Give Away: Family Four-Packs to Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle at Main Street Theater

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle understands children in a way no one else does. That’s why parents all over town come to her for help teaching their children how to behave! With her imaginative ideas and crazy cures, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle saves the day in this delightful musical.

Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is at Main Street Theater for February 27 – March 31, 2018… and I have two family four packs to give away! To win, register below (or HERE).

Winner Can Pick Between Performances on March 4 at 12:30pm or 3:30pm or March 11 at 12:30pm or 3:30pm.
Contest Ends:  Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Official Rules:  https://goo.gl/cBR8Yg


Video: Tips & Tricks for Visiting Rodeo Houston, with Kids… Beat the Crowds & Save Money

Rodeo Houston is here!

If you are planning to take kids, here are our tips and tricks…. including how to get there, how to beat the crowds and how to save money.

See the video HERE or below… and get even more tips HERE!


Outdoor Roller Rink at Discovery Green! March 2-25, 2018

The ICE at Discovery Green is closed for the season… but it is turning into an outdoor roller rink!

I used to go to a small town roller rink, every Friday night, as a tween… and I am so excited to take the kids to Discovery Green. For more information, go HERE!

When: March 2-March 25, 2018

Prices:
$8 per person on-site with $4 skate rental
$8 on Cheap Skate Nights, Mondays 3/5 and 3/19 (includes skates)
$10 Fast Pass online tickets with $4 skate rental – click here to purchase

Customers of George R Brown Restaurants – $2 discount for customers of GRB restaurants (Proof of same day purchase at participating restaurant required. Maximum 4 discounts per household per visit. This discount will apply to any regular admission ticket and is not available at Cheap Skate or in combination with other discounts.)

Hours:
Mondays – Thursdays 5 – 10 pm
Fridays 5 – 11 pm
Saturdays and School Holidays* 11 am – 11 pm
Sundays 11 am – 9 pm

School holidays are March 12 through March 17.
Weather permitting.

Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77010

 


Houston Rodeo Parade, February 24, 2018, Route Information & Tips for Viewing and Parking

Every February, the Houston Rodeo comes to town! Before the month-long celebration at at NRG Park, families can find floats, horses and marching bands in Downtown Houston. For 2018, the parade is on February 24 at 10:00am.

The route is:

  • Starts at Bagby and Walker (By City Hall)
  • Walker Street to Travis Street, Right on Travis
  • Travis to Bell Street, Right on Bell
  • Bell to Louisiana Street, Right on Louisiana
  • Louisiana to Lamar Street, Left on Lamar
  • Ends at Lamar and Bagby (By the Central Library)

Find the map HERE or below:

 

If you plan to go Downtown, here are some tips:

  • Arrive early!  Traffic and parking will be tough just before the 10:00am start time.
  • Take METRORail to avoid the traffic.  The parade is near the Main Street Square Station on the Red Line.
  • If you drive, I would come in to downtown from the I59/Discovery Green side of Downtown.  Park when you see a spot and walk over.  (So you have a guide, Discovery Green is approximately 5 blocks from the train tracks on Main Street and 10 blocks from City Hall.)
  • According to Rodeo Houston, the best places to view the parade are on Louisiana, from Bell to Lamar, Lamar, and from Louisiana to Smith.  Bagby and Walker streets, from Sabine Street to Bagby, will be off limits for viewing.
  • According to Rodeo Houston, these are the recommended parking spots:  Alley Theater Garage, Lyric Center, 1100 Smith Garage, Theater District Parking, Street Parking, Texas and Smith, Smith and Preston, Smith and Dallas, Smith and Clay, Walker and Main.  (But I would still park closer to Discovery Green and walk over… just to avoid the mess!)

For more Rodeo Houston tips, go HERE!  Or to watch the Trail Riders, go HERE!


Where to Watch the Rodeo Houston Trail Riders, Friday, February 23, 2018

The Trail Riders are on their way to Houston!  By Friday, they will be on our local city streets and headed to Memorial Park!

Here is the official map, the routes AND their break locations (where you might just be able to say hello to the riders)!

If you want to find them, here’s the plan:

  1.  Find the official map HERE.
  2.  On the map, look for the Trail Riders in your part of town.
  3. On the left of the map, click on the name of the Trail Riders near you.
  4. Then click on “Daily Schedule” or “Map”.  Here you can see the route and the break locations!
  5. Or, skip #1-#4 and scroll down for the routes.

If you want a quick look at the routes, below are the routes of all the Trail Riders!  (To see the breaks, each map has a square in the top left corner.)

Mission:

 

Northeastern:

 

Old Spanish:

 

Prairie View:

 

Salt Grass:

 

Sam Houston:

 

Southwest:

 

Southwestern Trail Riders:

Texas Independence:

 

The Spanish:

 

Valley Lodge:


Housman Pocket Park… Find the fire truck, monkey bars and unique play structures!

Address: 6705 Housman, Houston, TX 77055

There was a time when my little boy would wear a full fireman suit, every single day. School, play, family portraits… he wore the fireman suit. And four years before that, it was my other little boy doing the same thing.

We spent a whole lot of time Houston Fire Stations and Fire Truck Park, but I did not even know about Housman Pocket Park. Fun2Go Misters just found it for us!

This small park has a fire truck play structure… and traditional structures with some cool monkey bars and boulder wall and more.

Check out the pictures… and find more Houston fire trucks HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


Things to do in Houston’s Chinatown, with kids!

Chinatown!  We love it, but it can be overwhelming with all the shops and restaurants.

I am certainly not an expert… and generally just drive until I happen upon something we want to try.  But since I get asked a lot, below are some things-to-do to get you started.  If you have Chinatown favorites, let us know!

 

1. My Table Chinatown Restaurant Guide:  When you drive down Bellaire Boulevard, you will see (literally) hundreds of restaurants.  There are so many options I find it almost impossible to pick one for lunch…  Fortunately My Table put together a guide with the eight kinds of Chinese food in Chinatown, with their recommendations.

 

2.  Bakeries:  I love the bakeries… and if your kids are not especially adventurous, you can still find something good to eat.  Also, if you go in the morning, the bakeries are awake before many of the other shops and restaurants.

85°C Bakery and Six Ping are good bakeries… and here is what Yelp rates as the best.  (What are your favorites?)

 

3.  Grocery Stores:  This might be my favorite thing to do.  It’s easy to go to a grocery store and we always find something new to try.  A couple of our favorites are:

Hong Kong Food Market – Every trip takes 2 laps around the 150,000 square foot store.  One is to take in all the weird animal parts, raw meat counter and huge live fish tanks (with men standing on the counter scooping them out for dinner), and the next lap is to select some reasonable produce, some unrecognizable things to try and, my favorite, some candies or cookies.

H Mart – This is a smaller Korean Market.  It has plenty of unique things to try… but only takes us one lap around… because it’s not as huge or unbelievable as the Hong Kong Market.

 

4.  Traditional Chinese Outfits:  If you want to find traditional Chinese outfits for the Lunar New Year, look in the Hong Kong Market Shopping Center.  (Enter at the grocery store and turn right to find the store.)  Cali Fashion has the kids outfits for around $15 (and more expensive outfits too).

 

5.  More to Do:

Arthur Storey Park is a giant park at 8 and Bellaire.  There is a play area, lake and long walking trail.  See all the pictures HERE.

Teo Chew Temple is on the far side of Arthur Storey Park.  It is open to the public and you can see the pictures HERE.

I know there is much more to do… so comment and let us know your favorites!

 

 

 


Where to Find Fire Fighters & Fire Trucks in Houston… Playgrounds, Museums & Fire Trucks!

Do you have a little fire fighter?
 
Here are the places around Houston to find fire trucks, fire fighters, fire truck themed play grounds and more! Plus, here is where to find pint sized Houston Fire Department gear…

If you have more to add to the list, let us know!

Museum:


1.  Houston Fire Museum – Housed in the old Fire Station 7, this is the perfect place for little fire fighters. In addition to old trucks and Houston fire history, there is a play room with fireman suits, a real fire truck cab and a fireman pole.  This is also the place to get your Houston Fire Department gear for all ages… from onsies, to t-shirts to hats!

Fire Stations:


2. Visit a Houston Fire Station – Visiting Houston Fire Stations has long been one of our favorite things to do!  You can stop by your local station any time… just bring some cookies or pizza or thank you cards.  (Find your closest station HERE.)  Or, if you want to organize a free group tour, request your date and station, 30 days in advance, HERE.

Just remember that fire stations are busy spots… so they may be busy or need to leave very quickly!

3.  Heights Fire Station – Rent the old Heights Fire Station for your next event!  (We have not been here, so tell us if you know more!)

4.  The Antique Firehouse – Host your event at this Humble Firehouse… it includes 4 fire trucks, toddler play and activity area and outdoor moonwalk.  (We have not been here, so tell us if you know more!)

Playground:


5. Fire Truck Park – When Southside’s first fire truck was retired in 1970, it was kept in this park, making it the Fire Truck Park. This truck and the other playground equipment came into disrepair after many years of use, so in 2012, a completely renovated Fire Truck Park was opened. And it is fantastic. For kids under 5 years old, there is a new fire truck play structure. All around the new fire truck is unique equipment, for big kids, that you do not you see at every Houston park. The merry-go-round is made from a tire, there are little “flowers” where the kids sit and spin themselves and there is a very unusual rock wall for the biggest kids.

 

6.  Housman Pocket Park – This small park has a fire truck play structure!

Event:


7. Val Jehnke Fire Department Training Facility – Okay, okay, you cannot go everyday… but at Firefest each October, go see demonstrations, spray the fire hose, crawl through a “burning” building and more!


The Playground for All at Angel Park (aka Lindsay/Lyons Park)!

Address: 2310 Atascocita Road, Humble, TX 77396

Angel Park has something for everyone!  This big park, also known as Lindsay/Lyons Park, has ball fields, pavilions, walking trail and playgrounds.  And the play area includes an all-inclusive playground and rest room facility for children of all physical abilities!

Moms have been telling me about this park for years… and they were right… it’s a great place!  Fun2Go Misters took the pictures so everyone can see how cool it is!

The playground is on a rubber mat (so there is no mulch) and ramps let all kids use the equipment.  The playground also has some very unique features like ladder bridges, balance beam, boulders, slides, monkey bars, rings and more.

The play area also has a spider web, bucket swings and “chair” swings.  Just take a look at the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


Rodeo Houston 2018: Beat the Crowds & Save Money

When Rodeo Houston comes to town, we buy the general admission season pass and go every morning.  Do not tell the big kids… but after we drop them off at school, I take the little ones to NRG.

Right at 8:00am we tour the Livestock Show, watch the chicks hatch from their eggs and get to see everything before the crowds arrive.  At 9:00am, the petting zoo and rabbit house opens and at 10:00am we head to Fun on the Farm.

By the time the field trips and crowds are at Rodeo Houston, we’re heading home for naps.  And some days we bring the big kids back after school.

So, how do we pull this off without spending a fortune? It’s pretty easy with these tricks: Season Pass, Value Wednesday, Cheap Transportation, No Carnival and Lots of Free Activities.

 

Discounted Admission:

  • General Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids, free for kids under 2 years old.  If you have a concert ticket, you do not need a general admission ticket (so do NOT buy both).
  • Since we go each day, we buy the general admission season pass.  This year it is $35 (up from $25).  Note that this also gets you daily admission to World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest (before the Rodeo/Livestock show).
  • On Wednesdays, called Value Wednesdays, there is free general admission for seniors, 60 and over, and children, 12 and under.
  • 2018 Rodeo Houston is February 27 through March 18.

Transportation:

  • Parking lots are around $20… so we take METRORail.  It is only $1.25 for anyone older than 5 and it drops you off right at the rodeo ticket booth.
  • Parking is available up and down the tracks.  We park in the museum district.

Free Activities Inside Rodeo Houston:

  • We go early and skip the carnival.  Even if you go later and do the carnival rides, take advantage of these free things to do!
  • Kids Country opens at 9:00am, Fun on the Farm opens at 10:00am and the carnival opens at 10:00/11:00am, but AgVenture has a lot to do at 8:00am.  While the rodeo is waking up,  the vendors and shops are still getting ready for the day and the field trips are still preparing to take over the park, we have some room to run around the birthing center, rabbits, bees and ant hill.  We can see the baby chicks poking out of their eggs and the baby pigs sleeping.
  • These free activities are open every day at Rodeo Houston:
    • Fun on the Farm – This might be our favorite part of rodeo!  Kids get to plant seeds, feed chickens, collect wool, milk cows and sell their products at market, “buy” a small treat with their earnings and put some “money” in the bank…. and it’s free!  (If you see a field trip going through, give it a minute and you’ll find some space to get through a little quicker!)
    • Statoil Stars Over Texas Stage – All day you can catch kid friendly shows under the tent.  There are sing-alongs, animal acts and more.  We saw our first sloth here!
    • Kids Pedal Tractor Pull – Kids ages 4 to 12 years old compete in a pedal-powered tractor pull. The tractors and pulling sleds are built for fun.
    • Petting Zoo -Feeding the animals costs a few dollars… but the petting zoo is free!  If you go early in the morning, you will probably have the space to yourself.
    • Pig Races – Watch the piglets race around a 150 foot track.
    • Livestock Show – Walk through the rows of cows in the back of the NRG Center or sit and watch the competitions!
    • Horse Show – On the opposite side of NRG Park, away from the Kids Carnival, is the Horse Arena. This is sort of a secret spot at the rodeo because most people are on the other side of the park. The NRG Arena has shopping, stalls of horses to walk through and a competition to watch.
    • AGventure Honeybees – Walk through a hive and watch honey bees!
    • AGventure Milking Parlor – See where milk comes from!
    • AGventure Tour of Texas – Take a tour of Texas… all inside NRG Center.  It’s like a mini-museum inside the Rodeo Houston!
    • AGventure Baby Chicks and Chickens -See chicks hatch, see the newborns and the big chickens.  You can also watch a video on how eggs get to market!
    • AGventure Birthing Center – See the newborn babies at the rodeo!  Many are just a few days old!
    • And all of AGventure… including the We’re Small Y’All Barn, Collector Cards, Sunflower Planting and more!

Carnival:

  • When we go back in the afternoon, my big kids do like to visit the carnival.  The trick here is to by Half Price Packs BEFORE Rodeo Houston starts.  (After Rodeo starts, you cannot get the discounted tickets.)

Food:

  • Outside food is not allowed into the stadium for the concert… but it is allowed on the grounds.
  • We bring in snacks and water each day (and I’ve confirmed with the PR team that this is allowed).
  • The catch is… each year I get reports from people saying food was not allowed.  I think that the security guards were confused… but still… be safe and just bring in a little food so you won’t be sad to throw it out.

Rain:

  • Since we go so much, there is always a few rainy days.  There is still a lot to do!
  • Things to do on a rainy day:
    • Dining: Many of the restaurants are under tents or inside the NRG Center (by the Livestock Show).
    • Rodeo & Concert:  The rodeo and the concert are inside the covered NRG Stadium.  First is the rodeo… followed by the concert.  If you get a ticket for the show, you do not need to buy a separate general admission ticket.
    • AGventure:  Inside the NRG Center, you can do A LOT of things.  See honeybees, learn about milking cows, stop by the petting zoo, see chicks hatching, pet rabbits, see the baby animals, collect animal trading cards, plant a sunflower… and more!!
    • Livestock Show: Walk through the rows of cows in the back of the NRG Center or sit and watch the competitions.
    • Horse Show: On the opposite side of NRG Park, away from the Kids Carnival, is the Horse Arena.  This is sort of a secret spot at the rodeo because most people are on the other side of the park.  The NRG Arena has shopping, stalls of horses to walk through and a competition to watch.
    • Stars Over Texas Stage:  This stage has kid friendly shows all day long.  It’s covered by a giant tent.  If the rain is terrible, you might want to stay inside… but if it’s just wet, find a seat at the interactive shows.

Rodeo and Concerts:

  • We only go to a couple rodeos and concerts each year… so we’re not experts… but I do know…
  • No outside food is allowed in the stadium.  Even if you buy BBQ at the Rodeo, you need to finish it before going to the stadium.
  • Weekday rodeos start at 6:45 p.m. The entertainer takes the stage at approximately 8:45 p.m.
  • Weekend rodeos start at 3:45 p.m. The entertainer takes the stage at approximately 5:45 p.m.

Watch the Video:

 

In a couple of week’s we’ll head back to Rodeo Houston and tell you what else we find for 2018.  If you have more tips, please let us know!

For more things to do in Houston, with kids, over Spring Break, go HERE!


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