Five Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe This Summer from Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

Ah, summertime is here! This time includes relaxing at backyard cookouts, enjoying longer days with outdoor playtime and celebrating summer holidays with family and friends. Summer’s outdoor activities and celebrations often involve spending more time in the sun and using fireworks.

It is no coincidence that area ERs see an increase in fire and heat-related visits during summer months. Read about 5-year old Shelby’s story and learn some simple tips from the affiliated physicians at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital to help your family avoid injuries and beat the heat this summer. Fun-in-the-sun should be just that, fun!

Burn Patient’s Mom Stresses Fireworks Safety

When it comes to celebrating the holidays with fireworks, Casey takes her daughter’s safety very seriously. “As a parent, you try to take every precaution to keep your child safe,” she says, “but unfortunately accidents happen.”

Last Fourth of July, Casey’s 5-year-old daughter, Shelby, was celebrating at home with family and friends when tragedy struck. At nightfall, the group ventured outside to participate in their own firework show. Shelby and her family members sat in the bed of a pickup truck parked a safe distance from the site where the fireworks were being lit. In the uneven field, however, one of the lit fireworks fell over, striking Shelby in the chest and catching on fire the jacket she was wearing. As a result, Shelby suffered second and third degree burns to her right arm, neck, chest, left shoulder and left arm.

Shelby was taken directly to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she was treated by affiliated surgeon Todd Huzar, MD, Director of Pediatric Burn Surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Dr. Huzar was able to repair the burns on her chest by performing multiple skin grafts, where healthy skin is transplanted to the affected area.

“Throughout our stay, the nurses, physicians and entire staff took great care of Shelby, working continuously as a team to help her get better,” says Casey. “After going through something traumatic, I was so appreciative of how attentive they were to Shelby and our entire family.”

In December 2017, Casey returned to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital to speak about fireworks safety. “Holidays like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve will always be bittersweet for us,” she says. “But I am grateful for my daughter’s caregivers who continue to care for Shelby. She is now active and plays like a normal kid, despite her injuries.”

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s Tips for Avoiding Burns This Summer

Dr. Huzar says each summer, particularly around the holidays, as the temperatures rise, so do the number of burn cases in the ER. To help keep your child safe, follow these important tips:

  1. Leave fireworks to the professionals. Attend one of the many public fireworks displays around the city instead of hosting your own fireworks show.
  2. Avoid the sparkler temptation. They are pretty and seem harmless, but they are dangerous. Sparks from a sparkler can reach up to 3,000°F, plenty hot enough to cause severe burns or ignite clothing.
  3. Keep kids away from outdoor grills, firepits and campfires. Create a three-foot safe zone around them.
  4. Properly dispose of charcoal or ash from a grill or fire. They can ignite or, if stepped on, burn feet (as can hot pavement – remember to always wear shoes when going outside!).
  5. Limit sun exposure and liberally use sunscreen. Avoid exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and apply – and frequently reapply – at the minimum, SPF 50 sunscreen on all exposed skin.

By following these simple tips, you and your family can enjoy a burn-free summer. If a burn does occur, however, the best thing to do is seek medical assistance. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, located in the Texas Medical Center, offers the only pediatric burn program in Houston.


H-Town Elite Gymnastics Camps… The Ultimate Flexibility in Camp Offerings!

Do you need camp for 1 day, for half a day, for 1 week or for all summer? H-Town Elite Gymnastics has FLEXIBLE camp class offerings!

Kids ages 3 – 12 will spend the day on the state of the art gymnastics equipment to work on strength, balance and coordination with certified USAG instructors. They will also get to participate in games, arts and crafts to keep them motivated and interested all day long!

You can reserve camps by the day, by the half day and by the week. You can sign up for any combination of days and/or half days. And the more you sign up for during the week, the bigger the discount… and siblings receive a 10% discount off their camp price.

You can register for camp anytime until the camp is full or has ended. Full refunds are available up until close of business the Friday before the camp week begins.

Get ALL the details HERE!


Hundreds of Houstonians are now potential lifesavers… thanks to SAVE A LIFE training from the American Heart Association & Houston Methodist

You can never be ready for cardiac arrest… but you can be prepared.  This is why the American Heart Association and Houston Methodist DeBakey Institute for Cardiovascular Education & Training teamed up to provide FREE CPR training to Houstonians.

Outside of the hospital is where 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen and the chance of survival drops by 10% EVERY minute without immediate bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

David Nuno, from ABC 13, knows first hand about the importance of CPR.  It saved his young daughter’s life when she quietly slipped into the neighbor’s pool.  As you can understand, he is now PASSIONATE about teaching everyone CPR.

And wouldn’t it be amazing is there was someone trained in CPR anywhere you were around Houston?  The participants in this weekend’s Save a Life training are helping to make this a reality.

The hundreds of people that participated in the Infant CPR and choking relief training, Hands-only CPR training and CPR certification training are now potential lifesavers.

Learn about Save a Life HERE or find your own CPR resources HERE!


METdance Girls Dance Camps… for Girls Ages 3 to 7!

Introduce your little dancer to the FUN of dance at a one-week METdance DANCE CAMP!

Excite and capture the imagination of your dancer through these one-week camps.  They include themed dance classes, crafts, stories, glow dance party, selfie station, manners and etiquette lessons and a desert decorating “tea” party everyday!

Get all the details HERE.  Enrollment is limited to 12 campers per class, so sign up soon if you have a little dancer!


A comprehensive, searchable and free directory of all the daycares and preschools in Houston on Winnie

Houston parents, your daycare and preschool search just got a lot easier. Winnie’s new daycare and preschool search helps parents in Houston find quality child care in just a few clicks.

When Anne Halsall, mom of 2, started looking at preschool options for her oldest son, she was at a loss for where to begin. She was new to the area and didn’t know other parents who could give personal recommendations.

“I really had no idea where to begin.” said Anne. “I knew there had to be tons of great preschools all around me, but I just couldn’t find them.” Google was no help, as it only brought up the big, popular schools that had long waitlists.

This experience inspired Anne — a software engineer and one of the co-founders of parenting tech startup Winnie — to make the daycare and preschool search process easier for other parents by bringing it online. “At Winnie, we feel strongly that both children’s and parent’s lives are enriched when they have access to quality childcare and early education opportunities,” said Anne. “We want everyone to be able to find this information. That’s why we are making it accessible and free to use.”

Anne, along with the rest of the team at Winnie, recently launched a comprehensive, searchable and free directory of all the daycares and preschools in Houston. Listings include detailed descriptions, photos, tuition information, availability data and more. And in addition to this wealth of information, Winnie also contains reviews from parents whose children have attended the daycare or preschool. This way even if you don’t know someone directly who sent their kids to a specific daycare or preschool, you can still get the inside scoop.

Sophisticated search

One of the reasons we love Winnie’s new daycare and preschool search is that it is more than just a listing of all the providers — it’s a powerful, fully interactive search tool. You can refine your search with keywords like “montessori” or “bilingual” to find the programs that match exactly what you’re looking for. You can even choose to only see daycares and preschools with 8+ hour days, something that is critical for working parents. We also love the interactive map that allows you to zoom to a very specific neighborhood and find providers close to your home or work.

In addition to all the large daycare and preschool facilities, included in the results are small in-home providers that are otherwise extremely hard to find online. In-home providers are a great option many families don’t know about where children receive highly individualized care in a home setting.

Safety first

One of the most useful features of Winnie’s new tool is the link to the licensing database on a daycare’s Winnie page under the “Contact Information” section. Click on the license number to be taken to a full report from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. All licensed child care providers are inspected regularly and these inspections, along with any complaints filed against the provider, are public information.

What’s next

“We really want to get the word out about Winnie because when you have child care, you have options. Whether you utilize it or not, just knowing what your options are is very powerful,” Anne explained. You can check out the childcare options available to you at https://winnie.com/houston/childcare.


Adventure Kids Playcare Memorial… Guilt Free Childcare when you need it!

At some point, every parent is going to need childcare.

For work, for evenings out, for emergencies or just when the usual care falls through… you need a reliable place for on demand child care, like our sponsor, Adventure Kids Playcare in Memorial.

At Adventure Kids Playcare, they offer guilt free childcare when you need it… daytime, late nights, Saturdays and most holidays.  Kids 6 weeks to 12 years old. can play, explore, and learn while in a safe and secure environment.

Parents have a reliable place for childcare and kids love it.  Here’s what parents say about the Memorial location:

“My son had his first visit last night—he had so much fun and was talking about it all day.”

“My son loves coming to Adventure Kids Playcare. There is a lot to do and it is clear they do lots of singing and playing with the kids because my son always comes home singing new songs and wanting to teach me the new games he played.”

“My 4 year old has declared he wants to live there. So, I guess he loves it. We will be back!”

AND if you want to take your kids, get 1 HOUR FREE at the Adventure Kids Playcare Memorial location with code BKSC1HR!  You can find it at 10403 Katy Fwy, #220, Houston, TX 77024, (713) 838-1414.


Free Summer Camps & Classes for Houston Kids for 2018

Summer camps and activities can be outrageously expensive.  To help you have more fun in Houston, with kids, we have FREE camps and classes listed below.

These camps FILL FAST.  For those not available YET, add them to your “wish list” online and you can see when registration opens for each one.

For more camp recommendations (that are not free), go HERE.

Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.):

  • The city has 60 Community Centers that provide: After-School Enrichment Program, Summer Enrichment Program, After-School Achievement Program (ASAP), Instructional Sports, Nature and Environmental Education and Exploration Programs, Teen Programs, Senior Adult Program, Adult Arts and Specialty Crafts and a host of fitness activities and programs.
  • The Summer Enrichment Program is a ten-week day camp-style program for ages 6 – 13. To apply, go to HERE.

City of Houston Swim Lessons:

  • The City of Houston also offers FREE Swim Lessons.  All of these classes are free and are filled on a “first come, first served” basis during specified registration periods.
  • H2OSAFE LEARN TO SWIM classes are offered at three levels and are designed to teach youth ages 6 – 13 basic swim skills, swim strokes, and water safety skills to help them become proficient at swimming.
  • SwimWise is a series of FREE learn to swim classes offered for all ages and skill levels.

City of Houston Sports Lessons:

  • The city provides year-round programming and recreational sports opportunities for children ages 4 to 18.
  • A variety of free recreational sports are available. Participants receive equipment, uniforms, facility usage and expert coaching free of charge.
  • Learn more HERE.

Houston Public Library Camp STREAM:

  • Camp STREAM is a free week-long summer program that allows students the opportunity to participate in activities relating to each aspect of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math) each day of the week. K-12.

Vacation Bible Schools:

  • Churches all around Houston have Vacation Bible Schools… often for FREE or for under $50.  Look for a church near your house and check on their programs.
  • Second Baptist has a FREE camp at multiple locations.  Get the details HERE.
  • Southway Community Church has SonWest Round Up Vacation Bible School, July 16-20, 2018, for kids 4-12!  Get the details HERE.
  • Splash Canyon VBS at Abiding Word Lutheran Church. Registration is open for ages 3-12 who will attend VBS from July 23 to July 26, from 9:00am – 11:45am. The cost is $5.  Get the details HERE.

 


Parent Recommended Houston Summer Camps – Where to Send Your Kids to Camp! (2018 Edition)

It’s clear from all the questions I get… Houston parents want to know where to send their kids to camp!  They not only want to know what camps are available, but they want recommendations from other parents.

Below is an updated list of camps recommended by BigKidSmallCity readers and it will get updated frequently.  If you want to suggest a camp, tell us!

BigKidSmallCity is not responsible for bad camp experiences.  This page is a resource to help Houston parents.  Please work directly with the business to coordinate your camp and fix issues.  Thank you!

Listings below with “*” mean they were submitted by the school/camp rather than a Houston parent.  If you are a Houston parent and want to endorse the camp, tell me!

Free Camps:

Find the FREE summer programs HERE.  Swimming lessons, sports camps, VBS and more.

Museums/Zoo:

Houston Museum of Natural Science (5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston,Texas 77030)
Week long camps for kids ages 6-12 years old.  Registration opens in February.
Camps are held Monday-Friday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Extended day care is also available before and after camp for an additional fee.

Houston Museum of Natural Science Sugar Land (13016 University Blvd., Sugar Land, TX 77479)
Week long camps for kids ages 6-12 years old.  Registration opens in February.
Camps are held Monday-Friday, 10 am -3 pm.  Extended day care is also available before and after camp for an additional fee.

Camp Zoofari (Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas 77030)
Week long camps for kids ages 4-16 years old.  Registration opens in February.
All camps are Monday-Friday. Half-day camps for ages 4-5 are from 9:00am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 – 4:00pm. Full-day camps are from 9:00am – 4:00pm. No extended day offered.

 

Art/Theater:

City ArtWorks (Memorial Area,Wirt Rd & Westview, North of I-10)*

Full and part-day options availalbe for kids ages 4 through 12.  City ArtWorks focuses”Art for Life: giving children the ability to create, interpret, and explore through art.”

WITS Creative Writing Camp (Multiple Locations)
Kinder – 12th grade.  Very popular camp that opens registration the end of January, and usually fills quickly.

Main Street Theater (Multiple Houston Locations)
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.

ArtMix (3701 W. Alabama, Suite 250, Houston, Texas 77027)
Ages 3 – 11 years old.
Week long camps with several options.

Glassell Junior School (Museum of Fine Arts, 5100 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX 77006)
Ages 3 and older.

CyFair Music and Art (Northwest Houston)
Drama Kids, Piano, Guitar, Drums, Art, Kindermusik, Baby Sign Language

 

Outdoors/Animals:

Nature Discovery Center (7112 Newcastle, Bellaire, TX 77401)
Week-long camps with themes ranging from The Nature of Engineering to Bugs & Blooms, campers work together and independently to solve problems, perform experiments, play games, create imaginative crafts, and more. Camps are limited to 20 children each week, with 4 teen counselors assisting the Camp Instructor.

Houston Arboretum (4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024)
Get outdoors with the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center this summer! The Arboretum’s Summer Camp is a great place for kids ages 4-12 to learn all about the natural world. Spend a week in the life of a Forest Ranger, have some Fun in the Sun, get to know Houston’s City Critters, become one of Nature’s Inventors, or learn about local endangered species.

SPCA Critter Camp (900 Portway Drive, Houston, TX 77024)
Camp from 9:00am – 3:00pm.  Ages 8 – 12 years old.

Blackwood Nature Camp (27144 Rock Island Road, Hempstead, Texas 77445)
A week-long overnight camp for ages 8-14 located in Hempstead, TX. Build a relationship with nature and safely explore the great outdoors.  Campers enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including classes such as natural dyeing, cane-pole fishing, and cooking. They play forest games, hike, swim, and explore. They learn about wildlife in workshops hosted by local experts, and go on educational field trips to places like St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary and Huntsville State Park. At night, they stargaze, tell stories, and roast s’mores by the campfire…

 

Science/Technology/Engineering/Math/Academic:

ID Tech (University of Houston)*

At iD Tech, ages 7-17 learn to code, design video games, mod Minecraft, create with Roblox, engineer robots, print 3D characters, work with AI and machine learning, build laptops, learn about cybersecurity, and more! Held at University of Houston, Rice, The Village School, Stanford, NYU, and 150+ locations nationwide. This summer, your child can explore a prestigious campus, make new friends as they master new tech skills, and join a community of 350,000 iD Tech alumni. With world-class instructors and innovative courses in coding, game development, robotics, and design, our programs instill in-demand skills that embolden students to shape the future.

Camp Invention (Christ Community School The Woodlands)
A unique elementary summer enrichment experience with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focus for children, June 18-22, 2018.  Register for $25 off using promo code: facebook25

Club SciKidz Houston (Sugar Land, Katy)*
Registration start February through the start of camp.

Day camps specialize in many different science themes for children ages 4-15. Themes which include experiments and projects in Video Game Creation, Robotics, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Space, Biology, Chemistry, LEGO Robotics and much more.

Mad Science (Westpark)*
Science themed camps.  Full day and half day camps with before and after care.

STREAM Program (Houston Public Library)
Free week-long summer program that allows students the opportunity to participate in activities relating to each aspect of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math) each day of the week. K through 12.

HSS Summer Program (220 E 34th St, Houston, TX 77018)*
Campers will experience the Sudbury model of education first hand. Students spend their days free to pursue their interests, participate in Judicial Committee, plan outings, and enjoy all the benefits of freedom+responsibility in a mixed-age community. The HSS Summer Program is open to all Houston area children. Ages 5 – 17yo. Camp hours 8a-3:30p. Extended hours available. Full program registration discount. Sibling discount.

Study Dorm – Academic Summer Camp (Stafford/Sugar Land)*
Study Dorm’s Academic Summer Camp helps students get ahead in the upcoming school year or simply master concepts they might have missed during the previous school year. They provide math, reading, writing, STAAR and SAT prep classes for students in grade 1 thru 12.

 

Language/Culture Immersion:

Language Kids (Houston, Sugar Land, West University, Bellaire, Kingwood, Spring, Humble, Cypress)
Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French and English immersion summer camps. Interactive and fun. Experienced native-speaker teachers. A different thematic unit each week, register for one or several weeks. Locations include the Houston Museum of Natural Science (Museum district & Sugar Land), Pump It Up and Houston Baptist University (Spanish camps for middle and high school students).

Age groups 3-5, 6-11, 12-17, 9:00am to 3:00pm, Before and after camp care provided at some locations.

French immersion summer camp with EFGH, Education Française Greater Houston (The Village School, 13077 Westella Drive, Houston, 77077)*
Full day camp from 9:00am until 4:00pm, for kids ages 5 through 10, native French speakers and non French speakers. A new theme every week.

Every summer, Efgh offers a program which is 100% immersion in the French language and culture. The camp combines fun, adventure and Learning. We offer a great variety of activities : craft, drama, outdoors games, sports, songs, music and stories to awaken the children’s imagination and creativity. And we also offer a French session every day because children have a natural inclination to learn another language.

Conmigo Spanish Immersion (Houston Heights)
Two weeks, 9:00-2:00pm, Ages 4-9 years old

Chinese in Action (Chinese Community Center, 9800 Town Park Dr, Houston, TX 77036)
Mandarin Immersion, 9:00-3:00pm, with extended day options.

Tour-A-Culture (Various Locations)*
Educates and teaches children about the people and places near and far, while fostering a sense of community within each child.
K-5th Grade, Monday to Friday 9 am to 3pm, Week long sessions, June through August

 

Dance/Gymnastics/Sports/All-Around Camps:

H-Town Elite Gymnastics (Heights)*
At H-Town Elite kids will spend the day utilizing the state of the art gymnastics equipment to work on strength, balance and coordination with certified USAG instructors.  They also incorporate games and arts and crafts to keep kids motivated and interested all day long!  Sign up for a half day, full day or all week!

MET Dance Girls Dance Camp (Downtown)*
Introduce your little dancer to the FUN of dance at a one-week DANCE CAMP! Excite and capture the imagination of your dancer through these one-week camps include a themed dance class, crafts, stories, glow dance party, selfie station, manners and etiquette and a desert decorating “tea” party everyday! Ages 3 and 4 from 9AM-12PM & Ages 5-7 from 12:30-3:30PM.

Adventure Kids Playcare (Memorial City)*
Kids can enjoy learning and laughter at our Pre-school and School-age day camps! Camp runs from 9:00am – 4:00pm each day with before and after care available.  Sign up for a week of camp to receive a special rate or ask about daily rates.

Handwriting & Yoga Camp (Solaris Pediatric Therapy)*
Ideal for kids that are entering kindergarten or first grade, but can also benefit older kids that really never got a grasp on handwriting.

Each day campers will be taken through sensory motor activities designed to develop fine motor and visual motor skills that are necessary for handwriting. The yoga helps kids to be more aware of their bodies, build strength, improve concentration and attention and learn relaxation skills to help with stressful situations.

With the demands of school getting greater at a younger and younger age, this camp can help provide kids the tools they need to feel calmer and more prepared in the classroom setting.

Texas Rock Gym (Memorial)
Kids are introduced to a wide variety of rock climbing skills including basic techniques, gear safety, commonly used knots and other climbing fundamentals. They also participate in daily organized workouts specially designed to help build a stronger, more flexible climber.

Kidventure (12 Houston Locations)
Running camps at multiple locations in Houston, Austin and Dallas for 19 years.  Registration opens in February.  Ages 3 – 15 years old.

Summer Youth Activity Program (Rice)
Four sessions in June and July, for kids aged 6 to 11.

YMCA (Multiple Locations)
Many different camps are offered and many different YMCA locations.  Check the website for details.
Also, know that not all camps or locations are equal.  Parents have recommended the MD Anderson location.  I’ve had good and bad experiences at Stella Link, depending on the camp councilors.  Investigate and report back!

Victory Camp (Living Stone Church, 1407 Victory Lane, Alvin, Texas 77511)
Christian camp in operation since 1992. activities include: quad-zipline, swimming, rock walls, double waterslide, bumperboats, paddleboats, gym sports, field sports, and go-karts.

Camp Cho-yeh (2200 S Washington Ave, Livingston, TX 77351)
Christian Camp with activities like archery, paintball, horseback, riflery, blobbing, wakeboarding, tomahawk throwing and more.  Ages 6 – 16 years old.  Sleep-over camp.

Pine Cove (Columbus & Tyler, Texas)
Christian Camp with day camps, overnight camps and even camps for the entire family!

Camp Lantern Creek (Montgomery, Texas)
Girls camp for ages 7 to 17.  Learn to change a tire, sing a song, laugh a lot, love nature, swim, make waves, win gracefully, lose gracefully, tell story, act, paint, make a mess, write a story, right the world, push boundaries, make friends forever, make your art and find your voice.

Character Camp (Palacios, Texas)*
This Leadership Retreat is a week long away camp, hosted at the Port Palacios Summer Camp in Palacios, Texas this year. Tuition covers round trip transportation to camp from Houston, all activities, room and board. Early bird discounts available, accepting ages 6-18.

Character Camp’s Leadership Retreats instill leadership and character with the added bonus of robotics, aviation, physical fitness, music and math! Your kids will enjoy a week of camaraderie, intellectual stimulation and positive peer interactions while on a mini “vacation”.

 


BakerRipley Providing Free Tax Preparation to Houstonians

BakerRipley – formerly Neighborhood Centers – is providing free tax preparation services by IRS-certified tax preparers for the 10th year in a row. The 110-year-old nonprofit organization, with the support of the United Way and dozens of volunteers, has prepared over 288,000 tax returns, and helped hardworking families and individuals claim $390 million in net refunds.

This year, BakerRipley will once again be providing this free service at 11 convenient locations in the local region for all families and individuals that earn up to $58,000. No appointments are required as walk ins are welcome at all 11 locations through April 17, 2018.

 

Who is eligible? Families and individuals earning up to $58,000.

Free Services:

  • Tax returns for 2012–2017
  • Amended returns for 2012–2017
  • Free e-filing & direct deposit
  • ITIN applications and renewals (Service will resume January 25th, 2018)
  • Affordable Care Act + Tax Guidance
  • No appointments, walk-ins only

Get the details HERE.


Host Your Next Birthday Party at the Nature Discovery Center

My 3rd child had never had a birthday party. Don’t get me wrong, we’d celebrate the heck out of his birthday, but never with a party.

But then he started school and started to ask how other kids knew to show up for birthday parties.  For a while I just shrugged my shoulders but this year I decided it was time for him to invite his friends to his own birthday celebration.

The Nature Discovery Center invited us out for our 6 year old birthday party and it was so good that I’m afraid we will need to go back every single year!

We had the Scales and Tails party which included a program all about reptiles: snakes, lizards, and turtles.  So not only was there a program where the kids could learn about, and touch, live animals and specimens, but we had a big pavilion, access to a full kitchen and to restrooms.  Plus, this park has nature trails and playground.

The staff was helpful, the program instructor was funny and great with kids, my son loved his day… and it was easy for me.  I just sent out the invite, set up a few tables and the rest was taken care of for us!

If you are thinking of a party at the Nature Discovery Center, here’s what you need to know:

  • There are three program options:  Bunny Buddies, Join the Insect Club and Scales and Tails.  There are also tours of the discovery rooms and nature walks.
  • Target ages are 2 to 9 (and vary by program).
  • Parties are 2 hours and there are 30 minutes to set up and clean up.
  • During our party, the kids played and ate pizza for 30 minutes, then we went into the house for the reptile show for 30 minutes, then we went on a nature walk for 20 minutes… and then we ate cake and played for 40 minutes.
  • You can bring in food and decorations… just no balloons.  There is even a pinata hook on the tree… so they are ready for parties!
  • You have access to a full kitchen, right next to the pavilions.  You can store store your cake and drinks in the refrigerators… or you can even use the stove to make dinner.  Just make sure you have time to clean up!
  • There are 3 pavilions you can use.  One has three big picnic tables.  The other ones have one table.
  • There is a little “lemonade stand” next to the pavilions.  When we saw this, my kids were determined to have lemonade to serve the guests.
  • The sinks and restrooms are right next to the party area.
  • Parking is available right next to the pavilions on the north side of the park… and more is available by the playground on the south side of the park.
  • During the reptile show, the instructor did a great job keeping the kids focused and entertained.  My birthday boy got some special attention and even got to hold the snake (and everyone else got to touch it).
  • The kids also went on a nature walk through the newly renovated park.  Learn about this park HERE!
  • After the party, the kids went to the playground and sandbox to play some more!

We had a really good time and will do it again.  Check out the pictures below and learn all about the Nature Discovery Center parties HERE!  Or find more birthday party venues HERE.