Add Holiday Cheer to your Home with Designer Trees at Jingle Tree

HMNS Sugar Land

Give. OWN. Be Merry. Kick the holiday season off with Jingle Trees at HMNS Sugar Land! At Jingle Tree you can give, OWN and be merry when you bid amongst festive company on a silent auction of dazzling, pre-decorated trees. Nineteen designer trees are up for bid, each with a unique theme such as “Holiday Kitchen” and “Candyland.” The trees were unveiled on Tuesday at the Strolling Luncheon. Bidding continues as you mix and mingle at the Jingle Jangle Happy Hour on Thursday, November 20, or you can bring the kids over for Cookies with Santa on Saturday, November 22. More information on the Jingle Tree events can be found below.

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Can’t make it out for any of the events? Don’t worry you can view the trees and bid online here.

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Bidding ends Saturday, November 22, at 1:30 p.m. after Cookies with Santa. The winners will be notified by text.

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The trees may be picked up Saturday, November 22, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. or Monday, November 24, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tree wrapping (for self-transport) or home delivery (includes wrapping) are available at an incremental charge.

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Jingle Jangle Happy Hour
Thursday, November 20
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Come out for our Jingle Jangle Happy Hour to mix and mingle as you bid on your favorite trees!

Cookies with Santa
Saturday, November 22
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Bring the kiddos out for Cookies with Santa while you take advantage of the final day to bid on our Jingle Trees! Final Chance to Bid.

Inside HMNS Sugar Land: Why the Body Carnival exhibit is a sensory party you must attend

Just like all of our exhibits, there’s plenty to see. But a better question might be, “What is there to DO in Body Carnival?

This special exhibit is packed with lots of fun, interactive stations that give each visitor just a little bit of a challenge!

When you walk through the exhibit’s entrance, your vision, perception and balance come into play as soon as you see the “Wacky Wall.”  It’s easy to find since the entire wall is covered with narrow black and white vertical stripes. With a gentle tug, the wall swings side-to-side, and suddenly, you have to think about staying in balance! 

Lift one foot off the floor and see what happens, then switch and raise the other foot. Is it easy to go from one to the other? Is it hard? I’ve been in the exhibit many times and I hate to say it, but adults really do start to lose their balance as they get older. 

A few days ago I noticed a family in front of the “Wacky Wall.”  The kids were nearly hopping from foot to foot, laughing at how cool the wall looked. Behind them, the father was wobbling just standing in front of the wall while the mother couldn’t balance on her left foot. All of them were laughing like crazy! 

Obviously, each person has a different reaction based on their sense of balance and ability to process visual puzzles. Accept the challenge and see how you do.

Photo credit: ClassicMommy.com

Speaking of balance, there are several tests in this exhibit to check yours. 

A fun one for both kids and adults is “Walk the Plank.” First, you walk across a slightly raised 3-inch-wide bar, then a 1.5-inch-bar and finally a tight rope. Sound easy? If you can walk all three short planks slowly and stay on each one all the way to the end, you’ve got great balance! 

I didn’t have any trouble with this one, but the tight rope can be tricky, depending on your shoes. You can make things a little more interesting by adding a small wrist weight, from the nearby bin, to just one arm. Is it still as easy with one side of your body a bit heavier than the other? You’ll probably have to lean over farther to the opposite side or find another way to even the weight distribution. 

Photo credit: ClassicMommy.com

The “Dizzy Tunnel” and “Goofy Goggles” are two more stations that will keep you on your toes, so to speak, with more balance and visual acuity tests. Come give them all a try and see how well you do!

You can also experience how levers work in our bodies. Wait a minute: The human body has levers?  Aren’t those just for wheelbarrows and pulleys? 

At Body Carnival, you can check out how your elbows and shoulders serve as levers, making it easier to reach, pull and pick up items every day. Wheelbarrows and pulleys only magnify what the levers in your body already do! 

To see this in action, visit the “Hang Time” station and see how long you can hang with your hands about 12 inches apart. Can you make it 10 seconds or longer?  A chart on the station gives you an idea of how good your arm strength is in comparison to others your age. The real lesson comes when you switch your hands to the position 24 inches apart.  That moves the levers — your shoulders — farther apart, making them less efficient and your hang time shorter. 

I used to be the champ on the monkey bars in my much younger days — until I grew up and put on about 100 pounds. I figured I’d do miserably on this one, but I actually made it longer than average for my age group and it even made my creaky neck feel better (although I think that had more to do with me needing a good stretch than the lever effect). 

There are several additional stations in the exhibit about flexibility, arm span, joints and height. You can also explore the concept further with the levers and pulleys found nearby in the Discovery Works Hall.

On Thursdays, healthcare providers from Next Level Urgent Care stay in the exhibit to help explain the concepts in the exhibit to patrons and kids.

These are just a few examples of the fun things to both see and do in Body Carnival! Come explore all 14 stations and check out your physical abilities.  

I’m also looking forward to our Teddy Bear Clinic on August 14. Little ones are encouraged to bring in their favorite stuffed animal, don a lab coat and “assist” while their lovey gets a check-up — just in time for back to school. Check the website for details and come see the exhibit soon!

A program to give P.A.W.S.: HMNS Sugar Land brings animal audiences to new readers

There are few things more important — or more anxiety inducing — for a child than learning to read. Sounding out and stumbling over worlds can be awkward and a little embarrassing, and adults and authority figures can compound the apprehension for little people learning to love words.

One service animal organization recognized this, and developed a program to introduce therapy animals to young readers.

PAWS Reading Program

The P.A.W.S. Reading Program [Pets Are Worth Sharing] pairs non-judgmental animal audiences with children of all ages and reading abilities as they build confidence and, hopefully, develop a love of books not obstructed by reading anxiety.

PAWS Reading Program

Each Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m., kids are welcome to pair up or read in groups with these sweet therapy dogs. They’re great listeners, though they do have a tendency to cuddle.

PAWS Reading Program

PAWS Reading Program

Spend the weekend with HMNS: Go Fish Friday and get colorful with chalk Saturday at Via Colori

Join us at HMNS at Sugar Land this Friday, Nov. 16 as we celebrate our brand new, 2,000-gallon aquarium. Bring the whole family and indulge your inner kid with a museum-wide game of Go Fish. Kids will learn all about fish habitats with interactive activities, crafts and snackage for the whole family. And if you make a donation to support the maintenance of our new tank, you can choose your very own fish to release in the tank or leave your mark on a decorative tile.

Friday Family Fun Night: Go Fish! is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for the public, $10 for members.

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Via Colori 2011

Then on Saturday, join HMNS downtown for Via Colori, a street painting festival that’ll make you question everything you thought you knew about sidewalk chalk. We’ll be set up at the Anadarko Family Zone at the Houston Public Library Plaza. Find us on the Family Stage from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for live chemistry demonstrations with liquid nitrogen and meet some of our creepiest, crawliest museum critters.