Things to do this week!

Downtown from Minute Maid Park

Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids!  August 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 2014

Let's get ready for back-to-school with a week jam packed with Houston fun! First, take the kids on a Journey Through China at Miller Outdoor Theatre … [Read More...]

Discovery Green Flea Shop

Favorite Houston Events for this Weekend: August 14-20, 2014

Listen to my favorite events for the weekend of August 14-20, 2014!  To help you navigate, below are the posts mentioned in the audio clip: Full … [Read More...]

Downtown from Preston Street Bridge

Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids!  August 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2014

School might be starting soon, but we are determined to get every ounce of fun out of Summer 2014! Summer Fun Squad is still going strong on … [Read More...]

More Dates!

More Things to Do!

Downtown from Sabine Street Bridge

Do you have any tips for exploring Downtown Houston with kids? You asked us!

I was checking out your tips about seeing the JP Morgan Chase Building, riding METROrail and going through the tunnels. Do you have tips for exploring … [Read More...]

Crocodile Encounter Feeding

Beyond the Beltway: Crocodile Encounter

Address: 23231 CR 48, Angleton, TX 77515 You may have seen the Crocodile Encounter review that I did last year. Well, the place is so great that we … [Read More...]

Los Cucos Bonita Platter

Los Cucos – Our Search for Houston’s Best Restaurants for Kids

Location: 5535 Memorial Dr, Houston 77007 Age Appropriate: All ages! Price: $-$$ Hi, I'm Juliette! My husband, my 7-year-old and I love going out … [Read More...]

More to do!

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Join Me for a Mama’s Night Out – Hot Spots for Tots

Bayou City Mamas
Join BigKidSmallCity on Wednesday, August 27th at 6:30pm for Mama’s Night Out where we talk about things to do in Houston with kids!

Kelly, founder of Houston Moms Blog, and I will join the Bayou City Mama panel to share our insider tips on where, when and what to visit.

I also want to hear from you. I always learn new things to do, and how to do them better, from members of the BigKidSmallCity community.

The event includes dinner, a gift bag and giveaways. Tickets are $30 each and you can get $5 off by using code CITY.

The event is at Happy Playland, 9801 Long Point Rd, Houston TX 77055. Nursing infants welcome.

Go HERE to get your tickets.

Only Old Men Eat at Denny’s, And Other Things I’ve Said With a Crooked Smile

Dennys Ambassador with Crooked Smile
Last week I sat at a Houston Denny’s and tried to lie-straight-faced to those that had hired me as a Denny’s Ambassador.  Their questions was, “What came to mind when I thought of Denny’s?”.

I tried to bite my cheeks and keep my face straight as I said, “Pancakes”.  But it wasn’t long until I had the same crooked smile you can see on my kid’s faces when they claim they brushed their teeth.

I don’t think of pancakes.  I don’t even think bacon.  I think of the dingy Denny’s from my childhood, with old men at the counter and waitresses that obviously wanted to go home.

And because my lying-face looked ridiculous, I just blurted it out, “I think boring.  I think of a dingy old diner where old men drink coffee and waitresses scowl.”  And immediately I decided that drinking my tea would have been a better solution for fixing my lying-face.

Fortunately another Ambassador (perhaps with better manners or more practice lying) spoke up and said only nice things about the establishment.

The fearless meeting leader then came back to me and he bravely asked what was dingy about the Denny’s we were at?  Well…

The Denny’s we visited on I10 was actually quite nice.  When I walked in, I was greeted enthusiastically by 3 employees and noticed the restaurant was very Chili’s-esque with hardwood floors, a big modern Texas mural and power plugs at the booths.  The waiters were enthusiastic and it was quite enjoyable to be there.

But still, this isn’t what came to mind when I thought Denny’s.  I thought of the Denny’s from the 1980s that my mom didn’t want to visit.

Apparently I need to re-calibrate my brain a little, because the Denny’s we visited wasn’t anything like the 1980s Denny’s.  In fact, it’s somewhere I’d like to visit when I’m not at the Ambassador’s meeting.  Especially on Tuesdays when kids eat free and my entire family can dine for just a few dollars.

So, not only did the meeting start with a crooked smiled, but it also ended with one.  I get that same ridiculous looking face when I’m wrong about things.

This time I straightened it out by sipping my tea and eating strawberry pancake hush-puppies.

Let Your Kids Draw on the Couch with Sharpies #DrawMadeInAmerica

Draw America at Gallery Furniture
Artists of all ages can enter the Gallery Furniture Draw Made in America contest! Winners get to draw on the couch (yes, DRAW on the couch) and maybe win a $5000 gift card.

I’m told (by a 7 year old) that drawing on a couch is way better than a gift card.

Learn more HERE!

Draw Made in America at Gallery Furniture 7

Where in Houston?

WIH Bull
Where in Houston was this picture taken?

McGovern Campus Park – Visiting Houston’s Parks, One Week at a Time

John McGovern Park Playstructure
Address:  7200 Braes Blvd, Houston, TX 77025

McGovern Campus Park in Braeswood includes 3 ball fields, bleachers, building and a small playground. On a weekday morning, with no games in progress, we found an empty lot and an empty playground. The big fields were closed off but a few kids were practicing soccer on the smaller one.

John McGovern Campus Park
The playground section is pretty small, and is certainly no Firetruck Park, but it has an unusual bridge that I had never seen before. It was a series of ovals all at different angels. It was difficult for my two year old climber and exciting for my five year old. Over and over they went through the bridge.

John McGovern Park Playground Bridge
This park is very sunny, so best for a cooler day or just a short time.  I’m sure it’s most used while brothers and sisters are playing sports and the little ones are ‘watching’.

My suggestion is to visit Helen’s Park, just around the corner, and when your kids start asking for slides and ladders, swing by McGovery Campus Park!

Preschoolers Rule at Discovery Green… Toddler Tuesdays, September 2 – October 28, 2014.

Discovery Green Toddler Tuesday
Toddler Tuesdays, presented by Amerigroup RealSolutions, is at Discovery Green September 2 – October 28, 2014.  Every Tuesday at 10:30am, parents and kids enjoy a free story time and activities with their favorite characters.

If your little kids want to rule the park, this is what you need to know:

1.  From September 2 – October 28, 2014, be at Discovery Green at 10:30am.  The themes, character visits and activities change each week!

2.  Want to skip the line and be first to meet the characters?  All you need to do is volunteer for the event!  You can bring your kids and help Discovery Green with the event.  This gets you a fast pass to meet the characters.

On average, four volunteers will be selected for each event and Discovery Green will coordinate the activities.  If you are interested this, email me at Jill @ BigKidSmallCity .com!

3.  Want to be a VIP?  Each week, one person will win a Discovery Green Tshirt and a VIP Meet-and-Greet pass!  No waiting in line!  You must enter to win the VIP prize for each Toddler Tuesday.  Just click the links below!

4.  After you attend, fill out THIS SURVEY!  You will help improve this great event and be entered to win a $50 gift card to The Grove restaurant!

5.  Look for the BigKidSmallCity Booth! On Tuesdays, I will be out snapping pictures and hosting giveaways.

Favorite Houston Events for this Weekend: August 14-20, 2014

Listen to my favorite events for the weekend of August 14-20, 2014!  To help you navigate, below are the posts mentioned in the audio clip:

Far Beyond the Beltway:  Texas Travel Information Center & Boardwalk (with Turtles, Fish, Snakes & Even Alligators!)

Texas Travel Information Center Lone Star1
Address:  1708 E. I-10, Orange, TX 77632

My Beyond the Beltway post for this week isn’t about a destination, but it is about a great place to stop on your way back from an actual destination!  Whether you’re coming back from somewhere as close as Louisiana or as far as Florida, the Texas Travel Information Center on I-10 can provide a welcome break from being stuck in a car.  It is located just past the Louisiana border and is a little over 100 miles from Houston so hopefully it will be your last stop before getting home!

Texas Travel Information Center Boardwalk
The Information Center isn’t just a rest stop.  There are very clean, large bathrooms as well as vending machines, but the reason we always stop here is to visit the boardwalk that is located behind the building. It goes out over a swampy area and we’ve seen fish, turtles, snakes, and even alligators down in the water!  The best places to see the alligators are to go immediately to the left or right as soon as you walk out of the doors.  They aren’t always there, but we have seen them during most of our stops if we look closely enough.

Texas Travel Information Center Turtle
Inside the building are free brochures for attractions all over Texas.  Even though we live here I like to check out the ones for the Houston area and that is where I got several of my ideas for this Beyond the Beltway series!  The people who work at the Information Center are always very friendly and if you go up to the counter you can get a free Texas map as well as a “Don’t Mess with Texas” bumper sticker.

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Goode Company Seafood – Our Search for Houston’s Best Restaurants for Kids

Location: 5109 Kirby dr 77098
Age Appropriate: All ages!
Price: $-$$

Hi, I’m Juliette! My husband, my 7-year-old and I love going out to eat and we are sharing our restaurant finds with you.

As you might have noticed my 6-year-old just turned 7! We are very excited to see what this year will bring and sure look back fondly at the past 7 years.

Goode Company Seafood
We ate at Goode Co. Seafood last weekend and one way to get your little ones excited about it is that it is also a train. They incorporated a passenger car on rails to the restaurant and if you are lucky, like us Sunday night, you get to sit by a window in the train side of the restaurant.

Goode Company Seafood Train Car
Goode Co. is really a staple in Houston and if you remember we reviewed Goode Company Barbecue one about one year ago. The decor in this one is still casual, a little bit like a 50′s diner vibe, lots and lots of pictures of fish and fish art that is bound to entertain everyone.

[Read More...]

Where in Houston? Art League Houston!

Yesterday I asked where in Houston this picture was taken. It’s of the front steps at Art League Houston!

NOW FULL – A meet-up at a furniture store? With monkeys, exotic birds & horse & buggy rides? Crafts, slides, ice cream, cookies & pizza? See it to believe it. August 19, 2014 at Gallery Furniture

Gallery Furniture Bird on Heads
**UPDATE: NOW FULL.  To get an email announcing future Meet-Ups, go HERE.***

A meet up at a furniture store?  With monkeys, exotic birds, and horse and buggy rides?  Crafts, slides, ice cream, cookies and pizza?

My own best friend did not believe this was real, until she brought her kids and had one of the best mornings of the summer.  She then called me 3 times to tell me how her kids kept talking about their Gallery Furniture Meet Up.

If you want to see what a meet up at a furniture store looks like, join us for the last one of the summer.  On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, Gallery Furniture will host the BigKidSmallCity and HoustonMothersBlog communities and celebrate summer break 2014!  And it’s free!

We invite you to join us at Mattress Mack’s I45 Gallery Furniture location, at 6006 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77076, on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 10:00am.  Families with a confirmed spot will get to:

1.  Meet the famous Gallery Furniture monkeys and their keeper!
2.  Meet the many exotic birds and their keeper!
3.  Ride in an Amish buggy behind Fraenzy the horse!
4.  Play on the giant indoor playground with a mini-rock wall, twisting tubes and slides for racing!
5.  Get their hands dirty at the craft station!
6.  Show us their best pose at the Gallery Furniture Selfie Wall!
7.  Eat as much lunch, ice cream and cookies as their parents allow!
8.  Meet the man they’ve seen on TV and heard on the radio: Mattress Mack!

If you want to join us on August 19, 2014 at 10:00am, you must:

1. Fill out the form below. (Or HERE.)
2. Be one of the first 100 to respond. Spaces are limited! You will receive an email saying you have a spot or you are on the waiting list.
3. If you get a spot, bring your kids to Gallery Furniture on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, at 10:00am. Gallery Furniture is at 6006 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77076.   The event is FREE.
4. Make every effort to attend. Since spaces are limited and we want as many kids to get a chance as possible. If you need to cancel, email me at Jill @

Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids!  August 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2014

Hard Rock Cafe from Preston Street Bridge
School might be starting soon, but we are determined to get every ounce of fun out of Summer 2014!

Summer Fun Squad is still going strong on Saturdays at Ervin Chew Park.  Take your kids for some free bouncing, games and splashing.  Afterwards, head to Brazos Bookstore for the End of Summer Celebration!  There will be prizes, games and snacks!

Also on Saturday is one of my very favorite Houston events: Flea by Night at Discovery Green.  I love to browse through the booths of local vendors, to grab dinner from the food trucks, listen to music on the stage and people watch.  After seeing it all at the Flea Market, we stop by the splashpad, playground, or even take a horse and carriage ride. 

Look below for the full list of things to do.  Go HERE to get this list delivered to your inbox each week and HERE to get daily event updates on Facebook!  For Summer 2014 Resources, go HERE!

Looking for grown-up things to do? Check out 365 Things to Do in Houston!

[Read More...]

Quick & Easy Dinner: (Stay Sane) Lo Mein and Asian Pork Tenderloin!

Hi this is Pranika! My kids love to eat Lo Mein whenever we get Chinese Food, so I wanted to try a quick & easy version this week.

Stay Sane Lo Mein
I think Rachel Ray called her recipe, No Pain Lo Mein…this is that kind of version, but instead I call it Stay Sane Veggie Lo Mein. I served it with Asian-inspired pork tenderloin. The result was happy kids with full stomachs and a very complimentary husband!

Kids eating lo mein
Happy cooking and eating!

[Read More...]

Where in Houston?

Where in Houston was this picture taken?

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