Plan the Ultimate Thanksgiving Friends Gathering

Thanksgiving in Houston

Lots of Reasons and Ways to Celebrate

This year certainly looks different as the holidays approach, but there is plenty to be thankful in 2020. Houston’s iconic Thanksgiving celebrations like the H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade and Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular will not take place, we’ve compiled a list of other ways to usher in the holiday season.


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Thanksgiving with the Fishes

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 though pick up is also available for those choosing to eat at home. Adult entrees are $25.99 and kids are $9.50. To reserve, click here.


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Holiday Brunching Houston Style

Year after year, families gather together for holiday brunches at The Houstonian. TRIBUTE restaurant offers a seated three-course prix fixe menu featuring holiday fare and “Tex-Lex” inspired favorites. Seatings are from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m. Family photos in the hotel's Great Room Lobby and inviting holiday décor throughout the property make dining at TRIBUTE and experiencing "A Grand Houstonian Holiday" an annual tradition.


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Wild, Wild Lights

It would not be the holidays without the Houston Zoo’s Zoo Lights. Kids and adults alike are thrilled that COVID-19 didn’t spoil this Houston holiday event. There will be hot chocolate, libations, millions of lights, a giant ice throne, Santa photos, a 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Lights 4-D dragons and event “snow!” Tickets are required for entry and are not available for purchase at the gate.


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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.

Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins Night Out

"Elf” is heading to Memorial City Mall for Friday Family Movie Nights! On Nov. 27 at 7 p.m., bring a chair, blanket or just plan to sit on the lawn for a fun, festive and funny holiday film. Laugh with Will Ferrell as he plays the role of Buddy the Elf in this holiday classic. The movie will be projected onto a hi-definition 24 ft. x 14 ft. screen. Space is first-come, first-served as there will be seven-foot circles on the Memorial Lawn greenspace and up to five people are allowed in each circle.


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Celebrate the Days of Old

Didn’t get enough turkey at Thanksgiving, go grab a turkey leg at the 46th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival. The last day for the festival is Nov. 29, so make your plans to visit this acclaimed festival with over 60 acres of arts, crafts, shops, games and interactive exhibits. Revel in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and beauty of this authentically recreated 16th Century British village with lush landscaped grounds and vines.


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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. Due to COVID-19, this year the market will be offered virtually so shoppers can browse at their convenience. Of course, the market’s philanthropic goals remain steadfast, bringing arts education, scholarships, performances and classes to hundreds of thousands of Houston-area students. 

Starlight, Starbright

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has two amazing events on Nov. 25. At 12:30 p.m. check out The Mystery of the Christmas Star and then Starry Night Express at 1 p.m. The Mystery of the Christmas Star journeys back over 2,000 years to discover a scientific explanation for the star of Bethlehem. Starry Night Express is a live show for stargazers of all ages. Both novice and enthusiast will be able to search for constellations, planets, the moon, meteor showers and the Milky Way in this live-action adventure.

Time to Trot

Get out and get moving at BakerRipley’s Houston Turkey Trot. This year’s race is virtual, but participation is encouraged in a myriad of way including a kids’ run, a 5K and a 10K. Complete your run between Nov. 11 and Dec. 2, pick your racecourse and get going! 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.

Take Out Feasts

Leave the Thanksgiving cooking to Le Colonial this year. River Oaks District's upscale Vietnamese eatery is offering a robust, family-style takeout menu, featuring signature dishes and seasonal selections. All orders must be placed online prior to 12 p.m. on Monday, November 23. The restaurant will be offering pick up on Wednesday, November 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Take yourself on a journey this Thanksgiving with Musaafer. The visionaries behind their Neoteric Indian cuisine will be serving their full menu in addition to a Spiced Turkey Mosaic which captures the essence of a classic holiday roast infused with Indian flavors. The Turkey Mosaic is comprised of celeriac puree, cumin dust, cranberry and blueberry chutney, drunken spiced cheery and roast gravy. Musaafer is located in the Galleria's luxury wing, and will be open Thanksgiving Day from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

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.