Festive fun this season
Holiday cheer is in the air. Find some festive ways to celebrate the season around town this month.
The Powder Keg, 1300 Brittmoore Rd.
Weds., Nov. 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Steel Magnolia Moms, a local nonprofit for moms of children with special needs, is hosting its third annual Nuttycracker Holiday Market. More than 40 vendors will offer items including clothing and accessories, household items, gourmet food, art, and jewelry. Funds raised will go towards supporting programs for children with disabilities and family members.
NRG Center, One NRG Park
Thurs., Nov. 10 (10 a.m.-8 p.m.); Fri., Nov. 11 (10 a.m.-7 p.m.); Sat., Nov. 12 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.); Sun., Nov. 13 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
General admission (one-day only): $20/adult; free/children age 2 and under
The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market features more than 270 booths with a wide range of apparel, accessories, handbags, fashion and fine jewelry, gourmet food and treats, home and holiday décor, toys, and unique gifts. The market is an annual fundraiser that benefits the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy, and scholarship programs.
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney
Nov. 11-Jan. 29
Tickets: $17, includes skate rental; discounted tickets on select nights
Glide around Green Mountain Energy ICE this holiday season. There will be themed events each evening including College Nights, Skate with Santa, DJ Nights, Skate with Storybook Stars, and more.
The Galleria, 5085 Westheimer Rd.
Sat., Nov. 12, 12-6 p.m.
The Galleria kicks off the holiday season with its 33rd Annual Ice Spectacular, featuring a dynamic ice-skating show, musical performances, and the lighting of the center’s 55-foot tree. Family and children’s activities start at 12 p.m.
Paseo Park, 5000 Bellaire Blvd.
Sat., Nov. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Bellaire Culture and Arts Board hosts the popular Arts and Crafts Festival, aiming to create the atmosphere of the original event dating back to 1972, at its original setting of Paseo Park. Browse arts and crafts from local artisans, in time for holiday-season shopping.
Houston Botanic Garden, One Botanic Lane
Nov. 18-Jan. 1 (entry from 5:30-8:30 p.m.; trail closes at 10 p.m.); closed on select nights
Timed tickets, at 15-minute intervals: $28/adult; $18/child. Flex passes available.
Lightscape, presented by Reliant, lights up the Houston Botanic Garden for its second year. The internationally acclaimed lights and music event features an outdoor illuminated trail including dazzling new immersive installations set to seasonal tunes along a winding path through the Garden. Visitors can also enjoy festive food and drinks, along with fire pits for roasting s’mores.
Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr.
Nov. 18-Jan. 8 (5:30-10:30 p.m.); closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Admission: starting at $22/adult (for non-members); kids under 2 are free price varies depending on date/time
The Houston Zoo will be transformed into an illuminated winter wonderland at the annual Zoo Lights presented by TXU Energy. New this year: Enjoy a “snowy” scene featuring ski lifts; life-sized animal lanterns along the Zoo Lights path; an illuminated, interactive dance floor; a new, colorful holiday light tunnel. Special events include Sip & Sparkle (Thurs., Nov. 17) – adults 21+ are invited to take in Zoo Lights with five 2 oz. wine samples or two Saint Arnold Brewing co. beers.
Constellation Field, 1 Stadium Dr., Sugar Land
Nov. 18-Jan. 1 (Sun.-Thurs.: 6-9 p.m.; Friday-Sat.: 6-10 p.m.)
Tickets vary by event date; kids 3 and under don’t require a ticket
The 9th annual Sugar Land Holiday Lights presented by Houston Methodist offers a holiday experience including more than three million lights, 10 themed areas, holiday shopping, food, movie nights, Santa Claus, a carnival, and more.
Children’s Museum Houston, 1500 Binz St.
Tues., Nov. 22-Sat., Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
General admission: Free for children under 1; $15/adults and children; $14 seniors
Children’s Museum Houston hosts a variety of fun, hands-on, Thanksgiving-themed activities the whole family will enjoy. Create your own colorful mosaic out of corn, a turkey leg hat, “gobbler glasses” and more.
$15/Kid’s Run; $35/5K; $30/10K
Thurs., Nov. 24; packet pickup and registration opens at 6 a.m.
Work up an appetite at the BakerRipley Houston Turkey Trot, benefiting the nonprofit BakerRipley. Options to participate include a Kid’s race, timed and untimed 5K, 10K, and wheelchair 5K and 10K.
Downtown, beginning on Smith at Lamar
Thurs., Nov. 24, 9 a.m.
The annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade starts Thanksgiving off with a fun, festive, family-friendly parade. This year’s Grand Marshal is new Houston resident Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The parade will include a special performance by local rapper Bun B. Additional acts will include Theatre Under the Stars’ Mary Poppins coming to Houston in December and the iconic Apache Belles. The Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place over 20 city blocks downtown and will feature elaborate floats and marching bands.
Uptown Houston, Post Oak Blvd.
Thurs., Nov. 24, 4-7 p.m.
After the Thanksgiving feast, make your way to Post Oak Blvd. for the traditional Uptown Holiday Lighting. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with holiday music, shopping, and street entertainment. The dazzling light show and firework extravaganza takes place at 7 p.m.
CityCentre, 800 Town and Country Blvd.
Sat., Nov. 26, 12-5 p.m.
Free to attend
Visit with Santa and two of his reindeer at CityCentre during Holiday in the Plaza presented by Sewell Cadillac. Santa will spread holiday cheer and pose for photos. Help fill Santa’s Cadillac with new, unwrapped toys to be donated in exchange for a complimentary photo with Santa. Houston Show Choir will perform holiday classics at 1:30, 3, and 5 p.m.
Bellaire Town Square, 7008 S. Rice Ave.
Thurs., Dec. 1, 6-8:30 p.m.
The City of Bellaire will ring in the holiday season and welcome Santa at the annual Holiday in the Park. Enjoy live music from local choirs, snow slides, food and more. Photos with Santa will be available for purchase.
Hermann Square at City Hall
Sat., Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m.
The annual Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular includes music, Santa, fireworks, and family fun. A towering holiday tree will light up the streets of downtown Houston this holiday season.
Worth the Drive
Texas Renaissance Festival grounds, 21778 FM 1774, Todd Mission
Weekends through Nov. 27, including Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving Friday), 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
One-day ticket prices vary from $10-40; kids 12 and under get free admission on Sunday
Travel back in time to the Renaissance age by experiencing the 48th annual Texas Renaissance Festival. An abundance of entertainment, food and drink, shopping, and other activities are available to attendants, all of which are fit for a king or queen. Themed weekends include Heroes and Villains (Nov. 5-6); Barbarian Invasion (Nov. 12-13); Highland Fling (Nov. 19-20); and Celtic Christmas (Nov. 25-27).
18898 Hwy 6, College Station
Nov. 11-Dec. 30
General admission: $52.95/adult; $47.90/child
This season marks 25 years of the popular Santa’s Wonderland experience in College Station, which includes the opportunity to meet Santa at Santa’s Station, go on hayrides, carriage rides, take a spin around the ice skating rink, play in snow at the Snow Playground, walk through the Trail of Lights, enjoy the Texas Christmas Train, pet cuddly animals at Santa's Barnyard, and more
Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway
Nov. 12-Jan. 1 (6-10 p.m.); closed Nov. 24, Dec. 8, 24-25.
General admission: $19.95-27.95; varies depending on date/time
Galaxy Lights, powered by Reliant, provides an out-of-this-world holiday-light adventures. Highlights include two high-tech kinetic light shows; the film “Holidays in Space” that includes footage of astronauts celebrating the holidays; a winter wonderland experience; an interactive show to explore the science behind light; and stroll through a 200-foot LED light tunnel made of more than 250,000 lights synchronized to festive holiday music.
Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston
Nov. 19-Jan. 7
Tickets vary (from $21-75)
Moody Gardens offers multiple festive, family-friendly attractions throughout the season, including Ice Land, Festival of Lights, an ice-skating rink, 3D holiday films, Rudolph 4D, the arctic slide, train rides, the Cirque Joyeux Holiday show, pictures with Santa, and more.
Dickens on the Strand
The Strand, 2002 Strand, Galveston
General admission: $18/adult; $13/youth (7-12); free/child 6 and under. Ticket prices vary with special events.
The Galveston Historical Foundation presents the 49th annual Dickens on the Strand, based on 19th-century Victorian London. The annual festival features parades, entertainment, roaming characters throughout the festival, costumed vendors, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, holiday decorations, live entertainment on four stages, and more.
Editor’s note: See our online event calendar for more upcoming events.
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