Today I surprised my big little guy with an under the sea themed day. Its summer & he’s a nine year old boy who would spend AT LEAST half of his day playing video games if I didn’t tell him to do otherwise. The reality of summer is you can’t go on a vacation everyday. There are so many days that can fall to the wayside if you don’t keep you and your family busy with what I like to call, “mini adventures”. Hence, where my idea for “Under the Sea Day” came from. I just wanted a little something we could do in our own friendly quarters that would take his mind off of his PlayStation for a moment. Nothing incredibly outlandish, just plain old fashioned good times. I started with waking him up with “fish cakes”. Just pancakes in the shape of sea creatures, bacon seaweed & a side of fruit. Simple and he loved it. Score one for mom.
We let the food settle and then I started him on a “research project”. I asked him to pick a sea creature, research and write down seven facts about it. http://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com/ is so awesome, even I got into it. Easy enough to navigate for a child and interesting enough to captivate the attention of an adult. He chose great white sharks and I sat with him and helped him sift through the reading to find facts for his project. He wasn’t thrilled about having to do a project but within two minutes of reading about the sharks he forgot it was a “project” and it ended up being fun for both of us. Score two for mom.
I try my best not to be a tyrant, so I did give him some free time following the project. I let him play outside. Use some of his never ending energy (so jealous) before I sat him down to watch a movie. Not just any movie… Free Willy! My son loves animals and movies. I love showing him movies I grew up on. How perfect. Free Willy was just as great as I remember, with lessons on life, love and family. Don’t tell him I told you, but my son has a heart the size of Texas and he cried Texas size tears watching this movie. It was the good kind of tears, and I was happy to see him get so into a movie I myself use to be so attached to. More points for mom.
We ate lunch served with a homemade ocean water (Ocean water: sprite, coconut extract, little extra water/sugar and blue food coloring). I added swedish fish for extra cool points. Take that Sonic!
After lunch it was pool time! Can’t have an under the sea day without a trip to the pool. We made it home in time for showers and a nap for Bailey before I started dinner. A dinner including wild caught cod no less. It was a really easy going day. Easy going but very special. I don’t know that my son will remember this day forever. I don’t know that it will be his favorite thing he did this summer, but I do know that he had fun. He had fun without touching the PlayStation. He used his imagination, he learned new things and he smiled really big today. Just a couple of funny shaped pancakes and a little thought and we had ourselves a pretty awesome mini vacation. Pick a theme and a few activities and have a wonderful day with your children!
Check out this list of over 48 places for kids to eat free in the Houston area http://www.houstononthecheap.com/. Word of advice, always call ahead of time to make sure the location you plan on going to participates & that the offers are not outdated. Typically the one kid eats free per adult entree.
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
July 4. 1pm-5pm
With performers, crafts, activities, refreshments, and much more, join the the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to celebrate Independence Day at Houston’s home for American decorative arts and paintings. A reading of the Declaration of Independence beings at 3 p.m. on the Diana Terrace of the Bayou Bend house and will be followed by birthday cake. And don’t forget to sign the giant replica of the Declaration of Independence before you leave to remind us the freedom and privileges we have in this country.
July 4. All day with fireworks at 9:30 pm.
Live music & patriotic fireworks show over Galveston Bay.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion
July 3rd at 8pm
Enjoy an evening with Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski and the Houston Symphony listening to patriotic, toe-tapping American music. Make sure to stay until the end for the 1812 Overture-complete with booming cannons! This celebration concludes with a magnificent display of fireworks provided by Miller Theatre Advisory Board.
Also check one of my favorite houston event websites, http://www.houston.culturemap.com/ for more July 4th and other summertime events.
(Oh and, Dallas folk. Willie Nelson will be performing at Billy Bob’s this year. Too cool for school.)