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
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.
One of the most exciting milestones my husband and I have experienced with both our kids was hearing them utter their first words. The thrill that comes from the realization that repeatedly saying "dada" and "say ma-ma-ma-ma-mama" has finally clicked and then being able to watch your child's vocabulary explode is one of those experiences that you never forget. The months leading up to that, however, can be wrought with frustration for parents and babies as you both try to communicate to each other. There is a solution, though - baby sign language.
Baby sign language allows your child to effectively communicate with you well before they are verbal, and can ease the frustration and tantrums that are often a result of the helplessness born from not being able to communicate a need or want. Learning another language so early also paves the way to multilingual success as your child grows, and can be a fun and unique bonding experience for the two of you. Here are some sign language classes around Houston for you and baby to learn and grow together.