My Top 5: BigKidSmallCity’s Jill Jarvis

Photo courtesy of BigKidSmallCity

Each week we highlight a different Houstonian, who shares her five favorite things to do in the Greater Houston area. This week, we’re pleased to present Jill Jarvis who founded and writes for BigKidSmallCity, a website dedicated to helping moms and their kids enjoy life inside the Loop.  

My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston

by Jill Jarvis

  1. Youth Theater at Main Street Theater – We love to watch storybooks come to life in this small casual theater. We can wear our fanciest clothes or blue jeans, and fit in just fine. The kids laugh and dance in their seats for the hour-long show and then get meet the actors afterwards.
  2. Downtown Houston – We take MetroRail to the Main Street Square or Preston Street Station. On weekdays, we wonder through the miles of tunnels under the city and then visit the city’s highest observation deck at the JP Morgan Chase Tower. On any day of the week, we visit Discovery Green and Market Square Park, wonder around the Bayou Trails by the Wortham Center and Burp the Bayou (see below).
  3. Burp the Bayou – This goofy little thing needs a number all its own. In the middle of the brick column on the side of the Preston Street Bridge, is a little red button. When you press it, the water in the bayou will bubble for several seconds. It’s not marked, so we don’t know whether we should press it or not. And if we do press it, what will happen? Where should we look? And say we see or hear the bubbles, what is causing it? Did we wake a bayou monster? And if a boat is traveling down the river, what would happen if we timed the bubbles just right? We never get tired of this little game.
  4. Hermann Park – This park is so big that we can always find something new to do. We explore the Japanese Garden, watch a show at Miller Outdoor Theater, feed the ducks, ride the train and visit the zoo. Last summer I took my three kids, ages 2, 4 and 6, on the pedal boats and did not lose any of them in McGovern Lake, which was one of my greatest accomplishments as a mom. (I’m not joking.) We also like to visit Pinewood Café where my oldest son had “Joe’s Vegetarian Grilled Cheese” named after his signature creation.
  5. Fire Fest presented by the Houston Fire Museum – We look forward to each October and the annual Fire Fest at the Val Jahnke Training Facility. There are many fire rescue demonstrations and activities for the kids. My kids especially love to spray the fire hose and take a ride up in the basket of the ladder truck. From November to the next October, my kids ask weekly about when we can return.

About Jill Jarvis

Jill Jarvis founded and writes BigKidSmallCity. She is passionate about encouraging parents to get out of the house and into Houston; about making it easy for kids and families to understand how the city ticks, from city government to local companies and organizations; and finally, about giving back to the city that offers a high quality of life to her family. On BigKidSmallCity, she provides weekly lists of events for kids, things to do in Houston from a mom’s perspective, family-friendly interviews of local leaders and resources for parents. Jill is mom to Joe (6), Brooke (4) and James (2) and lives in Montrose with her family.