The Most Festive Events Happening in Houston This Holiday Season

Deck the halls! Hit the ice skating rink! Light the trees!

a scene of winter lights
Courtesy of Magical Winter Lights
Courtesy of Magical Winter Lights

The temperatures have dropped and the holidays are sneaking up way too fast. But fear not! We have you covered with all the festive happenings you need to add to your Houston winter calendar. Holiday light extravaganzas? Check. Ice skating under the Houston skyline? Yep! A nostalgic Christmas-themed pop-up bar where you can sip Krampus cocktails while ignoring the fact that you haven’t even begun holiday shopping yet? You betcha! Here’s everything you need to do in Houston this festive season.

Holiday Lights in Houston

Uptown Houston Holiday Trees

November 1–January 1
Post Oak Boulevard, free
Post Oak Boulevard will be illuminated by over 1,000 twinkling stars and 300 dazzling 20-foot holiday trees from November through the New Year. Visitors can enjoy the light show synced to festive music by downloading the Uptown Radio app on the Apple App Store and Google App Store.

November 3–January 1
Hurricane Harbor, Typhoon Texas Waterpark, $29 per car
This drive-thru Light Park has locations at Spring’s Hurricane Harbor and Katy’s Typhoon Texas Waterpark, rocking DJ holiday beats, millions of lights, and elaborate displays.

November 10–December 31
Marriott Marquis Houston, $15-$25 (complimentary for hotel guests)
Luxe downtown hotel Marriott Marquis Houston is bringing back its popular Texas Winter Lights experience, illuminating its rooftop pool and Texas-shaped lazy river with more than 1,500 glittering lights and festive photo ops. Float the 80 degree waters, cozy up with hot toddies and fireside s'mores, and reserve your spot for new thrills including dinner in a private igloo and concerts under the stars.

November 11–January 7
Space Center Houston, $19.95-$27.95 (free under 3)
Experience Space City at Christmastime with this celestial, space-themed holiday lights show from Space Center Houston. The majority of the experience is outdoors, with make-your-own s’mores and hot cocoa to cap off the night.

November 17–January 7
Katy Mills, $18-25+
Folks are invited to stroll through this lights festival featuring thousands of holiday lanterns, illuminated tunnels and mazes, towering sculptures, and fun stuff like a lit up dance floor, carnivals and rides, and prehistoric playground with life-size dinosaurs.

November 17–January 7
Houston Zoo, $27.95+
Towering oaks illuminated with twinkling lights and lanterns, a 33 foot tall color changing holiday tree, and photo ops complete with fake snow are all a part of the spectacular display as the Houston Zoo lights up for the season.

December 9
Woodland Heights, free
The Heights’ holiday neighborhood block party returns for another festive year. Hit the streets to see historic homes rocking Christmas lights, nostalgic decor, snow machines, live bands, and more. The official street party goes down ‘til 9 pm, but check out area bars where the revelry will be running well into the eve.

holiday ice village
Discovery Green Holiday Ice Village | Courtesy of Lance Childers | Houston First Corporation

Fun Holiday Things to Do in Houston

November 10–January 28
Discovery Green, $8-17 (including skate rental)
Downtown Houston’s outdoor ice skating rink returns to Discovery Green this season. Pre-purchase your tickets and lace up to glide under the twinkling city skyline.

November 17–February 25
Houston Botanic Garden, $28.50
New to the Houston Botanic Garden is celebrating all holidays (including Lunar New Year) with a new holiday light show taking its inspiration from traditional Chinese lantern designs. Experience the glow of 50 enchanting lantern installations and a colossal 200-foot dragon to celebrate 2024 being the Year of the Dragon.

November 24–26, 9 am–8 pm
Todd Mission, $10–34
Closing out the Lone Star’s most interesting festival, Texas RenFest takes on the holidays at its annual Celtic Christmas celebration. Father Christmas and his elves will take over the 16th Century English Village for one last weekend of jolly (and naughty) fun.

Houston Ballet Corps de Ballet dancer Song Teng as the Rat King and Artist of Houston Ballet in Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker. | Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox (2022), courtesy of Houston Ballet

Holiday Shows in Houston

November 17–December 17, Weekends, times vary
Avenida Houston, Free
Downtown’s holiday enchantment includes “A Happy Houston Holiday,” a festive 10-day stage show featuring dazzling lights, music and dance performances, storytelling and a look at Houston’s rich, diverse culture.

November 17–December 30
Alley Theatre, $35–$88
Dickens’ holiday classic comes to life in this new adaptation, featuring grandiose sets, Victorian costumes, special effects, and “just the right amount” of caroling.

November 24–December 27
Wortham Theatre, $30+
The Houston Ballet takes on Stanton Welch’s beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker for a series of magical performances this holiday season. Set to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, experience the wonder of the Kingdom of Sweets with Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the rest of the gang.

November 28–December 24
The Hobby Center, $40–$69
Described as “The Office” meets “Project Runway,” this quirky holiday musical brings the laughs as a group of employees try to save their jobs by crafting the best ugly Christmas sweater ever made.

Photo by Melissa Hom courtesy of Miracle

Food and Drink Holiday Events in Houston

November 20–December 31
Johnny’s Gold Brick, Winnie’s, Daiquiri Time Out, no cover
Kitschy cool holiday pop-up bar Miracle is back at local watering holes Johnny’s Gold Brick, Winnie’s, and Galveston’s Daiquiri Time Out. Settle into the most over-the-top nostalgic holiday setting to sip buzzy beverages like the Christmapolitan and The Krampus. Johnny’s takes reservations via Resy, while Winnie’s will be open for walk-ins only.

November 24–December 30
Chatters Cafe, $22
Chatters Cafe is decking its halls with baubles and bows, hanging trees and wreaths, holiday tunes and winter drinks, and even more festive stuffs to usher in the Tinseltown spirit. The Christmas-themed pop-up is open for 90 minute reservation times Wednesday through Sunday.