Monthly Archives: March 2013

Grab Your Calendar ~ April 2013

Looking for something interesting to do this April?  Here are a few 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.)

IMG_12784th & 5th ~  The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe ~ presented by HBU’s School of Fine Arts.  This performance date is reserved for Homeschool families.  Show starts at 10am.  Cost is $15 per family.

5th & 6th ~ Physics & Engineering Festival at Texas A&M University.  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.

6th & 7th ~ Houston Children’s Festival benefiting Child Advocates, Inc.  Offering several stages, The Festival is divided into themed Family Adventure Zones and delivers over 300 exciting activities.  2013 Festival features Dora the Explorer, Sid the Science Kid, Victoria Justice, and Laura Morano.

8th ~ Homeschool Day at Children’s Museum of Houston.  The theme for April is Chromatography!  Closed to the general public, home school students will explore science, technology, history, culture, health, environment and engineering hands-on at the ultimate Playground for your Mind™!  Pre-registration is required.  The museum is open from 10am-2pm.  Cost is $8/pp or $6/pp for groups of 15 or more.  Neither the Cafe nor the “Tot Spot” are open on Homeschool Days.

8th ~ The Houston Grand Opera to Go will present “Daniel and the Dreamcatcher” at the Katy Branch Library on Monday, April 8 at 4:00 p.m.  Opera to Go is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the joy of a musical story.  In this story, Daniel is afraid of the monster in his closet who likes to shrink things. But when the monster shrinks his family, Daniel has to decide to be brave and confront his fears.  Free.

13th ~ “All About BUGS”activity 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.

13th ~ Scout Fair at Reliant Arena from 10am – 3pm.  Scouts from 16 counties will unite in one place to showcase their Scouting skills. Sample the amazing dutch oven creations and other delicacies in the outdoor cooking area. Visit the midway with over 50 experts representing merit badges. Enjoy live entertainment, watch demonstrations, interact with participating booths from our community partners…pick up free offers.  Open to the public.  Free admission (Parking $10)

13th & 14th ~ The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival in Town Center weekend event is a celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts. The Festival gives patrons the rare and special opportunity to meet and talk with artists from around the country, sample great food, watch the Art of Food demos, enjoy live music and entertain their families at our interactive ‘ARTOPOLY’ area.  Adult tickets are $10.00, a Weekend pass is $15.00, and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Cash ONLY at all gates and food vendors.

13th & 14th ~ Japan Festival at Hermann Park’s Reflection Pool and Japanese Garden.  Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Presented by the Japan-America Society of Houston. Each year, the event provides a rich blend of stage entertainment and an impressive array of food and beverages for everyone to enjoy.  Free admission.

14th ~ Earth Day Houston on Discovery Green.  The FREE one-day celebration will focus on the merits of mindful, sustainable living while educating and encouraging Houstonians to do their part to preserve, conserve and enhance our city and the Earth.  Earth Day Houston showcases more than 30 green non-profits, each educating visitors on how they can make Houston greener.

16th & 17th ~ Legends of Wind & Fire” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Produced by Express Children’s Theater.  The Quest for Fire, How Winter Was Born, Tring-Tring & Kai-Kai and Why Penguins Can’t Fly are myths and legends of the native American people from Argentina to Brazil.  Told by a Mapuche Indian and her cousin and brought to life by a cast of animal characters, these tales are rich with music, culture and lore. A bi-lingual English/Spanish production written by Edith Pross.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Children’s Performances are free.

20th ~ San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment  from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in La Porte. Full day of music, entertainment, food, games and fun set amidst living history.  The Battle Reenactment, the most popular event of the day, dramatizes the decisive battle where General Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army.  Admission is FREE.

20th ~ 20th Anniversary Vet School Open House at Texas A&M University.  A&M opens all the doors to the college and both hospitals and lets the public see exclusively behind the scenes of Texas A&M’s premiere veterinary school. Tours through both the small and large animal hospitals, exhibits, demonstrations by all kinds of animal groups (agility dogs, trick horses, etc.) and animal exhibits!  Petting zoo, a reptile room, even fistulated cows!  Free.

21st ~ Lure of the East”, a Bayou Bend Family Day.  Family Days are always free and open to the public.

27th ~ Meet the Museums of Zone 2.  Houston Museum District:  Asia Society Texas Center, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Czech Center Museum Houston, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Lawndale Art Center, and The Weather Museum are all featured.  Some, but not all, of the museums are waiving normal admission charges and are free for the day.

29th & 30th ~ Daniel and the Dreamcatcher” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Produced by Houston Grand Opera. Daniel and the Dreamcatcher tells the story of a young boy who must confront his fears of the giant living in his closet.  This show is a wonderful introduction to opera, and is perfect for students in grades 2 – 6.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Children’s Performances are free.

Through June 2nd, The Art Car Museum hosts “full circle ~ a collage and assemblage exhibition of five artists whose works involve the appropriation and repurposing of materials. Logos, religious imagery, newspaper clippings, or found objects are employed in these intricately designed works. The exhibition considers purpose and intent and examines social responsibility.  Not all exhibits are appropriate for younger children.   See HFT’s review of our visit.

Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision at the Museum of Natural Science.  An additional $5 with a general admission ticket.  FREE for Museum members.  Simply hearing the name Fabergé evokes the splendor and extravagance of late 19th and early 20th century Imperial Russia. The House of Fabergé designed the renowned Imperial Easter Eggs for the Romanov family, as well as an array of objects d’art, luxurious gifts, and practical items for the wealthy patrons of Europe.

AD Players’ “The Jungle Book” will be on stage from April 16th – May 4th.  Mowgli has been raised and protected by the Seeonee wolf pack his entire life, but his mortal enemy, the vicious tiger Shere Khan, has a plan to scatter the pack. It will take all the wisdom Mowgli has learned from his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther to survive the tiger’s vengeful scheme. This thrilling adventure is about growing up and the strength of true friendship.  10:30am.  Cost is $12/pp.  Groups receive a discount.  See HFT’s review of AD Players.

Main Street Theater regularly offers children’s shows throughout the year.  Through April 6th your family can enjoy “Miss Nelson Is Missing” based on the book by Harry Allard.  Beginning April 17th – through May 24th they will be performing Charlotte’s Web.  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.

Through April 14th, Schlitterbahn Galveston is offering discounts to homeschool families that prepay for tickets.  Groups also receive free tickets for every 20 people registered.

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

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

A.D. Players ~ Children’s Theater

We’ve been attending the Children’s Theater performances at A.D. Players for a little over a year now.  Our family has enjoyed plays based on books like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Velveteen Rabbit, and Bunnicula as well as adaptations of fairy tales like Cinderella and Thumbelina.  Lasting approximately an hour, these are the perfect introduction to theater for kids of all ages.

After the show, the cast remains on stage to answer questions from the audience about everything from acting and props to decisions about differences from the books.  While videography and photography are prohibited during the performance, the actors will line up after the performance and pose for pictures with your children/family.  The cast also gladly autographs a cast photo (purchased for $1) or your program.  We have found all cast members to be kind, engaging, and deeply interested in the children’s questions and comments.

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Recommended ages:  All ages.  We’ve attended with infants through high school with all having a wonderful time.  On occasion the length of a show may prove to be too much for some toddlers.

Anything we wish was different?  Because they do not sell concessions during the day time shows, it would be nice if they would allow snacks in the theater.  This would be especially helpful to families with small children.  Their current policy is bottled water only.

How do I set up a trip?  The shows are open to the public.  Individual tickets are $12/each and can be purchased online or by phone.  Group rates are available for $6/each with a minimum of 15 attendees.  A 25% deposit is required and final payment is due 2 weeks before the show.

A note about parking.  The “Three Maps to Bethlehem” production was held this year at the St. Luke’s Rotunda.   However, unlike years past, most shows are now at the Mainstage Theater.  There isn’t a lot of parking, so carpooling is highly recommended if feasible.  Parking is free.

What else is there to do nearby?  The Mainstage theater is located less than 5 miles (approx 10min drive) from Hermann Park and the Museum District.  If you want spend the whole day out, consider an afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, or any of the sights Hermann Park offers.

“The Jungle Book” will be on stage from April 16th – May 4th.  Mowgli has been raised and protected by the Seeonee wolf pack his entire life, but his mortal enemy, the vicious tiger Shere Khan, has a plan to scatter the pack. It will take all the wisdom Mowgli has learned from his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther to survive the tiger’s vengeful scheme. This thrilling adventure is about growing up and the strength of true friendship.

For those on a strict budget, or to just enjoy the performance again: “The Jungle Book” will also be at Miller Outdoor Theatre on May 30th at 11am.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre performances are free.

Categories: $10.01-$15, $5.01-$10, Elementary, Field Trips, High School, Houston, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 4 Comments

Grab Your Calendar ~ March 2013

IMG_0641Looking for something interesting to do this March?  Here are a few 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.)

2nd ~  NatureFest at Jesse Jones Park  is a fast-growing favorite among festival goers. 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.

2nd ~ Birding Hike at Stephen F. Austin State Park.  8 a.m. ~ short and easy walk beginning at our RV restrooms and through our excellent forest habitat. Please bring water, binoculars, bug spray, and an inquisitive mind (no pets please)!  Park admission is $4 for adults 13+, children 12 & under are free.

2nd & 3rd ~ Texas Independence Day Celebration at the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.  Celebrate 177 Years of Texas Independence! This is the one weekend a year that there are no entry fees for park sites; Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm and the Star of the Republic Museum. See historic re-enactors, award winning exhibits, period craft demonstrations, book signings, early Texas army encampments and live music.

9th ~  “Tree Walk” activity 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.

16th ~ The Convention and the Revolution – A look at the Interaction of the Two at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park.  How did the Independence Convention view the revolution and how did those in the field view the goings on of the Convention? Presentation times are 11:00 AM, 1:00PM and 3:00PM and the program will last approximately thirty-five to forty minutes. This program is open to all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult.  Admission to the park is free.

16th, 23rd, & 30th ~ Stephen F. Austin State Park will have afternoon classes on March 16th, 23rd, and 30th that will teach visitors geocaching.  Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online, earn prices, and get outside.  Please sign up at the park office or call (979) 885-3613 to reserve your spot today.

17th ~ Reading the Clouds: weather forecasting in the 19th century at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park.  Before the days of the Weather Channel and 24 hr news broadcasts people had to observe the world around them for signs of storms or other changes in the weather.  One of the most common ways to do this was by studying the clouds. Participants will learn to read the clouds, predict the weather and have some fun.  Presentation times are 11:00 AM, 1:00PM and 3:00PM and the program will last approximately thirty-five to forty minutes. This program is open to all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult.  Admission to the park is free.

23rd ~ Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo in Conroe is designed to help families learn a little about the land on which they live — and how to best take care of it — through hands-on clinics, live demonstrations and children’s activities.  Admission is Free.

23rd ~ Fort Bend Museum presents “Children’s Day” from noon-5pm.  Activities include: Archeology Dig, Cookie Decorating, Spinning Demonstrations, Face Painting, And more… The InterActive Theater presents “The Story of the Lone Star State” at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

23rd ~ “Deep in the Art of Texas” family festival presented by Katy Visual & Performing Arts Center.  Free.  Located at La Centerra at Cinco Ranch.  Live music, face painting, professional performances, games, make-n-take art projects, artist demonstrations, bounce slide, student presentations, exhibitions, & art market.

24th ~ “The Essence of Spring”, a Bayou Bend Family Day.  Family Days are always free and open to the public.

All month:

Through March 17th, the 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.

Through June 2nd, The Art Car Museum hosts “full circle ~ a collage and assemblage exhibition of five artists whose works involve the appropriation and repurposing of materials. Logos, religious imagery, newspaper clippings, or found objects are employed in these intricately designed works. The exhibition considers purpose and intent and examines social responsibility.  Not all exhibits are appropriate for younger children.   See HFT’s review of our visit.

Pick your own Strawberries at Blessington Farms.  In addition to berries, the farm offers animal encounters, educational tours, & rides.  Currently there is no cost for admission.  Strawberries are $5/pound.  Check their website or Facebook Page for details on whether or not there is picking on a particular day.

Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision at the Museum of Natural Science.  An additional $5 with a general admission ticket.  FREE for Museum members.  Simply hearing the name Fabergé evokes the splendor and extravagance of late 19th and early 20th century Imperial Russia. The House of Fabergé designed the renowned Imperial Easter Eggs for the Romanov family, as well as an array of objets d’art, luxurious gifts, and practical items for the wealthy patrons of Europe.

Main Street Theater regularly offers children’s shows throughout the year.  Through April 6th your family can enjoy “Miss Nelson Is Missing” based on the book by Harry Allard.  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 17th through April 14th, Schlitterbahn Galveston is offering discounts to homeschool families that prepay for tickets.  Groups also receive free tickets for every 20 people registered.

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

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

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