredited Independent, college preparatory, non-sectarian, co-educational day school for grades prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Westbury Christian School, a private institution that serves students from grades K-3 through 12, offers an affordable, challenging, and unique private education experience taught from a biblical perspective.

www.gostmark.org 713.468.2623 1516 Pech Road Houston, TX 77055

THE BRANCH SCHOOL The Branch School is a private school inspiring PK3-eighth grade students to love, learn, and lead. Our STEAM-infused, project-based curriculum taps students’ creative energy for deep and lasting learning.

www.thebranchschool.org 713.465.0288 1424 Sherwood Forest Houston, TX 77043

THE CHILDREN’S COURTYARD Strong foundations are built here, for a bright academic future. With programs for infants to school-age students, The Children’s Courtyard® is an exceptional, nurturing place to grow, learn, develop, and prepare for elementary school. The foundation for a lifetime of success is formed here.

ChildrensCourtyard.com 877.624.2604 4 Convenient locations in North West Houston

www.johncooper.org 281.367.0900 1 John Cooper Dr. The Woodlands, TX 77381

THE REGIS SCHOOL OF THE SACRED HEART Regis is Houston’s only all-boys 3 Pre-K through 8th grade school, educating scholars and gentlemen in the Sacred Heart tradition since 1991.

www.theREGISschool.org 713.682.8383 7330 Westview Drive Houston, TX 77055

THE KIPLING SCHOOL Our childhood programs focus on cognitive, emotional and social growth, while our kindergarten through 8th grade curriculum will challenge your child to build self-confidence, good citizenship and friendship.

www.thekiplingschool.com 713.880.3318 600 Shepherd Drive Houston, Texas 77007


secondbaptistschool.org/admissions CHRISTIAN COLLEGE PREPARATORY PRE-KINDERGARTEN 3 – GRADE 12 houston family magazine


january 2020

www.westburychristian.org 7135518100 10420 Hillcroft St. Houston, TX 77096

YORKSHIRE ACADEMY Since 1984, Yorkshire’s primary goal is to create an environment in which children can develop to their fullest potential at their own individual rate. Students range in age from 18 mos-Grade 5. Yorkshire is thrilled to have been named ‘Houston’s 1st Ocean Guardian School’. Yorkshire’s after-school enrichment program offers classes as diverse as engineering, tennis, chess, piano, Tae Kwon Do and dozens more. Yorkshire invites you to visit to see for yourself why its tagline, “A Little School Making a Big Impact” rings so true.

www.YorkshireAcademy.com 281.531.6088 14120 Memorial Drive Houston, TX 77079

find even more options in our online directory at houstonfamilymagazine.com


A recognized leader in independent school education since 1988, The John Cooper School invites you to campus to learn more about Cooper for yourself.



Faculty and administrators will present the school’s philosophy, curriculum and admission process followed by a comprehensive campus tour for families interested in learning more about applying for the 2020-21 academic year.

Fac philoso a cam more

Help our art students fight hunger in our community by

September 20 • October 17 • November 7 | the 1015th am Annual | ramirez HaLL EMPTYLecture BOWLS event. attending Proceeds benefit Interfaith Food Pantry SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 | 10:30-2 | STUDENT CENTER


25 houston family magazine


special needs schools

THE ARBOR SCHOOL www.arbor.org

AVONDALE HOUSE www.avondalehouse.org




THE JOY SCHOOL www.thejoyschool.org







www.centerhearingandspeech.org www.crossroadshouston.org

ELIM CHRISTIAN SCHOOL www.elimchristianschool.org





THE HARRIS SCHOOL www.theharrisschool.com





www.themomentumacademy.org www.monarchschool.org


SCHOOL OF YOUNG CHILDREN www.foundationsyc.org



TRUE KNIGHT ACADEMY www.trueknight.org



THE WESTVIEW SCHOOL www.westviewschool.org



Here, we pride ourselves on innovative education. This winter, explore STEM learning through engaging experiences in a safe, secure environment.

Here, we pride ourselves on warm, nurturing education. This winter, explore customized learning through engaging experiences in a safe, secure environment.


LEARNING JOURNEY. • Programs for infants to school-age students • Before- and after-school clubs • Full- and part-time enrollment • Summer camp and school break programs

• • • •

Programs for infants to school-age students Before- and after-school clubs Full- and part-time enrollment Summer camp and school break programs






REGISTRATION!* Must enroll and attend by February 28 , 2020.

Must enroll and attend by February 28, 2020.

FIND A SCHOOL IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TODAY. LaPetite.com | 877.217.9530 *Programs and hours of operation may vary by school. Offer provides free registration; new enrollees only. Child must enroll for a minimum of three full days per week. Registration fee credit is applied upon enrollment (registration fee varies by location). Enrollment is on a space available basis. No cash value. Limit one offer per child. One-time use. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Learning Care Group is not responsible for and cannot replace or redeem lost, stolen, destroyed or expired coupons. Offer not valid for Learning Care Group associates or their immediate families. Offer valid at participating locations only and subject to availability. Offer does not guarantee enrollment. Certain restrictions may apply to subsidy families—See school for details. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. ©2020 La Petite Academy, Inc. Must enroll and attend by February 28, 2020. GLCG75

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january 2020

FIND A SCHOOL IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TODAY. Childtime.com | 855.217.9528

*Programs and hours of operation may vary by school. Offer provides free registration; new enrollees only. Child must enroll for a minimum of three full days per week. Registration fee credit is applied upon enrollment (registration fee varies by location). Enrollment is on a space available basis. No cash value. Limit one offer per child. One-time use. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Learning Care Group is not responsible for and cannot replace or redeem lost, stolen, destroyed or expired coupons. Offer not valid for Learning Care Group associates or their immediate families. Offer valid at participating locations only and subject to availability. Offer does not guarantee enrollment. Certain restrictions may apply to subsidy families—See school for details. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. ©2020 Childtime Childcare, Inc. Must enroll and attend by February 28, 2020. GLCG75

I N FA N T R O O M O P E N I N G JA N UA RY 2 0 2 0 Infant availablity ages 6 weeks - 3 months as of January 1, 2020.

LEARN MORE OR APPLY: GOSTMARK.ORG/ADMISSIONS 1515 Hillendahl • Houston • 77055


t ransform T H E WO R L D ?

We Welcome You to Visit Us During Catholic Schools Week, Jan 26 - Feb 1 To find a Catholic school near you visit

ChooseCatholicSchools.org january 2020

27 houston family magazine



anuary is Education Month and our 25th Annual Camp Fair is around the corner, which means we’re spending a lot of time thinking about ways for kids to learn in fun and immersive ways. This month, we’re exploring those topics and more with Ghazal Qureshi, founder of IDEA Lab Kids. A true innovator in the STEAM educational space, IDEA Lab Kids offers not only camp experiences, but also classes, workshops, and birthday celebrations focused on a blend of coding, engineering, arts, science, 3D design, augmented reality, and other innovative subjects. We sat down with Ghazal to find out what started her on her path and get her take on why STEAM activities are so important to kids today.



interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra houston family magazine


january 2020

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from and what is your family like? I like to say that I am the best of both East and West. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, I was fortunate enough to have most of my schooling and upbringing in a traditional Eastern environment where focus on family and education was primary. However, I had a major shock to my system when my family moved to Houston at the start of my senior year in high school. Imagine changing schools and countries in your senior year—talk about extreme culture shock! However, I was blessed again with an amazing higher education, and I gained a degree in computer science. I attended the University of Houston, got married to the love of my life soon after graduation, and a year later, we moved to Colorado for 10 years, where my three wonderful kids were born. However, Houston was still tugging at our heartstrings, and we have been back here for the last 15 years. I am lucky enough to be a mom to three amazing young individuals

who are not only smart, but—most importantly—very compassionate. Arianna is a junior at Trinity University studying political science and economics with plans to change the world. Kinza is a freshman studying pre-law with an environmental science focus at Sarah Lawrence, and Ayman (my baby boy) is a sophomore at the Village School studying engineering and entrepreneurship, but he tells me that he really plans to be a movie director. What was your motivation to start IDEA Lab Kids? My kids, my kids, my kids! At least in the beginning. Since then, it has morphed into being all about making a difference in the educational landscape. I realized that in order for our kids to be able to compete in this global landscape, they need to learn skills that will allow them a competitive advantage. Among the developed countries, the U.S. is currently ranked very low in math and science skills. This is a shame, as it means our kids will have a difficult time competing with kids from other parts of the world. My motivation now is to even the odds and bring these skills to as many kids as possible. We reached thousands of kids in the community just in the first few short years. Since then, my kids have aged out of the programs, yet our passion to provide the most innovative and the best programs has continued. You have gone from renting one location in 2011 to offering franchises and locations in 87 markets. How did that happen? By keeping my head down and not thinking about it! No, seriously, I do think that if I had looked ahead and thought about where we are today when we first started, it would have been very overwhelming. Focusing on each step and milestone, surrounding myself with team members who believed in the same vision,

has been the main reason for our success. When selecting our team members, we did not discriminate on the basis of lack of experience or age, allowing us to build a team with passion, excitement, and, most importantly, the innovative vision needed to bring a necessary disruption to the educational space. Bringing in someone that is a drone expert directly from college and allowing them to design the drone programs, or bringing in someone that is passionate about culinary arts and putting them on our R&D team for our cooking curriculum, has been what has allowed us to remain innovative. Also, let’s not forget the importance of advisors and mentors. As is true of any entrepreneur, I did not have answers to even half of the things that came my way—things as simple as implementing a campus Q&A process to the process for setting up a company to conduct business overseas or supplying parts for activities across many campuses. I had to learn the answers to all of it. This was all done by surrounding myself with experts and advisors. I have leaned on them along the way and learned many valuable lessons. You mentioned that your motivation for developing IDEA Lab Kids was to help kids gain valuable math and science skills. Tell us about STEAM education and how it serves that goal. STEAM (Science, Technology,

Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education is an interdisciplinary approach to education that teaches kids about these subjects along with their real world connections. STEAM education makes for well-rounded, well-versed students and learners. STEAMbased activities foster the creative process and encourage collaboration with peers. STEAM education improves critical thinking, problem solving, and hands-on learning abilities. Partnering STEAM with project-based learning allows for students to see beyond a monotonous lecturebased classroom setting and offers learning in an interactive hands-on setting. STEAM activities are the backbone of IDEA Lab and are being widely implemented in classrooms across the world. What has been one of your best moments as an entrepreneur? There actually have been many, but two rise to the top. The reason I am an entrepreneur is because I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. However, very soon after choosing that path, the reality sank in that I was also in charge of my own paycheck. This was exciting, yet scary. The day I was finally able to write that first paycheck to myself made me realize that I had made it as an entrepreneur. The other big moment that stands out in my mind is when my very first employee, Adam Gockley, came to me

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FEBRUARY 22 10am - 12pm


to this family-friendly event. Meet with over 20 preschools from the greater NW Houston Area. Bring the kids and let them experience the excitement of preschool for themselves. Location: Cypress Christian School 11123 Cypress N. Houston Rd. Houston, TX 77065 sponsored by:

For more information, please contact Angie Ramirez at (281) 469-7745 houston family magazine


january 2020

and asked to be one of the first franchisees. It showed the commitment that he had for the brand and validated the work we’d done up to that point. To this day I beam with pride when I see how well he has taken the IDEA Lab Kids brand to new heights in the Austin market. I feel particularly proud as he learned the business from me and worked from the ground up straight out of college. Go Adam! What has been one of your biggest challenges? Learning as I go. When I first started, I was a mom focused on getting the best of the best programs together to directly impact my kids. As we grew, I was suddenly responsible for making sure we are doing right by all the stakeholders: the kids in the community, the parents that placed their faith in us, the team members that were counting on the company to do well, the franchisees that had invested in us. I had to learn how to get out of the mindset of a small business owner and become a team leader taking responsibility for all of these individuals. The biggest challenge was to let go and let others take on the tasks in this growing organization. I had to take the time to bring in the right people and give them wings to fly.

How do you possibly juggle everything? What’s your biggest secret? My amazing husband. Even though during the first few years he kept telling me that I was taking on too much and should slow down, he finally realized that I was not listening to reason and would carry on doing what I wanted to do. At that point, he rolled up his sleeves and did everything he could to keep things moving both at home and at the company. He has been an amazing husband and father, as well as a great business partner throughout this journey. Living on takeout, being the family chauffeur and the family and business accountant, he only complained about me working too hard and never made me feel bad about missing out on family time. He made sure we work together as a team, both at home and at work. It has been his ability to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel that has always given me the energy to keep moving forward. What do you think the biggest hurdle is today for parents in Houston? Time! The amount of activities kids are involved in today is exponentially more than what kids in my generation were involved in. Compounding that problem, parents are also

get out, and enjoy the city, and it also exposed the kids to the world around them. Another amazing thing about Houston is that even with all the culture, history, and high-tech industries, it is still very affordable, thus allowing parents to provide the best quality of life for their children. As parents, we should avail ourselves of all the cultural and educational advantages our city has to offer and provide our kids with windows into this cultural enchantment.

often juggling more demands on their time from work and family commitments. This has created anxiety, stress, and an overall feeling of not being able to get everything done. Houston is also a large city, so shuttling the kids from, say, a birthday party to a museum playdate takes a toll on the limited time we have today. Why do you think Houston is a great community for families? With Greater Houston being the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the United States, with cultures from all over the world, it means that we have a unique opportunity to submerge our children in different cultures and traditions, and prepare them to be global citizens of tomorrow. It gives our children the ability to grow up around people that are different from them, become compassionate and tolerant, and learn from different points of view. Houston is a great cultural melting pot. It is also an amazing place to soak in the various festivals, events, and exhibits that take place on a weekly basis throughout the year. Taking the kids to these (often free) events is how I fondly remember spending many weekends while the kids were younger. It allowed us time to bond as a family,

What is the best advice you were ever given? Would you like to offer any advice? One piece of advice I was given early on that I have tried to follow is “stay true to your passion and make sure you are happy every day doing what you love and are passionate about.” I would add that it is important to establish the culture of relationships and nurture them. Also, as you start out, do not be afraid to be yourself and make some mistakes along the way. Remember failure is part of the equation, and as long as you learn from your mistakes and commit to making yourself better every step of the way and learn to step out of your comfort zone, you are making progress.

We thank Ghazal for taking time out of her crazy schedule to speak with us. As a supporter of IDEA Lab Kids over the years, we are very pleased and proud of any part we have had in their success. We wish you all the best and look forward to watching you continue to grow!

Sharing His Vision. Teaching His Values.

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



LEARNING JOURNEY. Here, we pride ourselves on exceptional education. This winter, explore customized learning through engaging experiences in a safe, secure environment. • • • •

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FIND A SCHOOL IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TODAY. ChildrensCourtyard.com | 877.701.4908 *Programs and hours of operation may vary by school. Offer provides free registration; new enrollees only. Child must enroll for a minimum of three full days per week. Registration fee credit is applied upon enrollment (registration fee varies by location). Enrollment is on a space available basis. No cash value. Limit one offer per child. One-time use. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Learning Care Group is not responsible for and cannot replace or redeem lost, stolen, destroyed or expired coupons. Offer not valid for Learning Care Group associates or their immediate families. Offer valid at participating locations only and subject to availability. Offer does not guarantee enrollment. Certain restrictions may apply to subsidy families—See school for details. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. ©2020 The Children’s Courtyard, Inc. Must enroll and attend by February 28, 2020. GLCG75

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31 houston family magazine

mom•me [ REAL LIFE MOMS ]

Jennifer Steil

Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra | photo by Quy Tran Photography

houston family magazine


january 2020


his month, HFM caught up with mom and financial planner Jennifer Steil to talk about her career in the financial industry, the importance of financial security, and how she balances work and family life.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. I am a native Houstonian, born and raised in Deer Park. I grew up with one sister, but most of my extended family on both sides lived in the Houston area, so I grew up close to my cousins, grandparents, and even my great-grandmother, who was a strong female influence in my life. I graduated from Deer Park High School and then went on to earn my bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Since returning to the Houston area after college, I have lived in many different areas of the city, finally landing on the north side of town where I currently live with my husband, Keith, and 3-yearold son, Knox.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FINANCIAL ADVISOR AS A CAREER PATH? Money is intertwined in everything we do, so it was something that I was always interested in. I am a very logical thinker and gravitated towards the consistency and reliability of numbers, but I am also entrepreneurial and energized by people. After dabbling in real estate for a few years after college, I searched for a career path that allowed for a good combination of those strengths. I have been told that I have a natural ability to educate others, and while I don’t feel called into a traditional role in the educational system, this career allows me to tap into a very authentic part of myself that I hope provides my clients with a deeper connection to me as a person, as well as a more clear and comprehensive plan for their finances. At the end of the day, although it may sound like a cliché, I find

purpose in helping others protect their families and plan proactively for the future, so they can enjoy life and be more present for the people and things they care about most.

FINANCE IS NOT ALWAYS A CAREER THAT YOU ASSOCIATE WITH WOMEN. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? That’s a great question. In my opinion, finance is a fantastic career choice for women, especially careers related to financial services. In general, I believe women are innately good at listening, connecting, educating, leading, and empathizing, all of which are the cornerstone characteristics of an impactful advisor. I think one of the biggest obstacles women struggle with is feeling the need to be overqualified for a job or career opportunity before taking it, rather than trusting their innate abilities to grow to that level over time. While knowledge is extremely important, I believe there is an opportunity for the finance industry to attract more incredible women into the career by seeking out candidates with qualities that will allow them to grow into their roles over time rather than solely looking for candidates that possess a specific knowledge base already.

FINANCIAL SECURITY IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT— IN THIS DAY AND AGE, ESPECIALLY. WHAT DO YOU THINK WE CAN DO TO ENCOURAGE MORE PEOPLE TO LOOK TO ADVISORS TO HELP THEM GET ON THE RIGHT PATH? I believe there are two very important reasons to partner with an advisor. First, the path to financial security today is significantly more dynamic, complicated, and personalized than it was even a decade ago. The combination of improvements in health care, an emphasis on healthier living and increased longevity, and the all-but-extinct traditional,


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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33 houston family magazine

confident in that choice for your family, and remember to give yourself grace.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ADVANTAGES OF LIVING IN HOUSTON ARE, BOTH AS A MOM AND AS A BUSINESSPERSON? Houston has so much to offer. Financially, you cannot beat the cost of living for access to a rich, diverse, and vibrant city that offers opportunities in any career you could desire. Houston embraces and supports small businesses and different cultures. And I believe Houston is home to some of the friendliest people around.

employer-paid retirement (a.k.a. pensions) has led to a vastly different financial planning environment than in the past. Couple that with the ability to instantaneously get information—often from conflicting sources—and you’ve got a very confusing set of waters to navigate. There has never been a more important time to partner with an advisor who can help guide you through it, provide education and a clear path forward towards your individual goals. There’s a saying: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Most of my clients are very educated, sharp individuals who understand that while they could spend the time to educate themselves and manage this extremely important area of their lives, they can also choose to partner with an expert who will share in the responsibility and provide the valuable advice that gives them the freedom to spend their time on people and things that matter most. Second, money is often deeply rooted in emotions. It is not uncommon to be in a discussion around money and experience passion, fear, greed, and/or embarrassment. houston family magazine


january 2020

Making decisions based on or rooted heavily in emotions, whether positive or negative, often leads to unintended outcomes. Partnering with an advisor can help manage those emotions in a way that helps you stay on track towards your vision and not deviate towards something that doesn’t align with your goals.

AS A MOM, WIFE, AND CAREER WOMAN, WHAT DO YOU FIND IS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE? Maintaining my sanity! No, on a deeper level, it’s finding the balance that is right for me and my family at any given time. I attended a women’s symposium a couple of years ago that was hosted by our firm nationwide, and Randy Zuckerberg was one of the headline speakers. In my opinion, she gave one of THE best pieces of advice that I have ever heard: you CAN have it all, just not all at the same time. Wow, what a lifechanging mindset that has been for me. As a new mom at the time, I was struggling to find that balance, and leaning into this concept gave me tremendous relief. There are

seasons where I choose to prioritize my career growth, other seasons where I prioritize time with my husband and son, and others where I prioritize self-care and personal growth. I know that as the seasons and needs change, one or more areas may have to be less of a priority, and it’s my choice to put my focus in the areas that need it most. There is great freedom and clarity in knowing that I can shift those priorities when needed to fit what is right for me and my family, knowing that nothing is permanent.

IS THERE ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD OFFER TO WOMEN JUST STARTING OUT IN THEIR CAREERS WHO WANT TO HAVE A FAMILY LIFE? First, prepare to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. Second, don’t ever apologize for the choices you make for your family. I am impressed with every parent I meet, whether they make the choice to maintain a career outside of raising their children or to stay home, or even put their career on a long pause. The struggles are different, but equally real. If you choose to build a career and be a mom, I encourage you to be

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE FROM THE COMMUNITY EVOLVE OVER TIME TO HELP WOMEN SUCCEED? Continue to make space and evolve thinking to incorporate new versions of success. As we continue to expand the limits of what is possible and open space for new ways to achieve success, I believe we will see more and more women embracing their strengths and accomplishing great things! Thanks to Jen for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. We loved getting to meet Knox and learn a little bit more about her and her family. If you’d like to talk to Jen about wealth management or anything else, please reach out to her!

Jennifer Steil CFP®, RICP®, CLU®, ChFC® Wealth Management Advisor 2445 Technology Forest Boulevard, Suite 550 | The Woodlands, TX 77381 Phone: 832-510-1715 CA LIC#0I737-49 jennifersteil.nm.com

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Appointments Available! New Patients Welcome! (832) 548 5000 • LegacyCommunityHealth.org We accept most health insurance plans including HMO/PPOs, Medicaid and CHIP. We also offer programs to lower the cost of health care services.

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ways to handle stress tween daughter & dad written by Patrick and J.L. Hempfing


arents deal with stress in a variety of ways. Tennis is my stress outlet, along with eating ice cream and donuts. Obviously, playing tennis is a much healthier choice than comfort foods. Recently, my daughter Jessie came home excited to share a new stress-fighting activity she had heard about – goat yoga. My comfort zone has boundaries, and Jessie keeps trying to expand them. Daily. Before I go further, let’s turn it over to Jessie for her thoughts.

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Jessie, Age 12 When my friend at school told me about goat yoga, it sounded like a ton of fun. Basically, you go into a field, and do yoga while a bunch of goats walk around and crawl on you. I came home from school and told my dad about it. To me, doing yoga with goats crawling on you sounded great, but not to Daddy. He’s not an animal person. I told Mom about it later, and she loves the idea. She and I are a lot alike in our love for animals. When we are going for a family walk, we will walk around and pet all the dogs we pass where Dad

Cure Your


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would rather avoid them. He’s not mean to dogs, and he loves our dog, Sadie, but dogs just aren’t his thing. I think Dad should be a little more open minded when it comes to goat yoga and dogs. It is good that we have each other. I get him out of his comfort zone, and he gets me out of mine. It is good to try things, because you never know what you may enjoy. Let’s hear my father’s view. This father’s view is quite simple. I have no intention of ever having my view obstructed by goat legs, tails, or any other goat anatomical parts. Having goats bleating and crawling on and around me while I do yoga doesn’t interest me in the least. However, Jessie raised a good point about the importance of keeping an open mind. Not knowing a single thing about goat yoga, I Googled it. I was surprised to read about the mental and physical benefits of goat yoga. Those who do it say it’s a great way of disconnecting from stress. Did I close my mind too soon?

Our lives are shaped by our personal experiences. My only experience with a goat came many years ago, when my wife, Mattie and I were dating. Her parents were away and it was our responsibility to milk the family goat. We should have asked for directions because how to milk a goat is not as obvious as it seems. There’s a technique to getting the milk to squirt out instead of just squishing around, which the goat finds highly irritating. It’s safe to say that Mattie’s goat was not a therapy goat, which is probably why I no longer wish to be up close and personal with goats. In response to Jessie’s comment “dogs just aren’t his thing,” I feel I must share my first teenage job – a newspaper carrier. Dogs have a special animosity for newspaper carriers. Luckily, I made it through several years of home newspaper delivery while avoiding the angry guardians of their owners’ property, except for one. I have a tiny scar on my left leg to show for my dedicated service.

With my hard-to-milk goat and dog-chasing-afterme experiences, it’s safe to say I’m not as comfortable around goats and dogs as my wife and daughter. Also, when I take a walk, I like to get my circulation pumping instead of stopping every three seconds to pet a dog, no matter how cute it is (Mattie and Jessie think all dogs are cute). Which leads me to Jessie’s final point, “It is good that we have each other.” On this point I couldn’t agree more. Jessie and I have helped each other expand our comfort zones. Our family is also blessed in that Mattie and I have different interests that benefit Jessie. I can already see the smiles on Jessie’s and Mattie’s faces when they go work out with the goats. I’ll have a smile on my face, too, as a nearby spectator enjoying my cone of ice cream. But whether I’m cheering on my goat-yoga exercisers or relaxing with a three-scoop cone of ice cream, one thing is certain ’tween daughter and dad, I love

my girl and my girl loves me. Until next month, remember to cherish the moments. Happy New Year! Good luck in achieving your New Year’s resolutions. Doing goat yoga won’t be on my list, but I will try to monitor the ice cream intake. All parents need ways to handle stress. Patrick Hempfing had a 20-year professional career in banking, accounting, and auditing before he became a father at age 44. He is now a full-time husband, stayat-home dad, and writer. Follow Patrick at http://patrickhempfing. com. J. L. Hempfing, now 15, began writing with her dad in kindergarten. Her current hobbies include playing clarinet, saxophone, and piano. She also enjoys marching in her high school band. If you enjoyed this column, you’ll like Patrick’s first book, MoMENts: A Dad Holds On. The book compiles favorite stories and new material and is available for sale on Amazon.

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

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a ski getaway to mont tremblant, quebec by Chantal Lemieux


inter is a great time to get outdoors with the kids for a family ski and snowboarding vacation. Every winter we seek out a new family ski destination to combine our love of travel with our love of skiing. Situated in the Laurentian Mountains in Eastern Canada, Mont Tremblant is a top-tier ski destination with 102 trails stretching more than 50 miles – it’s not huge, but it still manages to offer something for everyone for a youthful yet upscale skiing experience. One of the great things about the area is that it’s like you’ve landed in a traditional European ski village reminiscent of a Swiss or French village in the Alps. The mountains of fluffy snow and the European vibe struck a magical adventurous feeling and offered a perfect balance between leisure and outdoor sports for every member of our family. houston family magazine


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Taking the kids skiing, especially for the first time can seem monumental. My kids started learning to ski at three but I always sign them up for a beginner ski package, which includes a group lesson, rental equipment, and a lift ticket for the day. The ski school at Tremblant is superb, and all the instructors speak English fluently. There is a separate beginner ski area with its own easy-to-ride Magic Carpet lift that gently takes you to the top of a soft slope. The instructors pace the program according to the ability of the kids in their class and will give you ample feedback about the readiness of your child. They’re patient with gloves, potty breaks, and mild tantrums on the slopes. You can be sure your children will fall, luckily snow is soft and with encouraging smiles, their light elastic young bodies bounce right back into action, and their young minds soak up new skills as naturally as a

sponge. Seeing the smiling rosy cheeked faces of my children looking for cookies and a warm cup of cocoa after a day on the slopes was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I always start my vacation skiing very gently. It may seem insignificant, but a gentle approach also lets you build your confidence and by the end of our vacation my 7 -year old, competent and fearless was going in for a high-five as he rode down the slope yelling “it’s like flying”. One notable highlight of Mont Tremblant is its milder green runs which are perfect for skiing with kids. While we wanted to enjoy time with our children, we also wanted some ski-time for ourselves, the combination of ski lessons, childcare, and fun activities made us feel secure in the knowledge that our kids were also having a great time with trained, caring and professional staff.

Our resort sat at the foot of the mountain in the charming pedestrian-only ski on/ski off village, making it the perfect base, as it was just a minute from the nursery slope, a short walk to the center of the village and five minutes from the main lift station. Everything inside the colorful, cobblestoned, European-style hamlet is walkable, the village streets are lined with plenty of restaurants which is important after a long day on the hills. Having a cozy yet active village helps a family stay connected to the hill and makes getting around easy. Early evenings were often spent in our lounge, the glass frontage faced the peaks dusted with snow like decorations from an elaborate holiday window display making it the perfect place to sit and soak up the sunsets and enjoy the gleaming white field of snow below. I had a genuine feeling of being somewhere special reconnecting with my family in

FOODS TO TRY • Sample Poutine – a hot dish made of French fries, melted cheese curds and a brown sauce. • Savor French Onion Soup in a freshly-baked bread bowl. • Try real Quebec Maple Syrup on snow in the pedestrian village. • Eat a Beaver Tail for dessert – a Canadian favorite covered in a delicious chocolate hazelnut spread.

tubing on the slopes

QUICK FACTS: • Short direct flight time from Houston to Montreal or with a stopover from points like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Charlotte. • The Montreal International Airport to Mont Tremblant is about an hour and a half by car. The drive from the airport is on major well-kept highways. • Montreal is one of the five largest French speaking cities in the world. Paris is the first. WHAT TO PACK FOR A FAMILY SKI HOLIDAY For ease of packing, consider packing all of your ski clothes and accessories in a separate suitcase. You can rent boots, skis, and your helmet from the ski shop at Mont Tremblant but here are a few things you shouldn’t leave home without, especially for the kids: • Ski Goggles • 2 sets of Ski Gloves • Gaiter/neck scarf/balaclava • Several pairs of ski socks • Sunscreen • Chapstick • And for indoors, slippers.

Skiing for all ages!

HIGHLIGHTS: • Grab your skates, bundle up, and enjoy the view! • Enjoy the absence of light pollution (and an early sunset) to stargaze. • Take a scenic walking tour in the pedestrian village • After working up your appetite on the mountain, enjoy an authentic fondue dinner • Get a little retail therapy and warm up by a fire pit. • Families with young kids can stop at the pocket park in the village to build a snowman and enjoy playing in the snow. • Ride the Cabriolet – an open-air gondola down to the foot of the village and walk back up.

Toufou Sledding

front of the fireplace after a day on the slopes. For multigenerational groups with non-skiers, the mountain can still be enjoyed to your heart’s content with several off- slope experiences to choose from that include dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow-tubing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and ice skating on a nearby lake. A guided sleigh ride through the fields and forests, complete with storytelling, folk songs and hot chocolate is a must-do. For a little indulgence, there is a

Scandinavian Spa a short drive away which offers a series of thermal and chilling pools for the ultimate in hydrotherapy or you can try your luck playing at the Casino de Mont-Tremblant. Winter days outdoors with the crisp, clean mountain air is great for the whole family but above all a perfect ski vacation in a picturesque and serene atmosphere helps build a lifelong love of snow sports for children. Our family ski trip to Mont Tremblant was definitely one that we will look back on fondly.

Chantal and her son enjoying the sites. january 2020

39 houston family magazine

plan your 2020

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

summer in a day


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

Learn More: houstonfamilymagazine.com

houston family magazine


january 2020

start your adventure...

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



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

VENDORS • Alley Theatre • Althlete Training & Health • Building Brains • Camp Allen • Camp Champions • Camp Invention • Camp Olympia • Christian Youth Theater Houston • Codeverse • Elite University

• Girl Scouts of San Jacinto • Legacy Community Services • Lone Star Flight Museum • Mo-Ranch Summer Camp • National Youth Theater • Play-Well TEKnologies • Rainard Gifted School • Rice ELITE Camp

• Sherwood Forest Faire • Summer ASAP from Westbury Christian • Stars Gymnastics • Summer Camp @HMNS • TopGolf • YMCA Greater Houston • YMCA Twin Lakes • Yorkshire Academy • And More!

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

41 houston family magazine


grand experience at The Grand 1894 Opera House

HFM Kid Ambassadors Ryanne, Conrad, Gracem McKenna, Brianna, Cailyn, Jack, Alexa & Michael Photo by: Pop of Color Photography


the big


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


ouston is busy all year round! Enjoy winter activities and take your pick from these must-see and must-do events as the festive season continues.

January 1 Happy New Year! HFM sends you and your family wishes of love, health and good fortune for 2020.

January 2 New Year’s Ball: Baby Prom Ring in 2020 with tiny tuxes & pint-sized gowns at this ball for babies, toddlers, houston family magazine


january 2020

preschoolers, and their chauffeurs/ guardians. rosenberg-library.org Rosenberg Library 10:30am-noon. Age: 0-5

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

Free Museum Thursdays at Houston Museum District Gather friends and the family and head to the museum district to enjoy several of Houston’s Museums every Thursday.

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


Family Garden in Hermann Park 10am. All ages

Arboretum New Year’s Walking Challenge Enjoy the great outdoors once a week for four consecutive weeks from January 3 – 31 and snap a photo of the weekly location to receive a free membership. houstonarboretum.org Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Daily. All ages

January 4

3pm. All ages

First Thursday on Mid Main Browse an art garden and market, listen to live music, and sip complimentary drinks at the Mid Main’s monthly First Thursday celebration. Midmainhouston.com Main Street 6-10pm. All ages

January 3 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.

Explore Nature A great place to explore the great outdoors! Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun educational adventure with hikes and fishing. baytownnaturecenter.org Baytown Nature Center 6am-8pm Daily. All ages

Open hangar at Houston wing World War II Aircraft museum The Commemorative Air Force maintains WW II airplanes in flying condition and invites the public to tour inside and out the static display planes. Family friendly tours on the First & Third Saturday of the month. houstonwing.org 10-4pm. All ages

jan u a r y 2 02 0 Winter Drone Flight Training Workshop JANUARY 2 & 3

A Night of Stars! Celebrating The Grand’s 125th Anniversary


Learn the fundamentals of control and the basic science that is the key to successful flight. Practice flight patterns, run an obstacle course, learn maintenance tips and get advice from experienced drone pilots. Practice drones are provided by LSFM, having your own drone is not required. Lonestarflight.org

Celebrate The Grand’s 125th Birthday with fun photo opportunities and vignettes. Enjoy an evening of Entertainment and sumptuous food and you might catch a glimpse of a star or two! Come as your favorite character who performed at The Grand during the last 125 years. thegrand.com The Grand 1894 Opera House 7pm. Tickets $125/person

9am-2pm. Age: 12-15. $80/child

Journal Making | Open Studio Using collage-based materials, create a personal journal inspired by artist Garrett Bradley’s themes of familial relationships and Southern culture. camh.org Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 2-4pm. All ages

Saturday at Urban Harvest Farmers Market Stroll through the market and purchase produce, there are always plenty of free samples to try! urbanharvest.org 2752 Buffalo Speedway 8am-noon. All ages

First Saturday Arts Market in The Heights Browse fine art and eclectic goods at the free monthly First Saturday Arts Market in the heart of the Houston Heights and then go for a stroll in the historic neighborhood. firstsaturdayartsmarket.com 530 W. 19th Street 11am-6pm. All ages.

January 5 Find Houston’s history at Glenwood Cemetery Situated on 84 acres along the Washington Corridor, Glenwood Cemetery serves as a serene resting place for some of Houston’s most iconic residents. Among the ornate headstones are those of more than 20 mayors, past governors, oil tycoons and Howard Hughes-the famous aviator, engineer and movie director. glenwoodcemetery.org Daily. All ages

Hidden Gems A historical discovery for the whole family: the Museum of Southern History – post Civil War settlers; the Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts presents a furnished dog trot log cabin and artifacts from when Houston was merely a frontier settlement; and the Dunham Bible Museum houses ancient manuscripts, medieval scriptures, a working Gutenberg-style printing press, and some of the earliest Bibles printed in the English language. hbu.edu Houston Baptist University Campus Daily. All ages

January 6 Quilting Take this opportunity to quilt, share ideas, and enjoy the fellowship of other quilters. All skill levels are welcome. hcp4.net Mangum-Howell Center 9am. Age: 10+

Jewelry Beading Spend a few hours to create beautiful pins, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more. Participants must provide their own tools and beading supplies. A list will be provided at your first class. hcp4.net Mangum-Howell Center 11am. Age: 10+

Itsy Bitsy Infants: Baby Storytime Sing Songs, enjoy tickles, and bounces that will get baby excited about reading! hcp4.net Katy Branch Library 10-11:30am. Age: 0-36 months

January 7 Tuesday afternoon at the zoo Enjoy a fun filled family afternoon learning and viewing all of these amazing creatures. houstonzoo.org Houston Zoo 12:00pm until closing. All ages

Ceramics Learn how to prepare, paint, glaze, and fire a variety of greenware pieces. There is no cost to fire pieces, and only those pieces painted by students during class may be fired. Students must provide their own supplies for the class. hcp4.net Mangum-Howell Center 10am-3pm with a break for lunch

Tropical Gardening Join a Mercer horticulturalist in the Tropical Garden to work with palms, plumerias, bamboo, and special collections. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a wide-brim hat,

sunscreen, and water. Tools and gloves will be provided. hcp4.net

Mercer Botanic Gardens 8-11am. Age: 12 and 15 may volunteer with parent or guardian participation.

January 8 Woodworking Group Learn how to design patterns and use various tools to build stunning creations. Bring your own supplies; equipment is provided. hcp4.net Doss Activity Building 8:30am. Age: 10+

Lunar New Year Cook & Dine Special Edition A cultural culinary evening featuring our popular Dumpling Making class, delicious 8-course dinner, silent auction of traditional Asian handmade crafts, and more! www.ccchouston.org/tour Chinese Community Center 5 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets $99/person. Limited 30 seats.

Moody gardens home school day: Iceland and AQ – “The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway” Students will stroll through Iceland and observe what they do to keep their bodies warm: insulation, friction, muscle activity… even eating! But what about the animals that live in below freezing temperatures and can’t grab a jacket? Explore the different strategies that different species use to KEEP the heat! moodygardens.com/ education Moody Gardens, Galveston 10-2pm. Age: 5+

January 9 The Moody Center Get your cultural fix by exploring the arts, sciences and humanities in the 50,000-square-foot center that serves as an experimental platform for creating and presenting works in all disciplines then explore the permanent James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace. moody.rice.edu

free DAYS AT houston museum district 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


Menil Collection www.menil.org


Cistern History Tours


Holocaust Museum Houston www.hmh.org

Rice University Campus Daily. All ages

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Wintertime Blues on the Boardwalk JANUARY & FEBRUARY

Get ready for 30 tons of snow fun at the Town Square. Play on giant snow slides with snow discs and toboggans, large snow play areas, photo opportunities for the kids, and more. visitbaytown.com/baytown-holidays

Thrill the kids on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays. Buy One All Day Ride Pass at regular price, get the 2nd for just $5! kemahboardwalk.com

Kemah Boardwalk Daily. All ages. Coupons located on the website or Facebook page.

Baytown Town Square on Texas Avenue All day. Visit the website for exact times for activities. All ages

Dance Lessons: Merengue Enjoy a family dance party and learn the fundamentals of the Merengue dance, a partner-style dance that involves dancing in precise time with the music. Sugar Land Branch Library fortbend.lib.tx.us/event/dance-lessonsmerengue 7:30-8:30pm. Age: 17+

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

January 10 Fermentation Friday at the Health Museum Explore the important roles microbes have within our bodies - from the food we like to eat to the medicines we take. Sample and learn the benefits of eating foods rich in probiotics. You’ll even gain the tools to make your own probiotics with fermented foods as Kate demonstrates how to make kombucha, sauerkraut, and other delicious and nutritious foods and beverages. thehealthmuseum.org The Health Museum 10:30am. All ages. Admission ticket to the museum is required.

January 11 Arts & Crafts Day Spend a morning out and craft along with store experts creating masterpieces like spinners, bookmarks and masks. lakeshorelearning.com

Lakeshore learning center 11-3pm. Age: 3+

Literary reading: The Glovemaker Award-winning local author Ann Weisgarber will discuss her latest novel, The Glovemaker fortbend.lib.tx.us University Branch Library 2-4pm. Age: 15+

DIY Glitter Shoes: a YA Craft Program New Year, new shoes! Turn your boring shoes into sparkling masterpieces in this DIY craft program. Participants should bring their own pair of shoes, and we’ll supply everything else. fortbend.lib.tx.us/event/diy-glittershoes-ya-craft-program

University Branch Library 2-3pm. Age: 5+ due to limited seating, registration is required.

January 12 Festa della Befana Children will be participating in a recital and all guests will receive sweets from Befana when she comes to visit. Come learn about this Italian Christmas tradtition with your family! iccchouston.com Italian Cultural and Community Center 3:30-5:30pm. All ages. Donations are encouraged.

Last day of Moody Gardens Festival of lights Head on down to Moody Gardens as today is the last day to engage in the Festival of Lights! Enjoy the outdoor skating rink, concession areas with hot chocolate and festive food, holiday buffets, live entertainment and more. moodygardens.com/ festivaloflights Moody Gardens 10am-8pm. All ages. Ticket prices vary

D i d y o u k n o w we l i s t n o -co s t f a m i l y f r i e n dl y e v e n t s for FR EE!

Con t ac t c a le nda r@ho ust o nfamilymag azin e. c o m f or more inform a tio n houston family magazine


january 2020

Last Day of Zoo Lights

Coffee Cake Book Club

Don’t miss one of Houston’s best loved holiday traditions. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo grounds and take in the sights and sounds of the season. Houstonzoo.org

Join a book club which meets every third Wednesday of each month to discuss opinions, views and laugh. bluewillowbookshop.com

Houston Zoo Sundown. All ages. Admission tickets are required.

January 13 Digital Photography Basics Teens can learn the various characteristics of digital photography including how images can be managed and edited. houstonlibrary.org Heights Neighborhood Library 4-5:30pm. Age: 13-18

Book reading: Clean Getaway Nic Stone will speak about and sign her new book Clean Getaway - a middlegrade road-trip story through American race relations past and present. bluewillowbookshop.com Blue Willow BookShop 7pm. All ages

January 14 The Reading Circle Bring the kids to a read-a-loud book club that features the book club Narrator reading a chapter or two from the current selection. Participants are invited to practice their own read- a- loud skills in a friendly, no-pressure environment. houstonlibrary.org Central Library, Jesse H. Jones Central building 4-5pm. Age: 9-12

January 15 Explore the art of Photography: Motion and Panning Learn how to capture moments in time during Houston Center for Photography classes as you explore the illuminated art installation, Paloma, and other features of the park. hcponline.org Discovery Green. Meet at the Morgan Reading Room Time varies. Age: 15+

Blue Willow Bookshop 11am. Age: Adult

January 16 Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern History Tours Learn about the architecture of this unique space and the history of Houston’s water system every Thursday. buffalobayou.org The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, 105 Sabine Street 1-5:30pm. Age 9+. Reservations are required.

January 17 Audubon Bird Count Join the Houston Audubon Raptor and Nature Center as they partner with Baytown Nature Center on the third Thursday for a monthly bird count. With over 300 species using this area for feeding, nesting, and migrating, you are sure to see a large variety of birds. visitbaytown.com Baytown Nature Center Various times. All ages. Entry fee is waived for counting participants.

January 18 14th Annual MLK Parade in Midtown The MLK Youth Parade in Midtown Houston will kick-off the 2020 MLK Holiday Weekend. Mlkgrandeparade.org 12pm. All ages

Arbor Day Celebration (Jan 18 & 19) Enjoy nature walks, take home a free tree sapling and be sure to stop by the Family Tree craft table where kids can participate in face painting, make beautiful leaf rubbings, and even build their own family tree. hcp4.net/parks/jjp/ Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center 10am-4pm. All ages.

E D I T O R I A L | E X P L O R E G A LV E S T O N


written by Galveston.com

esiliency and a heart for preservation have helped make Galveston one of the most well-known historic towns on the Gulf Coast. The strength, ingenuity and progress of Galvestonians in the aftermath of the 1900 Storm are captured within the walls of numerous museums on the Island. On Jan. 25 – 26, 2020, these museums will offer incentives for history buffs to take a glimpse into the island’s storied past. During Museum Day, visitors can learn about Galveston’s place as one of the wealthiest cities in the United States during the late 1800s, the powerful families who helped build the city, Galveston’s significance to immigration in the region, and the importance of the industries that keep Galveston a thriving coastal city and tourism destination today. Museum Day brings together several local museums for two days of free and discounted admission. Pick up your passport and visit 3 or more of the participating locations and receive a free historic coloring book!

Insider Tip: Make a weekend of it and enjoy the Annual Galveston Restaurant Week! Check out one of the several special menus from participating locations at GalvestonRestaurantWeek.com.

1892 BISHOP’S PALACE Free admission SATURDAY ONLY Tour one of the island’s most popular mansions built of stone and steel, designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston’s premier Victorian-era architect.

GALVESTON ARTS CENTER Free admission Explore the Galveston Arts Center – an independent nonprofit organization and art museum that presents pacesetting contemporary art in a historic building on Galveston’s Strand.

GALVESTON NAVAL MUSEUM Free admission Experience a WWII submarine, the USS Cavalla, and the WWII destroyer escort, the USS Stewart – one of only two escorts remaining in the United States.

GALVESTON RAILROAD MUSEUM Buy one, get one free admission Explore locomotive history with one of the largest restored railroad collections in the United States.

1895 MOODY MANSION Buy one, get one free admission View opulent furnishings and heirlooms from one of Texas’ most powerful families.



Buy one, get one free admission Take a leisurely, self-guided tour through the retired Ocean Star jack-up rig which now serves as a museum and educational facility. From geological exploration to drilling, to oil and gas production, you will see offshore drilling equipment, exhibits and videos on three levels of this refurbished offshore drilling rig.

Free tours Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm & Sunday, Noon – 5 pm Tour the official opera house of Texas, which is one of the few remaining theatres of its era and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Free admission (CLOSED SUNDAYS) Come and explore the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation. Sneak peek the restoration work in the historic fourth-floor gallery space. Color your favorite library scene at giant coloring page stations. Place yourself in historic Galveston images featuring bathing beauties, the 1900 Storm, and more.

THE BRYAN MUSEUM Buy one, get one free admission Visit one of the world’s largest collections of historical artifacts, documents and artwork relating to Texas and the American West.


Buy one, get one free admission Explore the Galveston Children’s Museum – a unique, hands-on environment where children explore, investigate, create, and discover.


$2 off admission up to four people Discover this regional history museum featuring artifacts from the USS Westfield (including a real Civil War cannon), exhibits on the founding of Texas City and the 1947 Disaster, Children’s Discovery Room and model train layouts.


Galveston is a rich environment to teach homeschool kids about Texas history firsthand. If you’d like to explore our homeschooling curriculum, which includes several of the Galveston Museum Day historical locations, visit www. galveston.com/homeschool/

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2020 Lunar New Year Festival



Learn about the year of the Rat with performances and other entertainment. Ccchouston.org

An entire city block will be filled with performances and activities for all ages— bounce houses, face painters, stilt walkers, and more to celebrate the Midtown Arts & Theater Center. matchouston.org

Chinese Community Center 10am-4pm. All ages

Midtown (3400 Main Street) 1-5:00pm. All ages

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

Seventeen, Ode to you tour SEVENTEEN is a 13-member group that consists of 3 units: Hip-hop, Vocal, and Performance. www.smartfinancialcentre.net January 15

Quixote Nuevo Set in a fictional modern-day Texas border town, Quixote and his sidekick embark on an adventure in search of long-lost love. www.alleytheatre.org

January 17-February 9

The Fantasticks

Celebrate the love of theatre itself with this timeless gem for The Gordy’s inauguration! Follow your imagination into a whimsical tale of young lovers, meddling parents, and a bond that matures in adversity. The longest-running musical in world history has been refreshed for the new century and is the perfect valentine to the theatre and the eternal power of love. www.stagestheatre.com January 24-March 15


STOMP Celebrating 25 Years in NYC

Using only Shakespeare’s words, the audience experiences the world of the play through Hamlet’s eyes. www.mainstreettheater.com

STOMP is explosive, inventive, provocative, witty and utterly unique—an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. www.spahouston.org

January 9-19

The Diary of Anne Frank

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

The haunting, true story of two families forced to hide from the world in an attic with World War II raging around them — and the courageous people who risked their own lives to protect the very existence of those families. www.mainstreettheater.com

From January 21-February 16

January 22-February 16 houston family magazine


january 2020

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

January 23-25

Wild Kratts Live 2.0 Dressed in Creature Power Suits, the brothers go “off to the creature rescue!” with the help of audience members as they confront a comic villain and help bring the creatures of the animal world to safety once again. www.spahouston.org January 26

Prelude Concert for Kids Pack a picnic and come sing and dance with your children in the park! Enjoy live music experiences geared toward babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the grownups who love them. Levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 4:30pm. Age: 0-5

Nature Walking Tour

January 22 Gymboree at the Park There will be bubbles, dancing singa-longs, and Gymboree exclusive parachute time. So come and explore a Gymboree day! evelynspark.org Evelyn’s Park 11am-noon. All ages

Homestead Open House

Enjoy a free walking tour in Buffalo Bayou Park highlighting the landscape and ecology of 19th century Texas that created Houston. buffalobayou.org

Buffalo Bayou Water Works 10:30-noon. All ages. Stroller friendly pathways

January 19 The Nature Walk-About Start of the New Year by seeing the beauty in nature while taking part in a family-friendly fun outdoor activity. fogisp.wordpress.com

Galveston Island State Park on the bayside of FM 3005, near 13-Mile Road. 10am. All ages

January 20 26th Annual MLK Grand Parade in Midtown The MLK Grande Parade In Midtown Houston Is One Of The Largest Single Day Multicultural Events In The U.S. That Is Held In Honor Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mlkgrandeparade.org On San Jacinto Street & Elgin Street 10am. All ages

Little Explorers: STEM Discover new worlds together, with STEM-based and sensory activities designed to encourage curiosity, critical thinking, and a lifelong passion for learning. houstonlibrary.org Oak Forest Neighborhood Library 2-3pm. Age: 3-7

January 21 Youth Tennis Program The Houston Parks and Recreation Department offers free recreational sports programs that incorporates developmental skills, tennis instruction and educational opportunities. houstontx.gov/parks/ youthsports.html Various locations and times after school or homeschool program Age: 6+ registration is required online or onsite. Winter session starts Jan. 21.

The Menil Collection Located in the heart of Houston, this impressive collection is located in several buildings nestled between pocket parks and outdoor sculptures, a perfect setting for picnic lunch. Menil.org Menil Collection 11am-7pm. All ages. Stroller friendly.

Discover the Redbud Hill Homestead and Akokisa Indian Village. Self-guided interpretive brochures are available in the Nature Center. hcp4.net

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

January 1 - February 23

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center 1-4pm. All ages

January 23 Tune Time Who needs a campfire to get a good sing-along going? This family friendly event celebrates the oldest forms of social bonding-singing and dancing. houstonlibrary.org

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

January 24 Toddler roller Skating Skate with your little one with push toys & strollers and listen to the latest tunes. skatedairyashford.com


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

Dairy Ashford Roller Rink 10am-2pm. $5 and non-skating parents FREE. Age: under 7.

2019-20 SEASON

24th Annual Texas Lunar New Year Celebration Celebrate the impressive qualities of every culture while celebrating the Asian Lunar New Year with Asian and international performances. texaslunarfest.net

Southern News Group Building, located at 11122 Bellaire Blvd 10am-5pm. All ages

January 25 Family Day: Lunar New Year Celebrate and learn about the Year of the Rat, which is thought of as a clever and quick animal that represents success and also contentment with a quiet, peaceful life. asiasociety.org/texas Asia Society Texas Center 11am-4pm. All ages

Spring katy home & Garden Show Join us for a spectacular weekend where hundreds of home design, renovation and trendsetting experts will host a variety of workshops and seminars; experience unique DIY projects and explore new landscaping tips. springkatyhomeandgardenshow.com The Merrell Center, Katy 10am - 6pm Jan. 25 and 11am - 5pm Jan. 26 All ages. Tickets are $7 for adults. Kids 12 and under are FREE.

JAN 23–25




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RICE UNIVERSITY Saturday, February 15 Noon - 5pm

THE WOODLANDS MALL Sunday, February 9 Noon - 5pm

SUGAR LAND TOWN SQUARE Sunday, February 16 Noon - 5pm

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.

Jasper Johns: 100 Variations on a Theme As a basis for this series, Johns etched his palm imprint and American Sign Language symbols onto a single intaglio plate, and then proceeded to transform that image 100 times, using string, stenciled numbers, and leaves from trees. Through February 16, 2020

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



Tourmaline Treasures Is an intimate “jewel-box” exhibition of the world’s finest naturally crystallized tourmalines in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. Through January 31 Jasper Johns, Untitled, 1998, etching in colors on wove paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © 2019 Jasper Johns and ULAE / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Published by Universal Limited Art Editions.



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

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


Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields The exhibition, explores the compelling story of legendary activist and leader Dolores Huerta (b.1930) and the farm workers movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. It is a quintessentially American tale of struggle and sacrifice, of courage and victory. Through February 16, 2020


january 2020

Through March 22

Life in Stone

Escaping Earth: The Kinetic Work of Casey Curran

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.

The exhibition features kinetic sculptures, asteroid paintings, and installations that reflect the haunting beauty of human innovation and its aftermath.




Learn what 20 years of groundbreaking scientific research has revealed. About this mysterious wonder and World Heritage site, dating back 5,000+ years.


January 25 – March 29

Our Global Kitchen

houston family magazine


Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries

Beatriz González: A Retrospective Based in Bogotá, González is not only an internationally celebrated artist but also one of the few living representatives of the “radical women” generation from Latin America. The exhibition is one of the most comprehensive displays of the artist’s work to date.

Through March 22

The Art of the Brick 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 January 20, 2020

explore, learn and discover through history & art

January 26 Puppet Palooza Show! Children are invited to join us for a special puppet show. fortbend.lib.tx.us/event/puppetpalooza-show-0 Cinco Ranch Branch Library 4:30-5pm. All ages

Winterfest Join us for a fun-filled day of playing in the snow, interactive games and great food with friends & family. visitpearland.com/annualevents/

Pearland Recreation Center & Natatorium, 4141 Bailey Rd, Pearland 10am – 5pm. All ages

Sunday Family Zone Families can drop in for a variety of games, activities, and coloring in the galleries. Sunday Family Zone focuses on different works of art, artists, and exhibitions. mfah.org/calendar Museum of Fine Arts, Beck Building 1-4pm. Age 3+

January 27 Minecraft Monday Attention Minecraft players! Are you up for a Minecraft challenge? fortbend.lib.tx.us/event/minecraftmonday-5

Cinco Ranch Branch Library 4:30-5:30pm. 4th Grade to 8th Grade only. Registration is required.

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

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 Wednesday at 4pm All ages

January 28 Scavenger Hunt in Nature Enjoy a morning or an afternoon out in nature with the kids while you explore the preserve. Go on a scavenger hunt to find the pocket prairies, wetlands, and forests featuring a variety of trees, such as mature post oaks, pine trees, American beautyberry, river birch, and American sycamore. hcp4.net/parks/100acrewood/ 100 Acrewood Preserve Daily. All ages

January 30 See Nature at the Sea Center Get a small group together and take a short drive out to see a little nature center, aquarium and fish hatchery. tpwd.state.tx.us Sea Center Texas, Lake Jackson 9am-5pm. All ages

January 31 Texas History and battleground

January 29 Kids Crafternoon: Marshmallow Snowmen Make a yummy snowman you can eat. hcpl.net

West University Branch Library 3-3:45pm. All ages


For a Texas history outing with the kids, unveil the stories of Mexican Texas, the Texas Revolution, and the Republic of Texas. sanJancinto-museum.org

San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park Daily. All ages. An admission ticket to the battleship is required.

WE’RE LOOKING FOR INTERNS! Are you a college student looking to expand your skillset in journalism, graphic design, web design, multimedia, video production or social media? Come work with us and earn your college credits with Houston Family Magazine. Flexible hours, fun environment and a variety of opportunity to expand your media knowledge! E-mail your resume and portfolio samples to casey@ houstonfamilymagazine.com for consideration.

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

Enrollment begins

February 13, 2020

www.hmns.org january 2020

49 houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | H F M K I D A M B AS S A D O R S 2 02 0


Kid Ambassadors













houston family magazine


january 2020


ongratulations to our 2020 Houston Family Magazine Kid Ambassadors. These 24 amazing kids will work with us througout the coming year and represent the HFM brand. Our ambassadors will have the opportunity to participate in photoshoots, interview celebrities, attend local shows & attractions, review the latest toys, volunteer at HFM events and more. We are excited to see what this year has in store for our HFM Kid Ambassadors. Look for them to be featured in print, online and throughout our social media channels each month. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know all about them! If you missed out on getting into the program for this year, we will kickoff the 2021 ambassador search this fall.












ZAVION REED january 2020

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houston family magazine


january 2020

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