Gobble Up

9 Things to Do in Houston (Besides Eat) on Thanksgiving Day

From car shows to ice skating, we've got you covered.

By Geneva Diaz November 22, 2021

Houston's Thanksgiving parade is in its 72nd year.

The holidays have officially started, and yes– there might be a turkey involved, and family in from out of town. And with all these holiday visitors to entertain, there’s no better way to celebrate, than by heading out and exploring what Houston has to offer on your days off.  

But, what if you’re looking for something to do on Thanksgiving Day? A lot of places are closed on the holiday.  Don’t worry, we’ve still got some ideas for you if you’re determined to do something that’s not just food related on Thursday, November 25.


Houston’s iconic H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade

 The 72nd annual parade starts at 9 a.m. Thousands of people line the streets of Downtown Houston over 20 city blocks to watch the parade, which features intricately made floats, marching bands, high-flying balloons and more. 

1100 Smith St., for more information go to the City of Houston’s parade website.


Ready to Run

 Start the morning off with a “Turkey Trot” before your celebratory feast at one of several running marathons. There’s still time to register for the 5k and 10k BakerRipley Houston Turkey Trot, a 1, 4, and 6-mile run with the Pearland Turkey Trot, and a 5k with the Meadows of Imperial Oaks Turkey Trot.

Holiday tree lighting Uptown on Post Oak boulevard

The 33rd Annual Uptown Holiday Lighting is a Houston tradition you won’t want to miss that starts at 4p.m. The illumination will feature Uptown’s 300 custom, 20-ft. holiday trees along Post Oak Boulevard from West Loop to Richmond Avenue, followed by a fireworks show.

 Uptown, on Post Oak Boulevard. View the full itinerary here.



The Riot Comedy Show

Have some post-dinner laughs on Thanksgiving evening at The Riot Comedy Show’s, "Live LAUGH Love, Thanksgiving Special.” Produced by Brian Gendron & Drew Jordan, The Riot will feature standup comedy from Houston's funniest comedians and share their takes on holiday dating. Got questions about your relationship? Get the answers that night by comics during the  panel. Show starts at 8 p.m.

 Rudyard’s, 2010 Waugh Dr; purchase tickets here.

Ice Skating at Discovery Green

Glide beneath the holiday lights of downtown Houston for Green Mountain Energy’s Ice Skating available through January 30, 2022. Whether it be for a romantic date with your loved one, or just a night out with the whole family, Discovery Green makes for a fun time. Be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time online, skating starts at 1 p.m.

Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St; more details and FAQ’s here.


Slab Rider Block Party

 For those interested in Houston’s underground slab city culture, Carros_tv2 is helping to host a Thanksgiving Day block party at Macgregor Park at 4 p.m. Don’t have a slab? No problem. The block party is free for anyone interested, slab owners and admirers, alike. 

MacGregor Park, 5225 Calhoun Rd; visit Carros_tv2 Instagram for more details.


Weekend Car Show

 Check out the 61st Annual O'Reilly Houston Autorama at the George R. Brown Convention Center Thursday November 25 through Sunday November 28. The opening day event goes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will feature everything from hot rods and lowriders to trucks and motorcycles.

 George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas; for details and directions, visit their website.

Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria at Sam Houston Race Park

 Houstonians are invited to the Big Top at Sam Houston Race Park, from November 13, 2021 - January 2, 2022, to experience the theatrical magic of Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegría,” an entirely redesigned fan favorite. Discover the classic show with a new take and buy your ticket online. It starts at 8 p.m.

 Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Pkwy W.; more information can be found here.


Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Houston

Still haven’t had time to visit the Van Gogh Exhibit? Now’s the time while you have those extra days off. It opens at 10 a.m. and has timed, ticketed entry throughout the day. The building, located just outside Beltway 8, was transformed into an unforgettable art experience featuring a 25,000-square-foot exhibit space where the art of Vincent van Gogh comes to life around you.

 Van Gogh Exhibit, 1314 Brittmoore Road; get tickets online here.

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