Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Houston Style

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? I love this time of year because most of us have a long weekend to stop and think about our blessings. It's no surprise that on a blog about kids that I'll say I'm most thankful for my family. It's true though. After losing a close friend this week, the value of family has been quite evident to me.

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to spend more time with our loved ones... however you define your family. If you're looking for family fun in Houston, here are some great ideas.

Thanksgiving morning at 9 am is the Thanksgiving Parade, underwritten by HEB. The parade begins on the east side of downtown, traveling 20 blocks starting at Minute Maid Park at Jackson and Texas. I always suggest taking families with youngsters to the beginning of the parade route. This allows the kids to see the parade participants when they're fresh AND prevents long waits before the parade arrives at your spot. The parade is FREE unless you want reserved seating. For $21 each, grandstand tickets are located in the TV Zone in front of Minute Maid Park at Jackson and Texas. Scheduled performances will stop in the TV Zone to be filmed for the television broadcast. For $13 each, reserved Turkey Seats are located outside of the TV Zone along Texas Ave between Jackson and Crawford. Performers will not stop outside of the TV Zone but you will have a guaranteed seat with great viewing as the parade passes by. I suggest heading downtown and not worrying about buying tickets. If you wake up late, you can still catch the parade on channel 11, KHOU. Parking is available along the parade route.

If you're not a morning person, don't worry. Another favorite is the Uptown Holiday Lighting Ceremony. The evening of Thanksgiving, the City of Houston kicks off the holiday season in grand style with the lighting of S. Post Oak Boulevard in the Galleria area. Fun for the entire family, Houston lights its outdoor Christmas trees and decorations to turn bustling blocks into glistening gems. Typical features include performances by local choruses, brief reenactments from the Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker, and a fireworks display to conclude the evening. Parents can purchase hot cocoa and cider from some of the nearby hotels. Children love the holiday souvenirs that vendors sell on the street. And, of course, Santa makes an appearance as well. Holiday music and concessions start at 4 pm. The band starts at 5 pm and the fireworks begin at 7 pm. This is another FREE activity for families and it's a wonderful holiday jumpstart.

Many blessings to you & your family this Thanksgiving. Until the next nap time...