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Greetings and welcome to GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, a free weekly e-newsletter/blog I created as a service to the Houston community in 2003 in which I cull from the loads of activities in our city and pick three weekend events (“PICKS”) to recommend to parents, caregivers, and educators all over Houston. I’m a mom and am always looking for cultural – yet FUN! – Events for my family and I am so happy to share them with YOU.

My business grows by word of mouth so please enjoy the events and please share this blog. And be sure to tell the organizations you visit that you heard about them from me. And if you’re in Facebooklandia, please sidle over there and like our GISH PICKS Facebook page and share it with your friends and family and elsewhere on social media, too. Don’t want to miss any posts? Click on the drop-down LIKE button and then check “See First.” Thanks!

Next week is – gasp, already?! – spring break so get your running shoes on and let’s go. And don’t worry – I am here to help! Check out my suggestions below to get the party started.

Some things have gotten my attention that I want to share with you – things that concern me. To make things easier, I’ve listed them bullet point style. Take my ideas or leave them, I just wanted to share some things I came across.

  • Should there be competition under the age of 10? Matt Damon’s mom, a psychologist named Nancy Carlsson-Paige, says no. Read more here.

  • Please don’t let your kids play football! I know it’s America’s most popular sport but the risk to your child’s brain and body is personally more than I would want my boys to take. See the movie Concussion,” based on a true story, and then do your own research about football injuries.

  • Speaking of football, did you know that young kids are playing “Fantasy Football”? The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood sent a letter to the NFL asking them to stop marketing that game to young kids. Good for them!

  • Want to raise a spiritual child? Read what Frederick G. Levine had to say here. Also, send your kids to the Dawn Mountain meditation classes and increase the peace around the house. More details on those are here; the next class is “Mindful Discovery” for kids 9-12 years old and starts April 3.

  • Do you have a crying baby? Pick him or her up! The Ferber method does NOT work. Many of us figured that out already but now there is scientific proof, as outlined in this article here.

  • I read a Facebook post recently from a mom whose autistic child was traumatized in a park by dog owners who let their dog off leash, who then ran towards her very scared child and bit him! There are leash laws in Houston so please follow them and PLEASE, even if your dog is “nice,” don’t let them roam free in city parks or neighborhoods. Dogs can play all they want without leashes in dog parks.

This week’s VIDEO PICK is a cute one that was made in 48 hours by Houston-based Hot Pixel Action – the music is by my friend Cathy Power of Two Star Symphony. It’s so fun and stars an egg, perfect for Easter time!

Click to view video
Click to view video

Have a great weekend, love one another, please share this, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of March 11, 2016

Pysanky Workshop


This sounds so fun and like a great alternative to traditional Easter egg decorating! This Saturday, March 12, from 9am-noon, the Ukrainian American Cultural Club of Houston in cooperation with Phoenicia Specialty Foods & MKT BAR is hosting their annual Pysanky Workshop,” exploring the art of traditional Ukrainian Easter egg decorating. The instructor is Nestor Topchy, a father and a well-known local artist of Ukrainian heritage. The cost is $20 ($10 for UACCH members) and includes a guided step by step tutorial and a short lecture on the history of Ukrainian Tradition of Egg decorating and all materials and supplies, including a Pysanka-making kit that you will be able to take home with you. The workshop takes place at Phoenicia Specialty Foods & MKT BAR downtown.

And if that’s not enough egg-y-ness for you, mark your calendar for Saturday, March 26, for “Easter Orange” at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. It’s not on their calendar yet but will take place during the day.

Sunday Streets


Houstonians got to experience a fun event many times last year –Sunday Streets– and it’s back on a monthly basis this year, thanks to Cigna. The first Sunday Streets of 2016 will take place this Sunday, March 13, 11am-3pm in the East End and you can see all the details and a map here. The city closes off a section of different neighborhood streets each month so that people can play, hang out, bike, run, jump – you name it! The goal is to get Houstonians moving and to encourage a sense of community and exploration at the same time.

Junie B. Jones: The Musical


Junie B. Jones: The Musical is onstage with Main Street Theater at the lovely new MATCH through April 2 with special daily performances next week (spring break week) at 10:30am and Friday, March 18 at 1:30pm. The show is a new adaptation from Barbara Park’s best-selling books and shows a super sassy and fun Junie B. as she faces first grade and wonders about glasses and best friends. It’s the Junie you know, full of exciting adventures and crazy times!

Tickets are $16-$20 and shows sell out quickly so get them now.



Well, folks, spring break is almost here so GET READY! I know many of you must have exotic trips to Timbuktu and places like that planned but if you are instead staying home and exploring Houston, it’ll be a blast! I suggest that you start at my website’s “Family Resources” page -- it’s full of information about attractions to see, restaurants that are kid-friendly, loads of information about cool events with links to local e-newsletters and blogs, and info on movie ratings for families.

Need help with finding a good spring break camp? My PICKS for camps are here. And if you’re starting summer camp shopping, please use my signature product for families – THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS FOR KIDS AND TEENS. It’s the largest and most accurate guide around and the only one that’s searchable. It’s so fun to play with – try it out! You can search for factors such as date, area of town, age, and interest. For example, if you have a five year old child who likes nature and you need a camp centrally located the week of June 27, eight camps will pop up. It’s just that easy and convenient – and FREE! I’ve been researching organizations that offer camps and classes for kids since 2003 and it’s my pleasure to share my wealth of knowledge with all of you.

GISH PICKS is a free weekly email in which I highlight family-oriented cultural events, products or services.
Please note that I "highlight" events, but I don't know if they are appropriate for your particular children, so choose wisely based on age, maturity and interests. I know many of you go to events based on GISH PICKS recommendations; PLEASE remember to tell the organization that you are there because of us. Word-of-mouth like yours helps our business to grow. In the same spirit, please also feel free to share GISH PICKS with friends and families.

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The purpose of GISH PICKS is to help parents become aware of all the fun things they can do with their children in Houston and the surrounding area, so GO FIND FUN! Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things for your family and I want to hear what you find.

If you are having trouble getting to a website listed here, try hitting the "Ctrl" button and left-clicking on the web address, which should make it "live".

For more about my personal, family, and business enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here. My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houston parents through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON, which is online and emailed out to seekers all over Houston;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, an art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire people around the world to light a match to their own passion;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on personal and/or work questions. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes;

  • Bi-monthly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, MARKETING, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, GUIDANCE SESSIONS FOR FINDING YOUR PURPOSE, and ART PROGRAMS. Talks and workshops cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, activism, and more. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2016 Sarah Gish

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