We’re Moving!

moving box

We’ve Moved! 

Our family has moved on to a new season in life and away from regularly taking field trips. We’re no longer regularly monitoring this blog or updating/adding information.

I’m excited to announce that Texas Unschoolers will now be home to all these resources. Not only does this allow me to preserve all the information I’ve gathered over the years, but I will be periodically blogging for them in the future on a variety of topics of interest to our family.

Thank you for all of your support and I hope you’ll join us over there!

Please note: Someone else purchased the .com domain that we used to own.  We are not affiliated with that site.

Categories: Announcements, By Age, By City, By Cost, By Month, City Parks, Day Trips, Events, Factory, Field Trips, Grab Your Calendar, Museums, State Parks, Theater, Tours, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A few changes…

When we first started this blog, it was in response to all our friends who were saying, “How do you know about all these neat things to do?”.  It’s a kind of repository for what we hear about, the adventures we’ve had, and things we’d like to check out some day.

Then, I became very excited about Twitter, Pinterest, & Facebook.  Linking the accounts, trying to “increase traffic”, and a few other social media buzz terms.  Twitter I gave up on fairly quickly, but I thought Pinterest was pretty neat and Facebook was a great place to toss out quick pieces of information.

This year, our family has experienced a big shift away from field trips (in the past we were taking at least one a week!) toward supporting our children deeply exploring their own specific interests.  Outside of a cross country trip, we’ve only gone on 3 outings this Fall.  Unfortunately, during this time I’ve been feeling guilty for “neglecting” the blog and Facebook pages as well as completely abandoning our Pinterest page.

I’ve decided to let go of the guilt and feelings of obligation.

If there’s one thing that a deeper understanding of Unschooling has taught me, it’s that if it doesn’t bring our family joy, it needs to go.  So ~ I will stop worrying about making the posts “Pin-worthy” and trying to concentrate on whether they contain the appropriate buzz words and hyperlinks.  I will stop paying for and managing a custom domain.  I will stop worrying about whether or not I’m posting with the optimum frequency.  I won’t be linking things over to Twitter or Pinterest at all.  I’ll probably be on Facebook more than here simply because, for me, it’s easier.  I do hope that what’s already here & what is posted in the future continues to be a fun & inspiring resource for you.  More than anything:

Wishing you amazing and wonderful adventures in 2015!

The Grand Canyon

Please note: In the time since this was posted, someone else purchased the .com domain that we used to own.  We are not affiliated with that site.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Memberships & Reciprocity

Memberships
Houston Memberships and Reciprocity

A great way to save money throughout the year is with a membership to your favorite Museum, Zoo, or Aquarium.  Not only is your admission covered for the entire year ~ most memberships entitle your family to discounts on gift shop merchandise, parking, special events, classes, lectures, parties, and more.  Some venues even offer “members-only” hours where you are allowed to beat the crowds (and heat!) with early admission and special previews of exhibits.   If you regularly visit your favorite places with family and friends ~ consider upgrading your membership to one that allows you to bring in extra people.  Often, for a minimal extra cost, you can save significantly over purchasing extra admission for additional visitors.

Reciprocity

If your family regularly travels, be sure to check out the reciprocity agreements that Museums & Zoos/Aquariums share with each other across the country.  Even within the state, you can save big on your “day trip” adventures.  Keep in mind that there are some restrictions as to residency and local venues.  Generally, museums in the same city (or even within 90 miles) will not honor reciprocity agreements.  Be sure to read each museum’s membership page carefully to determine the right fit for your family.   Here are two major organizations that offer reciprocity within their museums/zoos/aquariums and a quick list of their local attractions. (info accurate as of August 2014)

Association of Science-Technology Centers

Children’s Museum of Houston
The Health Museum

Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Houston Zoo

Even if a museum/zoo is a member of the organization ~ they may not honor reciprocity agreements or may only offer discounted admission.  Additionally, the out-of-town attraction may have limits to the number of admissions they allow.  For example, if you have a “Supporting” membership to the Houston Zoo that allows you to bring in 10 people, the Dallas Zoo may only allow you to purchase 4 discounted tickets.   When visiting out-of-town attractions, be sure to inquire as to how they handle reciprocity memberships.

Presidential Museums

Texas is home to three Presidential Libraries and Museums: LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, George Bush Presidential Library & Museum on the Texas A&M Campus in College Station, and George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum on the SMU Campus in Dallas.  A membership to any of these museums grants you admission to all 15 Presidential Libraries across the United States.   (Please note: the LBJ Presidential Library is completely separate from the LBJ Ranch.)

Texas State Parks Pass

The Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife cares for nearly 100 State Parks & Historic Sites. Purchasing a Texas State Parks Pass gives you and everyone in your (non-commercial) vehicle free admission to every one of them.  You also receive discounts on camping fees, park store rental & retail items, special programs, and events.  There are many parks within a 2 hour drive of Houston making a pass a great investment.

 Be sure to bring proper/current identification with you.  Most organizations require a valid ID for admission.  Do not loan your membership card to someone other than the named members.  This can result in canceling of membership.  While we all appreciate a good deal, please remember that these funds go to support the various venues and they rely on this revenue to maintain their exhibits, animals, & staff.  

Categories: Bryan / College Station, Day Trips, Houston, Museums, State Parks | Leave a comment

Free Family Summer Movies 2014

Did you know that many local movie theaters offer Free or discounted movie admission over the Summer?  This is a great opportunity to get out of the Texas heat and enjoy some air conditioned fun time.Free Movies 2014 ~ HoustonFieldTrips.com

Check theater links for exact dates, times, and restrictions.  Be sure to show up early!  These are popular with families, day cares, camps, & pre-schools.

Free Admission

Alamo Kids Camp at Alamo Drafthouse Houston ~ various weekdays at 11am.  Historically they have shown movies every week, but only post which movie a few weeks in advance, so check their website often.

Santikos Theatres is offering free admission on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am.  Add a kids pack for $3.

Discounted Admission

Summer Movie Clubhouse at Cinemark.  Purchase a 10 film pass for $5 or individual admission is $1.  Coupons are available to print for discount on concessions.

Regal Summer Movie Express ~ Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am for nine weeks. Admission is $1 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute.

Studio Movie Grill’s Children’s Summer Series for $2.  Monday through Thursday at 11am. (the link will take you to the main movie page ~ select “Children’s Summer Series” from left hand menu to see show times)
Edited: Originally the post said Monday – Friday.  SMG let us know that there was an error on the website and it’s only through Thursdays.

Package Deals

Carmike Cinemas  ~ Thursdays at 10am.  Package for $4 that includes admission and a kid’s tray with popcorn, drink, & snack.

If you know of any other Summer movie offers, we’d love to add them.  Feel free to submit a comment below or via our Contact Page.

Categories: Free | Leave a comment

Children’s Express Theater Homeschool Performance

Children's Express Theater Homeschool DiscountExpress Children’s Theatre has been entertaining, educating and inspiring young audiences throughout Texas since 1991.  They offer multicultural theatre performances created specifically for children and their families.

Houston Field Trips has been chatting with their Marketing Team Leader, Charita, the past few weeks.  I inquired about how they handle registrations for homeschool families.  Up until this point, to receive a group discount ~ home educators had to gather a fairly large group together and prepay for the entire performance OR pay the list prices at open performances.

I’m excited to announce that they have opened a performance date specifically for home educators, extending the discounted group rate, while allowing individual family registrations!

Three Little Pigs
Tuesday May 6, 2014
10:00am
Express Theatre

For reservations All homeschool families should contact Cherita at the box-office.  Weekdays. 713-682-5044.  Payments may be made by phone with a credit/debit card or in-person at Express Theatre.  The tickets will be $6.00/person for any pre-paid tickets.  This is a discount of $2/per ticket.

Three Little Pigs Synopsis: A bilingual (English/Spanish) show about three brothers…one a prankster, one a dreamer, and the last an intellectual. They are Pig Scouts. There Scout Master is none other than The Big Bad Wolf himself. With his guidance, the Pig Scouts will set out to earn their merit badges. Can Scout Master Wolf lead this squad without losing his temper? This musical adaptation is a lesson on achieving goals through cooperation. It also teaches responsibility and the importance of following instructions.

This event is not posted to their website.  Please share this blog post with your home educating friends, post to Facebook, & within homeschooling groups.  If this event is well attended, home educators will likely see more opportunities provided!

Categories: $5.01-$10, Announcements, Houston, May, Theater | 1 Comment

Grab Your Calendar ~ March 2014

March 2014 ~ HoustonFieldTrips.comLooking for something interesting to do in the Houston area this March?  Here are events, field trips, and concerts in the greater Houston area that would be of interest to homeschool/unschool families.  (In date order.  Events that run for the entirety or majority of the month are listed at the bottom.)

1st ~ Nature Fest at Jesse H Jones Park & Nature Center.  This event is ideal for visitors of all ages and highlights local nature-related  topics, guided tours, lectures, pontoon boat tours, crafts, and a variety of  exhibitors.  Free.

1st & 2nd ~ Texas Independence Day.  10am-5pm.  Two-day celebration on the expansive 293-acre park grounds of the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site between Brenham and Navasota.  The birthday celebration features live music, food, traditional crafts, living history presentations, firing demonstrations, historical encampments and commemorative programs—all with no park entrance or parking fees.

8th ~Wildflower Walk from 9am – 12pm at the Edith L Moore Nature Sanctuary.  This is a ‘whole family’ program. Parents should participate with their children.  Guided Nature Walks at 10 AM and at 11 AM.  Visit Ecology Stations! — Make a Family Craft! — Explore the Trails!  Explore Our Log Cabin! — Meet Live Animals!  FREE!  Donations encouraged. No reservations needed.

Through the 9th ~  “Uprooted” at Holocaust Museum Houston is on display.  The exhibition includes numerous artifacts and documents on view for the first time. The Abramowicz-Mescherowsky-Teixidor and Levenback-Bielitz collections permit the examination of the difficult choices faced by these particular Jewish families – choices like placing a child alone on a Kindertransport or whether to remain in hiding and, in some cases, join the resistance or having to flee to foreign countries. The exhibition exemplifies the hope that safety could be found and lives re-established elsewhere, despite the annihilation policies of the Nazi government.  Admission is free.

11th ~ Goldilocks & the 3 Plays by Interactive Theater.  This is one of their “Homeschool Happenings” performances where admission is greatly reduced.  $6/pp.  HFT’s review

15th ~ Battleship Texas Centennial Celebration.  12pm-10om.  The Battleship Texas Foundation in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will host a public festival to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the commissioning of the Battleship Texas. The Texas served in both world wars and is the last remaining “dreadnought,” or big-gun battleship. The festival will feature Robert Earl Keen’s “A Texas Uprising” and will be held on the grounds of the San Jacinto Battleground Park adjacent to the ship.  General admission tickets are $14 in advance and $20 on the day of the festival. A discounted price is available for veterans:  $8 in advance and $15 at the gate. VIP tents and ship access are also available.  State Park Passes do not give free entrance to this special event.

16th ~ Bayou Bend Family Fun Day for March is “Bayou Bend in Bloom”.  1-5pm.  Enjoy spring in the city with programs celebrating nature.  Presented with Rienzi (both houses open for programs; complimentary shuttle between the two locations).  Free.

22nd ~ Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo at Lone Star College – Montgomery in Conroe.  10am-4pm.  Hands-on clinics and live demonstrations that will teach you how to nourish your plants, trees and wetlands, attract wildlife to your property and protect yourself from wildfire.  And don’t forget to take your little ones to the Family Adventure Zone, where they can climb a rock wall, take a peek at a live screech owl and learn how to kayak.  At Expo & Spring Fling, you’ll play for a day but learn for a lifetime.  Free.

22nd ~ Physics and Engineering Festival at Texas A&M University.  10am-5pm.  This may be a bit of a drive for some folks, but we’ve attended before and can tell you it is worth it!  The Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University invite the public to an entertaining and informative event. People of all ages will find funny, puzzling, and fascinating hands-on experiments. Everyone is invited to participate.  Free.

27th ~ Goldilocks & the 3 Plays by Interactive Theater.  This is one of their “Homeschool Happenings” performances where admission is greatly reduced.  $6/pp.  HFT’s review

29th ~ Veterinary Open House at Texas A&M University.  9am-4pm.  A massive day of animal-related fun incorporating the entire veterinary complex coordinated by hundreds of vet students and undergrads for people from all over the state. We open all the doors to the college and both hospitals and let the public see exclusively behind the scenes of Texas A&M’s premiere veterinary school. There are tours through both the small and large animal hospitals, many different exhibits for rescues and organizations, tons of demonstrations by all kinds of animal groups (agility dogs, trick horses, etc.) and animal exhibits galore! There’s a petting zoo, a reptile room with hundreds of scaly friends, even fistulated cows! We’ll also feature a Q&A panel with both vet students and the admissions committee so you know how to prepare for vet school if that’s in your future.  Free.

29th & 30th ~ Houston Children’s Festival benefiting Child Advocates, Inc.  The exciting line-up of fun includes the Sunday appearance of DEBBY RYAN, star of Disney Channel’s hit series, JESSIE as well as 11 Big Family Adventure Zones including McDonald’s Dream Discovery Zone, Baker Hughes Circustown, H-E-B Healthy Kids Zone,  SABIC Super Science Zone,  Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care Tot Spot, Green Mountain Energy Zone, TAM International Giant Lego Zone, Kids R Kids Zone, Radio Disney Zone and EP Energy Tile Painting Corner and Child Advocates Under the Sea Zone.  Pricing varies.

Main Street Theater regularly offers children’s shows throughout the year.  Through April 5th your family can enjoy “A Year with Frog and Toad” based on the books by Arnold Lobel.  School day performances are $5.50.  Weekend rates are higher.  Children under the age of 3 (including sleeping babies) are not allowed in the theater.

March 4th – 23rd.  Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo offers numerous hands-on experiences.  AGventure gives children (and parents) the opportunity to learn about agriculture.  Nearly every species of livestock can be found inside this fun and educational area, with several live animal exhibits.  Additional interest to homeschooling families is “Fun on the Farm”, “Pedal Tractor Pull”, and the petting zoo.  Prices vary depending on whether you will just be visiting the grounds or including the Rodeo &/or a concert as well.  The most budget-friendly options are on “Value Wednesdays”.  Don’t forget, there’s an additional cost for parking as well.

March 15th – June 8th ~ “This is the Life” at the Art Car Museum.  Ken Hoge – “Austin Music Scene of the late 70’s & early 80’s”, Owen Fisher – “Cuba Today”, and Terry’s Swinson’s “Picture This: Homelessness through the Eyes of the Homeless”.  Admission is Free.  HFT’s review.

March 16th through April 13th, Schlitterbahn Galveston is offering discounts to homeschool families that prepay for tickets.  Groups also receive free tickets for every 20 people registered.

March 18th hrough April 5th.  Magician’s Nephew by AD Players.  Adapted from the exciting first story in The Chronicles of Narnia series, the play follows Digory and his friend Polly as they battle the evil Queen Jadis.

If you have any events you’d like to recommend, please contact us.

Categories: Announcements, Grab Your Calendar, March | Leave a comment

Grab Your Calendar ~ February 2014

Looking for something interesting to do in the greater Houston area this February?  Here are events, field trips, and concerts in the greater Houston area that would be of interest to homeschool/unschool families.  (In date order.  Events that run for the entirety or majority of the month are listed at the bottom.)

4th ~ “Don Quixote” Homeschool Happenings Discount day at InterActive Theater.  11:15am.  Come take whimsical look into the mind of Don Quixote…a mind filled to the brim with fantasy and imagination!  Señor Quesada reads book after book about chivalry, and begins to think of himself as a Knight from the stories that he’s read!  WIth his compassionate, simpleton neighbor, Sancho Panza, he takes off on an ill fated adventure across Spain.  This play is adapted from the first novel ever written, Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes.  There will be giants, puppets, and swordplay all in the name of literacy!  Also, as the original was written in Spanish, this shall be a bilingual production.  Tickets are $6/per person.

8th ~ “GEMS” (Girls Exploring Math & Science) at Houston Museum of Natural Science.  9am – 1pm.  The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and the Houston Museum of Natural Science invite you to attend the Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) event, generously supported by Air Liquide. The Museum will be filled with hands-on science and math for everyone to experience. Local professionals will be at the Museum to answer questions about their careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.  GEMS event is free with Museum admission.

8th ~ Homestead Heritage Day at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.  Many of the different  eras of Texas’  fascinating history are showcased at this festival. The Redbud Hill Homestead comes alive with old-fashioned, hands-on activities for kids, period  re-enactments, and a bustling, filled-to-the-brim day complete with re-enactors,  historians, and volunteers.  Free.

11th ~ “Don Quixote” Homeschool Happenings Discount day at InterActive Theater.  11:15am.  Come take whimsical look into the mind of Don Quixote…a mind filled to the brim with fantasy and imagination!  Señor Quesada reads book after book about chivalry, and begins to think of himself as a Knight from the stories that he’s read!  WIth his compassionate, simpleton neighbor, Sancho Panza, he takes off on an ill fated adventure across Spain.  This play is adapted from the first novel ever written, Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes.  There will be giants, puppets, and swordplay all in the name of literacy!  Also, as the original was written in Spanish, this shall be a bilingual production.  Tickets are $6/per person.

“Uprooted” at Holocaust Museum Houston is on display through March 9th, 2014.  The exhibition includes numerous artifacts and documents on view for the first time. The Abramowicz-Mescherowsky-Teixidor and Levenback-Bielitz collections permit the examination of the difficult choices faced by these particular Jewish families – choices like placing a child alone on a Kindertransport or whether to remain in hiding and, in some cases, join the resistance or having to flee to foreign countries. The exhibition exemplifies the hope that safety could be found and lives re-established elsewhere, despite the annihilation policies of the Nazi government.  Admission is free.

“The Gun Show” is the Art Car Museum’s ninth open call exhibition topic. Each year for the past nine years the Museum has presented a topic of current interest and asked the artistic community to bring in artwork representative of their opinions. It is a unique opportunity for artists of all experience levels to present their artwork in a museum setting. There is no jury and no fee; the only requirement is that the artists be among the first 100 to respond. Their visual responses could be considered the results of a cross-section poll on these topics.“The Gun Show” is an opportunity for contemporary artists to comment on the topic of guns and gun ownership.  Admission is free.

If you have any events you’d like to recommend, please contact us.

Categories: Announcements, By Month, February, Grab Your Calendar | Leave a comment

InterActive Theater

We attended our first performance by InterActive Theater Company this morning.  We decided to take advantage of Homeschool Happenings ~ discounted performances for Homeschool families.  Tickets were $6/per person.

We registered online and within 24 hours received an e-mail confirmation.  This morning we were greeted at the entrance by the box office manager (who also happened to be in the cast) and paid for our tickets.  We headed upstairs and found a seat.  One of the cast members gave an informative talk about how the performances run.  The cast encourages audience participation during the entire performance.  Sometimes via all responding, pointing to a certain audience member and asking for their response, or inviting various audience members onstage to take part in the show.  Today’s performance was “Fantastic Four Founding Fathers”.  In sixty minutes they covered the birth of our nation and gave a quick introduction to “key players” in the colonization, American Revolution, and early government.  A mixture of slapstick, puns, literary & historical reference, and general zaniness ~ we spent the entire time laughing.  After, the cast took questions from the audience.

We are definitely looking forward to their next performance and would recommend InterActive Theater to our friends.

Our trip to Interactive Theater Company's Homeschool Happenings. Learn more at HoustonFieldTrips.com

Recommended ages:  All ages.  Family friendly.  Many families had infants/toddlers.  Stage is on the second floor and there is an elevator available for wheelchair & stroller access.

Anything we wish was different?  One of the actors had a heavy accent that could sometimes be difficult to understand if he wasn’t directly facing the audience or he was speaking quickly.  Also, perhaps we’re a little spoiled by A.D. Players, but we missed having the opportunity to take pictures with the cast after the performance.  It’s also nice to have a Playbill &/or cast photo for our scrapbook.  However, none of these recommendations would keep us from attending in the future.  Updated: We contacted the Theater and were told that taking pictures during the performance is OK. 

How do I set up a trip?  Homeschool Happening rates are already discounted from standard admission, so no need to organize a group (but you’re more than welcome to).  Reserve your tickets via the website and pay at the door.  They accept cash & credit cards.

A note about parking.  Homeschool performances are held at the Church of Christ at 1548 Heights Boulevard.  I highly suggest you use the directions posted to the website as we heard from others and experienced ourselves that smartphone mapping programs do not give accurate directions.  The parking spaces are very close together ~ aim for the middle!  Parking is free.

What else is there to do nearby?  You’re only 2 miles North of the Art Car Museum, which is also on Heights Boulevard (just South of I-10).

Categories: $5.01-$10, Field Trips, Houston, Theater | 1 Comment

Grab Your Calendar ~ January 2014

HoustonFieldTrips.com January 2014 Grab Your Calendar

Looking for something interesting to do in the Houston area this January?  Here are events, field trips, and concerts in the greater Houston area that would be of interest to homeschool/unschool families.  (In date order.  Events that run for the entirety or majority of the month are listed at the bottom.)

1st ~ First Day Hikes.  Several of the State Parks host hikes on the first day of the year.  Check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Calendar to find the closest hike to you.

Through the 4th ~  Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo.  For this special night-time spectacular, the Houston Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland, filled with brilliant displays of colorful lights and festive holiday music.  Admission to Zoo Lights is NOT included in general admission.

14th & 16th ~ “Fantastic Four Founding Fathers” at Interactive Theater Comany.  Treat your students to a fantastic history lesson of the beginning of American History in just 60 minutes.  Drawing from historical documents and the lives of famous patriots, this original production follows the development of the USA from its discovery and colonization through independence and struggles of the earliest settlers.  As usual with InterActive History plays, we help kids understand the event using contemporary examples: the First four presidents are played as Superheroes, the Revolutionary War is re-enacted through playground games, politicians fight to see who will be most popular in Congress!  Students will learn from Jefferson, Washington, Pocahontas and the Statue of Liberty as four actors race through American history at record speed.  While this will be performed over the next several months ~ the 14th & 16th are “Homeschool Happenings” days.  Tickets are discounted from $10/pp to $6/pp.  Register online.

17th & 18th ~  Houston Symphony at Houston Baptist University.  Vivaldi’s most popular work, The Four Seasons, will be performed with Concertmaster Frank Huang acting both as conductor and soloist for the four violin concertos, each resembling a season of the year.  Middle and high school orchestra students from around the region have been invited to attend two morning performances on Friday, January 17 followed by an evening performance for the general public on Saturday, January 18.  Composed almost 300 years ago in 1723, The Four Seasons is considered a warhorse in the classical music repertoire and one for any music fan’s must-hear-live list. The audience on Saturday night will also be treated to Tchaikovsky’s romantic Serenade for Strings.  Free.

18th & 19th ~ Jesse M Jones Park honors Arbor Day with a weekend celebration.  In addition, visitors can choose a free sapling from a selection of  native trees.

19th ~ Bayou Bend Family Fun Day.  1-5pm.  Introduce kids to Bayou Bend at this Family Day & explore diverse roots of American musical styles such as bluegrass, jazz & zydeco.  Free.

20th ~ MLK Grande Parade begins at 10am.  15 Professionally designed floats, 30 marching bands, 150+  Performing Groups, Various  Dignitaries & Community Organizations.

22nd & 23rd ~ Detective Concerts by Houston Symphony.  Introduce students to the orchestra’s key players. This season’s program, Opposites Attract, supports the focus on developing active listening and critical thinking skills in first through third grades. Focusing on comparing and contrasting musical elements develops skills needed to comprehend, evaluate and analyze aural works. When listening to the music performed on this program, students will tune in to the musical opposites: loud/soft, high/low and fast/slow. In addition, students will identify the key elements in a story – including setting, character and plot, through the retelling of the tale of Elgar’s Wand of Youth.

25th ~ Houston Parks & Recreation’s Arbor Day Tree Planting.  You can participate as an individual/family (5 people or less) or organize a larger group.

25th ~ Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is planning to celebrate Arbor Day with fun for the whole family.  Johnny Appleseed will hand out acorns, HANC the Owl will give away pine seedlings, Native Tree and Shrub Sale, Make recycled paper and designer paper hats, Members only reception featuring live owls and free refreshments, Discounted membership drive with free gifts, Nature Playground featuring many fun children’s areas, Pine cone bird feeders to take home.

27th ~ Circuitry is the theme of Homeschool Day at the Children’s Museum of Houston.  The Museum will be open from 10 am to 2 pm for Home School families to explore our variety of exciting exhibits and to be challenged by our educational programming. We will also have special Circuitry Labs throughout the day in two of our Discovery Rooms.   Labs include:  Conductivity Lab – Explore a variety of different materials that conduct electricity, using them to complete circuits and create a variety of simple machines! Appropriate for ages 5 and up.  Circuitry Lab – Using Snap Circuits, visitors will determine the different roles regulators, switches, and capacitors play while assembling machines like doorbells, AM radios, fans, and more! Appropriate for ages 8 and up.  The labs will have sign-up sheets in our Info Booth at opening. Spaces are limited, so please sign up as you come in.  $8/pp or $6/pp for groups of 15+.  Members are free.  Registration form can be found here.

28th ~ Detective Concerts by Houston Symphony.  Introduce students to the orchestra’s key players. This season’s program, Opposites Attract, supports the focus on developing active listening and critical thinking skills in first through third grades. Focusing on comparing and contrasting musical elements develops skills needed to comprehend, evaluate and analyze aural works. When listening to the music performed on this program, students will tune in to the musical opposites: loud/soft, high/low and fast/slow. In addition, students will identify the key elements in a story – including setting, character and plot, through the retelling of the tale of Elgar’s Wand of Youth.

“Uprooted” at Holocaust Museum Houston is on display through March 9th, 2014.  The exhibition includes numerous artifacts and documents on view for the first time. The Abramowicz-Mescherowsky-Teixidor and Levenback-Bielitz collections permit the examination of the difficult choices faced by these particular Jewish families – choices like placing a child alone on a Kindertransport or whether to remain in hiding and, in some cases, join the resistance or having to flee to foreign countries. The exhibition exemplifies the hope that safety could be found and lives re-established elsewhere, despite the annihilation policies of the Nazi government.  Admission is free.

“The Gun Show” is the Art Car Museum’s ninth open call exhibition topic. Each year for the past nine years the Museum has presented a topic of current interest and asked the artistic community to bring in artwork representative of their opinions. It is a unique opportunity for artists of all experience levels to present their artwork in a museum setting. There is no jury and no fee; the only requirement is that the artists be among the first 100 to respond. Their visual responses could be considered the results of a cross-section poll on these topics.“The Gun Show” is an opportunity for contemporary artists to comment on the topic of guns and gun ownership.  Admission is free.

If you have any events you’d like to recommend, please contact us.

Cover image courtesy Donna Bonilla Photography.

Categories: Grab Your Calendar, January | 1 Comment

Grab Your Calendar ~ December 2013

snowman ornamentLooking for something interesting to do in the Houston area this December?  Here are events, field trips, and concerts in the greater Houston area that would be of interest to homeschool/unschool families.  (In date order.  Events that run for the entirety or majority of the month are listed at the bottom.)

21 ~Season of Joy is the theme of this month’s Bayou Bend Family Day.  Take part in holiday traditions from many cultures as well as station-guided house tours of the first floor (children under 10 are welcome!), access to Bayou Bend’s remarkable historic gardens, Craft activities suited for young children, and more.  FREE.

Countdown to Grinchmas at the Children’s Museum of Houston! Swing by the Museum this holiday season to help us count down the Grinchmas fun!  Normal admission rates apply.

 Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo.  For this special night-time spectacular, the Houston Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland, filled with brilliant displays of colorful lights and festive holiday music.  Admission to Zoo Lights is NOT included in general admission.

Through December 15th see “Edgar Degas: Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist & His Circle” at the Stark Gallery on the Texas A&M University Campus.  Discover a deeper appreciation of the art of Edgar Degas and his circle of friends–Mary Cassatt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Paul Cézanne–among other noteworthy artists. The exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA. Generously supported by the Division of Student Affairs.  Free.

The Pass-it-On Christmas, performed by A.D. Players runs through December 21st.  A zany troupe of actors enacts the adventures of a shepherd boy and his lamb as they cross the countryside telling anyone they can about the birth of Jesus.  Tickets are $10 each or $6/pp for groups of 10 or more.  Our experiences with AD Players are here.

“Uprooted” at Holocaust Museum Houston is on display through February 2, 2014.  The exhibition includes numerous artifacts and documents on view for the first time. The Abramowicz-Mescherowsky-Teixidor and Levenback-Bielitz collections permit the examination of the difficult choices faced by these particular Jewish families – choices like placing a child alone on a Kindertransport or whether to remain in hiding and, in some cases, join the resistance or having to flee to foreign countries. The exhibition exemplifies the hope that safety could be found and lives re-established elsewhere, despite the annihilation policies of the Nazi government.  Admission is free.

“The Gun Show” is the Art Car Museum’s ninth open call exhibition topic. Each year for the past nine years the Museum has presented a topic of current interest and asked the artistic community to bring in artwork representative of their opinions. It is a unique opportunity for artists of all experience levels to present their artwork in a museum setting. There is no jury and no fee; the only requirement is that the artists be among the first 100 to respond. Their visual responses could be considered the results of a cross-section poll on these topics.“The Gun Show” is an opportunity for contemporary artists to comment on the topic of guns and gun ownership.  Admission is free.

If you have any events you’d like to recommend, please contact us.

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