When it comes to the holiday season, Houston has a mind of its own. Always ready to think outside the box, Houston-ites paint the town with a multicolored brush – from icy rainforest kingdoms to Chinese lanterns and Texas-German Christmas markets.
Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival
When the Tomball neighborhood decks out for the holidays, you can count on it being different – and a whole lot of fun. We’re talking yodeling contests, polka bands, tuba-meisters and strolling carolers, all dressed in Bavarian-style costumes with a festive twist. Local vendors at the Tomball Christmas Market offer old-style European gifts, antiques, handmade toys, chocolates, soft warm pretzels and German beer. Street performers, a petting zoo, arts-and-crafts booths and live music keep things lively from December 8 to 10.
It wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the classics, so here’s a roundup of some must-see traditional Christmas performances in Houston.
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas: Running through December 30th, the Charles Dickens classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim lights up the stage at the Alley Theatre.
The Nutcracker: Houston Ballet puts its own special touch on the timeless glimmering story of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Kingdom of Sweets, along with little Clara, Cavalier and the Mouse King. Snag some tickets for performances through December 28.
A Midnight Clear: A musical Tale of Christmas: Join the cast of A Midnight Clear at Stage Repertory Theatre for a musical story featuring the Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart. Other holiday favorites at Stage Rep are a hilarious rendition of Panto Cinderella, and A Very Stages New Years Eve with dinner, bingo, cabaret and a countdown to midnight.
Ice Land Rainforest Holiday at Moody Gardens
With a new rainforest theme for 2017, Moody Gardens on Galveston Island proves once again that it’s the queen of holiday magic. Master ice carvers create a mystical journey through rainforest terrain, with monkeys, butterflies, brilliantly hued orchids and exotic birds. An arctic slide leads you past towering trees, ancient ruins and raging rivers on a thrilling journey. Eight different attractions include ice-skating, ice land, train rides and the Cirque Joyeux Noel.
Millions and millions of LED lights twinkle up the skies over Houston in December, including 300,000 of them at the Zoo Lights displays at Houston Zoo. Get ready for life-sized illuminated animal sculptures and at least 50 animal-themed light shows, along with “Holly Berry,” a flashing, blinking 1958 Cadillac grooving to holiday tunes. The Zoo Lights keeps it all going through mid-January.
Magical Winter Lights
The Magical Winter Lights festival at Gulf Greyhound Park may be the most fascinating holiday experience you’ll ever have. In 2017, seven themed sections highlight vibrant cultures from across the globe, including Mystery of the East, base on a traditional Chinese lantern festival. The Lonestar State section is a natural favorite for Texans, featuring a 36-foot-tall cowboy lantern and a concoction of mazes leading to Texas icons. Take the whole family along for amusement rides, dinosaur exhibits, acrobatic performances and a dazzling lighted castle. It continues through the New Year, until January 2.
Regardless of the season, living in Houston brings you directly in touch with art, culture, festivities and more. Stop by one of our Houston apartment communities to find your new home!