As Thanksgiving approaches, Friendswood is gearing up for the 2014 holiday season, with annual events beginning this weekend.
The main celebration, the city’s 7th annual “Santa in the Park,” is set for Saturday, Dec. 13. Partial closure of FM 518 is necessary for the Chamber of Commerce 27th annual Lighted Christmas Parade, which will begin at Heritage Drive and travel south on FM 518, ending at Stevenson Park, 1100 S. Friendswood. The park is where the annual festival is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. The tree-lighting is set for 7:30 p.m. In addition to 40,000 pounds of snow, train rides, hay rides and amusements, local dance and choir groups are set to provide live entertainment. Holiday market and food vendors will be on site. A $10 wristband can be purchased for amusement rides. Call 281-482-3329 or email [email protected] for more information.
CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR
Heritage Gardeners of Friendswood host the 48th Annual Christmas Home Tour this weekend, Nov. 22 and 23, from 1 to 5 p.m. This event includes a bazaar, bake sale and tea room. Tickets are $15 and are good for both days. Pre-tour tickets are $10, and children 10 and under are free. Admission to the Marie Workman Garden Center and Briscoe Gardens, 112 West Spreading Oaks, is free. The tea room opens at noon, while bazaar vendors open at 10 a.m. Pre-tour tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, the Cake Lady Bakery, Friendswood Frame and Gallery, La Casita Restaurant, Lary’s Florist, Two Friends Gifts, Phoenix Cleaners or from any Heritage Garden Club member. For more information, visit us online, at heritagegardener.org or call 713 534-7662.
OLD FASHIONED HOLIDAY
The Friendswood Historical Society hosts a tree-lighting at the Frank Brown Museum, 108 Skyview, on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. This event includes gingerbread and wassail, caroling and a visit from Santa. The museum is a reconstruction of the home of Friendswood founders Frank and Mary Jane Brown, and is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon with no admission. www.friendswoodhistoricalsociety.org.
Friendswood Police are collecting new, unwrapped toys for the department’s annual Blue Santa program, which provides presents for children of local needy families. Donations can be dropped off at the Public Safety Building through Dec. 18. Monetary donations, cash and grocery store cards are also accepted. Call 281-996-3313.
ON THE STAGE
Friendswood’s Purple Box Theater is staging Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 5 through 13. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The theater is located at 1309 Parkwood. For each show, all online ticket sales end 6 hours prior to the start of the show, you can still get tickets by calling or texting 818-642-4665.
Meanwhile, “Miracle on 34th Street” will be staged Dec. 5 through 21 at the Pearl Theater, 14803 Park Almeda Dr., just west of Pearland. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. All seats for this show are $12. www.pearl-theater.com.
WORTH A TRIP
In nearby Galveston, Dickens on the Strand celebrates 40 years in 19th Century style within the island’s Historical Strand District Dec. 5—7.
Tickets purchased at the gate are $14 for adults and $8 for children ages 7-12 on Saturday or Sunday. Children under 6 are admitted free. All guests dressed in Victorian area costume are admitted for half price.
Another Galveston tradition, the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, already is under way with the much publicized debut of “Ice Land: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants,” which opened last weekend. Chilled and held at a temperature of 9 degrees, guests can witness this vast and magnificent holiday display of 900 tons of towering ice creations. Lights, live entertainment and an outdoor ice rink also highlight the Festival of Lights, held from 6 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 5. Admission is $6.95. www.moodygardens.com/festivaloflights/.