top holiday events around houston

The holiday season is here! So get out the holiday boxes, put up the tree and get ready for some family time. If you’re looking for some activities and events to help you get into the holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered. Whether you want family friendly fun, night time strolls through twinkling lights, or alternative shopping options, there is something for everyone in Houston. So get ready to make weekend plans, these are the top holiday events around Houston!

Festival of Lights

When: Nov. 14, 2015 – Jan. 10, 2016
Where: Moody Gardens (One Hope Boulevard Galveston, Texas 77554)
What: Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens is the Gulf Coast’s largest holiday lighting event! Enjoy the 100-foot slide, ice skating, and the incredible mile-long trail with more than a million sparking lights! Plus Santa will be there every night and he will bring snow!

Zoo Lights

When: Nov. 20, 2015 – Jan. 9, 2016
Where: The Houston Zoo (6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030)
What: The Houston Zoo comes to life each holiday season and becomes a winter wonderland, complete with bright, colorful lights. Enjoy festive music while you walk through the zoo, take in the lights, and sip on hot chocolate. Zoo Lights is a family friendly event that will help you feel that festive spirit.

Magical Winter Lights

When: Nov. 20, 2015  – Jan. 10, 2016
Where: Sam Houston Race Park (7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West Houston, TX 77064)
What: In its first year in Houston, Magical Winter Lights is a 54-day winter festival. Featuring incredible light displays, and the largest festival to ever take place in the U.S., the whole family is welcome to come to Sam Houston Race Park. Incredible light displays include: dinosaur land, the Americas & Houston, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. The massive light structures will blow you away! We’re really excited for this event!

10th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market

When: Nov. 20 – 22, 2015
Where: Winter Street Studios (2101 Winter St, Houston, TX 77007)
What: Come down to Winter Street Studios for the 10th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market! The event features work from over 60 local artists. This is a great place to find unique jewelry, paintings, photography, sculpture, clothing and more. Find one of a kind gifts for everyone on your shopping list!

Ice at Discovery Green

When: Nov. 24, 2015 – Feb. 7, 2016
Where: Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010)
What: Bring family and friends for ice skating fun at Discovery Green. Skate among the Downtown Houston skyline on this incredible 7,716 sq. ft outdoor rink. Plus there will be a variety of family friendly concerts, movies and more throughout the holiday season.

66th Annual H-E-B Holiday Parade

When: Nov. 26, 2015
Where: Downtown Houston (parade begins at 9am on Lamar at Smith)
What: Head downtown for the 66th Annual H-E-B Holiday Parade! Enjoy floats, flying hot air balloons, marching bands and your favorite costumed characters.This Thanksgiving tradition is popular for thousands of families in the Houston area. Bring the whole family and enjoy the start of the holiday season.

Uptown Holiday Lighting

When: Nov. 27, 2015
Where: Along Post Oak Boulevard in Uptown Houston
What: After you’re stuffed with turkey, take the family out for the Uptown Holiday Lighting. Gather along Post Oak Boulevard and kick off the holiday season with more than half a million lights, twinkling holiday lights, festive music, and holiday characters. Plus there will be a visit from Santa and a fireworks display. It is a great way to start feeling festive.

Pop Shop Houston Holiday Festival

When: Nov. 27 – 29, 2015
Where: Silver Street Studios (77007, 2000 Edwards St, Houston, TX 77007)
What: The Pop Shop Houston Holiday Festival is an annual tradition for many during the holidays. It is an alternative shopping experience that connects with you great local and indie makers. Find an array of art, products, design items, vintage and antiques for loved ones on your shopping list.

Winter Collage

Mayor’s Holiday Celebration

When: Dec. 4, 2015
Where: City Hall’s Hermann Square
What: Join Mayor Annise Parker for her third Holiday Celebration! The annual event includes the Mayor’s Official Tree Lighting Ceremony, plus music, a fireworks show and much more! This event is free and all are welcome. So bring the kids down and enjoy this festive event.

Dickens on the Strand

When: Dec. 4 – 6, 2015
Where: The Strand Historic District (2228 Mechanic St, Galveston, TX 77550)
What: The Galveston Historical Society takes you back to yesteryear with the 42nd Annual Dickens on the Strand holiday Festival. Be transported back to the Victorian London of Charles Dickens and enjoy the food and entertainment from another area. Watch characters from Dickens novels stroll through the streets and enjoy a holiday celebration from across the pond.

Chanukah Fest​

When: Dec. 6, 2015
Where: City Hall (901 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002)
What: Chanukah Fest is another festive event coming to Houston this December. Enjoy live music from the 8th Day Band from California, live entertainers, fireworks, activities for kids and activities, many food options, Judah the Maccabee Live Statue & Dreidel Mascot and more! Funds from this event will go to local non-profits in Houston.

Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival

When: Dec. 11 – 13, 2015
Where: Downtown Tomball
What: This free festival brings you a German Celebration on the old downtown streets of Tomball, Texas. The Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival includes 4 music stages, 175 street vendors, street performers, souvenirs, crafts, antiques, a petting zoo plus beer, wine and yummy ethnic and festival food!  Get into the spirit of Christmas with German traditions and culture at this family friendly festival.

Houston Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

When: Nov. 27 – Dec. 27, 2015
Where: Wortham Theater Center (501 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002)
What: The Nutcracker is a well-loved Christmas story and families love the production done by Houston Ballet. Visit the holiday tale and be transported to another land and time through music and dance. A magical performance for all ages, come see the Houston Ballet celebrate the Christmas season.

A Christmas Story

When: Dec. 8 – 20, 2015
Where: Theatre Under the Stars (800 Bagby St #200, Houston, TX 77002)
What: A Christmas Story is a classic Christmas film and now you can see it acted live. Enjoy this all-American Christmas show with friends and family in a musical adaptation of the original film.

Very Merry Pops

When: Dec. 11 – 13, 2015
Where: Jones Hall (615 Louisiana St. Houston, TX 77002)
What: The Houston Symphony presents “Very Merry Pops†with holiday favorites like “Deck the Halls,†“Jingle Bells,†and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.†The Houston Symphony will play the carols you love as well as a few new ones, with the help of guest narration from spiritual leaders from around the Houston community.

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