Wondering how you’re supposed to entertain guests in Houston for a week straight? Have no fear! Houston is brimming with fun things to do with the fam and friends. If you want to plan the perfect itinerary, check out some of the suggestions on the Houston Experience Marketplace. They have recommendations from Brewery Tours and Museum Passes to Holiday Light Experiences!
Then use this list as a reference to plan your ultimate weekend in Houston and let your inner hostess shine. Here’s 10 ideas to entertain guests in Houston this holiday season!
- Prismatica at Avenida de las Americas (free). Each year downtown lights up with a fantastic art installation. This year, visitors are invited to wander among and rotate the prisms, creating their own life-size kaleidoscopes of light, bells and colorful reflections. While you’re on your art kick, wander through Discovery Green and check out the 200 “Paloma” oragami birds. Party on the avenida.
- Ice skate at Discovery Green ($11). If you’re wanting to channel winter, dress up in your favorite ski gear and head on over to Discovery Green to skate at the ICE. You’ll be in a winter wonderland of hot chocolate, Christmas lighted trees, and actual ice. Plenty of concerts and live DJ nights as well! Ice ice skate baby.
- The Cistern ($5). In my opinion, this underground treasure is one of the most unique places in Houston. It’s party mystery, part history, and part art. Book a 30 minute tour to learn about it’s hidden stories and incredible echo chamber. Then grab some B-Cycles and explore Buffalo Bayou Park for a fun afternoon outside. Tell me more.
- The Color Factory ($28-$35). This explosion of color is a children’s museum for adults! You’ll be surprised as this art installation taps into all your senses and delights you with sugary snacks, vibrant displays, sounds, smells, and immersive exhibits. Check your phone at the beginning and disconnect from the world as you explore the exhibit. Photobooths along the way will snap your picture at the best angle to ensure you have some memories to last! Color my world.
- Zoo Lights ($15-$25). Millions of twinkling lights illuminate the Houston Zoo every holiday season. It’s a Houston tradition for reason and more and more incredible each time I’ve gone. Sip [spiked] hot chocolate as you stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo, see some animals, and listen to Christmas music as ancient oak trees blink to Christmas music. Book early to save money. Light up my life.
- Biking Mural Tour (free). When the weather cools off, one of my favorite ways to see the city is via bike. Rent a B-Cycle (or bring your own bike) and explore the many murals of Downtown, EaDo, Montrose, and Midtown. You can book a real tour if you like ($25-$55) but I like to DIY my own adventure. Here’s a route. Here’s Christmas card worthy walls.
- Shop Local. During the holidays, commercialism peaks so you might as well spend some of your hard earned cash money giving back to the local community. Naturally, I’ve got a list of my favorite boutiques in town–perfect excuse to support local during the holiday season. Small biz love. If online shopping is your your vibe, check out this list of unique Houston items. A small portion of purchases through this link help support your favorite Houston blog 🙂
- The Menil Collection (free). Nestled in the Montrose neighborhood, this art museum has an eclectic collection that makes you pause and think. There’s no descriptions of the works on the walls–what you experience is what you experience–no art critic to tell you otherwise. The museum has several buildings with famous works from Rothko, Jackson Pollock and more. Eye of the beholder.
- Show in the Theater District ($20+). Houston’s theatre scene is one of the best in the country with the largest number of seats off-Broadway. Get dressed up and treat yourself to a night out on the town by seeing a holiday classic in the city. From the Nutcraker Ballet to Elf the Movie, there’s a show for everyone. Here’s our recs.
- Christmas Lights Tour (free). Everything is bigger in Texas and these Houston neighborhoods shine year after year. Take a stroll on the bright side and wander through the Heights, River Oaks, Pecan Grove and other exuberant Christmas light displays to get into the holiday spirit. Lights on lights. Plus, check out these awesome Holiday Light displays on the Houston Experience Marketplace.