Plan the Ultimate Thanksgiving Friends Gathering

Thanksgiving in Houston

Lots of Reasons and Ways to Celebrate

There are so many things to be thankful for this year, particularly that it is no longer the year 2020. Let the 2021 Thanksgiving festivities commence, whether it be the return of Houston’s iconic Thanksgiving celebrations like the H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade or just little staycation getaways to pass the time while feeling grateful.

Thanksgiving Day Parade
Courtesy of @jollytrolleytx on Instagram

72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade

This famous parade is set to stroll at 9 a.m., Thursday, November 25, 2021. Located in the heart of downtown Houston, this event is one of the oldest Thanksgiving Day parades in the country.  Look for marching bands, bright and colorful floats and a vibe of eternal gratefulness!

Thanksgiving Weekend: Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty

With its soaring, impassioned themes and irresistible gypsy-flavored finale, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 is a perennial audience favorite, as evidenced by its selection as Britain’s favorite classical work in a Classic FM poll. “Absolutely stunning” (Chicago Tribune) Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma delivers an electrifying performance, and romantic and enchanting music from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet score rounds out a Thanksgiving-weekend program the whole family will love.

Aquarium Houston
Courtesy of @aquariumhouston on Instagram

Thanksgiving with the Fish

Looking to still have an experience whilst eating your Thanksgiving meal? Head to the Downtown Aquarium. Visitors can dine in at the aquarium and enjoy a full Thanksgiving menu that includes roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy and dessert. Reservations are required. Ticket prices: $45 Adults, $35.99 Seniors (65+) and $19.99 Kids (10 & under). To reserve, click here.

Zoo Lights
Courtesy of @houstonzoo on Instagram

Wild, Wild Lights

It would not be the holidays without the Houston Zoo’s Zoo Lights. There will be hot chocolate, libations, millions of lights, a giant ice throne, Santa photos, and a 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Lights. Tickets are required for entry and are not available for purchase at the gate.

Ice Skating at Discovery Green (night)

Skating Under the Stars

After you’ve had your fill of Thanksgiving turkey, get active! Head to Discovery Green for safe, sanitized and socially distanced ice skating at The Ice Powered by Green Mountain Energy. Located in Downtown Houston, Discovery Green’s ice rink is surrounded by the bright lights of the city’s skyscrapers. The price for skating and rental is $15 and tickets must be purchased online.

Nutcracker Market
Courtesy of @leftoversantiques on Instagram

Casual Shopping for a Cause

One of Houston’s most well-known Christmas markets is the Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Market. Nutcracker Market is truly a one-stop shop for all of your Christmas needs, as there are hundreds of vendors who showcase at the market. Of course, the market’s philanthropic goals remain steadfast, bringing arts education, scholarships, performances and classes to hundreds of thousands of Houston-area students. 

Turkey Trot
Courtesy of @houturkeytrot on Instagram

Time to Trot

Get out and get moving at BakerRipley’s Houston Turkey Trot. This 5k race is a popular way for Houstonians to kick off Thanksgiving Day with a little exercise and socializing. The Turkey Trot benefits BakerRipley which brings resources, education, and connection to emerging neighborhoods. It is also the largest community development organization in the region serving serve nearly 600,000 children, adults, and seniors.

Dynamic Variation:


Friends and family flocking into town? Or just need a little staycation near all of the holiday festivals and activities? Houston is packed full of hotels waiting to welcome you, and better yet, take care of the dishes, this holiday season. Check out the below hotel holiday packages and deals for a savings that's hard to resist.