Houston Holiday Activities for the Entire Family!

Written by Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPA, LPC-S

HFC Owner

Welcome to December!!! For many, it’s their favorite time of year. For others, the holiday season brings pain, stress, and feelings of grief. Creating new traditions can be very therapeutic for many during this season. There is healing that can happen by recreating our narratives of what the holidays represent. For instance, the holidays can shift from a time of disappointment to a time of watching the “awe” in our children’s eyes. As a Houstonian that happens to have a family and LOVES the holidays, I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite go-to holiday spots. Whether you are creating new traditions, love celebrating the holidays, or needing fresh ideas, read our list below!

1.     Lights in the Heights: We are a practice based in the Houston Heights, so we couldn’t help but start with the obvious! The year Lights in the Heights is this Saturday, December 8th from 6-9 PM. This is such a fun tradition of walking around the Heights neighborhood and looking at lights as a community!

2.     Zoo Lights: What is more fun than looking at lights and seeing animals. The Houston Zoo has been celebrating this tradition for seven years! Come sip hot chocolate and enjoy the beautiful holiday cheer, such as trains, lights, and a Holiday Tree!

3.     Magical Winter Lights: This is a multicultural approach on the traditional holiday light show. The MWL uses Chinese lantern-making techniques- some go 60 feet high! The MWL is on its 3rd year at the Sam Houston Race Track!

4.     Santa’s Wonderland in College Station: This experience is great for the whole family of all ages! Sit for a hay ride and enjoy the lights, ride ponies, listen to music, and the kids can enjoy the blow-up bounce houses.

5.     Moody Gardens: Moody Gardens is just outside of Houston in Galveston. They offer an ice exhibit- it even has an ice slide! This is seriously a must see! They use 2 million pounds of ice to create North to South Pole. Be sure to dress warm (they offer coats, too) because they keep it freezing inside! When you finish, go see the Festival of Lights. Walk around the mild long trail and view more than one million lights!

6.     Houston Natural Museum of Science Trains Over Texas: The trains come out once a year and are spectacular! Travel across the state by model railroad. The children will be mesmerized (adults too!) by these life like trains that showcase our state.

7.     Christmas Village at Bayou Bend: Crossing the bridge is a must experience in Houston, as you enter thousands of lights and activities. It’s a must for families of all ages! Stop inside for an adult beverage, hot chocolate, and picture with Santa.

8.     Second Baptist Church Train Exhibit: This FREE exhibit offers mountains, tunnels, bridges, buildings, and TONS of trains. It’s great for small children who love trains!

9.     Ice At Discovery Green: Enjoy the lights and view of our great city while skating outside!

10.  Polar Express Train: This one is a bit of a drive, but I hear it’s worth it for families of ALL ages. Get some matching P.J.s and enjoy hot chocolate, caroling, and Santa while traveling on the Polar Express! I’ve heard nothing but GREAT things about this holiday activity.


It was hard keeping our list to only our top 10 favorite Houston(ish) activities. There are so many things to do to create new memories and family traditions. Pass us a note and let us know your favorite family tradition!

Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.heightsfamilycounseling.com and read more about her services http://heightsfamilycounseling.com/services-1/