Houston Out & About: Christmas Festivities Your Whole Family Will Enjoy!

Houston is home to a cornucopia of Christmas events and festivities for the whole family to enjoy! Choosing the right one to fit your schedule and budget may be the hardest decision you have to make. All of these events are kid-tested and mother-approved!

The Houston Zoo will be hosting several special events this Holiday Season. Fri, Dec 9, 2005 to Sun, Dec 11, 2005

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Fri, Dec 16, 2005 to Sun, Dec 18, 2005 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Last admission will be at 7:30 p.m. Join us at the third annual Winter Wild Festival of Lights here at the Houston Zoo. Kids of all ages will be able to sit on Safari Santa’s lap, make winter animal crafts, decorate (and eat) delicious sugar cookies ($2.00), enjoy 500,000+ spectacular twinkling light displays in the front entry plaza and around the reflection pool, and listen to performing groups sing and play music of the season. This year’s event includes lighting of the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo and Wildlife Carousel, plus take a wild Zoo-style hay ride. All of these activities will be included in the regular price of gate admission. Winter Wild will provide great holiday entertainment for the whole family as it is sure to become a favorite holiday activity for Houston residents and visitors alike. Print a Winter Wild Coupon and save $1 off per ticket when you attend Winter Wild this December! Entrance to the Zoo stops at 7:30 p.m. Come before 7:30 and enjoy all Winter Wild activities until 8:00 p.m.!

Have Breakfast with Santa on Sat, Dec 17, 2005 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at The Brown Education Center. The holidays have officially arrived! Please help us celebrate by making plans to attend Houston’s newest holiday tradition: “Breakfast with Santa” here at the Houston Zoo. Families can start their Zoo adventure early with a scrumptious, hot breakfast. Keepers will be on hand with some special furry guests for everyone to meet. Children will also be able to get up close and personal with one of the rarest specimen of allâÂ?¦Santa! Each child will leave with a full belly and a bag filled with goodies. Please call 713.533.6834 to register today!

Trader’s Village Annual Holiday Market with Santa Claus is something your kids will LOVE! EVENT DATES: Weekends – Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18. Traders Village turns into a holiday wonderland of shopping, family fun, festive foods and pictures made with the jolly old elf himself… Santa Claus! At Traders Village, you’ll discover the perfect gift for all your family and friends. Stroll through street after street of holiday bargain ideas. It’s a great place to shop with the kids too. They can shop for mom and dad, enjoy a yuletide kiddie ride and munch on festival foods! It’s a celebration for the whole family. Traders Village, where you’ll find a sleigh full of super shopping and fabulous holiday fun. Traders Village… why shopping, festivals and family fun were invented!Ã?® The market is just minutes northwest of downtown Houston on N. Eldridge Road off of Highway 290. Free to the public, parking $2.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

If you are looking for a charitable cause and a way to spread good cheer, sign up for the 2005 Chevron jingle Bell Run and Walk! This is a highlight of the holiday season in which individuals and families celebrate the holidays while raising funds and awareness for a valuable Houston program. More than 5,000 runners, volunteers, sponsors, individuals, children, and families, at all fitness levels (and many sporting holiday costumes), will make their way through the streets of Downtown Houston on December 11, 2005. Participants of all fitness levels are sure to find their niche in one of the four races that will take place at the Chevron Jingle Bell Run & Walk. The one-mile kids’ run, for those 13 and under, the five-mile wheelchair event, the five-mile adult run, and the three-mile family walk. You are invited to come Home for the Holidays for this fun-filled family tradition. Call 713-758-9295

Chevron Jingle Bell Run and Walk
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Benefiting the Downtown YMCA Partners Campaign

WHEN: Sunday, December 11, 2005.

WHAT: A fun run and family festival held in the heart of Downtown Houston during the holiday season. This event is open to persons of all fitness levels. Participants are also encouraged to dress up in their best holiday costumes and enjoy the festivities with the whole family.

BENEFICIARY: All proceeds from the 2005 Chevron Downtown YMCA Jingle Bell Run & Walk benefit the Downtown YMCA’s Partner’s Campaign which provides scholarship dollars for people in need of YMCA programs. YMCA programs help improve and enrich the lives of so many in our community. The Downtown YMCA is proud to bring people together for this event that helps develop the individual and, in turn, strengthens the community as a whole.

WHERE: The event will begin and finish in front of the Downtown YMCA & Chevron located at 1600 Louisiana.

EVENT DAY SCHEDULE:
12:00PM Registration and Packet Pick-Up Open
1:00PM Festivities Begin
2:15PM Race Warm Ups
2:30PM Kids’ race (ages 13 and under)
2:55PM 5-mile Wheelchair event
3:00PM 5-mile Run
3:15PM 3-mile Family Walk (strollers welcome, no pets)
4:00PM Costume Contest and race winners announced

* Race scoring will be done by the ChampionChip
* You will not be an official finisher if you do not wear a chip on your shoe.
* Pick up your chip in person on race day
* Be sure to return you chip after the race, or you will be assessed a $30 fee.

AWARDS: Every child who participates in the 1-mile Kids’ Run will receive a prize at the finish line.Overall Male and Female winners in the Open and Masters Division. 1st and 2nd place Male and Female winners in each age group: 14-19, 20-29,30-39, 40-49,50-59, 60-69, 70+, Wheelchair

ENTRY FEE: All registrants for the Chevron Jingle Bell Run & Walk will receive a race packet containing a long sleeve race shirt, reindeer antlers, jingle bells and more!!!

You may register on line or mail your registration form and payment to:
The Downtown YMCA
Attn: Special Events
1600 Louisiana
Houston, Texas 77002
Prices reflect registration through December 1, 2005
�· Adults (14 & over): $20.00*

�· Children (13 & under): $10.00*

�· Family 4-Pack (2 Adults & 2 Children): $55.00*

�· Corporate Package (minimum 25 people registering together): $15.00/each receive two free entries with our Corporate package

After December 1, 2005

�· Adults (14 & over): $25.00

�· Children & under): $15.00

�· Family 4 Pack (2 adults & 2 children): $60.00

�· Corporate Package (25 people): $400.00

*Post-mark deadline for early registration is Dec. 1, 2005. On-Site registration will be available the day of the race.

COSTUME CONTEST:
Dress up in your best holiday costume – let your imagination run wild! Costume judging will occur along the course and you must be a registered participant to win. Prizes will be awarded for:

�· Best Adult Costume (ages 14 and over)

�· Best Child Costume (Children under 13)

�· Centipede Costume (4 to 8 people must remain attached throughout the course)

�· Best Group Costume (5 to 10 people unattached)

Or for something completely different, you may be in our temperate climate yearing for a cold snap or a bit of the white stuff! After all, how can you really get in the Christmas Spirit when it’s 80 degrees outside? The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is hosting the 2nd Annual Snow Flurry Saturday, December 10, noon – 4 p.m. Experience a winter wonderland of snow at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s event. Kids up to 13 years old are invited to play in over 40,000 pounds of real snow, have their photos taken with Santa on his sleigh, see live reindeer, frolic with live animals in the yuletide petting corral and enjoy holiday music by Crockett Elementary. This event is free. Ticket required for Santa vs. The Snowman in the IMAXÃ?® Theatre. Ã?© 2005 Houston Museum of Natural Science
One Hermann Circle Drive, Houston, TX 77030
Information/Tickets: (713) 639-4629 | en espa�±ol: (713) 639-4603 | TDD service: (713) 639-4687

Happy Holidays to All and to All…HAVE FUN!

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