The anticipation of Thanksgiving, shopping for your holiday meal, planning for a visit from family and friends, your children home from school. If you are looking for family activities and celebrations for your family around Thanksgiving, Houston, Texas has a lot to offer. Since most school age children have the entire week of for the Thanksgiving holiday the festivities start as early as November the 20th, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. No matter where you live in the Houston area or your age there is holiday excitement for everyone. Here are just a few of the most popular parades and Thanksgiving holiday activities to get out and enjoy in Houston.
Lighting Of the Doves At The Woodlands Town Center
The Woodlands, Texas
To kick off the holiday season The Woodlands, Texas is having their 28th annual Lighting of the Doves. Just about 20 miles north of downtown Houston in the wooded, picturesque town of The Woodlands you will find Thanksgiving events for your whole family. On Saturday November the 20th, 2010 the holiday celebration starts at 3:00 p.m. in Town Green Park, right along The Woodlands waterway. Until 9:00 p.m. you can bring your children out to see the arrival of Santa, get to play in the man-made snow, watch ice carvers, enjoy holiday music and fireworks.
If you need a map and directions you can find them here. There will be food to enjoy, vendors to get a jump on your Christmas shopping, and you can participate in their holiday toy drive and receive free parking (see the details here.) This is all with their International Winter on the Waterway. This event kicks off many holiday activities that run until after Christmas. So there is a lot for your family to enjoy the entire week of Thanksgiving. Including an outdoor ice skating rink, and a magical walk along the waterway decorated with holiday lights, decorations and even peaceful holiday music.
H-E-B Holiday Parade
Downtown Houston, Texas
This will be the 61st year that Houstonians have enjoyed the annual Thanksgiving day parade. Every Thanksgiving day about 400,000 people bundle up and line the streets of downtown in anticipation of our largest holiday parade. This is beside the two million people who view the parade on our local CBS television station, KHOU channel 11 from the comfort of home. I have had the pleasure of seeing the parade both ways, each was extremely exciting.
General admission to the parade is free, there are a number of limited, reserved bleacher seats available for purchase. You can check here for contact information, and proceeds from these ticket sales benefit’s the Houston Festival Foundation. This foundation has an education programs that benefit over 1,400 public schools. The parade begins at 9:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, but be sure to allow extra time to find parking and a good spot to view the parade. Even though it is Houston bundle up your children, with all the concrete from the buildings it feels pretty cold downtown that early. You will see floats, high flying balloons, marching bands, the Houston Rocket Power Dancers, cheerleaders, celebrity guests and of course Santa himself.
Hotel Galvez Annul Holiday Lighting Celebration
2024 Seawall Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77550
If you are near Galveston the week of the Thanksgiving you should consider taking your family to the Hotel Galvez. On Friday November the 26th from 6 to 8 in the evening they are having their annual holiday lighting celebration. It is an elegant, Victorian hotel and their Thanksgiving festivities feature the lighting of their 35 foot Christmas Tree. Some of the other activities you can enjoy are: entertainment by The Galveston Ballet, music by bagpipers, a visit from the mayor and other vocal performances. They also encourage participation in the Marines Toys For Tots campaign where they collect new, unwrapped toys for children to get for Christmas. And to finish off your lovely Thanksgiving festivities a visit with jolly Old Saint Nick.