The holiday season has crept up on us and now it’s time to celebrate and enjoy family. You may be looking for fun activities to make memories with relatives while they’re in town. Bypass the hustle, bustle and danger of shopping on Black Friday, and spend time with loved ones by engaging in activities that won’t hurt your wallet. Here is a list of free or low-priced, fun family events that are happening around Houston this Thanksgiving Day weekend.
- 65th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade – Presented by HEB, Houston’s Thanksgiving Day parade is sure to start your holiday off right. With many spectacular floats, amazing balloons and scheduled performances, this parade is just as spectacular as the Macy’s Parade in New York City. This year’s Grand Marshalls are couple Bill Klein and Dr. Jennifer Arnold from TLC’s The Little People. The parade starts at 9am downtown on Lamar at Smith. You can also watch the parade live at home on KHOU Channel 11.
- TXU Energy Turkey Trot – Beginning at 7am on Thanksgiving Day, the annual Turkey Trot will commence at Dillard’s Galleria. There will be a 5k race, a 10k race, and also a kids run. Adults race admission is $30 and children’s race is $10. The proceeds from the event will go to families that are served by Neighborhood Centers.
- Uptown Holiday Lighting – Once you’re all stuffed with turkey and dressing, you can make your way to the Galleria area on Thanksgiving night to witness the Christmas lighting of Uptown Houston. The event begins 4pm with live holiday music and food trucks. At 7pm, Santa will light 80 trees lined up along Post Oak and the night ends with a firework show. The event is free and open to the public.
- The ICE at Discovery Green – Each year, the small lake at Discovery Green is transformed into an ice rink for the holiday season. Throughout the duration of the season, each weekend bares a different themed activity for each day. Beginning Thanksgiving night, Thursdays will be Hot Nights on ICE with live karaoke from 7 to 10pm. Friday Night Flicks at The ICE will be the theme for Fridays and the movie featured this week will be Disney’s Maleficent and the movie starts at 8:30pm. This Saturday, kids will be able to Skate with Santa between 4 and 5pm. All of these events are free, but if you are skating, a $13 admission applies.
- Festival of Lights – Galveston’s famous Moody Gardens is host to the Festival of Lights each year. Each weekend feature ice sculptures, ice skating, holiday movies, live entertainment and of course amazing lighting landscapes. Tickets are $9 and on Fridays 2-For-1 admission is available when you donate a non-perishable food item. All food donated will benefit the Galveston County Food Bank.
- Zoo Lights – More than 50 animal-themed lights are on display at the Houston Zoo this holiday season beginning this weekend. Carolers sing throughout the zoo each night and you are also able to sip hot chocolate on your walk through the zoo. From 6pm to 10pm nightly until January 4th, the lights will be takeover the zoo. Tickets are $12.95 or $14.95 depending on the night and there is a $2 off coupon available online.
There is so much going on in this day an time that we often forget the importance of spending time and cherishing family. The holiday season is the time of year where we’re able to share great times and make wonderful memories and these events are only fun ways to enhance the love. This is also a season of giving, so in addition to these events, also take time to serve a homeless shelter with your family, provide for a family who may be less fortunate than yours or even share a bit of your time with others. It’s important to instill morals and values within your family and this season is a great time to do so.