Flash Giveaway: 4 Symphony Tickets, African Safari with Music from the Lion King, 11/1/14 10:00am

Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
Go on an African Safari on Saturday as the Houston Symphony performs songs from the Lion King for Houston families.  All ages are invited and BigKidSmallCity has 4 tickets to give away to a lucky family!

African Safari, 10:00am, November 1, 2014
Jones Hall
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002

UPDATE: Congratulations to Laura D! 

To win, you must:
1.  Be sure you can actually attend if you win.
2.  Fill out the form below.

Giveaway closes on October 30, 2014 at 10:00pm.
For November 1, 2014, 10:00am show only. No substitutions!
Official Rules: http://wp.me/P2efXF-5P2

Oil Ranch – Visiting Houston’s Parks (& Farms!) One Week at a Time!

Oil Ranch Windmill
Address:  23501 Macedonia Road : Hockley, TX 77447
Admission:  $14.95 per person, 24 months & Up (Group Rates Available)

The local farms are open!  To celebrate, this week’s park review is actually a farm review!  It’s super-sized outdoor Houston fun.

Oil Ranch Train
Oil Ranch is located just outside of Houston, in Hockley.  For one admission fee, kids get to run wild on 50 acres and access all actives (except mining and paint ball).  And there is  A LOT to do!  Train rides, pony rides, animal barn, maze, hay rides, petting zoo, swimming pool, fishing, softball fields, volleyball courts, soccer field, horseshoes, basketball court and miniature golf!

Oil Ranch Petting Zoo
I visited Oil Ranch last week with 88 of my favorite 5 year olds.  The kindergarten class had a field trip (which got us $8.50 admission) and I was a chaperon.  We arrived at about 10:00am, ate picnic lunches and played until 1:00pm.

Oil Ranch Tires
This farm is pretty cool because you don’t have to buy tickets for each activity.  You pay once and have fun all day.  With so much to do, you could visit every day in October and find something new each time.

Oil Ranch Hay Pile
The pool is open May 1 through September 30.  In October, scarecrows stand guard around the park and kids get to pick a small pumpkin before they go home.

Oil Ranch Tractor
In the 3 hours we had at the park, we climbed through the barn, jumped in the hay stack, milked a cow, rode the train and took a hayride.  On the hayride, we stopped to feed the cows… and when the wagons stopped, cows rushed over to get their food!

Oil Ranch Cows
The only issue we had on our day was that the number of schools on field trips.  I went a year ago and the kids could ride the ponies or jump on the train with just a 2 minute wait.  This year there were tons of kids, all over the farm.  I noticed that many groups left at 1:00, so that might be a good time for you to take the kids.

Oil Ranch Big Pumpkins
Still, we had fun running around the farm and enjoying the cooler Houston weather.  Check for open days and hours and take the kids for an outdoor adventure!

Oil Ranch Chicks

Oil Ranch Swimming Pool

Oil Ranch Lake and Barn

Oil Ranch Milking Cow

Oil Ranch Basketball Court

Oil Ranch Playground

Oil Ranch Kids at Lake

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

Smither Park at Orange Show 2
Address:   2402 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023

Smither Park is not your usual park!  Located next to the Orange Show Monument, this lot is being transformed into an outrageous work of art!

Smithers Park at Orange Show
All over the park, broken ceramics, bottle caps, tiles and shells create playful works of art. There is a stage, pavilion, swings and soon… a “coin roll” were visitors can watch quarters follow pathways through a maze!

Smither Park at Orange Show 1
This park isn’t a playground park… but there is a lot to look at for kids of all ages!  There are some swings, a lot of art, and plenty of room to run.

Stop by Smither Park and, if it’s the weekend, visit the Orange Show… this is a unique outing with lots of outrageous art to enjoy!

Paseo Park & Historic Trolley in Bellaire – Visiting Houston’s Parks, One Week at a Time!

Train on Bellaire Blvd
Address: 5000 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, Texas 77401

This week’s park has no playground and is in the middle of a busy road. BUT, if you are like us and have mini train (trolley) fanatics in the family, you need to visit Paseo Park in Bellaire.

This park is in a wide strip of land in the middle of Bellaire Boulevard, just outside 610.  There is a nice shaded trail and a historic trolley.

It won’t take long to visit, but if your car sounds like mine, the back seat starts to yell, “choo choo!” as we approach on Bellaire Blvd.  There is no onstreet parking on Bellaire Blvd, but there are many shops and restaurants near the trolley.

Visit one of the local restaurants, like Lemongrass, and run over to the train after your meal.  If you are looking for a great playground park, Bellaire Town Square is very close and Firetruck Park is not too far down the road!

Let your kids paint the walls, draw on the floors & eat colorful treats! Reserve your spot for October 25, 2014 at Main Street Theater.

Aylen Face Painting at Main Street Theater
Picture this:  You and your kids leave the house on a brisk October Saturday morning, head over to Rice Village and march up to Main Street Theater ready to paint the walls!

When you arrive, the professional sidewalk painting team, Life in Colors, is bringing the path to life… and as you get closer, you realize that just inside the door, famous graffiti artist, Daniel Anguilu, is painting the walls!


Color the sidewalks, paint the walls and paint their faces… Meet Alice in Wonderland, Madeline, Captain Longstocking and Lilly and her Purple Plastic Purse, play theater games and eat colorful treats!

This family event is the last before the theater is completely renovated. For years, Main Street Theater has had world class productions and classes, in an old, well-used, well-loved building with poles in the middle of the stage!

Just before the theater is cleared out for the long overdue renovations, our kids get to take it over. Paint on the walls, draw on the sidewalks and run through the empty space!

Parents can also browse the silent auction items donated by Houston parents: Glamour Avenue Parties, Gallery Furniture, The Whimsical Tree Photography, Coin & Confetti, West University Wellness, Satori Heights Salon, Kennedy Artworks, Powerful Play Child Life Services, Crafting ten5seven and Lalee Blue!

Usually kids need to be 3 or older to attend Main Street Theater shows and events… but not this time! Bring everyone to this big blow out!

Join me at this one-time-only event on Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 10:00am. Go HERE to get your tickets.

If you reserve your tickets by Friday, October 10, 2014, you can also win tickets to Madeline’s Christmas or Flat Stanley! Here’s what you need to do:

1. Reserve your tickets HERE.
2. Come back and fill out the form below.
3. Join me on October 25 at Main Street Theater!

This event will only happen once, just before the wrecking ball comes, so don’t miss it!

Giveaway closes on October 10, 2014 at 7:31pm.  Kids need to be 3 or older to enter the theater (for the show, not the party).
Official Rules: http://wp.me/P2efXF-5Lb

NOW FULL – Join Us for a Party as Unique as Houston! October 17 & 24 at Gallery Furniture!

Gallery Furniture James x2
Bring your goblins, princesses and superheros to the BigKidSmallCity.com and HoustonMothersBlog.com Party on October 17 and October 24! Sign up for one, or both, but be quick and reserve your spot below.

Update: This event is NOW FULL!  To be notified about future events, please go HERE.

Not only will we have indoor trick or treating, but we’ll have the monkeys, exotic birds, horse and buggy rides and all the activities you’ve come to love at Gallery Furniture! There will be pizza, cookies, ice cream and it will be FREE!

BigKidSmallCity and HoustonMothersBlog invite you to join us at Mattress Mack’s I45 Gallery Furniture location, at 6006 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77076, on Friday, October 17 & 24, 2014 at 5:00pm.  Families with a confirmed spot will get to:

1.  Trick or treat through the giant, well lit, easy to supervise, Gallery Furniture!
2.  Meet the famous Gallery Furniture monkeys and their keeper!
3.  Meet the many exotic birds and their keeper!
4.  Ride in an Amish buggy behind Fraenzy the horse!
5.  Play on the giant indoor playground with a mini-rock wall, twisting tubes and slides for racing!
6.  Get their hands dirty at the craft station!
7.  Show us their best pose at the Gallery Furniture Selfie Wall!
8.  Eat as much dinner, ice cream and cookies as their parents allow!

If you want to join us on October 17 and/or 24, 2014 at 5:00pm, you must:

1. Fill out the form below.
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 Friday, October 17 and/or 24, 2014, at 5:00pm. Gallery Furniture is at 6006 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77076.   The event is FREE.
4.  You can sign up for one or both events… but be sure you can attend on the date for which you register!
5. 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 @ BigKidSmallCity.com.


NOW FULL for Friday, October 17 at 5:00pm.  

Now Full for Friday, October 24 at 5:00pm:

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

Midtown Sign
Address: 415 Gray St (at Bagby), Houston, TX 77002

This week’s park might be one of Houston’s hippest. Located in the heart of walk-able Midtown is the newly renovated, almost complete Midtown Park.

View from Midtown Park
The giant Midtown sign is up, the landscaping sign is done and the dog run is ready.  Soon there will be a performance space, water feature and food kiosk.

Midtown Park Dog Park
This is not a playground park, but is a very cool place to stop by after eating next door at Cyclone Anaya’s or Which Wich.  Bring the dog or let the kids run in the grass for a while.  Take a picture by the sign and enjoy the green spot next to the skyscrapers.

Midtown Park Bike Rack
Metered street parking is available.  It looks like parking at Which Wich and some of the shops is free.

Cyclone Anya
Park once and stop by this small park, grab some lunch and walk around this young, hip Houston neighborhood.  If you haven’t been to Midtown in a while, you might be surprised by how it looks these days!

NOW FULL – BigKidSmallCity Meet Up: Fire Station 15 Tour – October 11, 2014 – 10:00am

Trying on Fire Gear at Fire Station 16
Are you ready for another Houston Fire Station Tour? BigKidSmallCity is touring Fire Station 15, in the Heights, on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10:00am. (5306 N. Main, 77009)  On our last tours, we had the opportunity to meet the fire fighters, sit in the truck, spray the fire hose and tour the station! Join us as we do it again!

Since this is an active station, keep in mind that: “If for any reason the assigned station is unable to participate due to an emergency response call, you may not receive advance notice of their absence. If the station receives an emergency response call during the scheduled activity, they are required to proceed to the emergency, but will make every effort to return upon completion.”

During the last tours, the trucks left and came right back. All the kids got to see the fire fighters suit up and head out! Just be ready to have the outing not go perfectly as planned!

UPDATE:  This Meet-Up is NOW FULL.  To get an email announcing future Meet-Ups, go HERE.

If you want to join us on October 11, 2014 at 10:00am, you must:
1. Fill out the form below.
2. Be one of the first 25 to respond. Spaces are very limited! The last tours filled very very quickly. 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 little fire fighters to Fire Station 15 in the Heights on October 11, 2014 at 10:00am. (5306 N. Main, 77009)
4. The event is FREE. Feel free to bring a homemade card or some goodies if you want to thank the fire fighters.
5. Make every effort to attend. Since spaces are so limited, we want as many little fire fighters to get a chance as possible. If you need to cancel, email me at Jill @ BigKidSmallCity.com right away.

Labyrinth at University of St. Thomas – Visiting Houston’s Parks (& Labyrinths!) One Week at a Time

Univeristy of St. Thomas Labyrinth

Address: West Alabama & Yoakum, Houston, Texas 77006

Last week’s park review was so popular, we are reviewing another labyrinth this week! This time the maze, designed to clear your mind for meditation, is at the University of St. Thomas.

Located on the campus, next to the Chapel of St. Basil, the labyrinth is a quiet spot to wonder through the path, next to rose bushes and fountains.

Labyrinth at University of St. Thomas
I used to wonder if kids and families were welcome on campus, but then I saw an article in an old Continental Airplane Magazine.  In it the President of the University said he loved to see the community on campus and there were often moms with strollers walking through.  Since then I’ve spent a lot of time pushing my stroller on St. Thomas sidewalks!

After a quick trip to the labyrinth, we run through the green in the middle of the campus and maybe grab a bite to eat at the on-campus Subway or yogurt shop.

Street parking is free, but may be hard to find.  Look over by the Rothko Chapel and Menil Collection Park and walk a couple blocks to the University.

Go HERE to find more labyrinths in Houston!

View Larger Map

Flash Giveaway: Family 4 Pack to Sunday Showing of “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” at Main Street Theater!

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse F
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse is now at Main Street Theater, and  I have tickets to give away THURSDAY!  The flash giveaway starts now!

Two will win a family 4 pack to Main Street Theater’s “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”, for Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 1:00pm or 4:00pm.

Main Street Theater – NOW at Talento Bilingue de Houston at 333 S. Jensen Drive, Houston, Texas, 77003

UPDATE: Congratulations to Vanessa P an Jilu G!

Kids must be 3 or older to enter the theater.
Giveaway closes on September 28, 2014 at 7:31pm.
For September 28, 2014 1:00pm or 4:00pm show only.  No substitutions!
Official Rules: http://wp.me/P2efXF-5Jh