The essentials

7 Events to Help You Survive the Holidays

For when you really need to get the family out of the house.

By Holly Beretto December 21, 2018

A bored kid is a ticking holiday time bomb.

With the holiday break upon us, Houston offers a plethora of fun activities for all ages—a perfect escape for when being cooped up with family gets to be a little too much to bear. If you've already taken the requisite trip to the River Oaks holiday lights, here’s a starter list to keep sane.

Enchanted Forest Holiday Production

Dec. 21 – Jan. 6 | Glade Cultural Center, The Woodlands

This multi-sensory installation fuses dance, theater, and lights into a timeless story of friendship and the art of nature. Audiences move through the indoor-outdoor installation where they encounter acrobatics, interactive features, and music. Tickets are $35, with multiple entry times between 5 and 9 p.m.

CMH “Frozen Over” Celebration

Dec. 22 – 24 | Children's Museum of Houston

The museum will be snowed in for these three days, with its Allen Courtyard transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Expect appearances by Elsa, Anna, and Olaf, as part of December 22’s noon performance of “Frozen Over.” In addition, there will be LED ornaments, a snowball launchers, a plush snowball fight, and more. Museum admission is $12 per person.

The ICE at Discovery Green

Dec. 24 – 28 and Jan. 1 – 4 | Discovery Green

The popular seasonal ice skating rink has extended holiday hours for the school break. It will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the dates above, so bring the whole family out to play. There’s even a pint-sized rink just for kiddos shorter than 45 inches (or under the age of 4). General admission is $11 per person, plus a $4 skate rental.

Children’s Bingo

Dec. 26 | Levy Park

Kids 4 to 12 can practice their number recognition skills, as well as engage in a little friendly competition for prizes at this half-hour event from 4:30 to 5 p.m. The event is free and takes place at the park’s event pavilion.

New York International Children’s Film Festival

Dec. 27 – Jan. 3 | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

With free admission and films in English or without dialogue, the myriad offerings here are perfect offerings for your budding film buff.  Among the offerings: the animated “If Your Fall” from Canada, the story of Lila trying to learn to ride her bike and “Jazzoo,” from Sweden, an animated romp featuring hippos, elephants, and fish, all dancing to cool jazz from the Oddjob Quintet. The festival is recommended for kids 3 to 7.

Kids Cooking Camps

Jan. 2 – 3 | Central Market

Your little foodies will revel in the classes offered here, separated for younger tots (ages 5 to 8) and older ones (ages 9 to 12). Class offerings include Stuffed Pockets and Pies, Little Big Breakfast, and Little Italy.

Holidays at Moody Gardens

Through Jan. 6 | Moody Gardens

Lights! Ice skating! 3-D film! Train rides! A dizzying array of delights awaits at this beloved Galveston landmark. Families can walk the gorgeous, mile-long lighted trail with a display of more than a million lights creating holiday tableaux each night beginning at 6 p.m. The full schedule of events is available for those who want more meticulous planning. Price vary, depending on selections.

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