If you’re entertaining family or friends this holiday season, check out these ideas for free and cheap things to do in Houston during Thanksgiving week:
The kids are out of school so maybe it’s time to revisit (or visit for the first time) these local classics!
Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science has a great deal with tickets for only $10 (regularly $25!). The exhibits are fantastic and include Trains over Texas and more. (Some exhibits may cost extra.)
Space Center Houston
Spend a day learning about Science and aerospace flight and engineering at Houston’s favorite, Space Center Houston. For a limited time, get $5 off of regular price!
Lone Star Flight Museum
An underrated gem of a museum! The 130,000 square foot museum and warehouse offers 40 vintage and historically significant aircraft. The planes have been restored to flying condition and are available for tours. Tickets are now half- off!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
Turkey Jam with DJ Duke at The Children’s Museum- Start off the Children’s Museums’ Holiday Programming with hourly dance competitions, a juggler, and interactive activities. The event is included with the price of admission. Check out this limited-time deal for up to 40% off.
Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol & Deck the Trees- Every holiday season, the Alley Theatre invites a selection of local artists to fill their halls with beautifully decorated Christmas Trees. You can view them for free any time the theatre is open. While you’re there, catch a showing of A Christmas Carol. The show runs November 16- December 30.
Ice at Discovery Green- Starting November 16 through January 27, you can skate every day at Discovery Green. Special events are held regularly as well. Admission is just $11 per person at the gate.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17
Winter Wonderland at Central Green in Katy- Bring your lawn chairs for a whirlwind of dreamscapes and characters. Meet the Peppermint Prince and Princess along with the Peppermint Swirl Girl. It starts at 7!
Moody Gardens Ice Land & Festival of Lights- November 17 through January 6, you can get a load of eight special holiday attractions at Moody Gardens. Ice Land, Festival of Lights, Ice Skating, Train Rides, photos with Santa, and much more. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, Sundays are value days and you can save at least $5 per person! It’s a great place to see Christmas lights!
Magical Winter Lights at Gulf Greyhound Park- The race track’s biggest festival and extended hours are back! Open every night, and all holidays, this year has themes from around the globe and the imagination. You can also check out extended hours on holiday evenings. Kids under 3 are free and all other tickets start at $13 or you can snag this Groupon deal to get up to 23% off for a limited time.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Zoo Lights– Our favorite zoo gets dressed up for the holidays! Opening day is November 17th but you can expect huge crowds. Go after Prime Day but before the end of the exhibit for the best viewing. Tickets are separate from Zoo entry and start at $17.95. The exhibit runs through January 13.
Home For the Holidays Gift Market in Katy- Three awesome days of gift shopping is coming to Katy. November 16, 17, and 18, you can get all your shopping done. Hours vary per day. Can’t make this one? Check out Galveston’s market below.
The Texas Renaissance Festival- There are only two more weekends to enjoy the Texas favorite, RenFest. Get your fill of turkey legs, medieval games, live performances, and artisan shopping.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19
Turkey Pardon at Children’s Museum of Houston- Watch a live turkey get pardoned, just like at the White House! There will also be a screening of the movie Free Birds happening all day. The event is included with daily admission.
Open House at Jumpalooza Hangout Houston- What’s better than being off of school for Thanksgiving? A day of free jumping! Bring the little ones for some trampoline fun, prize drawings, and free crafting. The event is from 10 am to 6 pm.
Pet Photos with Santa at Baybrook Mall- Pet Santa photos are happening every Monday through December 17th in Friendswood. Each session has a different them. Packages start at $39.99 and reservations are suggested.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20
Game Day on Ice at Discovery Green- Sign up to play a variety of games on the Ice at Discovery Green. General admission is $11 and skate rental is $4. Game days repeat every Tuesday through the beginning of January.
Santa’s Wonderland in College Station- Visit Santa’s Home Town! Stroll through a variety of attractions and amazing light displays. Veterans and Active Duty are free- all other tickets start at $19.99 for kids and $24.95 if you buy them in advance.
Free Holiday Comedy Show at Scotty’s Pub- Comedians on Deck! Drink specials will run throughout the show as you listen to holiday-themed jokes. Admission and the show are free! Show starts at 9 pm.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21
The Ultimate Christmas Show at Stages Repertory Theatre- Get a good, old-fashioned Holiday Play going on now through Friday the 23rd. Stages Repertory Theatre brings you the story of a Christmas Show which must go on!
Thanksgiving Celebration at The Children’s Museum- Design clothing and pennants for a character in the Thanksgiving Parade at The Children’s Museum. The event is included in the price of Admission.
Thanksgiving Pub Crawl benefitting the Houston Food Bank- Crawl a selection of Pubs in Downtown Houston for just $15! Help raise money and get a ton of drink specials while you’re at it.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22- Thanksgiving Day
City of Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade- Located downtown, this parade is free for everyone. Get there early for the best view and be sure to have a plan for parking and dealing with crowds.
TXU Energy Turkey Trot- This event, hosted annually by Baker Ripley, is the perfect start to a binge-worthy day. All ages, abilities, and fitness levels are welcomed at this famous Houston fundraiser, benefiting local Houstonians. The 10K race starts promptly at 7:30 am. A 5K starts at 8 am, and the kid’s race begins at 9.
Dickens on the Strand- Head down to Galveston after Thanksgiving Lunch for a Thanksgiving to transport you back to 1800s England. Marvel at the Costumes and watch the Queen’s Tree Lighting Ceremony.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Festival of Trees- What better way to kick off Christmas season than with a new tree? Enjoy food trucks, live entertainment, a bustling holiday market, and The Parade of Trees with the option to buy your own. Did we mention a snow machine for the kids? Get tickets now for as low as $10 before this deal sells out! Event lasts 11/23-11/25.
Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker- From the day after Thanksgiving through December 29, take in a show of one of Houston’s best ballets. Shows are every weekend, twice a day, plus special scheduling the week of Christmas at Wortham Theatre.
FunFetti on Ice at Discovery Green- Fridays through the end of January, go ice skating like you’ve never done before. A life DJ will be spinning beats to choreographed light shows.
11th Annual Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez- No reservations required! Hotel Galvez lets everyone get into the Holiday spirit with their Tree Lighting celebration which starts at 6 pm.
Sugar Land Holiday Lights- Celebrate the season with sweet lights at Constellation Field. You’ll also get holiday shopping, food vendors, and a chance to meet Santa! Tickets run $10- $14. The show runs November 23 through January 1st.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Home For the Holidays Gift Market in Galveston- For two days, Moody Gardens is putting on a one-of-a-kind gift market just in time for the holidays. The Galveston event is held Friday from noon to 8 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.
Breakfast with Santa at the Rosenburg Library- From 10:30 to 11:30 am, share some Christmas Cheer with Santa Clause! Storytime, sing- songs, a puppet show, and arts and crafts are also on the agenda. All activities are free but you need to pre- register ASAP.
Teddy Bear Check-Up at The Health Museum- Have a Beary Merry Holiday Season and kick it off with a Teddy Bear Check Up! This family-friendly event includes breakfast, photo ops wtih Santa, a performance by the Ballet, face painting, a raffle, and more. The event is included with the price of admission and begins at 9 am.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Thanksgiving with Santa at the Children’s Museum of Houston- The Children’s Museum has a variety of special events during the holidays. On Sunday, bring your camera and catch some pics with Santa from 2- 4 pm.
Houston Holiday Latin Jazz Festival- The annual event takes place the weekend of Thanksgiving. Get a multicultural music festival with Grammy- Award winning artists. Tickets range from just $5- $50. The event is all day, from 11 am to 7 pm.
Downtown Lanterns and Lights in Galveston- Galveston city is all lit up! Check out the magical display throughout Downtown Galveston starting at 8 pm. It’s free!
What are you up to Thanksgiving Week? Let us know if we missed something!