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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!

We survived Halloween and now the REAL holidays are off to a rip-roaring start. Raise your hands if you already have your Christmas lights up!! Several of my neighbors do and I’m just not sure what to think. On the one hand, I like the magic of the lights but on the other hand, I want to savor each holiday as it comes instead of rushing headlong into the next. How do you feel about this? Is it too early to light up? Hop onto GISH PICKS and let me know. While you’re there, please LIKE our page and you’ll be eligible to win passes for groovy dance classes from Planet Funk Academy. And if you want to stay up on summer fun, go to THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES and LIKE it as well. Speaking of both GISH PICKS and THE SUMMER BOOK, next year I’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of both with a big blowout at the Children’s Museum of Houston so stay tuned and mark your calendars now for March 23, 11am-5pm.

I’m sure many of you have out-of-town guests, so if you need some help with ideas, log onto my “Family Resources” page, which includes a list of over 200 Houston area attractions and almost 50 family-friendly restaurants. Another source I love for ideas is Artshound, produced by the wonderful Houston Arts Alliance. You can find attractions, events, and more. And, because I just can’t help myself, I created a page of Houston “Gems” that has plenty of ideas for uncovering the cool. Check it out and be informed.

If you have time on your hands, this is a perfect break to get organized and I have an easy tip for you to do just that: get a portable file box (so you can move it around!) and make four folders for holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas/Winter, Spring Break, and Summer. File ideas, schedules, and anything else (trip itineraries, a copy of THE SUMMER BOOK) in the folders. You can also create folders for other topics: schools, family trip ideas, sports activities, arts activities, report cards, test scores, etc. My file box is full of those papers I want to get to quickly (such as report cards) and is a place for me to stow ideas for upcoming vacations. And I also have boxes for each child’s school year – 1st grade, 2nd grade, etc. that is stored away and contains items like their favorite shirt, school work, and other memorabilia. It’s like their very own time capsule!

Black Friday a.k.a. “The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year” is just around the corner and Saturday is “Small Business Saturday” so if you can support the hard working small business owners in our community on Saturday, that would be swell. Supporting them year-round is even better!

Happy Thanksgiving and may you find many, many reasons to be grateful. I’m going to make an “A-Z” gratitude list this year (Z? That’s easy: I’m grateful for living with Zest!) so we’ll see how that goes. Have a great week, be kind to others, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of November 23, 2012

Theatre Suburbia


Theatre Suburbia presents “Ethan Claymore (a Family Holiday Comedy),” running through December 1, with shows all weekend. The story is touching: Ethan Claymore, a reclusive artist and struggling egg farmer, has given up looking for love or laughter - even with Christmas just a week away. Much to his surprise, Ethan is visited by the spirit of his long-estranged older brother, who - along with an enthusiastically meddlesome neighbor and the town's pretty, new school teacher - is determined to bring the sparkle back into Ethan's life.

Tickets for their shows start at $12. Theatre Suburbia is northwest Houston's longest running all volunteer playhouse – they are currently celebrating their 52nd season! The theatre is located at 4106 Way Out West Drive.


The movie CHICKEN RUN is perfect for families this holiday break so the Alamo Drafthouse/Mason Park decided to give us an early holiday present by hosting two FREE (yep, free!) screenings of the film tomorrow (yep, Thanksgiving Day!) and Friday, November 23 at 10am. The film is by Aardman Animations (the awesome group that created WALLACE AND GROMIT) who finally decided to make their first feature length movie by teaming up with Dreamworks to create this “Poultry in Motion.” The story is about chickens being raised on a British farm who don’t question anything about their day-to-day lives. However, one of them -- feisty, independent Ginger -- begins to realize her fate if she doesn’t flee the coop. This is a task much easier said than done as she has gone through numerous attempts to reach the other side of the fence, but is always caught by the farm’s owner, the evil Mrs. Tweedy. Rocky the American Rooster attempts to fly in order to help her escape (he cannot) so Ginger’s creativity is tested but she never gives up.

The Alamo Drafthouse/Mason Park is located at 531 South Mason Road. The company is currently building a new theatre in the Vintage Park area and hopefully a new midtown location will be announced soon.

Chicken Run

Sanders Family Christmas


The A.D. Players returns to classic 1940s holiday with their encore production of SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS on stage through December 31 – shows are running all weekend. The ever popular Sanders family returns for a 1941 Christmas Eve service before the boys, including one of their own, are shipped off to World War II. Christmas carols and hilarious yuletide stories fill the evening with Christmas cheer in this richly entertaining family musical. Join them for a special show on December 13 as KSBJ-FM broadcasts live from the theater.

A.D. Players is located at 2710 W. Alabama near Kirby Drive.

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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