Celebrate the start of Chanukah, watch your favorite holiday film, stock up on wine, sample some of the best chili in town, attend a public menorah lighting, stuff your face with tamales, shop till you drop, see a holiday performance and more.
Things to Do All Weekend
• A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at the Alley Theatre | Daily – See the Alley Theatre’s rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, playing through Saturday, December 30 at Hubbard Theatre. Tickets start at $26. Thursday and Friday 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
• Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Smart Financial Center | Daily – Don’t miss the holiday tradition of the Houston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. This classic will have a new home this year, thanks to Harvey, but you can catch it at Smart Financial Center before Christmas Day and at the Hobby Center after that. Tickets start at $35, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s resale marketplace. Thursday and Friday 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday 2pm and 7:30pm.
• Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens | Daily – See the impressive one million light display at Moody Gardens complete with animation and sound during the annual Festival of Lights. Tickets start at $10.95. Thursday 6pm to 9pm; Friday to Sunday 6pm to 11pm.
• Sugar Land Holiday Lights at Constellation Field | Daily – The home field of the Sugar Land Skeeters is decked out in 2.5 million lights. Thursday 6pm to 9pm; Friday and Saturday 6pm to 10pm; Sunday 6pm to 9pm. $14.
• Magical Winter Lights at Gulf Greyhound Park | Daily – Explore larger than life landmarks from around the globe, made from lanterns and covered in holiday lights, at Magical Winter Lights. Tickets start at $13. Thursday 5pm to 10pm; Friday and Saturday 5pm to 11pm; Sunday 5pm to 10pm.
• Hansel & Gretel at the Rec Room | Thursday to Saturday – Housed in a 600 square foot wooded installation, Rec Room Arts creates an intimate, up-close-and-personal take on the opera Hansel and Gretel. Performances are limited to 40 audience members. Tickets start at $15. 7:30pm daily.
• Rock Nativity at A.D. Players Theater | Thursday to Saturday – See a contemporary take on the story of baby Jesus at a performance of the holiday musical Rock Nativity at A.D. Players Theater. $20; limited discounted $10 tickets available. 10:30am daily.
• The French Farm’s Holiday Open Warehouse Sale | Friday and Saturday – Bring the taste and feel of Europe home for the holidays when The French Farm opens their warehouse for a major sale. 10am to 3pm both days.
• Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner & Show at Moody Gardens Theatre | Friday to Sunday – Moody Gardens rings in the holidays with Lone Star Circus’ all-new, one-of-a-kind, joyous circus spectacular Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner & Show featuring award-winning performers from America’s Got Talent and Cirque du Soliel. Tickets start at $39. 7pm nightly.
• Handel’s Messiah at Jones Hall | Friday to Sunday – Conductor Paul Agnew will lead the Houston Symphony Chorus, orchestra, and soloists through the Baroque concert of Handel’s Messiah. Tickets start at $29. Friday and Saturday 8pm; Sunday 2:30pm.
• Day for Night Festival at Barbara Jordan Post Office | Friday to Sunday –Experience performances from more than 90 musical and visual artists including Solange, Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Lights, The Mill, and Ryoji Ikeda at this festival celebrating light and sound in Downtown Houston. Tickets start at $95. Times vary.
Friday, December 15, 2017
• The Texas Tenors in Concert at The Grand – The Texas Tenors, you may know them from America’s Got Talent, are heading to Houston for a stop on their holiday tour Deep in the Heart of Christmas. Tickets start at $30. 3pm and 8pm.
• Christopher Knowles: In a Word Opening Reception at CAMH | FREE – Celebrate the opening of the exhibition Christopher Knowles: In a Word, which features text, sound, painting, drawing, sculpture, and recorded performance, at CAMH. 6:30pm.
• Ugly Sweater Party at Howl at the Moon – Dust off your ugly Christmas sweater and head to Howl at the Moon for drink specials and your chance to win a happy hour party. 7pm.
• The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at A.D. Players Theater – Based on the children’s book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a hilarious tale of when the rowdy Herdman children get cast in the annual Christmas pageant at their church and wreak havoc on the show. Tickets start at $20. 7:30pm.
• A Midnight Clear: A Musical Tale of Christmas at Stages Repertory Theatre – A Midnight Clear sheds light on all the ways Christmas touches each of us, performed by Stages Repertory Theatre. Tickets start at $25. 8pm.
• Dead Kennedys in Concert at White Oak Music Hall – Punk legends Dead Kennedys will hit the stage with Avenue Rockers, The Secret Prostitutes, and The Cops at White Oak Music Hall. Tickets start $25. 8pm.
• Greetings! at Salem Lutheran – See what happens when Andy brings his Jewish atheist fiance Randi home to meet his very Catholic parents on Christmas Eve in this touching play at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church. $18. 8pm.
• Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center – The Spurs and Rockets will battle it out on the court in this Texas matchup at Toyota Center. Tickets start at $42. 8:30pm.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
· Volunteer Workday at Buffalo Bayou Park – Volunteer your time to help beautify Buffalo Bayou Park. Bring your own gloves. 8:30am to 11:30am.
· Pearland’s Farmer’s Market at Pearland Town Center – Shop for local produce and specialty honey, sauces, pet treats and more at the Pearland Farmer’s Market. 9am.
· Brunch with Santa at Phoenicia Specialty Foods –Snap a picture with Santa or Ms. Claus, enjoy a seasonal brunch menu and bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to the Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive at Phoenicia downtown. 9am to 3pm.
· Christmas in the Park 2017 at George Ranch Historical Park – Travel through Christmas pasts on a festive hayride (as long as the weather allows) and explore holiday customs and decorations from 1830s to the 1930s. $10. 9am to 5pm.
· Sawyer Flea at the corner of Edwards & Sawyer Street – Spend the day at the Sawyer Flea, a curated outdoor market featuring local craftsmen, artists, food vendors, collectors, and other small businesses. 10am to 5pm.
· Holiday Party at Misfit Toys – Dress up in Star Wars gear and meet Darth Vader, along with Santa at this family-friendly party at The Misfit Toys store in the Heights. 10am to 10pm.
· Annual Chili Cook-Off at Little Woodrow’s Midtown – Show up to sample or compete with your own secret recipe to see who makes the best chili in town at Little Woodrow’s Midtown’s annual cook-off. 11am.
· The Polar Express Movie Screening at Baybrook Mall | FREE – Climb aboard The Polar Express in this screening of the film about a boy who learned to believe in Christmas on his journey to the North Pole, playing at Baybrook Mall. 11am.
· Annual Wine Sale at 13 Celsius – Sample 13 Celsius’s selection of wine and purchase bottles at a low holiday price while sampling cheese from Houston Dairymaids at this customer appreciation event. 11am to 3pm.
· Frosty the Snowman Musical at Salem Lutheran – Frosty and his young friends learn valuable lessons about the true meaning of friendship when the family musical Frosty the Snowman comes to Salem Lutheran in Houston. Tickets start at $10. 11am and 1:30pm.
· Gingerbread House Decorating Party at SpindleTap Brewery – Whether you’re loading yours with frosting and candy, or making sure it looks perfect, you can decorate your own gingerbread house and enjoy beer, pizza and pictures with Santa at SpindleTap Brewery. Advance registration required. $20. Noon to 5pm.
· German Christmas Service at Trinity Klein Lutheran Church | FREE – Enjoy traditional German cookies, music, cider, and hot chocolate at this special Christmas service in Klein. The message will be in English, but the hymns, prayers, and music will all be in German. 3pm.
· Kick In For Houston Celebrity Soccer Match at BBVA Compass Stadium – Celebrities and athletes including Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Mia Hamm, Scott Kelly, and Roger Clemens will take the field in this soccer match for charity, benefiting Harvey relief. Tickets start at $30. 5pm.
· A Plane, a Train, a Bus & a Boat: A Solo Art Show at Rockstar Gallery | FREE – Explore Luxembourg, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan & Venice at Vena Ashley’s solo art show and party, featuring photos, images, and art she collected and created during her recent travels. Items will be available for sale, and there will be light Italian bites, wine, and special Italian craft cocktails available. 5pm to 9pm.
· Music & Mistletoe at Sugar Land Town Square | FREE – Enjoy your favorite contemporary and classic Christmas tunes performed by First Colony Church of Christ at Sugar Land’s Town Square. 6pm to 8pm.
· 2017 Holiday Parade in Downtown Galveston – Watch festive floats, golf carts, and cyclists cruise down the streets of Historic Galveston in the annual Holiday Parade. 6:30pm.
· Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks at Toyota Center – Get on your feet and scream for the Rockets in this highly anticipated game against the Bucks at Toyota Center. Tickets start at $30. 7pm.
· The Best Beatles Holiday Ever at Music Box Theater – Jam to a mashup of Christmas songs and hits from The Beatles at this show from Music Box Theater. Tickets start at $29. 7:30pm.
· 22nd Annual Public Menorah Lighting at Houston City Hall – Head to City Hall for the annual menorah lighting on the fifth night of Chanukah. 7:30pm.
· ComedySportz Match Improv Show at CSz Arena – Crack up as you participate in this interactive improv show from ComedySportz. $20. 8pm.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
· Mistletoe on the Go at Market Square Park | FREE – Steal a kiss, or just a selfie, under the largest ball of mistletoe in Texas, stationed squarely at Market Square Park in Downtown. All day.
· Santa Hustle Galveston 5K and Half Marathon – Dress up like Saint Nick – themed socks, hats and shirts will be provided – and hit the pavement outside of Moody Gardens for the Santa Hustle 5k, half marathon or kids run benefitting Toys for Tots and the Galveston County Food Bank. Registration starts at $45. 6:30am.
· Tis The Season at The Silos on Sawyer – Support local artisans at the Silos on Sawyer by shopping for artful gifts, furnishings, jewelry, and prints while enjoying tastings from Stolen Whiskey & Rum while you shop. 10am to 3pm.
· Massive Mole and Tamale Brunch Buffet at Arnaldo Richards’ Picos – To finish out the restaurant’s 12 Days of Mole celebration, Picos invites you to indulge in a brunch buffet with all things mole and tamales, including chicken in black mole, tamales norteños, tamales oaxaqueños filled with chicken in green chili, and dulce de leche tamales. $29. 10am to 4pm.
· Pop Up at Aurora Art Studio – Stroll through booths from more than 35 local vendors when Aurora Art Studio in the Heights hosts their Sunday craft and artisan Pop Up market. 11am to 5pm.
· Chimney Rock Market in West Houston | FREE – Held on the first and third Sunday of the month near Anderson Park, Chimney Rock Market showcases art, gifts, produce, artisanal food, and refreshments. Noon to 4pm.
· Frozen Holiday Party at A.D. Players: Theatre Arts Academy – Bring your kiddos to A.D. Players: Theatre Arts Academy for an interactive storytime with characters from Frozen and a dance party. Costumes are encouraged. $32. 1pm.
· Jewish CultureFest at Evelyn’s Park – The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center hosts this afternoon celebrating Jewish culture with live music, local crafts, specialty foods, art, and mitzvah projects in Bellaire. 2pm to 6pm.
· Chanukah at Discovery Green | FREE – Head to Discovery Green for music from Eli Marcus, Judah the Maccabee Live Statue, balloon artists, face painters, Chanukah-themed arts and crafts, and the lighting of the Houston Astros Ice Menorah. 3pm to 6pm.
· Outdoor Chanukah Concert at Saengerfest Park – Join the Bay Area Jewish community for an outdoor concert, kosher food, and Menorah lighting to celebrate Chanukah. 5:30pm.
· A Christmas Story Movie Screening at Karbach Brewing Co. – The Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow presents a screening of the hilarious holiday movie, A Christmas Story, at the Karbach Brewery. 6pm to 9pm.
· PMT Pop Up: Holiday Cabaret at the Continental Club on Mid-Main – This pop-up, family-friendly cabaret features holiday performances from local artists at the Continental Club. $25. 8pm.