Give Away: 4 Tickets to Cirque Italia in Katy!

Cirque Italia‘s “Aquatic Spectacular” will be in Katy, Texas, February 21,2019 through March 3, 2019.

The show features a custom designed water stage that travels from city to city. The stage holds 35,000 gallons of water that performers dazzle over while thrilling the audience with every move.

AND I have 4 tickets to give away!  Register below (or HERE) to win tickets to any available show.

AND everyone can use the digital coupon below to get one free child admission.

Contest Ends: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Official Rules:  https://www.bigkidsmallcity.com/official-contest-rules-205/


Houston Rodeo Parade, February 23, 2019, Route Information & Tips for Viewing and Parking

Every February, the Houston Rodeo comes to town! Before the three week celebration at at NRG Park, families can find trail riders, floats and marching bands in Downtown Houston. For 2019, the parade is on February 23 at 10:00am.

The route is:

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

Find the map HERE or below:

 

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

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

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


Where to Watch the Rodeo Houston Trail Riders, Friday, February 22, 2019!

The Trail Riders are about to head to Houston!  By Friday, February 22, 2019, they will be on our local city streets and headed to Memorial Park!

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

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

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

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

Mission:

 

Northeastern:

 

Old Spanish:

 

Prairie View:

 

Salt Grass:

 

Sam Houston:

 

Southwest:

 

Southwestern Trail Riders:

Texas Cattlemen’s:

 

Texas Independence:

 

The Spanish:

 

Valley Lodge:


MasterChef Junior Now Casting in Houston… February 23, 2019!

MasterChef Junior is on a search for the most talented home cooks in America ages 8-13 years of age and they will be having an open casting call in HOUSTON on FEBRUARY 23RD from 9AM-5PM at the Sheraton Suites Houston Near the Galleria, 2400 W Loop S, Houston, TX 77027!

To pre-register and get the latest details, visit www.MasterChefJuniorCasting.com!


See the brand new Ware Park in Bellaire!

Address: 6200 W Loop S, Bellaire, TX 77401

We go to Houston area parks almost every day… but rarely do we find one that makes me think I just MUST bring back the big kids after school.

Bellaire’s Ware Park has just been renovated… and it’s one of these parks!

The park is just a small strip of land… but the equipment is great! There are things here that I haven’t seen anywhere else… like the spinning swings (or reverse merry-go-round or…)! Plus there are rock walls and lily pads and slides and unique ladders and bars. Just look at the video:

There is a play structure for toddlers and plenty to do for big kids. The space is small… but there are so many cool things to do!

Just a few things to know before you go…

The park is located right next to 610 in Bellaire. It is fully fenced off and blocked by bushes, but the highway is noisy!

Parking is free on the street. No restrooms are available (but Feld Park, Evelyn’s Park and Nature Discovery Center are close… and all have restrooms!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


Give Away: Tickets to FUN on the Farm at Blessington Farms

Blessington Farms is opening early for the Spring Season!  Opening weekend is February 9-10, 2019!

AND BigKidSmallCity has tickets to giveaway!  If you want to win 4 tickets to the farm, good for any day during the 2019 Spring Season, sign up below!

Enjoy U-pick strawberries and ALL things FUN on the Farm including hay rides, pedal cars, barrel trains, animal encounters with goats, chickens, camels.  There are also giant slides, Sand Mountain, Rope Maze, Jump Pad, Tire Mountain and much, much, much more.

Go to the recently added “Gem Mining” experience and the Reptile Grotto with “Tank” the turtle, Fossil Find, Tug – O – War and the awesome Aviary where you will be able to feed and interact with a variety of birds.

(Just check the website for weather and berry production updates before you make the trip.)

Admission:

  • $20 (children 24 mos. and under are free).  All activities are included except camel and bird feedings ($3 each) and gems for Gem Mining (prices vary).
  • U-Pick strawberries $5/pound (no admission fee).
  • Fishing is FREE with admission and is catch and release. Bring your own tackle and pole.

Hours:

  • Weekends starting February 9, 2019, from 10:00am-5:00pm. (weather permitting)

Register to win below (or HERE).

Update:  Congratulations to Calista U!

Contest Ends: Thursday, February 7, 2019
Official Rules: https://www.bigkidsmallcity.com/official-contest-rules-204/


Fleming Park… Giant oak trees, pebbles on the ground and old-school wooden equipment!

Address: 1901 Sunset Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

Giant oak trees, pebbles on the ground and old-school wooden equipment… Fleming Park is one of my favorite parks!

Most parks around Houston now have brightly colored plastic equipment… but Fleming Park reminds me of my childhood and the playground at my elementary school.

Fleming Park has a big play structure, a toddler play structure, a swing set, a newer toddler swing set and cowboy themed monkey bars.
There are three different kinds of animal spring riders and two small stationary horses for little kids.

Across the lawn there are pull-up bars, tennis courts and areas for basketball and baseball.  Plus there are picnic tables scattered throughout the park.

This park is very popular and it is rarely empty.  On the weekends and after school, it is full of families.

Parking is free on the street, just check the signs before you leave your car.

Also know that there are no restrooms and that the metal slides can get hot in Houston!

This park is very busy close to the museum district and Rice University… so make a  day of it!

 

 

 

 

Find more Houston area parks:


Travel Back in Time with Jackie and Me… at Main Street Theater

Young Joey Stoshack has the special power to travel through time, so when he’s given an assignment to write a paper about a famous African-American, he chooses Jackie Robinson and heads back to 1947 to meet the man himself.

Through his adventures, Joey experiences what it’s like to be African-American during a time of segregation and witnesses first-hand Jackie smashing the color barrier, even when people on his own team are against him. A powerful tale of bravery and integrity.

Next week would have been Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday.  We can celebrate with 3 public performances at Main Street Theater.

Sunday, January 27 at 2:30pm
Sensory-Friendly Performance

Sunday, February 10 at 2:30pm
Audio Described Performance
ASL Interpreted Performance

Sunday, February 17 at 2:30pm

Main Street Theater does an amazing job with family performances… and this one is an especially powerful performance to be enjoyed by kids and adults.

Children under the age of 3 (including sleeping babies) are not allowed in the theater.


Celebrate the Year of the Pig! Things to Do in Houston, with Kids, for Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!  It’s the Year of the Pig and Houston is celebrating!

Here’s what’s happening around town:

Texas Lunar Festival – February 2, 2019 – 10:00am-5:00pm – Southern News Group Building
Celebrate the Year of the Pig!

Lunar New Year Festival – February 9, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm – Chinese Community Center 
This free festival has food, music, lion and dragon dances and more!

Lunar New Year Houston – February 9-10, 2019, 11:00am-6:00pm – Viet Hoa Center 
This two day festival has lion and dragon dances and much more!

Family Day: Lunar New Year – February 9, 2019, 12:00pm-4:00pm – Asia Society
Welcome the Year of the Pig with free arts and crafts activities and games, plus food and ticketed performances, all inspired by Lunar New Year traditions across Asia!

If you have more to add, let us know!

Also, if you are looking for traditional Chinese outfits (for not much money), try Cali Fashion at Hong Kong Center in Chinatown.  (It’s in the same center as Hong Kong Market.)


Important Dates, Tips & Tricks for Rodeo Houston 2019!

 

Houston is already buzzing with Rodeo Houston excitement!

The big event is from February 25 through March 17, 2019… with events starting the weeks before the show.  Whether you go every year or are new to Houston’s big event… here are the important dates and tips to get you ready to take the kids. (See the video HERE!)

Pre-Rodeo Events

1.  Rodeo Roundup – Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 11:00am-1:00pm 

This free event is at City Hall.  Here you can grab a free lunch, dance to live music, take photos with a Texas Longhorn steer, hear the Mayor’s Go Texan Day proclamation and learn about your Rodeo’s contributions to the community.

2. Bar-B-Que Contest – February 21-23, 2019 

The public is invited to the Bar-B-Que Contest and can go the carnival and get complimentary sliced brisket, beans and chips.  Admission is $20 for adults or $5 for kids 3-12 years old.  Admission is included with the season pass (so if you plan to visit the grounds multiple times during the season, get the season pass instead).

3.  Trail Rides – February 22, 2019 

All trail rides make their way to Memorial Park.  The routes are HERE!

4.  Go Texan Day – February 22, 2019

Go Texan Day is the unofficial kickoff of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Residents are encouraged to wear Western attire, such as jeans, cowboy boots, and cowboy hats.

5.  Rodeo Parade – February 23, 2019 – 10:00am

Decorative floats intermingle with thousands of men and women on horseback to fill the streets with hoof beats and marching bands.

6.  Rodeo Run – February 23, 2019 – 9:00am

Run for a cause! Proceeds from the event benefit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

****Also, during the pre-rodeo season, be sure to buy your discount carnival packs.  They are not available one rodeo starts.****

 

Rodeo Events

The Rodeo and Livestock Show is open daily, February 25 through March 17, 2019.

Each year, we buy the general admission season pass and go every morning.  Right at 8:00am we tour the Livestock Show, watch the chicks hatch from their eggs and get to see everything before the crowds arrive.  At 9:00am, the petting zoo and rabbit house opens and at 10:00am we head to Fun on the Farm.

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

Here’s what you need to know if you plan to go to the Rodeo Houston this year.

Admission:

  • General Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids, free for kids under 2 years old.  If you have a concert ticket, you do not need a general admission ticket (so do NOT buy both).
  • Since we go each day, we buy the general admission season pass.  This year it is $35 (up from $25 a couple of years ago).  Note that this also gets you daily admission to World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest (before the Rodeo/Livestock show).  This does not get you into the concert.
  • On Wednesdays, called Family Wednesdays, there is free general admission for seniors, 60 and over, and children, 12 and under.  You can also enjoy $2 rides and games from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., along with a $2 food or drink item at select food stands in the Junction Carnival.

Transportation:

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

Free Activities Inside Rodeo Houston:

***We’ll confirm the details for 2019 once we go February 25!***

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

Carnival:

  • When we go back in the afternoon, my big kids do like to visit the carnival.  The trick here is to by Half Price Packs BEFORE Rodeo Houston starts.  (After Rodeo starts, you cannot get the discounted tickets.)
  • On Family Wednesdays, you can also enjoy $2 rides and games from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., along with a $2 food or drink item at select food stands in the Junction Carnival.

Food:

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

Rodeo and Concerts:

  • We only go to a couple rodeos and concerts each year… so we’re not experts… but I do know…
  • No outside food is allowed in the stadium.  Even if you buy BBQ at the Rodeo, you need to finish it before going to the stadium.
  • Weekday rodeos start at 6:45 p.m. The entertainer takes the stage at approximately 2 hours later.
  • Weekend rodeos start at 3:45 p.m. The entertainer takes the stage at approximately  2 hours later.