Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Ice Skating, The Nutcracker, Downtown Parade, Nov 24-27

Things to do around Houston with kids this Thanksgiving weekend

Thanksgiving in Houston kicks off with a 67-year-old tradition - the annual HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade in Downtown Houston. There are also several turkey trots scheduled this weekend the whole family can participate in to work off all of the extra calories from grandma's famous mashed potatoes, and as a bonus, many benefit local charities. Speaking of extra calories, if you don’t feel like cooking up a storm you can check out one of these kid-friendly restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day.

Start another family tradition by hitting up the outdoor ice skating rink at Discovery Green – even if it’s 75 degrees outside! Maybe try a volunteering opportunity with the family or even going out to cut your own Christmas tree this weekend. Houston is a big city, so you are sure to find tree lighting celebrations almost every weekend this month. 

Remember you can find additional listings in our events calendar and our November GoList. To receive weekly event roundups and our latest posts, subscribe to our free newsletter! Keep reading for all of our top weekend picks.

Thanksgiving Day - Thursday

City of Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade - Downtown

H-E-B presents the city of Houston's annual Thanksgiving Parade, where families can expect the traditional parade floats and attractions at this 67-year-old event. The parade winds through 20 blocks of downtown Houston beginning at Lamar and Smith.

Turkey Trots — Various Locations

Get the kids out for a fun walk/run before they fill up with yummy, sleep-inducing turkey.

Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting – Uptown

This free holiday event features holiday tunes, live music, dance performances and concession stands serving the flavors of the holiday. Santa and his reindeer will light up the lights on 80 trees and rooftops along the Post Oak Boulevard followed by a dazzling fireworks extravaganza.

See all Thursday events.

All Weekend - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Sugar Land Holiday Lights - Sugar Land

The 3rd Annual Sugar Land Lights kicks off this weekend with more than 2.5 million lights on display with eight themes for the entire family to walk through. 

A Christmas Carol "A Ghost Story of Christmas" - Downtown

Enjoy Houston's rendition of the holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol," which follows Ebenezer Scrooge's journey with three ghostly spirits.

Black Friday Weekend Pop Shop Festival - Sawyer Heights

The Pop Shop Festival is a massive art market where attendees can buy handmade crafts, arts and other gifts perfect for the holidays. With art exhibitions, live art, activities, and workshops, it's basically walking through a real-life Etsy shop.

The Houston Ballet Presents "The Nutcracker" - Downtown

The Houston Ballet brings its new production of this classic for the entire family to enjoy. 

The Woodlands Ballet Theatre Presents "The Nutcracker" - The Woodlands

Another great production of this Holiday classic is presented by The Woodlands Ballet. 

Winter Fest at Typhoon Texas - Katy

Houston's newest water park, Typhoon Texas, transforms into a Christmas Wonderland complete with rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, Santa's workshop, hay rides, a winter train, The Miracle of Christmas 4D Show, and more.

Zoo Lights - Museum District

The Houston Zoo is an annual family tradition where the property is transformed into a magical winter wonder light experience.

Magical Winter Lights - La Marque

Magical Winter Lights immerses guests in elaborate light displays of various themes, and guests can enjoy a holiday market, carnival games, arts and crafts, a food court, and children's fun zone.

Festival of Lights - Galveston

Head down to Moody Gardens for its massive annual Festival of Lights which includes outdoor ice skating, an ice slide, pictures with Santa, and tons of holiday games and activities.


The Polar Express - Katy

Enjoy train rides, polar express crafts and games, hot chocolate and even take professional photos with Santa Claus!

Santa and his Reinsteer - Museum District

Visit the Texas version of Santa's reindeer! Santa brings his Texas longhorn for everyone to meet at the Children's Museum of Houston.

Holiday Wonderland in Burroughs Park - Tomball

Burroughs Park welcomes the entire family for holiday games and activities, crafts, a petting zoo, screenings of favorite holiday movies, and more, plus Santa will make an appearance too!

Dickinson Festival of Lights - Dickinson

The 19th Annual Dickinson Festival of Lights is a massive, walk-through light display at Paul Hopkins Park. Refreshments are available for purchase, pictures with Santa, and a free parking shuttle service at the Dickinson Plaza Shopping Center.

See all Saturday Events.


Photos with Santa at Sugar Land Town Square - Sugar Land

It's the perfect opportunity to meet Santa and take a free photo with him at the Sugar Land Town Square. 

Sunday Story Time - The Woodlands

Sunday Story Time is the perfect opportunity to enjoy your young child's favorite books at The Woodlands Children's Museum.

See all Sunday Events.

Photo courtesy of Discovery Green.