By Month

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

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

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.

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

Grab Your Calendar ~ November 2013

HoustonFieldTrips.comLooking for something interesting to do in the Houston area this November?  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 ~ Last day to see “Cat in the Hat” at Main Street Theater.  “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” So begins the wildly popular Dr. Seuss classic that generations of children have read growing up. But never fear, the Cat in the Hat appears, with Thing One and Thing Two (bringing mayhem and fun!), to take Sally, her brother and the fish on a madcap adventure!  Homeschooling families can sign up for day time performances without having to be part of a group.  $6 per person.  No children under 3.  Contact the theater to register.

5th & 6th ~ Texas Renaissance Festival “School Days”.  Students step back in time as they enter the sights and sounds of New Market Village, an authentic recreation of a 16th century English Village.  Students will interact with King Henry VIII and his queen, as well as William Shakespeare and hundreds of other costumed characters representing the culture, art, science and literature of the Renaissance Period.  Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the gate.

7th-10th ~ Children’s Festival at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.  7th & 8th are School Days and require pre-registration.  Pricing varies based on number of shows registered for.  Weekend tickets are $8/pp in advance or $10 at the door.  The focus of Children’s Festival is on the performing and visual arts for children, including award-winning children’s performers that are a must-see with their unique ability to inspire children with programs that not only amuse, but also communicate positive messages. Children’s Festival is an exciting way to help young children broaden their horizons, tap into their talents, ignite their creativity, appreciate other cultures and develop a love and appreciation for the performing arts. Children’s Festival is designed for children ranging from pre-K to intermediate, but kids of all ages are encouraged to join the fun. Bring the whole family!

8th-10th ~ Houston Gem & Mineral Society has a wonderful show at the Humble Civic Center and Arena Complex.  Homeschool groups can register for “School Daze”, participate in a scavenger hunt, and explore the exhibits ~ for FREE!  Registrations are due by this Friday, November 1st.  If Friday doesn’t work for you, visit their website to print discount coupons for General Admission on Saturday or Sunday.  Here’s what we enjoyed last year.

9th ~ Pioneer Day at Jesse H Jones Park & Nature Center.  Volunteers and re-enactors demonstrate settler life in Stephen F. Austin’s colony during the 1820s and early 1830s. Old-fashioned crafts, demonstrations, and period re-enactments bring the homestead to life.  Free

HoustonFieldTrips.com

Art Car Museum
(click picture to link to our review)

9th ~ World Art Car Day.  Bring the kids to the Art Car Museum from 12-3pm for the annual Children’s Mini-Art Car Workshop. Museum will provide a toy car and all of the paint, glue and decorating essentials for your child to create their very own miniature art car.  Also, you can check out the Texas Sculpture Group exhibition “in-DEPTH” and some cool art cars while there.

16th & 17th ~ Republic of Texas Militia Muster – A Living History Encampment at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.  The local militia offered not only protection for the colonists, but also an excuse for a social gathering. Join reenactors and interpreters as they recreate a typical militia muster as would have been seen in the Republic.  The encampment  is open on Saturday from 10:00 AM thru 5:00 PM and on Sunday from 10:00 AM thru 1:00 PM. This program is open to all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult.  Admission is Free.

17th ~ Building Community is the theme of this month’s Bayou Bend Family Day.  Celebrate citizenship by learning about early U.S. settlers 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.  Presented with Rienzi (both houses open for programs; complimentary shuttle between the two locations).  FREE.

22nd-24th ~ Civil War Weekend at Liendo Plantation.  The Living History Day at the Historic Liendo Plantation is a unique way to experience the grandeur and passion of the Victorian era versus the harsh reality of the war fought between States and Brothers.  Friday is “School Days” and admission is $5/per person.  Weekend admission is $10/adults & $5/Senior Citizens & Children.  Cash Only.

Through November 15th see “in-DEPTH” at the Art Car Museum.  Texas Sculpture Group Exhibition.  Admission is free.

Opening to members on November 18th and to the general public on the 22nd ~ see 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.

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, begins on November 22nd and 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.

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

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

Grab Your Calendar ~ October 2013

Looking for something interesting to do this October?  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 Grab Your Calendar Oct ~ Field Trips for Homeschooling Familiesentirety or majority of the month are listed at the bottom.)

1st-4th ~ “Strega Nona” is at Miller Outdoor Theatre each day this week.  11am.  Strega Nona has a magical touch. With a song and three kisses, she can create a delicious pasta meal. Her new helper, Big Anthony, is an enthusiastic young man with a short attention span. Can he resist the temptation to try his own hand at magic when Strega Nona leaves town? Big Anthony learns a big lesson about respect for other people’s property and the importance of paying attention.  Produced by Houston Grand Opera.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Performances are FREE!

2nd ~ Homeschool Day at Space Center Houston.  This fun-filled day is designed especially for home school and virtual school students and their families. Many exciting events planned for students of all ages, including: Mad Science experiments, robotics workshops, and fun and informative speakers.  $12.95/pp

3rd-5th ~ Festival Chicano at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  7pm each night.  A cultural celebration of 34 years of Chicano music from Tejano and Conjunto, to Mariachi and Orchestra in one of the oldest ongoing events of its type in the world.  The event is FREE, but it is a “ticketed” event: please see the website for more details.

3rd-6th ~ Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  Dance Programs, Live Music, Kids Area, Food, Drinks, & Desserts!  Cathedral Tours ongoing.  Variety of ticketing options available via the website.

5th ~ “Amanecer Colombiano” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Showcasing the beauty and traditions of Colombia, lively and rhythmic Colombian music will have performers and audience dancing to the beat.  Produced by Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

9th ~ “Swing, Jive, & Pop into Dance” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am. Houston Metropolitan Dance Company incorporates history, fashion, music and the arts into an interactive blast of excitement.  The company dances through the eras of the 1930’s Lindy Hop, bops into the 1950’s, grooves into the 1970’s and ends into the Hip Hop music of today.  Students, teachers and audience members have the opportunity to converse with the dancers and participate in an energy filled hour of dance while learning fun historical tidbits of information.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Performances are FREE!

10th ~ “PUSH! – Push Physical Theater” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  PUSH has been called “a cross between fine art sculpture and the hit movie The Matrix,” but its co-founders (with tongue firmly in cheek) describe it “like regular theatre, but more painful.” The dancers’ physical feats are awe-inspiring, but the cherry on top of this acrobatic sundae is PUSH’s ability to engage their audience through vibrant visual storytelling.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Performances are FREE!

12th ~ CreekFest is a Festival of the Arts & Adventure Race held in the Cypress Creek Cultural District in Spring, Texas.  The one-day festival is organized by the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce to promote the parks, museum, library, visual and performing arts, and other community resources in the Greater Cypress Creek Area.  Through events such as hands-on art projects, artist demonstrations, concerts, and literacy activities, families can learn about the fine arts at the Centrum, Barbara Bush Library, and the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts.

12th ~ Astronomy Day at George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park.  This annual October event is free with state park admission, open to the public and includes activities for all ages. Festivities begin in the afternoon, but this event really comes to life after dark when the stars begin to shine.  Dozens of telescopes—including our large research telescopes—will be available to give everyone a chance to enjoy the delights of the night sky, including star clusters, planets and galaxies.

12th ~ Chemistry Open House at Texas A&M University.  Every year Texas A&M’s Department of Chemistry hosts a free, open to the public, Chemistry Open House to celebrate National Chemistry Week. This year’s participants include the Departments of Biology and Physics & Astronomy, students from the Dwight Look College of Engineering and SACNAS, and the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.  The Chemistry Open House features the popular Chemistry Road Show, guided lab tours, hands-on and computer activities, door prizes and science goodie bags. The Chemistry Road Show is recommended for all ages and includes demonstrations of popular science.

12th ~ Cy-Fair VFD Fire Fest allows the community a glimpse into the life of a fire fighter by providing demonstrations on vehicle fires, vehicle extrications, and landing the Life Flight helicopters. Children can get an up-close look at the fire trucks, play with an actual fire fighting hose, and help put out simulated fires. Families can see some history about each station through story boards depicting the evolution of our fire department.  10am – 2pm.  FREE.

12th-13th ~ Katy Rice Harvest Festival is two big days of excitement and family fun with two stages of continuous live entertainment, craft and food booths, carnival and more.

19th ~ Houston Fire Fest is an annual fun, family event, hosted by the Houston Fire Museum, and is one of the fund-raising events of the Fire Museum. We help raise awareness among children and their parents about fire and life safety – while having a lot of fun!  10am-5pm.  FREE.

20th ~ Hispanic Heritage is the theme of this month’s Bayou Bend Family Day.  Explore contributions to U.S. culture by Spanish-speaking nations 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.

23rd ~ “Ransom of Red Chief” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Children’s Express Theater brings O’Henry’s literary classic to life with this hilarious musical adaptation.  This is the story of two crooks who plan a get-rich quick scheme to kidnap the very energetic son of a local banker. But, the kidnappers get much more than they bargained for with the rambunctious Red Chief.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

30th ~ “Swing, Jive, & Pop into Dance” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am. Houston Metropolitan Dance Company incorporates history, fashion, music and the arts into an interactive blast of excitement.  The company dances through the eras of the 1930’s Lindy Hop, bops into the 1950’s, grooves into the 1970’s and ends into the Hip Hop music of today.  Students, teachers and audience members have the opportunity to converse with the dancers and participate in an energy filled hour of dance while learning fun historical tidbits of information.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

“The Story of the Lone Star State” is performed October 1st – 26th at Interactive Theater.  The play begins in pre-Columbian Texas and flies through 600 years of History in 60 minutes.  The play covers tales of the Indians, Spanish Exploration, Mexico’s race for independence from Spain, the Texas Revolution, the origin of the Cowboy and more than one reference to bluebonnets!  Purchase your tickets here.

Running through November 1st, the Art Car Museum presents “in-DEPTH”.  Texas Sculpture Group Exhibition.  Admission is free.

Childhood in Early Texas at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.  Every Thursday in October.  An interactive, hands-on program for the entire family, targeting students ages 5-12. Discover what life was like for a child in the mid-19th century. In the museum, learn about childhood chores, clothes, and schools, and then make some old-fashioned toys to take home.  At Barrington Farm, experience life on an 1850s era farm to learn more about the crops, livestock, and daily life of early Texans.  $8/child, $6/adult.  Lunch not provided, picnics welcome! Reservations and payment in advance required.

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.

Through November 1st see “Cat in the Hat” at Main Street Theater.  “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” So begins the wildly popular Dr. Seuss classic that generations of children have read growing up. But never fear, the Cat in the Hat appears, with Thing One and Thing Two (bringing mayhem and fun!), to take Sally, her brother and the fish on a madcap adventure!  Homeschooling families can sign up for day time performances without having to be part of a group.  $6 per person.  No children under 3.  Contact the theater to register.

“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.

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

Cover & Post images courtesy Donna Bonilla Photography.

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

Grab Your Calendar ~ September 2013

You may have noticed that the “Grab Your Calendar” for August went missing.  Not only is August a slow month for events, but our family is in the middle of a move and we just didn’t have the time to devote to a post.   We have tried to forward events we come across via our Facebook page ~ so please feel free to join us there as well.

Looking for something interesting to do this September?  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.)IMG_1458

1st & 2nd ~ Last days to see  “Animals Assembled” at the Houston Zoo.  Constructed by LEGO Certified Master Builders, each animal in this special limited-time exhibit is life-size and made up of thousands of LEGO bricks.  There are more than two dozen LEGO brick animal sculptures, representing more than ten species. Once you’ve seen the LEGO brick animals, make sure to check out their real-life counterparts throughout the Zoo.

4th, 5th, or 6th ~ An American Treasure: The Constitution as a Guide for President Washington at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum.  President George Washington (Dean Malissa) brings the content of the Constitution alive, noted by the First President of the United States as his “presidential guide book.” Learn about Washington’s life, leadership and crucial role in the implementation and interpretation of the Constitution and the establishment of the American government.  Presentation will be held twice daily and is free.  Register directly with the museum.  (admission to the museum is separate)

12th ~ “One Night in Frogtown” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Tad, a saxophone-playing frog, sets out to discover the sources of the faraway music that only he can hear. Along the way, Tad meets blues, classical, and rap frogs, all of whom enjoy playing music with him, but seem unable to appreciate any music that is different from their own.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

14th ~ Hummingbird Festival at Kleb Woods Nature Preserve.  9a-3p.  Everything you want to know about hummingbirds – identifying, attracting, & gardening for hummingbirds.  Admission is free.  Bring your own refreshments as nothing with be available for sale.

15th ~ Texas Children’s Arts Festival at Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens.  An afternoon celebrating art—created by and for children—that helps forge a connection to Texas and American heritage. Children and their families may take part in art-making workshops; participate in a collaborative group project; play interactive games; and see demonstrations that emphasize the way that art keeps everyone connected to the past, how it improves the present, and why preserving it is important for the future.  Free.

17th ~ “Totally Vocally” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Produced by Young Audiences of Houston and Ball In The House.  Through classic and contemporary cover songs and original works, Ball in the House teaches many aspects of music and performance. In this interactive presentation, audience members explore not only the definition of “a cappella”, but also the technology behind the group’s sound system, the various voice parts and how they fit together to make harmony and songs, beatboxing, and the history of a cappella singing from chant through doo wop.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

18th ~ “Imagination Movers” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Alternative rock for pre-schoolers?  Imagination Movers visits Miller to deliver exactly that.  Formed in New Orleans, LA, in 2003 by longtime friends Rich Collins, Scott Durbin, Dave Poche, and Scott “Smitty” Smith, Imagination Movers are a fun, vibrant band that concentrates on writing and releasing songs and albums for children.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

23rd ~ Children’s Museum of Houston Homeschool Day “Chemistry”.  10am-2pm.  For one day only we offer Home School students unlimited access to our fourteen galleries of non-stop, action-packed fun. 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.  Individuals $8/pp, Groups of 15+ are $6/pp.

25th ~ Swing, Jive and Pop! Into Dance” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Houston Metropolitan Dance Company’s “Swing, Jive and Pop into Dance” incorporates history, fashion, music and the arts into an interactive blast of excitement.  The company dances through the eras of the 1930’s Lindy Hop, bops into the 1950’s, grooves into the 1970’s and ends into the Hip Hop music of today.  Students, teachers and audience members have the opportunity to converse with the dancers and participate in an energy filled hour of dance while learning fun historical tidbits of information.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

28th ~ Museum Day Live! by Smithsonian Magazine.  In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket ~ for FREE.  Limited number of free tickets available – Preregistration is required.

28th ~ “Mexicanisimo” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Delight your senses with beautiful traditional and contemporary folkloric dance from Mexico.  Produced by Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

28th & 29th ~ Garden Faire & Fall Festival at Mercer Arboretum.  This two-day event features a variety of entertainment and free activities for the kids including “Stan the Train Man” train rides around the picnic loop and a Kids’ Korner Activity Area sponsored by The Mercer Society.  Admission is free.  Concessions and wares for sale.

30th ~ “Strega Nona” at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Strega Nona has a magical touch. With a song and three kisses, she can create a delicious pasta meal. Her new helper, Big Anthony, is an enthusiastic young man with a short attention span. Can he resist the temptation to try his own hand at magic when Strega Nona leaves town? Big Anthony learns a big lesson about respect for other people’s property and the importance of paying attention.  Produced by Houston Grand Opera.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Perfromances are FREE!

Beginning September 7th and running through November 1st, the Art Car Museum presents “in-DEPTH”.  Texas Sculpture Group Exhibition.  Admission is free.

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.

Through November 1st see “Cat in the Hat” at Main Street Theater.  “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” So begins the wildly popular Dr. Seuss classic that generations of children have read growing up. But never fear, the Cat in the Hat appears, with Thing One and Thing Two (bringing mayhem and fun!), to take Sally, her brother and the fish on a madcap adventure!  Homeschooling families can sign up for day time performances without having to be part of a group.  $6 per person.  No children under 3.  Contact the theater to register.

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

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

Grab Your Calendar ~ July 2013

IMG_0871Looking for something interesting to do this July?  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 ~ Hear Ye! Hear Ye! at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  11am.  Experience the artists of tomorrow as musical prodigies ages 4 – 18 perform.  Produced by Houston Young Artist’s Concert.  All Miller Outdoor Theatre Children’s Performances are free.

3rd & 4th ~ Waller Freedom Fest 2013 is sure to be a fun celebration for the whole family! Co-sponsored by the City of Waller and the Waller Ministerial Alliance, our purpose is to celebrate the freedom we enjoy as citizens of the U.S.A., as well as the freedom that is made possible for all through Christ Jesus. Freedom Fest is a completely family friendly event, and we hope you’ll choose to celebrate the 4th of July with us this year.  Festival is Free, but there are paid activities.

4th ~ The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is proud to host the College Station Noon Lions Club’s Fourth of July “I Love America” Celebration.  9:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. with FREE admission for everyone all day; building closes at 8:30 p.m.  Concessions and games for children begin at 5 p.m., and live music entertainment at 6 p.m. including The Docs and Clayton Gardner.  The evening will culminate with a performance by the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, presented by HEB and Wells Fargo.

23rd-26th ~ Express Children’s Theatre and Miller Outdoor Theatre present the Children’s Hilltop Festival.  All performances begin at 11am and are free.

23rd ~ Dream of Doors ~ This new production focuses on the struggle of several iconic figures from the Civil Rights era who are engaged in the movement to open doors of human opportunity for everyone.   Four doors on stage symbolize equality, justice, education, and jobs.  The story is the journey to open each door, which will test the endurance and self-determination of those involved.   A musical odyssey written by Thomas Meloncon.

24th ~ Three Billy Goats Gruff ~ All the three billy goats want to do is get across the bridge so they can eat the grass on the other side, but there’s a grumbly, grouchy, bully of a Troll under the bridge who is determined not to let them pass.  They do finally get across, and even make a new friend in the process.   A rollicking musical production by Kevin M. Reese.

25th ~ Legends of Wind & Fire ~ The Quest for Fire, How Winter Was Born, Tring-Tring & Kai-Kai and Why Penguins Can’t Fly are the 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.

26th ~ The Ransom of Red Chief ~ O’Henry’s literary classic comes to life with this hilarious musical adaptation.  This is the story of two crooks who plan a get-rich quick scheme to kidnap the very energetic son of a local banker. But, the kidnappers get much more than they bargained for with the rambunctious Red Chief.  Written by Patricia Barry Rumble.

Through Labor Day, see  “Animals Assembled” at the Houston Zoo.  Constructed by LEGO Certified Master Builders, each animal in this special limited-time exhibit is life-size and made up of thousands of LEGO bricks.  There are more than two dozen LEGO brick animal sculptures, representing more than ten species. Once you’ve seen the LEGO brick animals, make sure to check out their real-life counterparts throughout the Zoo.

Enter the world of CHOMP! where you can stand eye to eye with some of nature’s creepiest, most dangerous creatures. All Summer, Space Center Houston will be hosting live animal shows every day, free with admission! Learn how NASA scientists are mimicking the traits of alligators, poison dart frogs, and other animals on display to help astronauts live in space. Kids can test their survival skills by weaving through spider webs and balancing on platforms as they navigate their way through an obstacle course.  You’ll find Texas Snakes & More out there every weekend doing shows.

Speaking of Texas Snakes & More ~ check out their calendar of public events to find something happening near you.

Want to get out of the heat?  Don’t forget that many movie theaters are offering free and reduced admission all Summer long.

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

Categories: Day Trips, Events, July | Leave a comment

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