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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” under “In Your Newsfeed.” Thanks!

Spring has sprung and we made it through spring break – but, wait! There are yet more holidays since Easter is early this year – schools are out this coming Friday, March 25 so get ready to play. And if you are wondering what the holidays are this time of year, check out the Anti-Defamation League’s Calendar of Observances. On their list is the Vernal Equinox (3/20), Nowrüz (3/21), Holi (3/23), Sangha Day (3/23), Purim (3/24), Holla Mohalla (3/24), Holy Thursday (3/24), Good Friday (3/25), and Easter (3/26). Basically, kids should have gotten the whole week off!!!

Our city has been designated a “Compassionate City” and we are celebrating that and much more with the 2nd annual HOUSTON’S COMPASSION WEEK, coordinated by Compassionate Houston and taking place from April 10-16. The celebration kicks off at the Houston Water Works on Sunday, April 10 from 2-5pm – see the details and how to purchase a booth here. There is also a kids compassionate film festival contest – the deadline to receive entries has been extended to Friday, April 1 and yours truly is one of the judges. See all the details here. I hope you’ll check out all that’s going on in this great, kind city and join in where you can.

It’s time to start getting organized for summer, so be sure to check out THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS. It’s the largest and most accurate guide in Houston and you’re gonna love it when looking for camps! And, best of all, you can surf it from anywhere – while at the beach, when the kids are asleep, while they are hunting for eggs…

Really good entertainers blow me away. This week’s VIDEO PICK is a young French boy, Léo Ristorto, singing “I Will Always Love You.” Enjoy!

Click to view video
Click to view video

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

Picks for the Weekend of March 25-27, 2016

Bayou Greenway Day


I just love our bayous, in particular Buffalo Bayou – a waterway that runs 53 miles from downtown Houston to Katy and has been called “Mother Bayou” (I didn’t know this, just read it on Wikipedia, but I do like it!). The Houston Parks Board and the City of Houston have decided to throw a big ole’ party on the bayou – Bayou Greenway Day” this Saturday, March 26, 11am-4pm at T.C. Jester Park (4201 T.C. Jester Boulevard). Everyone is invited to stop by and experience the transformation happening along the city's bayous as a result of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project. The day will be full of interactive activities, music, food, fun – and ways to enjoy the bayou -- for the whole family. Walk, bike, run, stroll, play, picnic, and explore! It’s encouraged that you walk, ride your bike, or take a bus to this event to make it a fully green day.

The Bayou Greenways 2020 project is an initiative by the Houston Parks Board, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Harris County Flood Control District. The goal is to “connect the dots” among our bayous, trails, and green spaces so that, when completed in 2020, approximately 60 percent of Houstonians will live within 1.5 miles of a Bayou Greenway. Buffalo Bayou Partnership has also been bayou busy – they’ve been re-vamping trails and holding events and doing great things on Buffalo Bayou. If you’d like to hear more about what they are doing, please come to our WORDS OF WISDOM talk on April 29 from noon-1pm at the Hines Center to hear more from BBP’s Trudi Smith. Details will be posted on the WOW Facebook page but mark your calendars now.


Every year, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art hosts a super fun, off-the-beaten-path kind of Easter celebration – this Saturday, March 26 from 11am-1pm is their Annual Easter Orange Hunt & PEEPS Art Contest. The Easter Orange Hunt starts at 11am *sharp* and kids will hunt in the colorful maze of The Orange Show and the beautiful landscape of Smither Park for candy-filled eggs, oranges, and other fun prizes. And, if you love Peeps and love art, take part in their annual PEEPS art contest. To join in, use PEEPS (you know -- the delicious, not-sure-what-they’re-really-made-of sugary marshmallow treats) to create a sculpture, mosaic, diorama, or other type of visual art. PEEPS do not have to be the main component of the piece, but they should be the focus. Maybe it’s the reenactment of an historical event, an image of a tabloid pop star, or perhaps a replica of a famous piece of art – the options are endless!

Bring your sweet piece of art to the Orange Show on March 26 before 11am and a panel of judges will determine first, second, and third place winners in children (12 & under) and adult categories. Winners receive gift cards and PEEP prizes and will be featured on the Orange Show's website (woo hoo, your 15 minutes of fame!).

There is a $5 suggested donation for the Easter Orange Hunt; the PEEPS contest is free.

Annual Easter Orange Hunt & PEEPS Art Contest

Blessington Farms


If you’re looking for fun with variety, head out to Blessington Farms this Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, 10am-5pm both days, for their Easter EGGstravaganza. There are plenty of activities to choose from including my favorite, picking strawberries! Other activities include hayrides, barrel trains, the Jump Pad, giant slides, animal encounters (chickens, goats, camels...yes, camels!!), and the grand opening of their new Reptile Grotto with "Tank" the turtle. While at the farm, kids can enjoy a grand Easter egg hunt with candy and prizes and great photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. Picnic lunches from home are welcome.

There are nominal fees for the fun: strawberries are $5/pound (no admission cost); Farm Funland is $10/person (children 18 months and under are free); fishing is $10 per pole with admission to Farm Funland; and the egg hunt is $3/child with paid admission to Farm Funland.

Dawn Mountain


Hurray, Dawn Mountain is once again hosting terrific programs for kids! Their Mindful Discovery course encourages participants age 9 through 12 to discover the wonders of their own minds. Students will explore brain science, mindfulness exercises, and creative writing projects designed to expand their awareness of their own capacity to pay attention.

The program runs six weeks, April 3-May 8, on Sundays from 11am-noon. While children are in class, parents are encouraged to attend the DM regular Sunday morning meditations, led by advanced students and senior members of their community.

Fee: $180/$150/$120* plus $30 for each additional child from the same family. DM Members receive a 20% discount from their selected level.

*Dawn Mountain now charges for most retreats and programs on a sliding scale, recognizing the wide variation in individuals’ fiscal capabilities. Those with greater ability are encouraged to contribute at the higher levels, helping to support and extend Dawn Mountain’s teachings. As always, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Call Jerri at 713.630.0354 to discuss your situation.

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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