Holiday Activities in Houston, TX
Your whole family will love this walk-thru festival of lights at Paul Hopkins Park in Dickinson, just outside Houston. This festival has been happening each year for over a decade and admission is free. For little ones, don't miss the Cookie Hut where you can decorate a Christmas cookie for just a dollar. Kids can also get their pictures taken with Santa and ride the train. If you go to the festival during the week, park in the lot on the west side of the park. On the weekends, you can find free parking at True Cross Church School (300 FM 517 E.) and at Dickinson Plaza. A free shuttle to the festival is provided. Visit their website at about specific dates and times.
Thousands of Houston residents take a short trip from the city down to Moody Gardens each year for the Festival of Lights -- the Gulf Coast's largest holiday lighting event. This holiday spectacular features more than a million lights decorating the hundreds of animated displays along the mile-long trail. This festival is so much more than just lights, however. You won't want to miss the Snow Zone for kids, the holiday gift market, several 3-D holiday films, an outdoor skating rink, and the regular Moody Gardens activities and attractions. Kids will love to see Santa feeding the penguins in a 10-story aquarium. Moody Gardens is open daily during the holiday season, so call for show schedules and operating hours.
Traders Village is the largest open-air market on the Texas Gulf Coast. And during the holiday season, it turns into a winter festival of bargain shopping, family activities and amazing food. For cheap holiday fun in Houston, this 100+ acre flea market can't be beat. Admission is free to the public and parking is only $3. It's a great place to Christmas shop and also allow your kids to enjoy the various holiday activities. In addition to shopping, they offer live music, face painting, pinatas, games and of course, Santa. Check out their website for directions, hours and more details on all the special events.
Holiday Time at Bayou Bend is known for its amazing decorations and rich portrayals of how Americans have celebrated the holidays through 250 years of history. The house and gardens at Bayou Bend feature spectacular lights, festive decorations and lush greenery. Inside the home is where you will find the re-creations of Christmases past, holiday music and much more. Throughout the holiday season, special Yuletide family days are set aside with ornament making, carolers, workshops and other activities children will love. Visitors can take a daytime or candlelight tour. Everyone will enjoy sipping hot cider, munching on cookies and gazing at the sparkling lights.
Discovery Green is the gorgeous 12-acre urban public park located in downtown Houston, across from the George R. Brown Convention Center. Conveniently located to many Houston landmarks and attraction, it's a hot spot for family fun all year long. In the wintertime -- from Thanksgiving until late January -- The Ice makes a return to the park with over 7,200 square feet of sparkling ice available for outdoor skating. More than 100,000 visitors each year enjoy ice skating at Discovery Green. The park is also home to special art exhibits, skating performances and other holiday events. Visit the Discovery Green website for skating hours, performance times and other details.