HOLIDAY TO-DO LIST: 22 activities to attend in The Woodlands area in November and December

One of two local presentations of "The Nutcracker" will be at The Woodlands Resort this year. (Courtesy Vitacca School for Dance)
One of two local presentations of "The Nutcracker" will be at The Woodlands Resort this year. (Courtesy Vitacca School for Dance)

One of two local presentations of "The Nutcracker" will be at The Woodlands Resort this year. (Courtesy Vitacca School for Dance)

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Santa will make appearances at several local sites, including Market Street. (Courtesy Market Street)
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Montgomery County Sheriff's Office's Operation Blue Elf collects toys for children. (Courtesy Operation Blue Elf)
Although many activities will be held with social distancing and other sanitary precautions in place, plenty of holiday events, from tree lightings to concerts and meetings with Santa, are still scheduled to take place throughout The Woodlands area.

Give during the holiday season

Through Dec. 4

Interfaith of The Woodlands collects new toys and gifts for children and teens during the winter holiday season. Toys are due by noon Dec. 4.

Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Mon.-Tue., Thu.), 2-4 p.m. (Wed.), 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Fri.)

Cost: Free (cost of donation)

Interfaith of The Woodlands

4242 Interfaith Way, The Woodlands


Through Dec. 4

Montgomery County Food Bank holiday food drive will run through early December. There will be two drop-off locations for donations. Donations accepted include canned meat, grains, fruit juices, canned vegetables, beans, peanut butter, canned fruit, cereals, snacks and monetary donations.

The Woodlands United Methodist Church, 2200 Lake Woodlands Drive,The Woodlands

Conroe Founder’s Plaza, 205 Metcalf St., Conroe

Drop off toys for children

Through Dec. 6

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is holding its fourth annual Community Christmas Toy Drive, “Operation Blue Elf.” New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at many locations in Montgomery County. A full list of locations, including locations in Spring, Shenandoah and The Woodlands, is available on the project’s website.

Locations vary.


Be a princess for a day

Nov. 18

Children can meet Princess Elsa and Princess Anna as part of the festivities for Princess Day, where children are encouraged to wear their finest royal clothes.

Time: varies

Cost: $7 (museum admission)

The Woodlands Children’s Museum

4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Ste. 280,

The Woodlands


Light up a tree at Market Street

Nov. 20-Dec. 31

Market Street’s annual tree-lighting ceremony will kick off the shopping center’s holiday season. Social distancing will be observed at the event, which will include a salute to health care heroes.

Time: 5 p.m. • Cost: Free

Market Street

9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands.


Visit with Santa at the mall

Nov. 20-Dec. 31

Santa Claus will be visiting The Woodlands this holiday season with a number of safety measures in place, including social distancing, hand sanitizers, daily health and temperature checks, and frequent cleanings. Reservations are encouraged.

The Woodlands Mall

1201 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands


Meet Santa safely

Nov. 21-Dec. 24

Market Street will hold a socially distanced photo opportunity with Santa Claus. The set will allow for a safe distance to be maintained, in accordance with current coronavirus-related restrictions. Reservations are required. A virtual Santa experience will also be available. Time: Times vary.

Cost: Photos available for purchase.

Market Street

9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands


Celebrate the Lighting of the Doves

Nov. 21

The Woodlands Township residents celebrate the start of the holiday season at the 38th annual Lighting of the Doves festival. This year’s event, which has been modified for COVID-19, will be limited to Santa Claus’ arrival to Town Green Park, the dove lighting ceremony and fireworks. No vendors, snow play areas or concessions will be available this year. Time: 4-8 p.m. • Cost: Free

Town Green Park

2099 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands


Visit a holiday market

Nov. 21

Piney Rose, a floral shop, is holding a holiday market, featuring local vendors, at the store’s parking lot. About 10 businesses will set up tents to sell a variety of items, such as cookies and gifts.

Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. • Cost: Free

Piney Rose parking lot

2714 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands


See a holiday concert

Nov. 27-28, Dec. 18-19

Glade Cultural Center presents two holiday concerts this fall—one each in November and December. A “Holiday Extravaganza” concert is scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend, and a December “Holiday Big Band” concert will follow. Additional concerts may be added for the season. Time: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25

Glade Cultural Center

2000 Woodlands Parkway, The Woodlands


Begin the holiday season

Nov. 29

Oak Ridge North’s annual lighting of its Christmas tree and city holiday greeting sign will cap off the Thanksgiving holiday weekend this year. Attendees at the tree-lighting ceremony can also join in a singalong.

Time: 5 p.m. • Cost: Free

114 Robinson Road, Oak Ridge North


Celebrate in Shenandoah

Dec. 1

Shenandoah residents and their guests can enjoy the 23rd annual Lighting of the Angels, a family-friendly lighting ceremony. According to information from the city, the event will include animal rides, and music will be featured after the ceremony.

Time: 6-8 p.m. • Cost: Free (residents)

29955 S. I-45, Shenandoah.


Run for arthritis support

Dec. 11-13

The Arthtitis Foundation’s annual event is going virtual this year. Participants will run their favorite 5K course at their own time and pace throughout the three days.

Time: Times vary.

Cost: $35 (registration fee)

Locations throughout The Woodlands


Santa will visit The Woodlands

Dec. 12

Children’s Museum for a sing-along live music performance with Joe McDermott. Children can get their picture taken with Santa, enjoy a snow play area and make a Christmas craft. Hot chocolate and treats will be available along with breakfast items to go.

Time: 8-11 a.m.

Cost: $25 (child), $10 (adult).

The Woodlands Children’s Museum,

4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Ste. 280, The Woodlands.


Bring the family pet to Feliz Navi Dog

Dec. 13

Residents can bring their dogs to Bear Branch Dog Park for a treat hunt and holiday pageant.

Time: 3-4 p.m. • Cost: $5 (per dog)

Bear Branch Dog Park

5200 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands


Hunt for candy canes

Dec. 11-12, 17-19

Families can bring a flashlight to hunt for candy canes in a township park. The event is intended for children age 5 and older.

Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. • Cost: $10-$15.

Terramont Park • 281-210-3800

Celebrate in Oak Ridge North

Dec. 18

Oak Ridge North’s Christmas in the Park celebration will take place at Marilyn Edgar Park. A bounce house and a snowfield will be set up in the park for attendees. Refreshments will be available, and a tractor ride will run through the neighborhood.

Time: 5 p.m. • Cost: Free

Marilyn Edgar Park

26531 S. Hillside Drive, Oak Ridge North


Jingle Boats

Dec. 18, 20, 27

Families can get in a kayak and search for presents on the shores of Lake Woodlands. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Time: 2-3 p.m.

Cost: $40 (per two-person kayak)

Riva Row Boat House

2101 Riva Row, The Woodlands


Decorate a gingerbread house

Dec. 19

Children ages 5-12 can build and decorate a gingerbread house with gumdrops, peppermints, frosting and other candies. Parent participation is required.

Time: 10 a.m.-noon, 1-4 p.m.

Cost: $20-$25.

The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park 6464 Creekside Forest Drive, The Woodlands.


Learn archery with elves

Dec. 19

An introduction for beginning archers consists of instruction, games, hot cocoa and snacks. The event is for children age 9 and older.

Time: 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m.

Cost: $30-$40.

The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park 6464 Creekside Forest Drive, The Woodlands


See a holiday classic

Two productions of "The Nutcracker" are scheduled in The Woodlands area this year.

Nov. 21-22

Boni’s presents The Woodlands Dance Company in “The Nutcracker” ballet, featuring a young cast of dancers.

Time: 2 p.m, 8 p.m. Cost: $25

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands


Nov. 27-29

Vitacca School for Dance presents “The Nutcracker” in a socially distanced setting with tables for families in The Woodlands Resort ballroom. Tables are sold by the number of seats, and limited seating is available.

Time: 7 p.m. (Fri.), 1 p.m., 6 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.)

Cost: $50-$185

The Woodlands Resort, 2301 N. Millbend Drive, The Woodlands.

By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.