Top 12 Things to Do for Kids in Houston This Month: December 2021

"The Elf on the Shelf" comes to Sugar Land | Photo: Ken Ek

Jingle and jangle all holiday season with our guide to the best kid-friendly things to do in and around Houston for December 2021.

This month, continue the celebration of Chanukah, get festive with holiday concerts, take in the Elf on the Shelf, snap a photo with the Big Guy himself, and get ready to ring in 2022.

Do you know an event that could make the list? Drop us a line at [email protected] with a link to the official event details.

Top 12 Things To Do for Kids & Families in Houston This Month: December 2021

  • Holly Jolly Jingle Concert at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion | Thursday, December 2 | FREE – The Holly Jolly Jingle show will feature performances of familiar holiday medleys by the student musicians of high schools across the Woodlands. Other festivities include holiday arts and crafts, as well as photos with Santa Claus, the Grinch, and Cindy Lou. 7pm.
  • 48th Annual Dickens on the Strand in Galveston | Friday, December 3 to Sunday, December 5 Travel back in time as Galveston’s historic Strand is transformed into Charles Dickens’ Victorian London for this 48th annual, family-friendly event. Gear up for parades, live entertainment on six stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers, and a visit from the characters of Dickens’ books. Tickets start at $18 for adults; $12 for kids ages 7 to 12; free for 6 and under. Times vary.
  • The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical at Smart Financial Centre | Thursday, December 9 Transport the family to the North Pole for a glimpse of the magical lives of Santa’s Scout Elves in this thrilling spectacle of music and dance. Tickets range from $29.50 to $49.50. 7pm.
  • Tomball German Christmas Festival in Old Town Tomball | Friday, December 10 to Sunday, December 12 | FREE – Do as the Germans do and celebrate Christmas with plenty of food, beer, and wine, as well as live music on three stages, a petting zoo, and a holiday market featuring more than 150 vendors with antiques, arts and crafts, souvenirs, and more. Times vary.
  • Gingerbread Build-Off at Levy Park | Saturday, December 11 | FREE – The Architecture Center Houston presents its 12th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off, which pits competing teams against one another to build a masterpiece using 100% edible materials. Other activities include a kids’ construction zone and a visit with Santa. 10am to 5pm.
  • Stearman Santa at Lone Star Flight Museum | Saturday, December 11 & Saturday, December 18 Rudolph gets a break as Santa Claus swings by the Lone Star Flight Museum to aboard the PT-17 Stearman in December. Visitors can catch his arrival on the museum’s ramp, meet Saint Nick, and enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus, holiday crafts and more. Included with general admission to the museum; $15 for adults; $13 for ages 12 to 17 and ages 65 and up; $10 for ages 6 to 11; free for ages 5 and under. 11am to 12:30pm.
  • The Polar Express Movie Screening at the Park at La Centerra | Saturday, December 18 | FREE – All aboard for a screening of the holiday classic, The Polar Express, on the lawn at the Cinco Ranch shopping center. Along with the beloved movie, kids can enjoy mascots, face painting, and even building their own cardboard train car to parade around the park with others. 4pm to 8pm.
  • Children’s Film Festival at Asia Society Texas | Monday, December 20 to Wednesday, December 22 Ease into the winter break holiday in the Museum District with a magical film festival that celebrates anime from Japan, kids in the United States, and adventures that span the Asian continent. Screenings are free on Monday; $10 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Films begin at 10am and 1pm daily.
  • Noon Year’s Eve at CityCentre | New Year’s Eve, Friday, December 31 | FREE – Welcome in the new year at a family-friendly Noon Year’s Eve celebration where the kiddos can dance to DJ music, enjoy face painting, cap the noon hour off with bubbles, and more. 11am to 1pm.
  • A.D. Players presents The Christmas Shoes at the George Theater | Through Sunday, December 26 – This world premiere adapts the best-selling book (which led to the popular song) of the same name and follows a workaholic attorney named Robert who crosses paths with a little boy on Christmas Eve. The boy teaches Robert about family and love, and reminds us of our shared humanity. Tickets start at $25. Dates and times vary.
  • Chanukah Events around Greater Houston | Ongoing  Load up on chocolate gelt (coins), latkes, and other holiday favorites while lighting the menorah and enjoying music, live entertainment, crafts, and other activities during this Chanukah 2021 in Houston. This year’s Chanukah comes to a close on Monday, December 6.
  • Christmas Lights in Neighborhoods & Ticketed Events Around Houston | Ongoing  Pile in the car for a leisurely holiday drive or take a hot cocoa-fueled stroll while you ooh and ah at Houston’s most popular Christmas light displays—in residential neighborhoods and at city landmarks alike.

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

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Shea Kummer is a mom to 3 active boys living in Katy. She has a business degree from Texas Christian University and a background in social media management. When she's not cheering on her boys, she can be found looking for the best ways to make lasting family memories.