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WHAT'S YOUR PICK THIS WEEKEND?

The world’s on fire for “Earth Day 2012” on April 22! It’s great that our green lens focuses on that day, but how about making every day your personal earth day? Do simple things like recycle, eschew all plastic bags, pick up trash, grow a garden. And if saving the planet on a more global scale while trying to raise kids is causing you eco-anxiety, you are not alone, my friend. Check out the super funny book, A Million Tiny Things, by my friend Kenna Lee. It’ll make you snort out your milk while comforting you about your part in global warming (as she says so perceptively, “I spent an unreasonable amount of energy trying to figure out which of all the 'try this to green your life' suggestions were most important, and which were, given my often stretched thin-trying-to-meet-the-basic-needs-of-three-kids-and-a-partner life, realistic and doable.”). Amen, sistah! The book’s not out yet so sign up on her email list to stay tuned.

Earth Day is being celebrated in Houston all kinds of ways – in fact, once we turned the calendar to April, we were off and running like mad earth scientists with a dizzying number of events including Earth Day Houston, which is sponsored by the Air Alliance Houston. AAH has also created a very cool annual project for kids – an Earth Day Art Contest in which kids win recognition and prizes and their work is auctioned off (at Winter Street Studios tomorrow night) and displayed all over Houston from now until the end of summer. Other happenings include Earth Day at the Houston Zoo this weekend, a screening of THIS SPACE AVAILABLE this Friday (April 20) at Worldfest Houston, the Writers in the Schools (WITS) Earth Day Poetry Reading this Sunday (April 22), and the Sustainable Living Fest next Saturday (May 5). By the way, WITS offers weekly free writing workshops and to celebrate “National Poetry Month,” you can sign up for their “A Poem A Day” project and receive glorious words by email. And just in case you didn’t know, Houston ranked 16 as the greenest big city in the U.S. last year (take that, Dallas, which we beat by one!).

I’m still tweeting daily about “Houston Gems” – places, people, and things that make Houston great – so follow me on twitter (www.twitter.com/sarahgish) or “like” my new Facebook page for it. Pretty soon I’ll have all my past gems loaded up there so you can grab them and EXPLORE! While you’re in Facebook land, don’t forget to slide over to my GISH PICKS site to like it too (I feel like I’m running Facebook popularity contests…).

On a very different note, the movie BULLY opened here last Friday. Thankfully it now has a PG-13 rating so that kids can see this important film about their peers and families whose lives have been severely affected by bullying, which includes kids committing suicide and killing each other. This is an epidemic that must be stopped – see the movie and take it to your school by letting administrators know about it. The first step in making changes is awareness.

Alrighty, it’s another gorgeous Wednesday so get out there and GO.FIND.FUN!

Events for the Weekend of April 20, 2012


SOMETHING’S VERY FISHY IN THE HEIGHTS.

InterActive Theater is presenting several performances of "The Little Mermaid" on alternating Saturdays starting this weekend (April 21) and then on May 5 and May 19. In this original adaptation, Vikings tell the tale of that lovely little mermaid as she splits her tail in two and heads off to shore. But getting the Prince to fall in love with her won’t be so easy. She’s got no voice, no time, no help, and no way around her bargain with that wily Sea Witch. And if you’re wondering why this theater troupe calls themselves “interactive” – the actors will reel the audience in and make everyone part of the show (don’t show up in sweatpants, so you’ll be ready for your close-up!). This year’s show is making a big splash with their fresh take on a familiar story – and just to make sure the boys have some fun, they’ve thrown a sword fight or two in the mix!

Tickets are $8/kids and adults and discounts are offered. All shows are at 11am and take place at 1548 Heights Boulevard.

Sea Witch


San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment

IT’S HISTORY IN THE MAKING.

Booming cannons, cracking musket fire, thundering hooves and battle cries will resound across the San Jacinto Battleground this Saturday, April 21 from 10am-6pm as hundreds of history re-enactors recreate the events leading up to Texas winning her independence at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in an event organized by the San Jacinto Museum.

I’ve attended this exciting day with my family and we’ve really enjoyed it – there’s nothing like seeing men in full regalia to bring history to life! The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment is free and takes place on the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in La Porte. The very full day will include living history camps, period demonstrations, family entertainment, children’s activities, and the state’s largest battle reenactment. Visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps to learn what the soldiers of that day were doing prior to the battle and to see how they lived in 1836. In the military camps, visitors will learn how to perform the close order drills of the day. A few lucky children will be chosen to stand with the cannon crew and pretend to load the cannons and will be presented with cannon soot to wear on their noses as a badge of honor. The historically correct encampments and the Battle Reenactment are presented by hundreds of members of the San Jacinto Volunteers and other living history organizations from across the state. These groups help families new to the state as well as native Texans understand the history of this great state.

There is free admission to the Festival activities and the Museum and modest fees for the elevator ride, Making A Mark exhibit, and movie presentation. Engage with the Museum in cyberspace by visiting the San Jacinto Museum’s Facebook page and festival goers can upload photos and videos of their experience to www.flickr.com/groups/sanjacintomuseum and www.youtube.com/user/SanJacintoMuseum.


Discover Fitness Foundation

DISCOVER FITNESS WITH YOUR FAMILY THIS WEEKEND.

The Discover Fitness Foundation is revitalizing the health fair concept with a fully loaded health fair this Sunday, April 22, at Discover Gymnastics. All the super fun activities will teach the whole family about taking good care of themselves through exercise and nutrition. And (don’t say anything!) kids may think they’re just playing games, but they’ll be learning about health, wellness, and staying safe at the same time! Children will also get goodie bags that they can stuff with their favorite items from health-minded vendors.

FAMILY ACTIVITIES include:

  • Open gym privileges at the Discover Gymnastics gym
  • Football, Baseball, Soccer Tips from seasoned players & Bicycle Safety Course
  • Hands-on cooking activities with registered dietitians and nutritionists
  • Healthy food samples courtesy of Ruggles Green, Menchie’s, Armando’s, My Fit Foods
  • Meet and greet with Olympians and Houston area sports celebrities
  • Henry the Hand hand-washing station & germ education
  • Colgate Van – Bright Smiles campaign
  • Health stations for Body Mass Index, Blood Pressure, Glucose and Cholesterol Checks

FREE RAFFLE GIVEAWAYS – every 15 minutes - include:

  • Autographed sports memorabilia
  • Passes to the Children’s Museum, Houston Zoo, MFAH, Museum of Natural Science
  • Dinner Gift Certificates
  • Jewelry

LIVE PERFORMANCES – every 30 minutes - include:

  • The Houston Rockets Launch Crew – dancers, jump rope, etc.
  • Vault Dance Crew – silks and trapeze
  • Discover Gymnastics team gymnasts – choreographed tumbling
  • Break Free Community Center – hip hop dance

Children under 3 are free and tickets start at $20. Discover Gymnastics is located at 747 N. Shepherd. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Discover Fitness Foundation whose goal is to help children fight obesity and to assist kids with special needs.


Patricia Gras

ENJOY A SPECIAL EVENING OF LATIN MUSIC.

Patricia Gras is a dear friend and the former host of the popular HoustonPBS show "Living Smart." Now this multi-talented woman (she speaks five languages and does Zumba!) has organized an annual evening of Latin music as a fundraiser for breast cancer survivors, of which she is one. The “Latin American Music Concert” will take place Friday, May 4 at 8pm at the University of St. Thomas Jones Hall. Patricia’s band, Barandua, will be joined by other great singer/songwriters performing Latin America pop and folk music including Mercedes Sosa, Silvio Rodriguez, and Pablo Milanes.

Tickets are $20 and $25 and can be purchased herelast year they sold out, so I recommend purchasing them now!


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.

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My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houston parents through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK®: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS which comes out annually in March and is sold at bookstores all over Houston, including Barnes and Noble; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, and ART PROGRAMS that cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, and activism. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.
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Sarah Gish
Gish Creative
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone/fax: 713.482.7065

GISH AT THE MOVIES
GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES
THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS
HOUSTON: OUR ROOTS ARE STRONG

© 2012 Sarah Gish

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