Top 17 Things to Do for Kids in Houston This Week: December 11 to 17, 2023

Kids in elf and santa outfits running in a race
The Santa Hustle Kids Dash returns to the shores of Galveston this month | Courtesy of Santa Hustle

Discover the best kid-friendly things to do in Houston from Monday, December 11 to Sunday, December 17, 2023.

This week, celebrate Chanukah around town, cozy up with some Christmas classics, hustle down the seawall with Santa Claus, and more.

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

Top 17 Family Things To Do in Houston This Week

  • Chanukah Concert at Children’s Museum Houston | Thursday, December 14 | FREE – Bring the kids to enjoy a special Chanukah concert by children’s musician Carla Friend during the museum’s free admission hours. 5:30pm and 6:30pm.
  • Jingle & Mingle on the Lawn at Memorial City | Thursday, December 14 | FREE – Get in the spirit with holiday music, appearances by the Memorial City Reindeer, a holiday sweater contest with tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Corteo, a kids holiday ornament craft station, tasty Burger Joint food for sale, and more. 5:30pm to 8pm.
  • Santa Sightings at Five Points Park | Thursday, December 14 | FREE – Santa stops by Five Points Park in La Porte where families can meet him, get pictures taken and hand-deliver a Christmas wish list. 6pm to 8pm.
  • The Grinch Movie Screening at Stevenson Park | Friday, December 15 | FREE – The Friendswood park space hosts a screening of the 2018 animated movie, The Grinch, along with eats from Twisted Kow and Native Kettle Korn. 6pm.
  • The Polar Express Movie Screening at Levy Park | Friday, December 15 – Catch an outdoor screening of the 2004 Christmas classic, The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks. A doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and learns a lot about the spirit of Christmas along the way. 7pm.
  • Elf in Concert at Smart Financial Centre | Friday, December 15 – This holiday season, relive the heartwarming holiday classic on a giant screen as every note of John Debney’s musical score is played live to the picture. Follow Buddy the Elf as he travels to New York City searching for his real father. $35 and up. 7:30pm.
  • Houston’s Urban Nutcracker at the Stafford Centre | Friday, December 15 to Sunday, December 17 – This new and exciting twist on an the holiday classic explores the story through the proud cultural heritage of the city of Houston through dance, music and narration. $43.50 and up. Times vary
Performers in Blippi costumes dance and make silly faces
“Blippi” brings their world tour through Sugar Land on Sunday | Courtesy of Moonbug Entertainment
  • Gingerbread Jamboree at Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center | Saturday, December 16 – Run as fast as you can to meet the Gingerbread man at this jamboree with a foam gingerbread house workshop and other exciting activities. $15. 11am to 2pm.
  • 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.
  • Campfire Christmas at George Ranch Historical Park | Saturday, December 16 – Step back in time to 1944 for dinner and dance in George Ranch Historical Park’s Ranch House yard. Guests can explore the site at their leisure, visit the cowboys at the campfire, enjoy a tour of the Ranch House decorated for the season, and dance or listen to live music from the era. The evening includes a rustic buffet-style meal. $60 for ages 13 and up; $45 for ages 4 to 12; free for ages 3 and under. 5:30pm and 7:30pm.
  • 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.
  • Otaku Winter Arc Food & Anime Festival at Karbach Brewing Co. | Saturday, December 16 & Sunday, December 17 | FREE – For two days before the holidays, you can take in more than 100 food, anime and retail vendors staking out the Spring Branch brewery for the winter edition of this family-friendly fest. Check out a sumo tournament, compete in cosplay contests, and enjoy all-day entertainment while munching on street foods of Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and beyond. Saturday noon to 10pm; Sunday noon to 8pm.
An overhead view of a space themed labyrinth in purple lights with other holiday light attractions in the distance
Magical Winter Lights enters its final weeks of twinkling wonderland fun | Courtesy of Magical Winter Lights
  • 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.
  • Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour at Smart Financial Centre | Sunday, December 17 – Blippi is coming to Sugar Land for the ultimate adventure. Bring the kids to spike their curiosity, shake those wiggles out and OJ Twist your way through all the surprises of this brand-new musical party. $47 and up. 2pm.
  • A Magical Cirque Christmas at Cullen Performance Hall | Sunday, December 17 – This holiday variety show is full of nostalgia, charm, and awe-inspiring performances for all ages. The clever, comedic, acrobatic and stunt spectacular features the talents of world-class entertainers performing to beloved holiday music. $39.50 and up. 4pm.
  • Magical Winter Lights at Katy Mills | Daily – 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 | Daily – 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 space craft in a one-of-a-kind holiday event that can only be found in Space City. $19.95 and up; free for ages 3 and under. Save $5 on each ticket when you use promo code 365XLIGHTS at checkout. 6pm to 10pm.

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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.