Click here to visit the Children's Museum of Houston's website
Harry Potter Hoopla VIDEO PICK: Don't Worry, Be Happy Photo Family Fun About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative SWAMP Movie Premieres Learning: WOW Talk Volunteering: Back to School Fest
Click here to visit River Oaks Bookstore'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!

Are you still needing summer camp help? Doncha worry -- many camps still have openings as you can see in our latest curated guide to camps, here. If you want a list of over 200 camps to choose from, 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.

We are all about politics in the United States this month, with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Both have been very exciting (in different ways!) – I hope that you have watched some of them with your kids in between summer fun. I was curious about the best ways to introduce kids to this crazy process of ours and ran across this website – Congress for Kids – that is a great tool for teaching children about how we go from candidates to presidents. Try it out! I’ll bet you’ll learn many things along the way (ahem, I didn’t do so hot on some of the tests). If you’d like to get involved in a more personal way, join me in becoming a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar. All the information about that is here and there are plenty of training sessions over the next several weeks. I’m offering rides to the polls in my Phoenix Rising Art Car on Election Day (November 8) – perhaps you can offer to take people in your neighborhood? And no matter your party persuasion, you have to admit it’s a historic year, with our first female presidential candidate! I’m so grateful our kids can see this day finally coming.

This week’s VIDEO PICK is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by the one and only New York musician Bobby McFerrin. It’s summertime – need I say more?! Watch for the cameo with Robin Williams, a bittersweet moment for sure.

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 July 29-31, 2016


This weekend marks the release of the eighth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which can’t go on sale until midnight on July 31, Harry’s 19th birthday. Houston is having its own parties for this event – kids can enjoy Breakfast with Harry” at the Blue Willow Bookshop this Sunday, July 31 at 9am and Brazos Bookstore is hosting a nighttime celebration starting at 9pm on Saturday, July 30. The breakfast event will feature Butterbeer, breakfast treats, books, and a chance to win something from the Gringotts vault! You can stop by and pick up your book or stay for awhile and enjoy the Harry Potter world they've created. To guarantee your copy, they recommend you preorder. Over at Brazos, you can enjoy trivia contests, games, and a costume contest. And, starting at midnight, you can purchase the book; pre-ordering there is also recommended.

It’s important to note that the book is actually a script for a play of the same name and that it wasn’t written by our favorite J.K. Rowling (although she was a consultant). Nonetheless, it promises to be good! For more about what to expect, check out this article here.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

HCP Family Day: Summer Fun!


It’s “HCP Family Day: Summer Fun!” this Saturday, July 30 from 11am-3pm at the Houston Center for Photography. This free event celebrates the (almost) end of summer with interactive art making activities for everyone and a cool scavenger hunt. Their library will have a showcase of the photographic work of HCP summer camp students and a special storytime will be held in the main gallery at 12:45pm. Outside, kids can make sunprints under the awning while El Tiempo Taco Truck serves delicious food. Hen Laying Egg will also be screen printing shirts on demand.

The Houston Center for Photography is located at 1441 W. Alabama. They offer summer camps for kids 9-17 years old, which end this week.

Lights! Camera! Action! Youth Media Camp Film Premieres


This Friday, July 29 at 7pm, join the Southwest Alternate Media Project/SWAMP for the premieres of movies made by campers in their “Lights! Camera! Action! Youth Media Camps.” Every summer, SWAMP offers young film enthusiasts the opportunity to learn about filmmaking through their Youth Media Camps. Students learn from film professionals how to make movies, communicate clearly, and also how to resolve differences through collaboration. This year there were two camps: Documentary and Narrative. The students in the documentary camp worked with AFA students in the film scoring program during the AFA's 2016 Summer Music Conservatory at Pershing Middle School. For the narrative camp, students wrote, produced, directed, and acted in a short film all in one week!

This event is free and open to the public. Please register for your tickets through MATCH by clicking here.

Teresa Byrne-Dodge


This Friday, July 29 from noon-1pm, please join me and the publisher and founder of My Table, Houston’s Dining Magazine at the Hines Center. Houston is home to over 11,000 restaurants – which can be overwhelming – but Teresa Byrne-Dodge will break it down. She has been surveying the restaurant scene since 1994 so she’ll be full of information for us. Besides the bimonthly magazine, Teresa also publishes SideDish (a twice-weekly e-newsletter/blog) and is the founder of the Houston Culinary Awards (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year). She recently established the My Table Magazine Endowment at the University of Houston's Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management.

The Hines Center is located at 500 Fannin at Prairie Streets; parking is one block over in the garage at 511 San Jacinto at Prairie (bring your ticket and they'll validate your parking). Advance registration is requested and tickets are $10/each. Please click here to enroll. The WORDS OF WISDOM: lively talks on inspiring topics (aka “WOW Talks”) are curated by me and presented once a month. Upcoming talks include Happy Birthday, Historic Houston!” with Emily Ardoin of the Heritage Society on August 26 and Buffalo Bayou: Transforming Houston’s Waterways” with Trudi Smith of Buffalo Bayou Partnership on September 23.

Undies for Everyone

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.

Advertise on Gish Picks!

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

Designed by West of the World

Sign up for your weekly email
Click here to RSVP by email Click here to RSVP by email