Cyclone Anaya Opening in The Woodlands

Cyclone Anaya will be opening their doors in The Woodlands soon, making it their 6th location in the Greater Houston Area.  Their new restaurant will be located on The Woodlands Waterway, taking the space where La Lupita once was.  They are still working on the new build out right now, with a projected opening next month in March.

Cyclone Anaya serves great mexican cuisine, and is known for creating a very engaging modern atmosphere.  Their menu consists of traditional mexican cuisine, tex mex, and a some really unique seafood dishes.  The jumbo lump crabmeat nachos are one of their best selling appetizers, and the lobster enchiladas are great as well.

Cylcone Anaya features great happy hours, with many food and drink specials.  In addition to an extensive margarita menu and full bar, they also have a large wine offering.  With a large bar area and outdoor patio area along the waterway, this will be a nice place to enjoy a drink after work.

For more information, visit their website at www.cycloneanaya.com

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Houston Rockets Finally On Direct TV and ATT

Houston area residents will finally be able to watch the Rockets and Astros on their DirectTV and ATT Uverse accounts starting November 17th on the Root Sports Southwest channel.  For the past two years, Comcast was the only provider who could show the Rockets and Astros games on their own network channel, Comcast SportsNet Houston.

Houston area Rocket fans will now be able to find the game on the following channels:

Comcast – channels 39 & 639

DirectTV – channel 674

ATT Uverse – channels 758 & 1758

Dish Network and Suddenlink subscribers will still be without the Rockets and Astros.  There has been no announcement for if or when these networks will carry the Root Sports Southwest channel.

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Pappasito’s Opening in The Woodlands

Pappasito’s Cantina just broke ground along I-45 in Shenandoah, right beside the existing Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen.  Pappas Restaurants Inc has owned this land for many years with plans to build this Pappasito’s and I’m sure The Woodlands residents are happy they finally decided to pull the trigger.  This new location could be open as early as Summer 2015.

Pappasito’s has always been considered one of the best mexican food chains in Houston, with 14 locations currently serving the Greater Houston Area.  The nearest one to The Woodlands is positioned in North Houston, at the I-45 and Airtex exit so this new store in Shenandoah will be a much closer drive.  Pappasito’s Cantina will join its two sister restaurants in The Woodlands area, Pappa’s BBQ and Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen.

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New Development in Indian Springs

A new luxury community will be constructed in the Village of Indian Springs in The Woodlands. This new development has been approved and will provide 55 custom homes within a gated community, to be built by Frankel Building Group. Lots will range from 12,000 to 23,000 square feet with homes ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 square feet. The lowest priced home will be $1 million

Homes for this development will be created with a mix of Coastal, Southern Coastal and Southern French designs. The interiors will be fully transitional and will provide plenty of natural light, along with many custom options. Many of the homes will feature front porches and large back patios.

All homes will be designed in accordance with LEED for Homes standards, which mean these homes will be green. Energy efficient features will be used including polyurethane spray foam, high efficiency HVAC systems and air-conditioned attic spaces. Only the best materials will be used and many of the materials will be recycled or reusable energy sources.

The goal of these energy efficient homes is to create a community with healthier, quieter and cost effective residences. Sub Zero and Wolf appliances will be used throughout. These are two of the top names in luxury home appliances. Other luxury features include creating “smart homes” with iPads to control many of the features. Pella windows and Toto plumbing fixtures will also be used.

Along with the beautiful homes coming to this community, the area will provide access to many of The Woodlands’ best features. Conroe ISD will be close by, along with Rob Fleming Park and Aquatic Center. Residents can also enjoy the George Mitchell Nature Preserve, the Creekside YMCA and plenty of other destinations for shopping, dining and entertainment nearby.

Home construction is expected to start later in the spring of 2014.

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Buying a Home in The Woodlands

When it’s time to buy a new home in The Woodlands, whether you’re relocating to the area or upgrading, you need to know what to expect. A few tips can help you find the right property and take that daunting task of searching for a home and turn it into a fun event.

Tips for First-time Homebuyers

If you’re a rookie to the home buying process, you will want to save some money before you purchase your home. This will give you a little leverage and make it easier to become approved for your mortgage when you have a sizable down payment. It’s also a good idea to have a couple months of your mortgage payment in the bank as a security blanket.

Becoming familiar with some of the common real estate terms will also help. This will allow you to better understand the contracts, listings and other parts of the deal as you start searching for your new home. This includes familiarizing yourself with interest rates, appraisal fees, closing fees and the other financial terms that go into a real estate deal.

Tips for All Buyers

Before shopping for your new home, you need to make sure you receive a pre-approval for your mortgage first. This will set your price range and allow you to shop without worrying whether you can afford the home or not.

Another thing you want to do is start looking at listings in the area and price range you expect to be shopping within. This will help give you an idea of what is available and how much it’s selling for currently. When you start shopping, this knowledge will allow you to make a better decision about the price of a home.

Of course, finding a local real estate agent will help you tremendously. A top real estate agent can ensure you follow all the necessary steps and get the best deal possible on your new home.

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Trick or Treating in The Woodlands

The fun of Halloween includes costumes, trick-or-treating and plenty of different events. The Woodlands provides all of this and more. Here are some of the things you will need for a great Halloween season.

Trick-or-Treat Trail

The trick-or-treat trail will provide you with the safe, Halloween fun you desire. This is a free event for all ages and allows you to collect plenty of special treats as you walk through the Town Green Park. Dress in your favorite costume and come out with a bag to fill with goodies from over 30 local vendors.

Along with trick-or-treating, you can enjoy all kinds of children’s activities, entertainment, costume contests and more. This festival will draw over 1,000 attendees and will be held on Sunday, October 27th from 3pm to 6pm.

Jack-O-Lantern Challenge

With plenty of music and fun, the second annual jack-o-lantern challenge will provide plenty of fun. This is an event full of flying pumpkin-guts and perfect for all ages. The event starts at 5:30pm on Sunday, October 20th. The cost is $8, which includes your pumpkin and carving supplies. Come out to North Park and enjoy the challenge while listening to the concert in the park.

Halloween at the YMCA

Halloween at the Y is one of the best events of the season. Families can celebrate together with trick-or-treating on the trails, haunted tree houses, carnival games and plenty of other activities. A Carranza Puppet show will provide entertainment and admission is free. They do ask that you bring a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry.

Come out to the Creekside YMCA Outdoor Adventure Center on October 29th from 5pm to 7pm to enjoy the fun. Make sure you bring a blanket for the movie, as it gets colder at night.

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August Events in The Woodlands

With summer winding down and kids getting ready to go back to school, it’s time to choose the last few events to attend. August is full of great events in The Woodlands from family-friendly choices to the perfect adult night out. Here’s a rundown of some of the best events in August.

Train with The Script & Gavin Degraw – August 2nd

Performing at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Train with The Script & Gavin Degraw will take the stage Friday, August 2nd at 7pm.

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival – August 3rd

Starting at 1pm on August 3rd, this incredible festival of music will be held at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Many artists will take the stage including Five Finger Death Punch, Machine Head, Mastodon, Rob Zombie, Born of Osiris and many others.

Cars and Coffee for a Cause – August 4th

Come out for Cars and Coffee for a Cause on the first Sunday of August from 9am to 11am. This event will help benefit local non-profits.

For the Love of Art – August 9th

A reception will be held at The Woodlands Learning Center at The University of Phoenix. This will feature fine art creations and provide the opportunity to enjoy the art of the area. It will happen from 6pm to 8pm on Friday, August 9th.

Pinot Pumps: High Heel Happy Hour – August 22nd

Come out and support The Breast Cancer Charities of American on August 22nd from 6:30pm to 8:24pm at Pinot’s Palette. Enjoy an evening of painting with light bites and more. You can bring a bottle of wine and make sure to wear pink.

11th Annual Fall Home & Garden Show – August 24th and 25th

The Fall Home & Garden Show will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center on Saturday, August 24th and Sunday August 25th. Parking is free and the show will feature all kinds of exhibitors and special offers.

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Great Chocolate Abounds in The Woodlands

If you love chocolate, and who doesn’t, it’s important to understand the best places to find chocolate in your local community. When that craving hits or a special holiday comes along, you need to know where to head to get your fix or send that perfect gift. Here are three of the best chocolate choices in The Woodlands.

Chocolate Punch

The best chocolate in The Woodlands comes from Chocolate Punch. They make all their chocolates from scratch and use only the freshest ingredients. Many regular favorites are available, along with plenty of new flavors fitting each season. This is the only place you will find Fortunato Number 4 chocolate in The Woodlands, which is the rarest chocolate in the entire world. Enjoy everything from the best chocolate drinks in the area to frozen treats made with chocolate.

Chocolate Punch is found on College Park Drive and is open from 11am to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Schakolad Chocolate Factory

Another great place to find chocolate for a gift or just to fulfill a craving is from the Schakolad Chocolate Factory. All treats are made fresh on premises and this business has been passed through three generations. You can find Schakolad on Research Forest Drive and they’re open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

Edible Arrangements in The Woodlands

Edible Arrangements is a larger chain store with all types of chocolate dipped fruits. This might not be the best place to just go pick up a chocolate bar, but they provide some of the best chocolate dipped fruit arrangements in the business. If you’re looking for a unique gift, this is certainly a good choice.

Edible Arrangements is located on Woodland Parkway and open Monday through Friday from 8am to 7pm, Saturday from 8am to 5pm and Sunday from 8am to 1pm.

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The Woodlands Ironman 2013

It is time again for the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas here in The Woodlands Texas on Saturday May 18th.  This will be the 3rd consecutive year The Woodlands has had the privilege of hosting this event, and will draw athletes from all over the world.  The weather forecast is looking good so there should be a great turnout of spectators for the event on Saturday.

There will be close to 3,000 athletes attempt the race (click here to see names).  The race is broken into 3 different courses.  They will start with a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Woodlands, and then take to their bikes for a 112 mile bike course, and then finish with a full 26.2 mile marathon run.  The finish line will be located at Waterway Ave.

This is a USA Triathlon sanctioned event and serves as a qualifier race for the Ironman World Championship that is held in Kona Hawaii.  There will be 50 spots up for grabs to qualify for the championship race in Hawaii.  The Woodlands race was represented well by American athletes in 2012, with Jordan Rapp taking 1st place and Justin Daerr placing 2nd.  Eneko Llanos from Spain won the 2011 event and holds the course record at 8:08:20.

The 2013 event is sure to be a great one and will be fun to watch.   For residents of The Woodlands this will create some traffic problems with road closures.  See below for maps of the different legs of the race (click the photos to enlarge).

Bike Route (Click Photo to Enlarge)

Run Map (Click Photo to Enlarge)

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SplashTown Water Park Near The Woodlands

Found just south of The Woodlands, this water park features many fun attractions. From the Thunder Run to the Texas Freefall, your family will enjoy the entire park all day long. Some of the more exciting choices include the 132-foot long Tornado tube ride, the five story tall Texas Freefall and the RipQurl, which sends two riders traveling through a dark tunnel at speeds up to 26-feet per second.

This is not only a fun water park, but also a relaxing day away from the regular. If you don’t enjoy the thrilling rides, you can spend a lazy day down the Guadalupe River Adventure, which is a long lazy river allowing you to float under the sun. Other attractions of the park include:

  • Brain Drain – New This Year!
  • A 500,000-gallon wave pool
  • Leaky Pipes
  • Space Rapids
  • Zoom Flumes
  • The Blue Lagoon Activity Pool
  • Big Spin at Wild Water Works
  • Treehouse Island
  • Crocodile Isle
  • And more!

There’s something for every age group. SplashTown is found less than 15 minutes south of The Woodlands in Spring, Texas. With over 30 acres of full of water fun and beautiful landscaping, you get a great day for the entire family. Even the shallow pools with animal rafts and small slides will provide fun for the smallest children.

You can choose between daily admission and season passes. If you’re a resident and you plan to visit the water park a few times, season passes are the best option. They are $64.99 each, but if you buy four, you get the discounted rate of $59.99 per pass. Regular daily admission is $36.99 for those 48-inches and taller. For those under 48-inches tall daily admission is $28.99.

If you want to spend the entire day and you want a little extra comfort, you can choose The Big Kahuna Plan or the Splish-Splash Plan. The Big Kahuna Plan includes rental fee for four guests, meals, tubes, towels, a locker and more for $175 on weekends and $150 during the week. The Splish-Splash Plan provides rental fee for four guests, wait service, four waters and a family size locker for $125 on weekends and $100 during the week.

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