Things to do this week!

Houston Mural

Favorite Houston Events for this Weekend: July 24, 2014

Listen to my favorite events for the weekend of July 24, 2014!  To help you navigate, below are the posts mentioned in the audio clip: Full List … [Read More...]

Houston Zoo Flamingos

Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids!  July 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 2014

Plan on another great weekend in Houston! Beat the heat  at the Houston Zoo.  On Friday evening, the zoo is open late for Holidays in ZOO-ly!  On … [Read More...]

George R Brown and Kinder Lake

Free this Weekend: Fireworks, Bounce Houses, Reptiles & More!

Check out Patricia Lopez's Free Stuff Friday on ABC13!  It includes fireworks in Kemah, bounces houses and splashpads at Ervan Chew Park and reptiles … [Read More...]

More Dates!

More Things to Do!

Brooke at Gallery Furniture Playground

Where can we cool off this summer? What indoor play places, pools & splashpads do you recommend? You asked us!

A reader asked where to keep cool in Houston and I knew that the BigKidSmallCity community would have a lot of great ideas. I opened up the discussion … [Read More...]

Le Jardineier the Seabrook Pelican

Beyond the Beltway: Seabrook Pelican Path + Scavenger Hunt Print-able!

For this week's Beyond the Beltway adventure, we went hunting for pelicans on the Seabrook Pelican Path! The Seabrook Pelicans remind me of Houston’s … [Read More...]

Common Bond Art

Common Bond – Our Search for Houston’s Best Restaurants for Kids!

Location: 1706 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX 77098 Age Appropriate: All ages! Price: $-$$ Hi, I'm Juliette! My husband, my 6-year-old and I love … [Read More...]

More to do!

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Where in Houston? San Jacinto Monument!

WIH6
 

Yesterday I asked where in Houston this picture was taken. It’s from the San Jacinto Monument!
 

San Jacinto Monument

Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids!  July 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 2014

Houston Zoo Giraffes
Plan on another great weekend in Houston!

Beat the heat  at the Houston Zoo.  On Friday evening, the zoo is open late for Holidays in ZOO-ly!  On Saturday morning , go back for a real Snow Day!  There will be 2 snow fields for little and big kids to build snowmen and play.  Just go early before it melts!

Saturday is the Museum Experience at the Museum of Fine Arts, Jung Center and Contemporary Arts Museum.  The best part is that the Museum of Fine Arts is open for free all day!

Join BigKidSmallCity for Pippi Longstocking: The Family Musical on Saturday at 2:00pm.  We will have the special opportunity to meet the actors before the show!  If you can’t make it then, get tickets for Saturday at 5:00pm or Sunday at 2:00pm.

Finally, be sure to print your buy one get one free coupon and visit the Downtown Aquarium on a Tuesday in July!  This place is twice the fun when it’s half the price.

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!

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Comfort Food With a Twist! Borden© Grilled Cheese, Chilled Tomato Soup & Peach Banana Shakes

Hi this is Pranika! Some of our comfort foods include grilled cheese and tomato soup….though that is really more for colder months. So I decided to change up the soup part a bit and try something new and threw in a shake for dessert! Borden© provided the ingredients!

Chilled Tomato Soup with Borden Half and Half
We made regular old grilled cheese sandwiches with cheese slices and multigrain bread and they were delicious. The soup was refreshing and cooling, as were the shakes. With peaches in season, we couldn’t wait to use them in a quick dessert. The blender made prepping everything so fast and the girls were excited to push blender buttons, throw stuff in there and measure.

Grilled Cheese with Borden Cheese
This meal was hands-on, fun, and everyone loved it!

Pranika Making Borden Inspired Dinner
Happy cooking and eating!

[Read More...]

The room that glows blue, 15 windows up: Omni San Antonio at the Colonnade Aquatica Kids Suite

Omni San Antonio Aquatic Suite Brooke Wii
Families lounge on the deck of the Omni Hotel pool for evening movies, and if you walk through, you can literally see them point to the window on the 15th floor and hear their theories about what the room holds.  They don’t know that the Omni Hotel has a new Aquatica Kids Suite that is a completely over the top, out of control, theme park of a room that is even more impressive from the inside. Omni gave me the great opportunity to visit this suite and I have never ever been a cooler mom.

Omni Hotel San Antonio Aquatica Suite
Photo Credit: Omni Hotel
 

The room has walls covered with a 3D coral reef, 2 real aquariums, stingray bean bags, bubble swivel chair, cubbies full of sea creature toys, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD player, Play Station, Wii console and stacks of movies and games.  There are floor to ceiling water bubble lights that change color and waves of blue lights across the ceiling.  Two twin Murphy beds fold into the wall and leave the floor clear for playing in this outrageous room.

My kids saw a picture of the room the evening before we left, and were too excited to sleep. When we arrived the next evening, even I was too excited to sleep.

Not only did we walk into the crisply cool room with curtains drawn, neon lights glowing, movies and games playing and welcome basket waiting, but we were treated like royalty.

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Welcome Basket
Before I arrived, the concierge called to learn more about the kids.  The room was then decorated with their names and backpacks of coloring books were waiting with a basket full of their favorite treats.  Candy bars, chips, granola bars, juice, smoothies and personalized welcome note were overflowing from the basket.  The next night we got another surprise of chocolate and milk delivered to the room.

As soon as we unlocked the door, you could hear my kids squeal and giggle from the parking lot.  It was really quite amazing and seeing their reaction was the best part of my entire weekend. And this room is just for the kids.

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Parent Welcome Snack
The parents have an adjoining room with king bed, sitting area and separate bathroom.  This room does not glow blue but is a inviting for parents that also need a little vacation.

We had these rooms for 2 nights and left the hotel for only a very short time.  The kids watched movies, played the board games, read the books and opened and closed the Murphy beds a few hundred times.  We also visited the pools a few times, including for the movie nights.

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Brooke Board Game
From the water and the pool deck, we could watch the family shows.  It was during these movie times that we heard families chatter about the room glowing from the 15th floor.  Everyone had theories about the room but we stayed quiet and smiled.

The room rates for this suites ranges from $359 to $499, and includes daily breakfast.  It’s not cheap but includes 2 full hotel rooms, 2 bathrooms and a whole lot of wow.  I’d go again in a heartbeat. Learn more HERE.

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Brooke Sea Turtle
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Joe Wii Games
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Kids Board Games
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Wall of TVs
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Murphy Beds
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite Dirt and Worms
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Bubble Chair
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Suite James Toys
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatic Suite Aquarium
 

Omni San Antonio Aquatica Joe Stingray
 

Where in Houston?

WIH6
Where in Houston was this picture taken?

More fun than video games: Let kids “play” all day with coding, game design & graphics at Wonder Space Tech Camp! (Coupon Code Included!)

WS Tech Camp2
Your kids can develop the technical skills that many parents wish they had themselves. At Wonder Space Tech Camp, Houston kids ages 7 to 17 years old can learn to code, design games and build a computer!

Kids come with all level of skill sets and counselors customize the program to work for the campers.  All camps have a 6:1, kid to counselor ratio, giving every camper the chance for lots of guidance and collaboration with an inspiring tech enthusiast.

All camps activities develop problem-solving skills and critical-thinking abilities, and foster curiosity, a love of learning and a collaborative and adventurous spirit. The program is in it’s 13th year and kids keep returning for the fun!

WS Tech Camp3F
Each camp explores a new area of the tech world, using innovative activities that give campers the chance to discover and enjoy their creativity:

  • 7 and 8 year olds begin with the Fundamentals of Programming and Game Design, experiencing the basics of programming logic and creating exciting games.
  • Pre-teen camps from age 9 to 12 expose campers to an exciting array of tech experiences, from designing 2D games, websites and apps to digital video and photography. Campers get hands-on, creating desktop Lego robots and even building computers.
  • Teen camps from age 13 give campers a fun, focused and challenging environment in which to collaborate with their peers and expert counselors. Developing skills to enjoy now and in the future, teen campers are learning coding languages Java and C++ and evolving from gamers into creators; in Minecraft Modding, Minecraft becomes a visual learning tool full of possibilities. Campers become 3D modelers in the booming world of animation, and create ever-more-ambitious 3D games.

What makes this camp even better is that Wonder-Space was launched by 2 Rice University students, Emmie and Josefa, in 2002 to give boys and girls a space for fun, exploration and collaboration in technology.

“On beginning my degree in Electrical Engineering, I realized I really hadn’t been exposed to much technology or engineering and that hands-on problem-solving was new to me… Wonder-Space gives kids really valuable experiences that stand them in great stead for the future; whatever their passions we help them to be tech-savvy, inquiring and solution-focused. We also give them the most fun summer imaginable!” Emmie.

As an electrical engineer myself, and having also felt a little behind when I got to college, I am very excited to teach my own kids these skills.  And it looks fun too!

Sign up for now for camp in Houston and get 25% off*!  Use code BKSC25.

WS Tech Camp
*Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be used where space allows, for new bookings only, for more than one child and for multiple camps in the summer of 2014. Offer does not apply to lunch or extended hours. Camps described below are subject to availability.

Houston  (2900 Weslayan #545, Houston, TX 77027):
  • 21-25 July - Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), Web design (9-12yrs), App Game Design (9-12yrs), C++ Programming (teen), 3D Animation Maya (teen)
  • 28 July – 1 Aug - Fundamentals of Programming (7/8yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), App Game Design (9-12yrs), Java Programming (teen), Advanced Game Modding (teen)
  • 4-8 Aug - Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Advanced 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Digital Video and Special Effects (9-12yrs)  
  • 11-15 Aug - Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), Fundamentals of Programming (7/8yrs), Digital Video and Special Effects (9-12yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), Web Design (9-12yrs), 3D Game Design (teen)
The Woodlands (Main Event, 19477 I-45 South, Shenandoah, TX 77385):
  • 21-25 July - Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), Roboworks:Mindstorms (9-12yrs), C++ Programming (teen)
  • 28 July – 1 Aug - Fundamentals of Programming (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Digital Video and Special Effects (9-12yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), App Game Design (9-12yrs), Advanced Java Programming (teen), 3D Game Design (teen), Minecraft Modding (teen)
  • 4-8 Aug - Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Advanced 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Web Design (9-12yrs), Roboworks:Mindstorms (9-12yrs), Build a Computer (9-12yrs), Java Programming (teen), Advanced Java Programming (teen), C++ Programming (teen), Advanced Game Modding (teen), 3D Animation Maya (teen)

Free this Weekend: Fireworks, Bounce Houses, Reptiles & More!

Check out Patricia Lopez’s Free Stuff Friday on ABC13!  It includes fireworks in Kemah, bounces houses and splashpads at Ervan Chew Park and reptiles at Discovery Green!

For BigKidSmallCity’s full list of things to do this weekend, go HERE!

West Webster Park – Visiting Houston’s Parks, One Week at a Time!

West Webster Park Playground
Address: 1502 West Webster Street, Houston, Texas 77019

West Webster Park is not just a dog park any more! It’s now part playground, part (mini) race track and part dog park!

Located in midtown, just south of West Gray Street is this one block by one block park. It is surrounded by new townhouses and free street parking. The equipment is all brand new and the landscaping and hardscaping is nicely done.

The park is small and easy to watch. One side has the fenced in dog park, the middle is a little sidewalk circle and the other side is the play structure.

West Webster Park Circle Sidewalk
The sidewalk circle would be great for little ones riding tricycles. The loop is a little small for school aged kids, but they could ride on the sidewalk around the outside of the park.

Balance Beam at West Webster Park
The play structure is small but deluxe. Slides, ladders, monkey bars, steering wheels and more. And, there is a long wobbly balance beam to challenge all ages. And mulch. Lots of mulch for digging.

Digging at West Webster Park
Maybe the best part is the water fountain. When we visited, the water pressure was a little high and turned the fountains into water guns. The kids suggested that we write the Mayor a letter asking her to never fix them. So, Mayor Parker, I hope you are reading this and never fix the water fountains.

Water Fountains at Webster Park
The shade is limited, but the playground is small and you won’t need forever to explore. Also, there are no restrooms, so this may shorten your trip!

We only stayed for about 30 minutes and had plenty of time to try everything.

Favorite Houston Events for this Weekend: July 17, 2014

Listen to my favorite events for the weekend of July 17, 2014!  To help you navigate, below are the posts mentioned in the audio clip:

How do I find out about “Meet Ups” before they happen? You asked us!

Birds and babies at Gallery Furniture
BigKidSmallCity has several Meet-Ups scheduled for this summer. Last week I told you what a Meet-Up is… but let me be sure you know about them before you see pictures all over social media!

All the places we meet are unique to Houston.  We like to focus on how Houston functions or things you can only find in our great city.  We’ve been to fire stations, city hall and even the wild Gallery Furniture.

To be notified of these Meet-Ups, go HERE.  We give a heads up to this list before it is advertised on social media.

Why?  Because the first meet up of the summer was posted to Facebook and filled up in less than 5 minutes.  With the email, you get some time to look at your calendar and calmly decide if you want to sign up at the specified time.

The spots still fill quick, but not in the blink of an eye.  And they are filled with people that know they can come.  Since the spots are so limited and lots of kids want to come, we want to be sure we give them to people who really can attend!

 

Little Matt’s – Our Search for Houston’s Best Restaurants for Kids

Location: 6203 Edloe St 77005
Age Appropriate: All ages!
Price: $-$$

Hi, I’m Juliette! My husband, my 6-year-old and I love going out to eat and we are sharing our restaurant finds with you.

This might be the most kid-friendly restaurant we have ever reviewed: Little Matt’s on Edloe in West University. My friend told me it was great and once again they were right. Do you feel like spoiling your little ones? If the answer is yes then Little Matt’s is great.

Little Matts on Edloe
Don’ t be fooled by the nondescript gray outside, the fun is inside! On your left, as soon as you enter, there is a wall with iPads attached and chairs for the kids to play as your order. On your right is the candy shop side of the restaurant with all the goodies you can expect, then there is the icee bar and if you keep going to the back of the restaurant is the arcade room! I told you, it has everything!

Candy at Little Matts
And even a lovely shaded patio if you want to eat outside on red wooden picnic tables. The main dining room has big inviting tables and their bathroom has a real changing table. They even have fun magazines to browse through.

Patio at Little Matts
Their menu is great comfort food: salads, sandwiches, tex-mex and a good kid menu. I ordered the Classic California Cobb salad. My son went for his classic mac and cheese (I have to say that every restaurant has a different version of this all-time classic!) You pay as you order and they bring the dinner to you.

Chicken Salad at Little Matts
The salad was lovely in a cute little tin basket and it was very satisfying. All the ingredients: avocado, chicken, egg, tomato, cucumber, walnuts… were fresh, crispy and the dressing was really good. The kid platter came with delicious mac and cheese and fries and fruits. My son loved their fruit options: blueberries, orange slice and grapes.

Mac and Cheese at Little Matts
I was at Little Matt’s with my friend and her two children and they played at the ipad station while we waited for the food and after they ate! It was great for us to be able to chat and to take our time eating. Our kids were so happy with the games that they didn’t even make it to the arcade room!! With all the temptations Little Matt’s has to offer, we had to choose and we decided that the iPads were already a good treat.

Little Matt’s is more than a kid-friendly place it is a restaurant with a soul and a purpose. The owners’ son survived two bouts of cancer and this place is for him. There is a wish wall where you can slide a little piece of paper with your wish on it. They are giving their profits to Texas Children Hospital to raise money for children and their families affected by cancer. They have been opened for five years and have helped a lot of families.

I really recommend this neighborly restaurant – right across from West University elementary school, you and your children will have a lot of fun, great food and entertainment and you will help a worthy cause.

See you next week for another culinary adventure!

Little Matt's on Urbanspoon

Beyond the Beltway: Old Mac Donald’s Farm

Sheep at Old Mac Donalds Farm
Address:  3203 FM 1960 East, Humble, TX 77338

Many of our Beyond the Beltway adventures this summer have been educational, or at least informative, but this one was just plain fun!

Sand Mountain at Old Mac Donalds Farm
Old Mac Donald’s Farm is located north of Houston, not far from George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It is located on 15 acres of land and has lots of different activities for the kids to do. All activities are included in the entry fee, with only the animal feed and concessions costing extra.

Cavy from Old Mac Donalds Farm
One of the main attractions is the many different kinds of animals at the farm. Some of the ones the kids were able to look at were ducks, an emu, llamas, a Jersey cow and calf, donkeys, and a Patagonian cavy (a rabbit-like animal). If these animals were close enough to the side of the pen the kids were even able to pet them.

Feeding More Animals at Old Mac Donalds Farm
Other animals we were able to feed. When we arrived at the farm we bought a couple of feed bags for $1 each and these actually lasted for quite a while. We were able to go inside the pens with potbellied pigs, rabbits, goats, sheep, and chickens to feed them by hand. Watch out for those baby goats though. When we didn’t get food out fast enough for them they decided to taste my daughter’s skirt, my shoe laces, and my camera case instead!

Indian Village at Old Mac Donalds Farm
There are also peacocks and Axis Deer roaming the grounds. We didn’t get close to the peacocks, but the deer came right up when offered food. My kids quickly grouped them into two categories: greedy and lazy. The greedy ones pushed others out of the way to get more food while the lazy ones just lay in the shade and waited for us to go to them!

Riding Horses at Old Mac Donalds Farm
One of the other activities at the farm is the pony rides. All of the horses and ponies were very gentle and they were led around the arena at a walk. During our Saturday morning visit there were no lines so the kids did this at least 5 times!

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Monkeys, Birds, Horses, Ice Cream & More! Thanks to Gallery Furniture for a great Meet-Up!

Mack, Jill and Sara
A big thank you to Houston Mother’s Blog and Gallery Furniture for organizing a giant meet-up!  The BigKidSmallCity community had the great opportunity live big with Gallery Furniture today.  We held exotic birds, had monkeys steal our popcorn, rode a buggy behind a horse named Franze, ate 70 pizzas and gallons of Blue Bell ice cream, made crowns, race down slides AND met Mattress Mack!

Check out the video below and look at the Houston Mother’s Blog for more pictures!

To be notified about the next Meet-Ups, via email, go HERE.

 

 

Gallery Furniture Horse Ride
 

Birds and babies at Gallery Furniture
 

Bird at Gallery Furniture6
 

Fun at Gallery Furniture
 

Cake at Gallery Furniture
 

Monster at Gallery Furniture
 

Visit the Houston Mother’s Blog for more pictures!

Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids!  July 17, 18, 19, 20 21, 22, 23, 2014

Downtown from the Aquarium
Plan on another great week and weekend in Houston!

Discovery Green is always a sure bet for fun.  This weekend there is a Hands-On Reptile Show, the weekly Young Writers Workshop and my favorite Flea by Night.  Browse the booths of local vendors, listen to live music, people watch and enjoy the urban oasis in the middle of Downtown’s skyscrapers.

For fun on a slightly smaller scale, check out Summer Fun Squad at Ervan Chew Park on Saturday morning.  The free event includes a bounce house, games and the park’s splash pad!

Next week, Miller Outdoor Theatre has a week of children’s shows.  Watch Mulan, Jack and the Beanstalk and more!  Shows are always free.  Seats are for those that arrive first, but there is always space on the hill!

Finally, be looking for Pop Shops all over Houston.  On Tuesday, this free event is popping up at the Vinson Library and kids can make pom pom burgers and mountains!  The craft and location changes weekly, so go here to find an event near you!

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...]

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