Better than Christmas

Your Guide to the 2020 Virtual Nutcracker Market

How to navigate your monthlong shopping spree (and, yes, there're new vendors).

By Catherine Wendlandt October 28, 2020

The Nutcracker Market is almost here. On Monday, the Houston Ballet released more information about its virtual monthlong shopping extravaganza, and, y’all, it’s all that it’s cracked up to be.

Here now, tricks to navigating the Market, some general information, and the full list of vendors. Seriously, Christmas might’ve actually come early this year.

The basics

  • Dates: November 11–December 11
  • The first day, November 11, is Wells Fargo Early Bird Day. Entrance is $30, but you’ll get first pick on all the merchandise, plus special discounts and promotions. Buy your pass here.
  • From November 12 on, general access to the Market is free. Just click “Shop Now” on the Market’s homepage.
  • While the virtual Market is open 24/7, vendors and Nutcracker staff will be generally available 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • This year, 11 percent of the market’s merchandise sales, and all the proceeds from Early Bird Day, will support the Houston Ballet, its Houston Ballet Academy, and its scholarship programs. 

Shoppers can navigate the Virtual Market in several different ways.

You’ll still get to mill about the booths, albeit virtually. Remember your program map from last year’s Market? The online platform will feature a similar interactive layout. Wander around, and when you want to view merchandise or learn more about a specific “booth,” just click.

The shops are doing all they can to replicate those same old feelings of holiday shopping cheer: Once you click on a booth, you’ll be met with demo videos, special promos, and merch photos. When you want to buy something, you’ll be directed to each merchant’s individual website.

And if you’re one of those shoppers who, after a mimosa or two, likes to initiate a friendly tête-à-tête with the stranger next to you at the Two Tequila Sisters booth about the best deals and spots to check out, don’t worry, you haven’t been forgotten. The online platform will feature a discussion tab for folks to chat about what they’re looking for, seek out recs for the best gifts, or just dish about how great the shopping is. 

New booths

This year’s market features around 150 shops for you to peruse to your heart’s content. While you can’t swipe your credit card as per usual, you can still run up your credit limit at the more than 120 returning shops, including favorites like The Round Top Collection and Sassy Cups. (Check out the full list of merchants here)

Or, you can give some love to the 19 Nutcracker newcomers this year:

Food and Cooking Accessories 

Boone Branch

  • Where they’re from: Seymour, Tennessee
  • What they sell: Magnetic beer bottle openers

Casa Truffle

  • Where they’re from: Florida and Alba, Italy
  • What they sell: Truffles


  • Where they’re from: Arkansas
  • What they sell: Stainless steel grilling tools with built-in LED flashlights

Apparel and Gifts 


  • Where they’re from: California
  • What they sell: Inspirational tees for all ages

Maria Victoria

  • Where they’re from: Austin
  • What they sell: Fair-trade, handcrafted handbags by Mexican artisans

Parker & Hyde

  • Where they’re from: Dallas
  • What they sell: Cowhide bags, furniture, and rugs

Pens by Mike

  • Where they’re from: The Woodlands
  • What they sell: Handcrafted, exotic pens

Rockwell Tharp

  • Where they’re from: Sandestin, Florida
  • What they sell: Handbags and footwear, including some truly fabulous boots

Sugar & Spice Apparel

  • Where they’re from: Austin
  • What they sell: Boho-chic women’s clothing and hats

Tall Order Socks

  • Where they’re from: Jericho, New York
  • What they sell: Dress socks for taller, large-footed men (Seriously, they offer options for up to a men’s size 20.)

Traveling Gypsy

  • Where they’re from: McKinney
  • What they sell: Vintage-inspired handmade jewelry

Baby Things


  • Where they’re from: Chicago, Illinois
  • What they sell: Fun kids bath products, plus some bath and body merch for you

Twisted K

  • Where they’re from: Elmore City, Oklahoma
  • What they sell: Baby accessories, plus outdoor games and custom T-shirt quilts

Yikes Twins

  • Where they’re from: Austin
  • What they sell: Hooded towels and other children’s blankets and accessories

Have 2 Have It

  • Where they’re from: Center
  • What they sell: “Huggable” and “Ear-Resistible” plush and personalized stuffed animals

Holiday Decorations

Holiball, LLC

  • Where they’re from: Houston
  • What they sell: Inflatable, oversized indoor/outdoor Christmas ornaments

The Incredible Christmas Place

  • Where they’re from: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • What they sell: All things Christmas

Parke Avenue

  • Where they’re from: Texas
  • What they sell: Christmas décor and stone-washed garden crosses

MagTrim Designs, LLC

  • Where they’re from: Melbourne Beach, Florida
  • What they sell: Magnetic holiday chandelier and lamp ornaments
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