Fort Bend’s Festive Holiday Favorites

The Great Pumpkin Round Up at The George Ranch Saturdays in November Photo by Kelley Sweet Photography

The Great Pumpkin Round Up at The George Ranch Saturdays in November. Photo by Kelley Sweet Photography

FOCUS COVER STORY | By Patti Parish-Kaminski –

There’s no place better to spend the holidays than in Fort Bend!  The season kicks off with two annual festive favorites that are sure to get you in the spirit. From dinosaurs to Christmas trees to pumpkins galore, get out and about this month and kick off the holidays with Fort Bend fun!

Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land’s
Jingle Tree Celebrates 10th Anniversary with a Roar

Decking the halls has been a tradition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land (HMNS at Sugar Land) for the past ten years, and this year, the annual Jingle Tree event is dino-size!

Presented by Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital and celebrating ten years of the week-long event November 10th thru 16th, Co-Chairs and long-time museum supporters Stacy Borgfeldt, Pam Gray and the Jingle Tree committee have planned some fun and fabulous surprises for this year’s event.  “For the tenth anniversary, our focus is to celebrate big, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” shared Co-Chair Stacy Borgfeldt.  “In the spirit of the museum’s mascot – T-Rex – this year’s Jingle Tree will be dino-mite!”

The HMNS at Sugar Land Jingle Tree committee is ready for the tenth anniversary celebration. Back row: Kelley Sweet Jensen, Michelle Cano, Sherri Scott-Cook, Sierra Ridley, Lijin Zeng, Linda Webb, Sharon Dimicelli and Lindsay Rolph.
Seated: Judi Dai, Pam Gray, Stacy Borgfeldt, Kavita Self and Dominique McCormick.
Photo Credit: Kelley Sweet Photography

Jingle Tree will feature what the event has become known for: beautifully-adorned trees and holiday décor that has been sponsored and decorated by local designers, museum supporters and artistic visionaries all available to win during an online auction.  Guests stroll through the display of trees, which this year includes a Barbie tree, “Shell-ebrations” featuring hand-painted sea shells and a Jimmy Buffet tribute tree.  But there’s a big surprise – one might say a dino-size surprise – coming this year.

Last year’s Jingle Tree featured “Tree-Rex,” a tree designed by Susie and Doug Goff that was a Tyrannosaurus rex sporting brightly colored lights and a Santa hat.  The tree was a roaring success at last year’s event, and was purchased by Patti and Tim Kaminski.  But even though “Tree-Rex” sold in support of the museum, she lives there today for everyone to enjoy.

“Tree-Rex” was such a great combination of fossil history and the celebration of the holiday that it was only natural for us to gift her to the museum as her permanent home for everyone to enjoy for years to come, especially children,” said Tim Kaminski.

The tenth anniversary Jingle Tree will feature plush “Tree-Rexs” available for sale, and “Tree-Rex” will be on display throughout the week-long event perfect for holiday photos.  Best of all, designer Susie Goff has a dino-amic surprise in store for this year. In typical T-Rex fashion, “Tree-Rex” has laid two eggs that are scheduled to hatch just in time for Jingle Tree’s tree lighting.  The “Twin-Rexs” will be available for bidding during the online auction for this year’s event.

“Jingle Tree helps keep the HMNS at Sugar Land accessible to the entire community,” said Co-Chair Pam Gray. “Their sensory-friendly programming and science education have been able to grow as a result of the funds raised at Jingle Tree, and with the tenth anniversary this year, our goal is to help the museum create even more opportunities for our entire community.”

Dr. Niraj Patel and Dr. Deanna McDonald, Sugar Land OB/GYN, predict “Tree-Rex’s” twins will hatch just in time for the tenth anniversary of Jingle Tree. Susie Goff, proud grandmother of the Twin-Rexes, is ready for their debut.

Jingle Tree’s schedule of events includes:

Tree Lighting –  Friday, November 10th | 10 am        

Watch the trees come to light and begin bidding or buy your favorite now!

VIP Experience Days – Monday, November 13th – Tuesday, November 14th | 11 am – 5 pm               

Small-group tree viewing with light bites and beverages – a perfect time to spend with friends.

Festive Finale- Thursday, November 16th| 6 – 9 pm

 A festive party filled with cheer! Don’t miss the live auction with exclusive museum experiences, and final bidding on the designer trees and décor.

For sponsorship opportunities, to purchase tickets, and for more information, visit or email

Wrangle Up Family Fun for The George Ranch’s Great Pumpkin Round Up

Photos by Kelley Sweet Photography

Each Saturday in November, the George Ranch’s popular fall-themed event, The Great Pumpkin Round Up, is the perfect setting for holiday photos and Fall fun.  Presented by Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, this year’s event is bigger and better than ever!

For the third year, The George Ranch has showcased a fantastic Fall feature created by local designer Lucas Chavez.  Chavez has spent months working with pumpkin producers in West Texas to design an autumn display exclusively for the Ranch that includes a hay wagon, training carriage, giant sugar cane vat and, of course, pumpkins galore! The design features more than twenty types of gourds, pumpkins and squash along with mums and fall plants.   

The Great Pumpkin Round Up moved locations this year to the circle drive in front of the 120-year-old George Ranch House.  Situated along the white picket fence and up the front walk to the main door, it offers multiple backgrounds for the perfect selfie or family photo.

Photos by Kelley Sweet Photography

A great place for families and visitors of all ages to spend a Fall-themed Saturday of fun taking photos, picnicking and touring the historic sites at The George Ranch, a day at The Great Pumpkin Round Up is something everyone can enjoy.

“The Great Pumpkin Round Up is such a treat for our visitors,” said George Ranch Site Director Adrienne Barker.  “It is a great way to spend a Saturday getting into the holiday spirit, and it’s perfect for all ages to enjoy.”

The Great Pumpkin Round Up is included with the purchase of a regular admission ticket to The George Ranch where visitors explore what life was like in Texas decades ago.  Ticket proceeds also support the primary mission of student education through weekday field trip visits.  The Great Pumpkin Round Up runs each Saturday through November 25th, 2023.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit