Pasadena Strawberry Festival

May 13th, 2016

Pasadena Strawberry Festival

This afternoon, the Pasadena Strawberry Festival gets underway at the Pasadena Convention Center & Fairgrounds. Now, in its 43rd consecutive year, there will be festivities and entertainment for the entire family.

 

The best part about the Strawberry Festival are all the contests for guests to participate in. There’s a Beauty Pageant, a Washer Pitching contest, try to play volleyball with mud up to your knees in the Mud Volleyball tournament, and a contest for the most uniquely, best decorated booth, the best floats in the Strawberry Festival Parade and even a Baby Float Parade. The tastiest of the contests though is the Barbecue cook-off, with categories including best brisket, ribs, strawberry dessert and margaritas.

 

The one contest that stands above them all at the Pasadena Strawberry Festival is the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake. Every year, the festival attempts to get into the Guinness Book of World’s Records for having the largest strawberry shortcake. In 2014, with the help of Kroger Grocers, the festival made a cake that weighed over 21,000 lbs and was over 2,000 square feet. Let’s see how they do in 2016!

 

In the festival Adventure Zone for kids, there are activities for all ages. There are free arts and crafts, inflatable games, a strawberry eating contest, sand art, face painting, and live puppet show. Plus, there’s a petting zoo, pig races, pony rides, balloon artists and fun festival food.

 

There are also two stages complete with a full line-up of local bands and performance groups. There are also magicians and jugglers, carnival rides and games, wine tastings, and over 300 vendors to stroll through.

 

Proceeds from the Strawberry Festival are used for scholarships for local students and to support community projects. What could be sweeter than that?!

 

For more information, a complete schedule and directions, please visitwww.strawberryfest.org

Mother’s Day

May 6th, 2016

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Mother’s Day is this weekend. Be sure to come up with something fun and relaxing for that special mom in your life. We’ve got a few ideas for you.

 

Mother’s Day Brunch

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro

A special Mother’s Day menu awaits at this fine dining restaurant, so be sure to make reservations. For the more casual mom, try Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen. Call ahead at 281-203-5641.

 

Hyatt Market Street, The Woodlands

Hyatt Market Street prepares for the crush of dads and kids wanting to treat Mom right and has several seating options for brunch with a long list of savory options. Bottomless mimosas or bottomless build your own Bloody Mary’s are a nice added feature here, as is the kids’ menu.

 

The Woodlands Resort

The brunch buffet for Mom is second to none at the Woodlands Resort, with a variety of sweet and savory breakfast and lunch dishes, plus a full bar and a complimentary Bloody Mary or mimosa for each adult. And, if Daddy really wants to make an impression, he can book a romantic night for 2 for some other time, or get Mom a gift certificate for a treatment at Alexander’s in the Woods Spa.

 

Spa Time

 

Spa at The WaterwayLocated on the first floor of the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel, this is a full service hair salon and spa with 11 treatment rooms. Get her a massage, haircut, or really spoil her with a spa package.

 

VillaSpa Located inside VillaSport, this is a full service spa offering massage, facials, body treatments, as well as manicures, pedicures and complimentary access to the rest of the athletic club after your service. Packages and specials also available.

 

Fun Family Time

For the mom that would rather do something fun for the whole family instead, rent  kayaks at the Riva Row Boat House, take a bike ride on Le Tour de Woodlands, or just an afternoon of bowling at one of our bowling alleys.

Texas Crawfish & Music Festival

April 29th, 2016

crawfish festival

Tonight kicks off two weekends of food, music and fun at the 30th Annual Texas Crawfish & Music Festival, located in Old Town Spring, Texas. It is one of the biggest and longest-running festivals in the Houston Gulf Coast region.

 

The 19th century railroad town of Old Town Spring, just north of Houston gets taken over by the sights, sounds and smells of the best of Cajun Texas.

 

Multiple stages start up at noon on Saturday and Sunday each weekend, and around 5pm on Friday. Each stage will feature live bands ranging from local musicians to national headliners that play everything from Zydeco to Texas Country to Rock music until the festival closes each night.

 

Load your kids up with tickets for the carnival, where there will be all kinds of rides and games for all ages. Be sure to stop by the arts and crafts vendors and exhibitors too.

 

There will be kids activities including a petting zoo. The kids will have a chance to cozy up to some chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, sheep and donkeys in the petting zoo, or even take a pony ride. The Birdman will introduce them to a variety of beautiful exotic birds. And what Cajun festival would be complete without a little gator wrangling – Gator Country will be onhand to do demonstrations, let the little ones pet a baby alligator, and show off some of their biggest, oldest alligators.

 

And, of course, there will be crawfish by the bucketload – the best fresh, hot and spicy crawfish the Gulf Coast has to offer, as well as other festival food.

 

Old Town Spring started as a railroad town in the late 1800s and many original buildings remain and house over 120 shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The Texas Crawfish Festival began in 1986 and has grown to one of the most popular annual events in Texas.

 

For a complete lineup of bands and entertainment, visit their website at www.texascrawfishfestival.com.

 

Houston Children’s Festival

April 22nd, 2016

Houston Children's Festival

The 28th annual Houston Children’s Festival is back this weekend. Children’s Festival was selected as “one of the world’s 300 unmissable events” by Frommer’s Travel Guides and one of Houston’s signature events, with projected annual attendance of over 50,000 people.

 

Children’s Festival proudly boasts multiple stages for live entertainment, several separate family adventure zones, with over 300 activities throughout the festival for children and parents alike to enjoy together.

 

Entertainment over the years has ranged from Bozo the Clown and Ralph the Swimming Pig to Animal Planet super star, Jeff Corwin, to star celebrities from Disney and Nickelodeon’s most popular television shows. Programming is carefully aimed at specific age groups and interests, to ensure there is adventure and fun for everyone.

 

There are a variety of activities ranging from crafts to science to toddler activities like the diaper derby for little ones. There’s Zumba for kids, a nature discovery center, Check the complete schedule of events before heading out since each day has a different agenda of activities.

 

There are magic acts, juggling acts, singalongs, dance-alongs, belly dancing, Houston Youth Soccer showing off their stuff. There are martial arts demonstrations, lessons about bullying, and the Robotic Academy.

 

Make sure you introduce your kids to all their favorite characters – especially Ronald McDonald – and get their picture taken with them! You never know who you’ll run into!

 

In 2014, there were over 9,000 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect, with over 5,000 children in foster care because of it. McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival benefits Child Advocates, Inc., the 501c3 organization that mobilizes court appointed volunteers to break the vicious cycle of child abused. “We speak up for abused children who are lost in the system and guide them into safe environments where they can thrive.”

 

McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival is a great time for the whole family and supports a worthy cause.

 

For tickets and a schedule of events, visit their website at http://www.houstonchildrensfestival.com/.

Houston Japan Festival

April 15th, 2016

Houston Japan Festival

The Houston Japan Festival is one of the largest Japanese festivals in the United States and it returns to Hermann Park this weekend for its twenty-third year. This cultural festival celebrates the deep rituals and traditions of Japan as well as new Japanese American traditions. There is so much to see, do and experience!

 

There is music and entertainment. There is nothing like the thunderous beat of Taiko or the classical sound of traditional Japanese folk singing that accompanies the elegance of Japanese dance in kimono. But there will also be opportunity to experience the modern sounds of J-Pop and J-Rock.

 

There is also Bunraku, one of three great forms of Japanese theater. Be sure to check out the traditional Japanese puppetry performed by the Bunraku Bay Puppet Theater.

 

Make a woodblock print or another participate in another traditional “taiken (体験)” activity, such as shodo, etegami, origami or hanga, available to all festival goers.

 

Practice your wrestling moves and jump into a sumo suit with a friend. See who’s the better wrestler! There are also many other wonderful games and children’s activities as well.

 

Be blown away at the Martial Arts Stage by the amazing acrobatics and skill of the many forms of Japanese martial arts including Kendo and Aikido.

 

Are you a fan of Anime and Cosplay? Be sure to take part in the festival’s gigantic Cosplay contest! Or if you are a fan of Japanese fashion, see exquisite, elegant Japanese kimono and yukata on stage and cute and modern Japanese lolita fashion and even Cosplay throughout the festival.

 

In the tea house located in the Japanese Garden amid the beautiful Ikebana flower arrangements take in the beauty and majesty of a traditional tea ceremony, with its many intricate steps.

 

Don’t forget the food! There is plenty of delicious Japanese Food and treats to delight, from delicious onigiri and pocky to hot Japanese curry.

 

For ticket pricing, parking and schedule details, visit http://www.houstonjapanfest.org/.

Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

April 8th, 2016

Woodlands-Waterway-Arts-Festival-Houston

More than 200 fine artists will showcase their works representing many mediums including clay pottery, digital art, drawings, fiber and glassworks, jewelry, leather tooling and metalworks as well as painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and wood carvings and constructions at the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival. More than 15,000 guests attend the three-day festival. But fine art is not the only art represented here.

 

Artopoly is an area of the art festival designed for children to explore art through the eyes and wonder of a child. There will be  an interactive section, with lots of art supplies available for young minds to get creative, a giant mural to promote the Meals on Wheels program, artist demonstrations and portrait painting groups throughout the weekend. And the Early Inspiration Gallery, where artwork is available for young wallets, for them to purchase artwork for themselves for the first time.

 

There is also a juried Student Art section displayed at the festival, with prizes awarded and special presentation.

For the culinary artist, there is the Art of Food, where you will find a “foodie” stage where local chefs demonstrate their skills and promote their restaurants. The Art of Food Chef Demonstrations will take place in Town Green Park, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

For performing art, stop by each of the four stages – each has something a little different. The Palette Cafe Stage features bands and musicians from Texas and around the world. The Art & Culture stage is an opportunity for cultural groups to showcase their talents. The West End stage features the broad horizon of music from international rhythms and ancient instruments. The Watercolor Terrace stage features up and coming musicians, many of whom participate in RealLife RealMusic,  an organization that provides group and one-on-one mentoring opportunities for young musicians through Songwriters Experience Summer Camps and the Select Program.

 

Saturday evening, Waterway Square is ungated and free with additional activities including interactive drum circle stations. Make an evening of it by stopping by one of the many nearby Waterway restaurants to grab a quick meal, then enjoy listening to some great music!
Visit http://www.woodlandsartfestival.com/ for details and ticketing information.

Muddy Trails Bash 2016

April 1st, 2016

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Since 2014,The Woodlands Financial Group (TWFG) has been a proud title sponsor of the Woodlands Muddy Trails Bash and this year is no exception. This year’s race takes place tomorrow.

 

The race course is located in George Mitchell Nature Preserve, 1,800 acres adjacent to Rob Fleming Park in the Village of Creekside Park and there are three divisions. The 5K and 10K are chip-timed races, and are recommended for participants ages 10 and older. Then there is the Little Muddy Kids’ One Mile Fun Run, which is recommended for children ages 5 and 9. Last but not least is the 2K-9 fun run for dogs and their owners! All three races promise to be a ton of fun for participants and spectators alike and every year both grow by leaps and bounds.

 

All participants receive a Muddy Trails medal and a commemorative t-shirt. But that’s not all!

 

Stick around after the race is over for a Muddy Trails after-party! There will be crawfish and concessions available, plus a live Zydeco band and fun activities for the kids.

 

TWFG Muddy Trails is a rain or shine event and the weather in Houston during the month of April can vary, so participants should train accordingly.

 

The Woodlands Financial Group is a national property/casualty insurance company based in The Woodlands. Gordy Bunch, CEO of The Woodlands Financial Group said, “The Woodlands is a very active lifestyle community, and this is an opportunity for our residents to have fun and strive for a healthy lifestyle at the same time. There are all kinds of different options of runs in this event which makes it very appealing for our residents, their friends and visitors.”

 

For details on the TWFG Muddy Trails Bash, visit their website at https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/index.aspx?NID=454.

Bayou City Art Festival

March 25th, 2016

 

Bayou City Arts Festival

This year, Art Colony Association celebrates the Bayou City Art Festival’s 45th year, continuing its colorful tradition of bringing fine art from all over the United States to Memorial Park for a beautiful three-day outdoor festival. Photo courtesy of Art Colony Association

 

This festival will feature more than 400 artists representing more than 19 mediums, from clay, and glass, to metal and leather, mixed media and photography. The art festival sees over 30,000 attendants!

 

A new addition to the festival in 2015 was Student Art Park. The area is dedicated to works from local middle school and high school students, featuring 3D site-specific works. They are selected from the Art Colony Association’s Middle School Art Competition in which students from Greater Houston area school districts submit 2-D works to be juried by distinguished local artists, gallery owners and art enthusiasts. From over 300 entries in 2015, 30 finalists were selected to display their artwork at the Bayou City Arts Festival. Four winners also received  cash prizes, art supply certificates, and scholarships. Every competition participant received complimentary tickets to the festival. Student Art Park is also intended to serve as an arts education center of the festival.

 

Student Art Park also spotlights the Art Colony Association’s Emerging Artist Program. This program gives promising Houston area high school students the chance to have first-hand experience in the business of being a professional artist.

 

But there’s also fun in store for the children when they arrive at the festival. They can also have fun in The Green Mountain Energy Children’s Creative Zone, which is participating in projects led by the likes of MFAH, Fotofest, City Artworks, Young Audiences of Houston and The University of Houston Clear Lake.

 

For those who will work up an appetite walking through fine art all day, Houston’s finest food trucks will be onhand for all the festival fare your stomach desires.
For more information, tickets and festival details, visit their website at http://www.artcolonyassociation.org/.

Haute Wheels Houston

March 18th, 2016

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Do you remember the jokes we used to tell about food trucks? The things we called them? Roach coaches? Yeah, those days are long over. Food trucks in 2016 produce some of the best, most sought after food in the industry. And this weekend, more than 34 of them will be rolling on to the Houston Community College Southwest Campus, with the most skilled chefs in Houston at their helms. The festival is called Haute Wheels Houston.

 

We’re not talking sandwiches filled with mystery meat and overpriced soda!

 

Haute Wheels Houston offers cutting-edge culinary flavors that your palette won’t soon forget. Imagine pecan smoked pork butt sandwiches, a cross between Korean and Mexican, every flavor of waffle you’ve ever dreamed of, or lobster sliders, washed down by a chewy peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookie. Are you salivating yet?? There are also several different Asian options, Hawaiian food, burgers, burgers and more burgers, Poutine?, and of course, barbecue.

 

But Haute Wheels wouldn’t leave you dry. Set a spell in the beer & wine garden, where there is a libation for everyone. The garden is also the home to the music stage, where a local band will get your toes tapping. Once you’ve digested a bit, you might even want to dance off some of the 4,000 calories you just ate.

 

Then take a stroll through Vendor Village filled with jewelry, clothing, and many other exhibitors. Or get busy with the activities in store. Check out Via Colori, the annual street painting festival that benefits the Center for Hearing and Speech, and even add your artist’s eye to the project. Then drive yourself dizzy in an Entertainment Bubble.

 

The best part is that Haute Wheels benefits the Houston Community College Foundation.

 

For updates on participating food trucks, to purchase tickets or get more information on the many organizations benefitting from Haute Wheels, visit their website at http://www.hautewheelshouston.com/Home.shtml.

St. Patrick’s Day

March 11th, 2016

McTeggart School

Top o’ the Morning, to ya! St. Patrick’s Day is next week and we want to give you a couple of ideas to think about for where to be Irish and knock back a green beer or two.

 

Griff’s of Houston doesn’t want you to even think of slowing down after the last of the Mardi Gras beads have been tossed. At Griff’s, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just one bloody day. It’s almost two full weeks of celebration, and you’ve already missed some of it. So, if it’s all things Irish, green and shamrocks you are looking for this week to celebrate the day when everyone is Irish, look no further than Griff’s.

 

If you want to go to the Houston St. Patrick’s Parade, join the caravan Green Tide that departs from Griff’s at 10am. When you’ve had your fill of floats and the bouncing curls of Irish dancers come back to Griff’s with the caravan for the Irish Stew, Chili, Chicken, Open Irish Dish Cook-Off. There will be more live music all afternoon, and PLENTY of beer.

 

You get a bit of a break before the revelry kicks back up on St. Patrick’s Day, so get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water. You’re going to need it. Griff’s gets all things going green at 2pm with non-stop music throughout the day on two stages featuring 9 bands. www.griffshouston.net.

 

But maybe heading into Houston wasn’t in your plans. You’d rather stick close to home to cut down on cab fare. Look no further than The Goose’s Acre Bistro & Irish Pub.

 

Start the day off right when The Goose’s Acre opens at 8am for breakfast. They start serving lunch and dinner at 11am, the same time the music gets going, until 1am, an hour before the music ends. Be entertained by Irish dancers, or people enjoying the Tuaca Ice Block. It’s the best place close to home to get your Irish on. www.thegoosesacre.com

 

Wherever you decide to party, please drink responsibly!