Christmas Festivals, Shows, Lights & Family Fun… Things to Do in Houston, with Kids, During the Holidays 2018!

Happy Holidays, Houston!  Here are all the holiday festivals, lights and shows for November 1, 2018 through January 2, 2019.

As events pop up, we’ll add them to the list… and since this is being posted so early, be sure to click the links and check before you head out to each venue. (And for Fall Festivals, go HERE!)

If you want this list emailed to you each week, sign up for the free newsletter HERE.

 

MY LATEST VIDEOS

Quick Links:

Full list of things to do in Houston, with kids, November 1 – January 2 (Coming Soon)
Good Places to Take Family Photos in Houston

 

Holiday Lights:

Zoo Lights – November 17, 2018 – January 13, 2019 – Houston Zoo (See our last review HERE!)

Magical Winter Lights – November 16, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – Gulf Greyhound Park (See our last review HERE!)

Festival of Lights – November 17, 2018  – January 6, 2019 – Moody Gardens

Lights in the Heights – December 8, 2018 – Woodland Heights

Dickinson Festival of Lights – TBD – Dickenson

 

Shows/Concerts:

Children’s Festival: Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration – November 10 & 11, 2018 – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas – November 16 – December 30, 2018 – Alley Theatre

Mr. Popper’s Penguins – November 11 – December 21, 2018 – Main Street Theater at MATCH

The Nutcracker – November 23 – December 29, 2018 – Wortham Theater

A Mozart & Brahms Thanksgiving – November 24-25, 2018 – Jones Hall

A Christmas Carol – November 30 & December 1, 2018 – The Grand Galveston

Big Band Holidays – Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis December 2, 2018 – The Grand Galveston

Very Merry Pops – December 7 & 8, 2018 – Jones Hall

A Polar Express Christmas – December 8, 2018 – Jones Hall

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – December 11-23, 2018 – Theater Under the Stars

Christmas Under the Big Top – TBD – Second Baptist Woodway Campus

The Nutcracker Tea – December 15, 2018 – The Grand Galveston

Nutcracker – December 15 & 16, 2018 – The Grand Galveston

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – December 21, 2018 – Toyota Center

A Charlie Brown Christmas – December 23, 2018 – The Grand Galveston

SHEN YUN – December 26, 2018 – January 16, 2019 – Jones Hall

 

Festivals/Family Fun:

Texas Renaissance Festival – Weekends, through November 25, 2018 – Todd Mission, Texas 
Ticket deals can usually be found on coupon websites.  Kids are free on Sundays.
The world’s largest Renaissance Festival has themes that change each weekend.

Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market – November 8-11, 2018 – NRG Center – N Stadium Dr, Houston, TX 77054
This is not really a kid event… but it’s a fun shopping/people watching event for moms or dads.  Kids can come, but no strollers are allowed!

Trains Over Texas – TBD – Houston Museum of Natural Science
Create holiday memories by travelling across Texas by model railroad in this scratch built “O” scale model.

Santa’s Wonderland – November 9, 2018-December 30, 2018 – 18898 Hwy 6 South, College Station, 77845 
Biggest Christmas attraction in the state of Texas!  Several ticket options are available.

Home for the Holidays – November 10-December 22 , 2018– Old Town Spring – 403 Main St, Spring, TX 77373
The local shops come alive and visitors encountered strolling performers and festive exhibits!

Polar Express Train Ride – November 17-December 27, 2018 – 789 Park Road 70, Palestine, Texas 75801
Ride on the Polar Express!  Find the best pricing in November and early December… and book all tickets before they sell out!

Festival of Lights – November 17, 2018  – January 6, 2019 – Moody Gardens – 1 Hope Boulevard Galveston, Texas 77554
Find more than 1 million lights,  live entertainment, ice skating, pictures with Santa and the Arctic Slide.

Ice Land Ice Sculptures – November 17, 2018  – January 6, 2019 – Moody Gardens – 1 Hope Boulevard Galveston, Texas 77554
A new rain forest theme… all carved out of more than 2 million pounds of ice!

Lighting of the Doves – November 17, 2018 – Town Green Park at The Woodlands Waterway – 2099 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 
This festival has snow, sledding, shopping, entertainment, fireworks… and Santa arriving on the water!  See the Doves light up along The Woodlands Waterway!

Via Colori Festival – November 17 & 18, 2018 – Streets Surrounding City Hall – 900 Smith St, Houston, TX 77002
200 artists paint the streets surrounding City Hall!  Watch the artists work, enjoy music, activities and food!  Via Colori is a fundraiser for The Center for Hearing and Speech.

Zoo Lights – November 17, 2018 – January 13, 2019 – Houston Zoo – 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas 77030
Tour the Zoo after dark!  The Zoo closes at 5:00pm and reopens at 6:00pm for this event.  Check their website for “value” nights and “prime” nights.  “Value” nights are less busy and cheaper!

 ICE at Discovery Green – November 16, 2018, to February 28, 2019 – Discovery Green – 1500 McKinney, Houston, Texas 77010  
All ages are invited to skate at Discovery Green.  There is a small toddler rink for the littlest ones to practice.

Turkey Trot – November 22, 2018 – Galleria – 4925 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77056
The largest Thanksgiving Race in Houston and it takes place in the Galleria area. The event benefits children and seniors Neighborhood Centers serves every year. There’s opportunity to participate as a walker, runner and also volunteer.

HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade – November 22, 2018 – Downtown Houston 
Thanksgiving Day Parade in Downtown Houston.  Arrive early for parking!

Dickinson Festival of Lights – TBD – Dickinson – Paul Hopkins Park
See the lights and Santa!  Free Parking and shuttle service is provided on busy nights at Dickinson Plaza Shopping Center.

Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting – TBD – Post Oak Boulevard – Uptown Park
From the website: “Due to the construction of Post Oak Boulevard, the Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting event, annually held on Thanksgiving evening, is being postponed until 2019.”

Mayor’s Holiday Celebration – November 30, 2018 – City Hall – 901 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002
Tree lighting, music, Santa and family fun in Downtown Houston!

Dickens on the Strand – November 30 – December 2, 2018 – Galveston – Strand National Historic Landmark District
Victorian holiday festival!  Six stages, strolling carolers, musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and  even more entertainers. Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired gifts.

Christmas Train – November 30 – December 23, 2018 – 1407 Victory Lane, Alvin, Texas 775711
Old-fashioned train ride through our winter wonderland of lights and religious scenery. Over 300,000 lights sparkle along the 3/4 mile track.

An Old Fashioned Christmas – December 1, 2018 – Jesse H. Jones Nature Center – 20634 Kenswick Dr, Humble, TX 77338
Experience traditions of earlier times as the homestead comes to life with 19th century holiday customs. Enjoy music, a holiday craft, tree lighting, wassail and cookies, and an early visit from Saint Nicholas. Reservations required.

Candlelight Tour – TBD for 2018 – Sam Houston Park – 1000 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
This Houston holiday tradition will take you and your loved ones back in time, to an open-hearted world filled with families gathering in cozy homes to count their blessings over a warm hearth.

Stories at the Trains – TBD for 2018 – Second Baptist at Woodway – 6400 Woodway Drive, E Building, Houston, Texas 77057
Listen to the Christmas stories by the giant model train layout!  It is open to everyone!

Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival – December  7, 8, 9, 2018 – Tomball Train Depot – 201 S Elm St, Tomball, TX, 77375
Great family festival just outside Houston.

Breakfast with Santa – December 8, 2018 – Hermann Park – 1700 Hermann Drive, Houston, Texas
Celebrate the holiday season with your family with a fun day including breakfast, ride on the Hermann Park Railroad, pedal boat ride, and pictures with Santa!

Holiday Party at Kinder Station – December 8, 2018 – Hermann Park Train Station – 1700 Hermann Drive, Houston, Texas
Come and enjoy free crafts and face painting.  Park members also enjoy free train rides.

Gingerbread Build Off – December 8, 2018 – Hermann Square by City Hall – 900 Smith St, Houston, TX 77002
Architecture Center Houston will host the Annual Gingerbread Build-Off at City Hall’s Hermann Square. Competing teams will create their masterpieces using 100% edible materials.

Homestead Holiday – December 8, 2018 – Jesse H. Jones Nature Center – 20634 Kenswick Dr, Humble, TX 77338
Enjoy homemade cookies and wassail as the homestead comes to life with old-fashioned Christmas traditions, including jolly old Saint Nicholas

Christmas Village at Bayou Bend – December 14, 2018 – January 5, 2019 – Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens – 6003 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77265
Santa and his reindeer will return for 17 dazzling nights in December and January for the 4th annual Christmas Village at Bayou Bend. From December 14 through January 5, the 14-acre estate transforms into a winter wonderland and spreads holiday cheer with sparkling lights, carolers, a hand-crafted model train and festive activities for all ages – including a cotton snowball toss and reindeer games! Visitors can also enjoy holiday-themed tours of the Ima Hogg’s historic mansion, featuring live actors, theatrical effects and Christmas decorations.

Critters’ Christmas – December 22, 2018 – Jesse H. Jones Nature Center – 20634 Kenswick Dr, Humble, TX 77338
Learn how to make decorative edible treats for the birds and other wildlife that visit your yard this time of year.

Rockin’ New Year’s Noon Bash – December 31, 2018 – Children’s Museum of Houston – 1500 Binz, Houston, Texas 77004
The end-of-year bash rings in the New Year at the stroke of noon with a parade and shimmering ball drop.  9:00am-3:00pm

High Noon Countdown – December 31, 2018 – The Woodlands Children’s Museum – 4775 W Panther Creek Dr #280, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Celebrate making New Year hats and creative art projects. 10:00am-12:00pm.

Sharkey’s New Year’s Eve Celebration – December 31, 2018 – Downtown Aquarium – 410 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
Balloon Drop, Buffet and all day adventure pass.  Reservations required.

New Year’s Eve Family Celebration – December 31, 2018 – Kemah Boardwalk – 215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565
Live music and fireworks at 10:00pm.


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