Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids! February 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, March 1, 2017

Levy Park Houston

Photo: Office of James Burnett

Get ready for a great week and weekend, in Houston, with kids!

You know how great Discovery Green is… but now Houston has a new “destination” park!  Levy Park is Re-Opening with a playground, splashpad, performance space and much much more.  At the free re-opening celebration, there will be lots of programming, concerts, face painting, demos and workshops.

Shine a light on congenital heart defects, raise money for The Children’s Heart Foundation, and have a lot of family fun at Graeme’s Run at No Label Brewing.

Explore Texas history by visiting Frontier Family Day at The Heritage Society.  This afternoon of learning and fun will feature musical entertainment and Texas longhorns demonstrating farm life in pioneer times. Tour Old Place, the oldest remaining structure in Harris County, and participate in frontier craft activities for young children.

If you are looking for reasonably priced gear, check out the Poe Co Garage Sale at Poe Elementary.  There will be a whole lot of gear for kids and babies (and everyone else).

For the full list of things to do, look below.

Also, go HERE to get this list delivered to your inbox each week and HERE to get daily event updates on Facebook!  Looking for grown-up things to do? Check out 365 Things to Do in Houston!  

Things to Do Any Day:
Explore Houston like an Insider
Plan ahead for things to do through March!
Visit a new Houston Park
Find Kid Friendly Restaurants in Houston

Thursday, February 23, 2017:
Free Museum Entry
Children’s Museum of Houston FREE 5:00pm-8:00pm
The Health Museum FREE 2:00pm-7:00pm
Houston Museum of Natural Science FREE 3:00pm-5:00pm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston FREE 10:00am-9:00pm
Find a museum district restaurant HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2017:
Wintertime Blues Solution – 12:00pm – 9:00pm – Kemah Boardwalk (Buy One Ride Ticket, Get One for $5)

Saturday, February 25, 2017:
[Click HERE… for things to do Saturday through Sunday!]


Top 6 Things to Do this Week & Weekend, in Houston, with Kids – February 20-26, 2017

Plan on a great week in Houston, with kids!

Each week, we publish the list of things to do for the weekend.  So you can look forward to the events, posted prior to the full list going live, here are the favorites for Monday through Sunday, February 20-26, 2017!

Church at Sam Houston Park

1. On Monday, take the little kids to the Tyke Hike at the Houston Arboretum.

2. On Thursday, get free Museum Entry in the museum district.

3.  On Saturday, check out the newly renovated Levy Park… with a playground, splashpad, performance space and much much more.  At the free re-opening celebration, there will be lots of programming, concerts, face painting, demos and workshops.

4.  On Saturday, shine a light on congenital heart defects, raise money for The Children’s Heart Foundation, and have a lot of family fun at Graeme’s Run at No Label Brewing.

5.  On Saturday, if you are looking for reasonably priced gear, check out the Poe Co Garage Sale at Poe Elementary.  There will be a whole lot of gear for kids and babies (and everyone else).

6.  On Sunday, explore Texas history by visiting Frontier Family Day at The Heritage Society.  This afternoon of learning and fun will feature musical entertainment and Texas longhorns demonstrating farm life in pioneer times. Tour Old Place, the oldest remaining structure in Harris County, and participate in frontier craft activities for young children.

 


Things to do in Houston today, and this weekend, with kids! February 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, March 1, 2017

Levy Park Houston

Photo: Office of James Burnett

Get ready for a great week and weekend, in Houston, with kids!

You know how great Discovery Green is… but now Houston has a new “destination” park!  Levy Park is Re-Opening with a playground, splashpad, performance space and much much more.  At the free re-opening celebration, there will be lots of programming, concerts, face painting, demos and workshops.

Shine a light on congenital heart defects, raise money for The Children’s Heart Foundation, and have a lot of family fun at Graeme’s Run at No Label Brewing.

Explore Texas history by visiting Frontier Family Day at The Heritage Society.  This afternoon of learning and fun will feature musical entertainment and Texas longhorns demonstrating farm life in pioneer times. Tour Old Place, the oldest remaining structure in Harris County, and participate in frontier craft activities for young children.

If you are looking for reasonably priced gear, check out the Poe Co Garage Sale at Poe Elementary.  There will be a whole lot of gear for kids and babies (and everyone else).

For the full list of things to do, look below.

Also, go HERE to get this list delivered to your inbox each week and HERE to get daily event updates on Facebook!  Looking for grown-up things to do? Check out 365 Things to Do in Houston!  

Things to Do Any Day:
Explore Houston like an Insider
Plan ahead for things to do through March!
Visit a new Houston Park
Find Kid Friendly Restaurants in Houston

Thursday, February 23, 2017:
Free Museum Entry
Children’s Museum of Houston FREE 5:00pm-8:00pm
The Health Museum FREE 2:00pm-7:00pm
Houston Museum of Natural Science FREE 3:00pm-5:00pm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston FREE 10:00am-9:00pm
Find a museum district restaurant HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2017:
Wintertime Blues Solution – 12:00pm – 9:00pm – Kemah Boardwalk (Buy One Ride Ticket, Get One for $5)

Saturday, February 25, 2017:
Levy Park Grand Re-Opening – Levy Park
Poe Co Garage Sale – 8:00am-12:00pm – Poe Elementary
Graeme’s Run – 8:30am – No Label Brewing
Houston Creole Heritage Festival & Parade – 9:00am-9:00pm – Discovery Green
Build a Bee House – 10:00am – Jesse H. Jones Nature Center
Garbage Island – 10:30am – Rec Room (Interactive performance for ages 2 – 6.)
Young Writers Workshop – 10:30am – Discovery Green
Wintertime Blues Solution – 10:30am – 10:00pm – Kemah Boardwalk (Buy One Ride Ticket, Get One for $5)
Freedom Train – 2:00pm – Express Theatre
Family Day: Joshua Slocum’s Journey Sailing Around the World – 2:00pm-5:00pm – Houston Maritime Museum
Peter Pan Jr – 3:00pm- Playhouse 1960
Rockets vs Timberwolves – 8:00pm – Toyota Center

Sunday, February 26, 2017:
Wintertime Blues Solution – 10:30am – 8:00pm – Kemah Boardwalk (Buy One Ride Ticket, Get One for $5)
Frontier Family Day – 1:00pm-4:00pm – The Heritage Society
Peter Pan Jr – 3:00pm- Playhouse 1960

Monday, February 27, 2017:
Tyke Hike – 9:30am – Houston Arboretum
Rockets vs Pacer – 7:00pm – Toyota Center

Tuesday, February 28, 2017:
Rodeo Round Up – 12:00pm – City Hall

Wednesday, March 1, 2017:
Mommy Mingle – 10:00am-12:00pm – Children’s Museum of Houston
Nature Storytime – 4:00pm – Nature Discovery Center

Looking for more to do in your part of town?  Check out…
365 Things to Do in Houston for grown-up things to do.
Raised on the Rails for adventures near the METRORail line.
Fun2Go Misters for things to do near Humble.
Mac Kid SW Houston for things to do in SW Houston, Missouri City, Sugar Land.
Gish Picks… Curated Culture for Kids and Adults


Things to Do in Houston, with Kids… Posts on BigKidSmallCity, Published February 11-17, 2017!

There is a lot of information on BigKidSmallCity and sometimes it can be hard to find. To help you locate the new posts from last week, here are the updates from February 11-17, 2017!

Wood Bend Park Zip Line
Weekend Events:

And you can always find the “Weekend Events” category HERE.

Things to Do in Houston:

Kid Friendly Restaurants:

Resources:

If you want all this emailed to you each week, go HERE!

 


Houston Playgrounds for Little Ninja Warriors

My kids love to watch America Ninja Warrior.  And when we go to parks, they race through the monkey bars and zip lines like a Ninja Warrior obstacle course.

My kids tell me that the best parks for ninjas have lots of ladders, zip lines and several kinds of monkey bars.  If you also have a ninja, here are just some good Houston area ninja parks.  (And if you want an official Ninja Warrior gym, check out Iron Sports!)

I know there are more… so tell us what to add!

 

Wheel Monkey Bars Nottingham Park Houston
1.  Nottingham Park – 14205 Kimberley Ln, Houston, TX 77079

Oh, this one is good!  Wheel monkey bars, loop monkey bars, zip lines… plus a whole kid fit playground with rock wall and equipment for exercise.

 

Wood Bend Park Zip Line

2. Bendwood Park – 12700 Kimberley Ln, Houston, TX 77024

Bendwood Park has two parks right next door.  Here there are bridges, zip lines and monkey bars.  Ninjas can race the clock on this playground.

 

Nobb Hill Park Playground Fish and Treehouse

3.  Nob Hill – 10300 Timberoak Dr, Houston, TX 77043

Ninjas will have to do some running at this park because the equipment is a little spaced out… but there is a lot of it.  Bars, tree house, bridges and more.

 

 

Evergreen Park in Bellaire

4.  Evergreen Park – 4500 Evergreen Street, Bellaire, Texas 77401

The equipment is squeezed together… but you can climb and swing through this Bellaire park.

 

Jerry Matheson Park Swinging Ropes

5.  Matheson Park – 1240 Ulrich Road, Tomball TX, 77375

This wooden park is full of giant tires, big zip lines and lots of equipment.  If you built an amazing obstacle course in your back yard, it would look something like Matheson Park in Tomball.

 

Seawolf Park Galveston Playground

6.  Seawolf Park – 100 Seawolf Pkwy, Galveston, TX 77551

So apparently little ninjas can start on one edge of this playground… and scale their way across to the other without touching the ground.  There is less swinging and more climbing across this really cool Galveston playground.

 

Clear Lake Park Play Structure

7.  Clear Lake Park – 5001 E NASA Pkwy, Seabrook, TX 77586

I mean, just look at this place.  Rope ladders, walls to scale, monkey bars… and this is just some of the equipment at Clear Lake Park!

 

Foote Park Baytown Bars

8.  NC Foote Park – 2428 West Main, Baytown, TX 77520

Circles or monkey bars and ladders.  This Baytown park is good for ninjas!


What I tell my kids: A career in STEM does not start with video games.

Before you read this, know that if your kids play video games, I do not care.

My kids lick the frosting off of cupcakes, by the half-dozen, and I’m too tired to fight it.  So, if your kids use computers and if my kids eat sugar and food coloring, let’s just agree that it’s fine.  It’s not my goal to tell you how to parent, I just plan to share how I think about technology as a start a short series on STEM careers.

*********

I am an electrical engineer and have designed new mobile phones and tablets for most of the last 15 years. A high-tech career has been very rewarding and I recommend it to anyone.  In fact, the money in my bank account is directly a result of new technology.

But I do not let my kids have computers or mobile devices.  They don’t get to play video games, they don’t do homework on computers and they don’t get to learn online.

Phone Monster at Chiledrens Museum
When my older brother heard this, he told me that I was an uncool mom that was sheltering my kids.  It’s true, I am.

Still, I found it reassuring that I’m not the only person, with a high-tech background, that is keeping young kids away from technology.

The Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, where executives from Google and Apple send their kids, has technology-free classrooms. They believe that computers “inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans”. I am on the computer all day long, and this article says what I’ve felt for years.

I personally learn better through doing than through clicking. Like the Waldorf School article says… I would remember a whole lot more about fractions from cutting up quesadillas than from looking at a screen.

I do get asked a lot if I think my kids are “falling behind” without computers… because isn’t that our greatest fear as parents, that we are screwing up our kids?  Well, besides making my kids be uncool, I think they are fine.  STEM professional use computers, but it’s not the computers that gave them the STEM skills.  Also, computers can be used as learning tools… but they are not the only way to learn.

A device’s user interface is designed to be intuitive and no training is required.  If a child needs instructions to swipe an iPad, it was designed wrong.  And clicking, steering and shooting can make you love graphics and video games, but it will not help you write code and create products.

Also, the devices that I’ve launched around the world have been very helpful to adults… and very addicting and distracting.  How many times have I been looking at Google maps… only to find myself scrolling through cute pictures on social media?

And, playing a video game or learning to navigate a computer has nothing to do with securing a career in high-tech.

Now, if my kids want to program and build robots, I will get out the laptop and our affiliate Arduino in an instant. If they want to make music, produce a movie or take pictures, I will lend them my devices right away.  In my house, using a device and creating something are very different things.

If your kids play video games, let me reassure you that I do not care.  In fact, if my kids go to your house, they can play until they come home.  I know you have picked your battles and I’ve picked mine.  So please do not think that I judge what you do and please do not send me nasty comments.

Of course, some video games are educational and teach lessons. At school, the kids have a technology class and each night we are assigned a computer study assignment. My preference would be to have library over technology, but at school (like at a friend’s house), they can follow the school’s rules. But at my own house, I say “no thank you” to the computer homework.

I did feel bad at first, telling the teachers “no” to online homework. I have a lot of respect for teachers and certainly do not want to make their jobs harder. But, I also have to raise hard working, well behaved, smart kids.

So, I say “no thank you” to computer homework and offer to do flashcards, extra work or even hire a tutor instead. I am fully on board with their lesson plans… just not with the use of a gadget. And I am so determined to keep it this way, I am absolutely ready to pull my kids out of the school if it comes to that.

Not all of our teachers love our “no gadget rule”, but I do send them kids on the top of the “behavior chart”, that complete their work (minus the computer) and get good grades. I don’t ask the teachers to put in more work for my kids, but just that they be tolerant as I spend the extra time needed to cut up quesadillas or bring a lesson to the playground.

This is why I do not worry about the cupcakes… I’m too busy replacing the online lessons.  Remember, this is the battle I’ve chosen… and you should pick the battle that is most important to you.

Of course, I do know that some day my kids will have phones and computers.  Maybe they will ride the bus and need a simple phone for emergencies.  Maybe they will specialize in computer science and need a laptop for coding (and be lucky enough to get the wifi and world wide web that comes with it).  Maybe a lot of things will change.  But for today, my kids have the uncool mom.  (And the mom is cool with it.)

 


Audio: Favorite Houston Family Events for this Weekend: February 16-22, 2017

Listen to my favorite events for the weekend (and week) of February 16, 2017, or watch the video HERE! To help you navigate, below are the posts mentioned in the audio clip:


Goode Company BBQ: You don’t want to miss this dinner date!

Goode Company Ribs
Address: 5109 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas

You went to Goode Company without me???  That’s what my husband said when he discovered the leftover ribs in the fridge.

We had recently been to the Goode Company BBQ in the Memorial Area… and had the remainder of our gift card burning a hole in my purse… so the kids and I headed to Goode Company BBQ on Kirby.  (And a few hours later, my husband regretted making his own dinner plans.)

Goode Company BBQ Kirby
Both locations are casual and kid friendly… but Kirby is especially casual.

The building looks like a barn, with just a handful of tables inside and rows of picnic tables on the covered patio.  You pick up a tray, order ask you slide down the counter and pay at the end.

This location does not have kids meals, so we all ordered from the main menu.  Ribs, meat place and the non-jalapeno bread all found the way to our table.

Goode Company Two Meat Plate
 

We sat outside (the best spot for my big, sometimes messy, group). We ate and ate and ate… and refilled tea and water right next to the table. (Soda is only inside.)

The food was good Goode Company food… and everyone (minus my husband at some boring restaurant) was happy.

We did visit the bathrooms, which remind me of the old school gas station bathrooms on the side of the building (found across the midwest when I was a kid)… but these were clean.

Goode Company Restrooms
Goode Company is not especially cheap, but it’s always a solid meal choice that makes everyone in my family happy!

 

Goode Company Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

Find more family friendly Houston restaurants:


Give Away: One Year Membership to the Children’s Museum of Houston!

Oh!  I have a BIG give away for one Houston family!

No matter how old your kids are, you can certainly enjoy a ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIP to the Children’s Museum of Houston!  Tiny kids can crawl around the Tot Spot, little ones can explore this giant museum and even the bigger kids can be SECRET spies and do science experiments and race Lego cars in the labs.

Flow Works Childrens Museum of Houston
One family will a Family Plus membership, valued at $140! The Family Plus Membership includes free admission for up to six individuals living in the same household ages 1 and older (this can include up to 3 named adults, including a caregiver), plus other benefits! (This also includes the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.) Get all the membership details HERE!

To win, register below!

Childrens Museum Secret Mission USB Stick
AND, whether or not you are the big winner, you will want to check out all the activities at the Children’s Museum for Spring Break in March.  Get the preview here:

Contest Ends: 2/19/17
Official Rules: https://goo.gl/xdLSTE


Where in Houston? Entrance at the Health Museum!

WIH Sculpture1

Yesterday I asked where in Houston this picture was taken. It’s from the entrance of the Health Museum!


A "Houston Parents Magazine" Resource --- To Get Ready for Rodeo Houston, with Kids, Go HERE
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