Top 10 Things To Do for Kids & Families in Houston: December 2020

A model train display of a bridge over a Dairy Queen restaurant
"Trains Over Texas" on view at HMNS | Courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

Share in the joy of the holiday season with these top things to do for kids and families in Houston for December 2020.

The holiday season is upon us and that brings a wide range of fun and festive things to do for families and kids across the city of Houston.

This month, you can enjoy Disney tunes on ice, hop aboard an open-air train, get up close with dinos from the safety of your car, and much more.

Of course, you can always pile in the car for the traditional Christmas light tour of Houston. Click here to check out our guide to neighborhoods and ticketed lighting events.

Top 10 Things to Do for Kids & Families in Houston: December 2020

  • Trains Over Texas at Houston Museum of Natural Science | All Month Long Travel across Texas via model trains that crisscross the state’s unique geology and locations. With a model railroad that spans the size of a tennis court, kids can delight in watching the trains chug through destinations like the Texas coast prairies and wetlands, Enchanted Rock, Pedernales Falls, Big Bend National Park and more. Included with general admission; $25 for adults, $16 for children; free on Thursdays from 2pm to 5pm. Open 9am to 5pm daily.
  • White Christmas at Cockrell Butterfly Center | All Month Long Also at Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Cockrell Butterfly Center has been transformed into a winter wonderland through December. The conservatory features white flora, holiday decorations, white tropical butterflies and more for one Houston’s most unique holiday displays. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for children. Open 9am to 5pm daily.
  • The Christmas Train at Victory Camp in Alvin | Select Days from Friday, December 4 through Wednesday, December 23 – Hop aboard for an old-fashioned train ride in open air coaches as you chug past Christmas lights and displays along the way. Big Al’s Pizza Parlor will also be on-site, offering up warm cocoa, pizza, cotton candy and more. Online tickets are $10 for ages 3 and up; $12 at the door; $8 after 8pm. Hours vary from 6pm to 9pm or 10pm on select dates.
  • Disney on Ice: Dream Big at NRG Stadium | Wednesday, December 9 to Sunday, December 13 Glide over to the massive stadium to see your favorite Disney characters reach their goals while skating around the ice to some of Disney’s most popular tunes. Tickets are sold per socially distanced seating pod (up to eight tickets) for $25 per seat. Showtimes vary.
  • Virtual Kwanzaa Celebration with Mr. New-School via Zoom | Thursday, December 10 | FREE Join Mr. New-School, Brian Barber, as he leads a virtual event that explores the seven principles of Kwanzaa and assembles a special craft activity, presented by the Smithsonian-affiliated Anacostia Community Museum. The event is free, but you’ll need to register in advance through the website. 2:30pm to 3:15pm.
  • Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt in The Woodlands | Select Days from Friday, December 11 through Saturday, December 19 – Head to Terramont Park for an evening of candy cane hunting in The Woodlands. Don’t forget to bring your own flashlights for your sweet treat search. Available to ages 5 and up. Tickets are $10 for residents; $15 for non-residents and online registration is required. 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
  • Christmas at the Park at George Ranch Historical Park in Fort Bend | Saturday, December 12, 2020 – Reimagined as a single-day event for 2020, Christmas at the Park invites Houstonians to travel back in time to Christmases past and explore the historic decor and customs practiced in Texas between 1830 and 1930. Enjoy daytime campfire celebrations, sip traditional Mexican cocoa, listen to the singing cowboy, craft a Victorian ornament and more. Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for ages 4 to 12; $12 for ages 65 and up. 11am to 3pm.
  • Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru at Pasadena Convention Center | Thursday, December 17 through Sunday, January 3, 2021 Roll into a prehistoric time warp, getting up close with eighty life-sized dinos at the Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru taking place in Pasadena, southeast of Houston. From the comfort and safety of your own vehicle, you’ll witness the towering 40-foot T-Rex, a 30-foot Brachiosaurus, a Triceratops, Velociraptor, and more. Reservations are required. Prices start at $49 per vehicle for up to 8 people. Slots available from 9am to 8pm daily.
  • Outdoor & Drive-In Holiday Movie Screenings Around Houston | Select dates through Sunday, December 20, 2020 | Some FREE – Settle in on the lawn or pull up in the car to catch one or more of a true bevy of Christmas films around H-Town including How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey and the animated 2018 take The Grinch; its holiday-bending companion film The Nightmare Before ChristmasElf starring Will Ferrell; the animated Arthur Christmas, and more. Prices, times, and locations vary.
  • Current Museum Exhibits & Art Installations in Houston | Ongoing – Across the Museum District and throughout the Greater Houston area, world-class museums and installations are offering up fascinating and engaging exhibitions that are ticketed or free. Right now, museum goers can check out the stunning Body Worlds exhibit at HMNS, spy dazzling Space Age Christmas Trees on display at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, explore the science of bikes at the Health Museum, and more. You can also dig into our Visitor’s Guides at several of Houston’s flagship museums, including The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH)Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS)The Health MuseumHolocaust Museum Houston, and more.

Social Distancing & COVID-19 Precautions

Businesses in Houston have opened under modified protocols, following guidelines administered by local health officials, the State of Texas and CDC. At this time, guidance from experts urges people to continue wearing face masks when in public spaces, practice social distancing of at least six feet, limit your touching of surfaces and frequently use hand sanitizer or soap and water to keep your hands clean.

Before heading out, take time to familiarize with your destination’s requirements or restrictions at this moment, and be sure to contact them ahead of time with any questions or concerns.

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

You can find more fun in our interactive event calendar and 365 Weekend Guides.

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