Houston sparkles during the holiday season, and when it comes to holiday events in Houston, there’s truly something for everyone.
2016 Holiday Events in Houston
Whether you’re on a budget or feeling flush, and whether you love brilliant lights displays, musical or theater performances, or shopping and festivals, the following Christmas events in Houston are sure to help you get into the holiday spirit.
Numerous holiday lights displays transform Houston and neighboring areas into a winter wonderland! Particular favorites include Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo (through Jan. 15), Magical Winter Lights at Galveston’s Gulf Greyhound Park (through Jan. 8), and Festival of Lights at Galveston’s Moody Gardens (through Jan. 8). Check out our list of the best holiday lights for more ideas.
Holiday train rides at Hermann Park (now through Jan. 13) — Decked out in festive garlands, the train glows after dark with colorful lights. Tickets are $3.50 per person; children age 1 and under get in free. Since holiday hours vary and may change based on weather conditions, be sure to call the park (713-524-5876) or check the Hermann Park homepage for extended hours each week. Also, note that the train closes at 3 PM on Christmas Eve and will be closed Christmas Day. (At Hermann Park Railroad, 6100 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, TX 77030.)
Ice Land Ice Sculptures Caribbean Christmas (now through Jan. 8) — Moody Gardens in Galveston takes the holidays to a new level of cool with a breathtaking undersea journey made of two million pounds of ice! Open Sundays through Fridays from 3–9 PM, and Saturdays from 12 noon–10 PM. (At Galveston’s Moody Gardens, with tickets starting at $79.)
Live Nativity at Sugar Land First United Methodist Church (Dec. 18, with shows at 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 PM) — Guests are invited to visit the manger, pet the animals and enjoy refreshments after each showing of this timeless story of the Nativity, featuring live animals and even a newborn baby. (On the front lawn at Sugarland First United Methodist Church; free.)
Home for the Holidays in Old Town Spring (now through Dec. 24) — This 36th annual celebration promises great entertainment and family fun as local shops and businesses come alive with the spirit of the season. Expect train rides, festive exhibits, live performers, and a variety of local, unique holiday gift ideas sure to delight everyone on your list. (In Old Town Spring, 25 miles north of Houston.)
Tomball German Christmas Market (Dec. 9–11) — Enjoy the family-friendly ambiance of this unique street festival, complete with biergartens, live music, an open-air market, and antique shops in Tomball’s Old Town area. (In Old Town Tomball, with free parking and shuttle service.)
Santa Hustle Galveston 5K and Half-Marathon (Dec. 18, 8 AM) — Feeling sporty this holiday season? Join thousands of runners dressed as Santa Claus in a race along Galveston’s streets and oceanfront paths. Every participant receives a Santa hat and beard and a lightweight performance hoodie! Enjoy candy, cookies, festive music, and more. (Registration starts at $50 for the 5K or $70 for the half-marathon.)
Campfire Christmas at George Ranch Historical Park (select dates, Dec. 9–17) — Visit “Christmas Past” at this year’s annual Campfire Christmas event, which features fascinating time-traveling visits to Christmas Eves in 1869, the early 1900s, and 1945. (Tickets for Friday performances start at $25; tickets for Saturday performances start at $45 and include a holiday meal.)
The Alley Theater presents A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas (a retelling of Charles Dickens’s classic story, through Dec. 29) and The Santaland Diaries (by the hilarious David Sedaris, from Dec. 1–31; for mature elves only!). (Downtown at 615 Texas Ave., with tickets starting at $35.)
The Houston Ballet presents The Nutcracker (now through Dec. 27) — This production promises “everything you love about The Nutcracker, brighter and more splendid than ever” (HoustonBallet.org). (Downtown at 601 Preston St., Houston, TX 77002; with tickets starting at $39.)
It’s a Wonderful Life with the Houston Grand Opera (select dates and times, Dec. 2–17) — The ultimate holiday classic from one of America’s leading composers. (Downtown at the Wortham Theater Center, with tickets starting at $48.)
12 Days of Christmas with the Houston Symphony (Sat. Dec. 3, shows at 10 and 11:30 AM) — The Houston Symphony joins with the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Chorale to bring you French hens, turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. The Houston Symphony is offering a wonderful schedule of holiday concerts throughout December, including the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life complete with a live orchestra on Dec. 9 and Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 16–18. (Downtown at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, with tickets ranging from $25–$40.)
We’re Here to Help You Get Ready for the Holidays
If you need help getting your house ready for holiday gatherings and out-of-town guests, ABC Home & Commercial Services can help. We can get your yard looking great, help install Christmas lighting, and even get rid of household pests.