Free

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.

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Planning Awesome Family Day Trips

This post appears in the Natural Family Today e-book “Natural Family Guide to Summer” which you can download for FREE when you subscribe to their newsletter.  

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Day trips are a great option during the Summer months. They are an economical way for your family to explore an area outside of your everyday perimeter without a huge financial or time investment. From a day on the beach to an all day adventure at a nearby amusement park there are a variety of options to meet the needs of families no matter what your ages and stages. 

Where to Go?

A variety of factors come in to play here. The ages of your children, how far you are willing to travel, your budget, and what interests your family. Be sure you are taking your children’s “car tolerance” into consideration. Some families can handle a day trip that is 3 hours each way, while others may need to limit themselves to an hour round trip. You are  probably already familiar with the closest amusement park, so I wanted to share some ideas that may bring your family closer to nature.  (As this post was written for a broad audience, links provided are for national organizations and are not specific to the Houston area.)

Aquarium
• ArboretumIMG_1305
Audubon Preserve
• Beach
• Boat Tour
• Botanical Garden
Bureau of Land Management
• City/County Park
• Environmental Learning Center
• Japanese Gardens
• Lake
National Park Service
• Nature Preserve
• State Park
US Forest Service
Zoo

Our family has been traveling, camping, and enjoying field trips with our children for 10 years. We’ve found two things significantly contribute to the “success” of a trip:

1. Being Prepared
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff & just enjoy the adventure.

Be Prepared

Know all you can about the location. Where is it located? This may seem simple, but many families rely on their GPS only to end up milesfrom their desired destination or stuck on a street that hasn’t been completed yet. Venues with websites usually offer directions & maps ~ use them. Where is the parking? Are there bathrooms? (Yes, we went to a park once to find they had locked all the bathrooms on weekdays.) What is the appropriate age for visitors? Do they have any special events/programs that day? Is there a place inside or nearby to picnic? Are they busier on certain days of the week or certain weeks of the Summer? Can they accommodate any special needs you have? Can you bring outside food? Is it appropriate for strollers or wheelchairs? Is there an area for diaper changing or nursing?

Invite your children to help prepare. Have conversations with children about the plans for the day. Discuss any family rules about distance from the parent (holding hands, arms reach, line of sight, etc.) Plan where they should go or who they should talk to if you’re separated.  Until they memorized our cell numbers, we used a Sharpie to write it on the inside of our children’s shoes. If applicable, let them know of any specific times for presentations, snacks/lunch, exploring or at least the order of events. Ask them which ones are important to them and make those a priority. If there will be “extra costs” once inside that you’ve decided to skip (like the midway games at the fair), be clear with your children that it isn’t in the budget this time around. Oh, and our kids’ favorite, “How long is the drive?” We like to print an
extra copy of our directions from Google maps so they can help navigate.

Stock the car. Nothing dampens a trip (and everyone’s mood) like having to leave because you ran out of diapers or the 4-year-old spilled his drink & doesn’t have another shirt. If you’re tight on trunk space, prioritize on what is most important (or most likely to be needed) and be sure to bring it along. We regularly bring: prescription medication, first aid kit, sunscreen, change of clothes (even an extra shirt for Dad & Mom), extra snacks, water, picnic blanket, rain ponchos, camping chairs, Kleenex, a roll of paper towels, beach towels, and a collapsible wagon. Also be sure to include activities to keep all the passengers busy. While iPads and DVD players can be nice ~ we’ve been pleasantly surprised how much our children enjoy games like Car Bingo, mazes, connect-the-dots, tic-tac-toe, and other printable car games. Audio Books make a great selection for the car. Borrow from your local library or you can make your own CD’s for
only the cost of the disk. 

Set a budget. Planning for all the expenses helps avoid any fretting or family strife in the middle of the trip. Consider things like: fuel, tolls, admission, and parking fees. Do they accept cash, checks, &/or credit cards? Are there any additional costs for extra activities/experiences once there? Will you be bringing or buying snacks & meals? How
much do you have to spend on souvenirs? Are the kids allowed to spend their own money?

Enjoy the Adventure

At some point, decide that you are as prepared as possible and you are just going to enjoy yourselves. Don’t stress over small hiccups, be flexible, and keep the attitude that everything is a learning experience ~ even if it doesn’t go as planned.

Categories: Announcements, Day Trips, Events, Field Trips, Free, September | Leave a comment

Free Family Movies Summer of 2013

Interior of a Movie Theater

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.

While we find learning happens all the time, those families looking for a little more “education” to their films will be pleased to learn that documentaries like Chimpanzee and African Cats are playing.  There are also film versions of the popular books Mr. Popper’s Penguins and The Lorax and the based-on-a-true-story Big Miracle.

Check theater links for exact dates, times, and restrictions.

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.

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 is $1 for children and $2 for adults.  Monday through Friday at 11am.

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: $5.00 or less, Announcements, August, By Age, Elementary, Free, High School, July, June, May, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 2 Comments

Bear Creek Park Zoo

IMG_1043For families living on the West Side of Houston (areas like Spring Branch, Memorial, Copperfield, Cypress, Katy, & Jersey Village) ~ this is quite the treasure.  In the middle of Bear Creek Pioneers Park is a small wildlife habitat and aviary containing rescued and rehabilitating animals.  Many have been injured and are not capable of surviving in the wild.   Locals just call it “Bear Creek Park Zoo”.

While not as expansive as the Houston Zoo located in Hermann Park, we thoroughly enjoy a closer view, slower pace, and the fact that it’s FREE.   The zoo is situated along War Memorial Drive on the end closest to Eldgridge.  Visitors find a walking, stroller, and wheelchair friendly path leading to an aviary and a string of fenced areas.

The aviary contains various birds like owls, macaws, peafowl, doves, pigeons, and parrots.  If you are fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate!) you’ll be able to witness the aviary keepers feeding the birds of prey.  It’s an interesting opportunity to witness how these birds dismember rodents to eat.  Our children enjoy talking to the macaw that often mimics their words.  It’s a terrific opportunity to listen to the various calls each bird makes.

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For about 1/3 of a mile, you’ll find a row of fenced enclosures.  We enjoy watching bison, pot-bellied pigs, goats, emus, donkeys, sheep, and deer.  Over several of the enclosures are signs giving details of the history of the animal, feeding preferences, and scientific facts.  Built into the fences are “camera ports” where you can take up-close pictures of the animals.  Like the larger zoos ~ the animals are more likely to be active on days where the temperature is moderate.

Recommended ages:  All.  This is the perfect visit for all ages.  Those with small children will enjoy the fact that they can get a closer view than at larger zoos.

How do I set up a trip?  The zoo is FREE and open to the public 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm.  Our Cub Scout Den enjoyed a specific program regarding the aviary.  E-mail the park to coordinate staff directed events.

A note about parking.  There is plenty of parking all along the zoo.  Feel free to start at any point and meander around.

What else is there to do nearby?  Explore Bear Creek Pioneers Park!  Really, the park offers so much that it’s easy to make an entire day of it.  Playgrounds, War Memorial, Tennis Courts, Walking Trails, and more.

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Categories: City Parks, Day Trips, Elementary, Free, High School, Houston, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | Leave a comment

WaterWorks Education Center

IMG_1202Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting the WaterWorks Education Center in Humble with our local homeschool group.  I cannot speak highly enough of our experience ~ both from the ease of coordinating the Field Trip and our experiences on the tour.The tour began with a 15 minute slide-show presentation explaining water, the water cycle, ground water, and how the City of Houston captures, cleans, and distributes water.  Our presenter did an excellent job engaging the children (and adults) with questions throughout the presentation.  She was also open to students asking questions during the presentation instead of requiring they wait until the end.

We were then led to an interactive exhibit winding around behind the theater.  Children were given a clipboard and asked to “find” answers to questions. Younger children/pre-readers were given a list of pictures to participate in a “scavenger hunt” on their own level.  I loved that the employees were available to help the children if they were interested in finding everything in their sheet ~ but weren’t overly concerned if the children just wanted to explore the exhibits on their own terms.IMG_1213

We ended in a “classroom” setting with tables and chairs.  Another presenter spoke in further detail about the water cycle.  We then played a game where various “parts” of the cycle were scattered around the room.  Each station had a box of pony beads & a large “die” or “cube” to be rolled.  The children were each given a lanyard.  They picked a starting point, grabbed a bead & then rolled.  The die for that “station” would have each “next step” in the water cycle on each side.  Depending on what they rolled, the students would proceed to the appropriate station and collect another bead.  This was a great way to reinforce the various ways that water *moves* throughout our world.

Each child was given a bag of “goodies” to take home including: crayons, coloring/activity books, stickers, bracelets, and cups.  There were also resource materials for parents & teachers to take home.  

IMG_1204Recommended ages:  The center is completely prepared to meet the needs of any age group.  Even as a homeschool group bringing toddlers to high school age students ~ they were able to adapt & split the presentation to meet each student on their level.  I made the mistake of failing to inform them ahead of time that the majority of our registrants were young elementary age ~ they still quickly and without any fuss adapted the program.  For that, I am incredibly grateful.

They offer programs for public, private, and home school groups.  They also offer tours for adults.  They are willing to adapt the program to meet the needs of your group.  I think that this would be a perfect trip for our Cub Scout Pack to earn their Weather Belt Loop and Pin.

Anything we wish was different?  At this time, visitors cannot tour the actual treatment facility.  It was quite cold the day we visited.  We were told when the weather is nice, they will go out and look at the various parts from the Education Center parking lot ~ but it’s not possible to actually walk through the plant.IMG_1208

How do I set up a trip?  Call or e-mail WaterWorks Houston.  There is a form available to download that can be e-mailed along with your request.  I would suggest inquiring as to which tours are most appropriate for the age group you plan to bring.

A note about parking.  DO NOT USE YOUR GPS ~ it’s not going to be correct.  WaterWorks provides directions & a map on their website.  Use them!  The directions can seem a little counter-intuitive (as you are asked to make a right turn in order to u-turn), but once you are there it makes complete sense.  There’s also several, albeit small, blue signs to help keep you going to right direction.  You must check in at the security gate and all adults must present a valid picture ID.  Parking is ample and directly in front of the entrance.

What else is there to do nearby?  We’re still exploring the area ~ but here are some places we’ve visited in Humble.

Categories: Elementary, Field Trips, Free, High School, Humble, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 1 Comment

Read to Succeed ~ Six Flags

img_1353Houston natives have fond memories of Six Flags AstroWorld as the local “theme park” until it’s closure in 2005.  Now, our best options for roller coasters are Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington or Fiesta Texas in San Antonio.  Six Flags offers a wonderful program called, “Read to Succeed” which allows Kindergarten through 6th grade students (public, private, & home schools) to earn free admission on select dates.

Students must be registered, complete 6 hours of reading (in a variety of formats) and submit reading logs.  Teachers (one parent in homeschool families) earn a ticket too!

Unlike years past, homeschool families need not be under the umbrella of a coordinating group to earn tickets.  Families register directly with Six Flags, submit times online, mail forms, and receive their tickets directly in the mail.

To register, click here and see the FAQ for Homeschool Families.

If you will be traveling this Summer, you can opt for tickets to other parks around the country.  Just keep in mind that once you select a park, the ticket can not be used at a different one.

How is a trip to a theme park educational?  Roller Coasters offer “applied learning” in gravity, centrifugal force, and engineering.

For more on the “Science of Coasters”, check out the series on coasters by Discovery’s  Build it Bigger.

Categories: Announcements, Free | Leave a comment

Arbor Day

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Image courtesy Donna Bonilla Photography

I’ve been working on a list by month of events that regularly happen in Houston, Harris County, and surrounding.  As I was trying to think of things that normally occur or are celebrated in April, I thought of Arbor Day.  Imagine my surprise, while perusing the websites of some of our favorite parks and arboretums, to find that most of the Greater Houston Area actually commemorates Arbor Day in January!

So, I did a little research.  According to Texas A&M Forest Service:

The official Arbor Day is held the last Friday in April. Due to the diversity of this state, Arbor Day is celebrated in Texas communities anytime from November through April. Houston and many of its neighboring communities continue to observe Arbor Day on the third Friday in January. In south Texas, many cities celebrate Arbor Day during Arbor Week, the second week in February. Dallas recently decided to break with tradition altogether and celebrate Arbor Day in mid-November.

Leave it to Texas to be truly independent!  Here are a few events this month to help you celebrate and serve.  Please check the links for contact information, how to register, and age-restrictions.

  • Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 19 and 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center ~ Celebrate Texas
    Image courtesy Donna Bonilla Photography

    Image courtesy Donna Bonilla Photography

    Arbor Day by adopting a tree! Take home a free sapling, and get information on tree planting and care. Exhibits and activities highlight local forest plants. Webelos can fulfill all requirements for the Forester badge by completing a self-guided activity.

  • Saturday, January 26th, Houston Bar Association Arbor Day Tree Planting at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center ~ Join us to celebrate Arbor Day 2013 by planting 1000 trees at the Arboretum, which lost about 50% of its tree canopy due to the recent drought.
  • Saturday, January 26th at 8am, Houston Parks & Recreation ~ When I contacted them, I was told that this year’s planting would be at Memorial Park.  Young children are welcome as long as they are with parents.  Bring gloves & shovels.  To pre-register, please contact Shelby Oneika: Oneika.shelby@houstontx.gov
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Image courtesy Donna Bonilla Photography

If you would rather venture out during the week, consider a nature hike.  A local city park would be a great start.  City of Houston Parks list can be found here.  Residents of Harris County can find a list of parks by precinct:

We really enjoyed spending a day at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.  A visit to a Texas State Park or Sam Houston National Forest will offer a wider variety of botanical viewing and an all day experience.  If you aren’t able to get out of the house, here’s a video produced by Texas A&M Forestry Service on planting seedlings.

Want to explore even more this month?  See what else there is to do in January.

Categories: Events, Free, January | Leave a comment

Art Car Museum

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As an informal gathering of a few homeschool families, we visited the Art Car Museum.

Probably the first misconception of this museum is that it is full of numerous art cars as seen in the annual parade.  It’s a small museum and there is only room for 3 cars indoors in addition to the car out front.  The gallery changes quarterly and exhibits vary based on the artist(s) featured.

Once a year they hold an open call accepting submissions from any artist who wishes to have a piece exhibited.  Our visit was during 2012 for the Eighth Annual Open Call Exhibition: God.

God is Everywhere(The Devil's In The Details)by Mark Benham

God is Everywhere
(The Devil’s In The Details)
by Mark Benham

Recommended ages: While there is nothing precluding younger children ~ this is a museum designed for looking only.  It’s not a huge museum, so families might find this an appropriate venue to teach their children “look but don’t touch”.

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Mother God
by Joyce Matula Welch

Anything we wish was different?  Not that we experienced.

How do I set up a trip?  The Art Car Museum is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday 11am-6pm.  For groups, they ask that you call ahead to let them know.

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A note about parking.  Parking is free at the museum.  The museum has a gated area with parking for a few cars and there are 4 parallel spots just North of the museum on Heights Boulevard.

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“Earth, Wind and Fire… and Water”
by Jefferson Davis High School
under the direction of Rebecca Bass

What else is there to do nearby?  The Museum is just south of I-10 and West of 45.  Depending on which way you’re headed afterward, a visit to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center wouldn’t be too far away and would give the kids a chance to run, stretch, and enjoy their “outdoor” voices.

Categories: Elementary, Free, High School, Houston, Middle School | 7 Comments

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

This day was supposed to be a relatively informal gathering of families from our homeschool group.  However, torrential rains on Sunday and the prediction of more on Monday had my phone buzzing with texts from families canceling.  After the remaining family dropped out, I sat down with the kids and explained the situation and asked if they still wanted to go.  The answer was a resounding “Yes”.  So in addition to our normal preparations of lunches & water bottles, we packed TWO changes of clothes for each, several beach towels, and double checked that the rain ponchos were still in the Suburban.

Nestled just inside West Loop 610 on Woodway Drive, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is an oasis in an area filled with high-rises, shopping, and fast paced life.  It turned out to be a blessed experience.  First, it didn’t rain. At. All. The entire time we were there.  Second, it appeared that the rain had scared everyone off.  With the exception of a few Tyke Hike participants, we had the place to ourselves.

We started in the Discovery Room which provides interactive and observational opportunities for visitors of all ages.  There are aquatic tanks at various levels and little steps to higher exhibits (great for those toddlers in the “me do it” phase), lift the flap quizes, ecosystems, skeletal remains, and the cross section of a 100-year-old tree.  Particularly engaging was the wall dedicated to the “Life and Work of Trees” explaining how they gather water, photosynthesis, protection and their service to woodland creatures.  They also had a library section.  Why read about it when you can go outside & live it?  The kids were ready to hike!

The woman at the information desk shared helpful suggestions on trails for first time visitors.  We started on the Inner Loop, but soon ventured to the South Meadow Trail and the R.A. Vines Trail.  Walking surfaces consisted of mostly gravel or foot bridges.  There were several look-out decks built along the marshy areas to allow a close-up look at the habitat.  There were a few signs labeling some plant life, but those wishing to beef up their botany should bring a field guide.

We took a break for lunch.  There were plenty of benches available, unfortunately the recent rains left everything saturated.  We opted for lowering the back seat in the Suburban & camping out there.  Even in the parking lot we watched squirrels playing, listened to birds sing, and saw the occasional dragon fly.   While not listed on the map, the woman at the information desk mentioned a playground and the kids were ready to check it out.

While not massive, the play area offered a variety of climbing, crawling, and jumping options.  There was a rope bridge ~ just high enough to scrape a knee when falling off but nothing too perilous, a crow’s nest lookout, tube to crawl through, and several balance beams.  This is where preparing allows you to “Say Yes” to fun adventures.  We watched as other kids were told by their parents that they could not fully explore enjoy this area because it was wet and muddy.  First, isn’t that the point?  Wet & Muddy are fun!  But given that perhaps they had somewhere else to go ~ towels, a package of baby wipes, and a change of clothes would have allowed the parents to embrace the opportunity to stomp in the puddles.

Recommended ages: This adventure is appropriate for all ages and you can even bring the family dog.  Families with strollers or wheelchairs can easily navigate several of the trails though the Discovery Room might prove a bit tight on a busy day.  This is nature.  Talk with children about not “collecting” souvenirs and keep an eye on adventurous ones who might be tempted to wander off trail or test the water.

Anything we wish was different?  Not that we experienced.

How do I set up a trip?  The Arboretum is free and open to the public 7 days a week, 7am to dusk.  I would recommend checking the schedule if you wish to include the Discovery Room as part of your visit.  It is often booked for classes and guided tours.  We haven’t utilized any of their offerings, but you can find out more about organized group visits by clicking the “Learn” tab from the main menu.

A note about parking.  Parking is free at the Arboretum.

What else is there to do nearby?  Just East of the Arboretum, Woodway merges into Memorial Drive and immediately thereafter is the exit for Memorial Park.

Categories: Elementary, Field Trips, Free, High School, Houston, Middle School, Toddlers / Preschool | 4 Comments

Houston Gem & Mineral Show

Each year in November, the Houston Gem and Mineral Society hosts a 3-day event showcasing stones, minerals, jewelry, fossils, as well as geological fields and artistry.

This year, our family had the pleasure of going twice.  On Friday as part of an organized field trip to their “School Daze” and again on Saturday with our Webelos Patrol so the boys could earn their “Geologist Activity Badge”.

I coordinated the event on Friday.  As I had never been to the show before, it was quite the learning experience for me.  There are a few things I would do differently, but overall ~ we had an excellent time.

The show is held at the Humble Civic Center, which is on Will Clayton Parkway just East of 59N outside Beltway 8.  Homeschool groups must register in advance for 1/2 hour time slots in the afternoon.  (Public & Private schools are assigned the morning slots.)  I contacted the Field Trip coordinator for HGMS in August and secured the 1pm time spot.  Two weeks in advance I provided her with the grade level of each student attending.  While homeschoolers are allowed to bring younger children, the event is designed for students age 5+.

The show put a great deal of work into designing “Scavenger Hunts” for various grade-levels.  K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, & 8+ each have separate, age-appropriate pages with questions that can be answered at various booths & presentations throughout the show.  Each level is color-coded and has their own “course ” through the show.  Maps are provided.  Booths that are answering questions have colored balloons corresponding as well.

While this is perfect for a school group with ten 4th graders, we had 14 students spanning nearly every grade level.  At first, we tried to stay together as one single group.  We quickly found that it was often too many people to hear well and that everyone preferred to travel at their own pace.  So, we broke off and followed our own paths.  The show is open to families choosing whichever “level” they wish.  We chose to combine and work on a single-level together.

At the end, we turned in our sheets and were given a free gem or mineral.  Both our children chose quartz.

We returned on Saturday with the Webelos.  The Scouts were free, the only charge was for the adults attending.  Adults

were even allowed to utilize the $1 off coupon posted on the HGMS website.  I was incredibly impressed at how much effort volunteers had put in to the presentations.  As long as the Scout followed the sheet they were given they would leave earning their “Geologist Activity Badge”.   Unfortunately, some people who had volunteered did not show up.  However, the coordinators stepped in and managed beautifully.

The boys were treated to several interactive experiences discussing identification of minerals, rock cycle, water cycle, and volcanic activity.  We then traveled to various exhibitors to learn answers to questions about fossils and Geological careers.  Each boy went home with a bag full of at least 5 minerals to complete the requirements for a collection.

Recommended ages:  For Friday’s School day they ask that registered students be 5 years or older.  Younger siblings were allowed, but families will find that the layout and activities are not designed for pre-schoolers.  Families pushing strollers might find it difficult to navigate.  While aisles were wide, it was quite crowded on both days.  For Scouts ~ it’s obviously for those who are actually Scouts.  Other Packs/Troops brought siblings but the event was booked to capacity and it was quite difficult to squeeze everyone in with the unexpected attendees.

Anything we wish was different?  Both days were really well planned and organizers provided a significant amount of materials including maps.  The only change I’d make is to the HGMS website.  It utilizes panes and no matter what you click on ~ the web address stays the same.  This makes it impossible to share directly links to pertinent information and forces users to click around repeatedly every time they visit the site.  Which leads to difficulties with…

How do I set up a trip?  For reasons explained above, I can’t give you direct links.  Click on the “Annual Show” button, then scroll down and there’s a “Kids Day” link, the first link on that page will be “School Daze Earth Science Information”.  This page provides individual links for Public & Private Schools, Homeschools, or Scouts to register.  The coordinator for School Daze is different than for Scouts.  I found them both to be incredibly helpful.  I would recommend signing up for both at the beginning of September as spots fill up quickly in both programs.  School Daze Program is free.  On Saturday Scouts are free and Adult chaperones are $7 (a coupon for $1/off can be printed from the site).

A note about parking.  Parking is free at the Humble Civic Center.  On Friday,  the West lot is reserved for Bus loading/unloading.  It was requested we park in the East lot.  This worked well as check-in and the scavenger hunt begin at the West Entrance and end at the East Entrance.  On Saturday, everyone enters through the main doors on the South side of the building.  Again, activities began on the West side of the venue and ended on the East.

What else is there to do nearby?  This was quite enough adventure for our family for one day.  Other places in Humble to visit include KSBJ Studios and WaterWorks Education Center.  Both of these tours are free, but do require advanced registration.

Categories: $5.01-$10, Elementary, Free, High School, Humble, Middle School, November | 1 Comment

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