Showing posts from October, 2012

Getting Back to Nature

We love living in a big city.  We also love to go for walks through the woods and our kids love to explore the outdoors.  When we lived in Maryland we enjoyed hiking in Pemberton Park .  It was a great place to visit during the different seasons to see how it changed. Now that we live in Houston, the seasons are very different.  The Houston Arboretum is one of our favorite places to go on a nature hike in Houston.  It has five miles of trails (trails are sometimes blocked off, but current maps are available in the Visitor's Center).  We went on a hike a couple weeks ago and I was amazed at all of the undergrowth for this time of year.  The vines and ground plants were encroaching on the trails in many places and it made for a beautiful, green canopy. We had a lot of fun exploring the trails, spotting turtles in one of the ponds, pretending to fish and playing on the playground.  They have a great Discovery Center with lots of hands-on learning opportunities, but with some

Halloween at the Zoo

Zoo Boo 2012 Saturdays and Sundays October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday mornings Oct 12, 19, and 26 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Houston’s largest family-friendly Halloween event is back and better than ever!     We had a great time last year.  The kids loved going through the zoo and getting candy at various stations, playing some little carnival-type games, and picking out a small pumpkin and decorating it.  Having another place to dress up and wear costumes was also a big plus.  Since Halloween only comes once a year, it's nice to get to dress up a few times.    One important note:   The website says no toy weapons allowed.  Last year our oldest daughter dressed as a basketball player and we weren't allowed to take the basketball in the zoo.  We had to leave it in the office out front.  They didn't seem to want lose items like that to be brought in as part of the costume

Carpentry for Kids

Are your children in need of a carpentry/handyman elective?  Do they enjoy swinging a hammer and bringing a new item home?  Do you like FREE?  Then check out the children's projects at Home Depot and Lowe's each month. On the first Saturday of each month Home Depot offers a FREE workshop for kids to complete from 9AM to 12PM.  There is no need to register ahead of time.  When we lived in Maryland this was something my dad took our two oldest to and they all really enjoyed that time together.  My kids still have their aprons with the pins for each project attached to them.  Some of the projects have been kept or re-purposed over time.  So, the kids and I headed over to Home Depot Saturday morning for the Kid's Workshop and were surprised to find it set up outside with booths, a bounce house, free hot dogs, an ambulance and police car.  October is Fire Safety Month and it is their big annual event.  Instead of doing the project indoors, we worked on the project outs

A Museum Marathon

1 adult.  4 children.  1 afternoon.  4 museums.  Total cost:  $2 (and some change). Thursday was a great day for a field trip.  Our children had learned about weather at the library this month, so I finally pulled the trigger and decided to visit The Weather Museum with them.  I knew it was a smaller museum and I wanted to make the most use of our trip downtown, so I decided we would try to visit a couple museums during their free admission times on Thursday.  Of course, once I mentioned the plan to the kids, they wanted to try to visit as many as possible.  It was decided that we would go to The Weather Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts and then the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  As the afternoon went on I realized that we would be finished at the Museum of Natural Science when the free admission time began at the Children's Museum, so by the time we headed for home, we had visited four museums in the Museum district of Houston. The Weather Museum The Weather Museum is a