Are the kids off next week? Here are some holiday-themed ideas for filling the days and nights.
Sparkling lights, life-size animal sculptures, strolling carolers and the opportunity to visit the animals after dark are part of the appeal of this new holiday event at the Houston Zoo. Zoo Lights will be open 6-10 p.m. Friday through Jan. 5 (with the exception of Christmas Eve). Admission is $10 (free for ages younger than 2); the last ticket will be sold at 9 p.m. Information: www.houstonzoo.org, 713-533-6500.
The Ice at Discovery Green
Skate downtown through Jan. 27 at 1500 McKinney. Admission: $12 plus tax, includes skate rental. Information: www.discoverygreen.com, 713-400-7336.
IKEA Houston Silver Screen at Discovery Green
Each Thursday through Jan. 24, visitors to this downtown park can enjoy a free movie under the stars. Picnics are encouraged, as are lawn chairs and blankets. Food and drink are available. All screenings start at 6:30 p.m. Upcoming films include “Arthur Christmas” (Thursday) and “When Harry Met Sally” (Dec. 27).
The Ice Rink in The Woodlands
A tent protects the ice rink at The Woodlands Town Center; skating daily through Jan. 21. Admission: $5-$10.50, includes skate rental. Information: www.woodlandscvb.com, 281-419-5630.
Moody Gardens’ Festival of Lights
With its mile-long trail of lights and sound-enhanced, animated displays, the holiday festival draws more than 85,000 visitors annually. Festivities include ice skating, musical entertainment and snow tubing on real snow. Open 6-10 p.m. Thursday through Jan. 5. Admission is $6.95. Some attractions, such as ice skating and snow tubing, require an additional fee. Also at Moody Gardens, illusionist Curt Miller presents “It’s a Magical Christmas Dinner & Show.” Shows are 7 p.m. Thursday through Dec. 27. Tickets are priced $49-$79 for adults ($29-$39 for children ages 3-12) and include a buffet dinner. Moody Gardens is located at One Hope Boulevard in Galveston. Information: www.moodygardens.org, 800-582-4673.
Old Town Spring’s Home for the Holidays
This weekend, the popular shopping district will close out its monthlong holiday festival. Expect strolling performers, horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and other diversions for holidays shoppers. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. Sundays. Some activities may require a fee. Information: www.oldtownspring.com, 800-653-8696.
Lasers, Lights & Magic in the Park
Fifteen-minute holiday-themed laser shows can be viewed at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 29 at Saengerfest Park, at 22nd Street and Strand in Galveston’s historical downtown district. Free.
Rock the halls
A few local celebrations as well as some nationally touring acts will be in town this week. See the best shows in Houston.
Silver screen gifts
Inventor Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) invites his mom (Barbra Streisand) to join him on a cross-country road trip as he pitches his idea to investors. Hilarity ensues in "The Guilt Trip."(PG-13)
Bill Murray and Olivia Williams play Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on Hudson.” (R) ... Tom Cruise plays the 6’5”, 250-pound sharpshooting tough guy from Lee Child’s novels in “Jack Reacher.” (PG-13) ... “Monsters, Inc.,” the 2001 Pixar hit about monsters who power their world with children’s fear, gets a re-release in 3-D. (G) ... Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) is an unemployed single father who falls in love with a killer-whale trainer named Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), who suffers a terrible accident, in Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone.” (R) ... Judd Apatow’s sort-of sequel to “Knocked Up” revisits the not-so-healthy relationship of Pete and Debbie (Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann) as the couple turns the big 4-0 in “This Is 40.” (R)
Moving listings can be seen here .