Represent Houston Festivals: Winter On The Waterway Fest, HEB Thanksgiving Parade & More


62nd Annual H-E-B Holiday Parade
Downtown Houston
Houston, TX
November 24, 2011 9:00AM

The Houston’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1949, when Santa arrived at Union Station and rode his sleigh to the downtown Foley’s. The Parade is free to the public anywhere along the parade route outside of the TV Zone. A limited number of reserved bleacher seats in the TV Zone are available for purchase. Proceeds from reserved seating ticket sales benefit the Houston Festival Foundation, Inc. education programs reaching more than 1,450 public schools each year and the Houston Chronicle Readers are Leaders literacy program. Please visit the website for parade routes.

Uptown Holiday Lighting
Post Oak Blvd (West of the Galleria mall between San Felipe and Westheimer)
Houston, TX
November 24, 2011 Opens at 4PM with lighting ceremony at 7:00PM

On Thanksgiving evening, thousands of Houstonians and out-of-town guests will gather along Post Oak Boulevard for the Uptown Holiday Lighting. This fun-filled family event will ring-in the holidays with more than a half-million twinkling lights; festive music; holiday characters including clowns, larger than life Santa’s reindeer and 12-foot tall snowmen; a special appearance from Santa and a fireworks extravaganza. But it does not end there. The holiday ambiance created by 80 brilliantly-lit holiday trees standing guard over Post Oak Boulevard as well as numerous decorations and lighting throughout the area will continue into the holiday season. Holiday Music and Concessions – Families can arrive early to enjoy the sounds of their favorite holiday tunes. They also can savor the flavors of the holidays as funnel cakes, cotton candy, kettle corn and holiday beverages are just a few of the scrumptious treats that will be sold at area concession stands. Parking is FREE at the following locations: Centre @ Post Oak, Dillard’s Garage, Four Oaks Place, The Galleria, Post Oak Central, Post Oak Plaza and the Williams Tower.

Nutcracker Ballet Vignette
Kemah Boardwalk
215 Kipp Ave
Kemah, TX 77565
November 26, 2011

A holiday tradition performed by the Bay Area Houston Ballet Theatre. (Two 30 minute shows). Visit the Boardwalk and enjoy a fantastic collection of rides, games, shopping, live entertainment and a variety of well-known restaurants all in a magnificent waterfront atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out the Boardwalk Beast Boat ride or the new exhibits such as the Stingray Reef, where you can touch and feed live stingrays! Other exhibits include piranhas, snakes, scorpians, tarantulas, turtles and more. Admission is free. Check the website for pricing information on rides and activity schedules.

10th Annual Holiday Market with Santa Claus
Traders Village Houston
7979 N. Eldridge Road
Houston, TX 77041
November 26, 2011 through December 18, 2011

Santa arrives at Traders Village on November 27th to meet and greet. Kids of all ages can have their photo taken with Santa. Get into the spirit of Christmas with thousands of dealers who are selling holiday gifts and more for all tastes and budgets. Admission is free to the public and parking is just $3.

The Annual Texas Renaissance Festival
On FM 1774, (between Magnolia and Plantersville)
Plantersville, TX
Through November 27, 2011 9:00AM to Dusk

The Texas Renaissance Festival is the Nation’s largest, most acclaimed Renaissance theme park and this is its final weekend. The enchanted 55-acre village comes to life as all of Europe comes to pay homage to the King and Queen. Hundreds of costumed performers are showcased in over 200 daily performances. Magicians, jugglers, minstrels, troubadours and comedians perform on six stages. Visitors meander along shaded cobblestone walkways visiting over 340 shoppes overflowing with unique arts and crafts of offering delicious foods and beverages. All ages will be amused by the games of skill and human-powered rides. Revel in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and beauty of this authentically recreated 16th Century British village with lush landscaped grounds and vines. A perfect day ends as behold the burst of Royal Fireworks held above the Festival’s lake. Ticket prices vary, please visit the website for more information.

International Winter On The Waterway Festival
Town Green Park along The Woodlands Waterway
Lake Robbins Drive (West of Six Pines)
Woodlands, TX 77380
Through January 16, 2011

iWOW adds an international flavor to The Woodlands holiday celebrations and attendees can learn about countries from all over the world and their unique holiday traditions. From foods, arts & crafts, to music and entertainment. At Winter Wonderland, (A two-acre area of lighted storybook displays that surround the Ice Rink), you can enjoy a walk along the fantasyland of magical, lighted toy soldiers, elves, doves, musical angels and snowmen. The Ice Rink will be open through January 16, 2012. For more information, please visit the website.

Discovery Green Park
1500 McKinney (across from George R. Brown Center)
Houston TX 77010
Admission is always free. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages. For more exciting events scheduled at Discovery Green Park, please visit the website.

November 24, 2011 6:30PM – IKEA Houston Silver Screen at Discovery Green: “Are We There Yet?” Rated PG 
Whether you’re ice skating or bundled up on the lawn, get into the holiday spirit! Enjoy some of your favorite holiday movies outdoors on the big screen. In “Are We There Yet?” (PG 2005), 95 min.Nick, a smooth operator, is trying to land a date with a young, attractive divorcee, Suzanne. Problem is Suzanne is stuck working in Vancouver and miserable because she misses her kids. Seizing the opportunity, Nick gallantly offers to make her wish come true–and his own in the process–by bringing seven-year-old Kevin and eleven-year old Lindsey up from Portland, Oregon to be reunited with their mom. What Nick doesn’t know is that Suzanne’s children think that no man is good enough for their mom and will do everything they can to make the trip a nightmare for him. View for free, skating fees apply.

Through January 22, 2012 – The Ice at Discovery Green
Ice skating returns to Downtown Houston this holiday season and will be better than ever! Lace up your skates and get ready for a memorable winter experience with the skyline as your backdrop! Activities are scheduled each week for daily events such as Jazz on Ice, Skating Stars on Ice, and Skating with Santa, just to name a few. Skating time limited to 1-1/2 hours on school holidays and weekend. Clean, comfortable rental skates will be offered, in sizes from tiny youth-9 up to adult-14. Double-runner lace-up skates will be available for the youngest skaters, even those as young as 3-years old: If you can walk, you can skate! A separate ice-play area for toddlers will be located next to the main rink. Ticket prices: $10 plus tax and includes skate rental. Holiday refreshments and cold weather attire will be sold on site. For more information, please visit

December 01, 2011 6:30PM – IKEA Houston Silver Screen at Discovery Green: “White Christmas” Rated PG 
Whether you’re ice skating or bundled up on the lawn, get into the holiday spirit! Enjoy some of your favorite holiday movies outdoors on the big screen. In “White Christmas” (PG 1954), join Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye in this special holiday favorite where a successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. View for free, skating fees apply.

31st Annual Home for the Holidays
Old Town Spring (Spring Cypress Rd)
Spring, TX
Through December 24, 2011

Old Town Spring will be draped with thousands of twinkling white lights and colorful decorations. The street lamps will be decorated from top to bottom to give you that old town Holiday feeling. Spend the day shopping, listening to strolling musicians and barbershop quartets, taking pictures with Mr & Mrs Santa, touring the museum, taking a train ride, watching the bands on stage and last but not least, enjoy complimentary horse & carriage rides. Look for special sales and mini attractions each weekend. They will be sponsoring a Toy Drive for the Be An Angel Fund, and Supporting our U.S. Troops through the Marine Moms, and Wreaths Across America. Check the website for details. Admission is always free!

World AIDS Day Houston Candlelight Observance
Tranquility Park
400 Rusk St.
Houston TX, 77002
December 1, 2011 5:00-7:00PM

Since it’s inception in 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed each year on December 1. The day was established as a way to raise hope, solidarity and understanding about HIV/AIDS in every country around the world. Here in Houston, the day will be observed with a special candlelight ceremony downtown with city leaders, local AIDS activists and performances. KHOU Reporter Alex Sanz will preside over the event as master of ceremonies. There will be performances from the Bayou City Women’s Chorus, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston and Urban Souls Dance Company. There are many more activities around Houston surrounding this event. For more information, please visit the website.

On Galveston Island 
Locations listed below
Galveston, TX
For many more exciting events on Galveston Island, please visit the website.

November 25, 2011 6-8:00PM – Hotel Galvez Annual Holiday Lighting Celebration
The Holiday Lighting Celebration will kick off with the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas tree on the front lawn of the Hotel Galvez at 2024 Seawall Blvd. The event will feature a special visit from Santa Claus, gifts and holiday entertainment provided by the Galveston Ballet, Houston Children’s Choir, bagpipers and more. Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski and Dickens on The Strand’s Queen Victoria are also scheduled to make an appearance. Inside the hotel, Executive Chef Antonio Rodriguez and his staff invite guests to see the hotel’s holiday gingerbread display. As the holiday season continues, Santa Claus will make special appearances at Hotel Galvez’s Sunday Brunch with Santa on Dec. 4, 11 and 18, where guests are invited to dine and take pictures with Santa. During the month of December, the hotel’s live entertainment will take on a holiday theme every Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 11AM to 2PM. Admission is free.

Through January 01, 2012 – Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens (One Hope Blvd) will commemorate the festival’s tenth anniversary with more than 100 sound-enhanced, animated light scenes along the trail as well as live entertainment, holiday films and the area’s only outdoor ice skating rink. Guests can also take pictures with Santa and choose from a selection of holiday films in the MG 3D Theater. In the spirit of tradition, “Polar Express 4D” will return to the 4D Special FX Theater for families to enjoy special effects like snow flurries and the delightful smell of hot chocolate. On Food Drive Fridays, visitors will receive two admissions for the price of one when they bring a non-perishable food item, which will benefit the Galveston Food Bank. Every Saturday, guests will experience a winter wonderland with snow – a true phenomenon for Gulf Coast natives! Admission to the Festival of Lights is $5.95. With the purchase of a Festival of Lights ticket, ice skate rentals and tickets to the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, holiday MG 3D film, holiday Ridefilm, Discovery Museum and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat can be purchased for only $6 each. The Festival of Lights will be open to visitors from 6-10PM Thursdays through Saturdays between Nov. 24 and Dec. 17 and daily from Dec. 18 through Jan. 1. For more information, please call 800-582-4673.

Ice Rink Locations
Visit the websites listed for more information

Galleria Mall – 713-966-3500
Discovery Green – 713-400-7336
Woodlands Town Center – 281-419 -5630
Moody Gardens – 800-582-4673