Summer wouldn't be summer without popsicles, splashpads and FREE concerts! Many of these concerts aren't aimed directly at kids but don't be afraid to bring your children, as it's a great opportunity to expose them to all different kinds of music. Whether you bring the whole family or make it a date night, grab your dancing shoes or just grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and enjoy some blues, jazz, bluegrass, rock 'n roll, or pop music! (But if movies are more your speed, check out our roundup of free and cheap summer movies.)
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Popsicles are great for many reasons; what other food comes such a diverse array of flavors? From Jalepeno, Mango con Chile, Chai Latte, Blackberry Ginger, Milk and Cookies, Horchata, Champagne Pear, Fruity Pebbles, Watermelon Mojito, King Cake, and Avocado, Houston's popsicle shops and trucks have it all. Enjoying a popsicle is one of the sweetest ways to cool down in the summer in Houston, and local options range from trendy artisanal pops made with organic ingredients to more traditional favorites. With flavors ranging from fruity and icy to creamy and rich to savory and surprising, there is bound to be something for every taste preference. Why not try them all?
April showers bring May flowers...and festivals! A lot of festivals. Houston is a diverse city and many festivals give Houstonians the opportunity to explore different cultures through music, dance, and traditional foods. This month there are also art, music, and literature-focused fests as well as themed festivals, from Star Wars to the Renaissance. So, in addition to celebrating Mother's Day and planning your summer vacations, make sure to get out of the house and take the whole family to an amazing festival in the Bayou City.
Evelyn's Park officially opened on April 22, 2017, with an Earth Day celebration and community picnic. It was a gorgeous day with live music, art activities, food trucks, beer and wine tastings, a mini farmers's market, and fitness activities. The park was filled with people enjoying the sun, the food, and the sense of community and connection that Evelyn's park was created to foster.
I'll be honest, I haven't gone to the movies since my daughter was born, and she's getting close to 1 1/2-years old! I remember being told to go to the movies as much as possible while I was pregnant, but I didn't really comprehend that watching a movie on the big screen would become such an unlikely endeavor after having a baby. I also remember reading that one can take babies to the movies when they are newborns and they will just nurse and sleep but that just seemed too daunting to me, what would I do if she cried? I could just imagine all the angry movie patrons yelling at me for bringing a baby to the movies, would they even let me in the theater? Even though I've tried all kinds of mom-and-baby activities, such as music classes, baby yoga, and storytimes, I had no idea that "mommy and me" movie showings existed.
There are some great family-friendly movie options in the Houston area - don't be afraid to give them a try! Some screenings are geared toward children with sensory issues, so they show kid's movies, while Mommy and Me screenings are typically movies for adults that also welcome babies and children as audience members.
There are so many delicious things to eat at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and food is everywhere! Since kids get hungry quickly, it can be helpful to have an idea ahead of time of what is available and where. As you enter the rodeo, there are huge food tents with lots of yummy options as well as food stands full of fried goodies and more all around the main and children's carnivals.
Families tend to spend most of their time inside NRG Center, where the AGventure area is located. This is where you will find the indoor pony rides, petting zoo, rabbits, bees, chicks, and many other kid-based displays and activities. Inside NRG Center is also where you can check out the cows, goats, and breeding animals and get some great shopping in as well. We've broken down the best, cheapest, healthiest, and most kid-friendly food in the areas you will probably be spending most of your time.
Houston's local libraries are an amazing resource for parents not only because of the huge variety of books (including audio books and e-books for both kids and adults) but also because the libraries offer free classes, events, programs, and clubs for members of all ages. From homework help to book clubs to computer classes to toddler and baby yoga, there are so many opportunities to utilize local libraries.
It is a known fact that the brains of young children are primed to learn languages and the earlier they are exposed to a language, the easier it is for them to learn it. Research has shown that there are many benefits to learning a second language, including higher self-esteem, better test scores, enhanced creativity, a higher level of complex problem solving, and an appreciation of other cultures. And that's not to mention increased employability as an adult in our increasingly globalized and diverse society.
The natural ability of young children to learn a second, or third, language makes a dual-language or language immersion preschool a great option for childcare and may even save you money in the long run when your kids test out of college language credits! Consider giving your child the gift of a second language and check out these 10 language immersion and dual language preschools located in and around Houston.