Things to do in Houston today, and this New Years weekend, with kids! December 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 2018, January 1, 2, 2019

Plan out your holiday week, with kids, with this long list of events from our sponsor, Children’s Memorial Hermann!

Get on the ICE at Discovery Green… and even Skate with Spider Man!  And don’t forget to watch Elfinteract with the art and enjoy the giant gingerbread while you are at the park!

Walk through the holiday lights at the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend and the giant lanterns at Magical Winter Lights.

On New Year’s Eve, take the kids to the Rockin’ New Year’s Noon Bash at the Children’s Museum of Houston, High Noon Countdown at The Woodlands Children’s Museum or New Year’s Eve Family Celebration at Kemah Boardwalk.

For the full list of things to do, brought to you by our sponsor, Children’s Memorial Hermann, look below.

Things to Do Any Day:

All the holiday shows, lights and festivals!
Full list of things to do in Houston, with kids, November 2 – January 7
This is the time to visit Discovery Green… ICE, Art & Giant Gingerbread!
Magical Winter Lights in La Marque… Now through January 6, 2019!
Houston Zoo Lights 2018: Beat the Crowds & Save Money at Houston’s Popular Holiday Event!
Sugar Land Holiday Lights… Now through January 1, 2019!
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend… Now Through January 5, 2019!
Trains Over Texas at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Schlitterbahn Galveston Indoor Waterpark… Play All Day without the Summertime Crowds!
Good Places to Take Family Photos in Houston
Discount Tickets to Houston Holiday Shows for 2018!

FREE Indoor Playplaces around Houston – There are a lot of FREE indoor places to play… with no memberships required!
Find a New Houston Area Park!
Houston Citywide Map: Things to do in Houston, with kids
Texas Roadtrips – Pack up the family and head towards Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi or Dallas… and stop at these parent recommended spots!

Thursday, December 27, 2018:

Free Museum Entry
Find a museum district restaurant HERE.
Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
ICE – 11:00am-11:00pm – Discovery Green
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
The Nutcracker– 2:00pm & 7:30pm – Wortham Theater
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-10:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – 5:30pm-9:00pm – Bayou Bend
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-9:00pm – Constellation Field
Santa’s Wonderland– 6:00pm-11:00pm – College Station
Elf – 7:00pm – Discovery Green
Rockets vs Celtics – 7:00pm – Toyota Center
SHEN YUN – 7:30pm – Jones Hall
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff – 8:00pm – Hobby Center (Look for discount tickets HERE!)

Friday, December 28, 2018:

Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
ICE – 11:00am-11:00pm – Discovery Green
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
The Nutcracker– 2:00pm & 7:30pm – Wortham Theater
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas – 2:30pm & 7:30pm – Alley Theatre (Save 20% with Discount Code SNOW)
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – 5:30pm-10:00pm – Bayou Bend
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-10:00pm – Constellation Field
Santa’s Wonderland– 6:00pm-12:00am – College Station
SHEN YUN – 7:30pm – Jones Hall
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff – 8:00pm – Hobby Center (Look for discount tickets HERE!)

Saturday, December 29, 2018:

[Click HERE… for things to do Saturday through Wednesday]


Christmas Village at Bayou Bend… Now Through January 5, 2019!

Address: 6003 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77265

One of the best parts about Bayou Bend, is just getting to Bayou Bend… and with that Christmas Village, that is even more true!

From the parking lot, you cross a big lit up suspension bridge. With each step, the long bridge sways and you can see thousands of lights waiting for you on the other side!

Now through January 5, 2019, you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts House Museum, after dusk, on Wednesday through Sunday. You can tour the lit up garden paths, have a “snow ball” fight, “sled” down the grass and go on a reindeer scavenger hunt. You can also see Santa, a find a model tree wrapped around the Christmas tree and listen to carolers.

For an extra fee, you can take a holiday-themed tour of Ima Hogg’s historic mansion, which features live actors, theatrical effects, and Christmas decorations.

Food and drinks are for sale in the party tent and at the food truck… and there is a sweet shop next to the mansion.

Single-occupant strollers are welcome, but they are a little tricky to maneuver. The paths do have steps, so it takes a little work to bump them up and down. If you don’t really need the stroller, leave it in the car!

We have been to a lot of Bayou Bend Family Days, so it was fun for my kids to see the gardens are night. We crossed the bridge, walked the paths and had a giant snow ball fight in what looked like a batter cage and searched for all of Santa’s lost reindeer.

We did not tour the mansion because the toddler had other plans, but I would like to go back to see it all decorated for the holidays!

The even opens at 5:30pm and by 6:30pm, the close lot was full. We parked across the street in the overflow parking and had no problem getting to the event! (But if you want the best parking, arrive at opening and bring $10 cash.)

Get the prices and details HERE… and for more Houston area holiday lights, go HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more things to do in Houston, with kids:


Things to do in Houston today, and this New Years weekend, with kids! December 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 2018, January 1, 2, 2019

Plan out your holiday week, with kids, with this long list of events from our sponsor, Children’s Memorial Hermann!

Get on the ICE at Discovery Green… and even Skate with Spider Man!  And don’t forget to watch Elfinteract with the art and enjoy the giant gingerbread while you are at the park!

Walk through the holiday lights at the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend and the giant lanterns at Magical Winter Lights.

On New Year’s Eve, take the kids to the Rockin’ New Year’s Noon Bash at the Children’s Museum of Houston, High Noon Countdown at The Woodlands Children’s Museum or New Year’s Eve Family Celebration at Kemah Boardwalk.

For the full list of things to do, brought to you by our sponsor, Children’s Memorial Hermann, look below.

Things to Do Any Day:

All the holiday shows, lights and festivals!
Full list of things to do in Houston, with kids, November 2 – January 7
This is the time to visit Discovery Green… ICE, Art & Giant Gingerbread!
Magical Winter Lights in La Marque… Now through January 6, 2019!
Houston Zoo Lights 2018: Beat the Crowds & Save Money at Houston’s Popular Holiday Event!
Sugar Land Holiday Lights… Now through January 1, 2019!
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend… Now Through January 5, 2019!
Trains Over Texas at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Schlitterbahn Galveston Indoor Waterpark… Play All Day without the Summertime Crowds!
Good Places to Take Family Photos in Houston
Discount Tickets to Houston Holiday Shows for 2018!

FREE Indoor Playplaces around Houston – There are a lot of FREE indoor places to play… with no memberships required!
Find a New Houston Area Park!
Houston Citywide Map: Things to do in Houston, with kids
Texas Roadtrips – Pack up the family and head towards Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi or Dallas… and stop at these parent recommended spots!

Thursday, December 27, 2018:

Free Museum Entry
Find a museum district restaurant HERE.
Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
ICE – 11:00am-11:00pm – Discovery Green
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
The Nutcracker– 2:00pm & 7:30pm – Wortham Theater
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-10:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – 5:30pm-9:00pm – Bayou Bend
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-9:00pm – Constellation Field
Santa’s Wonderland– 6:00pm-11:00pm – College Station
Elf – 7:00pm – Discovery Green
Rockets vs Celtics – 7:00pm – Toyota Center
SHEN YUN – 7:30pm – Jones Hall
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff – 8:00pm – Hobby Center (Look for discount tickets HERE!)

Friday, December 28, 2018:

Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
ICE – 11:00am-11:00pm – Discovery Green
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
The Nutcracker– 2:00pm & 7:30pm – Wortham Theater
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas – 2:30pm & 7:30pm – Alley Theatre (Save 20% with Discount Code SNOW)
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – 5:30pm-10:00pm – Bayou Bend
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-10:00pm – Constellation Field
Santa’s Wonderland– 6:00pm-12:00am – College Station
SHEN YUN – 7:30pm – Jones Hall
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff – 8:00pm – Hobby Center (Look for discount tickets HERE!)

Saturday, December 29, 2018:

Santa Surfs – Schlitterbahn Galveston
Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
Young Writers Workshop – 10:30am – Discovery Green
ICE – 11:00am-11:00pm – Discovery Green
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
SHEN YUN – 2:00pm & 7:00pm – Jones Hall
The Nutcracker– 2:00pm & 7:30pm – Wortham Theater
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff – 2:00pm & 8:00pm – Hobby Center (Look for discount tickets HERE!)
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas – 2:30pm & 7:30pm – Alley Theatre (Save 20% with Discount Code SNOW)
Skate with Spider Man – 5:00pm-6:00pm – ICE at Discovery Green
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – 5:30pm-10:00pm – Bayou Bend
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-10:00pm – Constellation Field

Sunday, December 30, 2018:

Santa Surfs – Schlitterbahn Galveston
Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
ICE – 11:00am-11:00pm – Discovery Green
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff – 2:00pm – Hobby Center (Look for discount tickets HERE!)
SHEN YUN – 2:00pm & 7:00pm – Jones Hall
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas – 2:30pm & 7:30pm – Alley Theatre (Save 20% with Discount Code SNOW)
Santa’s Wonderland– 3:00pm-12:00am – College Station
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-10:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – 5:30pm-9:00pm – Bayou Bend
Skating with the Stars – 6:00pm-6:45pm – ICE at Discovery Green
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-9:00pm – Constellation Field

Monday, December 31, 2018:

Sharkey’s New Year’s Eve Celebration – Downtown Aquarium
Rockin’ New Year’s Noon Bash – 9:00am-3:00pm – Children’s Museum of Houston
High Noon Countdown– 10:00am-12:00pm – The Woodlands Children’s Museum
Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
ICE – 11:00am-7:00pm – Discovery Green
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
New Years Family Event – 5:00pm-8:00pm – Dave & Busters Galleria
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-10:00pm – Constellation Field
Rockets vs Memphis – 7:00pm – Toyota Center
New Year’s Eve Family Celebration – Fireworks at 10:00pm – Kemah Boardwalk

Tuesday, January 1, 2019:

Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
SHEN YUN – 1:00pm & 6:00pm – Jones Hall
ICE – 1:00pm-7:00pm – Discovery Green
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-10:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park
Sugar Land Holiday Lights – 6:00pm-10:00pm – Constellation Field

Wednesday, January 2, 2019:

Festival of Lights – 10:00am-9:00pm – Moody Gardens
Winter Break at the Museum – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Ride the Holiday Train – 5:00pm-7:00pm –  Hermann Park Kinder Station (Hours change, check pagefor extended hours.)
Holiday Market – 5:00pm-10:00pm –  Hermann Park (by Kinder Station)
Zoo Lights – 5:00pm-11:00pm – Houston Zoo
Magical Winter Lights – 5:00pm-10:00pm – Gulf Greyhound Park

Looking for more to do in your part of town? Check out…

365 Things to Do in Houston for grown-up things to do.
Fun2Go Misters for things to do near Humble.
Mac Kid SW Houston for things to do in SW Houston, Missouri City, Sugar Land.
Woodlands Mommy for things to do around The Woodlands.
Gish Picks… Curated Culture for Kids and Adults


Sugar Land Holiday Lights… Now through January 1, 2019!

The holiday lights are back at Constellation Field! I am so glad that Sugar Land Holiday Lights invited us out this year and we made the drive to Sugar Land at dusk.

This festival is at Constellation Field (where the Skeeters play).  The stadium walk way and the field is filled with 2.5 million lights… plus the playground and basketball courts are open, there is food and drink for purchase, Santa is onsite and there is a carnival in the parking lot.

We went on a Sunday night and at opening, there was a short line out the front door.  Within minutes we made our way in and rushed through the lights once… and then did a second lap to make sure we saw it all!

On the second trip around we played at the basketball court and playground, made s’mores ($5), played yard games, did the light maze and stopped to see Santa (pictures for $20+).

The Santa village is very well done and, to get my toddler to agree to seeing the big scary Santa (he’s not actually scary!), we all posed for a picture!  AND this is my favorite story…

We took our Santa photo as a family and bought the digital photo on the USB stick.  When we got home, the stick was empty… but there was an email address inside.  I emailed the festival… and they replied, apologized and sent the photo!  This might just be the only full family photo for Christmas 2018!

This festival has a lot of lights… and there is less of a maze than Zoo Lights but it’s also less of a zoo.  The crowds we not too crazy and we had plenty of room to play and explore.  And my baseball lover thought it was great to go down to the field (on the path around the grass) and to sit in the dugouts!

The carnival rides are extra… but the all-you-can-ride wrist band is $10 (which is cheaper than other light festivals).  We did not do the carnival, so I can’t comment more!

Strollers are okay… and there is room for pushing them.

General admission is $14 for adults, $12 for kids. Parking is free. Get all the prices HERE.  Sugar Land Holiday Lights is open daily through January 1, 2019, including holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Glamping at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe

We just came back from glamping at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe!

This campground has a beach, boat rentals, games, mini golf, playground and more.  There were a million RVs here for the holiday week, but we “roughed it” in a Petite Retreats cabin… We got to do all the camping things, but with heat and showers and a kitchen!

I had six kids with me on htis trip… and they had the best time in the sun AND the rain.  And I really liked keeping all the kids close by as we played at the beach and made smores and told stories.

We had recently been to Thousand Trails Colorado River… and Thousand Trails invited us to the Lake Conroe location.

This campsite is a lot like the Colorado River location, with lots of things to do… but it has fewer trees and trails and no deer, racoons and armadillos by the sidewalk.  Lake Conroe is bigger and has a beach and access to boat rentals.

You can launch your boat from the campground or borrow a jon boat, paddle boat, kayak or canoe.   Or you can find mini golf, pool, basketball courts, activity center and more.

It was chilly when we visited, so we skipped the pool and boating… but we had a seriously good time on the tennis courts and mini golf course.  And when the two cousins joined my four kids, they had even more fun running around and playing on all the equipment.

All the gear (like balls and rackets) are out and there is no need to check out equipment.  You just go and play!  Check out all the pictures!

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

  • There are two sizes.  One sleeps 4 and another sleeps 6.  On this trip, we had the big cabin!
  • The mattresses and pillows are covered in a slick cleanable cover and linens are provided.
  • The cabins are air conditioned and heated with a kitchen, bathroom and satellite TV.  A propane grill is outside.
  • Thousand Trails also has spaces for RVs.
  • Soap and shampoo is provided. (But I like my own better!)
  • Towels are provided.
  • The kitchen is fully stocked with pots and plates and silverware… but you need to wash and return everything you use.
  • The campgrounds have a lot of things to do!  Fishing, playgrounds, basketball, volleyball, pickleball, mini golf and more.
  • If you have room in your car, bring bikes and balls so you have even more to do.
  • The really cool campers seem to bring rope lights to decorate their cabins, RVs, golf carts and bikes… and one of these days we’ll be the cool campers!
  • The campgrounds are pretty close to I10, so you can get groceries/gear if you forget anything.
  • See the video of the cabin:

If you need a list of things to bring, here’s what we packed:

  • Maybe the most essential:
    • Bug Spray
    • Sun Screen
    • Water
  • For the cabin:
    • Shampoo and Soap.  (Some is provided, but I like my own shampoo!)
  • For the Fire:
    • Firewood
    • 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
    • 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
      • Batteries
      • For the pool:
        • Flip Flops
        • Swim Suits
        • Goggles
        • Beach Towels

We the addition of two kids, we managed to eat all our food the first day.  Lucky for us, the Kroger in Willis was just a short 10 minute drive away!

If you are looking to glamp close to Houston, check out Thousand Trails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Schlitterbahn Galveston Indoor Waterpark… Play All Day without the Summertime Crowds!

The Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark in Galveston is open weekends (and select holidays) through December 30, 2018… and this is why we think it is great:

  • We get to visit Schlitterbahn, without the summertime crowds!
  • The really wild slides are closed, but we get to boogie board, play on the pirate ship, race down several slides and brave the not-so-lazy river!
  • You can bring in coolers and parking is free. Admission is expensive enough… no need to buy snacks or pay for parking.
  • The staff is very friendly. Lots of employees were happy to help us throughout the day.
  • The water is warm and the hallways are heated.  The walk to the outdoor heated pools/slides is the coldest spot.

Schlitterbahn invited us out last week and we headed down to Galveston after Thanksgiving. We arrived at Schlitterbahn at opening and closed them down at 5:00pm.

We brought in our cooler and snacks, set it on a table and did all the slides and pools… but the favorite for the 11 and 9 year old was Boogle Bahn.

My big kids basically got 5 hours straight on the boogie boards.  For the first few hours, they took turns with three other boys.  From 3:00pm to 5:00pm, it was just the two of them, going over and over and over again.

At the start of the trip, they could barely boogie board and would be thrown off the board within second.  But by the end of the day, they were steering the board, getting on their knees and even sitting up and doing little tricks. (Watch the video!)

AND my favorite part was that after hours on Boogie Bahn, my daughter got up to her knees on the board and I saw the lifeguard smile… and after her turn, he gave her a high five.

I thought it was pretty cool for a teenager to care enough to encourage her… but then again, the staff at Schlitterbahn is always very kind.

As soon as we had arrived at the front gate, my toddler was devistated that she did not get an admission wristband (because 2 year olds are free).  Without us even asking, the manager figured out the problem, ran to the booth and brought out an extra one.

When we got to the pools, a lifeguard gave us an overview of the indoor park and told us her favorite spot to sit.  (It was by the entrance to the river!)

My 7 year old adored the indoor slides.  He took is tube up over and over and over.  My 2 year old liked the kid’s pirate ship and floating around the Torrent River.

And about the Torrent River… a couple of summers ago, I thought I was going to need rescue along the river.  I am a strong swimmer, but I did not know just how big the waves were on the river.  One hit me by surprise and I held the toddler out of the water as I went under and had a few seconds of panic.  So now we know that on the Torrent River, the toddler must wear her lifevest (even if she complains) and sit in the tube (even if she complains).  Doing this made it fun for us to float around and around and around!

We played for just about every minute we were at the waterpark… and I mean played.  There were virtually no lines, so it was nonstop action.  The only time I got the kids to stop was for lunch.

For just $2.00 more than the main gate price of admission, guests have the option to buy the discounted Holiday Grill & Thrill package online to add an all-you-can-eat catered picnic lunch to their day.

Right by the river entrance was a buffet where we were able to get all-we-could-eat hamburgers, hotdoogs, beans, chips, drinks and popscicles.  (Served 12:00pm-1:30pm.)

The kids ate quick and got back to the slides and boogie boards!

If you are interested in going to Schlitterbahn, here’s what else you need to know:

[Read more…]


ABCmouse 1-Year Subscription Only $45 (Regularly $95)

Now through November 26 November 30 December 26, 2018, you can get a one-year ABCmouse.com membership for only $45 (regularly $95)! That is $3.75 per month, which is 60% off the regular cost of an annual membership.

With an ABCmouse.com subscription, kids ages 2-8 have access to over 850 lessons and 9,000 individual learning activities across ten levels. As your child finishes each lesson, they will be guided to the next one. The curriculum includes hundreds of entertaining animated activities, each teaching a specific learning topic. Kids can play games, read books, listen to music, color, trace, express themselves through art and so much more!

As motivation to complete the learning activities, the children will be rewarded with tickets. They can use these tickets to “purchase” virtual items on the site. The rewards system also teaches them important math skills as they keep track of the tickets they earn and spend.

If you find that ABCmouse.com is not a good fit for you and your family, you may cancel your account at any time within the Parent Dashboard to avoid future billings. Note that your payment information on file will be billed now at the price selected above (1 payment of $45 or 3 monthly installments of $15) and then your subscription will renew automatically every year at the same price until canceled.

Get all the details, HERE.


Get 1 year for only $45 - Over 60% off!


Now is the Time! Sign Up for Thanksgiving Break Camp at Main Street Theater!

Next week, schools will be out… and if you need something fun and constructive for the kids, sign up for Main Street Theater camps.  Sign up fo one, two or three days!

In these turbo camps, you will create a play in a day! Starting at 9:00am with their best brainstorming, students will create an original play (plus all their props and costumes) to share with their classmates before carpool.

Ages: 7 – 12
Days: November 19, 20 & 21, 2018
Hours: 9:00am – 3:30pm
Location: MST – Rice Village
Daily Fee: $70/day

Get all the details HERE!


Give Away: Family Four-Pack of Thanksgiving week tickets to Mr. Popper’s Penguins at Main Street Theater

Main Street Theater is giving away a Family Four-Pack of tickets to Mr. Popper’s Penguins good for any weekday performance of Thanksgiving week! That’s 11/19, 11/20, 11/21, or 11/23 at either 11am or 2pm.

You don’t want to miss this delightful family musical about Mr. Popper, his talented penguins, and their traveling vaudeville act! It’s a holiday treat for the whole family!

Recommended for Kindergarten and up (children under 3 and sleeping babies not allowed in the theater).

Register to win below (or HERE).

Update: Congratulations Anne E!

Contest Ends: November 14, 2018
Official Rules: https://www.bigkidsmallcity.com/official-contest-rules-195/


Texas Outdoor Family at Brazos Bend State Park… with Toyota!

On Friday morning, I actually said to my husband, “I will meet you at the campground after work.”.

Those are words I would not have said 10 years ago. Not 5 years ago. Not even 3 years ago.  But my kids begged to go camping… so, off we went to figure out how to survive in the wilderness.

This is still intimidating because I’m a mom, with very little camping experience, taking four little kids out in the woods.

That’s why Texas Outdoor Family is so cool. They provide the equipment, show you how to camp… and then they help you hike, bike, paint and play in the woods.

We just got back from Brazos Bend State Park and had the BEST time.

This program is designed to help families discover the joys of camping and Texas State Parks.  All camping gear required for a stay in the park is provided and several rangers stay with the group for the trip.

And friends, the Texas Outdoor Family program is amazing.  We set up tents, made meals and built campfires… and we rode bikes, went fishing and hiking, learned to geocache and made nature watercolors!

We have now been on one night and two night Texas Outdoor Family weekends. Last year we went for one night, and this was nice because all the camp set up was done in the daylight.

This year we went for two nights. The cool thing is that we had more time at the park. The downside is having to fight Friday traffic to get to the park… and having to do some set up in the dark. (I recommend coming a little early to get a head start!)

On both trips, the park rangers gave us lessons on setting up our tents and using our stoves and taught the kids about playing in nature and leaving no trace.

The rangers also went campsite to campsite to make sure everything was safe and the food was packed up tight each night.

With this Texas Outdoor Family, you can participate in as much or as little as you want.  We did a lot of group activities… but even if we just did our own thing, it is nice to know the rangers are close by to help.

My little girl has been talking about the camping trip to Brazos Bend State Park, all week long. The birds were noisy and she touched a baby alligator and she slept in tent and…

My big kids liked the hikes and loved the bikes the park provided. They road around and around all day long… waving as they passed by the tent.

They all liked visiting the George Observatory (run by the Houston Museum of Natural Science) on Saturday night.  The trail to get there was lined by alligators during the day… and we had to cross it at night!

And as for me, I just liked camping with my family.  We worked together, cooked together, told stories together and tried something new together.

If you are thinking of heading out to the Texas State Parks, here is what you need to know:

  • Check for Texas Outdoor Family Programs HERE!  (More are coming after the holidays!)
  • You don’t have to participate in Texas Outdoor Family to enjoy the park!  Anyone can visit Brazos Bend State Park for the day or the night!
  • The park entrance fee is $7/person over 12, regardless if you are staying the night or not.  Entrance is free for Texas State Parks Pass Holder.
  • To camp on your own, you can reserve a spot for $12… or pay as much as nearly $65.  There are campsites, screened shelters and primitive shelters.  The Texas Outdoor Family fee included the campsite fee.
  • There are restrooms and showers near the campsites.  (And ours was very clean.)
  • Whether you spend the night or not, you can visit the park, take guided nature hikes and visit the nature center.
    • The Nature Center has exhibits on the three ecosystems in the park, as well as on reptiles that live there.
    • The George Observatory is open on Saturdays from 3 to 10 p.m. The observatory is part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
    • The park has 37 miles of trails, some of which are stroller and wheelchair friendly.
    • There are alligators in some areas of the park.  Be smart around them!
  • Gathering firewood is not allowed, but it can be purchased around the park.
  • Ice is availalbe for purchase at the front of the park.
  • It was cold on Friday night and hot on Saturday night.  Be sure to pack for both!
  • Texas Outdoor Family loaned us some equipment and I packed up everything else I thought we might need… and listed it below.  If you have essentials you pack on your trips, tell me and I’ll add it!
    • What was provided with the program:
      • Tent for 6 people (This was a very nice REI tent.)
      • Lantern (But we still used our own flashlights and lanterns to see a little better.)
      • Stoves and fuel
      • Pots, fry pan, and cooking utensils
      • Equipment necessary for all activities (Like bikes and fishing poles.)
      • 2 Cots and 4 foam pads (Our cots happened to be brand new.)
    • What we packed: affiliate links included
      • For the Campsite:
      • For the Fire:
        • Firewood (bought at the entrance of the park)
        • Lighter/Matches
        • Lighter Fluid
        • Leather Gloves
      • For Us:
        • Bug Spray with DEET
        • Sun Screen
        • Water
        • Camp Towels
        • Clothes/Toiletries
        • A glow stick for the toddler.  It was so dark by dinner that it was nice to have a glow stick on her back.
        • First Aid Kit (Band aids, Ointment, Anti-Itch for Bug bites)
      • Groceries
        • Ice (Freeze a gallon of water for the cooler.  It stays cold longer than just a bag of ice!)
        • Bread
        • Peanut Butter, Jelly
        • Marshmallows
        • Graham Crackers
        • Chocolate
        • Water
        • Pre-cut Veggies
        • Snacks (Granola Bars, Trail Mix)
        • Supplies for Foil Dinners
          • Foil
          • Tongs (for taking them off the fire)
          • Vegetables
          • Hot Dogs
          • Butter
          • Salt
        • Cooking Supplies:
          • Knife
          • Marshmallow skewers
          • Veggie Peeler
          • Cutting Board
          • Paper Towels
          • Paper Plates
          • Sporks
          • Cups/Water Bottles
          • Plastic Bags (for storing food)
          • Cooler
        • More Supplies:
        • Cold Weather Supplies:
        • I Wish I Had:
          • More batteries.  (Half of our flashlights were dead!)

If you also want to work together, cook together, tell stories together and try something new together, check out Brazos Bend State Park or any of the Texas State Parks.  And if you want some help getting started, check out Texas Outdoor Family!

Thank you Toyota for telling us about the program!