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FREE December 2013

Dear Santa.. Giving Back

Fun Ideas for Kids and Grownups

Magazine

Magazine

Balancng Act Celebrating

Hanukkah & christmas

Holiday ideas

Magazine


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Phone Call from Santa!!

See your child’s eyes light up when they receive their phone call from our Santa Volunteer. It’s Simple – e mail patricia.rangel@dshs.state.tx.us requesting our “Santa Information Form” – Complete and Return by December 12, 2013. We request a $10 donation for one child or a $15 donation for two or more children residing at the same residence. Questions? Call 531-8130 Sponsor - The Volunteer Services Council of the San Antonio State Hospital (SASH) is a 501© 3 non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to promote and enhance the well-being of individuals under care at SASH by providing goods & services not provided through state funding.

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contents december 2013

volume 30 • number 12

departments 6 On the Web December Featured Web Content

8 Editor’s Note Celebrate the Holidays by Giving Back

10 FYI

12

features Back: Fun Ideas for Kids 12 Giving and Grownups

‘Tis the season for giving. Check out our annual article on Giving Back to see how you and your kids can help area families. Holiday fundraising and toy drives are popular every December, but equally important are the year-roud needs of non profit organizations throughout South Texas.

19

20

Dear Santa … Back in 1946 songwriter Don Gardner wrote “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” The song is still popular today, however, these days kids are asking Santa for tech savvy toys. Read some of the letters we forwarded on to Santa from a few local kids.

23 Baby Finishing Your Pregnancy Strong

39 Your Kids in Our Kids Happy Holidays

calendar 24 Highlights

28 Ongoing Exhibits 36 Family Theater

coming next month!

Education

o n th e co ve r 12 Giving Back 19 Dear Santa 20 Balancng Act

Balancing Hanukkah and Christmas Celebrations You don’t have to be an interfaith family to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas each year. Any family can choose to celebrate whichever holiday traditions they wish. Holiday joy can be doubled, rather than halved, when you choose to light the menorah and decorate the Christmas tree to honor the cultural and religious traditions of both parents.

4

Holiday Spending Tips Holiday Along the River Walk Sign Up for Phone Calls From Santa

Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

cover Photo by JENN BROOKOVER photograpHy


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on the web

OurKidsMagazine.com Your Go-To Source for Parenting Information on the Web December Contests

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Win NAPPA Gold winner, Trucky 3 ($24.99, www.SmartToysAndGames. com), a fun, single-player game from SmartGames. Perfect for children as young as three, this game includes three compact wooden trucks and 48 challenges, from easy to expert that are easy at first, then gradually challenge young minds. To enter, visit www.NAPPAawards.com. Contest ends Dec. 25, 2013.

OurKidsSanAntonio.com

Your Go-To Source for Parenting Information on t December Contests

Spotlight

Win Hockey Tickets and More Spotlight Win Tickets Great Gifts Be one of the 4 lucky 13 Our Kids Win 22 adult adult one-day one-day Win readers a family 4-pack ofKids tickets to passes to SeaWorld San Can Make Mak see the

Most kids don’t come and enjoy the Tips to Help Kids Antonio theme park’s park’s Christmas Christmas spending allowances for for San Antonio Rampage take on the theme spending allowances celebration from from now-Jan. now-Jan. 6, 6, But14 they love to to give give celebration Chicago Wolves 7 p.m. Dec. at the But they love Cope with Grief, Loss 2013. Tickets are valued at $120. Register by Dec. 20, presents to their AT&T Center. We have other giveaways 2012. Tickets Tickets must must be be used used before before Jan. Jan. 6, 6, 2013. 2013. siblings, parents, 2012. this holiday season: During Holiday Season grandparents and and grandparents • “Inspector Gadget Saves Antonio and enjoy the

 

teachers. Here Here are are teachers. Christmas” DVD featuring everyone’s favorite bumbling dective The holidays should be a joyous time of year for 13 nifty gifts that and Dr. Claw, Win NAPPA Silver Silver Award timeNAPPA everyone. However, the holiday season – theWin Award your children can ™ ™ recipient, Apptivity™ • Kidz Bop Christmas Party CD featuring “All I Want create for Christmas between Halloween and New Year’s Day –recipient, is often aApptivity themselves, create themselves, ™ ™ HOT WHEELS WHEELS challenging time for children who have suffered a loss™ HOT ,, aa is You” and 14 other fun holiday songs, and which makes makes these these which play set available in in their life. • “Santa is Coming to Texas,” a book by Steve Smallmon with gifts all the more four unique unique and specially specially School counseling expert Bonnie Rubenstein, Ed.D,and four Illustrations by Robert Dunn. special to receive. designed Hot Wheels Wheels®®® cars cars that can can associate professor at the University ofdesigned Rochester’s Hot To bethat eligible to win any of these giveaways signup at www. be safely safely played on on an an iPad iPad screen. screen. Warner School of Education, says the stretch between be played ourkidsmagazine.com by 5 p.m. Dec. 21, 2013. Paired with October and January becomes a downward spiral of a free downloadable app, it lets your kids PLUS: PLUS: ® ® take their their Hot Hot Wheels Wheels® cars cars onto onto aa “secret “secret test test track” track” grief for bereaved children. take ■ An An easy-to-use easy-to-use Digital Digital Edi Edi ■ where they can can race race their their cars cars around around the the world world for for “Everywhere you go, there are constant reminders where they month’s issue issue month’s endless fun, bringing bringing their their imagination to life. life. Tenof this month’s issue of the upcoming holidays,” she says, “andendless as a result fun, to Ten • An imagination easy-to-use Digital Edition ■ ■ Calendar Calendar of of Family Family Events Events readers will be chosen to win. Prize Events value: $9.99 children have grief bursts of sadness and lucky sorrow • Calendar of Family ■ ■ Family-Friendly Family-Friendly Business Business D D • Family Friendly Business Directory each. To To enter, enter, visit visit www.NAPPAAwards.com. www.NAPPAAwards.com. Contest around the holidays.” A grief burst – a normal each. Contest ■ ■ Subscribe Subscribe to to our our Weekly Weekly U U • Subscribe to our Weekly Update Newsletter ends Dec. 20, 20, 2012. 2012. experience after losing a loved one – mayends be triggered Dec. by the sight or sound of the holidays in a retail store, the smell of the holidays at home or in school, the taste of a favorite holiday dish once prepared by a “Like us on on Facebook Facebook facebook.com/OurKidsSanAntonio •• “Like us –– facebook.com/OurKidsSanAntonio loved one, or by a memory. •• Follow Follow us us on on Twitter Twitter @ourkidsmagazine @ourkidsmagazine •• Subscribe Subscribe to to our our FREE FREE e-newsletter e-newsletter at at OurKidsSanAntonio.com OurKidsSanAntonio.com • Like usAndroid on Facebook – facebook.com/OurKidsSanAntonio Download our our free free mobile mobile app app onto onto any Android or iPhone iPhone from Google Google Play Play and and iTunes iTunes •• Download any or from To read more of this article, visit www.ourkidsmagazine.com

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More Ways to 3 More Ways to3 Stay Connected Stay Connected

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BCFS matches matches children children and and families families together together BCFS 6

Our Kids | December 2013

there with with you you through through the the entire entire process. process. there

parent you you will will have have tt parent children morals morals & & va va children healthy self-image self-image aa aa healthy


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editor’s note

By Cynthia Ladson

Magazine

Magazine

Magazine

Magazine P.O. Box 1809 Castroville, TX 78009 210-305-4181 Toll Free Number, 866-465-6936

Magazine

Celebrate the Holidays By Giving Back

Magazine

Magazine Looking to give back to the community this holiday season, but you are not sure what you want to do and who or what organization you would like to assist? The Our Kids annual Get in on the Giving article presents readers with numerous ways they can assist others this holiday season and throughout the year. The list is not just for grownups. It includes ways in which your kids can lend a hand. Some of the organizations featured in the article include: ■■Any Baby Can ■■American Red Cross ■■Cibolo Nature Center and Farm ■■Family Service Association ■■Inner City Development ■■Assistance League of San Antonio ■■Big Brothers and Big Sisters of South Texas ■■Elf Louise ■■Blue Santa Read “Get in on the Giving: Fun Ideas for Kids and Grownups” for a complete list of organizations and information on how you can help. Are you curious about what toys kids are asking Santa for this year? This year we asked parents to allow or encourage their kids to submit Dear Santa letters to Our Kids with the understanding that we would forward the letters on to Santa. Parents and kids will be happy to know that we have done just that. Additionally, we have printed a few of the letters received in this issue of Our Kids. Check them out on page 19. In “Balancing Hanukkah and Christmas” freelance writer Christina Katz shares how her interfaith family celebrates both traditions while noting that holiday joy can be doubled, rather than halved, when you choose to light the menorah and decorate the Christmas tree to honor the cultural and religious traditions of both parents.

Happy holidays and happy reading!

8

Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

Visit us online at OurKidsMagazine.com

Magazine

PUBLISHER Pat Ramotowski, Ext. 101 EDITORIAL Magazine Editor: Cynthia Ladson, Ext.102 Proofreader: April Lynn Newell PHOTOGRAPHY: Kelley Ramotowski, Ext. 104 ADVERTISING SALES Magazine Account Executives: Mary Anne Jones, Ext. 103 Pat Ramotowski, Ext. 101 PRODUCTION Graphic/Web Designer: Rudy Riojas, Ext. 105 DISTRIBUTION Distribution Manager: Tony Smith, Ext. 106

OUR KIDS MAGAZINE LLC is a locally owned magazine published monthly. Advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Call 210-305-4181 ext. 106 to request additional copies. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products or services are endorsed by the publisher. All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertising are available on an equal opportunity basis. OUR KIDS MAGAZINE LLC copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.


Welcome to Our Kids Our Kids Magazine is happy to introduce two new staff members to our readers and clients. Tammy Mallory and Annette Wright have joined our Sales Department as full time Account Executives Both bring with them experience in media sales and service and are excited to be a part of Our Kids family.

Tammy Mallory

Annette Wright Our new Account Executives join Mary Anne Jones in sales and account management. Mary Anne has been with Our Kids Magazine for the past 15 years offering expertise in advertising and customer service. Mary Anne, Tammy and Annette have already started working on FYI 2014, Camp Fair 2014, and January 2014 issue. If you are involved in a family oriented business in the San Antonio area, chances are you will hear from one of these ladies. Readers and their families will have the opportunity to meet them at Our Kids 18th Annual Camp Fair in February. December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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family f.y.i.

Holiday Spending Tips Families are projected to spend an average of nearly $800 on gifts this holiday season. However, if you don’t have a plan, you’ll easily spend more money than you expect. To keep the holidays from wrecking your finances this year, Dave Ramsey, financial expert and nationally syndicated radio show host, is introducing the online budgeting tool “My Christmas Budget.” The tool is designed to keep shoppers from going over budget. The tool allows you to enter the names of individuals you plan to buy gifts for and the amount you want to spend on that individual. It then calculates the amount under budget or overspent. You have the option of printing the budget or e-mailing it to yourself. There is even an

area where you can enter purchases made per individual. The program calculates how much more, if any, you can spend on that individual based on the budget you created.   The budgeting tool is free and a personalized link can be saved to a computer or phone, or print the budget to take with you when shopping. Ramsey also offers consumers tips on the questions to ask before buying a gift. Visit www.daveramsey.com to read about these tips. To check out the budgeting tool go to www. mychristmasbudget.com.

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013


Holiday Along the River Walk

Below are a few of the holiday happenings planned for the San Antonio River Walk. Ford Holiday Boat Caroling carries on nightly on the San Antonio River from 6:15 to 9:15 p.m. through Dec. 22. Joyous caroling fills the evening air along the San Antonio River Walk as more than 185 school, church, companies and civil choral groups celebrate the holidays by singing traditional carols on cruising boats. The eclectic mix of participants includes bell choirs, folk groups and Latino ensembles. Join visitors from around the world in impromptu sing-a-longs from the patios of River Walk restaurants. http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias allows visitors to experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 luminaries. Warmly glowing candles in sand-filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the “lighting of the way” for the Holy Family. This century’s old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Runs from Dec. 6-22 from 7 to 10 p.m. http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events

Phone Calls from Santa Sign Up Under Way See your child’s eyes light up when he or she receives a phone call from Santa. The phone calls are part of an annual fundraising project sponsored by the Volunteer Services Council of the San Antonio State Hospital (SASH). Started several years ago, Phone Calls From Santa raises funds to support the organization’s mission of promoting and enhancing the well-being of individuals at the state hospital. Calls will be made by volunteers between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 17-19. A $10 donation is accepted for one child or a $15 donation for two or more children residing at the same residence. To arrange a call for your child, contact Carol at 210884-2400 to request a sign up form. Parents can select a date for the call on the form. After the form is completed send it along with the donation to the Volunteer Services Council of SASH, 6711 S. New Braunfels Ave., Ste. 100, San Antonio, Texas 78223 or e-mail to patricia.rangel@dshs. state.tx.us. Parents e-mailing their information should send their donations via regular mail. All requests must be received by Dec. 12, 2013.

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feature

Get in on the Giving: Fun Ideas for Kids and Grownups By Renee Haines

‘Tis the season for giving, and kids can get in on the action, too, with fun ideas included inside our annual list of ways grownups and kids can help area families. Holiday fundraising and toy drives are popular every December, but equally important are the year-round needs of nonprofit organizations throughout South Texas. “The top of our wish list changes with the seasons. Today, it’s warm kids’ clothing. Over the summer, it’s uniforms for the new school year. There’s always a great need for formula, baby bottles, wipes and pacifiers,” says Evita Morin, assistant vice president for external affairs at San Antonio’s Haven for Hope, which provides shelter and help for homeless families and single adults. “It’s a scary time for a child and, due to the nature of the crisis, the parent can’t always be there to provide comfort

Homeless families in San Antonio can find shelter and a safe place for their children to play at Haven for Hope, which relies on community donations and volunteers. Photo Credit: Marie Langmore

when he or she is trying to make ends meet,” Morin says. Donations help reduce that fear, she says. “Ultimately, when

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

Any Baby Can relies on donations to help fund its annual holiday party each December, but needs help throughout the year to assist families of children with chronic illnesses, disabilities or developmental challenges. Photo Credit: Any Baby Can

a family receives these simple gifts, they are reminded that they are safe, that things are going to be OK,” Morin says. Being sick can also be frightening when there’s no health insurance to cover treatment or money in the bank to cover high emergency room bills. San Antonio’s Faith Family Clinic provides health care at a minimal cost to workers without insurance and their families at two West Side and Northeast Side clinics. “Imagine the anguish of a parent trying to decide whether to take a child to the hospital with a severe headache,” says executive director Jim Young. At his clinic, parents were able to bring in a 10-year-old child with worsening headaches, which turned out to be meningitis. “We were able to save that child’s life because they didn’t put it off. They had a place to go,” Young says. Donations as little as $25 can pay for a child’s school physical, and a $250 gift can cover the cost of immunizations. “One series of vaccines can save a child’s life,” he says. At Any Baby Can, financial contributions are needed to help provide free services to families with children who suffer from chronic illness or disabilities. “Really, our goal is to provide a safety net for these families,” says corporate relations specialist Denise Rizzo. At Arc of San Antonio, which serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, donating time as a volunteer can become a two-way gift, says Beth Green, director of development and communications. “Our participants are so much fun to work with because they see things in a different light,” Green says. “It’s very rewarding.”


Dozens of area nonprofits need donations and hands-on help from volunteers to help provide food, shelter, support services and educational opportunities to young Texans. Education programs can be indoor classes for pre-school kids through Avance-San Antonio or outdoor programs for school kids offered by organizations like Cibolo Nature Center and Farm in Boerne. “Our programs encourage children of all ages to step outside to explore, learn and play. If we enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of natural resources, they will understand why it’s so important to conserve them now and for future generations,” says Carolyn Chipman Evans, executive director of the nonprofit center. “So, as we like to say, let’s get toes in the creek and hands in the dirt.” Kids can help raise funds for a child’s school physical, a fishing pole for an outdoor program or feed for horses at a nonprofit camp. They can collect toys and board games or sign up for the Family Service Association’s Adopt-A-Family program. Kids can pitch in by going shopping until Christmas Eve at a new seasonal store called “From Me to You” that was opened by Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas. All area kids are welcome to shop with volunteer elves for low-priced holiday presents. “It raises awareness about our organization in a fun way,” says Armen Babajanian, vice president of external relations. “It also teaches kids about budgeting, and it teaches them about giving back. All the proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

South Texas schoolchildren participating in the outdoor classroom program at Cibolo Nature Center & Farm in Boerne play in Cibolo Creek while learning about the importance of conserving natural resources in Texas. Photo Credit: Cibolo Nature Center & Farm

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Animate a short film inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas. View original characters and sets in the exhibition and bring creations to life with easy to use animation technology. Free with museum admission. Meet in McNay lobby. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Members may reserve space by calling 210.805.1768 by noon on Friday, December 27.

Image: Tim Burton, Oogie Boogie Exposed from The Nightmare Before Christmas (detail), 1993. Painted foam, rubber, and wire. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.

McNay Art Museum 6000 North New Braunfels San Antonio, Texas 78209 210.805.1768 mcnayart.org

December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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Inner City Development, which provides food and clothing for low-income area families in crisis, is letting parents do the shopping for their children at its Christmas toy sale in mid-December. The organization relies on donated toys to stock the shelves, and sells the toys at minimal prices. Here are the holiday and year-round wish lists of numerous nonprofits serving South Texas families. The American Red Cross San Antonio Area Chapter serves 2.4 million people in 22 counties across South Central Texas. The chapter needs financial contributions and volunteers. Kids can help by working with their schools to form Red Cross Clubs. An easy way to help is to just say thank you when you see a volunteer at work, says Rafael Aviles, regional communications manager for the chapter. “They don’t do it for money or recognition. And for that reason, a thank you is the best gift of all.” For more information, visit www.redcross.org/tx/san-antonio or call 210-224-5151. Any Baby Can assists families with infants and children through age 12 who suffer from chronic illness, disability or developmental delay. The organization needs financial contributions, diapers and formula, and holiday toys for children. Kids can help by holding a toy drive. Teens ages 16 and older can also become volunteers. For more information, visit www.anybabycansa.org or call 227-0170. Arc of San Antonio serves children, youth and adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. The group needs financial contributions, volunteers, H-E-B gift cards and art and crafts supplies. Kids can help by raising funds for children’s art and crafts supplies. Visit www.arc-sa.org or call 210-490-4300 for more information. Assistance League of San Antonio provides help to babies, children, families and seniors each year. Last year, the league’s year-round programs helped more than 60,000 local residents, including 6,750 elementary school kids who were given school clothes and vouchers to buy shoes. The league needs financial contribution, volunteers and donations of goods to the league’s thrift shop. Kids can help by raising money for the league’s Togs for Tots program. Call 210-732-1200, or visit www.assistanceleaguesa.org for more information. Avance for 40 years has been helping San Antonio families and young children in at-risk communities. The nonprofit believes that education must begin in the first three years of a child’s life. While parents attend classes, children ages 3 and under are provided with early education classes to prepare them for school. Avance needs financial contributions and volunteers. The organization also needs school supplies, baby supplies, push toys for mobile infants, pre-school books, household items, education toys, and winter jackets and sweaters. Kids can help by collecting 14

Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

At Faith Family Clinic in San Antonio, kids with asthma can get the help they need through lost-cost services provided to families of workers who have no health insurance. Photo Credit: Faith Family Clinic

toys or school supplies. For more information, visit www. avancesa.org. Or call 210-220-1788. Baptist Child and Family Services provides early childhood care for struggling families, individuals in crisis and their children. The organization needs financial contributions and volunteers. For more information, visit www.bcfs. net or call 210-208-5642. Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas matches mentors with children ages 5 to 21. The group needs financial contributions, special event sponsors, volunteers and office supplies. For more information, visit bigmentor.org or call 210-225-6322. Blue Santa community program run by seven substations of the San Antonio Police Department to provide groceries and presents to needy families every December. Call your nearest substation to make financial contributions or donate new toys. Visit www.sanantonio.gov/sapd for police substation contact information. Boysville is a home forand boys and girls through age 17 who cannot remain in their original home because of abuse, neglect or other family crises. Boysville needs financial contributions and volunteers. For the holidays, the organization needsboard games, winter clothing for children, gift cards for teen-appropriate stores, toys and baby supplies. Kids can help by collecting toys and board games for boys or girls. Visit www.boysvilletexas.org or call 210-659-1901 for more information. Center for Family Relations helps children and parents in divorce situations redefine and restructure their families. The center needs children’s playroom supplies and office supplies. Kids can help by collecting children’s books, movies, toys and other items on the playroom wish list. To


Holiday Camps

Alamo Fencing Academy Two Holiday Camps 210-260-3804 www.alamofencing.com Winter Camp - December 26-28 

Our camps introduce the sport of fencing to beginners and raise the knowledge of fencing to all participants. Activities include games to develop physical skills, footwork, tactics and techniques, on-strip strategies. Register now and enjoy the fun while learning new skills. All equipment provided.

Whimsy Art Studio 2211 NW Military Hwy Castle Hills, Texas 78213 210-460-6610 www.whimsyartstudio.com

Let your kids paint holiday themed keepsakes at our all new Holiday Kids Camps.  Camps are a half or a full day of painting fun. Children 7 & up.

Olympian Fencing Club 2013 Winter Fencing Camp 210-872-2004 info@OlympianFencingClub.com www.OlympianFencingClub.com 3 day camp, daily: 9am - 4pm - December 29th - 31st, 2013 Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced

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Our Fencing Camp is designed for kids 6 years and up who are new to, or have recently been introduced to fencing.  Our teaching philosophy is based on working one-on-one with our fencers to develop individual skills in a group-learning environment. Enrollment is limited.

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Log on to spurs.com (keyword: YOUTH) or call 210.444.5021 December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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see the complete wish list, visit www.centerforfamilyrelations. org/wish-list or call 210-733-3349. Children’sion for Maximum Potential, or CAMP, provides recreational camping and other opportunities for kids and grownups with special needs. The association needs financial contributions, volunteers and recreational andupplies. Kids can help by collecting $25, which will pay for one day of feed for the camp’s horses. For more information, visit www.campcamp.org or call 210-671-5411. Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas provides free peer support groups for ages 3-24, as well as bereavement and anticipatory grief counseling for individuals and families. The center needs financial contributions, volunteers, art supplies, teddy bears, snacks and gift cards. Kids can help by collecting new teddy bears for grieving kids. To see the center’s wish list, visit http://cbcst.org/howyou-can-help/our-wish-list or call 210-736-4847. Children’s Shelter provides a safe haven for children ages newborn to 14 who must leave their homes because of abuse, abandonment or neglect. The shelter needs financial contributions, volunteers and year-round supplies of gift certificates and baby and children’s clothing, as well as clothing parents can wear on job interviews and early child development toys. The shelter’s holiday needs include art and crafts supplies, board games, soccer balls, basketballs, sidewalk chalk, G-rated DVDs, volleyball sets and jump ropes. Kids can help by collecting items on the holiday wish list. For more information, visit www.childrensshelter.org or call 210-212-2536. ChildSafe acts as the Child Advocacy Center in Bexar County to serve children traumatized by abuse or neglect. In 2012,6,000 children were involved in confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect – the highest number of reported cases in Texas. Nineteen Bexar County children died from physical abuse in 2012. The organization needs financial contributions and volunteersGarden Angels to maintain the organization’s healing garden. Kids can help by organizing a drive to collect Christmas stockings filled with $10 gift cards and treats. For more information, visit www.childsafe-sa.org or call 210-675-9000. Cibolo Nature Center and Farm in Boerne needs financial contributions and volunteer trail guides for its outdoor classrooms for Southildren. The nonprofit also needs childsized fishing poles, binoculars, a soil corer and LaMotte brand green water quality monitoring kits. Kids can help by raising funds for binoculars or small fishing poles. For more information, visit www.cibolo.org or call 830-249-4616. Elf Louise is a nonprofit holiday drive that collects Christmas presents for thousands of needy San Antonio area families each year. The organization needs financial 16

Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

contributions, volunteers and new, unwrapped toys for infants and children through age 18. Kids can help by organizing a neighborhood toy drive. For toy drop-off points, visit www.elflouise.org/toydrops.php or call 210-224-1843. Faith Family Clinic needs financial contributions and volunteer medical professionals. The clinic is encouraging groups to hold a Christmas Drive for Supplies to collect bandages, alcohol wipes and H-E-B or Wal-Mart gift cards to cover the cost of prescription medications or other urgent needs. Kids can help by raising $25 to cover the cost of a child’s school physical. For information, visit www.faithfamilyclinic.org or call 210-653-1511. Family Service Association, San Antonio’s oldest human service agency, serves children, seniors and families in need from 28 counties at five neighborhood locations and more than 50 school campuses. Services include early childhood education, parent coaching, youth programs and in-home care for seniors. The association needs financial contributions and volunteers. Kids can help by participating in this months’ Adopt-A-Family program. The association will help you choose a family, and thenyou a list of the family’s critical needs and holiday wish lists. The association will deliver the items after you have collected them. For more information, visit www.family-service.org or call 210-2992400.Haven for Hope has provided shelter and services to hundreds of homeless individuals and families in needHaven for Hope, nearly 3,000 people in San Antonio are homeless each day. The average age of a homeless child in San Antonio is 6 years. Haven for Hope needs financial contributions and volunteers. The organization also needs cribs and toddler beds, towels, twin sheets, art supplies, diapers and baby food. Kids can help by raising enough money to buy diapers or children’s art supplies. For more information, visit www. havenforhope.org or call 210-220-2163. Healy-Murphy Center serves teens in crisis, particularly pregnant and parenting teens and their children. The center offers high school and GED programs, day care for infants and toddlers, and well baby/well mommy check-ups and other health services. The center needs financial contributions and supplies for babies and teens. Baby and toddler needs include diapers, baby food, pacifiers and clothing. Teen needs include school supplies, clothing, digital cameras, used laptops and toiletries. For more information, visit www.healymurphy.org or call 210-223-2944. Inner City Development provides food and clothing for area families in crisis. The organization needs financial contributions, pantry food and part-time volunteers to help coach teams, supervise youth programs, stock the emergency food pantry, organize fundraising activities and help maintain the grounds. For more information, visit www. innercitydevelopment.org or call 210-224-7239.


Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas provides medical, dental and health-related human services, including free health screenings to low-income families and the uninsured in South Texas. The organization needs volunteer parenting program facilitators and family wellness program volunteers. For more information, visit www. mhm.org. Mission Road Ministries serves more than 800 children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities, or IDD. The nonprofit needs financial contributions and volunteers. The current wish list includes warm winter coats. Visit www.missionroadministries.org for wish list updates and volunteer opportunities or call 210-334-2417. Morgan’s Wonderland, a non-profit 25-acre theme park in Northeast San Antonio, is designed for special needs children and adults. A Wonderland Christmas is under way on weekends through Dec. 29, with holiday light shows, visits from Santa Claus, music and a petting zoo. Admission is free to anyone with special needs, with a small admission fee charged to the general public. Join the park’s Heroes Club with a monthly pledge of $25 or more. Visit www.MorgansWonderland.com for more information. Providence Place, which used to be called Methodist Mission Home, serves birth mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy and young adults with disabilities. The nonprofit needs financial contributions and volunteers. For more information, visit www.provplace.org or call 210-696-2410. Ronald McDonald House is a temporary residence program where families of children with serious illnesses can stay while their kids are being treated at nearby hospitals. There are two in San Antonio. The organization needs financial contributions and bedroom linens. Kids can help by organizing aluminum can tab drives. Collect the pop-top tabs on cans, and drop them off at any Ronald McDonald House. The organization uses proceeds from recycling the aluminum to help fund operations. Visit www. ronaldmcdonaldhouse-sa.org or call 210-614-2554 for more information. Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives provides counseling for families in crisis and a safe place to stay for children who have been affected by abuse, parental desertion, family strain or emotional turmoil. The organization needs financial contributions and a wide variety of items to support housing as many as 120 children at a time. As the organization explains it: “Just think of all the things you need in your own family, and add 120 children to the equation.” Visit www.ryma.org for more information or call 210-340-8077. The Salvation Army serves children, adults and seniors in Bexar County and surrounding communities. The

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organization needs program volunteers, disasterresponse volunteers and Christmas volunteers, as well as sheets, towels, toiletries and thrift store donations. Visit www.salvationarmysatx.org or call 210-352-2000. San Antonio Food Bank collects and distributes more than 44 million pounds of food in 16 Texas counties every year. The food bank needs financial donations, food and volunteers. Kids can help with a neighborhood food drive. Find how-to instructions at www.safoodbank.org or call 210-337-3663.

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San Antonio Youth Literacy provides one-to-one reading assistance to children at San Antonio elementary schools. SAYL needs financial contributions and children’s books. Adults, including teens ages 17 and older, can help by becoming Reading Buddies. Spend one hour a week reading with young students. For more information, visit www.sayl.org or call 10-299-1533. Seton Home provides a home for homeless pregnant and parenting teens and their babies. In an average year, the home will serve 85 young women and 80 babies. The home needs financial contributions, gift cards and baby supplies such as car seats, winter clothing, diapers and toddler pull-ups. For more information, visit www.setonhomesa.org or call 210-533-3504. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center collects blood donations for area hospitals. According to the center, one unit of blood can save three lives. For San Antonio locations and operating hours, visit http://southtexasblood.org/give-now/locations-hours. Toys for Tots, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program, collects new, unwrapped toys each year and distributes them to needy children in the community. The program needs new toys be dropped off until Dec. 23 at participating Toys R Us stores and other locations in Boerne, Cibolo, Helotes, New Braunfels and San Antonio. Kids can help by organizing a neighborhood drive to collect new toys. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org and follow the prompts to find the closest drop-off sites. Visitation House offers transitional housing and support services to homeless single mothers and their children in San Antonio. The program needs financialions. For more information, visit http://visitationhouseministries.org or call 210-735-6910. Renee Haines is a San Antonio freelance writer.

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013


a t n a S Dear s r e t t e L Dear Santa Claus, My name is Jimmy and I am 6 years old. I have been good this year. I have done my homework and helped my mom at home. I just want a few things this year. I asked my mom for a real puppy, but she said that I can’t have one, so can I have a Robotic one and a LeapPad Ultra?

Thank you your friend, Jimmy

Dear Santa, My name is Janice. I am 5 ½ years old. I have been a good girl and I don’t talk a lot in school anymore. I do my chores at home and I don’t watch as much TV as I did last year. Daddy says it is not good to watch TV all the time. I want a 1. LeapPad Ultra 2. Y-Flicker 3. Bike 4. Clothes Can you bring an Elmo for my 3-year-old sister? She has been good too. Mommy said we are going to fix cookies for you this year. Do you like chocolate chip? Your friend Janice

Dear Santa Claus, My name is Christina. I am 4 years old. Does Rudolph’s nose light up like on TV? Can I have some new clothes, new shoes, Epic Mickey Mouse Wii game, World of Zoo, Mr. Pencil Stylus Learn to Write and some Legos. Is it fun flying with your reindeer? Love Christina

Dear Santa, I am Brandon and I am 5 years old. Most of the year I have been good at school and at home. Can I please have an Xbox One gaming system so I can play my favorite games with my friends and my older brother, a basketball and goal, a football and a Tony Parker or Tim Duncan basketball jersey? We will leave a cup of hot chocolate and cookies on the table in the kitchen for you. Thank you Brandon

Dear Santa, My name is Stephanie and I am 6 years old. I am so glad that Christmas will be here soon so that I can see all the bright twinkling lights and beautiful decorations. I have been good. I have all A’s at school. Can you please get me a Sofia Talking Doll Play Set and DVD, a LeapPad Ultra, DVDs, Zoomer Spin Master and a LeapFrog Read with Me Toy? I will leave cookies and hot chocolate for you. Hope you like the cookies and hot chocolate. Your friend, Stephanie December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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feature

Balancing

Hanukkah and

Christmas Celebrations By Christina Katz

You don’t have to be an interfaith family to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas each year. Any family can choose to celebrate whichever holiday traditions they wish. Holiday joy can be doubled, rather than halved, when you choose to light the menorah and decorate the Christmas tree to honor the cultural and religious traditions of both parents. So forget the “December Dilemma.” When it comes to religion, families increasingly run the Judeo-Christian gamut. In our family, we have Orthodox Jews on one side of the family tree and Christians on the other side. But my husband and I both share the same beliefs about diversity, tolerance and spirituality. And that’s what we intend to pass on to our daughter. As a woman who was raised Catholic and has been happily married to a Jewish man for the past 13 years, I can attest that once you become the parent in an interfaith family, you quickly become accustomed to not being able to please everyone. But since the wisdom of your hearts brought you and your partner together in the first place, why not call on that same source of wisdom to guide you through creating your own version of happy holidays?

Here are a few tips based on what our family has learned from holding the middle ground over the years: ■■Talk To Each Other First and Last. The bottom line

on family celebrations, holiday or otherwise, is to always do whatever you and your spouse deem best for your family. The only way to come to an understanding about what this means is to discuss it with each other first and last. Be prepared for this to be an ongoing conversation,

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

and probably one that you revisit each year. ■■Protect Your Joint Point Of View. Never let bossy or

opinionated family members horn in on conversations that rightly belong between you and your partner. You only have one spouse, and that’s the person whose opinion you should value most. Your kids come next and the grandparents after them. Don’t treat your parents like children or allow them to treat you like a child. This behavior will only create conflicts between you and your spouse.

■■Ignore Disapproving Outsiders. Never apologize

for being an interfaith family, even if people in your extended family or circle of close friends do not approve of your union. You are not seeking their permission – as Perchick expressed so boldly in “Fiddler On The Roof ” ­– you are asking for their blessing. Creating harmonious and joyful dual holidays in your own home is your parental right and your familial duty, even if it means agreeing to disagree with certain members of your extended family.

■■Stick To Separate But Equal. Christmas may be more

common and commercial than Hanukkah, but don’t let that trump your holiday fun. The nice thing about Hanukkah is that it lasts for eight nights. Light the menorah candles and say the Hanukkah prayer every night, if you possibly can. You may be amazed at how moving and inspiring such simple rituals can be, even on busy school nights. Look for the quieter, more aweinspiring moments in Christmas as well, such as ending the day admiring the beauty of the decorated tree and window lights.


■■Keep Both Sets Of Traditions. At our house,

we celebrate as much of both traditions as we can, without a worry about whether the holidays overlap or not. For me, this means the Christmas tree, the presents, the cookies, the big dinner. For my husband this means lighting two menorahs for eight nights (one for him and one for my daughter), having our daughter’s friends over for potato latkes and some lively dreidel games.

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■■Don’t Double Your Gift Budget. We make an

effort to celebrate the bounty of two holidays without going overboard. If you are an interfaith family, your kids’ friends may consider them “lucky” because they assume that they get double the gifts every holiday season. However, that’s not necessarily the case at our house. Our daughter typically gets a little present on the first day of Hanukkah and a bigger present on the last day of Hanukkah. One set of grandparents send a couple of little Hanukkah gifts and a check and the other sends a couple of stocking stuffers and a check. The amount of gifts she receives is essentially the same as it would be if we only celebrated one holiday.

■■Share The Love. Another thing we enjoy about dual

holidays is that our daughter can share traditions about both holidays with her friends, no matter what religion they follow, exposing them to a culture they may not have had the opportunity to learn about.

■■Participate Wisely. When invited to join a new or

old tradition on either side of the family, give the ritual a chance. We will try just about anything once. But we reserve the right to say no to pressure or anything that makes us uncomfortable. Maintaining an atmosphere where you can say yes or no to your parents without stern chastisement may not come easily in your extended family system. But start trying it, or you’ll never get there.

■■Honor The Choices Of Others. We don’t try to

protect our family members from our choices. They need to be exposed to what we value, if we expect them to understand and accept our choices. However, we also try to respect the choices that each of our family members make without imposing our life choices on them. The Jewish families get Happy Hanukkah cards and the Christian families get Christmas cards. When we cross over, we go with “Happy Holidays.”

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Fun Holiday Family Reads: Hanukkah: ■■“Hanukkah!” by Roni Schotter and Marilyn Hafner ■■“Lots Of Latkes, A Hanukkah Story” by Sandy Lanton and Vicki Jo Redenbaugh ■■“When Mindy Saved Hanukkah” by Eric Kimmel ■■“It’s A Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook” by Stephanie Spinner and Jill McElmurry

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Christmas: ■■“The Christmas Story” by Jane Werner Watson and Eloise Wilkin ■■“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas or Account Of A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore ■■“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss ■■“The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg Celebrating Both: ■■ “My Two Holidays, A Hanukkah and Christmas Story” by Danielle Novack and Phyllis Harris ■■“Light the Lights, A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah And Christmas” by Margaret Moorman ■■ “Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama” by Selina Alko Christina Katz loves celebrating the winter holidays with her family and friends. Each year her family enjoys exchanging ornaments for the tree and inviting a new group of friends over to play the dreidel game and enjoy potato latkes.

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

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baby

How to Finish Your Pregnancy Without

Burning Out By Meagan Ruffing

Y

ou are in your 37th week of pregnancy and you are ready to have your baby. If it is your first child, you may be feeling all sorts of emotions about meeting your baby for the first time, giving birth and just the overall unknown of becoming a mother. Or, if this is not your first pregnancy and possibly your last, you may be having mixed emotions about what comes next. What comes next will be happening within days, weeks or possibly longer if you become overdue in your pregnancy. No matter what your feelings are at this point, your body maybe winding down and wearing out. Mentally you may be ready to deliver or you may be trying to cherish every moment you have left with this wiggly, unmet being that is kicking and poking you from inside. The key to finishing out the rest of your pregnancy without burning yourself out is to take it one day at a time. It really is that simple. Take the last few weeks (or days) of the pregnancy to embrace your beautiful, growing and tired body … one, single day at a time. Pretty soon, the baby will be born and your once round belly will be a soft spot for your baby to lie. Following are four tips that can make the difference between your feeling amazing or feeling rundown before your big day.  ■■You are officially considered full term if you are in your

37th week or beyond. Celebrate! This means it is safe for you to deliver and all of those sleepless nights because of leg cramps and heartburn will be a thing of the past. Even though you will have your body back which might mean sleeping on your tummy again, it’s important to continue to get your sleep because once the baby arrives, sleep will be a thing of the past.

■■Drink up. Whether you decide to breastfeed, formula

feed or do a little bit of both, it is important that you continue to drink plenty of water. Your body has just gone through a major overhaul and there is nothing as important as keeping yourself hydrated through the post-delivery time.

■■Grace. Give yourself grace to be human. If you have other

children at home, you are probably exhausted and beyond tired when it comes to taking care of others. Hang in there. The end is almost near and even though you are tired now, you may be even more so once the baby comes. Give yourself plenty of grace to get back into the swing of things.

■■Take it easy. The nesting stage has probably worn off by

now. An easy way to stay balanced in these last few weeks of pregnancy is to take it easy. Don’t expect too much out of yourself as far as housework goes. If the kids want to play at the park but you are just not feeling up to it that day, it’s OK, get out some coloring books and let them use their imaginations. Taking it easy when you are this far into the pregnancy is better for everyone. A happy, rested mommy equals a better mommy.   Just because you are about to deliver does not mean you cannot enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Winding down without wearing out and finishing up without burning out should be every new-mama-to-be’s mantra. Meagan Ruffing is a freelance-parenting writer. She wrote this article during her 37th week of pregnancy while she sat in bed and rested in anticipation of the big day.

December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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calendar

december

SAFD and ITC Bring Toy Day 2013 to SA The Institute of Texan Cultures teams up with the San Antonio Fire Department in a classic tradition. Reminiscent of 1930s San Antonio, when children received an afternoon of free entertainment if they brought a toy to the fire department toy drive. The Institute of Texan Cultures continues the tradition with free admission for children ages 12 and younger when they bring a new, unwrapped toy for the San Antonio Fire Department Toy Day drive on Dec. 7. Toy Day hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Institute of Texan Cultures, UTSA HemisFair Park Campus at 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd. The Fire Department will bring an ambulance, antique fire truck and modern fire truck for discovery and exploration. Inside the museum, visitors can enjoy holiday music and crafts from around the world. Santa Claus will be on site for photos and Los Belen Pastores will perform a traditional Mexican “Pastorela” morality play. For additional information call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.

Here is a classic image of San Antonio firefighters in the 1930s-era conducting their toy drive for local children. The Institute of Texan Cultures has revived this tradition and added a few extras for those who come out Dec, 7. Photo from the San Antonio Light collection, courtesy of the Hearst Corporation, UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Holiday Toy Drive at Magik Theatre Share the magic of the holidays by helping children in need. Drop off a new toy at the Magik Theatre between Dec. 1 and 21 to help local parents give their kids a happy holiday. Donated gifts will support the Elf Louise project. The Magik Theatre is at 420 S. Alamo St. Call 210-227-2751 or visit www.magiktheatre.org for more information.

get listed Do you have a family friendly event? Submit your event online at www.ourkidsmagazine.com or e-mail your calendar items and photographs to ourkidssacalendar@gmail.com. The deadline for the January 2014 issue is Dec. 4 . Information cannot be accepted by phone.

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013


What’s Inside 28 36

Ongoing Exhibits Family Theater

International Artisan Fair Features Children’s Day

Children’s Day at the International Artisan Fair is from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Pearl Brewery. Held in conjunction with a two-day International Artisans Alliance fair set for the Pearl Dec. 14 and 15, Children’s Day will feature special activities for young visitors. The fair kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14 after the arrival of artisans by riverboat procession. Activities continue through 5 p.m. Saturday tickets are $5 for adults and free for children younger than 16 and can be purchased on site the day of the fair. The fair is presented with local businesses, organizations and other supporters. Fourteen countries will showcase work as part of this non-profit project. Tickets for Sunday are $3 for adults and free for children younger than 16. The Pearl Brewery is at 312 Pearl Parkway.

SAPAR Offers Holiday Camps for Kids

A variety of active games, crafts, sports and winter themed activities will keep children active and entertained during the Parks and Recreation Department’s Holiday Camps. The camps, for youth ages 6 to 14, are held at 15 Parks and Recreation community centers. Holidiay Camps are offered Dec. 26, 27, 30 and 31, 2013 and Jan. 2 and 3, 2014. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $3 per participant per day. The cost includes lunch and a snack. Community centers will close on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For more information call 210-207-3000.

San Antonio Symphony Presents Handel’s Messiah

The San Antonio Symphony will perform Handel’s Messiah in three locations locally this holiday season. Guest conductor Antoine Plante leads four vocal soloists and the Mastersingers in three performances of the Christmas portion of Handel’s timeless classic. The first performance is 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at University United Methodist Church. Two performances are scheduled for Dec. 8 – 2 p.m. at Cocker United Methodist Church and 8 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church. Tickets are $ 9.75 for children and $30 for adults. For more information, call 210-554-1010 or go to www.sasymphony.org.

1 Sunday Feria De Santa Cecilia “Dia Del Musico”: Last day of a threeday event featuring local entertainment, art and crafts, food. Event is presented by the Department for Culture and Creative Development. El Mercado in Market Square, 514 W. Commerce St. http://www.sahearts.com/ Investigation Station: Kids put critical thinking skills to the test while working with interactive stations designed to encourage their investigation of the world around them. Hours vary by date. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8 for kids ages 2 years and older and free to children younger than 2. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Art Pavilion: Try your hand at new and fun art and crafts every Sunday. Free with museum admission 3 to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for persons 2 years and older, free for children under 2 years. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org SAMA Free Admission: No charge for admission from 10 a.m. to noon. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-9788100. www.samuseum.org First Sundays for Families-Exploring Oceanic Art: San Antonians are invited to share Sundays with their family and delve into the culture of Polynesia, Micronesia and the South Pacific and to learn about the islands that make up Oceania. Hands-on art includes mask making, bark paper designs, rock art and jewelry. 6 p.m. Free for children 12 and younger. Great Hall, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-9788100. www.samuseum.org

2 Monday Canine and Kitty Christmas Nights: Pet owners are invited to bring their beloved dogs and cats for photos with Santa at North Star and LaCantera Malls. All pets must be on leash and enter through mall entrance between Saks Fifth Avenue and Toni & Guy. 6 to 9 p.m. For more information visit either www.northstarmall.com or www.theshopsatlacantera.com

Bring your beloved pet to the mall for a picture with Santa each Monday evening through Dec. 23! See Monday, Dec. 2 for details.

Tinker-N-Tales: Museum staff leads kids ages 0 to 3 years in activities that build upon their fine and gross motor skills. Activities may include reading, music and exploration of hands-on materials. 11 a.m. to noon. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org YA Film Club: Teens having fun with film production in Boerne meet. 4:30 to 6 p.m. in th Upstairs Conference Room 451 N. Main St. Boerne. For more information, e-mail stauber@boernelibrary.org 830-249-3053. www.ci.boerne.tx.us Art Pavilion: see Dec. 1

3 Tuesday Hands on Chanukah: Latkes, crafts, music, Menorah lighting free and open to the community. Hands on Chanukah will feature a latke snack bar in the Café and will conclude with community candle lighting at 5:30 p.m. at the front entrance of the December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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5-year-olds and their caregivers to experience animals at the zoo through stories, crafts and animal presentations. 10 to 11 a.m. $7 members/$17 nonmembers. San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Mary’s St. 210-734-7184. www.sazoo.org Story Adventures: Kids will enjoy an imagination adventure that strengthens language and listening skills through story time and dramatic play. Children of all ages will love taking average story time to the next level. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Astronomy in the Park: Join astronomers and other stargazers as you observe the sky through large telescopes in an informational program with the San Antonio Astronomical Association. Sundown to 10 p.m. every Wednesday. Free. Lower Bee Tree soccer field parking lot of McAllister Park, 13102 Jones Maltsberger Road. 210-710-4786. www.sanantonioastronomy.org SAMA Playdate-Winter Olympics:  Meet at the front desk for a playdate that will cultivate, nurture and inspire creativity while developing an appreciation of art and world cultures.  Each Wednesday morning from 10 to 11 a.m., toddlers experience stories, gallery activities, hands-on art, movement and music. Free with museum admission.  San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-978-8183. www.samuseum.org

The 14th Annual Dickens on Main takes place in Downtown Boerne Friday and Saturday evenings, Dec. 6 and 7. Various holiday activities will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Campus.  Plan on joining in the celebration! Campus Café and Foyer. 3-6 p.m.  While this is a free event, a general headcount is needed in order to know how much supplies to have on hand so please RSVP at www.jccsanantonio.org/index. php?src=forms&ref=Hands on Chanukah RSVP. Pint-Sized Science: This program introduces budding scientists to basic science concepts. Each month kids will explore a different theme such as weather, animals, water, reactions, nutrition and many more. 10 to 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday and 2 to 2:30 p.m. each Wednesday in the Jungle Adventure Classroom. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Toddler Time: Museum staff members lead activities building on your child’s fine and gross motor skills. Weekly activities may include reading, music and exploration of hands-on materials. Toddler Time is held in the Tot Spot exhibit dedicated to infants and toddlers up to 36 months. 2 p.m. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum: Admission is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m. The Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway. 210-357-1900. www.wittemuseum.org SAMA Free Admission: No charge for admission from 4 to 9 p.m. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. www.samuseum.org  210-978-8100.

4 Wednesday Growing Up Wild – Deep Blue Sea: Children will explore the wonders of ocean life. They will learn the difference between salt water and fresh water.  Kid-friendly craft included. Limited to 20 children. 10 to 11:30 a.m.  Suggested donation is $3 per child and $5 per family. To register e-mail Susan.Campbell@sanantonio.gov or call 210-207-3106. Phil Hardberger Park, 13203 Blanco Road (East Side).  www.philhardbergerpark.org  Tiny Tots Classes: One-day class on “Destination South America: Jaguar Jingle” provides an opportunity for 2- to

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Weed Wednesdays-Volunteer at PHP: Exotic invasive weeds are threatening Hardberger Park’s diversity of flora and fauna and volunteers are needed to combat the weeds from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday. Contact Wendy Leonard for directions to each week’s location. 210-207-3292. wendy.leonard@sanantonio.gov. Phil Hardberger Park, 13203 Blanco Road (East Side). 210-207-3106. www.philhardbergerpark.org Pint-Sized Science: see Dec. 3

5 Thursday Ford Caroling Nights with Santa: Enjoy a magical evening on the River Walk with Luminarias, Christmas Lights and Carolers singing to everyone. Bring your camera and take a picture with Santa on a decorated river barge. Live entertainment and concessions will be available at the Arneson River Theatre in La Villita. 6 to 9 p.m. River Walk. 210-227-4262. www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com Rockin’ Reptiles: Kids meet the reptiles that call the museum home. 3 to 4 p.m. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Helotes Ballet Folklorico Classes: Free Ballet Folklorico dance classes meet on first and third Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. at Helotes City Hall, 12951 Bandera Road.  210-416-1498. www.helotes-tx.gov Toddler Time: see Dec. 3

6 Friday Youth Matinee – Black Violin: Kev Marcus and Wil B are the classically trained, three-time Apollo-winning duo Black Violin who have created the ultimate synergy between classical and hip-hop music. With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin breaks all the rules, blending the classical with the modern to create a one-of-a kind concert experience. Both college graduates, thanks to full music scholarships, Black Violin wants to make sure that North America’s young people get the same exposure to the arts that they did, and teach youth that classical music is cool! 11 a.m. Carver Community Cultural Center, Jo Long Theatre, 226 N. Hackberry. www.thecarver.org/education/youth-matinee-series


Santa’s Rockin’ River of Lights: Come for Santa, stay for the music! Paseo del Rio and San Antonio River Authority present Santa’s Rockin’ River of Lights where you and your family can experience the holidays, River Walk style. Take a picture with Santa aboard a docked river barge while passing barges with live music fill the air with holiday spirit, all while experiencing the twinkling beauty that is the River Walk during the holidays. Free. 6 to 8 p.m. Pearl Brewery, 312 Pearl Parkway. 210-2274262. http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/ Dickens on Main: Go to downtown Boerne for the 14th Annual Dickens on Main. Festivities include the Holiday Lighting ceremony, the Stocking Stroll, Bah Humbug –It’s a Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol,” Ice Sculptures, Roasting Chestnuts on Main, Brothers of the Flame and much more! Free. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Down Town Boerne. 830-249-7277. www.dickensonmain.com Black Violin at The Carver: Black Violin is an American hiphop duo from Florida comprising two classically trained string instrumentalists. The band’s most recent album, “Classically Trained,” is the follow-up to their 2007 self-titled debut album offering a blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and even bluegrass music. 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. Carver Community Cultural Center, Jo Long Theatre, 226 N. Hackberry. 210-207-7211. http://www.thecarver.org/ Conspirare Christmas: “Conspirare Christmas” features Craig Hella Johnson’s “collage” programming that melds music of many centuries and styles into one intensely meaningful whole. Twice Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster joins Conspirare’s professional singers. General admission is $40 and $10 for students. 7 p.m. Laurel Heights United Methodist Church, 227 W. Woodlawn Ave. 512-474-5664. http://conspirare.org/concerts/ Miss Anastasia’s Twiglet Story time: Miss Anastasia combines

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story time and a craft every Friday. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free. Twig Book Shop in the Can Plant Building, 306 Pearl Parkway Ste. 106. 210-826-6411. www.thetwig.indiebound.com Dots & Squiggles: Fun and engaging lessons taught by early childhood educators provide children ages 1-3 the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities that incorporate art, sensory exploration, movement, music, story time and dramatic play. 10:30 a.m. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Mom’s Coffee and Conversation: Enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other moms while giving your children a place to play and explore together. This is a great way to foster new friendships for parents and children. Concessions are available, but outside food is allowed in the park’s shaded picnic area. 9 to 10 a.m. Morgan’s Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards Drive. 210-495-5888. info@morganswonderland.com Ford Caroling Nights with Santa: see Dec. 5 Tiny Tots Classes: Today’s theme is “Destination World: Everything Red!” see Dec. 4 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Growing Up Wild – Deep Blue Sea: see Dec. 4

7 Saturday 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Concert: This concert caps off a weeklong festival of live mariachi music. Concert goers experience competitive mariachi groups, vocal competition and the preeminent Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan live in concert at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Lila Cockrell Theatre, 740 E. Market St. Tickets start at $29. http://www.ticketmaster.com/mariachi-vargas-de-tecalitlan

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calendar

Ongoing Exhibits

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

San Antonio Museum of Art

“Hecho a Mano” is a San Antonio fine art and craft market featuring more than 40 local, regional and national artists. The market features traditional and contemporary works. Visitors can view a wide range of fine art and crafts, including ornaments, jewelry, apparel, metalwork, painting and sculpture. Market runs through Dec. 22. Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Guadalupe Art Gallery, 723 S. Brazos St. 210-271-3151. www.guadalupeculturalarts.org

“Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor,” a comprehensive exhibition of samurai culture, celebrates the history and artistic craftsmanship surrounding these universally renowned warriors. A stunning array of long and short swords, full suits of armor, helmets, warrior hats, face masks, daggers, rifles, and more showcase a quintessential part of Japanese history. Exhibit on display through Jan. 5, 2014. San Antonio Museum of Art is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+), $5 for students and military with ID and free to children younger than 12 years. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-978-8100. www.samuseum.org

Institute of Texan Cultures “Ramp it Up at ITC,” an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and the National Museum of the American Indian, celebrates the vibrancy, creativity and history of American Indian skateboarding culture. Exhibit runs through Jan. 5, 2014. “The 201st Fighter Squadron - Mexico Joins the Fight in World War II” showcases the courageous Mexican volunteers who trained in San Antonio and fought alongside U.S. airmen in the Pacific. During WWII, Mexico’s only unit to fight in overseas combat was the 201st Fighter Squadron, the Aztec Eagles. Exhibit runs through Jan. 12, 2014.

McNay Art Museum Native Son: Prints and Drawings by Luis A. Jiménez Jr. celebrates the recent acquisition of the bronze sculpture “Man on Fire”and highlights contemporary Latino printmaking. Born in El Paso, Jiménez was the son of a sign maker, and became one of the greatest sculptors and draftsmen ever from Texas. Runs through Jan. 19, 2014.

 San Antonio Botanical Garden “Holidays in Bloom at the Botanical Garden” features seasonal plantings and nature-inspired holiday décor. Visitors can see the Botanical Garden all dressed up for the holidays through Dec. 31.

Grocery Store Botany at the Botanical Garden:  Ever wonder about the life of a plant? Or what really is that vegetable or fruit you find in the grocery? This class will explore the various parts of a plant, and their role in its life, from the structure of flowers to the formation of fruit and the critical role of roots, leaves, and even bark in their well-being. 10 a.m. to noon. Cost is $30 for nonmembers and $27 for members. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place. 210-207-3270. www.sabot.org Winterfest Helotes: Enjoy events such as a mini-parade, performances by Northside School District dance groups and bands, karate and gymnastic demonstrations, games, food and giveaways, including a grand prize drawing for $1,000. A snow area and sledding will be available. Take a new unwrapped toy for Elf Louise and receive a free photo with Santa, free horse carriage ride, free carnival ride and a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grand prize drawing is at 4 p.m. Cornyval Grounds, 12210 Leslie Road (across from O’Connor High School). www.winterfesthelotes.com

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San Antonio Public Library “Con Estas Manos/With These Hands” is a show of works by nationally recognized quilter, Alicia Avila. Her quilts explore aspects of the art form, from traditional patterns and abstract explorations of color, to unique appliques and pictorial presentations of Mexican-American Culture and have been displayed worldwide. Exhibit opens during library hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Display runs through Dec. 31.  Memorial Branch Library, 3222 Culebra Road. 210-207-2614. rdavila@ sanantonio.gov 

Witte Museum “CSI: The Experience” – Enjoy this immersive, interactive forensic science exhibit related to the hit TV series that invites people to use real science to solve hypothetical crimes in an exciting multi-media environment. This exhibit requires a surcharge of $8 for adults and $6 for members and children in addition to museum regular admission. Exhibit runs through Jan. 26, 2014 in the Kathleen and Curtis Gunn Gallery.

Dog Days – Happy Howlidays at the Botanical Garden:  Take your favorite four-legged buddy (on a leash) for a holiday walk at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Cost of regular admission plus a $5 donation per dog. The donation benefits the Animal Defense League, Humane Society, Animal Care Services and San Antonio Botanical Garden.. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place. 210-207-3250. www.sabot.org Free Hours – Museum Reach River of Lights: San Antonio’s Museum of Art offers free admission in celebration of the Museum Reach River of Lights. Visitors should meet at the front desk to enjoy free general admission from 5 to 9 p.m. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-978-8100. www.samuseum.org Weihnachts Parade: This year’s theme is “Toy Land!” The ever-popular parade is held in the evening of the first Saturday in December and will include up to 100 floats with lights and music. The Weihnachts Parade is a long-standing Boerne Christmas tradition. Take the whole family for this


fun and free event. Santa will be available after the parade. Parade begins at 6 p.m. Maine Street, Down Town Boerne. 830-249-7277. www.visitboerne.org/calendar/weihnachtsparade#sthash.1KD5BAGl.dpuf Jingle Bell Jamboree: Judson Education Foundation presents its 9th annual Jingle Bell Jamboree. Take the whole family to enjoy a holiday shopping extravaganza that includes more than 40 local vendors, performances by Judson School District school choirs and concession items. Free admission and free parking. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wagner High School, 3000 N. Foster Road. yreyna@judsonisd.org Family Yoga on the Grounds with Yogiùos: Practice yoga the first Saturday of the month with your family as you connect works of art with yoga postures and practices. Class is offered in English and Spanish. Take your own yoga mat. 10 a.m. McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave. 210-824-5368. www.mcnayart.org Handmade and Homegrown Sale:  Shop handmade and homegrown gifts for family and friends. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway. 210-207-5380. www.sanantonio.gov/parksandrec/calendar. Concordia Lutheran Church 10th Annual Drive-Thru Nativity: More than 60 actors and live animals bring the Christmas story to life in this outdoor production. Free. 5 to 9 p.m. 16801 Huebner Road. 210-479-1477. http://drivethru.concordialutheranchurch.com/ Sensory-Friendly Films: Partnering with the Autism Society, AMC Theaters brings Sensory Friendly Films to families affected by autism in the San Antonio area. The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned

The Deep Blue Sea is just one of many unique interactive learning activities offered at Phil Hardberger Park. Go to www.philhardbergerpark.org for a full line-up of programming.

December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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calendar down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing. All shows are at 10 a.m. Featured film is “Frozen 2-D.” Dates and films are subject to change so be sure to verify in advance. $4 per person. AMC Rivercenter 9, 849 E. Commerce St. http://www.autismsociety.org/get-involved/events/ sensory-friendly-films/ First Saturday at the Alamo: Enjoy First Saturday, an interactive living history event, designed to give visitors a glimpse of life in early Texas. Includes live demonstrations, living history and history talks. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Alamo. 210-225-1391. www.thealamo.org Primer Sabado! La Pastorela: A twoday fun and family-friendly event offering local entertainment, art and crafts, children’s activities, food and more. Free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. San Antonio’s Historic Market Square. 210207-8600.  www.marketsquaresa.com

Don’t miss the 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza on Dec. 7 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.

Friedrich Fall Color Walk – First Saturday Nature Walk in Friedrich Park: Have you ever noticed the alternating layers of vegetation color here in the fall? Discover signs of winter during this walk. As you walk, you will solve the mystery of why you can look at the ‘balcones’ of the hills and see a red and green layer cake of color. Dress appropriately. Participants are limited to 15 per hike so call or e-mail to reserve a spot. Meet near the restrooms. A donation of $2 per person with a maximum of $6 per family is suggested. 10 a.m. to noon. Friedrich Park, 21395 Milsa. 210-207-5320. peggy.spring@sa​nantonio.gov MarketPlace at Old Town Helotes: Music, food and a good time are served up as local craftsmen fill Helotes with treasures from across South Texas. Coming to town the first Saturday of every month, The MarketPlace is in the heart of Old Town Helotes near the historic Floore Country Store and scenic Helotes Creek. Jewelry, arts and crafts, fresh produce and one-of-akind pieces are on display. Additionally, local boutiques open their doors and offer visitors a taste of Old Town Helotes. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. 210-695-5964. www.helotes-tx.gov/marketplace Dinosaur George: PHP’s First Saturday Program will feature George Blasing speaking to all ages about dinosaurs. His enthusiasm for dinosaurs has been entertaining families for over 35 years. Come early to this well attended outside event held in front of the basketball court. Kid-friendly activity included. One show only, starts at 9:15 a.m. This is a great event for the whole family! Additional parking available at the Alon H-E-B shopping area. 9 to 11 a.m.  Phil Hardberger Park, 8400 N.W. Military Highway (West Side). 210-207-3106.  www.philhardbergerpark.org “Kids Fun Day” with Trains: The New Braunfels Train Museum is a place for fun for kids of all ages. “Kids Fun Day” is the first and third Saturday of every month. Kids of all ages “run the train” and have the opportunity to become junior engineers 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. New Braunfels Railroad Museum. 830-6272447. newbraunfelsrailroadmuseum.org Art Studio: Your child can create sensory-rich masterpieces inspired by famous artists. Art Studio lets your child practice

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tactile artistry as they create kaleidoscopes, watercolor flowers and more. Open to all ages. 2 p.m. Free with admission. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org Living History Presentations – Battle of Bejar: The San Antonio Living History Association re-enacts the storming of San Antonio de Bejar (now City of San Antonio, Texas) by Texian and native Tejano volunteers who laid siege and drove out the Mexican garrison from the town of Bejar and the Alamo fortress in December 1835. This event includes a walking tour of La Villita. Noon. La Villita. 210-201-6653. www.sanantoniolivinghistory.org Ford Caroling Nights with Santa: see Dec. 5 Dickens on Main: see Dec. 6 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1

8 Sunday Annual Christmas Concert: The San Antonio Liederkranz, a 65-member male chorus, founded in 1892, presents its annual Christmas concert, sung in German, English and Latin. 3 p.m. Cost is $12. McAllister Auditorium, San Antonio College, 1300 San Pedro Ave. 210-651-0573 http://www.saliederkranz. org/2013-events.html Ford Caroling Nights with Santa: see Dec. 5 10th Annual Drive-Thru Nativity: see Dec. 7 Dog Days – Happy Howlidays at the Botanical Garden: see Dec. 7 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Pavilion see Dec. 1 SAMA Free Admission: see Dec. 1

9 Monday Little Sprout Mondays-Discover Winter: Program for ages 3-4 includes storytelling, kids’ crafts and hands-on explorations at the child’s pace. No registration necessary. 10 a.m. $3 per child, plus garden admission. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place. 210-207-3250. www.sabot.org Art Pavilion: see Dec. 1


Canine and Kitty Christmas Nights: see Dec. 2 Tinker-N-Tales: see Dec. 2

10 Tuesday Explore Grades 1-4: Ponds and puddles will be the focus for this gathering. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friedrich Wilderness Park, 21395 Milsa Drive. 210-564-6402. peggy.spring@sanantonio.gov Run With SAMA: Join the San Antonio Museum of Art and Run Wild Sports at the museum on the second Tuesday of every month for a leisurely run. Runners of all levels are welcome. Enjoy a 5-10 minute talk on fitness. Run and walk with professional coaches and runners from Run Wild Sports, and stretch with yoga instructors from The Synergy Studio. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Free. Runners can enjoy free admission to the museum. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-978-8100. www.samuseum.org

for fun nature play-time, digging, collecting, questioning, climbing, squawking, pretend playing and looking for nature critters. Each session includes a visit from a fun animal ambassador. 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Cost is $7 per person for members and $15 per person for nonmembers. San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Mary’s St. 210-734-7184. www.sazoo.org Home School Programs: This month’s focus is “Working at the Zoo” and is geared to home-schooled children grades K-6. Students will be separated based on grade level. Two sessions are offered – 9:30 to 11 a.m. and again from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $15 for adult members and child; and $25 for adult nonmembers and child. San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Mary’s St. 210-7347184. www.sazoo.org

Pint-Sized Science: Dec. 3

Pint-Sized Science: see Dec. 3 Story Adventures: see Dec. 4 Astronomy in the Park: see Dec. 4 SAMA Playdate – An Octopus Lives in the Museum: see Dec. 4 Weed Wednesdays-Volunteer at PHP: see Dec. 4

Toddler Time: see Dec. 3 Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum: Dec. 3 SAMA Free Admission: Dec. 3

12 Thursday

11 Wednesday Creole Christmas: Join the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as they celebrate the winter holidays New Orleans style. This event has been an annual must see production for families since 2005. Sponsored by Arts SA. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29. Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N. St. Marys St., 210-226-2891 or http://www.artssa.org/creole-christmas/ Tots Nature Playtime at the Zoo: Take your energetic and inquisitive 2-3 years old explorers to the San Antonio Zoo

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URBAN-15’s Holiday Laser Show: URBAN-15’s annual “Holiday Laser Show” is a multimedia spectacular of choreographed laser beams, animation and light effects performed to holiday music favorites and carols. This 45-minute presentation is a family-oriented show with colorful 3D animations and a stunning aerial beam display. Cost is $15 at the door or $10 online. 7 p.m. Texas A&M University-San Antonio Education and Cultural Arts Center, 101 S. Santa Rosa Ave. 210-736-1500. www.urban15.org Holly Daze: This special performance will feature holiday season dance and musical entertainment by the city’s TAKE NOTE Band. Get into the spirit of the season with Gymnastics skills that improve independence and coordination. Or in their Gymnastics skills words, that improve independence and coordination. Or in their words,

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December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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calendar

holiday performances courtesy of the Parks and Recreation Department. 7 p.m. La Villita, Arneson River Theatre. 210-2073132. http://www.sanantonio.gov/parksandrec/calendar.aspx Explore Grades 5-8: Hearts and Pumos will be the focus for this gathering for middle school kids. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friedrich Wilderness Park, 21395 Milsa Drive. 210-564-6402. peggy.spring@sanantonio.gov Art Crawl: Moms, dads and caregivers can put their babies in slings and take a walk through the museum galleries during a guided tour. Talks are geared toward adults while the art selections are chosen to engage the adult and infant. This activity is geared toward caregivers and babies 0-18 months. Tours begin at the front desk and end with playtime and refreshments. Front-carrying baby carriers are encouraged and strollers are welcome. 10 to 10:45 a.m. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-978-8100. www.samuseum.org Toddler Time: see Dec. 3 Rockin’ Reptiles: see Dec. 5 Explore Grades 1-4: see Dec. 10

13 Friday Holiday Art and Crafts Show: Enjoy a stroll along the picturesque River Walk during this annual event. Shop and talk with vendors. San Antonio River Walk. 210-227-4262. www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com City of Helotes Lighting of the Lights: The annual Lighting of the Lights (Christmas tree lighting) event will be at Helotes City Hall.  The Helotes area community band and the choirs from Helotes, Kuentz and Los Reyes elementary schools will perform traditional Christmas music. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Take the family and enjoy this jolly good event. 6 p.m. Helotes City Hall, 12951 Bandera Road, Helotes. http://www.helotes-tx.gov Starting Out Wild – Less is More (Recycling): Toddlers ages 1-3 can take part in this program called “Less is More – using less is a way of sharing resources.” Play a recycle game, make art from scraps, share a snack or read ‘Compost Stew.’ Program includes stories, music, games, finger play, crafts and snacks. Everything is based on sound ecological principles. It is recommended that a child be walking and a parent or adult must attend with each child. Siblings are allowed if they do not distract. 10 to 11 a.m. Suggested donation is $3 per child per session. Most of the classes are outdoors so participants are encouraged to dress for the weather. Friedrich Wilderness Park, 21395 Milsa Drive. 210564-6402. peggy.spring@sanantonio.gov URBAN-15’s Holiday Laser Show: see Dec. 12 Miss Anastasia’s Twiglet Story time: see Dec. 6 Dots & Squiggles: see Dec. 6 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Holly Daze: see Dec. 12

14 Saturday La Gran Tamalada: This annual community event honors the San Antonio tradition of making tamales. It blends storytelling and history of the tamalada tradition and promotes cultural pride and lifelong learning.  Cultural experts Carmen Tafolla, Olga Kaufman, and Ellen Clark guide participants through the entire process from the ingredients to the cooking methods used.  Participants take home the knowledge and appreciation of this tradition and are provided with a basic tamal-making recipe to share and keep. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Guadalupe Theater,

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“Toy Land” is the theme for this year’s Weihnachts Parade on Boerne’s Main Street and the festivities kick-off when the parade begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7. Lights, music, and about 100 floats will be featured. 1301 Guadalupe St. 210-351-2171. http://www.guadalupeculturalarts.org/event/la-gran-tamalada/ Pioneer Kids Christmas: Experience what a typical Christmas would have been like for pioneer children in this region. Learn about the origins of pioneer Christmas traditions, create your own 19th century Christmas decorations, listen to the Christmas legends pioneer children may have heard, and make a traditional children’s toys of the period. Group size is limited; no pets allowed. Reservations requested by noon Dec. 13 (include the name of each participant/guardian, age of participant, contact e-mail address and telephone number). Regular entrance fees apply: 10 a.m. For reservations or more information, e-mail niki.lake@tpwd.texas.gov or call 210-688-9055 ext 292. Government Canyon State Natural Area, 12861 Galm Road. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/ government-canyon 26th Annual Blessing of the Animals: A special blessing of all animals and pets. This one-day event will be filled with local entertainment, art and crafts, children’s activities, while having pets blessed. Free. Noon to 6 p.m. El Mercado in Market Square, 514 W. Commerce St. 210-207-8605. sahearts.com Kids Choir Christmas: Community Bible Church’s children’s choir Christmas Celebration. 4 to 8 p.m. Free. La Villita,


Arneson River Theatre. 210-477-5189 www.communitybible.com Annual Lighted Christmas Parade: The annual Lighted Christmas Parade will be held in Helotes. The parade begins on Antonio Drive, travels south on Old Bandera Road, turns right onto Riggs Road, and ends at the intersection of Riggs and Farm Road 1560.  Take the family and enjoy this annual tradition. The parade starts at 7 p.m. http://www.helotes-tx.gov Trees are the Answer: Take a half-mile to 1-mile interpretive walk along the Medina River to see the huge bald cypress and pecan trees during the Medina River Natural Area Second Saturday Program. Free one- gallon trees will be given to the first 25 families. “Trees for the San Antonio Region Guides” available. Kid-friendly tree craft included. All educational programs will be in the outdoor pavilion. 9 to 11 a.m. For more information, or to register for this program call 210-207-3106. Suggested donation is $3 per person or $5 per family. Medina River Natural Area, 15890 Texas 16 South. www.sanantonio.gov/parksandrec/directory_medina_river Holiday Benefit Concert – Gaudeamus: “Rejoice,” is the translation of “Gaudeamus” and that is what St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Choir and Choristers will express in their annual holiday concert. There will be a prelude before the concert and the festive offering will also contain readings and prose. The concert will end in the glow of candlelight as the choirs and audience sing together. No admission fee, however there is a free-will offering during the concert. Childcare will be provided from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The concert begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 11 St. Luke’s Lane. 210-828-6425. russellj@stlukes-sa.net  Rain Barrel Workshop at the Botanical Garden:  Rainwater harvesting is an innovative approach to capturing free water. Join County Extension Agent Bryan Davis, and Master Gardeners Lou Kellogg and Mary Fernandez to learn about rainwater collection for the home and landscape and make your own rain barrel to take home. Limit 30. Please RSVP by Dec 11. $65 for nonmembers and $58.50 for members. 9 a.m. to noon. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place. 210207-3270. www.sabot.org

1 p.m. Inspire Community Fine Art Center, 200 Queen Anne Court. 210-829-5592. www.inspirefineart.org Beginners’ Bird Walk:  Meet the San Antonio Audubon Society (SAAS) trip leader at the Judson Nature Trail in Alamo Heights at 8 a.m.  Nonmembers are welcome and binoculars with instructions can be provided. There is no charge for this event. 246 Viesca, Alamo Heights. 210-308-6788. saaudubon.org Boerne Market Days: This family event has become synonymous with great shopping in an outdoor setting with artists, craftsmen and vendors showing their creative talents and wares. Live music, food, kids’ activities and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Main Plaza in Boerne. www.boernemarketdays.com. 210-884-8193. Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Studio: see Dec. 7 Holiday Arts & Crafts Show: see Dec. 13

15 Sunday Kids’ Gingerbread Too: The San Antonio Children’s Museum is taking its traditional holiday event to North Star Mall. Decorate a gingerbread house or gingerbread man cookie and visit with Santa. House/cookie quantities are limited so register early. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  North Star Mall in the Saks Fifth Avenue wing, 7400 San Pedro Ave. 210-212-4453 ext 1310. www.sakids.org Sing We Noel! Music of Christmas: In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the ensemble’s popular holiday concert, past and current members of Voci will perform Medieval and Renaissance Music of Christmas and a collection of carols from around the globe. Voci di Sorelle, Italian for “Voices of Sisters.” 3 p.m. Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for students with an ID. Chapel of the Incarnate Word, 4503 Broadway. 210-912-9555. www.benissimomusic.org Annual Carols by Candlelight: This event is a communion

A Batty Christmas:  Nyta Brown (TPWD) will share the life history of local bats and where to see them. Holiday crafts and hot chocolate are all part of the fun. Suggested donation is $3 per individual or $5 per family. The program will be in the large gated pavilion. 10 a.m. to noon. Eisenhower Park, 19399 N.W. Military Highway. 210-2075320. peggy.spring@sa​nantonio.gov Family Flicks: “The Painting” (France, 2012) will be presented in the West Courtyard by the San Antonio Museum of Art in collaboration with Slab Cinema. In this wryly inventive parable, a kingdom is divided into the three castes: the impeccably painted Alldunns who reside in a majestic palace; the Halfies who the Painter has left incomplete; and the untouchable Sketchies, simple charcoal outlines who are banished to the cursed forest. 6 p.m. Free with museum admission. San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave. 210-978-8183.  www.samuseum.org  Free Family Art Day: Enjoy creating various art projects and have a snack – all from the country represented that day. 10 a.m. to

Phil Hardberger Park’s First Saturday program will feature “Dinosaur George” Blasing and his enthusiastic and entertaining dinosaur program. There will be one show at 9:15 a.m. Dec. 7 so arrive early to get a seat!

December 2013 | OurKidsMagazine.com

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calendar

Family Theater

“Stuart Little” – Based on the award-winning book by E.B. White, “Stuart Little” tells the story of an unusual mouse born into an ordinary New York family.  His life becomes a series of adventures and misadventures with a variety of characters, including his best friend Margalo, the bird, and the not-so-friendly Snowbell, the malevolent family cat. “Stewart Little” is performed by the Dallas Children’s Theater. Show times are 9:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets are $9. Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N. St. Mary’s St. http://dct.org

Cockrell Theatre, 740 E. Market St. 210-226-2891 http://www. artssa.org/nutcracker/

“A Christmas Story the Musical” – This musical based on the movie classic “A Christmas Story” is set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Homan, Ind., the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas first – an official Red Ryder carbineaction 200-shot range model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. Such iconic scenes from the movie are included in the production: “Best Christmas Pageant Ralphie’s friend, Flick, getEver” – After the director of ting his tongue stuck to the the annual holiday pageant Magik Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” flagpole; the bullies, Farkus breaks her leg, volunteer and Dill; the leg lamp award for the 2013 holiday season. Photo courtesy David Frank Grace Bradley finds herself and many others. 7:30 p.m. directing the show. The Fridays and Saturdays and 3 Herdmans show up to audition and chaos ensues. The show p.m. Sundays. Plays through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $15. will make you laugh until you cry. “Best Christmas Pageant Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road. 210-267-8388. Ever” transcends individual religions to tell a story about the www.woodlawntheatre.org/christmas-story-musical#sthash. human spirit and the ability to become bigger and better vcRu4mj6.dpuf than we think we are in times of crisis. Show times are at 9:45 “How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” – Rediscover a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 7 p.m. Fridays; the magic of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale as it comes to and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Runs through Dec. 21. Tickets are $10. life on stage. Originally conceived by the three- time Tony Magik Theatre, 420 S. Alamo St. 210-227-2751. www.magikAward winning director Jack O’Brien, the whimsical world theatre.org of Whoville is beautifully realized by an A-list creative team Tchaikovsky’s  “The Nutcracker” – Set to Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, “The Nutcracker” is one of the most widely attended ballets in the United States. Prima ballerinas Olga Pavlova and Marina Goshko along with principal dancers Yevgeni Anfinogenov and Andrey Prikhodko star in this ARTS San Antonio presentation of the beloved classic performed by San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Run dates are Dec. 20-22. Tickets start at $29. Lila

service and Christmas sing along. Sponsored by Mission Point Christian Church. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free. La Villita, Arneson River Theatre. 210-490-2114 or visit www.missionpointcc.com Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Pavilion see Dec. 1 SAMA Free Admission: see Dec. 1 Boerne Market Days: see Dec. 14 Holiday Art and Crafts Show: see Dec. 13

16 Monday Stroller Safari: Monthly program for ages 6-24 months includes zoo-xercise, zing-a-long and an introduction to nature. Meet other parents, and play and sing about animals on a guided

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013

in this musical production. The show features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.” The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this holiday classic. Tickets start at $39. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday; 2 and 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Runs from Dec. 26-29. The Majestic Theater, 224 E. Houston St. 210-226-3333. www.ticketmaster.com

stroller tour. Reservations required. 10 to 10:45 a.m. $15. San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Mary’s St. 210-734-7184. www.sazoo.org Art Pavilion: see Dec. 1 Canine and Kitty Christmas Nights: see Dec. 2 Tinker-N-Tales: see Dec. 2

17 Tuesday Growing Up Wild – Quick Frozen Critters:  Students will describe adaptations related to predator-prey relationships. They will explore and describe predator-prey relationships limiting factors that may impact wildlife populations.  Kid-friendly craft included. Limited to 20 children and suggested for ages 7 to 10. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Suggested donation is $3 per child and $5 per


family. Registration required: call 210-207-3106 or 210-2073289. Phil Hardberger Park, 13203 Blanco Road (East Side).  www.philhardbergerpark.org  Free Family Night: Adults  and children get in free the third Tuesday of the month. The H-E-B Free Family Night coincides with the city’s free parking after 5 p.m. initiative. 6 to 8 p.m. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-2124453. www.sakids.org    Pint-Sized Science: see Dec. 3 Toddler Time: see Dec. 3 Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum: see Dec. 3 SAMA Free Admission: see Dec. 3

18 Wednesday Tiny Tots Classes: Today’s theme is “Destination World: Merry Hisssmasss.” see Dec. 4 Pint-Sized Science: see Dec. 3 Story Adventures: see Dec. 4 Astronomy in the Park: see Dec. 4 SAMA Playdate – Let it Snow: see Dec. 4 Weed Wednesdays-Volunteer at PHP: see Dec. 4

19 Thursday Growing Up Wild – Fire Ecology:  Students will identify, describe and evaluate the positive and negative effects that forest and grassland fires have on wildlife. Students will learn about “prescribed burns” and how fire is one element of change for the environment. Make a holiday nature card. Suggested for middle school ages. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Suggested donation is $3 per child and $5 per family. Registration required: call 210-207-3106 or 210-207-3289. Phil

Hardberger Park, 13203 Blanco Road. (East Side).  www.philhardbergerpark.org  Toddler Time: see Dec. 3 Rockin’ Reptiles: see Dec. 5 Helotes Ballet Folklorico Classes: see Dec. 5

20 Friday Holiday Pops: Join Akiko Fujimoto, associate conductor, and the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers in a celebration of the season complete with a sing-along and special guests. 8 p.m. Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St. Regular ticket prices are $15 to $69. Children 12 years and younger receive a 50 percent discount. Groups of 10 or more should call Karen at 210-554-1066. Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St. 210-5541010. www.sasymphony.org Fiesta de Navidad: Guadalupe Dance Academy presents its holiday performance featuring traditional dances of Mexico and Spain. 7 to 9 p.m. Guadalupe Theatre, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, 1300 Guadalupe St. 210-271-1011. http://www.guadalupeculturalarts.org/ Kids’ Night Out: Parents can drop kids off at the museum for a night of fun-filled activities while they go out on the town or spend a quiet evening at home.  Kids will enjoy pizza, games and have fun exploring the entire museum with the museum’s educational staff. Space is limited. Kids must be potty trained. Open to kids ages 4-10. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453 ext 1310. Tiny Tots Classes: Today’s theme is “Destination Antarctic: Polar Penguin Waddle.” see Dec. 4 Starting Out Wild-Less is More (Recycling): see Dec. 13

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calendar Miss Anastasia’s Twiglet Story time: see Dec. 6 Dots & Squiggles: see Dec. 6 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Mom’s Coffee and Conversation: see Dec. 6

21 Saturday Tubameister Christmas Tubas: 32nd Annual Tubameister Christmas tubas perform in La Villita. Noon to 12:45 p.m. La Villita, Arneson River Theatre. 210-219-6861. www.sanantonio.gov Bird Walk: Look for birds in their native habitats. An experienced guide leads walk every third Saturday of the month. Featured birds include hummingbird, Long-billed Thrashers, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Green Heron and the Common Moorhen. Take binoculars. 9 a.m. For ages 10 and older. Participants should meet at the Carriage House. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place. 210-207-3255. www.sabot.org Holiday Pops: see Dec. 20 “Kids Fun Day” with Trains: see Dec. 7 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Studio: see Dec. 7

22 Sunday Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Pavilion see Dec. 1 SAMA Free Admission: see Dec. 1

23 Monday Art Pavilion: see Dec. 1 Canine and Kitty Christmas Nights: see Dec. 2 Tinker-N-Tales: see Dec. 2

24 Tuesday (Christmas Eve) Pint-Sized Science: see Dec. 3 Toddler Time: see Dec. 3 Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum: see Dec. 3 SAMA Free Admission: Dec. 3

25 Wednesday (Christmas Day) 26 Thursday Stop Motion Film Fest: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will be shown in conjunction with accompanying family favorite exhibition. Tours of the exhibitions at 2 and 6 p.m. and movie snacks at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. will precede the feature film. All ages welcome. Movie show times are 3 and 7 p.m, Chiego Lecture Hall, McNay Art Museum, and 6000 N. New Braunfels. 210-824-5368 . www.mcnayart.org Toddler Time: see Dec. 3

Learn to make art from scraps! Friedrich Wilderness Park will present a “Less is More (Recycling)” program for toddlers ages 1 to 3 Dec. 13.

Rockin’ Reptiles: see Dec. 5

27 Friday Miss Anastasia’s Twiglet Story time: see Dec. 6 Dots & Squiggles: see Dec. 6 Investigation Station: see Dec. 1

28 Saturday Trans-Siberian Orchestra- The Lost Christmas Eve: With TransSiberian Orchestra, first the music is created with no artificial limitations, and then they seek out within the classical, rock, Broadway and R & B worlds, the very best singers and musicians to bring each song to life. The performance will amaze you. 3 p.m. AT&T Center, 1 AT&T Center Parkway. http://www.trans-siberian.com/tour1/ CBC4Kids!: Area youth can take part in the first annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids at the Mitchell Lake Audobon Center. Modeled after Audubon’s more intensive Christmas Bird Count for adults, this program offers a Binocular Boot Camp, introduction to bird identification and field guide use, and more than two hours on the trails at Mitchell Lake counting as many cool birds as you can. And at the end of the morning, all sightings will be entered into eBird for scientific research purposes.  Take a bag lunch. 8 a.m. to noon. Free. RSVP to jstsauver@audubon.org is required. Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, 10750 Pleasanton Road. 210628-1639. www.naturerockssanantonio.org Viva Voluntarios: Join volunteers in establishing native plants and removing non-native plants, picking up trash, removing weeds and spreading mulch during the National Public Lands Day at Medina River Natural Area. Meet near the kiosk by the parking lot. Take gloves and a water bottle. 8 a.m. to noon. Call 210-207-3111 to sign up. Medina River Natural Area, 15890 Texas 16 South. 210-207-3106. sanaturalareas.org Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Studio: see Dec. 7

29 Sunday Family Art Play: “Stop-Motion Studio” allow you to animate your own short film inspired by “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” View the film’s original characters and sets in the exhibition and design your own clay characters. Instructor Johnny Villarreal, art educator, helps bring your ideas to life with easy-to-use animation technology. 1 and 3 p.m. Valero Learning Center, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave. 210-824-5368. www.mcnayart.org Investigation Station: see Dec. 1 Art Pavilion see Dec. 1 SAMA Free Admission: see Dec. 1

looking ahead to January “Skippy Jonjones” opens Jan. 10 at The Magik Theatre. And, be sure to sign up by Jan. 8 for the Jan. 25 Kinetic Kids 5K Run/Walk/Roll.

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Our Kids Magazine | December 2013


30 Monday Arctic Week: The Patrick Heath Public Library, Parks and Recreation Department and the Boerne Cooking Cottage team up to offer an assortment of tasty, ethnic New Year’s celebrations and activities the week surrounding New Year’s Day for elementary age kids 10 a.m. Also, teens will celebrate a week of “Harry Potter” in the Hub with activities beginning at 1 p.m. Youth Services Department, Patrick Heath Public Library, 451 N. Main St. Building 100 Boerne. 830-249-8410. http://www.ci.boerne.tx.us/calendar.aspx Art Pavilion: see Dec. 1 Tinker-N-Tales: see Dec. 2

31 Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) New Year’s Kids Countdown Party: Join the San Antonio Children’s Museum as they count down to the New Year at the kid-friendly hour of noon. Get ready to rock to the beat of a funky DJ, toast with sparkling juice and watch the ball drop as you flick your flutter-fetti stick, sending colored confetti everywhere. 10 a.m to 1 p.m. San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St. 210-212-4453. www.sakids.org    Arctic Week: see Dec. 30 Pint-Sized Science: see Dec. 3 Toddler Time: see Dec. 3 Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum: see Dec. 3 SAMA Free Admission: see Dec. 3 Happy New Year!! The San Antonio Children’s Museum will be sponsor a special mid-day celebration for kids Dec. 31.

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Your Kids In Our Kids (Left to right starting from the top left)

Mia Faith Gutierrez, 21 months | Jacob Arocha, 5 | Erica McLaurin, 10 Destiny Nelson, 10 | Kenna Lucio, 2 1/2 Pacoya, 8, with Santa | Alina, 2 (from left to right) Aunie Adriana, Alejandra, 8, Samuel, 11, Katarina, 13, Isabella, 6, Hannah, 9 and Grandma Gloria

January Theme is Winter Fun in South Texas Visit OurKidsMagazine.com and Submit Your Kids Photos The deadline to submit photos for January is Dec. 13. By uploading photos to Your Kids in Our Kids, you give us permission to publish your photos in Our Kids Magazine and online on our website.


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December 2013 Our Kids Magazine