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The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat VIDEO PICK: Video Contest & Triathlon Alice in Wonderland About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative Teen Fun Triathlon for Kids
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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!

Did you know that Houston was designated a “Compassionate City” in 2015? Read all about that evolution here, which was led by the nonprofit Compassionate Houston. It’s no surprise to me after witnessing the way we opened our doors and hearts following natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, Tropical Storm Allison and, more recently, after the horrible Memorial Day floods of 2015. We are indeed kind-hearted people in so many ways! Houston is also the largest refugee resettlement city in the country (see more about that here) and the most diverse, with over 90 languages spoken here daily (yes, Los Angeles, we beat you on that score). So the only way this big ole’ melting pot of people with different religious beliefs, cultures, economic backgrounds – to name a few! – can get along together is with COMPASSION. It’s such an important virtue here that Compassionate Houston decided to create a special week to focus on it. Compassionate Week 2016” will be April 10-16 and there’s a big kick-off on Sunday, April 10, 2-5pm at the beautiful new Water Works on Buffalo Bayou at 105 Sabine Street. There are also events all week long, as listed on the website. I took a 10-week course from Dr. Betty Adam based on the Stanford University curriculum, Compassion Cultivation Training,” and two things we learned were to be kind to yourself and to help others. What a great lesson for kids! I hope you’ll join me at the Water Works.

We want to encourage kids to get in on the compassion action so the good folks at Dawn Mountain have put together a video contest for teens aged 13-19. The videos should be original, three-minutes or less, and focused on documenting compassion in any form in the Houston area. Winners will be featured during Compassion Week 2016 and beyond. The deadline is this Friday, April 1 at midnight and all the details are here.

And now here are a couple of other events that will influence your kids in positive ways. This Saturday, April 2 is the annual “Trash Bash,” a half-day event in which volunteers head out to clean up rivers, lakes, bays, and bayous in our area. Check out the website for locations and how to volunteer. It’s great service work for you and your kids!

And if you want to inspire your kids to be healthy and fit, sign them up for the LARGEST (yessireebob, the largest!) kids triathlon in the world. The Houston Texans Kids Triathlon takes place on April 23 and April 24 at the NRG Stadium and it always sells out, so register here now. The Houston Texans are offering clinics as well as running the event and Texas Children’s Hospital is the sponsor. If you’re worried that it’ll be too serious – don’t be! It’s a fun event that encourages kids to reach for their personal best.

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 in the carpool line…

This week I have two VIDEO PICKs for you: the first features my friend MaryScott Hagle, executive director of Dawn Mountain, inviting your kids to create a fab compassion video. The second is all about the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon. Enjoy!

Click to view video 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 April 1-3, 2016

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


The "Pure Sound" Youth Choir of St. Luke's United Methodist Church presents its 20th annual spring musical — “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” — this weekend, March 31-April 3 at 7:30pm and April 2-3 at 2:30pm. “Joseph” was a West End and Broadway hit by composer Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyricist Tim Rice. One of the most enduring shows of all time, it is the irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son, set to a mix of musical genres spanning country-western, calypso, bubble-gum pop, and rock and roll. Kids will love it!

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be onstage in the Rotunda Theater at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road at Edloe. Tickets start at $10/general admission and $5/children 12 and under.

Alice in Wonderland


The Kingwood Dance Theatre is presenting Alice in Wonderland this Friday, April 1 at 7pm; Saturday, April 2 at 2:30pm and 7pm; and Sunday, April 3 at 7pm. The classic tale will follow Alice’s journeys through Wonderland with the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the animals of the Caucus Race, the zany and entertaining Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and the comical court of the Queen of Hearts.

The show will take place at the Nathaniel Center for Biblical and Cultural Education at 804 Russell Palmer Road in Kingwood, Texas. Tickets start at $18 and can be purchased here.



It’s not always easy to find events for our special little hard-to-please teens but I think these two will hit a home run. One is this weekend, one is next.

  • Saturday, April 2, 9am-5pm: The Greater Houston Teen Book Convention aka “TeenBookCon.” This all day free-for-all event features youth authors such as keynote speaker Ruta Sepetys as well as a book sale, author panels, and even an improv comedy show at the end of the day!

  • Saturday, April 9, 11am-1pm: “Smartphone Photography.” Everyone uses their phones for photos but in this class, kids will learn the art of Phoneography, or Phone photography -- how to use all the cool apps and settings, ways to edit and share, and much more.

Kids Triathlon

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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