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Cool Brains! with Lois Lowry Italian Fest Hocus Pocus with Houston Symphony About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative
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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. Please enjoy and please share. My business grows by word-of-mouth from people like YOU!

The fabu City Hall Farmer’s Market is open again for business today – if you haven’t been, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s a lively atmosphere with music, food demos, and plenty of locally-grown fresh fruits and veggies as well as healthy choices for lunch-to-go. It’s another gorgeous day so git on down there! Speaking of healthy, I enjoyed a meeting Monday night at the City of Houston Green Building Resource Center with Healthy Child Healthy World CEO Gigi Lee Change, who showed us this great video promoting less chemicals for kids. Steve Amos, Executive Director of Green Ribbon Schools was also there talking about how to create a greener environment that is seamless from home to school. I suggest you check out both organizations as they have plenty of ideas for raising healthier kids.

It’s “National Anti-Bully Month” and is getting kids excited about taking action. Read on and be inspired to create something with YOUR kids. And I just learned that the film BULLY is coming out on DVD next year. I didn’t get to see it when it hit town, but will most definitely purchase it. Another DVD, HAPPY, also addresses the issue of bullying in a very poignant way (alongside the topic of happiness, of course!); it’s available on DVD now. The more we can educate our kids about this tough topic, the better they can handle it.

Are you looking for women in community? I’ve been having a great time with mamas and other women at our newly-formed FOLLOW YOUR HEART: A TRANSFORMATION CIRCLE and would love for YOU to join us! We meet on Mondays from 6-8pm at the lovely CoInside meeting space and so far, we’ve been busy plotting our dreams, finding ourselves, and laughing with new friends. It’s only $10 to get a focused exercise and more fun than a barrel of monkeys (drop-ins welcome…). How does it get better than that?!

Congrats to new GISH PICKS Facebook page LIKE-er Elyse Cyr, who won passes for dance classes at Planet Funk Academy, which offers a lively Saturday morning’s kids’ Hip Hop class as well as a slew of other funky dance ed. Want to win your own passes? Go to Facebook land, find GISH PICKS, and hit LIKE. I’ll pick winners from my new fans so good luck! (P.S. While you’re in Facebook land, please like my page for THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS). Many thanks!).

Have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of October 12, 2012


I don’t read many of my children’s books, but I was moved to read The Giver after a recommendation from the good folks at Blue Willow Bookshop. So I was excited to see that this Sunday, October 14, at 3pm, Inprint is bringing that book’s author, Lois Lowry, as part of their “Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People” series to Johnston Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Drive. Lowry will make a presentation about her new book Son, the fourth and final book in the bestselling The Giver series, and will take questions from the audience. Lois Lowry is the internationally celebrated author of more than 30 children’s and young adult books and is the recipient of numerous awards. Praised for her ability to write about difficult subject matter for children in an accessible and engaging way, Booklist says, "Lowry is one of those rare writers who can craft stories as meaningful as they are enticing." Her other major works include The Anastasia Series, The Sam Series, The Tate Series and The Looney Bird Series. Her most well known book is the middle-grade classic The Giver. Other books in The Giver quartet (not a sequential series) include Gathering Blue, Messenger, and now Son, which is being published 15 years after The Giver.

Son brings together characters from the previous three books―Gabriel and Jonas from The Giver and Kira from Gathering Blue and Messenger. The story contrasts the controlled dystopian society with one that is technologically backwards, yet rife with human drama. Lowry addresses questions of human freedom and good versus evil with a deft hand and light touch, spinning a great adventure story and giving readers a new hero.
Admission is free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow, giving families a chance to visit with the author.

Son by Lois Lowry
Hocus Pocus Pops Concert


For a delightful “exfearience,” join the Houston Symphony this Friday, October 12, at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion’s “Hocus Pocus Pops Concert for a Halloween event full of tricks, treats and enchanting music. The orchestra casts a spell on the audience with chilling music and spooky sounds that are guaranteed to scare your socks off. Daddies, mummies and all the little ghosts and goblins are invited to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes for a chance to walk on stage during the concert. The first 100 children in costume to check in at Hocus Pocus Central in the Fidelity Investments Plaza can participate in the Goblin Parade that snakes across the stage during the Symphony’s performance.

Arrive before the moon comes out for some “spooktacular” pre-concert activities in the North Plaza, starting at 6pm. Kids can jump on the “Great Pumpkin Express” as it leaves the station for a tour of The Pavilion’s haunted grounds (train rides begin at 5:30pm in The Pavilion’s Gold Lot). Some favorite Halloween characters will be roaming around The Pavilion, from Beetlejuice to Frankenstein, and little witches and zombies can wander the “BOOths” with a variety of activities. The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Bug Chef David Temple cooks up tasty critters for guests to try and you can creep into the “House of Blues” Hospitality Tent for Radio Disney’s Graveyard Smash Dance Party featuring the Radio Disney Boo Crew from 6-7:15pm for “fangtastic” dancing, prizes and plenty of tricks and treats! Conductor for the evening, Robert Franz, leads the audience through a haunted maze of musical enchantments including “Waltz from the Masquerade Suite,” Suite No. 1 from “Peer Gynt,” Opus 46, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Harry Potter: Children’s Suite/Prince of Azkaban,” “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and more.

Tickets are $15/orchestra seating and free on the mezzanine and lawn, courtesy of H-E-B (tickets not required for free seating). The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is located off Woodlands Parkway in The Woodlands. Feel free to pack a picnic to sink your fangs into, but keep in mind that outside potions (drinks) cannot be brought into The Pavilion. And if you want to sit on the hill, lawn chairs also are provided free for this event!

Houston Italian Festival


This weekend, October 11-14, catch a bit of Italy right here at home. Since 1978, the Houston Italian Festival has celebrated Italian heritage, culture and romance and is a great, hands-on way to introduce your family to the culture of our European neighbor. The festival features live entertainment from Houston and places like New York City, bocce ball, kids’ activities, delicious Italian food supplied by area restaurants, and more. Kids will get to enjoy the Carranza puppets and dancing the Tarantella (don’t know what that is? You’ll just have to go the Festival to find out!) while adults can enjoy fine Italian wines and a pasta eating contest – plus much, much more.

The Houston Italian Festival is held on the St Thomas University campus. Parking is $2 and admission is $6/adults and free/children under 12.

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, business, and family 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, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK®: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS which comes out annually in March and is sold at bookstores all over Houston, including Barnes and Noble; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, and ART PROGRAMS that cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, and activism. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone/fax: 713.482.7065

© 2012 Sarah Gish

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