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Welcome to GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS! I’m Sarah Gish, an info-preneur and culture sleuth who finds the unusual and cool in Houston each and every week. Join me as I shine a light on Houston gems and unique Houston fun. I love Houston and want to show you the people and the places and the events that make it great (see more about my wishes for that here). And I want to make it easy for you so I sort through the cornucopia of events offered in our wonderful city each weekend and I PICK only three each for families and adults to recommend to you. That way you’ll be all set when Friday hits!

We are the most diverse city in the country, not only because of the over 100 languages spoken here every day, but also because of the diversity of events offered and places to hang our (cowboy) hats. Please be sure to tell your friends about GISH PICKS – the more people who know about these unique cultural events, the more unique cultural events the organizations will offer us. Please also tell the orgs that I sent you. My business grows by word of mouth so I thank you for your continued support. Here’s to many more years of GISH PICKS!

A note about the social media for GISH PICKS: please LIKE our Facebook page for family PICKS and our Facebook page for adult PICKS. Be sure to click “See first” in the dropdown menu on the LIKE button so you won’t miss a post! And please follow me on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll get all my CULTURE PICKS and more that way. And there’s one last way to stay in touch with me! I organize many events, such as labyrinth walks and workshops, so if you’d like to be informed of those before everyone else, please subscribe to my Gish Creative list here.

Each year as we glide into a jam-packed winter holiday season, I find myself curious about the holidays celebrated by other faiths and cultures and when they are happening. I then turn to the handy dandy Anti-Defamation League “Calendar of Observances,” which lists events from around the world – see the 2016 calendar here (just this month remaining, yikes!) and the 2017 calendar here. Also included are observances like World Aids Day,” which was yesterday, December 1. On this day, focus is on the HIV virus which affects more than 34 billion people around the globe. The personal stories of those impacted by AIDS in Houston and Southeast Texas is being preserved in the “Houston Oral History Project” – watch my friend and activist Andrew Edmondson talk about it on Great Day Houston.

Houston is celebrating the Christmas holiday with the Mayor’s 97th annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony today, December 2, from 6-8pm at Hermann Square at City Hall. As promised, I’ve got a round-up of holiday light shows for kiddos so you can hit the lights all throughout the holidays. The Children’s Museum of Houston is displaying their annual “Seasons of Sharing” exhibit in which Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Lunar New Year are represented in Houston’s only multicultural holiday exhibit for children. Those seven celebrations come together in a block-long "neighborhood" of houses in the Museum, lighting the way through the holiday season. You can see this show at next week’s “Mommy Mingle,” a fun time for moms/dads/caregivers of children 35 months and younger. I’ll be there with a table so stop by and say howdy!

And, finally, I want to point out two events I PICK-ed that are so important in this time of xenophobia and fear of “the other.” Man’s inhumanity to mankind is explored in a new exhibition at the Holocaust Museum Houston and the Asia Society is host to a concert of devotional music from four faith traditions. The arts have always led the way towards tolerance of ALL peoples so I hope you and your family and friends will take the time to see and hear these offerings while expanding your minds along the way.

Have a great weekend, love one another, please share this, and go IGNITE YOUR LIFE!

Picks for Kids the Weekend of December 2-4, 2016
Picks for Adults the Weekend of December 2-4, 2016

Christmas Village at Bayou Bend


Christmas Village at Bayou Bend is back and better than ever December 10 through January 1, 2017 (closed 12/24, 12/25, and 12/31). Enjoy a live reindeer, holiday carolers, Santa, a faux-snowball play area, holiday treats, and art-making activities, all on 14 acres of gardens and art nestled in River Oaks.

Voices of the Spirit VI


Voices of the Spirit VI showcases devotional music from four of Houston’s faith communities this Saturday, December 3 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 4 at 3pm in two free concerts. The event will open with a Muslim call to prayer and close with Walagante, a Garifuna group that combines traditional percussion, chorus, and dance.

Zoo Lights


Enjoy 15 miles of lights, sleeping animals, and hot chocolate at the Houston Zoo nightly through January 15, 2017 (closed 12/24 and 12/25). The Zoo closes daily at 5pm and re-opens at 6pm for the separately-ticketed Zoo Lights.”

GENOCIDE: Man’s Inhumanity to Humankind


The Holocaust Museum Houston presents the exhibition GENOCIDE: Man’s Inhumanity to Humankind” through December 31. This is the Museum’s first contemporary juried exhibit and includes 65 pieces of art culled from over 600 submissions, all of which explore the suffering humans are capable of bestowing on one another.

Magical Winter Lights


The City of La Marque has become the official sponsor of the Magical Winter Lights festival which is held nightly at the Gulf Greyhound Park through January 8, 2017. Everyone can enjoy a magical lantern display, dinosaurs on the holiday prowl, and much more.

Sunday Streets Houston


Put on your winter woolies and head out to Oak Forest for the final Sunday Streets Houston of the year. This event is part of an initiative sponsored by Mayor Annise Parker in 2012 to improve the healthy lifestyles of all Houstonians – an added benefit is the creation of community!

Art of Sound


My son’s longtime violin teacher, Tim Browning, is now offering lessons in your home through his music school, the Art of Sound. He’s very engaging with kids and will work with you or your children starting at any level on a variety of instruments (violin, viola, piano) and he can also teach voice or music theory lessons. Children of all ages show academic improvement when they study music and music has been shown to stave off neurological difficulties and aging issues in adults. Get started today by contacting Tim via phone at 832.452.7970 or email at The monthly tuition is $150 for weekly half hour lessons and $250 for weekly hour lessons. Cash/check/credit/Apple & Android Pay are accepted.

GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS is a free weekly email in which I cull through the HUNDREDS of events offered in our city each week and PICK just three for adults and three for kids to recommend. It’s #GishPicks #CuratedCulture to help you plan your weekend! 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 Houstonians become aware of all the interesting and unique things they can do in Houston and the surrounding area. Exploring your city is a great way to #IgniteYourOwnLife and we are so happy to help you do that. Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things 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, family, and business 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 kids and adults through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS, which is online and emailed out to thousands of Houstonians who love to explore our city;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, my art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire people around the world to light a fire to their own passions and to create connections among people;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on Mondays. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes and I can help you with personal and/or work questions;

  • Quarterly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

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

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2016 Sarah Gish

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Holiday Lights at Bayou Bend
Holiday Lights at the Houston Zoo Holiday Lights at Gulf Greyhound Park Voices of the Spirit VI with Houston Arts Alliance GENOCIDE: Man’s Inhumanity to Mankind Sunday Streets Healthy Fun in Oak Forest VIDEO PICK: Enjoy music by Walagante, a Garifuna musical group from Honduras that will be performing this weekend at the Asia Society Music lessons with Mr. Tim