Represent Houston Festivals: Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting & More

3rd Annual Gumbo Cook-Off – Benefitting Toys For Tots
12361 Barker Cypress Dr.
Cypress, TX (NW Houston)
December 04, 2011 12-5:00PM *Volunteers needed!)

Enjoy free live music by The Zydeco Dots while awaiting the judging by U.S. Marines for this annual holiday event. Admission is one new unwrapped toy or $20 minimum donation which Includes one wine/beer/soft drink and sampling of ALL the gumbos!

Christmas in the Park
Kingwood Town Center Park
4403 Town Center Place
Kingwood, TX 77339
December 03, 2011 10:00AM-7:00PM

This popular event will offer local residents and those in surrounding areas the merriment of shops, entertainment, vendors, fanciful eateries, artists, Santa Claus, and more. Joining in this year for entertainment, you will have the pleasure of watching our local children dance, photos taken with Santa and your pet and more. They will whisk you away to the fairytale land of Christmas when you browse the many vendors and local shops. To conclude this festive event they will be lighting the Christmas tree at 6:00 PM. Admission is free.

Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting
Hermann Square @ City Hall
901 Bagby
Houston TX, 77002
December 02, 2011 5-8:00PM

Join Mayor Annise Parker and the city of Houston, the nation’s 4th largest city, for the annual official tree lighting ceremony at City Hall, featuring a free evening of diverse musical entertainment with top musical artists, fireworks and holiday cheer. Entertainment featuring two-time Grammy Award Winner “Diane Schuur” and American Idol Winner “Ruben Studdard” along with teen pop group “Savvy” and Houston’s own “Ernest Walker”. Bring a new, unwrapped gift and get a free photo with Santa. The event is free and open to the public.

Holiday Celebrations
LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Ste. B200
Katy, TX 77494
December 03, 2011 1:00-6:00PM

Santa visits Heritage Square Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5PM through December 24. Parents, don’t forget your cameras! At 5PM, enjoy a Christmas celebration presented by the talented music students at Mace Entertainment; At 6PM, a theatre company holiday performance presented by the talented young thespians from Mayde Creek Junior High School and at 7PM grab your blanket for a family movie night featuring a holiday classic. Complimentary popcorn will be served while supplies last. All events are free and open to the public.

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.

December 03, 2011 2-400PM – Public Poetry in the Park
Public Poetry combines gorgeous language presented by award winning poets plus surprise guest appearances and short student readings, in a series of uniquely innovative, fun, fast paced, family friendly events at Saberioon Plaza. Featured poets: John Gorman, Carol Louise Munn, Evangelina Virgil Pin and Kevin Prufer. Presented in partnership with Houston Public Library.

December 08, 2011 6:30PM – IKEA Houston Silver Screen at Discovery Green: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (Rated PG 97 Mins)
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 “Christmas Vacation”, Third in the “National Lampoon” series about the Griswold family. In this sequel, the Griswolds must deal with a holiday with their in-laws. 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

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!

10th Annual Holiday Market with Santa Claus
Traders Village Houston
7979 N. Eldridge Road
Houston, TX 77041
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.

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

December 3-4, 2011 – 38th Annual Dickens on The Strand Festival (Just off Harborside Drive)
Dickens on The Strand will take you and your family on an enchanted journey through history as a bustling 19th Century cityscape comes to life. For an entire weekend, hundreds of costumed vendors and performers will provide a look at the pomp and pageantry of the British Empire, (where bobbies, Beefeaters and the Queen herself will be on hand to recreate the Victorian London of Charles Dickens) at a time when commercial and cultural ties provided a strong connection between London and Texas largest and richest city. Activities such as several themed parades and free, non-stop entertainment on the festival’s six stages, a constume contest, plus strolling carolers and roving street musicians, bagpipers and entertainers. Additionally, a vast array of year-round restaurants and shops are joined by over 150 costumed vendors peddling their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with tasty culinary delights and Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items. The 2011 Dickens on The Strand also features kid friendly options such as Picadilly Circus, a children’s playground with elephant and camel rides and a petting zoo; Artful Dodger Lane, where art students create a chalk London on Galveston’s streets; and a true island rarity, snow on Strand, in the snowyard. Visit or call 409-765-7424.

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.