‘Encanto’, ‘Cruella’ and other ways Houston parks are getting kids out


“Encanto” features the Madrigal family, each of whom received extraordinary gifts except one, our heroine, Mirabel (Stefanie Beatriz), who has yet to discover her own personal magic. (Disney/TNS)

Photo: Disney, HO/TNS

In recognition of the country’s annual Parks and Recreation Month, upcoming local events will connect children with nature.

At the Oyster Creek Park Movie Celebration hosted by City of Sugar Land Parks & Recreation, families will meet a walking magician and a butterfly on stilts along a magical tale.

The fantastical creatures, available for photo ops, are inspired by the screening of the event’s “Encanto” film.

Before the show, families can board the trail to read Danica McKellar’s book “Ten Magic Butterflies” page by page, courtesy of wooden signs along the route.

The reading-inspired interactive walk was a hit at last summer’s outdoor movie night, says Tricia Yurcak of the City of Sugar Land.

“I think it’s interesting for parents and children to have a different opportunity (to read together),” she says of the story inspired by the type of nature spotted in both Oyster Park and the animated film about the Madrigal family.

The route along the 111-acre park’s loop trail was designed for families to “move, be active and be in nature,” says Yurcak, who adds that maps of the park will be available for those wishing to explore. other trails.

Magical movie night

What: ‘Encanto’

When: 6 p.m. on July 22; the movie starts at 6:45 p.m.

Where: Oyster Creek Park, 4033 Route 6, Sugar Land.

Details: Free; sugarlandtx.gov

What: Family activity

When: 9am-11am on July 23

Where: Memorial Park Conservancy, North Lakeside Pavilion, 7575 North Picnic Ln.

Details: Free; memorialparkconservancy.org.

What: ‘Cruella’

When: 8:30 p.m. on July 29

Where: Levy Park, 3801 Eastside

Details: Free; levyparkhouston.org.

Kids who take a selfie in front of the back page will be entered into a park-inspired prize pack.

To encourage future visits to the park, she says, the trail exposes families to public art, such as a sculpture of a child skateboarding and a grandmother reading to a child.

Spotting the wading butterfly will increase the excitement for the film screening.

“She’s a huge hit, she’s very welcoming…and little kids are in awe of her size, she’s so majestic and graceful,” Yurcak says.

The event features food trucks and giant lawn games, a “comprehensive and quintessential” experience at one of Sugar Land’s most popular parks, she says, with elements that “tie together movie magic and the magic of the park”.

The staff chose “Encanto” this year because it showcases a family learning “how their unique gifts can contribute to their community,” she says.

“That’s kind of the point of Parks and Recreation Month, to sharpen that sense of community.

Along with the National Parks Celebration, Memorial Park participates in Plastic Free July.

On July 23, families are invited to volunteer at a community sorting and recycling event.

Guests can bring a blanket to hear local storyteller Leona Hoegsberg, who will engage children with lessons about caring for their environment.

By seeing a waste timeline that shows how long it takes for different types of materials to degrade, kids will learn what they can do to fight plastic waste.

When Levy Park’s “Cruella” movie screens this month, families can use the park’s reading, craft and game carts and board games before the movie starts at 8:30 p.m.

“Coming to Levy Park at night is a completely different experience than during the day,” says park manager Stephanie Kiouses. “The lighting and surroundings are so peaceful.”

The screen is positioned next to the entrance to the children’s park, which stays open late during movie nights, so parents can keep an eye on their children while watching the movie.

Families can bring a picnic or visit the restaurants in the park for a take-out dinner, complete with beer and wine.

Held 10 times a year, the outdoor movies are popular with families who often bring games, coloring books and Legos for the kids to play with, Kiouses says.

“It’s just a super easy way to get out there and change up your summer routine,” she says.

Even in record temperatures, the green space gets a nice breeze in the evenings, which adds to the uniqueness of the large community gathering, she says.

“It’s amazing to be able to hang out with all your neighbors,” adds Kiouses.

Allison Bagley is a Houston-based writer.

  • Allison Bagley

    Allison Bagley is a freelance writer for the Houston Chronicle.


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