It’s officially holiday season in Houston. What the city lacks in scenic, winter-appropriate weather and atmosphere, it compensates for with an abundance of holiday cheer in the form of events, lights, and seasonal festivities. From ice skating under the skyline’s twinkling lights, to bundling up on a rooftop for a holiday movie, here are our must-do winter activities in Houston in no particular order. [Featured image: @_uvebeenrobd_]
Join a magical celebration like no other! Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration honors the Triwizard Tournament’s most iconic tradition in a whimsical experience overflowing with magic and wonder. You don’t need to love dancing to have fun at this ball: you’ll find everything from performances and magical moments to beautiful photo ops and themed food & drink. You can also stop by the Yule Ball Market to browse exclusive merchandise and pick up a wand, if you don’t have one already.
Whether you’re looking for a beautifully unique classical music performance or a romantic candlelit experience, this performance is for you. You don’t need to know all things Tchaikovsky to enjoy the evening, simply sit back and savor the stunning atmosphere and pieces you’ll hear. Walk into one of Houston’s most exquisite buildings where the walls will be flickering by candlelight to create a magical atmosphere. Prepare to be taken into the clouds with some of the most treasured wintertime classics from Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and other master composers!
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker”
- Candlelight: Holiday Jazz featuring “Christmas Time Is Here” and More
Have you ever dreamt of stepping into a painting? Take an awe-inspiring journey into the incomparable universe of Van Gogh, one of the greatest artistic geniuses of the 19th century. Explore his life, his work, and his secrets as never before through cutting-edge 360-degree digital projections, a one-of-a-kind VR experience, and a uniquely atmospheric light and sound show. This impactful experience has already thrilled visitors in Naples, Italy, Brussels, Belgium, and the UK. Become completely immersed in the works of art around you, and feel the shift in reality as you dive deep into the world created by Van Gogh’s brush strokes.
Ever wondered what it is like to eat in the dark? Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate taste experience for many years. Studies show that 80 percent of people eat with their eyes; with that sense eliminated, the theory is that the other senses—namely taste and smell—take over to elevate your meal to a whole new level.
Get ready to experience the best bars that Houston has to offer—all in one epic New Year’s Eve crawl! Go around for champagne toasts, watch the televised ball drop in times square, and listen to the best music across all of Houston’s hottest venues. You’ll be able to enjoy drink specials all night for an incredible time without breaking the bank.
Come for a night of spectacular dance performances that you will never forget. With a line-up of amazing performers, sit back and be taken away by their dance moves and amazing costumes. This is the perfect way to start your weekend in style. Share this experience with colleagues, or even on a date that will have you talking about it into the weekend.
Discovery Green in Downtown, Houston has returned their outdoor ice rink for the holiday season. From now until January 30, Discovery Green is hosting public skates at the foot of Houston’s skyline. As per tradition, Discovery Green will be hosting a series of themed nights for skaters to enjoy on their renewable energy-run rink.
The Marquis Houston have converted their legendary downtown rooftop into a full-scale Winter Wonderland with Christmas movie nights, festive lights, and one heated lazy river for their Texas Winter Lights event – a poolside winter wonderland complete with snowfall, fireside s’mores, lit-up lawn games, and more!
Additionally, the event will feature a winter-themed dining menu, signature cocktails, 20 new made-for-Instagram installations, as well as new lighting fixtures to make your holiday season sparkle.
9. Holiday Movies At Rooftop Cinema Club
In between the decorating, shopping, and occasional binge eating, it’s good to celebrate the spirit of the season by watching some of your favorite holiday classics. In Houston, you can do just the thing at Rooftop Cinema Club, which will be screening all of your holiday favorites this December!
Screenings include: A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Arthur Christmas, and The Night Before.
Every year the Houston Zoo hosts a dazzling light spectacle for the City of Houston. This year, the zoo will continue its tradition from November 18 – January 8, 2023.
The holidays are upon us, Houston. This year, the city is getting into the spirit more than ever with brand new holiday festivities in Downtown, Houston. Beginning this November, downtown is transforming into a magical holiday destination for City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic.
When it comes to the most Houston-centric lighting display, nothing says “Space City” more than the Galaxy Lights spectacle that orbits Space Center Houston. Recently, Space Center Houston announced the opening of their annual Galaxy Lights holiday display, from November 13 – January 2, billing it as “the most technologically advanced light display in Texas” – and that’s no hyperbole.
Light Park has two locations in the Houston area, one in the parking lot of Typhoon Texas Waterpark at 555 Katy Fort Bend Rd in Katy and one in the Hurricane Harbor parking lot at 21300 Interstate 45 N.
- Drive out to Humble this year to cross off the last light show on your list. Dasher’s Light Show is a one-mile-length immersive light show located at 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy.
Heralded as one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine, Kate Weiser is a nationally-recognized chocolate-maker renowned for her dazzling seasonal treats. With several stores in Dallas and Fort Worth, the confectioner goes over the top for Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day – and this year, Weiser’s creations are going to be in Houston for all three holidays.
Sinatra Under the Stars will transport you back to a time when Sinatra reigned the scene. Enjoy a classic cocktail under the stars and melt away “those little town blues.” Don’t miss this evening of classic jazz with a touch of some hot takes on contemporary songs performed by some of Houston’s brightest talents. Sit back and relax to the sounds of Sinatra at one of the best venues that Houston has to offer! Enjoy a delicious dinner menu and light bites available for purchase and enjoy the evening at the spectacular Skylawn rooftop.
On November 18, Houston Botanic Garden will celebrate the return of their dazzling Lightscape experience. From November 18 until January 1, the one-mile trail will illuminate the Houston Botanic Garden with breathtaking light installations including a tunnel of 100,000 bulbs.
Say “howdy” to the holidays this season in College Station for the annual Santa’s Wonderland, a massive, festive, and bright holiday tradition that features a Texas-sized spectacle of lights, gingerbread village, snow playground, live music, and boundless merriment for the whole family.
For a little more holiday excitement, visitors are invited to mosey down to Frostbite Mountain in the West Pole, where they can glide down a snow-covered luge in snow tubes – just take it easy on the non-chloric, silicon-based kitchen lubricant, eh, Clark Griswold?
20. Do a Bit of Holiday Shopping at The Galleria
With only a few weeks left before Santa comes, you could do him a solid by getting a jump start on things. While online shopping has its perks, if you want the experience to be extra festive, cruise down to Galleria Houston where the lights are twinkling, the ice rink is glimmering, and the holiday tree is standing tall!
In honor of the most wonderful time of the year, some of our favorite locals have decked their halls with lights, banners, and a stock-full of yuletide libations. Follow this link to discover the 10 most cheerful places in town to have an eggnog.
Fever has an incredible deal for you! Check out the listings and movie times of our participating AMC movie theatres in Houston, get your Fever ticket, and go have fun! Whether it’s a rainy afternoon or a special date night, AMC Theatres® has your tickets to all the best comedies, action flicks, and everything in between, with just a click of a button.