Houston Holiday Guide 2016

Houston Holiday Guide 2016



The Annual Galveston County Fair & Rodeo WinterFest will return and snow, Santa and mutton bustin action will be part of this year’s holiday fun. There will be children’s activities, food trucks, pony and hay rides, family fun, caroling and much more.

Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Snowflakes. Sword fights. Dancing dolls. And a Christmas tree that reaches the sky. In this, the most traditional tale, Clara and Drosselmeyer travel together to the Land of the Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy is reunited with her prince – and where the magic happens. With grand sets and stunning costumes, The Nutcracker, features the entire company of dancers playing hundreds of fun and exciting new roles.

Gingerbread Build Off

Architecture Center Houston will host the 8th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off at City Hall’s Hermann Square Saturday, December 10, 2016. Competing teams will create their masterpieces using 100% edible materials. More than 3,000 spectators are expected to attend and cheer on the teams, play in the kids’ construction zone, and see Santa! All of that entertainment is free and open to the public!

Santa Hustle

Santa Claus is comin’, and is running to your town! Join us and many of your Santa friends at the Santa Hustle Galveston 5k & Half Marathon. See thousands of Santas race along the streets and the oceanfront path. Jingle all the way through the course with candy and cookies, festive music, creative Christmas images, and so much more, it is all designed to get you in the perfect holiday mood. It is bound to be a Christmas tradition you do with your family and friends year after year.

Holidays in the Plaza

Get into the spirit as Houston Choral Showcase takes the stage in Sugar Land Town Square to sing your favorite holiday tunes!

Jingle Bell Run

The Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get out, get moving and raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. Wear a holiday-themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Show off your ugly Christmas sweater. Complete a 5-kilometer run or walk with your team members, spreading smiles, good cheer and a winning spirit.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Kwanzaa Celebration

Head over to Third Ward for a Kwanzaa Celebration and enjoy a tree lighting, live music, kids activities, vendors, and fireworks.

Light Displays

Festival of Lights

As one of the largest holiday celebrations in the region, Festival of Lights has become a holiday tradition for families and groups alike. Enjoy more than one million lights within 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays and nightly live entertainment. You can also skate around on the area’s only outdoor ice skating rink (bring your own skates or rentals available), try out our Arctic Slide or take pictures with Santa.

Zoo Lights

The Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland. Stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo and take in the sights and sounds of the season. Enjoy festive carols, sip hot chocolate, and take in the more than 2 million lights! Fifteen miles of eco-friendly LED lighting illuminate our ancient oak trees and decorate the paths to light your way.

Magical Winter Lights

The Magical Winter Lights will run in Houston this winter until January 8, 2017 at Gulf Greyhound Park. Magical Winter Lights is a spectacular, larger-than-life attraction with a fresh take on the traditional holiday light show.

Alvin Christmas Train

The train ride is a unique experience through over 300,000 lights and hundreds of Christmas decorations. Colorful gingerbread villages, penguin snow lands and life size storybook illustrations are all some of the scenes you and your family will experience along the way. Handmade pizza at Big Al’s Pizza Parlor, hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn, cotton candy: all great eats you will find at the Christmas Train.

MainStreet America Lights of Hope

MainStreet America will be hosting its annual holiday tradition of Christmas on MainStreet, which will take place every Saturday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. ending on Dec. 17. Come visit Santa as well as other Christmas characters, including Frosty the Snowman and the Gingerbread Man. Bring the whole family out for a night of Christmas magic and make our tradition part of your family tradition.

Lights in the Heights

Bask in the Christmas spirt and take in the beautifully decorated homes of the Woodland Heights while enjoying holiday musical performers on front porches. Homes in the Woodland Heights remain decorated throughout December and can be viewed any night of the month by car or by foot on the sidewalks.