Click here to visit The Summer Book Online website
Father's Day Fun VIDEO PICK: Jimmy Fallon on Orlando Summer Reading Programs About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative James and the Giant Peach, Jr. Flood Groups for Kids
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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!

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. I’ve got a list of ideas below – there’s no excuse not to celebrate!

Orlando is weighing heavily on my mind this week, of course. The largest mass shooting in U.S. history has touched on so many issues that our country is grappling with that I couldn’t even begin to write all my thoughts and feelings here. I have been crying and connecting and doing what I do when tragedy strikes. I grieve in community so I’ve been talking and going to vigils and posting in social media and just getting through it. I stand in solidarity with people that are being attacked – the LGBT community and the Muslim community. There are gun issues, insanity, repressed sexuality issues, political issues – SO MUCH! I have two mantras right now that are helping me get through this: “Tikkun Olam,” the Hebrew phrase for “Heal/Repair the World” and “Love Always Wins.” Perhaps they’ll help you. And it is my belief that, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” so I’m focusing on ways I can lighten the world.

I wanted to do something, anything in response to the attack, so I am hosting a “Community Labyrinth Walk for #Orlando Peace” – it’s this Saturday from 2-3pm at the University of St. Thomas labyrinth; click here for all the details. And on Friday, June 24, noon-1pm, I’m hosting my monthly WOW talk, which is part of the series “WORDS OF WISDOM: lively talks on inspiring topics.” This month, coincidentally, Dr. Betty Adam will be speaking about “Compassion as a Way of Life” and you can see all the details here. We planned that months ago but the timing is perfect.

If you are looking for support for kids, there’s a flood support group that meets weekly at the Jewish Family Service and I’ve got info about that below. Additionally, HATCH offers support and meetings for LGBT kids 13-19 years old – see more about that here.

If you still need summer camp help, many camps still have openings. Click here to access THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS, a guide I’ve been producing since 2003. Or you can remember my new web page: – pass it on and tell your friends. I’ll also be highlighting CAMP PICKS on my 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.

Jimmy Fallon did a very moving monologue about the Orlando tragedy so it’s my VIDEO PICK this week. As he said, “For the sake of all humanity we must put away petty differences and realize that even if we disagree on things we can still know and love each other no matter what.” Say it, brother!

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 June 17-19, 2016

Film Reel


Dad deserves a good time on Sunday! I don’t know about ya’ll but in my family, my husband is the one that takes the kids out so I can get a break – and he cleans the kitchen, cooks many meals, fixes things, does laundry…whew! He’s a great dad! He’s a lot like my dad, who was also very helpful. Unfortunately, my dad is not here anymore, but I still celebrate my memories with him.

Here are some fun ideas to celebrate the great dad(s) in your life:

  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is offering fun and free entry for dads of all generations at both their house museums: Rienzi and Bayou Bend.

  • Dads eat free all day at Spaghetti Warehouse.

  • Check this handy dandy app for a list of restaurants that are doing Father’s Day brunches. You can make the reservation right then and there!

  • Take dad out to a Dynamo game on Saturday or an Astros game on Saturday or Sunday.

  • Encourage your kids to celebrate dad by making him a card, singing a song, giving him a massage, or cooking a meal. Gifts from the heart are the best!

Summer Reading


Yes, school is out but that doesn’t mean the books around your house need to gather dust. Your kids might have summer reading requirements but don’t forget to make it fun so they’ll enjoy reading long after they have to. Something that has made reading even more fun with my boys is that we read a “together book” – I read The Giver with my older son and am about to dive into The Alchemist because my younger son read it. I write the date we read the book on the inside front cover and it’s a lovely tradition to carry through the years.

There are a lot of free reading programs – many of them through your local library. Here are a handful of the library ones -- for others, check out this list. All of them are free and offer incentives (so beware if you’re anti-incentive-for-reading!).

And now, those library programs:


I just love a good musical – especially after watching HAMILTON sweep it up at the Tony Awards! So I was excited to see that HITS Theatre has “James and the Giant Peach, Jr.” musical onstage this weekend; see all the details here. It’s on Saturday, June 18 at 2 and 4pm and Sunday, June 19 at 2 and 4pm. Here’s the story: when James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way. The show will be performed by HITS Broadway Beginners (1st - 3rd grade) and Broadway Juniors (4th - 6th grade) classes.

HITS Theatre is located at 311 W. 18th Street in the historic Heights.

James and the Giant Peach, Jr.

Jewish Family Service

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.

Do you have something you would like to promote on Gish Picks? You can promote family-friendly events, products or services to Houstonians all over the city and the surrounding area who are active parents, involved citizens and great shoppers. We love doing this community service and want to keep it free for our readers but in order to justify the hours spent researching, writing and designing this newsletter, we need advertising support. If you'd like to learn more, please click below.

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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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