Saturday, June 30, 2012

FREE Kids Build & Grow Clinics at Lowe's


Register your Kiddos for a FREE Build and Grow Clinic at your local Lowe's Saturdays at 10 a.m. or Sundays at 2 p.m.   They will build a wooden project they can keep.  Registration is required.  They will also receive a free apron, goggles, patch, amnd much more!   Good for children ages 2-13.  Click here for more information.  Happy building!



Friday, June 29, 2012

Kids Skate FREE

A huge THANK YOU to my friend, Brenda, for sharing this information with me! 


If you have kids under 12 go to this site and register them for free roller
skating passes: http://kidsskatefree.com/funcity.

Once registered you will receive an email every Sunday with 2 passes for each kid to skate for FREE. You only have to pay for skate rental unless you have your own skates. Good on certain days/times. Fun City Sk8 even has free wi-fi!  It's a good deal. American Heart Association sponsors it. Let's all meet on a Friday and do the hokey pokey :)




Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Events in Houston 2012

I can already smell the bar-b-que, taste the cool watermellon, and hear the music as we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July!  There are so many great events to attend in the Houston area.  Gather your family and freinds for a fun filled evening.  Don't forget to thank our Military members for allowing us our freedoms.  God bless the U.S.A. 
 
 
 
Fireworks will ignite the sky and tunes will set the stage for an extraordinary patriotic celebration at Mayor Annise D. Parker’s official Fourth of July event, Southwest Airlines Freedom Over Texas featuring Billy Currington and Sara Evans presented by Reliant. Country music artists Billy Currington and Sara Evans will perform at the annual event held from 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4th. The night culminates with a spectacular fireworks show that will light up the downtown skyline.



Star-Spangled Salute Miller Outdoor Theatre

Enjoy an evening with Michael Krajewski and the Houston Symphony listening to patriotic, toe-tapping American music.  Simon & Garfunkel tribute artists Jonathan Beedle and AJ Swearingen join us for an evening you will not soon forget!  Make sure to stay  until the end for the 1812 Overture - complete with booming cannons!  This celebration concludes with a magnificent display of fireworks provided by Miller Theatre Advisory Board.



Webster's Independence Day festivities will begin at 5 p.m. at Texas Avenue Park, 17100 N. Texas Ave.  In addition to a veterans' ceremony, bingo, entertainers, inflatables, concessions, games, and free watermelon and snow cones, a fireworks show will begin at 9:15 p.m.



City of Friendswood 4th of July Celebration

This fun-filled event begins at 10 a.m. with a parade featuring over 100 floats. Immediately following is a festival packed with games, rides and carnival food. At 7:30, the live musical performances commence and end with headliners THE BIG TIME. Be sure to stick around until 9:20 for a brilliant fireworks display.



City of Galveston's Independence Day Celebration

Galveston's annual downtown parade, set to begin at 10 a.m. July 4, will feature floats, decorated military vehicles and performers.  The parade will begin at Santa Fe and 25th Street and progress downtown and end at the Galveston Railroad Museum, which will host a patriotic celebration with music and refreshments.  The celebration will continue that evening with a fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico at 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard. The show, sponsored by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, will begin at 9:15 p.m.



Pearland July 4th Celebration of Freedom

Pearland High School will host this year’s July 4th celebration which will commence with a dramatic military fly-over and salute and singing of the National Anthem. Other highlights include live musical performances by Drywater, face painting, and a 20 minute firework display. Start the party as early as 2 p.m at the on-site full size carnival.The fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m.

 
 
The Woodlands Town Center will host its 13th annual Fourth of July Celebration. The festivities kick off at 9:00 am with a parade featuring clowns, horses and fire engines, and end at dusk with a 20 minute fireworks show. From noon to 4 at all Woodlands pools, enjoy fun splash activities. And for a fun competition or just a good laugh, check out the hot dog eating and watermelon eating contests.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1940's Air Terminal Museum


There's a hidden gem at Hobby Airport that aviation lovers will enjoy.  It's the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.  The museum is located in the original art-deco Houston Municipal Airport building (a.k.a. Hobby Airport).  Inside are several galleries with cases containing aviation memorabilia, such as silver service items, models, documents, and photographs.  Outside you'll enjoy a front row view of the airplanes at Hobby Airport as they take-off and land.  Kids of all ages will enjoy the view.

Wings & Wheels is the 1940 Air Terminal Museum's monthly open house, featuring static displays of airplanes and automobiles. It is held every 3rd Saturday of the month, rain or shine.  For more information click on the following link:  1940 Air Terminal Wings And Wheels

Monday, June 25, 2012

La Porte Wave Pool

Do you remember the wave pool at Water World?  Oh what fun we had hanging out with our friends, listening to music while waiting for the bell to ring to indicate the waves are coming!  That was a fun way to stay cool on a hot summer day.  You can enjoy some of the same fun in LaPort, TX at the Little Cedar Bayou Wave Pool.  The tubes are free, there's a sand volleyball court, a concession stand, and lots of room for the kiddos to run and play.  More information can be found by visiting the City of LaPorte web site:   City of LaPorte Parks/Pools




Little Cedar Bayou Wave Pool
600 Little Cedar Bayou Drive
281-470-1966

No food or beverages can be brought into the Wave Pool
Concessions are available

Hours: Monday - Thursday…………….11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday - Sunday…………….11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admissions: $3 Resident Adults & Children
$5 Non-Residents & Children
$1 Seniors (60 & over)
No charge for 2 years and under


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Waugh Drive Bat Colony


Did you know that Houston, Texas has our very own bat bridge?  That's right; Mexican Bats are living underneath the Waugh Drive Bridge near Buffalo Bayou.  Viewing hundreds of bats taking flight at sunset is quite an experience.


Family Bat Nights are held every Thursday, Friday & Saturday evening through the Labor Day weekend. To hear a brief presentation on the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, please arrive 20-30 minutes before sunset at the site. Bat Team Volunteers from the Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, The Park People, Texas Master Naturalists, Houston Zoo, Buffalo Bayou Partnership & the Bayou Preservation Association are available at the bridge to answer questions about the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony & to assist with viewing.

The Waugh Drive bats prefer to emerge from the eastern side of the bridge. The Waugh Bat Team volunteers recommend the following spots for optional bat viewing.


Observation Deck1) The Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Observation Deck, corner of Waugh Drive & Allen Parkway, directly across from the American General building. Start here to watch the bats swirling beneath the bridge prior to their emergence.



Banks of the Bayou2) The gently sloping, grassy northeast bayou bank, corner of Memorial Drive & Waugh Drive in Buffalo Bayou Park.




Sidewalk View3) The Waugh Drive Bridge sidewalk, standing against the railing on the east side of the bridge, facing the Downtown Houston skyline. Please use caution & be ever mindful of the traffic, pedestrians, and bikers utilizing the bridge as well.



Gus Wortham Fountain4) The Gus M. Wortham Memorial Fountain along Allen Parkway, east of Waugh Drive. The fountain is lovingly known by Houstonians as the “Dandelion Fountain” due to its shape & design. If you stand along the sidewalk near the bayou tree line, the bats often fly directly overhead.


Click here for more information on the Waugh Drive Bat Colony.  It's sure to be a fun experience!

P.S.  Don’t stand beneath the bridge because the bats tend to void wastes in preparation for flight.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Texas State Capitol Tours

There's something rewarding about taking a tour of our Texas State Capitol.  History books suddenly come alive as you walk the same hallways our leaders past and present have.  Tours run daily and are FREE.  If you'd like a VIP experience you can schedule a private tour of the Capitol by contacting your local State Representative.  Make sure to give them plenty of time to pencil you in. 

Did you know a scene from a Robert Rodriguez Spy Kids movie was filmed on the grounds of the State Capitol building?  Which one was it Spy Kids 1, 2, or 3?  Hint:  Magnets carry the bad guys away from this scene.  It will be fun for your family to watch the movie before you go.  Let me know if you spy the scene!  (P.S.  Don't forget to stop at a 7-11 while in Austin and get a Big-Gulp or a Slurpee.  A great Pizza stop in Austin is CraigO's Pizza Balcones.)  Have a fun trip!

 
Free Capitol tours are conducted daily beginning in the Capitol South Foyer and concluding in the Capitol Extension.  This tour features the Capitol, Texas history, and the Texas legislature.   Tours are generally 45 minutes in length and available during the following times:
Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sunday, Noon- 3:30 pm


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Port of Houston Boat Tour


Take a FREE tour of the Port of Houston on the Sam Houston Boat Tour!  Enjoy seeing the industrial activity along the Houston Ship Channel in air conditioned style.  The tour captain will tell you about the historical sights.  You may go outside and stand on the deck to take everything in (including the smell of the industry).

All passengers must have a reservation in advance.   You may make your reservations online.   If you come on a weekday or some unpopular day, you won't need to reserve very early in advance.  Otherwise, it's best to do so a few weeks early.  Passengers age 18 and older must present a valid, government-issued photo identification before boarding the vessel. All children under age 12 must be accompanied by one or more adults. A maximum passenger ratio of one adult for every four children under age 12 is mandatory.

Passengers may not bring food or beverages into the pavilion or aboard the vessel. One free beverage per passenger is offered on the vessel during the tour. Leave your backpacks and cameras at home.  They are not allowed for security purposes. 

Click on the following link for more information on the Port of Houston tours:  Sam Houston Boat Tour


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice Cool Water Fun

Today is the summer solstice.  It is officially the longest day of the year because it has the longest period of sunlight.  In Houston, TX the sun will be directly overhead at 1:21 p.m.  The sun will be higher in the sky today which will allow for more solar radiation.  Make sure you wear extra sunscreen!  What will you do today to celebrate?

Here's a fun craft to help you stay cool:  H2-Ohhh!
http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/h2-ohhh-787451/

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Craft: Photo Alphabet Hunt

A fun activity that can be done rain or shine is a photo alphabet hunt.  My kiddos enjoy finding and photographing letters of the alphabet found in natural objects outdoors or around the house.  They can find unique ways to spell their name or just make a photo collage of letters A-Z.  Some examples can be found here. Their artwork can then be used as a screen saver or printed and displayed at home. 

Photo shown is of my son, Austin, displaying his name in his own creative way.  Use your imagination and share your creations with us.  Happy hunting!




Monday, June 18, 2012

Pick Your Own Strawberries & Blueberries

Why not try a fun and easy activity that is also delicious and healthy...pick your own strawberries or blueberries!  My taste buds are dancing just thinking about it.  There are several farms located within driving distance of the Houston area. Here are a few to start with.  Please make sure to contact farm for hours of operation.

http://www.moorheadsblueberryfarm.com/


http://www.frobergsfarm.com/


http://chmielewski-blueberry.com/Blueberry/Home.html


Suggested tips before you go:  To avoid the heat, arrive as early as possible or go late in the evening, such as 7 pm. Wear light color, cool wearing clothes, comfortable shoes, and a hat. Many of the farms are cash only operations so make sure to bring cash or a check book with you.

Picking your own fruit is such a fun adventure for your family.  They just might appreciate those pre-packaged containers in the produce department a little more.  Happy picking everyone!  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

This post is dedicated to my husband, Ivan, who is the best Daddy-O on earth.  I realize this statement will be up for argument as there are many "Super Hero" Dad's out there, however; this statement comes from our three kiddos and they are the experts on their Daddy-O.   I must admit I strongly agree.

Our daughter, Marisa, was born on Father's Day.  Today she will celebrate her 7th birthday.  She wrote a beautiful note to her Dad about sharing Father's Day this year.  Take a look at the video of  her reading her note to Ivan.

video

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dad's out there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Blue Bell Creameries

A fun roadtrip anytime of the year is to the Blue Bell factory in Brenham, TX.

Tours are Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., as needed on a first come, first served basis.
No weekend tours. 
Parking is limited. No RV parking available. 

Admission costs (includes a serving of Blue Bell Ice Cream):
General Admission $5.00
Senior Citizens (55+) and Children (6 to 14) $3.00
School groups are Free (September thru February)
School groups (March 1st thru May 31st) $1.00 per person
*All school groups, regardless of size, must make a reservation to receive special rate.
Groups of 15 or more must have a reservation Sept. through May
No group reservations March 12-16 or June thru August.

Tours last 45 minutes and include a serving of ice cream.
Please check with hostess upon arrival.
No cameras permitted on tour.
Closed most holidays.

To purchase tickets online click here.
1-800-327-8135

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Showboat Drive-in Theater


22422 FM2920, Hockley, TX 77447
281-351-5224

Bring out your entire family or bring out your sweetheart for a great movie time!  The Showboat Drive-in Theater is located on FM2920, just 10 minutes west of Tomball, or 5 min. east of HWY290.  (You can't miss the Jumbo Screens!)
  
FEE:
ADULTS $6 • KIDS 3-12 $4 • BABIES FREE
CASH ONLY (ATM LOCATED IN SNACK BAR)
 
SUMMER HOURS:
OPEN 5 DAYS A WEEK (WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY)
GATES OPEN AT 6:30 PM
ALL MOVIES START AT DUSK
Please call for bad weather updates.







Thursday, June 14, 2012

Geocaching

Treasure hunting is not just for books and movies.  You can be a treasure hunter too!  It’s fun to explore new places where you will hunt for hidden containers that hold anything from a logbook to little treasures like a rubber duck.  The only necessities are a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone so that you can navigate to the cache, and a Geocaching.com Membership (basic membership is free).    Geocaches can be found hidden in your local park and are also hidden all over the world.  It’s a great activity for the entire family.  Click on the link below for a 2 minute video on Geocaching.  Happy hunting!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stadium Tours

How about a stadium tour for your staycation? The tours offer a great opportunity to learn about the history of the stadium and if you're lucky spot a sports star or two in the process.  Here are a few ideas:

Reliant Stadium
Times: Regular Schedule: Monday-Thursday 10:15 a.m., Noon, 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
(Some dates may be unavailable due to scheduled events.)  To confirm tour availability or other information, please call 832.667.1842. Free parking is available outside Budweiser Plaza at Kirby Drive and Westridge Street. Tickets are available for purchase at the south ticket windows located inside Budweiser Plaza. Tours will begin inside the stadium south lobby.

Rates: $6 Adults, $5 per person/Groups of 15 or more, $5 Children (ages 3-12) and Seniors (65+),
Free for children ages 2 and under


Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park Tours

Times:  Ballpark Tours of Minute Maid Park are offered Monday-Saturday at 10:00AM, 12:00PM and 2:00PM!  Please call the Astros tours line at 713-259-TOUR for all stadium updates.

Rates:  $9.00 for Adults, $7.00 for Seniors (65+), $5.00 for Children (3-14)


Toyota Center 

TimesTuesdays & Thursdays 10:00AM & 1:00PM.  Each tour lasts approximately 1 hour.  Reservations for all tours are required and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.  Phone 713.758.7715 or Email: tours@rocketball.com

Rates:  Adults: $7.00, Youth (14 & under) $5.00, Kids 2 or younger FREE, Seniors (65+) $5.00

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two for Tuesdays

An Underwater Entertainment Adventure! BUY ONE GET ONE FREE ADVENTURE PASS!




Pass includes unlimited access to Shark Voyage, Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, Ferris Wheel, Carousel & Lighthouse Dive with the purchase of another ($15.99 value). Not valid with any other promotion or offer. No cash value. Tax not included. Coupon good for up to 4 people. Valid at Downtown Aquarium Houston only on
Tuesdays, June 5, 12, 19, 26 and July  3, 10, 17,  24, 31 and August 7, 14, 21, 28- Must print out and present coupon to be valid. 

Click on the following link to print coupon:  http://www.aquariumrestaurants.com/downtownaquariumhouston/

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bass Pro Shop Family Summer Camp

What a great way to try some outdoor fun. The entire family is sure to enjoy the activities Bass Pro Shop has put together. Camp runs June 9-July 15 from 1-5pm. Activities and times may vary by location.


 Activites listed on this blog are for the Pearland, TX store.  Click on the following link to find a location near you:  http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=86326



Friday, June 8, 2012

Craft: Homemade Light Box

My dear daughter, Marisa, is an inspiring artist.  She loves all things art.  I will thank her super-terrific-fantastic-wonderful-awesome art teacher at our local elementary school for her inspiration.  Mrs. Clark we love you!  While Marisa is still young and views my artwork with rose colored glasses I will accept every compliment until the magic is gone. She recently asked how I learned to draw.  I said, “I traced my coloring books.”  I remembered how much fun it was to trace and how tricky it could be to see the lines.  That’s when the light bulb went off.  We made our own light box!  How?  Like this…

Gather the following items: Flashlight (more like a work light, something you can lay flat); flat plastic container to put over flashlight. (I used my Pampered Chef Pitcher); Removable tape (painters tape worked well); coloring page to trace (taped onto pitcher); blank piece of paper; pencil or marker to trace.
Lay pitcher on flat surface. Turn flashlight on and insert into pitcher. Tape coloring page onto pitcher and secure with painters tape. Now, place blank sheet of paper on top of coloring page and secure with painters tape. Have your kiddo trace their heart out and then enjoy their artwork!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Free Family Thursday

The Health Museum
The Health Museum:  Free Family Thursday is an opportunity for the entire Houston area community to enjoy the programs and exhibits at The Health Museum, at no charge. This community-minded program is generously sponsored during June 2012 by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Visitors enjoy free general admission on Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m.



The Children's Museum:   On Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m., the Children's Museum hosts Free Family Nights.
All admission fees are waived and families are able to come to the Museum and experience everything it has to offer. The free admission provided to visitors not only includes access to all of our hands-on exhibits but to a wide variety of programming that extends from the cultural arts to science and math.  Free Family Nights are courtesy of the Houston Endowment, the Wortham Foundation, Inc. and the John P. McGovern Foundation.  Parking in our garage is $3 during Free Family Night.  


Musum of Fine Arts Houston
No Need to Pay General Admission If . . .



• You are visiting the museum on a Thursday, when general admission is free for everyone, courtesy of Shell.
• You are age 5 or younger. This age group receives free general admission every day.
• You are age 6 to 18 and visiting on a Saturday or Sunday with a library card from any public library in Texas. The library cardholder receives one free general admission; offer does not apply to ticketed exhibitions or events.
• You are a visitor to Cafe Express, Hirsch Library, MFAH Shop, or Glassell School exhibitions.
• You are a teacher visiting the Kinder Foundation Education Center, located on the lower level of the Law Building.




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Water Play On the Cheap

You don't have to spend a dime to have a watery good time. The emergence of the splash pad or spray ground in recent years has certainly been cause for celebration for families on a budget. The water features vary by park but include water cannons, geysers, misters and sand "beaches."


One of the most popular splash grounds can be found downtown at Discovery Green. The park's Gateway Fountain boasts a granite field of water jets with arching streams as high as 14 feet.  Nearby, the large stainless sculpture called Mist Tree has 80 nozzles that produce a curtain of misty, squeal-inducing rain.

The city of Pasadena got a drenching with the opening of three new splash pads. You'll find them in Memorial Park, Red Bluff Park and Sunset Park.


You can also find great splash pads in Pearland, TX at Independence Park and Westside Event Center.
And don't forget the splash zones found in some of the area's most popular commercial districts. Dancing Fountains are a magnet for kids (and sweaty adults) visiting the Kemah Boardwalk and the Downtown Aquarium.



Article credit to SYD KEARNEY, STAFF WRITER at Houston Chronicle.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Craft: Origami Paper Cup

Can you drink from a piece of paper? With some origami know-how, your kiddos can create their own drinking cup.

I remember learning how to do this craft at Melcher Branch library when I was a little girl.  It is fun, simple, and useful.  I’ve made cups out of paper towels at the movie theater so kids can share popcorn and candy.  All you need is a square piece of paper (i.e. writing, copy, gift wrap, etc.)  and a printout of the directions. Give it a try and let me know how it worked out for you.  Happy crafting!

Directions found on Family Fun web site:  http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/origami-drinking-cup-1007595/

Monday, June 4, 2012

Free Bowling for Kids


I want to thank my friend Trecia B. for the following entertainment tip.


AMF is having a summer unplugged. Free bowling for kids all summer long! At AMF, kids 15 and under can bowl for free all summer. Simply register and you'll get a weekly voucher for two free games per child per day through September 3. Shoe rental is not included. The cost of shoe rental at my local AMF Alpha Lanes is only $4.35 per person (prices may vary per location). Sign your kiddos up by clicking on the following link: https://freebowling.amf.com/   Adults can join the fun too for a fee of $29.95 for the entire summer. See web site for details.  Happy bowling everyone!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Break!

Ah summer break!  School’s out, no more early morning rush of waking kids, fixing lunches, finding shoes, finding lost homework, finding backpacks, keeping clam so I don’t pull my hair out.  Sorry, I think I may have spoken the truth too loudly.  What I was leading up to is this.  My children know only two words that go with summer break.  Those works are…we’re bored!  We’re bored usually translates to cha-ching!  How much will it cost me to keep my kiddos entertained this summer?


My quest is to find as much FREE entertainment for my teen, tween and princess as possible.  It should be easy to find something to do in the metropolis of Houston, TX.  The trick is to find such entertainment for a low cost or my favorite word…FREE!  As I find deals and steels I will share them with you.  I hope you will share your finds with me too.  So here’s to summer break!  May the odds be ever in your favor!

Here are a few of my favorite web sites/publications to begin your journey:

Space City Publishing - www.spacecitypublishing.com

Harris County Public Library – www.hcpl.net

Discovery Green Park – www.discoverygreen.com

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bank of America Museums on Us

Attention Bank of America customers.  Did you know that you can enter select museums for FREE, during the first full weekend of each month, just for being an account holder?  Take a look at the following link for complete detail.  http://museums.bankofamerica.com/