Peter Pan 360 – How to Take a 5 Year Old on a Girls Night Out

October 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm (Education, Events) (, , , , , , , , )

Kiddo is turning 5 this month and my best friend won’t be here the day of, so Mommy, Tia, and the Nugget did a birthday Girls Night Out a tad bit early.

We started with reservations at Bucco di Beppo, at the kitchen table.  I thought the kiddo would be riveted by the concept of hanging out in the kitchen and watching food get made and processed through the expo line. In the future, she informed me, she wants to sit in the real restaurant.  She ate pepperoni pizza, toured the whole restaurant, and inspected the restrooms, with no idea that this adventure was not the main event of the evening.

We took an after dinner stroll through Party City where she declined a new Tinker Bell costume because she was fully satisfied with her old one.  Practical and not-as-indulgent-as-I-thought kid I’ve got.

Finally, in the parking lot of Peter Pan 360 – the plan was revealed.

“So, because I’m not going to be here for your birthday, I wanted to give you your present early? Do you want it.” (I’m definitely paraphrasing my best friend.  This quote should not hold up in court.

She nodded profusely, despite the fact that she had been insisting to me all morning that birthday surprises could NOT happen on a day that was not her birthday. “YOU HAVE TO DO SURPRISES FOR ME ON MY BIRTHDAY IF IT’S FOR MY BIRTHDAY.”  That is a direct quote, screaming caps and all, from my daughter just hours before. And should hold up in court.  It also included some foot stomping.  I’ve never seen someone so upset at the very idea of getting a present too early.

“Do you want to wear your Tinker Bell costume?” One of us asked.

She shook her head no, but as it dawned on her that I had packed it in the bag that was sitting in the car to her left she quickly changed her mind.

I do not have pictures of my adorable child donned in a bright green fairy costume as we attended Peter Pan because she was too cool for school and uninterested in photography last night.  But I’m ok with that, we actually  managed to be the people who were completely IN the moment all night, and I love that.

So what’s this magical Peter Pan performance surprise we took her to?

[T]he theater is the world’s first fully 360-degree projected backdrop for a live, theatrical performance with the largest surround CGI (computer-generated imagery) venue in the world. There are 12 projectors that deliver 10 million pixels on 15,000 square feet. 400 square miles of virtual London were rendered and it took 100 computers four weeks to create the Hi Resolution images. If a single computer had been used, it would have taken 8 years to render the images. –

And it’s in a circus style pop-up tent!

My precocious darling spent the first 15 minutes of the show asking me how they got the pictures on the ceiling. I tried to explain the concept of a projector but – thankfully – the show was too loud for us to communicate effectively (which also meant we weren’t disturbing the rest of the audience).  I was able to pull up videos online when we got home and tell her about it then.

Once understanding the mechanics of the show was put off for later, she really got into the magic of it all.  Her great critique is that Tinker Bell wears pink instead of green and this bothered her.  She insisted they needed her to play Tink and asked to go on stage – a lot – because, after all, Peter Pan needed her.  (I thought the performing Tink was pretty darn cool.)

There’s a 20 minute intermission about an hour into the show.  Popcorn and drinks were purchased, restrooms were visited I was pleased to discover the portable restrooms were real flushies and a thousand times cleaner than I anticipated. A little disappointed that they ran out of coffee.

After the show, there was a line for a meet and greet with a few of the actors, but being that little girl is still not quite five and it was getting late, we skipped that bit of fun.

Should it come to town again, we would do a repeat adventure in a heartbeat.

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My Miserable Les Mis Movie-Going Experience

December 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

I was hoping to post a review of Les Miserables, the movie, for you today.  My bestie and I went to great lengths to arrange a night out.  My husband has no desire to see an opera and my daughter is two, so Sunday night AMC gift cards in hand, we found ourselves entering the 8:30 pm showing.

We sat through a half dozen awesome previews.  My nerdy self cannot wait to see the new Star Trek, the next Die Hard, Gatsby, and an Oz movie featuring James Franco.  Then we settled in for our ‘feature presentation.’

Not long into the movie… we had just met Fantine and zoomed in on Hugh’s now clean-cut image… and sirens started up, the movie cut out, and we were informed by a voice over the intercom to leave the theatre.

If there had been a fire or actual emergency, I wouldn’t have been so annoyed.  But there was nothing, someone had just pulled the fire alarm.

If there had been a fire or actual emergency, we would all be dead because the mass mob of people were just staring at each other waiting for instructions and the officer just stared back.

If this was the first time this had happened at that theatre, I wouldn’t have been that bothered, but my bestie had the exact same thing happen to her just a few days ago on Christmas day.

AMC 24, Deerbrook Mall, Humble, TX: Get your crap together.  Clearly there is a problem.  Fix it already, please, I really want to see this movie!

Go ahead, if you’ve seen the movie already, leave me a comment and brag about how awesome it was…

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Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – and other things

September 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm (Education, Events, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Authors: William Joyce and Joe Bluhm

With great reluctance, I turned this book back into the library yesterday on our way to the Miller Outdoor Theatre to see a live *free* production of Cinderella.  Cinderella actually has no relevance to this story/review, I just wanted to throw that in there because the whole adventure was pretty awesome, we even rode a train.

“Morris Lessmore loved words.

He loved stories.

He loved books.

But every story has its upsets.”

But not every story is so beautifully written and illustrated.  For the last two weeks, kiddo has been getting a daily dose of Mr. Lessmore, not just because I thought it was so fantastic, but because she thought it was pretty awesome too.  Flying books!? It doesn’t get much better for that for a kid.

Shamefully, I have to admit that if I hadn’t read this book to my daughter, she may have forever missed out on Humpty Dumpty – merely because I am so busy sharing books with her that I often forget the nursery rhymes.  Yet, Humpty Dumpty is alive and well in Mr. Lessmore’s world, so thankfully, that is one she will not miss out on.

Mr. Morris Lessmore is also a good way to introduce a small child to the issues of aging, life, and death.  It’s a beautiful story of a man’s life with books, and like all men do, he grows old and passes.  Presented with a combination of calm serenity and passion, this story kept in a child’s library could be a little piece of fantasy and reality which their subconscious can cling to forever.

Part way through the very excellent play that I did not want to disrupt, kiddo got the urge to run. Cinderella still going strong in the distance.

Now, I am aware that I teased you a bit with that Cinderella business, so I suppose I cannot leave you hanging.  This falls a bit under the When We’re Not Reading parts of my blog, but still encourages literacy and the arts.  A.D. Players did a William Glennon play at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park yesterday morning.  The weather was perfect as it kept teasing us with rain, but never did.  The breeze was blowing, and there are so many things to do around the park that if/when your kiddos get antsy, its easy to take them for a walk or train ride.

To give you a full idea of how awesome these productions are, however, I am going to simply share with you a blurb from the program:

Founded in 1967 by Jeannette Clift George, A.D. Players pioneered a unique style of theater committed to producing plays and programs that uphold human value, offer creativity, and promote literacy and education.  The company is one of Houston’s largest resident theater companies, impacting more than nine million people.  Annually, the company produces five Mainstage shows and four Children’s Theater shows, and maintains a year-round Theater Arts Academy.

We share our mission with volunteers, community associates, and those who make our work possible through their support.  For additional information, visit or call 713-526-2721.

Pretty neat, right?

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