Christmas Around The Woodlands

December 18th, 2015

woodlands-christmas-tree

Christmas Around The Woodlands is a magical time of year. This weekend, we are brimming with opportunities to see Santa, take pictures with him, eat with him, make decorations, hear stories, and spend time with your families and friends.

 

Decorate a Tree – This afternoon, come grab a cup of cocoa and some snacks, make ornaments and decorate a 4 foot tree that you can take home at the Rec Center.

 

Pajama & Pizza Party – Later tonight, after the tree decorating party, the Rec Center turns into a party for all ages. Dress in your favorite holiday PJs and cuddle up on blankets with cocoa and cookies to watch a movie. And you never know if Santa might stop by!!

 

Pancakes at the North Pole – Saturday morning, head to The Lodge at Rob Fleming Park for a pancake breakfast with Santa and his reindeer, plus a chance to take holiday photos with him.

 

Gingerbread House Decorating – After breakfast at The Lodge, build and decorate a gingerbread house with gumdrops, candy canes, frosting and more.

 

Milk & Cookies with Santa – Later in the afternoon, the little ones can sit by the fireplace in The Lodge for storytime with Santa.

 

Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt – After the sun goes down, come back to Rob Fleming Park to hunt for candy canes, drink more hot cocoa, get gifts from Santa and maybe another opportunity to see him!

 

Fireside Breakfast with Santa – Back at The Lodge on Sunday, join Santa and carolers for a catered breakfast. There will be lots of photo opportunities.

 

Picnic with Santa – Come back to Rob Fleming Park at lunchtime to enjoy a picnic with Santa. A holiday craft and a photo are included.

 

Evening with the Elves – Sunday night, come back to The Lodge for dinner and to make s’mores with Santa and his elves.

 

All of these events have fees associated with them and some of them require pre-registration. Visit the Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department website at http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/parksandrecreation for event times and to register.

 

Campfire Christmas at George Ranch

December 11th, 2015

campfire-christmas-george-ranch-houston-2014

Campfire Christmas at George Ranch is one way to celebrate the holidays that is so unique to Texas culture, and a great way to gather with friends and family. At George Ranch Historical Park, you will journey back 150 years to the holiday traditions of the Victorian era for the early settlers of our great state with Campfire Christmas celebrations and Children’s Campfire Christmas.

 

Journey back in time as your evening starts out with a 1930s-style barn dance and holiday meal to classic cowboy music. Then the real adventure begins.

 

Guests begin their tram ride to The Davis Mansion, which is beautifully decorated on the outside and the inside for the holidays. You will be offered a special tour of holiday vignettes throughout the home that depict typical Christmases celebrated by the Davis family.

 

Then guests join cowboys at the campfire at the 1875 Chuckwagon cattle drive site, to sing carols hear stories about what Christmas was like for the cowboys who were bringing cattle north for the Centennial Exposition.

 

The final stop on your journey through time is the Jones Stock Farm, where it is Christmas Eve 1845, when the Republic of Texas was preparing for statehood.

 

Campfire Christmas is a rare opportunity for visitors to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the park at night, to experience what it was like to celebrate Christmas in the early days of our state.

 

George Ranch Historical Park also offers a special Children’s Campfire Christmas for younger visitors. This version features a light dinner, Christmas crafts, an appearance from Santa, plus a hayride through the park to sing Christmas carols around the campfire with the cowboys.
Reservations are required for all Campfire Christmas nights and can be made by calling the Visitors Center at (281) 343-0218 x410, or visit http://www.georgeranch.org/ for more details.

Dickens on the Strand

December 4th, 2015

dickensonthestrand

 

The world of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol comes to life on Galveston Island this weekend, in the Dickens on the Strand Holiday Festival.

Step back in time to 19th century Victorian London for this annual holiday street festival, to take in the parades, non-stop entertainment on five stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Enjoy holiday food and drink from costumed vendors peddling their wares from street stalls and rolling carts, plus a plethora of Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items.

But that’s just the beginning – there are some fantastic contests to look forward to as well! There’s the crowd favorite Whimsical Whisker Revue, a facial hair contest for the bearded and the dandy; the Dickens Victorian Bed Races; a Victorian Costume Contest; and Civil War living history encampments.

 

If you fancy to whet your whistle, step into Fezziwig’s Beer Hall for cocktails right from “Drinking with Dickens” written by Dickens’ great-grandson Cedric. Be sure to purchase a limited edition Fezziwig’s pint glass.

 

You can also dine with Dickens, a renewed take on a Dickens classic as the annual dinner returns to the breathtaking Garten Verein. For one night only, guests are treated to an evening with of specially crafted food, plus storytelling and a visit from the festival’s Queen Victoria.

 

The Texas Seaport Museum transforms to a Victorian-era London wharf, complete with the Tall Ship ELISSA. Board her at sunset for heavy appetizers, cocktails, cannon fire and special guests leading up to Pickwicks’s Lanternlight Parade.

Be sure to go in costume, as guests dressed in period ware get in for half price. It’s not hard to pull together a Victorian costume either. The gent may find all he needs in the back of his own closet, while a lady is likely to find vintage dresses in a thrift shop or antique store.

 

For more information on Dickens on The Strand, Galveston Historical Foundation, please visit www.galvestonhistory.org or call 409-765-7424.

Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2015

The family is visiting for the long holiday weekend, the Thanksgiving feast is over and now you have 3 more days to entertain your guests – what are you going to do? Before you throw your hands up in the air, here are just a few things happening this weekend:

 

Zoo Lights

The Houston Zoo becomes a holiday spectacular at night with over 2 million lights that transform the zoo into a Christmas and winter wonderland. Brilliant animal-themed displays accented by festive seasonal music. Most of the zoo animals are asleep by the time the lights come up, so don’t expect to see many of them. For details, http://www.houstonzoo.org/zoolights/

 

56th Annual O’Reilly Autorama

Gear heads can rev their engines for America’s premier custom car show series which arrived in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Thursday and continues till Sunday. Check out hot rods, trucks, custom cars and bikes, and be sure to visit the Outdoor Autorama Cruise-In, an added feature that returns to Houston this year. Visit their website www.autorama.com or check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Houston-Autorama/200789153293440?fref=ts

 

Pop Shop Houston Holiday Festival

Forget the shopping malls, go have some fun at Silver Street Studios for this funky way to celebrate the holidays. Shop from local and indie makers for the holidays featuring an array of art, products, design items, vintage and antiques in a fun setting. https://popshopamerica.com/event/pop-shop-houston-holiday-festival-2/

 

Hermann Park Railroad’s Holiday Train

The train has been decorated with Christmas lights, decorations and holiday cheer for a two-mile, 20-minute journey around Hermann Park. Grab a cocoa or hot apple cider before your board, to sip on your journey. http://www.hermannpark.org/calendar/

Lighting of the Doves

November 20th, 2015

Lighting of the Doves

 

Last year, the organizers of the Lighting of the Doves Festival and the International Winter on The Waterway, were forced to postpone the festivities due to the threat of hail, high winds and the possibility of tornadoes. We sure hope that this year, the lighting ceremony, now in its 33rd year, will have no such weather problems, because it is truly a sight to behold and fun for the whole family. After all, this is how we kick off the holiday season in the Woodlands!

 

Beginning at 3pm, you and your family can enjoy live music, kids activities, and even snow! This is a fantastic opportunity to start your Christmas shopping, as there will be plenty of vendors and exhibitors. Plus, there will be lots of yummy food to choose from.

 

For the kids there will be children’s games and activities, a balloon artist, and don’t forget about when Santa Claus arrives! You never know how he’s going to appear either – sometimes it’s by sleigh, sometimes it’s a grand entrance on his beautifully decorated boat on the Woodlands Waterway – he’s even arrived by parachute before! He’ll of course be joined by Mrs. Claus and other visitors from the North Pole, and everyone will get the chance to tell Santa their Christmas wishes at the Celebration Stage.

 

And what Woodlands event would be complete without fireworks! Stick around after the lighting of the doves for that!

The Lighting of the Doves Festival is in conjunction with the annualInternational Winter On The Waterway (iWOW). This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our community and learn about the unique holiday traditions from all around the world, it really is an international flavored holiday celebration in Town Green Park and along The Waterway.

 

For latest updates and information, visit the Woodlands CVB website at http://visitthewoodlands.com/?page_id=16, contact them via their online contact form at http://www.woodlandsonline.com/evps/contactus.cfm?evid=91086

or call 281-363-2447.

Native American Championship Pow Wow

November 13th, 2015

Pow Wow

Trader’s Village is the site of the 26th Annual Native American Championship Pow Wow, filled with Native American culture, colorful tribal dance contests, tipis, singing and much more.

 

Hundreds of Native Americans from across the United States, representing dozens of tribes, will gather to visit with old friends and participate in honoring ceremonies. Dancers in full costumes of feathers, buckskin, bells and beadwork will move to the beat of the drums, competing for prize money and awards in eighteen different dance categories. The precision and showmanship of these dances, that even the youngest competitors display in their dancing, is truly a beautiful sight to behold, as dancers compete for $15,000 in prize money. The drums will beat in the following categories: tiny tots, little boys, little girls, junior boys, junior girls, golden age men and ladies, ladies cloth, buckskin, fancy shawl, jingle dress, men’s straight, traditional, grass and fancy.

 

But don’t forget all the wonderful crafts and artwork to buy! Visit the showcase of artists, craftsmen and traders visiting from all over the country at the arts & crafts show and sale under the giant Expo. The arts & crafts sale will be open from 10:00 a.m. to sundown each day.

 

Feel free to visit tipi village, where you will see authentic tipis, and how Native Americans through the ages lived. Sit and listen to stories or just experience the simplicity of days gone by.

 

The Indian food booth will open all weekend long, serving the tastiest authentic Native American foods, including fry bread, Indian tacos and more.

 

The Pow Wow is free to the public, and parking is $4.

 

Traders Village is the largest, most visited open-air market on the Texas Gulf Coast, and is located at 7979 North Eldridge Road near Highway 290, just minutes northwest of downtown Houston. Call 281-890-5500 for more information or visit their website www.nativeamericanpowwow.org for updates and information about the Pow Wow.

 

Woodlands Children’s Festival

November 6th, 2015

 

Woodlands Children's Festival

Next weekend is the 20th Annual Woodlands Children’s Festival at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. It is a magical world where kids discover that learning fun, exhilarating, and eye-opening. The festival encourages children to flex their imaginations and express themselves while they learn, grow, and play together.

 

Children’s Festival is about bringing the best performing and visual arts to your children. It helps young children explore the possibilities, tap into their talents, ignite their creativity, appreciate other cultures and develop a love and appreciation for the performing arts. Children’s Festival is designed for children ranging from PK to 5th grade, but kids of all ages are encouraged to join the fun.

 

The weekend includes an incredible lineup of live music, pantomime, original theater, science experiments, magical stories, puppetry, humor and award-winning songs. The festival is also filled from beginning to end with activities for your youngster to dive into.

 

Test your kids’ analytic minds in the science section with displays and activities from the Houston’s Children’s Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and includes a community stage.

 

Get creative in the arts and crafts area. Get squishy with slime and silly putty, or create a sidewalk chalk drawing, and get their faces painted in the adventure zone section. Plus train rides, hands on games and activities, a coloring contest, build your own kite and go fly it, parachute races and more!

 

The athlete in your house will love the health and fitness area, where they’ll have a chance to meet professional athletes from Texas sports teams and play all kinds of games. They’ll have the opportunity to learn some martial arts techniques, try their abilities at gymnastics. This is also a great time to get a health and wellness check.

 

Families are welcome to bring picnics but no beverages please. Concessions will also be available onsite. Strollers are definitely welcome, and feel free to park them in designated spots during performances. For ticketing and performance schedules, visit their website at Woodlandschildrensfestival.org.

Halloween

October 30th, 2015

WoodlandsHalloween2013-1

 

Halloween has come to The Woodlands and we are ready to celebrate! Have you and your kids decided what you’re going to be? There are so many opportunities to have fun this weekend – here are just a few.

 

Hocus Pocus Pops The Houston Symphony gets Halloween things rolling on October 25 with their annual creepy, crawling sounds at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Dress up the whole family for this spooktacular for a chance to walk on stage during the concert, or take a ride on the Great Pumpkin Express for a tour of the Pavilion’s haunted grounds. Pre-concert activities begin at 6 p.m. http://www.woodlandscenter.org/tourarchive.html?n_id=2457

 

Fangtastic Family Carnival Fleming Park in the Village of Creekside Park is the home of spooky games and treats, and a costume contest! Free entertainment and (limited) trick-or-treat stations. Plus, stick around for a movie! There are also ticketed activities including inflatables, carnival games, a glow in the dark trail, concessions and more. http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/index.aspx?nid=680

 

The Haunting at Bear Branch This October tradition is a hit every year at Bear Branch Park. Nightmares come to life on this haunted trail, led by a tour guide. You’ll be scared, shocked, horrified! You never know what’s going to be around the next corner!

Trick or Treat Trail This free event is held at Town Green Park and gives kids a chance to trick or treat all in one location, from dozens of vendors to stop at. Plus, there are all kinds of children’s activities, strolling entertainment, inflatables and costume contests.

The Woodland’s Children’s Museum Annual Spooktacular This is just for the really little ones, kids 7 and under. The museum is transformed into a Halloween wonderland, complete with games, face painting, music, magic tricks, treats and so much more. Be sure they wear their costumes!

Texas Renaissance Festival

October 23rd, 2015

Pirate Weekend Texas Renfest

Every year, during the weekends of October and November, 16th century England breathes new life in an enchanted world full of Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies, Knights, Nobles, Fairies, Elves, Pirates, Barbarians and other fanciful interactive characters known as the Texas Renaissance Festival.

 

The festival takes on a different theme every weekend. This weekend, the crew of the Wild Rover invade the shire with their piratical shenanigans for Pirates’ Weekend. Visit the Pirates’ Cove for the finest in treasure and booty, for a pint at Sea Devil Tavern and sing songs of the sea with the Pride of Bedlam. Don your finest swashbuckling costumes for the Best Dressed Pirate contest, or join in the fun for a Treasure Hunt or the Fish ‘n’ Chips Eating contest.

 

Other Theme weekends include:

  • All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween festivities)
  • Roman Bacchanal (Tribute to Ancient Rome)
  • Barbarian Invasion (Turkey leg eating contest and Worst Dressed Barbarian)
  • Highland Fling (Scottish weekend)
  • Celtic Christmas (Christmas shops)

 

All festival, there will be demonstrations of 16th century culture. Try your hand at Wright’s Armoury, broom making, candle making and wax design, coin minting, forging, glass bead making and glass blowing, printing and papermaking, or weaving.

 

The festival is a 55-acre village of costumes, arts and crafts, delicious foods and beverages (don’t worry, we’ll save you a turkey leg!), 400 shoppes filled with unique gifts, live music, pageantry and competition, each night concluding with the Royal Fireworks held above the Festival’s lake. Guests will be entertained by a marvelous assortment of unique performers: musicians, magicians, acrobats, jugglers, dancers with over 200 daily performances on over 20 stages throughout the village. There are even activities just for the wee ones.

 

Ticket prices vary depending on the number of visits and the number of guests in your party. For details, directions and more information, visit their website at http://www.texrenfest.com/.

Wings Over Houston Airshow

October 16th, 2015

wings-over-houston

You hear the jets off in the distance before you see them, and you wait with anticipation for them to fly over you. Then you catch sight of them, way off, just dots followed by contrails, barely visible against the bright blue sky. They are headed for you and they are moving FAST. Excitement builds as they approach, the roar of their engines growing ever louder. And then as fast as they arrived, they have passed you by and you are left behind in the scream of them as they begin to take another formation. You MUST be at the Commemorative Air Force Wings over Houston Airshow.

 

You’ll see the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, Breitling Jet Team, CAF World War II Airbirds, and the fabulous Tora Tora Tora Airshows, all flying high above you and Houston.

 

Stop by the warbird display area featuring dozens of historic World War II, Korean, and Vietnam era aircraft. Take a tour inside or walk over the wing of some and get a close-up view. Visit with the pilot and crew and maybe you can even sit in the pilot’s seat! Historians will give tours and short talks about many of the aircraft.

 

Then visit the Autograph Tent, where you will meet aviation and military legends and heroes. Many of these living legends will also offer for sale copies of their autobiographies and other memorabilia. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these heroes and hear their stories!

 

For the family astronaut, check out the NASA Driven to Explore Exhibit. Visitors connect with the space program through audio and visual technology, highlighting advanced research ensuring safe and sustainable future missions. Touch a 3 billion-year-old moon rock brought back on Apollo 17. It is one of several other exhibits at the airshow.

 

For schedule and detailed information, visit their website at http://www.wingsoverhouston.com.