Believe it or not, it’s already December. Between the holiday shopping, decorating, eating, and more eating, there awaits a splendid assortment of magical things to do in the city this holiday season. Read on to discover these enchanting things to do in Houston this December! [Featured image: @chuckperez_photos]
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 Jazz featuring ‘Christmas Time Is Here’ and More
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring ‘The Nutcracker’ and More
This season, “A Very Sinatra Christmas Special” will be presented by Concerts Under the Stars! Join us at the exquisite Marriott Marquis, and let us immerse you in the holiday cheer as we perform a set list that Frank Sinatra himself loved to sing during the festive season! Grab tickets here to save your spot.
Prepare your wand for spellcasting, encounter Hippogriffs and Nifflers, and immerse yourself in breathtaking moments inspired by scenes from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. Following all the excitement, a charming village awaits, offering warm food and a blazing fire. Don’t pass up the chance to step into our Wizarding World-inspired experience.
Have you ever been curious about the sensation of dining in complete darkness? Research indicates that a significant 80% of individuals rely on their visual perception while eating. By removing this sense, the idea is that your other senses, such as taste and smell, become heightened, transforming your dining experience.
Get your tickets for Dining in the Dark, an exclusive blindfolded tasting event featuring a surprise menu. Immerse yourself in a mysterious and interactive culinary adventure!
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.
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.
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?
14. 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.
With 23,000-square-foot to play with, Puttery will comprise four themed mini golf courses across two levels in addition to multiple bars. Despite it’s exciting design, Puttery aims to be recognized for its speciality cocktails and chef driven menu as much as it’s elegant putting courses. Whether you’re eating or playing, a delectable food and beverage program with shareable plates and craft cocktails aims to tempt people in regardless of whether they plan for some light competition or not.
Thankfully, there are plenty of coffee houses scattered about the city for residents to take refuge, re-energize, and maybe eat a scone or two.
- Rev up your mornings at the motorcycle and coffee garage.
- Secret Garden offers various international coffees with options in the form of Vietnamese, Greek Espresso, Greek Freddo Cappuccino, Turkish Coffee, and more.
- Husband-and-wife caffeine team, Manuel and Martha Gil, have recently opened Segundo Lab inside Ironworks near downtown, bringing rich, creative java flavors to the Second Ward.
Slated to open this December, the massive entertainment venue will consist of two 18-hole golf courses, a patio restaurant complete with rooftop bar, beer garden, and ice cream parlor – according to Eater.
Downtown, Houston has already established itself as the holiday epicenter of the city, but come Friday, the area will become an absolute beacon of holiday entertainment with the opening of “Winter Wonderlawn” at POST Houston on December 2.
While other cities might have the advantage of snow and cozy traditional weather, here in south we make do with what we have. If you haven’t already hit the ice this season, can really do so at Moody Garden’s Ice Land – a holiday experience complete with ice sculptures, characters, decor and more, not excluding a crystal ice bar.
26-30. Sweeten Up at a Speakeasy
There’s something special about speakeasies. The secretive, vicarious forbidden feel of transporting back to the prohibition make imbibing cocktails all the more tantalizing. Stow away in wonderful hidden bars that Houston has to offer!
- So Clutch, the owners of the Concrete Cowboy, Clutch Bar, and a host of establishments in other US cities, opened the doors of the Sugar Room on Washington Avenue. The cocktail lounge hidden inside a local bakery features a glamorous selection of drinks as well as tasty treats.
- Tucked away in the corner of Cantina Barba’s back patio is a scanty, nondescript, somewhat rusty container. The door on which advertises “Mijo’s Mezcal Bar” – which, to our knowledge, lays the smallest bar in Houston.
- Relive the ’20s and all of its splendor at the Daisy Buchanan Lounge, from the group behind Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse. The flashy new 52-seat lounge, located at what was once Bar Victor on 4321 Montrose Blvd, is made in the image of the era infamously captured in Scott F. Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby.
Parked on Montrose Blvd., Bacco Wine Garden is an intimate, fire-lit, two-story bar and patio that serves wine, beer, and an assortment of Italian comfort food. Beyond the wraparound balcony, there lies a dazzling wine and beer bus for patrons to share an even more intimate experience.
Located at 310 Main St, Behind Closed Doors is an elevated new cocktail concept that comprises of multiple bars, including secret rooms, DJs, and all the vibes.
Find exquisite cocktails, shareable plates, and a breathtaking atmosphere at Simone on Sunset’s European-style courtyard and wine garden.
As stated in its name, Simone on Sunset is located on 2418 Sunset Blvd. Upon approach, the Rice Village hidden gem dazzles with a stunning display of patio lights. Suspended from the awning, spiraling up its trellises, and hovering over the courtyard, lights set the garden aglow with an intimate and effervescent ambiance.
34-38. Hit the Dive Scene
Houston thankfully has plenty of places to take shelter in a flurry of rain: whether to escape the weather, shoot a round of pool, grab a cheap beer, or to play a song on a jukebox, consult this list to discover where to go.
- Those who leave up their festive decorations year round, like the people over at Grand Prize Bar, are complete freaking lunatics – and we love them for it.
- La Carafe Wine Bar is a historic haunt housed in a building that’s stood for over a century and remains to be the oldest in the city of Houston.
If you’re looking for a taste of Spanish cuisine, with the sight, sound, and feel of Madrilenian nightlife, MAD Houston is your ticket.
Markets are surging in Houston these days. Recently, the city has been blessed with not one but two mixed-media markets, that which continue to host headlining musicians, art galleries and expositions, and excellent eateries. Most recently, Lyric Market has opened in the Downtown Theater District.
Nothing quite says “living the highlife” like clinking glasses on a city rooftop. Touch the sky this season with a brunch, evening, or nightcap on the most jaw-dropping rooftops in Houston.
Creating gingerbread houses is a holiday tradition that seems appealing in theory, but in practice, it often turns into a tedious task that can drain any semblance of holiday cheer.
In other words, the process of making a gingerbread house can be a bit of a nightmare, but the end result, the actual house, is truly delightful. That’s why Gingerbread Village, a life-sized holiday attraction designed for the entire family, is a genuine delight.
43-51. Eat Your Heart Out
Houston’s culinary scene is a vast, rich landscape populated with delicious eateries, scrumptious bakeries, and Tex-Mex as far as the eye can see.
- Whether it’s a classic Neapolitan-style Margherita, a traffic cone-sized slice, or some warped creation piled high with everything and the kitchen sink – we don’t discriminate when it comes to pizza. Any way you slice it, here’s 10 of the best pizza parlors in the Houston area!
- Not all buffets are created equal. When seeking out a local in which to stock up on calories to last you the winter hibernation, we recommend heading to one of our 10 favorite all-you-can-eat buffets in Houston.
- Whataburger, Taco Bell, McDonald’s – the usual suspects when it comes to late-night munchies. Sometimes, though, you got to broaden your horizons, especially when a glorious late-night food scene of delis, pizzerias, taquerias await in the city of Houston.
- Hot, cold, rain, or shine, ice cream is a good call on any day. Here’s the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in Houston
- Like breakfast tacos, kolaches are synonymous with breakfast in Texas. Savory, comfortable, portable – perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, or bought-by-the-dozen hangover cure. Unlike similar handheld breakfast staples such as donuts, bagels, and croissants, it’s not so easy finding kolaches outside of Texas. We’d probably travel more if you could, but for now, we’ll stay here in Houston with our favorite comfort breakfast food on the go.
- Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of pie at our favorite diners in Houston
It’s not officially the holiday season until the city’s many neighborhoods are completely suffused in holiday lights and decorations. This season, be sure to drive through Houston’s brightest and most festive neighborhoods and streets.
Whether you identify with Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist, or see yourself as a modern-day Scrooge, you have the opportunity to dress up as your favorite Charles Dickens character at the upcoming Dickens on the Strand event in Galveston. This event is set to recreate the streets of 19th-century London in Galveston from December 1 to 3.
Let the sound take you away… Off The Record is a speakeasy behind a vinyl shop now open at 416 Main Street. Inside this jazzy little haunt, visitors can lounge on crushed velvet couches, drink music-themed cocktails, and enjoy the sounds of resident DJs.
‘Tis the season in Houston! It’s time to illuminate your home, set up the Christmas tree, and adorn the mantle with stockings. If you’re looking to enhance your inner Clark Griswold, be sure to visit Craftex, the holiday supply store that’s the closest thing to Santa’s Workshop in Houston!
While the North Pole may seem distant from the southern regions, Houston-area residents can experience a touch of it this holiday season at the Galveston Railroad Museum.
At the museum, visitors can explore the legendary Polar Express, not only witnessing the enchanting Christmas steam engine but also enjoying a ride to the North Pole.