Your Houston Holiday Bucket List

We're grateful to partner with Dewberry Farm this year to bring you lots of ideas and activities for family holiday fun!
The holidays are here and in full swing. We are ready experience and enjoy it all- from the {hopefully} cooler weather to alllllll the twinkling lights and activities. I know it can get overwhelming with all that we have to choose from in the Greater Houston area, so we are breaking it down for you. Want to get dressed up and take the family to a live holiday performance? Sit on Santa’s lap and cut down your own Christmas tree? Or perhaps you just need ideas for some free family fun this year! We’ve got you covered with all that and more in our Houston Holiday Bucket List.
Special thanks to one of our favorite holiday spots, Dewberry Farm, for sponsoring this year’s Houston Holiday Bucket list! You don’t have to drive far and spend your entire Christmas budget to experience a little Holiday Magic! Dewberry Farm is going ALL-OUT for the holidays with their ALL-NEW Yuletide event, ‘A BERRY Merry Christmas, featuring 2 shows for 1 budget-friendly price. Hop on a Wagon and sip a hot chocolate, as you travel the BERRY Merry Trail of 2 MILLION dazzling holiday lights! PLUS, take plenty of Instagram photos in their walk-through Holiday Light experience, “Merry & Bright!” Come early, cut your fresh Christmas tree in the 40-acre lot, enjoy 40+ rides and attractions and seasonal food and beverage specials. VIP tickets include a Fast Pass for the BERRY Merry Trail, UNLIMITED Hot Chocolate, a Christmas Cookie, and Magic Light Glasses!
Families having fun at Dewberry Farm
Plus they’re offering our readers the EXCLUSIVE discount code HOLIDAY6 at checkout to save $6 per ticket online! A BERRY Merry Christmas! At Dewberry Farm will be open from November 24- December 23. They are located in Brookshire, TX, just a short 45-minute drive from downtown Houston.
We hope you get to try out an activity or two {or three!} off our bucket list and that you have the best time making memories together this holiday season! We’ve got all the ideas for you below in various categories with links, recipes, activities, and more. We’ve even got some ideas for how you and your family can give back this year! 

Live Holiday Music and Entertainment

Holiday Lights, Family Fun, & Santa Sightings!

  • A BERRY Merry Christmas! At Dewberry Farm is open from November 24- December 23.
    Dewberry Farm is just a short 45-minute drive from downtown Houston. Sip hot cocoa, cut down your own Christmas tree, see their dazzling light displays, and enjoy all the rides and attractions!
  • Moody Gardens Festival of Lights is a mile long trail in Galveston with more than two million lights. Check out their website for more holiday fun.
  • Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo is sure to be a family favorite this time of year.
  • Experience shopping, lights, Santa, food, and fun, all at Old Town Spring this year! Check out their website for more information on hours and events.
  • Get on your matching jammies and take a drive through some of Houston’s neighborhoods known for their incredible Christmas lights. Check out River Oaks- start at the Country Club and work your way around. You can also drive through Prestonwood Forest in Northwest Houston and Pecan Grove for more dazzling displays! If you’re near Katy, be sure to also check out this house in Pin Oak Village! It’s an annual tradition for us to see the incredible light show synced with music.
  • Head to the Galaxy Lights Exhibit at Space Center Houston.
  • Dasher’s Light Show is a drive through event at the Sam Houston Race Park.

Holiday Food & Drink

  • Throw a cookie decorating party for the kids!
  • Make Cake Batter Christmas Cookies. Use this recipe, but swap out traditional sprinkles for Christmas colored sprinkles. These are a guaranteed hit with the kids!
  • Try this Oreo peppermint bark– it’s so easy and so delicious. This has become an annual favorite in my house.
  • Check out the Saint Arnold Christmas ale, only available October through December. And be sure to stop by during their Holiday Market, Dec 9-10!
  • Hosting? Make this beautiful and tasty Christmas Sangria.
  • This Pear and Pomegranate salad is the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner party.
  • Have breakfast with Santa this year at The Woodlands Resort!
  • Each Christmas, Taste of Texas transforms their restaurant into a beautiful Christmas wonderland with more than 25,000 sparkling lights, thousands of feet of garland and hand-tied velvet ribbon, antique sleighs, and dozens of nutcrackers, as well as Snow Village houses, and handmade needlepoint stockings.  Make a reservation for dinner there this year to experience the beauty!

Get Crafty

  • Make a paper chain garland with the kids to countdown to the big day!
  • Buy fleece and make your own fleece blanket. Here is a super easy no sew blanket tutorial that will have you wanting to make blankets for everyone this winter!
  • Make scented Christmas play dough with the kids. Use this tried and true play dough recipe.  Add peppermint oil and choose a festive color of choice.
  • Decorate a gingerbread house with your kids! It’s a wonderful way to use up the last of that Halloween candy. Here are some great gingerbread decorating tips.
  • Make fake snow and have a blast throwing snowballs or making a mini snowman.
  • Teach your kids the art of paper snowflake cutting and let them decorate the house with their creations.
  • Make an ornament for your own Christmas tree or do a homemade ornament exchange with a friend. You can buy craft items from the craft store and make it from scratch, purchase a premade kit or let the kids make simple ones with card stock, markers, and ribbons. It will be cute either way!
  • Make your own Christmas Activities Advent Calendar!

Easy Holiday Decorating

  • Amp up the Hygge in your home this year with twinkle lights, everywhere!
  • Decorate the tree together as a family while listing to Christmas music and drinking hot cocoa. We usually order pizza too to make it an easy and yummy night.
  • Swap out your usual sheets for holiday themed ones. There are lots of adorable options!
  • Put little trees with twinkle lights in the kids’ rooms, the kitchen, the bathroom, everywhere!
  • Frame your kids’ annual photo with Santa and bring them out every year along with your Christmas decorations.
  • Check out a local nursery for poinsettias and Christmas cacti!
  • This year, add colorful velvet ribbons to your Christmas tree for a touch of vintage charm.
  • Did you know you can make your tree rotate? Mind blown.

Get Outdoors

  • Invite some neighbors over for a s’mores night. Don’t have a fire pit? Try this little tabletop set!
  • Take a hike or bike with your family! Did you know that Houston has more than 128 miles of trails that loop within our parks or are linear and run along bayous and outside park boundaries?  Awesome, huh!?
  • Have you visited the McGovern Centennial Gardens with your kids yet?  This 8 acre beauty is a perfect spot to get your family moving and then relax together too!  The “birthday cake” hill is a favorite for kids!
  • Sign up and train for Houston Running Co’s 12K of Christmas! Don’t worry if you’re not up for a 12K. There are 6K and Family Walk options as well. There will be live music and even a Santa appearance too!
  • Explore nature at The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.  Check their site for weekly schedules and even some holiday fun!
  • Invite family/friends to join a friendly game of flag football or driveway pickleball!
  • Set up an obstacle course or relay race and invite the neighborhood kids!
  • Go on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. Create a list for your kids to find items like colorful leaves, birds, wreaths, reindeer, etc.
  • Visit the Kemah Boardwalk!
  • Go ice-skating outdoors at Discovery Green! Yes, even in Houston we can ice-skate outside!
  • Check out the “Movies Under the Moon” at Sugar Land Town Square. This year they’re showing The Santa Clause on Saturday December 9th.
  • Go on an evening walk as a family around your neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights. You could even sing Christmas carols and deliver treats to neighbors!
  • Take a ride on The Christmas Train in Alvin!

Give Back

  • Put out snacks and a holiday card for delivery drivers.
  • Find a Toys for Tots drop off near you!
  • Ring the red kettle for the Salvation Army, or donate to the Angel Tree toy drive.
  • Volunteer for extra holiday shifts at the Houston Food Bank
  • Send gifts, snacks, or letters to troops overseas with Operation Shoe Box.
  • Donate toys and clothes to GoodwillPurple HeartFamily Time thrift shops, Cottage Shop, etc.
  • Organize a Freezer Meal Cooking Club and deliver meals to a new mom or neighbor.
  • Bring homemade cards, socks, small lotions and chapsticks, or used books to a nearby nursing home.
  • Help make holiday meals, donate food, or plan activities for people staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston or the Ballard House in Katy.
  • Make care kits for a local homeless shelter {Star of HopeSalvation Army, or click here for a directory of other homeless shelters in our area}.
  • Donate pet supplies or used towels to a pet shelter.
  • $5 and under teacher gift ideas would be great little treats for not only teachers, but neighbors and friends.
  • Bake a box of brownies {or make it from scratch} and drop it off at your local fire station or police station, along with a homemade card of course!
  • Our make ahead breakfast ideas make great holiday treat baskets! Have the kids make a card and deliver to a neighbor. This is a wonderful way to spread some holiday cheer while getting to know your community!

Happy Holidays, Houston Moms! And remember to check out Dewberry Farm’s A Berry Merry Christmas! Be sure to use the exclusive discount code HOLIDAY6 at checkout to save $6 per ticket online.

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Bethany, the daughter of an army chaplain and a special education teacher, grew up moving every 2-3 years. She considers herself an introvert who had to learn how to make friends quickly! She met her Houstonian husband, Paul, in college and they married in 2004. They first settled just north of Houston, where she earned her master's degree at Sam Houston State in School Psychology. After working in public education for a couple of years, she decided to stay home full time with their children, Charlie {2008}, Norah {2010}, and Will {2013}. The family moved to Katy in 2012, where they’ve been ever since. She loves decorating and even had her own small business for a while. She also loves to read, binge-watch old TV shows, talk politics and enneagram, and will not turn down a cup of strong coffee or a good conversation with a friend.


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