Sign Up Now: Main Street Theater Summer Camp… Ages 4 through High School!

The reason that my kids love theater is because of Main Street Theater.

Six years ago we had never really been to the theater and never even considered it as an option. Then we went to Pinkalicious at Main Street Theater, fell in love with the experience and bought our season tickets to Main Street Theater’s Theater for Youth.

And then it came time for summer and the kids discovered something even better than watching a show… it was being part of the show. At Main Street Theater the kids create an original play!

My kids were so proud to put on their own show… and they loved theater even more.

If you want to learn more about Mains Street Theater Summer Camps, go HERE! It is for ages four through high school and there are six locations around Houston.

At Summer Camp, students take charge of all aspects of performance while the teachers (who are arts and educational professionals) provide guidance and know-how support to students (ages 4 – 18).

Students write and stage their original theater pieces, creating their own roles, lines, costumes, and props.

One day “Turbo Camps” (ages 6 – 11) are also available along with Summer Shakespeare for 8th – 12th grades (this summer will be Romeo & Juliet).

Before/After-Care available.

Get all the details HERE!


Karl Young Park… Something for little kids, big kids and even really big kids.

Address: 7800 Stella Link Rd, Houston, TX 77025

It’s been years since we last wrote about Karl Young Park, so we went back, took new pictures and are pleased to report that the park is still awesome.

This park has a toddler play area, a big play area, a sandbox, jogging track, ball field, tennis court, tennis backboard, and a small basketball court.  Free parking is available on the street.

The space for little kids has a fun caterpillar tube and slides.  The space for big kids has some unique features like a spinning wheel, monkey bars, slides, a talking tube, a periscope, a small climbing wall, an unusual bridge and a set of hanging pendulums for the kids to walk across.

Near both sets of playground equipment are shaded pavilions with picnic tables and a shaded sandbox.

Also, if you go in the hot weather, and you are a YMCA citywide member, the Weekly YMCA’s pool is just down the street!

Check out the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


Everyone Can Play at the Mark Twain Spark Park

Address: 7500 Braes Blvd, Houston, TX 77025

Mark Twain Elementary is the one that got away.

We almost went to this school and I often think about the beautiful campus. Lucky for us, Mark Twain has a great Spark Park we can visit any time we want!

The Spark Park Program develops school parks into neighborhood parks as a way to increase green space in Houston. Mark Twain Spark Park gates open after school activities end and throughout weekends, holidays, and summer months for everyone to enjoy.

This park has a unique play structure with lots of “boulders” for climbing, spinner for spinning and ropes for crossing.

There is also a spider web, small basketball court and big turf yard for playing. (There is also a sign with an app to download and things to find around the park… but I wasn’t excited to give my kids my phone when we were there to play at a park!)

Take a look at the pictures below… And after you stop by the park, go right next door to the McGovern-Stella Link Neighborhood Library (when it reopens) and Helen’s Park!

(And don’t worry about our elementary school, we found another good one!)

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


Pods, Lily Pads, Monkey Parks & Unique Features at the Shaded Doss Park Playground

Address: 2500 Frick Rd, Houston, TX 77038

I always ask parents for their favorite parks around Houston… and Doss Park often makes the list.

So, when Fun2Go Misters asked me for a new park to visit, I gave her the tip. See took the pictures and confirmed that it’s a great park!

Doss Park is a 33-acre park with an activity building, softball fields, tennis courts, pavilions, batting cages, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a playground, walking trails, and restroom facilities.

And the playground has some very unique features… plus ninja approved features. Check out this slide, the pods, the lily pads, the wheel monkey bars and all the things to climb in the shaded play area. And check out the traditional play structure (no under the cover).

We see a lot of playgrounds, and this one is not your usual play spot. See all the pictures below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


West University Spark Park… Open to All After School Hours!

Address: 3756 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

Right across from our favorite Little Matt’s is the West University Spark Park!  We’ve written about it before… but it’s been remodeled and is even better!

The Spark Park Program develops school parks into neighborhood parks as a way to increase green space in Houston. West University Spark Park gates open after school activities end and throughout weekends, holidays, and summer months for everyone to enjoy.

This park has a cool new merry-go-round, swings, a spider web and a great play structure.  There are a couple of unique money bars… and these were a favorite with my ninjas.  Under the play areas is a rubber mat… so there are no bugs or mud.

Also, check out this “Friendship Bench” where kids can sit when they need someone to play with at recess.  Isn’t that cool?!

 

Parking is free on the street. I assume it fills up on school days or during baseball games (with the field next door), but when we visited, there was plenty available.

The West University Library (which requires a Harris County Library Card) is right around the corner. Stop by their kids area before leaving the area!

Find more Houston area parks:


Houston Marathon & Half Marathon Route Information – January 14, 2018

Photo Credit: Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
 

Find the 2018 Houston Marathon route HERE and see where to watch HERE!  If you don’t plan to cheer on the runners… still be ready for the street closures, HERE!


Fighting America’s #1 Birth Defect: Graeme’s Family Fun Run, February 10, 2018

From Houston Mom, Stephanie:

On December 18, 2012 our son, Graeme, was born. We had an emergency delivery after the doctor detected his heart rate in the 70s at my 34 week appointment. He was diagnosed with Double Outlet Right Ventricle, Malposed Great Vessels, VSD, Coarctation of the Aorta, Straddling Mitral Valve, Aortic Valve Hypoplasia, and Complete Heart Block.

He was rushed to the Texas Medical Center where he underwent a coarctation repair, a pacemaker was placed, and a Pulmonary Artery band was placed. With 2 surgeries under his belt our little trooper was released from the hospital after 44 days. After living a happy and for the most part normal life, we lost our sweet angel on May 3, 2015 at 2 1/2 years old.We were devastated, and still are in complete shock, as we are left to try to find our new normal and purpose.

We have decided to put our energy into raising awareness and funds for Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) research. We knew nothing about heart defects before Graeme and were shocked to learn:

  • Congenital heart defects are America’s and every country’s #1 birth defect. Nearly 1 of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.
  • Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.
  • Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a congenital heart defect. Thousands of them will not reach their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood.
  • Each year over 1,000,000 babies are born worldwide with a congenital heart defect.

The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) has contributed an astounding $9.6 million toward revolutionary congenital heart defect research studies. As the country’s leading organization solely committed to CHD research funding, CHF dedicates itself to bringing health, hope and happiness to children and families impacted by a CHD. We want to continue to be a part of that fundraising in Graeme’s honor.

With some wonderful friends we came up with the idea of a family fun run. We know everyone loves a good fun run, especially one that’s close to home and brings awareness and funds to such a great cause. This will be our third year and the date is set for February 10, 2018 (February is heart awareness month). We were able to raise over $60,000 for The Children’s Heart Foundation in 2018.

Our third Graeme’s Run will be full of fun activities for everyone! We will start with a 5K and a 1 mile family walk in Old Katy starting and ending at No Label Brewery.

  • Following the run/walk we will have:
  • No Label serving free beer
  • Food trucks (Cousins Maine Lobster, It’s a Wrap, Truck on the Bayou, Frosted Betty, and Curbside Sliderz)
  • Righteous Cause Band
  • Chris Boise Band
  • All Around Bounce will have several bounce houses set up
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon Animals and more!

**100% of funds raised will go to The Children’s Heart Foundation

We would love for you to be a part of this great event.

Thank you for reading our story and helping us honor our precious son,
The McDaniel Family (Robby, Stephanie, Mason and Juliet)

To find out more visit: www.graemessuperheroes.org
phone: 832-221-9116
email: graemessuperheroes@gmail.com
Facebook: Graeme’s Superheroes


Challenger Seven Memorial Park in Webster

Address: 2301 W Nasa Blvd, Webster, TX 77598

Challenger Seven Memorial Park is named in honor of the seven NASA astronauts who lost their lives in the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle. This giant park in Webster has a monument commemorating the heroes.

It also includes big picnic pavilions, picnic areas, several play structures, boardwalk, canoe launch and more.

We found the big green park on the map as we were driving to Galveston, so we pulled off I45 to explore. There is a lot to do… including pavilions you can rent with playgrounds right next door (which would be great for a party). We found a play area between the big pavilions, and there was a lot to do!

The kids ran between play structures and swings. It was a great play break on our way to the coast.

See the pictures below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


The All New Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Airport!

Address: 11551 Aerospace Ave, Houston, TX 77034

Wow!

I had been to the Lone Star Flight Museum when it was in Galveston… and it was pretty good. The staff invited me out to the new location at Ellington Airport, I was a little hesitant to make the drive.

Well, we went anyway… and you need to see the hands on kids activities!

There is an interactive STEM kids room with a lot of things to learn… and it’s just as good as the Houston Museum of Natural Science or Children’s Museum of Houston (just smaller). For kids over ten, there is also a room for flight simulations. And there are hangers full of planes (many of which still fly)!

When we arrived, we toured the hangers and even saw an old aircraft take off.  (Adults can purchase rides!)  Also, a docent was giving an informal tour and we learned a whole about the planes.  (Our favorite was the Doolittle Raider replica we knew about from the affiliate Hazardous Tales series!)

We then found the STEM room where the kids tried out hang gliders, did all sorts of experiments and watched a movie in the theater.

The Lone Star Flight Museum is not too far from downtown Houston and is worth the drive.  Admission is pretty expensive, so I would consider a membership and going back a few times this year.  (You can also buy tickets and put them towards a membership after you tour the museum.)

Check out the pictures below!

 

 

 

 

Find more things to do in Houston, with kids:


Splashway Campground in Sheridan… Not Just for Summer!

Last summer we went to Splashway Waterpark and Campground… and we had such a good time that we went back to the campgrounds this winter.

And this is why:

1. I can take the kids camping without really going camping.
2. Big families and extended families can stay together, for not too much money.

Splashway invited us back out over the winter break. We had a heated cabin with a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, loft and screened in porch. The cabin sleeps 12, so there was plenty of room for our family plus some extra friends.

At Splashway, the kids could play at the playground right outside our door, roast marshmallows over the fire and run wild… and then come inside for showers, bathrooms and air conditioning.

The waterpark is closed for the season, but we found plenty of fun things to do. We went for a hike on the property, went fishing with a bamboo fishing rod, fed the ducks, played at the playgrounds, played games in the family center, rented pedal cars and built campfires. (And we could have played basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, corn hole and rented pedal boats and kayaks.) We had so much fun it was kind of nice to not have the waterpark open!

We cooked our meals together, played together and had fun together.

I like the campgrounds because we get to spend a whole lot of time as a family, with no distractions, and without really roughing it. AND I like that big families can stay comfortably and for not a ton of money.

At hotels, a family of six is supposed to pay extra for two of the kids or get two rooms or just quietly cram everyone in. At Splashway you can bring the family plus grandma plus some friends and all stay together.

If you want to rent the cabins, more tips are below:

  • The cabins come with 3 queen beds and 2 full beds.  The mattresses and pillows are covered in a slick cleanable cover and you need to bring linens.
  • The cabins are cleaned between uses.  I don’t know if this is always the case, but I saw the cleaning crew next door for a hour… so I think they do a pretty thorough job.
  • Splashway also has spaces for tents and RVs.  They have cabins that sleep 12 and smaller cottages.
  • In addition to sheets, blankets/sleeping bags and towels, you need to bring soap and shampoo.
  • The kitchen is fully stocked with pots and plates and silverware… but you need to wash and return everything you use!
  • Mosquitoes were not really an issue like they are in Houston.  Ants were a bigger issue for us.
  • The campgrounds have lots of things to do and boats to rent.  If you have room in your car, bring bikes and balls so you have even more to do!
  • This campground is nothing like Lake Houston Wilderness Park.  If you want wilderness, this is not it.  If you want fun, we found it here!
  • Do not expect to get lots of groceries in Sheridan.  There is a convenience store, but the closest real grocery store is probably 20 minutes away.
  • We went in the freezing cold (really, the freezing cold) but stayed warm in the cabins.
  • If you go in the summer, read THIS post about the waterpark!
  • If you need a list of things to bring, here’s what we packed.  (But remember, I’m not a real camping pro!)
    • Maybe the most essential:
      • Bug Spray
      • Sun Screen
      • Water
    • For the cabin:
      • Fitted Sheets, Blankets and Sleeping Bags.
      • Shampoo, Soap (including for the bathroom sink)
    • For the Fire:
      • Firewood (also available at the entrance of the park)
      • Charcoal
      • Lighter/Matches
      • Lighter Fluid
      • Leather Gloves
      • Stick for roasting marshmallows
    •  Groceries:
      • Bread
      • Cheese and Turkey
      • Peanut Butter
      • Marshmallows
      • Graham Crackers
      • Chocolate
      • Water
      • Snacks (Granola Bars, Trail Mix)
      • Fruit/Veggies
      • Supplies for Foil Dinners
        • Foil
        • Tongs (for taking them off the fire)
        • Vegetables
        • Hot Dogs
        • Butter
        • Salt
        • Cooking Supplies:
          • Knife
          • Veggie Peeler
          • Cutting Board
          • Paper Towels
          • Paper Plates
          • Sporks
          • Cups/Water Bottles
          • Plastic Bags (for storing food)
          • Cooler
        • More supplies:
          • Flash Lights
          • Duct Tape
          • Pocket Knife
          • Hand Sanitizer
          • Trash Bags
          • Deck of Cards
          • Phone/Charger

Take a look at more pictures below… and decide if Splashway Waterpark & Campground is right for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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