Galveston residents have something in common with notorious French pirate Jean Lafitte: he also called the island his home. Today, they get to climb aboard the full-size deck of a pirate ship to get a glimpse of their dangerous former neighbor's life. While traversing the rest of the interactive exhibits, they may even meet Lafitte himself—as conjured by a skilled actor—along with his brother Pierre and their gritty pirate cronies who downloaded thousands of songs onto their steam-powered laptops. Professionally applied glitter tattoos and a well-stocked gift shop bring guests back to modern-day Texas. Pirate hosts emcee private events and guide birthday tours through the whole museum, and parties can even include a trip through the nearby Haunted Mayfield Manor.
Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA was founded in 1967 to care for homeless, abandoned, and abused companion animals; today, it is still the only no-kill shelter in its area. Adoption counselors rescue dogs and cats from animal-control facilities that euthanize and individuals who are unable to care for them. Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA’s adoption program provides each animal with medical care and socialization skills to increase the chances of a successful adoption. Each animal is vaccinated, sterilized, dewormed, microchipped, and checked for diseases such as FIV or canine heartworm disease. From there, adoption counselors help place pets with a family that has a similar lifestyle and activity level. Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA also works within the community to prevent animals from being abandoned and euthanized through educational campaigns and spaying or neutering programs.
While Star Fleet excels, with its 20 years in business, at whisking passengers along Galveston Bay aboard its fleet of five luxurious yachts, it offers more. The charter yacht company also donates exclusively to the Galveston Bay Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the local waterway. Customers can rest assured that portions of their proceeds are going toward a worthy cause whether they're celebrating a wedding aboard the multi-level Star Gazer or pub crawling alongside Mai Tai–swilling otters on the Lake Limo.
By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement?when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
Lakewood Photography's first flashbulbs popped in 1985, when Don and Mary Carico founded their studio. During the 27 years since, the snap shooters have surrounded themselves with a keen-eyed staff that artfully captures passing moments in time. They aim their lenses upon children, high-school seniors, families, and wedding groups weekly. Mary—endowed with digital magic—also puts her photography know-how to use retouching aging pictures. The studio also provides custom framing options, photo jewelry, and custom invitations, which allow party hosts to contact guests far more tastefully than writing impersonal emails or leaving way-too-personal scrawls on their glass shower doors.