Top 20 Things to Do for Kids in Houston This Month: December 2023

Dancers in lederhosen perform for a crowd by a Christmas tree
The Christmas Market in Old Town Tomball offers tons of vendors and German-themed fun | Courtesy of Tomball German Fest

Create some holiday magic at the best kid-friendly things to do in and around Houston for December 2023.

This month, take in dazzling holiday displays around town, experience the Victorian times, walk among the dinosaurs, ring in the New Year, and more.

Do you know an event that could make the list? Drop us a line at events@365houston.com with a link to the official event details.

Top 20 Things To Do for Kids & Families in Houston This Month: December 2023

  • Greater Houston’s Best Neighborhoods & Christmas Lights Attractions | All Month Long – Whether you’re piling in the car to marvel at decked out homes in Houston, or you want to take to sprawling holiday attractions across the city, we’ve got you covered with some of Greater Houston’s best neighborhoods to view Christmas Lights, plus ticketed holiday displays around town.
  • 50th Dickens on the Strand in Downtown Galveston | December 1 to December 3 – The holiday tradition returns to historic Galveston complete with family programming, live entertainment, special ticketed events, select free activities, and more. The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, revelers in costume, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers, and a host of other entertainers. Free on Friday; Saturday and Sunday tickets are $25; $18 for ages 7 to 12. Times vary.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas 5K at Addicks Park & Ride | Saturday, December 2 – This annual family-friendly fun run in the Energy Corridor kicks off with a Snoopy Dash for kids, followed by 10K and 5K events. Everyone will get a festive, officially licensed Peanuts finisher medal, bib and t-shirt, plus Santa will come around to visit at the post-race party. $44.95 for the 5K; $49.95 for the 10K; $36.95 for the Snoopy Dash for ages 12 and under. 8am.
  • 104th Annual Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular at City Hall | Saturday, December 2 – Mayor Sylvester Turner will be joined by emcee Samica Knight to kick off the 2023 holiday season at the free Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular. In addition to the lighting of the towering 55-foot Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus, and fireworks, the evening will also feature live entertainment from entertainers like Jordan Sparks. 6pm to 8pm.
A giant Christmas tree is lit up and fireworks go off behind it
Join in holiday fun at the 104th annual tree lighting at City Hall | Courtesy of Mayor’s Office for Special Events
  • Mistletoe Market at Baldwin Park in Midtown | Friday, December 8 & Saturday, December 9 | FREE – The annual market takes to the shady oaks of Baldwin Park for two days of art shopping, live music and free DIY workshops that help kids and adults alike craft that perfect gift from the heart. Workshop sessions are limited in space, so advance RSVP is strongly encouraged. Friday 5pm to 10pm; Saturday 10am to 4pm.
  • Jurassic Quest at NRG Center | Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10 Walk among the dinosaurs at this larger-than-life adventure for dino lovers. Get up-close to massive photorealistic dinosaurs, take part in arts and crafts activities, and more. $22 and up. Times vary.
  • Tomball German Festival Christmas Market in Old Town Tomball | Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10 | 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.
  • Rudolph Run 5K and 10K at CityCentre | Saturday, December 9 – Runners, walkers, and strollers of all ages are invited to take a lap at the Rudolph Run at CityCentre, including lengths of 5K and 10K, as well as a Cupid 1K. Enjoy pictures with Santa and special treats after the fun run, and the best Christmas costume will receive a gift card. $40 and up; $20 for the Cupid 1K. 7am to 11am.
  • Lights in the Heights 2023 in Woodlands Heights | Saturday, December 9 | FREE – Stroll through the beautifully decorated streets of Woodlands Heights during one of Houston’s favorite holiday events, Lights in the Heights. Load up the wagon and walk through the dazzling decor of the Heights while getting into the festive spirit. 6pm to 9pm.
  • 10th Annual Islamic Arts Festival at Masjid Al-Salam | Saturday, December 9 & Sunday, December 10 | FREE – Featuring art by renowned artists from all across the USA, this two-day festival will highlight interactive art sessions, insight on Islamic art and culture, ethnic cuisine from food trucks, live calligraphy and henna tattoo demonstrations, children’s art activities, and more. 10:30am to 5pm.
A woman showing a child a paintbrush during an art activity
The 10th Annual Islamic Arts Festival offers a chance for kids and families to share art and culture | Courtesy of Islamic Arts Society
  • Breakfast with Santa at Moody Gardens | Saturday, December 9 to Friday, December 22 | FREE – The Galveston pyramids host a holiday breakfast series for families, complete with a meeting and photo with Santa Claus. The traditional breakfast features family favorites including waffles, eggs, bacon, and more. $47.48; $28.99 for ages 4 to 12; free for ages 3 and under. Seatings at 8:30am and 10am.
  • Elf in Concert at Smart Financial Centre | Friday, December 15 – Follow Buddy the Elf as he travels to New York City searching for his real father. This holiday season relives the heartwarming holiday classic on a giant screen as every note of John Debney’s musical score is played live to picture. $35 and up. 7:30pm.
  • Martin Burniston’s Kids Christmas Singalong at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck | Saturday, December 16 – The Upper Kirby pub welcomes back Martin Burniston for his annual family-friendly sing-a-long to holiday classics. $20 and up. 1pm.
  • A Hogwarts Christmas Feast at Westminster UMC | Saturday, December 16 – Pull up a seat at the great feast when Gastrochurch hosts an evening of Harry Potter fandom, where you’ll get sorted and earn points for your house through trivia, solving riddles, winning the costume contest, and more. Tickets include dinner, two drinks and all the festivities. $55 and up; $45 and up for ages under 21. 7pm to 11pm.
  • Santa Hustle Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Dash in Galveston | Sunday, December 17 – Jingle all the way as you don your best Santa gear and sleigh the race along the Seawall. Kids Dash participants will receive a long-sleeve shirt, plus a Santa hat and beard. Save $5 on registration by using promo code 365HOUSTON at checkout. Registration is $79.99 for the 5K; $99.99 for the Half Marathon; $34.99 for the Kids Dash. 7:30am.
A woman holding a marshmallow over a fire pit
Roast your own s’mores and enjoy other holiday treats at Galaxy Lights in Space Center Houston | Courtesy of Space Center Houston
  • Houston Symphony presents Holly Jolly Holiday at Jones Hall | Saturday, December 23 – This family concert from the Symphony offers a morning of songs featuring Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez, performing favorotes like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and others. Plus, families can enjoy kid-friendly activities like a visit with Santa, caroling stations and free hot chocolate. $34 and up. 10am and 11:30am.
  • New Year’s Eve Family Celebration at Kemah Boardwalk | Sunday, December 31 | FREE – Welcome the New Year with a day of family-friendly entertainment in Kemah. There will be live music, kid’s crafts, a bubble countdown, and fireworks at 9pm. 1pm to 10pm.
  • Magical Winter Lights at Katy Mills | Ongoing – Discover the wonder at Magical Winter Lights, one of Houston’s most popular holiday attractions. The event has moved to Katy, offering a lit-up wonderland filled with dazzling themed displays, decked out in more than 6 million lights and crafted using cutting-edge lantern art. Tickets are $25; $18 for ages 3 to 12 and 65+; free for ages 2 and under. Family 4-packs are available for $88. Carnival wristbands, which offer unlimited rides, are $25. Sunday to Thursday 5pm to 10pm; Friday & Saturday 5pm to 11pm.
  • Galaxy Lights at Space Center of Houston | Ongoing – Space Center Houston welcomes the return of Galaxy Lights, presented by Reliant—a stellar spectacle that twinkles throughout the campus and allows guests to step through space-themed light installations, take in high-tech experiences, and walk among flown spacecraft in a one-of-a-kind holiday event that can only be found in Space City. Create out-of-this-world memories with a holiday experience beyond imagination. Tickets start at $19.95. Children 3 and under are free. 6pm to 10pm.
  • Funbox Bounce Park at Katy Mills | Ongoing – Scale the climbable Marshmallow Mountain, scamper across the Gumball Gallop, work your way through the Funbox obstacle course, and take part in other thrilling attractions waiting to be discovered at the vast inflatable playground in Katy. Save 30% on admission when you use promo code Todo30 at checkout. Sessions last 80 minutes and are $15 on Fridays; $17 on Saturdays, Sundays, and select holiday weekdays. Free for ages 2 and under, and 65+. Times vary.

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Shea Kummer
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.