Summer Park Stop #2 – Exploration Park

It’s been less than a month since my last post! Clearly the summer heat is getting to me.

And stop #2 on our park tour did nothing to help my temperature come down.

Exploration Park in Katy

Marion’s Review
My tenderhearted child can’t look past the fact that as soon as we got there, Graham busted his head, so she holds the park personally responsible for that. Otherwise, she said “Not enough to do, but a fun park for big kids.”

Eliza’s Review
It needs better stuff to get you wet. It was fun that it had things you don’t see everwhere

Mama’s Review
There’s a lot of thoughtful design elements in the park which I appreciate. I also love it’s not 100% safe (see Graham’s injury). There’s so much climbing to be done over rocks where they could have easily put stairs or ramps. Most of the features there I haven’t seen at another park so the uniqueness is pretty cool. I just don’t understand how you can build a park in Houston and not include a playable water feature. Or bathrooms.

Notables
There’s a small water thing but not enough to really cool anyone down.
There are no bathrooms.
There’s a lovely covered pavilion with lots of tables. Other than that, almost no shade. Be prepared for that.
There are no bathrooms.
You have to cross a small road from the parking lot to the park, just as a heads up if you have runaway kids.
There are no bathrooms.

Overall
Three stars out of five

(The girls and I agreed if it hadn’t had been such a long drive for us, it probably would have gotten 3.5 stars)

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Graham’s injury (he did a header into the edge of the rocks)

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The water feature

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I think this is supposed to be the toddler area but right now, it’s just an artificial turf hill (watch out for carpet burns if they slide down)

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Spiderweb/climbing feature

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They only have two slides and one is a tunnel slide (a three story one though)

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So if your little ones are scared of covered slides (like Graham) it’s not a great choice

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Roller slides are always fun

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This see-saw swing combo was something I’d never seen before!

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They have the same sort of life sized tinker toys as they did at Levy Park, but they’re permanently attached to the poles. Not as much fun.

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Log/rope sort of swing thing (and an idea of the lack of shade)

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Nest swing

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The run off from the weather cycle clouds creates these little rivers. I imagine if it had recently rained, you’d get pretty muddy

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Super fast spinning stools (I’m sure that’s their official name)

I don’t ever see us making a trip out just to go to this park again but if I were ever needing to kill time in Katy with kids, I’d go again.

Posted in Eliza, Graham, houston, Marion, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer Park Stop #1 – Levy Park

It’s been more than a hot minute since I’ve blogged but let’s not talk about that! We’ll just jump from November 2016 to the summer of 2017 like nothing happened.

Last summer, the kids and I came up with a summer bucket list that we kept in an actual bucket. It was fun and all that but didn’t work out super well for us. Enter this year and the list to end all list in my bullet journal

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A sub list to this is that we’ve come up with ten parks in the Houston area that we want to visit this summer. Most are new parks but there’s a few old favorites in there too. The kids played an active role in helping me find parks and boy, they’ve got opinions on them too!

So first up, Levy Park.

(Graham and I had been here once before but the girls never had)

Marion’s review
There was plenty to do, but not too much.
(What she means is that she never got bored but no one threw a fit when it was time to leave)

Eliza’s review
I liked that there was water and lots of playing

Mama’s review
The park is super clean, so much to do, beautifully laid out. It’s definitely not as much fun when it’s crowded, so get there early. While there is a fence around the playground, the gate isn’t secured in any way and there’s one area that’s not gated.

Notables
An overhead water feature that can be strong for little ones
Lots of climbing but no swings
Bathrooms (including family rooms with changing tables) and water fountains
No picnic tables but lots of lawn (some shaded) for picnics
Both times we’ve been, parking was easy. I think though that if you go on a weekend or later in the day, it could definitely get hard to find a spot.

Overall
Four stars out of five

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Rock wall!

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Easy enough for Graham to do as long as he had a helping hand at the top

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Another fun climbing structure.  That’s Eliza at the top, of course.

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Picnic time!

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The concrete slide is a lot of fun – just watch out if it gets wet.  It gets really fast!

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More rock wall fun

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The water feature (I don’t remember kids slipping and falling so no need to bring water shoes)

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There’s also mini golf!  Or you know, survival of the fittest once they all get to swinging those putters around.

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Life sized tinker toys!

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So much climbing!

We absolutely love Levy park and this will be a regular in our rotation now!

Posted in Eliza, Graham, houston, Marion | Leave a comment

Zoo Boo With My Littlest Boo

Since Halloween was on a Monday this year, Zoo Boo was open an extra day. And I took the opportunity to spend some special time with just the little dude.

And he got to spend some time with the armadillo.

He’s so ridiculously cute.

I love how his head fits between the rails (and is just a little too big to get stuck. Trust me, he’s tried.)

Just chillin.

We took a carousel ride where I was unsuccessful in stealing a kiss.

Then we grabbed some snacks and got a super special train ride.

Oh you guys. This picture just does me in. Look at my sweet boy!

He is getting so big – it just kills me.

And of course, the only thing that could make a train ride better was a PB&J!

Posted in fall, Graham, halloween, houston | Leave a comment

Zoo Boo 2016

It’s not officially Halloween until we pay at least one visit to Zoo Boo!

Well, I guess if you want to get all technical it’s not Halloween until October 31st, but semantics.

YaYa was (mostly) into the spirit of things. He just tried to give them back the candy he got which was actually pretty adorable.

Benefit of going the first day?

There’s still white space on the coloring wall!

YaYa is obsessed with the elephants. Especially when it’s their bath time. As soon as we pull up to the zoo, he starts saying “See elephants? BUBBLES!”

The girls had their hearts broken with Smaug, the old Komodo dragon, died. But the new one seems to doing okay in their opinion.

And a huge thanks to all the docents who told us about the Hans and Chewy and a big thanks to the handler who bribed them with a treat to look at the camera 🙂

Posted in Eliza, fall, Graham, halloween, houston, Marion, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Halloween

May the Halloween Force be with you!

Posted in Bowie, Eliza, fall, family, Gracie, Graham, halloween | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Patch 2016

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Another year, another visit to the pumpkin patch!

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Our rule still holds true though

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If you can’t pick it up

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You can’t bring it home!

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Which means some of us just came home with a squash!

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In case you were wondering, we always go to the St. Luke’s Pure Sound Pumpkin Patch

Posted in babies, Eliza, fall, Graham, halloween, houston, Marion | Leave a comment

End / Beginning

So we ended the first quarter of school last week, which seems like the perfect time to revisit the first day of school, right?

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You guys, this wee one started KINDERGARTEN! I don’t know how she’s big enough for this (or how that hair fits into her classroom but I digress.)

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Marion is now a big, worldly, experienced and totally in control second grader. I do love though that she’s rocking on her feet in this picture. She wouldn’t admit it, but she was nervous.

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After two years apart, they’re back at the same school and all is right with the world.

Posted in education, Eliza, Marion | Leave a comment