From illuminating light shows to classic plays and performances, getting into the holiday spirit has never been easier. Here, Houston’s dazzling lineup of December holiday concerts and events.
David Rainey as Ebenezer Scrooge and the cast of Alley Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol.
A Christmas Carol
What’s a holiday celebration with the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge? The Alley Theatre’s rendition of A Christmas Carol is one-of-a-kind. Picture this: colorful Victorian costumes, spell-binding special effects, lively dancing and jaw-dropping set designs. The show runs all December, so gather your loved ones and head to the Alley for a festive feast of holiday magic. Alley Theatre, 11/17-12/30
Houston Zoo’s event features Holiday Grove, with animal-themed lanterns and hundreds of glowing flowers under the great oak trees. Plus, the Great Ape Gallery gets transformed into an illuminated underwater adventure! Final touches include a 33-foot-tall color-changing tree and a 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light. 6200 Hermann Park Drive
Duke Ellington's The Nutcracker
Get ready to witness an effortless blend of classical and jazz music as the Houston Symphony and Jazz Houston come together to spin the enchanting tale of The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s timeless melodies and Duke Ellington’s beloved take on The Nutcracker Suite will have you tapping your toes and humming to the classic holiday tunes. This one-night-only performance is a true masterpiece, so sit back, relax and let the music transport you to a winter wonderland. Jones Hall, 12/12
A Magical Cirque Christmas
What better way to celebrate the magic of the season than with a one-of-a-kind magical cirque show? Stopping down in Houston for one night only, A Magical Cirque Christmas effortlessly intertwines world-class performers, magic tricks and more, all set to your favorite holiday music. Cullen Theater, 12/17
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Houston, you won’t want to miss this hauntingly beautiful event! Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is hitting the big screen at Jones Hall for two nights only—complete with Danny Elfman’s spine-tingling tunes from the Houston Symphony’s live orchestra. There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than with dazzling spectacles and unforgettable memories. Jones Hall, 12/9-10
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve: The Best of TSO and More
Celebrating two decades as leading providers of a Christmas spectacle, Trans-Serbian Orchestra is hitting the road again and stopping in Houston for one night only. This rock band’s concert is a feast for the eyes and ears with stunning visuals, pyrotechnics and shining lights. As for the music? Think Pink Floyd and Yes, infused with classical notes and heavy metal riffs. Toyota Center, 12/10
River Oaks Christmas Lights
Take a self-guided tour of this well-appointed neighborhood as it transforms into a magical holiday village. River Oaks residents go all out every year with mansions and huge oaks decadently wrapped in dazzling lights.
The Children’s Museum Houston
Kiddos, this one is for you. The Children’s Museum Houston welcomes all with a bevy of exhibitions for every age. From the EcoStation, Newton Know-How, Matter Factory and more, we know everyone will leave the museum with a head full of ideas—and a smile on their face. As for holiday festivities? Don’t miss the kid-friendly adaptation of A Christmas Carol on Dec. 16-17, the interactive bilingual show Butterfly Buddies by the Express Children’s Theatre on Dec. 30 or the Rockin’ New Year’s Noon event on Dec 31. 1500 Binz St.
Continue a Space City tradition at Space Center Houston this holiday season. This year the museum is offering two high-tech kinetic light shows, a showing of the original film Holidays in Space, a 20-foot-tall tree, an indoor meteor shower and a 200-foot LED light tunnel. 1601 E. NASA Parkway, 11/11-1/7/2024
Houston Ballet Principal Jessica Collado as the Snow Queen and Artists of Houston Ballet in Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker’s enchanting land of sweets comes to life in Houston for the Houston Ballet’s season spectacular of Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker. To kick off the holiday magic and be transported to a world of dreams, reserve your seats early for one of the upcoming show dates at Brown Theater. Brown Theater, 11/24-12/27
Magical Winter Lights
Magical Winter Lights is back and better than ever. Illuminating Katy Mills Mall, the dazzling light display showcases an array of intricately designed lanterns in various themes, shapes and sizes. With towering sculptures, shining tunnels and interactive exhibits, there's no better way to get into the holiday spirit. 5000 Katy Mills Circle, Katy, 11/17-1/7/24
Sugar Land Holiday Lights
The 9th annual Sugar Land Holiday Lights will be held at Constellation Field. Featuring more than 3 million lights, numerous themed displays, vendors to shop from and meet-and-greets with Santa, this is a holiday treat not to be missed. 1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land, 11/17-1/1/24
Very Mery Pops
Tis the season to deck the halls and sing your hearts out with your loved ones. The Houston Symphony has a glittery holiday treat in store for you and your family. Very Mery Pops is a breathtaking concert bursting with your all-time favorite tunes, featuring the dazzling Mandy Gonzalez of Hamilton and In the Heights fame and the Houston Symphony chorus. Expect all the classics from “Jingle Bells” to other beloved melodies, making it an enchanting experience to cherish. Jones Hall, 12/20-23
Tomball German Fest Christmas Market
This December, celebrate the “gemütlichkeit" of the season at the Tomball German Fest Christmas Market. The family-friendly event boasts three stages of live music, an open-air market (with over 120 Christmas-themed vendors), antique shops, a carnival, delicious food and, of course, bier! Make sure to get there early on Saturday to catch a glimpse of the parade at 11 a.m., followed by the famous “tapping of the keg." Market St. in Old Town Tomball from S. Elm St. to S. Pine St., 12/8-10
A Very Sinatra Christmas Special
Would it even be the holiday season without Frank Sinatra’s classic tunes? To celebrate the icon’s greatest hits, Concerts Under the Stars is hosting the ultimate Christmas special at The Marriott Marquis. Expect nothing less than jaw-dropping views of the city, sweet and savory cocktails, and festive renditions of Sinatra’s holiday collection, including “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “White Christmas" and so many more. 1777 Walker St., Dec. 6, 13 and 20
Photography by: A Christmas Carol Photo by Photo by Lynn Lane; The Nutcracker Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox (2022)/Courtesy of Houston Ballet