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

santa skatingSkate with Santa: Kids will enjoy skating with Santa Claus at Discovery Green’s outdoor ice rink. Daily ice skating is open through January 27, 2013.
Dec. 22, 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 with Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow and IKEA Houston Screen on the Green:
Dec. 19, 6 pm; “A Christmas Story, outdoors at Karbach Brewing Co.; $15 (purchase online)
Dec. 20, 6:30 pm; “Arthur Christmas, Discovery Green; free
Dec. 21, 7:30 pm; “Elf, Whole Foods Montrose, 701 Waugh; 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. 5, 6 pm – 10 pm; $10, $8 (Zoo members)
6200 Hermann Park

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. Saturdays in December at George Ranch Historical Park.
Dec. 22, 29; $10 adults, $5 children (4 and under free)
10215 FM 762, Richmond (30 miles SW of downtown Houston)
Or enjoy the annual special events at George Ranch Historical Park including Children’s Campfire Christmas with crafts, hayride, and light dinner geared to younger kids (Dec. 20, 6-8pm, $25 kids, $30 adults) or Campfire Christmas for a unique historical holiday celebration including a 1942 USO Dinner Dance (Dec. 21-22, $45 kids, $50 adults). Space is still available so make your reservation (281-343-0218 or [email protected]). photo: Roy Kasmir Photography

Christmas in Old Town Spring: Enjoy twinkling lights, 150 shops, a Christmas train and Santa photos at Home for the Holiday. Kids will love the petting zoo and pony rides. Get a free Thomas Kinkade gift when you donate a gently-used blanket, coat or food item (315 Gentry, B3).
Through Sunday, Dec. 23
405 Main, Old Town Spring

Breakfast with Santa: Enjoy breakfast at the Downtown Aquarium with Santa Claus. 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