As parents, it's safe to say that we all have the best intentions of organizing the most creative, Pinterest-worthy crafts and activities for our kids during school breaks. Making those activities come to fruition, however, isn't always as easily executed. This winter break, instead of setting lofty goals that never get met, fall back on our holiday guide for events and things to do during the season, and read our other posts for fun things to do on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Below, you'll find 25 things to do you and the kids will love and that, more importantly, get you out of the house!
1. Look at the best Christmas lights Houstonians have to offer, like Prestonwood Forest's Nite of Lights where you can judge the best displays.
2. And if neighborhood lights are too low-key for your taste, check out one of these public light displays where you'll find millions of dazzling scenes you can walk around, under, and even interact with.
3. Spend some time giving back to the community by taking advantage of one of the many holiday volunteering opportunities available.
4. Take a hayride through College Station's famous Santa's Wonderland.
5. Take a ride on the Alvin Christmas Train where you'll get to see 300,000 lights and hundreds of holiday decorations! There is hot chocolate and other refreshments available for purchase.
6. It's not too late to squeeze in a performance of The Nutcracker Ballet or one of these other holiday shows and musicals.
7. Go ice skating at an indoor rink around town, or if you're into this whole kind-of-cold weather thing we have going on check out the outdoor rink at Discovery Green or in The Woodlands.
8. Stay toasty and burn off some extra energy at one of Houston's numerous indoor play spaces.
9. Spend the day at an area farm or ranch (many have holiday-related events and activities), like George Ranch Historical Park - where younger kids can take part in a Children's Campfire Christmas and older kids can enjoy a Campfire Christmas; Froberg's Farm - where you can attend the Winter Festival; or Old MacDonald's Farm - where the kids can ride the train, play in the hay barn, and enjoy the petting zoo.
10. Visit an area museum FREE of charge on select days.
11. Watch a movie bundled up on the grass at Discovery Green's Winter Screen on the Green.
12. Take a FREE boat tour of the Houston Ship Channel. The tours embark from the Sam Houston Pavilion, and you get perfect views of cargo vessels and operations at the port's main terminal. The boat has indoor and outdoor seating, and tours require a reservation.
13. Celebrate the holidays at the Children's Museum of Houston's Winter Wonderland WonderWeek where you'll find tons of holiday-related activities, shows, and if you miss that there is also the Rockin' New Year WonderWeek.
14. Reach new heights at an area trampoline park.
15. Take advantage of drop-in studios during Winter Break at MFAH to create a masterpiece with your family. Winter break activities are free with general admission to the museum, and kids 12 and under get in FREE altogether.
16. Arrange a photo with Santa if you haven't already.
17. Take a day trip to a nearby town or park, like Brenham to see the Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery, or Brazos Bend State Park to marvel at the gators.
18. Check out the sights and sounds of Houston by kayak or canoe for a different perspective of our beloved city.
19. Hop aboard the Holiday Train at Hermann Park for a festive, Christmas-themed train ride.
20. Enjoy an afternoon at an area farmers market where you can buy fresh produce and other handmade goods.
21. Fly into the Lone Star Flight Museum for a variety of fun holiday activities, like Movies in the Hangar on select Friday nights, Drone Demo Days on select Saturdays, and a special Holidays on the Front weekend event December 29-30.
22. Have family storytime outdoors at one of Houston's best parks for kids and families, Levy Park.
23. Make crafts at the Texas City Museum.
24. Ring in the Noon Year at CityCentre with an afternoon full of fun activities and a special bubble celebration.
25. Participate in fun workshops, make crafts, and play at The Woodlands Children's Museum for Winter FUNcation.
If all else fails, you can always refer back to our trusty calendar for things to do every day. It's jam-packed with activities that are sure to brighten up your week.
Top photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts