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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!

I went to the Anti-Defamation League’s luncheon last week celebrating their No Place for Hate initiative and honoring those involved with it. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jennifer Arnold, a neonatologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and star of “The Little Couple.” Her talk made me think about how we treat those with differences and how we teach our kids about that. The “No Place for Hate” program is worth checking out with your family. And the Anti-Defamation League does so much more – one of my favorite resources from them is a Calendar of Observances,” which lists what seems like observances from all faiths around the world. I post it in my house and we look at it every day!

Some of you are still looking for summer camps, some of you have your summer all neatly organized, and some of you are half-way there. No matter the kind of parent you are, let me help you! Check out my camp PICKS here and 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 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…

This week’s VIDEO PICK features two young boys on “Britain’s Got Talent” whose rapping talents are tremendous. I don’t usually like rap music, but I loved this! My younger son found this one and I think he likes it so much because these kids are his generation. Take a break to enjoy it and share with your kids if you wish!

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 May 13-15, 2016

MFAH Texas Children's Art Festival


This Sunday, May 15, from 1-5pm, families are invited to enjoy art-making workshops, participate in a collaborative group project, and play interactive games at this afternoon celebrating art and Texas heritage at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Admission is FREE for all ages, no reservations needed! Go to for details.

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Drive, is the house museum for American decorative arts of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Books Alive! 7th Annual Children’s Book Celebration


This Saturday, May 14, from noon-3pm, the Houston Public Library presents “Books Alive! 7th Annual Children’s Book Celebration” at the Central Library (Jesse H. Jones Branch) at 500 McKinney street downtown. Main Street Theater will do a special presentation by the Young Ambassadors at 12:15pm, author/illustrator Dan Santat (The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend) will read and do a book signing and sale at 12:30pm, and there will be a fun “Festival on the Plaza!” from 1-3pm featuring hands-on arts and crafts, Mad Science of Houston, Anchor Entertainment Flip Book Studio, Pop Shop, Zoo Friends Bounce House, Mechanical Shark Rainbow, and a Trackless Train Ride. Kids can also enjoy wandering characters from Puppet Pizzazz and balloon artists throughout the event.

The Library will have information about their annual popular Summer Reading Program (SRP) which has the theme “Aim for the Stars!” this year. The SRP is a free incentive-based program to encourage kids and teens to read and explore with many diverse free educational and fun programs. The program is ongoing from now until August 1, 2016. Kids can read and reap rewards!

Books Alive! 7th Annual Children’s Book Celebration” is free and open to the public. Events are subject to change.

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern


I love to introduce you to the exciting and different in Houston and this PICK certainly fits the bill! The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern is opening to the public this Friday, May 13 with tours on the half hour. Recently discovered by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership/BBP, its cavernous space is the size of 1.5 football fields featuring 221, 25-foot tall, slender concrete columns reminiscent of the ancient Roman cisterns under Istanbul (I’m seeing some great history and math lessons for the kids!).

The 87,500-square-foot underground drinking water reservoir was built in 1926 for the City of Houston and was shut down in the mid-2000s due to an irreparable leak. BBP re-discovered the site in 2011 when it was developing the $58 million Buffalo Bayou Park project and, realizing its historic and architectural importance, collaborated with the City of Houston, private organizations, and the community to repurpose the Cistern into a magnificent public space – one that Houston Chronicle writer Lisa Gray called “an industrial cross between a cavern and a cathedral” in her recent article. There will be temporary art installations on site – the debut piece is Donald Lipski’s “Down Periscope,” which sits atop the Cistern on The Brown Foundation Lawn and allows park and online visitors to peer into the periscope and view the Cistern.

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern tours are available Thursdays through Sundays for $2/person. Thursdays are free and reservations are required for all tours. I recommend you purchase tickets immediately as they are selling out fast. When I wrote this, there were no spots until Sunday, May 15. You can get them here.

Caroline Goeser of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


The Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer is the first organization of its kind in downtown Houston and I am proud to be a part of it! I’m teaching there and am also presenting a speaker series called WORDS OF WISDOM: lively talks on inspiring topics. My next WOW talk will be Friday, May 20 from noon-1pm and the speaker, Caroline Goeser of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will be talking about the many and varied programs at the MFAH, including their fashion and art collaborations and mobile art for underserved youth. Click here for more information about "Beyond Art: Engaging New Audiences at the MFAH.”

And because we mamas need a break, the Hines Center has something just for us! They are offering “When Mama’s Happy” camps both during the day (here) and evening (here). The daytime camp will complement the Christ Church Cathedral Vacation Bible School from June 6-9 (Monday-Thursday), 9am-noon, and the evening camp will be presented on four Wednesdays in June starting June 8 from 6:30-8pm. Topics for both sessions will include mindfulness, creative expression, and parenting and will be taught by Brooke Summers-Perry, a mother of three and the director of the Hines Center.

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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