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What to Do this Winter Break

Pooja Salhotra
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Broken Obelisk outside Rothko

Although photos aren’t allowed inside Rothko Chapel, the Broken Obelisk outside is a great place for a pic. (Photo: Ryan Chang)

Though the frenzy of Christmas shopping and holiday parties may be behind us, winter break is just getting started for many. Whether you have young children who are off from school for a couple more weeks, or college-aged kids who are back home for break between fall and spring semester, it can be easy to find you and your family lazing around the house, sitting on the couch in front of the TV with the kids madly texting on their smartphones. But instead of sitting behind a screen or going stir crazy at home, your family can enjoy a number of unique activities this season. We’ve rounded up some of the best family-friendly activities everyone can enjoy over the next couple of weeks. 
 
Become a Houston Tourist for the Day 
How many of us have been living in Houston for years, but have taken little to no time to visit this city’s nationally-renowned tourist destinations? I guess when something is in your backyard, it’s easy to ignore. Why not use this time to take a tour of Houston’s Space Center, NASA? The center boasts more than 400 things to do, including checking out a temporary exhibit celebrating NASA’s 60th anniversary, open until Jan. 7. After crossing NASA off the list, you can take a stroll through The Museum District, one of Houston’s top cultural attractions. Stop by one of the 19 museums in this area such as the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Children Museum or the Menil Collection. Eleven of these museums are free and open to the public so you don’t even have to splurge on tickets.  
 
Root for the Home Team
Treat your family to tickets to a Rockets or Texans game this season. The Rockets have upcoming home games against the Boston Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies this month, as well as home games against the Denver Nuggets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Cleveland Cavaliers in early January. Meanwhile, the Texans are heading into their final week of the regular season — they play against Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 30 and their playoff schedule is TBD. 

Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens is open Nov. 17-Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB) 

Road Trip to Galveston or Kemah Boardwalk 
Let’s face it, Houston doesn’t have much of a winter. Though a holiday season without snow is a bummer, on the plus side, it is just warm enough to enjoy a pleasant walk along the beach or boardwalk. You can road trip it to Galveston beach or to Kemah boardwalk this season to do just that. In addition, Galveston’s Moody Gardens hosts a ton of holiday specific events, including the Festival of Lights. Open through Jan. 6, the festival features more than one million lights and lighted scenes, plus an outdoor skating rink, live entertainment and more. Kemah Boardwalk also has a family-friendly New Year’s eve special all day on Dec. 31. 

Visit Discovery Green
Discovery Green might be just the spot where everyone in the family can find something to do. The park offers broad range of activities this winter, from skating at The ICE — open until Jan. 27 — to Gust: Celebrating a Decade of Discovery, a temporary public art installation by Mexico City-based design studio Cocolab.

Cistern

The depth and architecture of the Cistern are illuminated by a single light. (Photo: Katya Horner)

Explore Buffalo Bayou Park 
Round up your family (including pets!) and take some time to burn off those extra holiday calories by hiking, jogging, biking and exploring the 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park. While you’re there, you can check out The Cistern. Take a historical tours and explore the public art installation created by Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, on view through January 2019. The piece consists of a dazzling projection of continuously moving chromatic modules on the Cistern’s columns, walls and cubes floating in the reservoir. 

Discover Downtown’s Underground Tunnels
If you’re looking to escape the Houston humidity, check out Downtown’s Houston’s underground tunnel system, where you can eat and shop 20 feet below Houston’s streets no matter the weather. The tunnels are more than six miles long and they connect 95 city blocks, from Louisiana Street all the way to the George R. Brown Convention Center.  

Enjoy the holiday season and some relaxing time off. Happy (almost) new year!

More Events
See our events calendar for all upcoming events around town. Check out New Year's Eve festivities here

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