The week of Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to be spent with family and friends in Houston, Texas. Enjoy Thanksgiving and the kick off to the holiday season with the family-friendly events being held in Houston and the surrounding area.
68th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nov. 23@ 9 a.m.
Lamar at Smith, Houston, TX 77056
The Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Houston will be free for all to attend. The long-running tradition began in Houston when Santa arrived at Union Station and rode his sleigh to Foley’s. The annual parade showcases the community, as spectators line the streets to celebrate the festive event. This year the Grand Marshall of the parade will be Chandra Wilson, a Houston native best known for her 14 seasons on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Home for the Holidays…A McKinney Christmas
Nov. 24-26 @ 10 a.m.
McKinney Main Street, McKinney, TX 75069
The Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festival in McKinney will be a free family-friendly event to kick off the holiday season on the weekend following Thanksgiving Day. The 14-block area of McKinney’s historic downtown will feature family activities, games, a petting zoo, and stage entertainment. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be on Nov. 24 @ 6:15 p.m. Admission will be free and open to the public. There will be fees for some activities and for refreshments.
Hendley Green Holiday Kickoff & Tree Lighting
Nov. 25 @ 2 p.m.
Hendley Green, 2028 Strand, Galveston, TX 77550
Hendley Green and Eighteen Seventy One will present a day of family-friendly fun at this free holiday event. Children of all ages will be encouraged to bring their letters to Santa Claus. The lighting of the Queen’s Christmas tree will be at 5:30 p.m. Admission will be free, but there will be fees for some activities and refreshments.
NOT FREE BUT STILL FUN
Frostival! Winter Celebration
Nov. 18- Jan. 18 @ Various Times
Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77010
Take the family ice skating at Discovery Green, for some fun and exercise. Discovery Green is powered by Green Mountain Energy Company. The winter season will kick off with the Dec. 18 opening of The ICE and the debut of the winter art installation, titled “Hello Trees: A Walking Serenade.” Admission to the skating rink: $14, which will include skate rental. Check the website for information about discounts for employees and customers of Green Mountain Energy, Cheap Skate, and more.
Festival of Lights
Nov. 16 @ 6 p.m.
Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, TX 77554
Festival of Lights is one of the largest holiday celebrations in the region and has become a family-friendly holiday tradition. The grounds will be illuminated by more than one million sparkling lights and animated displays. Visitors will be able to skate on the outdoor ice skating rink Bring your own skates or rent skates for $8. Admission $15.95. Check the website for information on discounts.
Magical Winter Lights
Nov. 10-Jan. 2
Gulf Greyhound Park, La Marque, TX 77568
Magical Winter Lights is a celebration of light and lantern at Gulf Greyhound Park. Children and adults will be delighted by the holiday cheer at Santa’s Christmas Village, a winter wonderland offering family-friendly activities. The stunning lantern attractions will include Magical Wonderland, Mystical Forest, The Lone Star State, Mystery of the East, and Landmarks of the World. Tickets are $21/Adults (13-64_, $13/Children (4-12) and Seniors (65+-), and free for children under four.
Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo
Nov. 18-Jan. 14 @ 6 p.m.
Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, TX 77030
The Houston Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the annual Zoo Lights celebration presented by TXU Energy. Children and adults will enjoy the themed light displays, including the Holiday Train Village, Enchanted Forest, and more. Admission will be $11.95-$19.95. See the Zoo Lights website for information on tickets and discounts.