Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the Christmas season. I know a lot of people have holiday traditions that they enjoy throughout the month of December, like seeing a favorite play or visiting the same Santa for photos each year, while others have special activities reserved for Christmas Day, like enjoying a meal out with family or driving around to see the holiday lights and displays one last time. But to me, there's always been something magical about the night before Christmas. Growing up, that was the day we opened all of our presents from family members, attended the candlelight church service, and listened to Christmas carols while sipping hot chocolate and eating holiday treats, so I guess it's no surprise that I find myself wanting to make the day just as special in our house now that I have my own family. Luckily, there is no shortage of fun things to do with the kids on Christmas Eve.
Latest posts by Rachael Cherry
First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving! While our city suffered major devastation earlier this year, we still have so much to be thankful for in our great city, and for those interested in spending paying it forward we've rounded up some wonderful holiday volunteering opportunities.
If you find yourself in a last-minute panic over how to feed incoming guests and decide you just want to scrap the cooking entirely, there are plenty of great restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day ready to serve you and your family and friends.
After Thursday's feast, it's officially time to start looking at Christmas. That means planning photos with Santa, as well as breakfast, brunch, and more with the big guy. There are also still plenty of craft fairs and markets happening, making gift-buying for the holidays a breeze, especially if you decided to opt out of the Black Friday shopping craziness.
Find yourself in need of some family-friendly activities to fill up the upcoming weeks and weekends? Check out our fall bucket list, event calendar, and November GoList for tons of family events and activities. You can also subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to make sure you're always in the loop with everything happening around Houston.
Have an event you want to share? You'll definitely want to submit your event to our calendar, and we'll share it with all of our loyal readers.
Now, let's get on to this weekend's events!
Does your kid constantly attempt to do backflips off the couch and use your body as their personal climbing rope? Then you may be raising a little American Ninja Warrior. The show of the same name pits competitors against each other as they attempt to complete an obstacle course in the fastest time - from leaping on small platforms to climbing incredibly steep and daunting rock walls.
It has sparked a movement in that it encourages kids to spend their free time perfecting their parkour moves and gaining grip strength. Coming off the heels of an era of sedentary video games, this active hobby is a welcome change. Here are four gyms around the greater Houston area that offer Ninja Warrior classes for kids. Not quite ready for these classes? Be sure to check out our round-up of gymnastics classes for preschoolers!
At first glance, the entrance to this trailhead in Southwest Houston looks like any other. The unassuming concrete pathway stretches out in front of you, shaded by trees and running parallel to Oyster Creek. It could be a million other trails, and if you didn't know what you were looking for you might assume it was just that. But a short ways down the path from our start in the dirt parking lot is a sign that tells visitors just how unique this pathway really is: "Welcome to the Missouri City Edible Arbor Trail."
It's no secret that there are no shortage of things to do in Houston. The city is known for being richly diverse in both its people and its activities, and that includes the surrounding cities and towns. A straight shot down I-10 West will take you to Katy - a city that mixes quaint, small town charm with bustling big city sophistication. Read on for the best things to do in Katy, TX with your kids!
Fire trucks are a big deal in our house - my toddler loves them - so it's natural that one of my family's favorite Houston museums to visit is the Houston Fire Museum. Formerly Houston Fire Station No. 7, the facility was built in 1898 by the Houston Fire Department and remained active until 1969. In 1980, it was renovated into its current state as a museum and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Driving up, you can see how well the outside of the building has been preserved, and the station exudes an unparalleled authenticity.
My son loves to visit museums, and frequently requests repeat visits to the butterfly museum, the "museum with the dinosaurs," and the Children's Museum - all of which we've been to many times in his short three years of life. As a result, I'm always on the lookout for new ones to visit, particularly those that fall into the category of being lesser-known museums that offer a little something extra. The Rosenberg Railroad Museum landed on my radar a few months ago, and when we found ourselves with an open morning on a beautiful day, checking it out became a top priority.
If your kids are anything like mine, they tumble, roll, and try to balance on curbs just as often - if not more - than they walk in a straight line. The inherent need for my toddler to constantly tumble and move is one reason we love trampoline parks and play spaces so much! We've also begun to dabble in the world of preschool sports this year, and our focus has been on finding activities that are both fun and functional for our son. It's why we love taking him to gymnastics classes. This powerhouse sport focuses on conditioning movements like balance, flexibility, stamina and overall strength - which all transfer well into basically every other sport out there - while still being just plain fun, making it an ideal sport for preschoolers like my son.
And for more ideas on classes for kids of all ages, check out our classes and enrichment guide for Houston kids.