For the Thanksgiving holiday, the festivities often start the Wednesday before and last through Thursday. Your whole family can celebrate spending time with each other while enjoying some of the seasonal events around town. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to get active or just sit back and enjoy a parade. Find the best activities to do with your family for this fall holiday.
Houston Children’s Museum Thanksgiving With Santa
1500 Binz St.
Houston, Texas 77004
(713) 522-1138

Date: November 25, 2015

It’s no secret that the Houston Children’s Museum is a great place for kids to visit all year round, but this site also hosts several themed events during the holidays. Because the museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, it will have its Thanksgiving celebration on Wednesday, November 25. The festivities start at 1 pm with a parade just for kids and crafts designed perfectly for little hands to do that are also part of the fun. Your children can be among the first to meet Santa for the upcoming Christmas season. He will be in the Brown Auditorium at the museum from 2 pm to 4 pm during the event.

Related: Ask a Houston Expert: After-School Activity Ideas

TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot
4925 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77056

Date: November 26, 2015

The annual Houston Turkey Trot in the Galleria area is a tradition for many on Thanksgiving morning. Not only is it a great way to burn off some calories before the big feast, it is also a good way to give back. The entry fees for the 5K, 10K and 1K kids’ race all go to benefit the Houston Neighborhood Centers. There will be both timed and untimed races. Races for everyone from kids through seniors are available, so get the whole family out on Thanksgiving morning for a brisk jog through the streets surrounding the Galleria.

HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade
901 Bagby St.
Houston, Texas 77002
(832) 393-0868

Date: November 26, 2015 at 9 am

After you’ve run around the Galleria area, take a break by heading to downtown Houston to watch the 66th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. This parade is broadcasted on local news stations each year, but parades are always more exciting to experience in person. Find a spot along the route to get an up-close look at the local bands, floats, balloons and performers. While watching the parade from the area sidewalks is free, you also have the chance to purchase bleacher tickets to guarantee your family spots with a good view of the festivities.

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Zoo Lights At The Houston Zoo
6200 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, Texas 77030
(713) 533-6500

Dates: November 20, 2015 through January 9, 2016

During the holidays, the Houston Zoo comes alive after dark with the Zoo Lights event. This larger-than-life light display lets you see another side of the zoo, dressed for Christmas. This is one way to get your holiday light fix without sitting behind a long queue of cars. The entire Houston Zoo will be festooned with bright holiday lights, and if you get too chilly, the restaurants and inside exhibits will also be open to give you a place to warm up. This is a great way to enjoy the holidays at their very beginning on Thanksgiving evening. The zoo will be open that day, as the only day it closes is for Christmas.

Discovery Green Ice Rink
1500 McKinney Ave.
Houston, Texas 77010
(713) 434-7465

Dates: November through January (weather permitting)

The Discovery Green Ice Rink is one of the few ways that you can experience outdoor ice skating in the Houston area. The rink will be open from November through the holidays. Starting on Thanksgiving evening, music played at the ice rink will include a selection of holiday favorites to get you in the spirit. Skate rental is on hand for all ages, including double-blade skates to help toddlers who may be less steady on their feet. Non-motorized wheelchairs are also welcome on the ice to allow anyone of any ability the chance to enjoy some winter fun on Thanksgiving.

Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. Her work can be found at