I hope this email finds you well. I know for sure you must be ready to have some down time, some holiday time, some no school at all time! I AM HERE TO HELP YOU. 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 about family fun, day camps, and Houston arts...something I’ve been doing since 2003! You can see more about me here. As an augment to my GISH PICKS blog about the best in Houston arts and culture, many years ago I created CAMP PICKS so that I could PICK the best in day camps for kids during school holidays (spring break, summer, Thanksgiving, winter). And during this very strange pandemic year, I created EXPLORE PICKS, a monthly blog I debuted this fall in which I am giving you many great ideas for enriching your child’s online or in person schooling. I’ll do it again in the spring, depending on how the world looks then!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided to combine this month’s EXPLORE PICKS and CAMP PICKS blogs into one. So if you are looking for Thanksgiving camps, here ya go! And if you are looking for extra-curricular programs for your child - either during the school year, or over the holidays -- I’ve got that covered too. 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.

This year there will be no H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Houston - it’s the first time it’s been cancelled in 71 years. However, the City Wide Club’s annual SUPER FEAST is still happening, for the 42nd year in a row. It’s a “Grab ‘n Go” walk-up/drive-through affair in which individuals and families will receive up to 60 to 80 pounds of variety food baskets that will last a family of six for three to seven days for the holiday season. I usually volunteer with them (which is a very popular thing to do, it’s hard to get spots!) - if you’d like to do that too, please click here. And if you’d rather donate, you can give money here and donate food here. It’s going to be an extra-tough Thanksgiving for so many families in our city due to COVID, so I hope you’ll help out in some way. It’s also time for Diwali, the Indian holiday of lights. If you’d like to know more about it, the Asia Society Texas Center created this wonderful educational page. Halloween kicks off the holiday season for me - and now it’s officially in full swing!

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 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. And, as your kids grow up, feel free to update your subscription (in the footer of each email) so that you only get ADULT PICKS.

“Monday Meditation Chat”
November 9
“Wednesday Night Live”
(arts & culture chat) November 11



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!

Art Mix Studio

Fall & Winter Workshops/Day Camps
Art Mix Studio
PHONE: 713.552.9028
DATES: November 20, 23-25
TIMES: vary
AGES: 6-15 years old
COST: varies

Art Mix Studio is offering in studio and Zoom studio for their Friday workshops and School’s Out camps. With COVID-19, they are maintaining a small camp size with all safety measures in place for each student.  The artists will have their own work space and set of supplies to make all of their masterpieces. Students will improve and explore their drawing, painting, and sculpting skills as they make art inspired by new artists each day in camp and at the workshops. Register here for all their many offerings!


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!

Children's Museum Houston

All-Time Access
Children’s Museum of Houston
PHONE: 713.522.1138
DATES: ongoing
TIMES: ongoing
AGES: all ages (special workshops for kids 8-12 years old)
COST: free

After a rollicking summer, the Children’s Museum is temporarily closed (see more about that here) but that’s not stopping them from educating kids and helping families find fun! Their new All-Time Access is a FREE way to experience all the bells and whistles of the Museum safely from your home. The goal is to enhance learning with original, educational content five days a week alongside a cornucopia of additional programs. Everything will be accessible on their social media channels, website, and via email - and it will all be FUN!

Discover Gymnastics

Thanksgiving Camps
Discover Gymnastics
PHONE: 713.680.0045
DATES: November 23-27 (no camp November 26)
TIMES: full day/8am-5pm; half day/8am-12:30pm or 12:30pm-5pm(early drop off at 7:30am for $5)
AGES: potty-trained 3 year olds and up
COST: varies

Kids will enjoy days full of fun, themed adventures, special entertainment, and hours of gymnastics instruction in the Discover Gymnastics’ large sports training facility (perfect for active bodies and COVID-safe practices!). Please send your child with lunch, snacks, and a change of clothes (just in case!). Advanced reservations are required and stringent disinfecting and safe distances are practiced to ensure the health of everyone.

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!

Houston Zoo

Virtual Camp Zoofari
Houston Zoo
PHONE: 713.533.6500
DATES: November 23-25 + Zoo Day on November 27
TIMES: varies by age
AGES: 4-14 years old
COST: $150/child

“Bountiful Feast” is a 3-day virtual camp in which children will explore food. They will think about their own favorites while learning about the diverse world of animal diets. With over 6,000 animals at the Zoo, keeping them all well fed is no easy task! From the always-eating elephants to seldom-hungry snakes and everything in between, campers will look at what it takes to keep everyone satisfied. To round out Virtual Camp Zoofari, all campers are invited to visit the Zoo for a Camp Zoofari take-over on Friday, November 27.

Main Street Theater

Holiday Mini-Camps
Main Street Theater
PHONE: 713.524.7998
DATES: November 23-25, December 21-23 & 28-30
TIMES: 9am-3:30pm
AGES: 6-12 years old
COST: $180/child

Main Street Theater is offering fun-and-theatrical Holiday Mini-Camps over the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. Students will create an original play, help produce their own costumes and props, and play theater games to sharpen their skills in voice, body, imagination. There are no final performances for Mini-Camps, instead students will use the last part of the camp day to perform what they have created for each other. All camps are following CDC protocols; for information about their COVID policies, please click here.

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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