Click here to register for the workshop
Nature Fest VIDEO PICK: Inspiring School Rock Your Brain! About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative Houston Children's Chorus Words of Wisdom Talk No Place for Hate® Luncheon
Click here to visit the Children's Museum of Houston's website


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!

There are a lot of fun events going on this weekend (as always) and I’m happy to present to you my three PICKS below. A big one that started right here in H-Town is “Lemonade Day” which will take place this Sunday, May 1 at stands all over Houston – and around the country! It’s a special program started by my friend and entrepreneur Lisa Holthouse as a way to teach kids about business by taking the selling of lemonade and blowing it out to make it an awesome life lesson. Check it all out here.

Next Wednesday, May 4, I’ll be at the Children’s Museum’s “Mommy Mingle” from 10am-noon. Bring your kids that are 35 months and under and let’s party kiddie style! The Museum opens the Tot*Spot alcove in a special way on the first Wednesday of every month (except July and August) by providing coffee, fruit, and treats for you and your kiddos (except no coffee for them, alrighty?!). It’s a great activity for playgroups so gather ‘em and bring ‘em. Daddies, nannies, and caretakers are welcome, too!

The search for summer camps is really starting to heat up but 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. I’ll also be highlighting ONE CAMP PER DAY starting May 2 on this Facebook page so be sure to check in there for ideas. My guide is 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…

Teachers can change lives and our kids are with them 8 hours a day so their influence is vast. They are my heroes! This week’s VIDEO PICK showcases Peck Elementary School here in Houston to which Ellen DeGeneres donated $100,000. I only found out about that school because I wanted to walk their flagpole labyrinth (it’s awesome!). Enjoy this story.

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 29-May 1, 2016

Nature Fest


This Saturday, April 30 from 10am-5pm, the 9th annual “Nature Fest” will take place at Bridgeland’s Oak Meadow Park. This fun family event will feature Grant Kemmerer’s “Wild World of Animals” as a headline this year. His show is both educational and entertaining and features some truly amazing animals. Also taking the stage this year are two festival favorites: the Crocodile Encounter and Birds of Prey. You can enjoy performances from the Smith Middle School Band and Texas Stars Youth Choir. The kids’ zone will have inflatables, a rock wall, train rides, and outdoor laser tag -- and there will also be pony rides and a petting zoo as well as an arts and crafts area. There will be plenty of food trucks plus you can enjoy Bridgeland’s signature lakes via paddle boat, canoe or kayak, and participate in a fly fishing demonstration.

Entry to Nature Fest and most activities are free, but a few will require tickets to participate. All proceeds raised will be donated to Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County. Nature Fest is a rain or shine event. However, if the weather becomes severe, please monitor their website and social platforms for updates.


It’s Houston’s best brain day! Our hearts and minds are what keep our bodies running so the Stomp Out Stroke” festival at the Water Works, Buffalo Bayou Park this Saturday, April 30 from 10am-5pm is a fun way to make sure they’re both working well. Join the UTHealth Stroke Team at this family friendly event which features stroke and healthy brain education, free health screenings (up to $1,000 in retail value!), fitness & nutrition, and a Q&A with stroke physicians, nurses and pharmacists. The first Mobile Stroke Unit in the United States will be on display and there will be morning performances by Dance of Asian America, Collective Sound Cloggers, Mixfitz TurnUp Demo with Crystal Wall, Zumba Demo with Yuri Perez, and the Ballet Folklorico Azteca de Houston. You can take a pic with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders and Clutch and have fun with face painting, balloon art, bubbles, giveaways, and door prizes every 30 minutes. In the afternoon, you can enjoy the "Rock Your Brain" musical performances by Lost Element, Otenki, Ashbury Keys and Stefani Vara.

Please note that REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – click here to register. The Water Works, Buffalo Bayou Park is located at 105 Sabine Street.

Stomp Out Stroke Festival

Houston Children's Chorus Spring Concert


The Houston Children’s Chorus will conclude its 27th season by presenting its annual Spring Concert at Grace Presbyterian Church this Saturday, April 30 at 5pm. The concert will feature a multitude of sacred and secular works, highlighted by the premiere of “Ripple of Kindness” by Donna Butler Douglas, as well as performances of “Jubilate Deo” by William Krape (a work recently featured on NPR’s “With Heart and Voice”), a setting of Psalm 150 by Sir David Wilcocks, and “Benedicte” by Andrew Carter. All choirs of the Houston Children’s Chorus as well as singers from Burrus Elementary School, a member school of the Chorus’s “Music in the Schools” program, will perform. Stephen Roddy, the Founder and Director of the Chorus, will conduct.

Grace Presbyterian Church is located at 10221 Ella Lee Lane. Please note that no children under 5 years of age will be allowed to the show nor will recording devices, photography, or video. Tickets are $15/adults and $5/children 5-12 years old.

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!

No Place for Hate®


I am a huge fan of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and their “No Place for Hate®” initiative, a signature regional program which empowers schools to promote respect for individual and group differences while challenging prejudice and bigotry. This year marks its 15th anniversary and ADL is celebarating at their No Place for Hate® Luncheon next Wednesday, May 4 starting at noon (check in starts at 11:15am). They’ll be offering cake and compliments in honor of the hundreds of schools that have achieved a No Place for Hate® designation, especially Hunters Creek Elementary School in Spring Branch ISD, Johnston Middle School in Houston ISD, and the Kinkaid Middle School -- three schools that have achieved the designation each year since the program began. The luncheon will also honor three educators with the Walter Kase Teacher Excellence Award for their outstanding efforts to create a school atmosphere that promotes respect for and understanding of diversity. Honorees included Klein ISD Superintendent Dr. James W. Cain, Kenneth E. Little Elementary School Counselor Yvonne DeLeon, and The Kinkaid Lower School Counselor Dr. Nancy Simpson.

The Teacher Excellence Award is named in memory of Walter Kase, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who dedicated a quarter century of his life to telling students his personal story of surviving five camps and what that taught him about the dangers of prejudice and the importance of love and respect. ADL’s No Place for Hate® Luncheon will also feature keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Arnold, M.D. of Texas Children’s Hospital and TLC’s The Little Couple.

The luncheon takes place at the Hilton Houston Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Road. It is generously underwritten by Sysco. Event chairs are Lyn F. Schmulen and her daughter, Caren S. Sweetland. Tickets are $200 and tables start at $2,500. For more information or to purchase tickets/tables, please contact Angela Atlas at 832-975-8306 or

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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