Welcome to my third edition of EXPLORE PICKS, my round-up of the best fun and adventures outside of school! In case you don’t know me, I’m a mama of two sons and an info-preneur who LOVES to share what I know. I’ve been doing that for parents since 2004...and this pandemic inspired me to help out in new ways. Doncha worry: I will continue producing my CAMP PICKS round-ups of day camp offerings when school is out of session (you can see past editions here). And now I will give you some great ideas for enriching your child’s online or in person schooling - once each month this fall (and possibly in the spring too, depending on how the world is looking then...). We are in strange times indeed, and yet, it’s a great time to be creative and let your kids have fun in between school obligations!

I know this is a hard time for all of you - and it’s generation-defining for your kids. Please remember we are all in this together! I found that this video by the Esalen Institute about parenting during the pandemic with Dr. Archana Basu to be very helpful. She suggests ways to take care of yourself during this “emotional ultra marathon.” I also spent several hours doing research on Houston-based mental health providers that offer free or sliding scale services - you can access that here. Please feel free to use it and/or pass it on!

Below are some wonderful organizations with terrific offerings for your kiddos that I want you to please check out. They are offering a mix of virtual and in person programs - all of them are interesting. Please note that ALL in person programs are following strict safety guidelines.

Also below are two of my Facebook Live videos. I’m now doing WEEKLY chats: on Monday mornings at 10am, I’m doing a “Monday Meditation Chat” and on Wednesday nights at 9pm, I’m doing a “Wednesday Night Live” round-up of arts & culture (I also tell a joke and share about one of my “12 Ways to Ignite Your Life Daily”!). Both are short-and-sweet and you can tune in here.

One last thing - if you got this from a friend or are seeing it online and aren’t a GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS & ADULTS subscriber, please go to and sign up. Be sure to choose the KIDS list so you’ll get all my family PICKS.

“Monday Meditation Chat”
October 5
“Wednesday Night Live”
(arts & culture chat) October 14



Adventure Learning Program

Whole Health Fitness
Adventure Learning Program
PHONE: 346.404.8856
DATES: ongoing and every day
TIMES: vary and are flexible
AGES: 13-18 years old
COST: varies -- $60/session and subscriptions start at $200 (plus there are group rates!)

Adventure Learning Program aims to be the meeting place for mental, emotional, physical, and social health. It is their belief that health is comprehensive and that these components cannot be achieved and sustained unless they are all maintained. Their core values are connection, freedom, fun, community, and exploration. ALP is here to help individuals and organizations co-create these values through adventure!

Alley Theatre

Alley@Home Help onLine
Alley Theatre
DATES: ongoing
TIMES: ongoing
AGES: all!
COST: free

The Alley Theatre education department hasn’t let the pandemic stop them from helping little artists! They’ve got your back with well-thought-out ideas for online activities and hands-on experiences to support you while you are hunkered down at home. Their resources are for teachers, families, and students - on their robust website, you’ll find useful arts-integrated activities and ideas of all types to engage imaginations or solve educational roadblocks. And be sure to check out their “National Hispanic Heritage Month” online activities - you and your family will enjoy virtual programs featuring local and national Latinx artists and community members with their stories, music, and culture.

Alliance Fencing Academy

Olympic Level Fencing Instruction & Training
Alliance Fencing Academy
PHONE: 713.410.6655
DATES: Mondays through Saturdays
TIMES: vary
AGES: 5 years old and up, including adults
COST: $90-$125

Alliance Fencing Academy is one of the largest and most successful epee clubs in the nation with over 300 fencers who practice daily in their two locations in Houston and The Woodlands. They ensure the coaches and staff promote good sportsmanship on and off the strip - providing a rewarding experience that will build confidence, reinforce teamwork, and inspire the personal growth necessary for your child to take their next steps in life. Alliance is the 2019 USA Fencing Club of Excellence Winner and recipient of the President’s Award for International Success. Alliance is home for two Senior Team World Champions, London Olympics bronze medalists, and Rio Olympians sisters Courtney and Kelley Hurley.


Aerial, Circus, and Dance Classes
PHONE: 281.972.9147
DATES: through December 19
TIMES: vary
AGES: 2 to 18 years old
COST: $310/14 classes; $99/4 classes; $30/1 class

Your child can head to the circus with The ARTZ! Kids with no experience can learn the world of circus artz in classes such as Fabric and Trapeze to Contortion and Dance - and much more! They’ll gain strength, flexibility, confidence, and body awareness - while having a great time doing it! Best of all - they’ll be happy and tired at the end. They can join the circus and you can still tuck them into bed at night!

Camp Invention

Innovation Exploration Kits
Camp Invention
PHONE: 800.968.4332
DATES: ongoing
TIMES: ongoing
AGES: 5-12 years old
COST: start at $45

Your kids can enjoy hands-on fun at home from the makers of Camp Invention®! Their “I Can Invent®” series of Innovation Exploration Kits™ deliver some of their best hands-on camp activities for at-home fun and learning. The full set includes Bot ANN-E™, Innovation Force®, Optibot™, Robotic Pet Vet™, and DIY Orbot™ kits, a Camp Invention T-shirt, an Inventor Log, and access to exclusive digital content including step-by-step instructional videos.

Express Children's Theatre

Vote For The Goat! (streaming theatre production)
Express Children's Theatre
PHONE: 713.682.5044
DATES & TIMES: available anytime
AGES: 4-10 years old
COST: $9.95 to rent; $16.95 to own

Express Children’s Theatre has a new streaming show that kids will love: “Vote For The Goat!” It’s a lively and interactive 43-minute adventure in which Billy Goat learns all about democracy when he tries to convince every animal in the petting zoo to vote to keep it open. It’s a great introduction to the power of voting and how elections can come down to one single vote - YOURS! Kids will learn why voting matters and its importance in the civic lives of their school, community, and nation. “Vote For The Goat!” includes information on the history of voting rights and the 15th and 19th amendments. It’s perfect fun for this election season!

Holocaust Museum

Virtual Tours for Classrooms & Community Groups
Holocaust Museum Houston
PHONE: 713.527.1646
DATES: ongoing
TIMES: by appointment 2 weeks prior
AGES: 10-18 years old
COST: free

In response to the need for distance learning options, Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) has created three virtual tours in English and Spanish for classrooms and community groups. Participants can tour the Museum’s galleries virtually and interact live with a trained HMH Docent. Tour options include the Holocaust Gallery, Human Rights Gallery, and the Samuel Bak Gallery, or a combination of the three. Virtual tours must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance. Additional free online resources can be found here.

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Virtual After School Nature Club
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
PHONE: 713.681.8433
DATES: October 6, 13, and 20; November 3, 10, and 17; December 1, 8, and 15
TIMES: 3:30-4:30pm
AGES: Kindergarten-5th grade
COST: $45/Member and $60/Nonmember per month

Awaken your child’s curiosity and love of nature through the Arboretum’s Virtual After School Nature Club. Guided by Naturalist educators, students will gain a sense of place and community as they experience the natural world through play, projects, hikes, stories, experiments, and more! Weekly nature challenges and discovery packets will keep students excited and engaged between weekly sessions.

Gish Creative

Meditation with Ms. Sarah
Gish Creative
PHONE: 713.492.1173
DATES: whenever you book her
TIMES: vary
AGES: 5-18 years old
COST: varies

Sarah Gish is the publisher of GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS & ADULTS and is also a longtime meditator. She will meet with kids via Zoom for 30 minutes to help them focus and center their days in these uncertain times. Lessons learned will be about types of meditation, how meditation can calm you down in any situation, the benefits of meditation for memory and concentration, and how meditation leads to love of self. You can book Sarah for your pod, for your family, or for your child(ren) by calling her at 713.492.1173 or replying to this email.

Young Audiences of Houston

Arts for Learning Creativity Pops!
Young Audiences of Houston
PHONE: 713.520.9264
DATES: ongoing
TIMES: ongoing
AGES: all!
COST: free

Your children can enjoy Young Audiences of Houston's new online series, Arts for Learning Creativity Pops!, created by Young Audiences of Houston's Teaching Artists. Each online video is created to inspire learning at home. Young Audiences of Houston Teaching Artists are invaluable contributors to Houston's arts ecosystem and each commissioned creativity pops video provides financial support to our teaching artists. Stay tuned as they post new videos each week, and enjoy a pop of creativity each day.

For more about my personal, family, and business enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here.
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Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2020 Sarah Gish

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