Skip to main content

Houston Holiday Happenings 

Published Nov 14, 2022 by Megan Broussard

Houston Ballet Nutcracker

The holiday season in Houston is a magical time. The city cools down, lights decorate every corner, and families are offered a variety of ways to celebrate. From fun festivals to symphony shows, there is something for everyone. Check out our roundup below for ways to make the most of the holiday season in H-town. 

Holiday Shows Around Town 

Houston Symphony
Disney’s Fantasia
Thanksgiving Weekend
Watch the beloved Disney classic while the Symphony brings the soundtrack to life.  

Home Alone
Dec. 3, 2022 
Listen to renowned composer John Williams’ score performed alongside the movie in the beautifully decorated Jones Hall. 

Very Merry POPS
Dec. 15 – 18, 2022 
Broadway’s talented N’Kenge joins the Houston Symphony and Chorus for classic yuletide carols and festive favorites. 

Houston Ballet 
Nov. 25 – Dec. 27 
The Nutcracker is must for every Houston holiday bucket list. Attending this performance is a tradition for many families and is truly the perfect holiday experience for the whole family. Behind on holiday shopping? You can also attend the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, which is a shopping wonderland that benefits the Houston Ballet Foundation. 

Festivals to Attend 

Dickens on the Strand
Dec. 2 – 4 
Transport back to the Victorian era while walking the streets of Galveston’s strand. This annual festival features holiday food and drinks as well as Victorian-inspired crafts and other unique shopping opportunities. 

Discovery Green Winter Celebration
 Nov. 11 – Jan. 29 
Discovery Green is known for offering Houstonians a creative, green space to have a good time year-round. It is especially magical in the wintertime when it transforms into an ice-skating rink. Opening night kicks off Nov. 11, and the first 50 skaters skate free! 

Tomball German Festival
Dec. 9 – 11 
Experience German food, dancing and music while shopping through the festival market, which has over 150 unique vendors. 

Houston’s Best Lights 

Moody Gardens Lights in Galveston
Nov. 19 – Jan 7 
The stunning lights of Moody Gardens will twinkle on again this year! As the holidays approach, Moody Gardens gets ready to host the spectacular sights and stunning displays that make up the Festival of Lights. In addition to light shows, there are several other winter activities for families and visitors, such as smores stations, train rides and arctic slides. 

Santa Wonderland
Nov. 11 – Dec. 30th
Located in College station, this is worth the drive for any Houstonian. Not only does Santa’s wonderland have spectacular lights and décor, but there are also a wide range of activities, such as tubing through the snow, hay rides pictures with Santa and more. 

Zoo lights
Nov. 18 – Jan 8 
TXU Energy Zoo lights is one of Houston’s favorite lights experiences, and for a good reason! Strings of lights, glowing flowers and animal-themed displays illuminate the zoo as visitors walk through at night. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and snap a picture with Santa for the perfect evening out. 

These are just a few ways to experience the city during the happiest time of the year. Let us know your favorite Houston holiday happening by sharing a picture on Instagram and tagging @liveworkhou. Check out more ways to explore Houston.

Related News

Economic Development

Potential Development Could Spur More Economic Activity in The Woodlands

11/18/22
Two new hotels and more shopping could be headed to The Woodlands as the area continues to see growth.  The Woodlands Mall wants to expand with a minimum of 80,000 square feet of new retail space in an open-air, mixed-use commercial area that would also include a full-service hotel with at least 200 rooms, a select-service hotel with at least 125 rooms and a multi-level parking garage. The mixed-use project would be located south of Macy’s near the movie theater and be developed in two phases. The total area encompasses 15 acres. Concept renderings of The Woodlands Mall expansion (Courtesy: The Woodlands Township)   The Woodlands Township recently entered into an economic development agreement with The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone and The Woodlands Mall Associates, LLC. The project would be in an economic development zone, which spurs economic growth and job creation.   According to documents from The Woodlands Township, depending on the scale of the project, it is estimated to generate anywhere from $180 to $275 million, based over a 30-year term. The range is based on whether the developer decides to build a smaller or larger parking garage. The township would receive more than 70% of the generated revenue and the mall would receive the remainder. The agreement also calls for the reimbursement of the parking garage costs up to $80 million. The developers have not announced when construction on the project would begin. The Woodlands Mall will decide if and when they will move forward with the plan. The Woodlands area has recently seen more economic development wins. Cellipont Bioservices recently broke ground on its new headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Research Forest area after announcing earlier this year it was moving from California to Texas. SI Group Inc. also announced earlier this year that it’s moving its global headquarters from New York State to the Hughes Landing complex. The Woodlands area has seen substantial population growth over the past decade. From 2011 to 2021, Montgomery County’s population grew more than 37% to 648,886 people.   Learn more about Montgomery County's rapid growth, business developments and future plans during the Partnership's Future of the Houston Region event on Dec. 13.
Read More
Economy

How Much Will Houstonians Spend this Holiday Season?

11/17/22
The holiday season is upon us, but amid inflation worries and a potential recession on the horizon, will Houstonians spend as much this year on gifts and seasonal purchases?   Sales totals in the City of Houston are up 13.6% so far this year based on sales and use tax data released by the Texas Comptroller’s Office. However, with inflation up 7.6 percent locally, it’s unclear whether consumers are actually buying more goods or simply paying more for the same items or fewer.   The retail trade association ICSC estimates that consumers will spend 6.7% more this holiday season than last year. The ICSC survey found that roughly 75% of respondents plan to begin their holiday shopping earlier this season and 43% said they’re looking for deals and promotions. A different report from the professional services firm PwC found that 74% of shoppers plan to spend the same or more than they did last year. Overall, consumers plan to spend an average of $1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment this year, close to what they spent in 2021, according to the PwC report. But that’s up 20% over pandemic spending in the 2020 holiday season.   Houston’s retail market is fairly healthy, having recouped all of the jobs the sector lost in 2020 and opening hundreds of new outlets over the last two years. The metro retail market absorbed more than 500,000 square feet of space in Q3 and absorption year-to-date totals 2.8 million square feet, according to the commercial real estate firm Colliers. Limited available space is helping push rental rates up, climbing 2% over the last year.   Discretionary spending like what occurs during the holidays has a lot to do with consumer confidence. Nationally, confidence has slipped in the most recent monthly reports, thanks in part to recession fears. But Houston’s job growth has proven resilient, with 14,800 jobs created in September, the most recent data available. Thirteen of the 18 major industry sectors in metro Houston tracked by the Texas Workforce Commission had fully recouped their pandemic losses as of September.   While how much Houstonians will buy this season remains to be seen, it’s clear they will be paying more for whatever they purchase. Take the Thanksgiving meal, for example. Turkey and trimmings for 10 to 12 of your nearest and dearest will cost 20% more this year than in 2021, according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.     
Read More

Related Events