7 Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Houston

It’s easy to find fun ways to enjoy the holidays in Houston with family and friends. Here is a snapshot of activities the last few days before Christmas that are catching our eye:

Unsilent Night Holiday Musical Parade: Unsilent Night is a free interactive musical parade strolling along Buffalo Bayou! Each participant gets 1 of 4 tracks of music that can be played on their Smart phone (download the app when you arrive). When folks play their different “part” at the same time, it creates an amazing musical collaboration. Pause at holiday stations along the way including cookies and hot chocolate. St. Arnold Brewing Company will be sharing some free pours of their tasty local brew and root beer! This 43-minute musical piece was written specifically to be heard outdoors by New York composer Phil Kline.
Dec. 19, 6 pm reception, 7 pm parade
Sabine Promenade (150 Sabine Street)

santa skatingSkate with Santa: Kids will enjoy skating with Santa Claus at Discovery Green’s outdoor ice rink. Daily ice skating is open through February 2, 2014.
Dec. 21, 4-5 pm; $12 to ice skate but watch for free
1500 McKinney  photo: Tina Mathis

Outdoor screenings of holiday classics: Catch a flick under the stars:
Dec. 20, 6:30 pm; A Christmas Story, Discovery Green; free
Dec. 20, dusk; Elf, Central Green at LaCenterra; free
Dec. 22, 6 pm; Elf, CityCentre, 800 Town and Country Blvd.; free

Houston Zoo Lights: Wander the winter wonderland at TXU Energy Presents Houston Zoo Lights with more than 50 animal-themed light displays and 15 miles of tree lighting. Sip hot chocolate, decorate a gingerbread man, and jam to the glowing, musical art car!
Nightly through Jan. 4, 6 pm – 10 pm; $10 online ($12 gate); $7 online, $9 at gate (Zoo members)
6200 Hermann Park

Buffalo Bayou Christmas Cruises: Enjoy a 30-minute Christmas pontoon boat ride along Buffalo Bayou with decorations, lights and more. No reservations, first come first serve. Boat capacity is 21 so arrive 15-20 minutes earlier than the time you want to ride. Tour is cancelled for rain.
Dec. 21, 5 pm – 7:30 pm; $7 adults, $5 kids 4-12 (cash only)
Meet at Allen’s Landing by Spaghetti Warehouse, Commerce and Main

Breakfast with Santa:

Downtown Aquarium Lots of photo opps, live music, activities and a breakfast buffet.
Dec. 20– 24, 8 am – 10 am; $15.99 adults, $9.99 kids
410 Bagby
Cafe Adobe – breakfast and party with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Dec. 21, 9 am – 11 am; $15 adults, $10 kids with 2 and under free. Bring a toy to donate to help the H.E.A.R.T. Program (adults with developmental disabilities) and get reduced admission.

george ranch christmasChristmas in the Park: Explore and learn how Texas’ first settlers celebrated Christmas, tour a Victorian home with holiday decorations, and enjoy special activities at George Ranch Historical Park. Christmas in the Park is Saturdays in December.
Dec. 21, 28; $10 adults, $5 children
10215 FM 762, Richmond (30 miles SW of downtown Houston)

photo: Roy Kasmir Photography


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