From light displays to annual H-Town traditions, get into the holiday spirit this year with these Houston winter events.
November 15 – December 29, 2019
The Alley Theatre presents everyone’s favorite holiday ghost story, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This family-friendly favorite is sure to get any Scrooge into the Christmas spirit!
Nov 15, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020
This festival is fun for the whole family with nightly acrobatic performances, carnival rides and games, an interactive dino area, and larger-than-life lantern displays of world landmarks, a Christmas village, the Houston skyline, and more.
November 23 - January 12, 2020
One of the city’s most beloved holiday traditions returns to the Houston Zoo. Stroll through the zoo grounds, hot chocolate in hand, and take in the winter wonderland. Get your photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus, sit on the giant ice throne, traverse the 100-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light, explore the 4-D Enchanted Forest, and see a giant Ice Dragon come to life!
November 29 - December 29, 2019
The Houston Ballet presents Stanton Welch’s lavish production of The Nutcracker at Wortham Theater Center’s Brown Theater this holiday season. Set to one of Tchaikovsky's most famous compositions, the classic two-act ballet follows Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on a whimsical Christmas Eve journey.
Saturday, November 30, 2019
It’s the centennial celebration of the Mayor's annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting in Hermann Square at City Hall in the heart of downtown Houston. The free, family fun holiday tradition features Santa, holiday tunes, fireworks, and the lighting of the towering Holiday Tree.
Make the holidays brighter for a child in need by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for the World’s Ultimate Toy Drive benefiting Toys for Tots.
Theatre Under the Stars recognizes that “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Christmas’ biggest brand advocate, Buddy the Elf, comes to The Hobby Center this holiday season in a Broadway hit based on the movie. Follow Buddy through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, past the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and through the Lincoln Tunnel as he discovers the Big Apple, his real father, and the true meaning of Christmas.
December 12–30, 2019
Holiday-themed tours of Ima Hogg’s historic mansion offer an immersive Christmas experience with live actors, theatrical effects, and Christmas decor. Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is a historic home set in a serene 14-acre garden, nestled in River Oaks. A dazzling bridge leads you to the winter wonderland, with thousands of lights dotting the estate. See a model train circle the 15-foot Christmas tree, participate in a snowball fight with cotton balls, sled down a faux-snow slide, play games, hear carols by the Mistletones, get your photo with Santa (through Dec 23), and shop for gifts at the Shop at Bayou Bend.
The Toyota Center is hosting a lot of good shows this winter, including Cher and Chance the Rapper, but the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is always a holiday hit. See the multi-platinum, critically-acclaimed progressive rock group perform Christmas Eve and Other Stories, featuring material based on their hugely popular 1996 rock opera.
Get a head start on those New Year’s resolutions and run the Houston Marathon. So much more than a race, the event features a Health & Fitness EXPO, kickoff concert, We Are Houston 5K, RunFest at Discovery Green on Jones Lawn, and a half marathon. The marathon attracts more than 20,000 entrants from around the world and 200,000 spectators to the downtown area.
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Head to Chinatown to ring in the Year of the Rat at the Chinese Community Center’s free Lunar New Year Festival. This family-friendly festival features dragon and lion dances, local artists and businesses, food vendors, games, cultural performances, and raffles.
Fri, Dec 13 – Sat, Dec 14, 2019
Up, up, and away! Liftoff over to Brookshire Polo Club in Brookshire, TX as the Houston Hot Air Balloon Festival & Victory Cup Polo Match returns for its 15th year with balloons, polo, fashion, and food. Be there bright and early for the morning launch, or arrive later for the evening glows and tethered rides.
February 29, 2020 - March 22, 2020
Cirque du Soleil celebrates Alegria’s 25th anniversary with a reincarnation of the classic masterpiece, where a king’s fool and a dusty aristocracy lead a once-glorious kingdom that has fallen to decay. Head Under the Big Top at Sam Houston Race Park to see Alegría’s ravishing costumes, stunning choreography, acrobatic feats, modernized musical arrangements, and clowns.
March 3-22, 2020
The premier rodeo event in the country comes to Houston for 20 days, with nightly concerts, a Bar-B-Que contest, livestock shows, a parade, and more.