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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!

Do you hate scrapbooking but want to keep your child’s memories? I am a lazy memory-collector so I decided upon an easy way to gather them many years ago: “Memory Boxes”! I use archival/acid-free boxes so that things store well over a long time and I create a new one – very well labelled on all sides – for each grade and separate ones for summer. I’m about to take the school one and put it in the attic and replace it with the summer one, which we have been using for a few years (so I mark which years are on the box). “Memory Boxes” are a great way to store things for future retrieval and are even better than scrap books because you can put things in them, big things like favorite shoes, t-shirts, toys, etc. My kids have these boxes from pre-school on up and I love thinking about how much they’ll love them when they’re grown. I certainly wish I had something like that from my childhood!

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 shows you how to turn a t-shirt into a purse. It is SUPER COOL! Have fun with it all summer long…

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 20-22, 2016

MET too in Youth Novels


METdance presents its youth training company, Houston MET too, in “Youth Novels” this Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm and Friday, May 20 at 8pm. METdance continues its 20th season celebration with this special spring show presented by 15 dedicated students, ages 13-18, who will dance the pieces they have been rehearsing and learning all season. MET too is a non-competitive, concert based repertory dance company based at the METdance Center. In celebration of its 20th season, MET too will revive some former MET too works by choreographers Pattie Obey and Kiki Lucas and they will also perform new works by guest choreographers Sean Carmon, Josh Manculich, Terrill Mitchell, and Ida Saki as well as METdance company member Kerry Jackson and former MET too dancer and Julliard graduate Victor Lozano.

“Youth Novels” will take place at the MATCH and tickets are $25/each.

Pasadena Strawberry Festival


This weekend is the famous Pasadena Strawberry Festival (the 43rd one!) and my mouth is watering just writing about it. This year's theme is “Hunting for Strawberries” and it will be at the Pasadena Fairgrounds. There will be a BBQ cook off, helicopter rides, mud volleyball, duck races, pig races, Kids Zone, carnival, petting zoo, pony rides, the World's largest Strawberry Shortcake, washer pitching contest, jugglers, magic show, hundreds of vendor booths, Tumbleweed Wild West Show, live music and entertainment, and so much more.

The Fairgrounds are located at 7902 Fairmont Parkway. Tickets are $12 until Thursday, May 19 and $15 after. Kids 0-4 get in free and tickets for kids 5-12 years old are $5/each.

Romeo and Harriet


Stage Right's Bravo Company presents “Romeo and Harriet” this weekend – it’s a hilarious spoof of “Romeo and Juliet” featuring a group of quarreling chorus members - Oregano, Carpaccio, Risotto, Prosciutto, Antipasto, Pesto, Mayo and Romano! The stage is set in modern-day New York City, where clerks of the swanky Montague's Department store and the second-rate Capulet's Discount Mart meet in the street to trade insults. Words are their daggers and naturally, the heirs to these two retail empires, Romeo and Harriet, fall in love. There are pie fights in place of duels, a nurse obsessed with paper cuts, Romeo dressed in a white leisure suit a la John Travolta, and an outrageous parody of the most romantic scene in literature. Plus there is a fun, eclectic collection of musical numbers that underscore all this hilarity, including a number in iambic pentameter…

Romeo and Harriet” is onstage at the historic Crighton Theatre at 234 Main Street in Conroe on Friday, May 20 at 7pm and Saturday, May 21 at 2pm. Tickets are $12/adults, $6/students and kids.

When Mama’s Happy Camp


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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