During the most magical time of the year, there are many ways to get your holiday light fix. Houston has beautiful public lighting displays, but nothing beats driving the family around a neighborhood in your Christmas pajamas. For those evenings when you want to enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at your own pace, it's helpful to know which Houston neighborhoods go above and beyond in the decoration department. We've rounded up the neighborhoods with must-see lighting displays, so all you have to do is gather the family into the car, turn on some holiday tunes, and explore the Bayou City on your own time. However, many neighborhoods prefer visitors between 6-10 p.m. Lights are typically up from Thanksgiving through New Years. Also, for all things holiday in Houston - from free events to shows - check out our holidays guide.
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Many children worry about whether they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list. One way to help your little elves feel confident about their spot on the nice list is to encourage them to volunteer. Volunteering as a family is a great way to teach children that the holidays are about more than just presents while also creating a meaningful family holiday tradition. The holiday season is a busy time for many families with so much shopping, cooking, and socializing to do, not to mention all the exciting winter festivals and other seasonal events, so we’ve rounded up a variety of easy ways your family can volunteer locally or through national organizations.
Also, find five ways you can help families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Houston is full of many wonderful parks, including parks with lots of shade essential for almost all months of the year, which is important on our frequently sunny days. Donovan Park is another great park that is worth visiting and has shady and covered areas. Donovan Park is an imaginative and attractive neighborhood park that is situated at the northeast corner of 7th Street and Heights Boulevard. This park is hard to miss with two large, castle-like wooden play structures. As you enter the park, you are greeted by colorful, hand-painted mosaic tiles that create seating inside and outside of the entrance. The park is surrounded by a large, wrought-iron fence with a latched gate that prevents children from running into the busy street and allows parents and caregivers to relax while little ones run and play freely.
Your family's list of must-do activities for fall wouldn't be complete without an old-fashioned hayride. Check out these area farms and ranches for hayrides around the property, which often include pumpkin patches and fun activities for the whole family.
If your child loves painting, drawing, working with clay, or just being creative in general, an art-themed birthday party could be a great option. Kids will be busy and focused on a task for most of the party, they will get to create something that they can take home with them, and they are almost guaranteed to have a positive experience.There are endless options for creative birthday party locations in Houston. We've put together a list of some off-the-beaten-path art studios and organizations that offer birthday party options so you can throw your little artist a truly one-of-a-kind party for their special day!
When I moved to Houston from New York City, my former co-workers got me a membership to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as a going away gift. I guess they wanted to make sure I would still get some culture all the way down here in Texas. It was a wonderful gift and gave me the opportunity to get to explore one of the best resources for art and culture in Houston! Now that I'm a mom, I have realized that the MFAH has so much to offer for children and families.
I grew up in Northern Michigan in a town that often makes the news for beating the record for the most snowfall and the coldest temperatures, and somehow I was lucky enough to have a pool in my backyard. I loved jumping into that pool after working out or having friends over to swim, and now that I live in a city with weather that could accommodate an almost endless pool season, there is, unfortunately, no pool outside my back door. Instead, we take advantage of Houston's many free community pools. The city of Houston has 37 FREE community pools open June 4 - August 12 (in the 2017 season) from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and from August 13 - Sept. 5 on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Summer wouldn't be summer without popsicles, splashpads and FREE concerts! Many of these concerts aren't aimed directly at kids but don't be afraid to bring your children, as it's a great opportunity to expose them to all different kinds of music. Whether you bring the whole family or make it a date night, grab your dancing shoes or just grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and enjoy some blues, jazz, bluegrass, rock 'n roll, or pop music! (But if movies are more your speed, check out our roundup of free and cheap summer movies.)