All posts by WoodlandsReloGroup

Happy October!

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Trick-or-treat! Halloween is right around the corner…or was that a ghost?! But in all seriousness, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get those Halloween boxes out of storage and start decorating! With many festivities coming up such as Halloween-themed events for kids, craft fairs with Fall décor, and much more! Below are some exciting events you must check out this October.

documentWicked Wonderland Family Carnival
October 14th from 4-8pm
A great family friendly event at Rob Fleming Park! This spooky carnival will give kids the chance to play lots of festive games, dress up in your Halloween best for a contest, and participate in trick-or-treat stations. There will also be giant inflatables, plenty of concessions, and so much more! Also, don’t forget your camera as there will be tons of adorable photo opportunities!

Pumpkin Patch at Market Street
pumpkinpacthOctober 14th-15th from 10am-9pm
The perfect place to select your Halloween pumpkin! Bring the kids and snap some super cute photos at the Market Street Pumpkin Patch held each Fall. There will be no charge to select a pumpkin, but donations will be accepted to raise awareness for Juvenile Batten Disease.

trailoftreacheryThe Trail of Treachery at Bear Branch Park
October 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th from 8-10pm
Hosted at the Recreation Center, The Trail of Treachery will be a frightening experience. Dress up in your best Halloween costume and be guided through a haunted trail. This is a family friendly event – recommended for ages 9 and over. Admission is $8 per person. Beware!

Excited Shopping WomanOctoberfest Craft Show
October 22nd and 23rd
Located at the Woods Winds Shopping Center on Sawdust Road, the Octoberfest Craft show will feature about 45 vendor booths with unique handmade items. Great for Fall décor!

trickortreattrailTrick or Treat Trail at Town Green Park
October 23rd from 3-6pm
This free family-friendly event will include a haunted trail and over 30 local trick-or-treat booths from local vendors! There will be various children’s activities, strolling entertainment, inflatables and costume contests. Over a thousand attendees are expected to partake in this event.

spooktacular-workshop-2015The Woodlands Children’s Museum Annual SpookTacular
October 31st from 4-8pm
The museum will be transformed into a Halloween wonderland with games, arts & crafts, and so spooky activities! This year’s theme will be “The Original” SpookTacular Monster Mash featuring whimsical monsters. It is $7 for members and $9 for non-members, adults are just $1.

There is so much going on this month involving Halloween. You can find more October events at http://thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/calendar or  http://woodlandsevents.com/fall/halloween-the-woodlands. Have a spooky (but safe) Halloween!!

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

Keep Preparations Ready During Hurricane Season

shutterstock_330893843Although hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th, the months of August and September can be the most severe in the state of Texas. Many of you have most likely heard about Hurricane Hermine that went through Florida and much of the East coast recently, so with weather in the back of our minds, we should take precautions before an emergency takes place in our community. The Woodlands Community Magazine August 2016 Edition has a great article about staying prepared for hurricane season (http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/index.php?i=&m=6535&l=1&p=22&pre=&ver=swf). They supply an example of what should be inside your Emergency Supply Kit:

  • One Gallon of Water per person per day for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of nonperishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Filter mask or cotton T-shirt to help filter the air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener and utensils
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Important family documents
  • Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formulas, diapers and pet food

shutterstock_11539063Keeping this kit accessible and ready will make sure to keep loved ones safe. Because I grew up in the Midwest, I’ve never had to experience the potential of hurricanes so when I moved to The Woodlands, I was in for some major change! I have referred to  (http://www.wxresearch.org/family/pg13.html) which explains how hurricanes work in Texas and it is actually very interesting, especially if you’re into the science behind it all!

Please be sure to stay updated on the weather and stay safe this fall! Have a great week!

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

2016 Fall Action Guide

shutterstock_303265427With the kids back at school, finding activities that work with everybody’s busy schedule can be a challenge. Thankfully, The Woodlands Township offers a variety of events and programs during the fall months for kids and adults to enjoy. The Fall Action Guide 2016 (https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2058)  was recently posted by The Woodlands Township, which means registration has begun! You can sign up through their website (https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/), by phone, or in person at The Woodlands Township Recreational Center.

Getting involved in these activities is a great way to get to know the community, learn something new, and make friends all while having a blast! There are so many opportunities within the Fall Action Guide, such as special/seasonal events, outdoor education programs, gorilla hole, preschool, youth and adult programs, tennis, aquatic, athletic, fitness and environmental programs, and much more! The best way to really get a sense of how much there is to do in The Woodlands this year is to scroll through the 2016 Fall Action Guide (http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/6964) to see what sparks you and your family’s interest.

Here are some upcoming events listed in the Fall Action Guide…

Celebrate Labor Day
September 3rd & 4th from 6pm-9pm
Waterway Square

Live at Night
September 10th, 17th, 24th, and October 1st & 8th
Waterway Square

Concert in the Park Fall Series
September 11th & 18th, October 2nd, 9th, & 16th
Northshore Park

Kids Night Out
September 9th & 30th, November 11th, December 9th
The Woodlands Township

Arts in the Park Presents Shakespeare in the Park
September 17th at 2pm
Rob Fleming Park

10th Annual Creekside Campout
October 1st & 2nd
Rob Fleming Park

Rock the Row
October 13th, 20th, 27th, and November 3rd
Hughes Landing

18th Annual Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance
Register November 14th
The Woodlands Township

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

What to Expect at the Pavilion in 2016

cynthiawoodsmitchellpavilionfacebook

When I first moved to The Woodlands, I was more than excited to hear about The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. It was such an insane concept to have one of the world’s best outdoor amphitheaters in my own town, just minutes away. Maybe this is because I am from a small suburb of Chicago, however, I couldn’t wait to see what big names were on the summer schedule! The first concert I saw at the Pavilion was Fall Out Boy for my friends birthday. My friends and I wanted to experience lawn seats – something we have not done11760079_10206069053418701_6728045389722769216_n before in Chicago. To my surprise, it was quite comfortable (even though we forgot a blanket!!) and we had an amazing view. Another plus was that the concession stand was directly behind us with no line! We had such a great night and couldn’t wait to plan the next concert.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is conveniently located right near The Woodlands Mall and Market Street. Below is the current 7EYAGfWqSzGUQrAWluIl51qpssMzHjw6gJPLbvESuokZEs3ec_PLUOuhQskLVZXyGNyM=w3002016 schedule, but be sure to go to https://www.woodlandscenter.org/events for updates because you never know when your favorite band will announce a tour! A really great way to be first to know about show updates is to subscribe The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion email list. Another option is to download the Bandsintown App on your mobile device and it will actually sync with your music library then notify you immediately when your favorite artists will be in town. It’s seriously one of my favorite apps!

2016 Event Schedule

Heart with Joan Jett & the Black Hearts and Cheap Trick
Friday, August 19th, 6:30pm

Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa
Saturday, August 20th, 7pm

Dierks Bentley with special guests Randy Houser, Cam & Tucker Beathard
Sunday, August 21st, 7pm

Def Leppard with REO Speedwagon and Tesla
Monday, August 22nd, 7pm

Slipknot with Marilyn Manson and Of Mice and Men
Friday, August 26th, 6:30pm

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long
Saturday, August 27th, 8pm

Houston Symphony, Music of Rolling Stones
Friday, September 2nd, 8pm

Fifth Harmony
Monday, September 5th, 7pm

Goo Goo Dolls & Collective Soul with Tribe Society
Thursday, September 8th, 7pm

Brantley Gilbert with special guests Justin Moore & Colt Ford
Friday, September 9th, 7pm

Houston Symphony, Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Thursday, September 15th, 8pm

5 Seconds of Summer
Sunday, September 18th, 7:30pm

Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival feat. Dane Cook, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jeff Ross, Iliza Shlesinger, Tom Segura, Jermaine Fowler, Ali Wong, Bobby Lee & Big Jay Oakerson
Thursday, September 22nd, 6pm

Ray LaMontagne
Friday, September 23rd, 8pm

Alabama Shakes with Corinne Bailey Rey
Saturday, September 24th, 7:30pm

Counting Crows and Rob Thomas
Sunday, September 25th, 6:45pm

Houston Symphony, Hocus Pocus Pops
Friday, October 7th, 7:30pm

Prophets of Rage
Friday, October 8th, 7pm

Luke Bryan
Thursday, October 20th, 7pm

Flight of the Conchords
Tuesday, October 25th, 8pm

21st Annual Children’s Festival
Presented by ExxonMobil
Saturday, November 12th, 10am to 5pm

21st Annual Children’s Festival
Presented by ExxonMobil
Sunday, November 13th, 12pm to 5pm

Holly Jolly Jingle
Thursday, December 1st, 7pm

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

August is here!

Yes, it’s true! School is right around the corner…but we still have a few more weeks to enjoy summer vacation. Below is a list of August  events so you and your family can make the most of the last moments of summer fun!

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National Night Out
August 2nd
www.thewoodlandstownship.com

First Thursday Free Concert Series
August 4th
www.CityofConroe.org

Rock The Row at Hughes Landing on Lake Woodlands
August 4th
www.TheWoodlandsTownship-TX.gov/RockTheRow

Food Truck Festival
August 6th
www.BackToSchoolFoodTruckFest.com

Eye of the Beholder: It’s What YOU See
August 9th – September 1st
www.ArchwayGallery.com

Rock The Row at Hughes Landing on Lake Woodlands
August 11th
www.TheWoodlandsTownship-TX.gov/RockTheRow

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair   
August 12th-20th
www.MCAgFair.com

Austin Ice Cream Festival
August 13th   
www.AustinIceCreamFestival.com

Free Family Movie Night
August 13th
www.WoodlandsOnline.com

Rock The Row at Hughes Landing on Lake Woodlands
August 18th
www.TheWoodlandsTownship-TX.gov/RockTheRow

Major League Quidditch Championship
August 20th-21st
www.VisitLeagueCity.com

Rock The Row at Hughes Landing on Lake Woodlands
August 25th
www.TheWoodlandsTownship-TX.gov/RockTheRow

Freud’s Last Session at Stageworks Theatre
August 26th-September 18th
www.StageWorksHouston.org

The Players Theatre Company Presents “Phantom”
August 26th-September 17th
www.OwenTheatre.com

The Joey Bolton Open – Shootout Hunger
August 26th
www.MCFoodBank.org/event/shoot-out-hunger

Tomball Texas Music Festival
August 27th
www.ci.tomball.tx.us

“Sound of Music” Sing-A-Long
August 27th   
www.WoodlandsCenter.org

Pearland Wine & Food Festival
August 27th
www.VisitPearland.com

 

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

Summer 2016 Action Guide!

images-2Immediately after our move, it was very difficult to figure out where to find fun activities for my kids that were both reasonably priced and provided variety.  My kids have tried lots of activities and I want to be able to offer that option without having to commit to a whole season. The Summer 2016 Action Guide, curated and updated each year by The Woodlands Township, is a perfect tool for finding activities and events for the whole family!

tennis-camp-blog-picThe Woodlands Township offers a wide variety of programs for all ages.  My kids have enjoyed tennis lessons at the local park.  My son, who has expressed an interest in engineering, even took a 4-week civil engineering class geared towards kids!  My husband and I have taken advantage of the Kid’s Night Out events that are offered each month.  The Township offers one for elementary aged children and one for an intermediate school. We also look forward to our pool passes each summer, that allow us access to all 14 of the wonderful pools in The imagesWoodlands parks.  All of these items and much more are included in The Woodlands Township Parks & Recreation Action Guide each season.  The Summer 2016 Action Guide was just released at the end of March and has all of the great programming offered by the Township such as:

Summer Camps

Aquatic Programs

Tennis Programs

Riva Row Boat House Programs

Adult Leagues and Programs

Preschool and Youth Programs

Gorilla Hole Programs

Fitness Programs

Races and Special Events

You will be surprised at the variety and also that there are many options for adults as well. Take a few minutes – I’m sure you will find something that will pique your interest!

Amy McLaughlin Personal Concierge and Blog Contributor

Amy McLaughlin
Personal Concierge and
Blog Contributor

National Night Out

DocumentEach year The Woodlands Township residents are invited to come together to take a stand against crime and drugs during National Night Out. This is a great learning opportunity for kids (and a reminder for adults), teaching them about a very important step in crime prevention – “neighbor knowing neighbor”. During the event, residents will lock their doors, turn their lights on and join participating neighbors in a variety of activities hosted by fellow neighbors, or even you! Below is the information on how to register to host a party in your neighborhood. Just be sure to do it soon because the deadline for a prize is July 15th and the final deadline is July 22nd. Not sure if hosting is for you? The Woodlands Township has put together a National Night Out promo video, party guide, and FAQ’s so that you have a better idea of what to expect. The event will take place August 2nd, 2016 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. For more information read the following or go to http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/civicalerts.aspx?AID=2047.

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National Night Out parties
Hosting a National Night Out party is a great way to bring neighbors together. To register a National Night Out party, please fill out the form at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/nationalnightout. A National Night Out promotional video, party guide and frequently asked questions are available on the website.

National Night Out parties registered by July 15, 2016, are eligible for a prize. The final day to register and receive a public safety visit is July 22, 2016. In 2015, over 100 public safety personnel visited parties throughout The Woodlands.

DocumentNational Night Out Supply and Registration Day
The Woodlands Township Neighborhood Watch can provide National Night Out party supplies during the National Night Out Supply and Registration Day. Available supplies may include balloons, giveaways, yard signs, party ideas and more. Pick up supplies July 19, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at The Woodlands Township Town Hall, located at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd. Pre-registration is required.

National Night Out offers many opportunities for neighborhood camaraderie, including a theme party contest, sidewalk chalk art competition, food drive in partnership with Interfaith of The Woodlands, I.D. the Burglar village challenge and the National Night Out Military Drive.

Food Drive in partnership with Interfaith of The Woodlands
Nonperishable food items collected at National Night Out parties can be dropped off directly at Interfaith, 4242 Interfaith Way, August 3 to August 5, 2016, from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please make sure to mention National Night Out when giving donations to Interfaith. Together, residents can make a difference to alleviate hunger in South Montgomery County.

I.D. the Burglar Village Challenge
The I.D. the Burglar Village Challenge is a fun contest designed to promote neighborhood cooperation, crime prevention awareness, and to test a person’s skill and accuracy in identifying a suspect. One party from each village will be drawn from the parties registered to participate in the challenge. A “burglar,” along with a “good guy” will be escorted by a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy to the party chosen from each village. The neighborhood must work together as a team to help identify the burglar.

Document-1National Night Out Military Drive, new this year
New this year is the National Night Out Military Drive. Support military by collecting items at National Night Out neighborhood parties. A full list of items needed is available in the party guide at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/nationalnightout. Items collected will be donated to Operation Military Embrace. Donated items will be collected at The Woodlands Township Town Hall, located at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., August 3 to 5, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the neighborhood parties, the Township residents can meet each other at National Night Out Good Neighbor Days, Boots vs. Badges Softball Game, Car Seat Check and a Community Expo.

Good Neighbor Days
During Good Neighbor Days at The Woodlands Fire Department stations, residents can explore a fire truck, police patrol vehicle and learn more about National Night Out. Upcoming Good Neighbor Days include: July 10, 2016, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Station 4, 7900 Bay Branch Drive; July 16, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Station 6, 1100 Windsor Lakes Blvd.; and July 17, 2016, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Station 7, 26722 Kuykendahl Rd.

Boots vs. Badges Softball Game
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and The Woodlands Fire Department battle it out at the annual Boots vs. Badges Softball Game. Residents are invited to come on out and cheer on local public safety personnel, August 20, 2016, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at McCullough Junior High’s Scotland Yard Baseball Field, located at 3800 South Panther Creek Drive..

use-for-save-the-date-party-flierCar Seat Check
Car Seat Check has certified technicians who will be available to inspect the installation of car seats, October 1, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YMCA, located at 6464 Creekside Forest Drive. Please bring children’s car seats, the vehicle that the car seat is placed in and the vehicle owner’s manual.

The Community Safety Expo
The Community Safety Expo is a day of food, fun and public safety demonstrations for the entire community. Residents can meet public safety personnel, see equipment, enter mobile command units of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security, watch law enforcement K-9 demonstrations and much more at this free event. Children can enjoy face painting, a bounce house, crafts and hanging out with McGruff the Crime Dog. The Community Safety Expo will be held October 1, 2016, from noon to 3 p.m. at Rob Fleming Aquatics Center, located at 6535 Creekside Forest Drive.

Since 1990, The Woodlands Township Neighborhood Watch has brought residents and the public safety agencies that serve The Woodlands Township together under positive circumstances. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer.

Please contact The Woodlands Township Neighborhood Watch at 281-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/nationalnightout for more information.

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Texas!

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Celebrating Independence Day here in Texas is an exciting experience that includes TONS of fireworks, food, festivals, and more! The Woodlands and surrounding areas will host a variety of special events leading up to and on the Fourth of July. Below you will find some fantastic resources and a list of some of the area’s top festivities so you can make the most of the Fourth of July weekend!

The Woodlands

cwmp_star-spangled_salute_blogHouston Symphony Star-Spangled Salute
Sunday, July 3rd at 8pm
Sing and dance to music at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The FREE concert will feature a variety of patriotic favorites, American Classics, and sing-alongs. You can even bring your own food and enjoy a picnic with a great view on the Pavillion’s lawn!

4thjulylogoSouth County Fourth of July Parade
Monday, July 4th at 9am
Start your holiday morning off at the South County 4th of July Parade. The parade is 1.3-miles long and begins and ends at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. Celebrate with marching bands, fire engines, clowns, horses, and amazing floats! Note that roads will be closed during the parade.

YMCA-poolSplash Day
Monday, July 4th from 12pm to 4pm
Spend your afternoon at one of The Woodlands Township pools. Each pool will feature a different theme and provide FREE activities and refreshments! For an overview of the community pools, check out our OnLocation video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck1PsvUgWP0). Pools will be FREE to all residents from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with activities occurring between noon and 4 p.m.

red-white-blue-festivalRed, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza
Monday, July 4th from 6pm to 10pm
Celebrate Independence Day at the 19th Annual Red, Hot and Blue Festival! This wonderful event is full of entertainment and offers a selection of great food. It’s perfect for the entire family! Don’t miss out on one of the largest fireworks displays in the Greater Houston area. The Fireworks Extravaganza takes place at The Woodlands Town Center and will start at about 9:30pm.

Surrounding Areas

There are great activities all over the Houston area. If you are thinking of exploring outside of The Woodlands, here are some awesome events to check out.

537723_119529941519318_1554485409_n-1Houston
There are so many events in the city of Houston. Visit http://www.visithoustontexas.com/events/july-fourth/ to get the breakdown on all the celebrations!

Conroe
Saturday, July 2nd 9am
Freedom Fest 2016
4thofjulylargephoto071315http://www.lakeconroesplash.com/#!freedom-fest/c4lb

Tomball
Monday, July 4th at 5pm
Tomball July 4th Celebration & Street Party
http://www.ci.tomball.tx.us/Calendar.aspx?EID=2465

Another great resource  can be found at VisitTheWoodlands.com. They curated an entire Fourth of July weekend schedule that includes everything from where to stay, what to eat, where to shop, and what to do during the Fourth of July weekend (http://visitthewoodlands.com/fourth-of-july/). Oh, and it’ll also let you in on local holiday specials, such as Pinot’s Palette’s “Land of the Free” painting class on Saturday, July 2nd!

I hope this post sparked some Fourth of July excitement and gave you some fun ideas! Have a safe holiday weekend!

Sarah Murphy Marketing Assistant & Blog Contributor

Sarah Murphy
Marketing Assistant &
Blog Contributor

Road Trip Apps

shutterstock_171584552If you’ve read any of my former entries, you know I’m a fan of a road trip.  And moving to Texas has reset my family’s acceptable number of hours in a car.  When we entered Texas, for the first time, and saw that I-10 ran 879 miles in the state of Texas, we knew we were not on the East Coast anymore!  Since that first trip, our family has done lots of local drives to Waco, Austin, College Station and more.  We’ve also done some longer road trips.  Our whole family drove from The Woodlands to Yellowstone National Park, where we also stopped at Arches National Park in Utah and Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.  I’ve also popped my kids in the car one summer and drove from The Woodlands to Illinois to Pennsylvania to Washington, DC to North Carolina and back over a 3-week time span.  I love road trips and the chance they give us to connect and actually talk, even though my kids are usually entranced by one device or another.  They are required to put them away for periods each day but how could I put those devices to good use?

The April 2016 magazine publication Living – The Woodlands Edition had just the information I needed.  They had an article, “Open Road Downloads,” that included some great recommendations of apps to download to enhance any road trip, near or far.  I’ve include the content below and plan to incorporate more than one of these on our next trip!  Click here for the original article: http://www.livingmagazine.net/open-road-downloads/

For help in navigation:

roadtrippersRoadtrippers – A great road trip often starts with a great plan (even if it gets messed with along the way). EnterRoadtrippers, which allows you to take a good look ahead of time and mark out a route that includes all the stuff you want to see. Enter your starting and ending points, then check off attractions you’re interested in. The app will even estimate your fuel costs. You can also edit your route on the web—your work stays synced between the website and app. (Free)

osmOSMAnd+ – While apps like Google and Apple’s standard mapping tools are probably more than sufficient for your daily commute, consider upgrading to a powerful application like OSMAnd+for meandering road trips. The app allows you to download full maps of entire regions for those instances where you might lose cell signal off the beaten path, ensuring you won’t be suddenly without navigation if you hit some patchy areas. (Free/$6.99)

meet-me-in-the-middle_result_result-150x150Meet Me in the Middle – If your road trip will end in meeting another person, perhaps… halfway, consider the realistically named Meet Me in the Middle, which will intelligently spit out the most logical midpoint between two entered destinations. You can even click the little icon to receive a recommendation for a coffee shop or restaurant at which to meet. (Free)

For an interesting diversion:

historyhere_result_result-150x150History Here – As it turns out, the folks at The History Channeltook a short break from cranking out shows about aliens and pawn shops to put together a genuinely interesting little application called History Here, which points out historical places near wherever you are, complete with a little background and (usually) a photo. If you find yourself in some bigger cities, you can even do some of the app’s curated “history tours” that take you on routes past various notable landmarks, like places frequented by Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood or Capone-era locales in Chicago. (Free)

tvfoodmaps_result_result-150x150TVFoodMaps – Another television-related app, TVFoodMapsis definitely your jam if you’ve ever caught an episode of something on Food Network where they go to a restaurant and been like “hey I gotta try that place!” It’ll show you any restaurants nearby that have been featured on one of dozens of shows, tell you what show featured it, show you the menus and hours when available, and even give you the episode name and air date if you wanna track it down. (Free)

iexit_result_result-150x150iExit – If you’ve ever found yourself flying down the Interstate wishing you had a little more information on where to fill the car’s tank (or your own) outside of those handy blue signs, iExitis the app for you. This’ll locate you on the highway, show you your upcoming exits, and provide a helpful list with details about all the good stuff there is behind each one, from food to fuel to hotels. (Free/$2.99)

In search of amusement for the drive:

audible_result_result-150x150Audible – If you’re an Amazon user you’re probably at least a little familiar with Audible Essentially the iTunes of audiobooks, Audibleis the modern alternative to carrying around a giant folder full of CDs containing the unabridged Lord of the Rings novels. If you’re a new user, you can sign up for a free trial and get yourself a book or two, gratis—enough to get you through a pretty long trip, depending on what you pick. You can also download the books to your phone to avoid losing the plot in case of a signal dropout. ($14.99/month)

heads-up_result_result-150x150Heads Up! – Popularized by Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show, Heads Upboils down to a glorified version of that party game Catch Phrase. One player holds the phone facing the other players, who try to give clues to the phone holder so they can guess the person, movie, phrase, or whatever else appears on the screen. This can be easily modified so one person sees the screen and gives clues for the others in the car to guess—even the driver can get in on the action. Add-on packs covering tons of specialties are available for purchase within the app. ($0.99)

pocket-casts_result_result-150x150Pocket Casts – The wonderful world of podcasts—essentially fully contained talk radio shows on a wide range of topics—has brought an almost impossible variety of programming to your usual car rides. There are plenty of options for listening to podcasts, but we like an app called Pocket Casts, which lets you browse, subscribe to, and download hundreds of free shows like This American LifeChannel 33Serial, and lots more in a jiffy. You’ll have to shell out a couple bucks for the app, but the quality compared to non-paid alternatives makes it worth the buy. ($3.99)

Amy McLaughlin Personal Concierge and Blog Contributor

Amy McLaughlin
Personal Concierge and
Blog Contributor

Wine & Food Week

Save the date2016

Houston’s Wine & Food Week will be hosted in The Woodlands for the 12th year, this June 6-12.  With varied events for wine enthusiasts, there is sure to be something interesting for everyone.  In total, the events will tout over 500 wines, 75 restaurants, wine producers and renowned culinary personalities. Each event does require a ticket, which can be purchased directly from the event website, www.WineAndFoodWeek.com.  Prices vary by event.  Below is a summary of the events, as presented by The Woodlands Villager published on May 12, 2016 (Vol.38, No.52).

It’s a Guy Thing
Tuesday, June 7, 7-10pm
Hosted by Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands (16917 Interstate 45S, 77385) Enjoy bold wines, craft beer, good food and cigars while enjoying a shoe shine, chair massage, poker and live music and surrounded by luxury vehicles.

Women, Wine & All Things Fashionable
Wednesday, June 8, 6-9pm
Hosted by The Woodlands Country Club (100 Grand Fairway, 77381) It’s a girl’s paradise for a mid-week night out.  Enjoy a live fashion show, fortune telling and music while sipping on wine and nibbling on wonderful treats.

The H-E-B Wine Walk at Market Street (A Big 3 Event)
Thursday, June 8, 5:30-8:30pm
The Woodlands Market Street (9595 Six Pines Drive, 77380) Enjoy the shops at Market Street while you sip and stroll through the 40 tasting stations which feature wines from around the world, 80 craft beers and 20 restaurants.  Live music will only enhance this event. Wine industry representatives will also be on hand with their own stations, including the always popular Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chill Zone & Sangria Station.

Ladies of the Vine Tasting, Luncheon & Panel Discussion
Friday, June 10, 12-3pm
The Club at Carlton Woods (One Carlton Woods Drive, 77382) This luncheon features the female winemakers, owners and experts in the industry.  The elegant event will transport you to Italy, as the villa will be full of tasting stations followed by an Italian inspired meal presented by The Extraordinary Italian Taste.

Sips, Suds & Tacos Presented by Mexico (A Big 3 Event)
Friday, June 10, 6-9pm
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott (1601 Lake Robbins Drive, 77380) This event will feature wine tasting, craft beers and the “Taco Takedown” competition to find the best taco around!  Reigning Taco Takedown Champion Chef Scott Varnedoe of IPO will defend his title against many newcomers to the area.  Enjoy a night of fun, music and tasty bites.

Northwestern Mutual Platinum Wine Vault
Saturday, June 11, 4:30-6:30pm
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott (1601 Lake Robbins Drive, 77380) This exclusive tasting event is held just prior to The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase.  This luxurious affair with highly acclaimed wines is for the discriminating collector & enthusiast.

Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase (A Big 3 Event)
Saturday, June 11, 7-10pm
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott (1601 Lake Robbins Drive, 77380) It’s the ultimate adult evening which culminates in crowing the Wine & Food Week’s Waterford Crystal Chef of Chef’s Award.  Guests will sample delectable cuisine and hundreds of wines from chefs representing more than 60 of the nation’s top restaurants.  There is also a “Just Desserts” contest, the Champagne Cove, Art of Wine Competition and the Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands VIP Premium Lounge.  The evening benefits New Danville, a self-sustaining, master-integrated community for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Amy McLaughlin Personal Concierge and Blog Contributor

Amy McLaughlin
Personal Concierge and
Blog Contributor