MERRY AND BRIGHT

7 Holiday Events Happening Throughout Houston This December

The holidays are in full effect with Christmas concerts, shows, and brunches with Santa.

By Rosemary Akpan

Texas Winter Lights at Marriott Marquis Houston.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: December. While you may be planning out your month day-by-day with holiday shopping, ugly sweater work parties, making a 2023 vision board, and visits to the in-laws, find some space in your busy schedule to enjoy all the festive events Houston has to offer this season.

Whether you’re looking to unwind with your friends at a festive Noche Buena, or watch an alluring ballet performance of The Nutcracker, we’ve rounded up the most festive events that’ll help you close out the last month of the year.

Texas Winter Lights

NOVEMBER 11 thru JANUARY 8,  5–10 P.M. | MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOUSTON, $25 AND UP

Texas Winter Lights at the Marriott returns in its third year for an interactive winter lights experience on the 6th floor rooftop and pool patio. Discover Instagram-worthy photo ops with new light activations throughout the deck, including a majestic lit-up stallion, an adult playground with light up swings, and a grove of lights. The highlight? Floating through the lazy river (heated all winter long) while viewing glimmery light arches that make a colorful tunnel. Special weekly events include cozying up with a nostalgic holiday-themed movie on Thursday evenings, dressing up in an ugly holiday sweater on Fridays, and a DJ. Don’t forget to cash in on your free hot chocolate at their hot cocoa bar.  

Holiday in the Gardens 

NOVEMBER 19 thru JANUARY 7, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. | MOODY GARDENS GALVESTON ISLAND, $25 AND UP

Make your way down to Moody Gardens in Galveston to enjoy nine thrilling attractions in one big venue. As the largest holiday destination, Moody Gardens will offer everything from festive fun experiences like an arctic slide, dining and hotel packages such as their Cirque Joyeux Holiday Show Package, and holiday attractions like a scenic stroll through their Festival of Lights, a holiday train ride, or a tour of their underwater-themed ice land ice sculptures experience. 

The Nutcracker Ballet 

NOVEMBER 25 thru DECEMBER 27, 2 P.M. & 7:30 P.M. | WORTHAM THEATER CENTER, $30 AND UP

Grand sets, stunning costumes, and an iconic musical score. That’s right, the ultimate holiday performance returns with all of the grandeur audiences love about the original Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker. From snowflakes to sword fights and the Christmas tree that reaches the sky, The Nutcracker Ballet makes for the perfect holiday experience for the whole family to enjoy. 

Celebrate the holiday season at these local events. 

Christmas in the Square

November 27 thru DECEMBER 23, 11 A.M.–4 P.M. | SUGARLAND TOWN SQUARE, FREE

Glide over to Sugarland Town Square for a winter wonderland extravaganza. Enjoy a day of ice skating, small bites, and beverages from your favorite Town Square restaurants like Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co., Fish City Grill, and GURU Burgers & Bowls. Plus, snap a few shots with Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch (if he’s in the mood), and knock out your holiday shopping at the nearby Boho Market. Word on The Square, there may be a chance of snow, so head over this month to find out. 

Caring Santa

DECEMBER 4 thrU DECEMBER 24, 11 A.M.–7 P.M. & Sunday 12 P.M.–6P.M. | KATY MILLS

Santa Claus is coming to town or, in this case, to Katy Mills! Children with special needs and their families are invited to Katy Mills for a jolly photo experience with Caring Santa. Holiday magic will definitely be in the air, as this amazing event will be set up to support the sensory, physical, and other developmental needs of kids with all abilities. 

Noche Buena

DECEMBER 23, 4 P.M. | MONKEY’S TAIL

Kick off your Christmas celebration at Monkey’s Tail highly anticipated Noche Buena. The festive event will feature a festive photo booth, photos with Santa, and a wheel of prizes for visiting guests. As the night settles, a mariachi band will play and cool tunes by DJ FLO will follow after. Customers can party under the decked out halls while sipping on festive drinks like the Frozen Andes Mint, Horchata Eggnog, Mistletoe Margarita, and Oh Cactus Tree. Guests can also warm up with a delicious Hot & Bothered made with brown butter, pumpkin, rum, and hot cinnamon tea, and a round of tamales. Sit around the 14-foot tree on the heated patio.

Christmas Village at Bayou Bend

DECEMBER 9 thru DECEMBER 30, 5:30 P.M.—9 P.M. | BAYOU BEND COLLECTION AND GARDENS 

Discover an immersive Christmas experience at Bayou Bend! This event features a dazzling bridge that brings you into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights throughout the 14-acre estate. Highlights of the holiday event include a faux-snow slide, carolers, photos with Santa, and more! Just make sure to remain home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as the village will be closed on those days.

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