Even though the weather this weekend might not scream Christmas, the Heritage Society is making merry anyway with its 54th annual Candlelight Tour of the 10 historic buildings in Sam Houston Park. The yearly tradition, which takes place this weekend, sees all of the homes in the park decorated for Christmas, with docents at each explaining their history and that of their former residents, culminating in holiday hymns sung by carolers inside the beautiful St. John Church, built in 1891 (and today the site of many of Houston's most photogenic weddings).
But that's not all—this year, the Heritage Society is bundling together its best holiday activities into one festive $50 package that will take you to some of Houston's most treasured places on Saturday, December 10.
The day begins at 10 a.m. with a tour of two of Houston's oldest churches: Christ Church Cathedral, Houston's first religious congregation, founded in 1839 and still meeting at its original site from when Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas; and St. Joseph–St. Stephen Catholic Church, dating to 1880 and today known as the second oldest Catholic Church in Houston. Transportation is provided, via a shuttle that departs from Sam Houston Park and returns at noon.
From there, you'll get a $10 gift certificate to spend on lunch at Phoenicia's MKT Bar, which will get you two-thirds of the way to one of our favorite pizzas in town: the Belly Up, with roasted pork belly, green onion, fennel, cashews, plum sauce and watercress. Split it with a friend, which leaves you extra money for a scoop of gelato before heading back outside to Sam Houston Park for the Candlelight Tour, which starts at 3 p.m. and runs through 9 p.m.
Finally, your package deal also gets you access to the big, beautiful Christmas Village at Bayou Bend (though you'll have to drive there down Memorial yourself). This immersive Christmas experience runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and features elaborate holiday light displays, Santa and Mrs. Claus, carolers, a snowball-play area, holiday treats, art-making activities, a scavenger hunt—even a live reindeer named Jingles. Jingles. If that doesn't put you in the Christmas mood, we don't know what will.