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San Jacinto Day VIDEO PICK: The Story of Stuff Family Films at Asia Society About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative Earth Day at the Arboretum Words of Wisdom Talk
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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!

Another flood hit our city and my heart aches yet again. There’s so much to say and yet, I feel words aren’t enough. If you were hit, I am sad. If you weren’t, I hope you’ll help someone who was. In cases like this, please don’t go about your daily life and not help out in some way! I have been in the trenches with people who are struggling – and brought kids to help them – and it’s real and it’s tough. This is a great opportunity for you to teach your kids what “serve” really means. Keep in mind that there are certain protocols when helping in recently flooded homes, due to the mold and the contaminated water, but there are plenty of ways to help -- from buying supplies, to delivering food, to manning donation centers. There’s something for everyone! If you are wondering how to help or if you were affected yourself, please join this group created by a friend of mine, Houston Flood Resource Group. You can also get some good information on this site. And an easy way to find volunteer needs is to check out what Volunteer Houston has in their database. Or if you’d prefer to donate, click here to give money that goes 100% to the city’s flood relief efforts.

If you’re like me and you are angry about the floods and how they have been partially caused by issues with city development, please see this article and join this Facebook group, Residents Against Flooding or check out Residents Against Flooding’s website here. Many people will be taking to City Hall to demand changes with how our city is being built and how the drainage is being handled so if you’re interested in helping out, let them know! Mayor Turner just announced he’s appointing a “Flooding Czar,” (see article here) so at least that’s a step in the right direction.

If you’re looking for summer camps these days, doncha worry, I have you covered! Check out my camp PICKS here and here and then wander on over to THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS, a guide I’ve been producing since 2003. It’s the largest and most accurate online searchable database 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’s VIDEO PICK is in honor of Earth Day. It’s an oldie but a goodie about how we have too much stuff. Change that and you change the world. 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 April 22-24, 2016

San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment


Booming cannons, cracking musket fire, thundering hooves and battle cries will resound this Saturday, April 23 from 10am-6pm on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto monument as hundreds of history re-enactors recreate the events leading up to Texas winning her independence at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment organized by the San Jacinto Museum of History, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and the San Jacinto Volunteers.

The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment” is an all day, admission-free event full of music, entertainment, games, and fun set amidst living history. The battle reenactment, which is the most popular event of the day, begins at 3pm. Presented by hundreds of members of the San Jacinto Volunteers and other living history organizations from across the state, the reenactment dramatizes the decisive battle where General Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army eventually leading to almost one million square miles of Mexican territory becoming a part of the United States. The reenactors will dramatically interpret the Runaway Scrape (Texians fleeing from the advancing forces of Santa Anna), the cannon duel, and the final battle between the two forces. 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.

The festival part will feature traditional folk dancing, a show of magnificent birds such as hawks and falcons, non-stop entertainment on the Main Stage featuring music from Hill Country Jane and the All-Star Youth Banjo Band. There will also be a children’s area complete with a 55’ train, a petting zoo, face painting, camel rides, and archery lessons. Visitors can enjoy vendors with homemade Texas products and items related to the Texas Revolution. A dozen food and drink stations will be present as well.

For a slight charge, Monument visitors can take the famous 489-foot elevator ride to the top of the Monument; enjoy the digital presentation “Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto”; and view the museum’s exhibit “A Destined Conflict: The U.S. – Mexican War,” which showcases prints, political cartoons, photographs, art, artifacts and newspapers relating to this decisive war which occurred from 1846 to 1848, from Texas to Mexico City.

General public parking will be at the Shell Contractor lot in Deer Park with shuttles taking attendees back and forth all day. To view a parking map or see a complete list of all the events, which is updated continually, visit their Facebook page at San Jacinto Museum or click here.

Movie still from By Your Side


It’s always fun to see films you wouldn’t get to see elsewhere AND that are appropriate for kids! So I highly recommend you head to the Asia Society Texas Center this Friday night for their “Screen Asia: Spring Family Film Night.” They’ll screen several unique short films indoors at their Allen Education Center. You’re welcome to bring your own snacks and the Jade Stone Café will also be open from 7-9pm with a light menu of cookies, bar desserts, sodas, iced tea, and sparkling beverages. The complete list of films is here; please note that the last one is recommended for kids 13 and up.

This event is free and open to the public. The Asia Society Texas Center is located at 1370 Southmore Street.

Earth Day Celebration at the Arboretum 2016


What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to hang out on 155 acres of nature in Houston?! This Saturday, April 23, from 10am-2pm, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center presents the “Earth Day Celebration at the Arboretum 2016.” This outdoor event features a full day of Earth-conscious activities and information booths for the whole family including:

  • Scavenger hunt for free kid's t-shirt
  • Habitat bracelets
  • Race to Recycle game
  • Guided nature hikes
  • Guided phenology hike and citizen science info
  • Plant wildflower seeds in paper pots
  • Girl Scout pollinator booth with wildflower seed balls
  • Recycled paper hats
  • Face painting
  • Live Texas reptiles from Crossbone Corns
  • Food trucks
  • Plus...bring all of your plastic flower pots and plant trays to the Arboretum for recycling!

Earth Day Celebration at the Arboretum 2016” is free and open to the public. The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is located at 4501 Woodway Drive.

WORDS OF WISDOM: lively talks on inspiring topics


I’m pleased to announce that I started up my speaker series WORDS OF WISDOM: lively talks on inspiring topics again and each WOW talk will now take place once a month at the Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer. Our topic this year is "Houston's Great!" so the speakers are plucked from many different parts of Houston to talk about what makes Houston GREAT.

Next Friday, April 29, from noon-1pm, Professor and writer Dr. Doni Wilson will take us on a fun literary tour of Houston, showing us how to enjoy the "moveable feast" of words in our town. She'll have information on organizations such Inprint, Writespace, and Writers in the Schools as well as word-ish events around the city. She'll also delve into the rich connections literary groups make with other arts groups, especially theatre. You will leave with a headful of ideas and a thirst for more than just books. Dr. Wilson is a writer and Professor of English at Houston Baptist University whose focus is American Literature, Twentieth Century Literature, Women's Literature, and writing. She is a frequent contributor to the Houston Chronicle, Houstonia Magazine's "On the Town" column, and the Houston Press.

Tickets for the talk are $10/each and can be purchased here. Please enroll in advance so that they can be prepared for the correct number. The Hines Center is located at 500 Fannin Street. The remaining dates for the 2016 talks are: 5/20; 6/24; 7/29; 8/26; 8/26; 9/23; and 10/28 -- mark your calendars 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.

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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