When it comes to the arts, Houston has endless options. With multiple cultural districts, the city offers much to explore, including art galleries, museum exhibits, murals, and performances. Read on to find out what’s happening around Houston’s cultural districts.

A Christmas Carol

Houston’s Theater District is making the best of the pandemic by bringing audiences virtual and some live performances. Just in time for the holidays, the Alley Theatre has reimagined its production of A Christmas Carol into a creative digital adaptation of the Dickens classic that Houstonians can enjoy without leaving their home. If you haven’t seen it yet, you have until December 27 to enjoy this wonderful performing arts gift.

“Estructuras Monumentales”

Walk among the colorful, geometric sculptures that make up Estructuras Monumentales, an outdoor sculpture exhibit by New York-based Cuban artist Carmen Herrera. On view through April 23, 2021 at the Fondren Foundation Meadow in Buffalo Bayou Park, the outdoor display is a fitting activity for these socially distant times. 

If you’re up for more art, head over to nearby Sawyer Yards, home to a multitude of art galleries, artist studios and colorful murals. In fact, murals can be found throughout Arts District Houston, which encompasses Houston’s First and Sixth Ward neighborhoods. Check out the Arts District Houston mural guide and add them to your itinerary.

Nutcracker Sweets

This year, the Houston Ballet wasn’t going to leave its audiences without their beloved Nutcracker. With Nutcracker Sweets, this holiday tradition has been reimagined so families can stream Stanton Welch’s Nutcracker from the comfort of their couch. Digital access costs $35 and is available through January 8, 2021.

Nancy and Rich Kinder Building

Over in the Museum District, the Museum of Fine Arts’ newest gallery building – the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building – opened its doors in November as home to the museum’s collections of modern and contemporary artworks. Visitors will find immersive installations and thematic exhibitions in the three-level space, which is in itself an architectural piece of art with its translucent glass tube facade and light-filled gallery spaces. Admission is included with general admission to the museum. 

While you’re there, hop over to MFAH’s Caroline Wiess Law Building to see Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, a collection of objects representing more than 4,000 years of Hispanic art and culture, before it closes on January 3, 2021.

In the Mood: A Big Band New Year

The Houston Symphony wants to get your 2021 off to a swingin’ start with three nights of big band classics. Featuring vocalist David Caceres and the Houston Symphony, In the Mood: A Big Band New Year features songs such as “In the Mood,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)”, and Frank Sinatra’s “Lucky Be a Lady.” Whether you choose to attend a socially distanced concert at Jones Hall on January 8, 9 or 10 or enjoy the live streamed performance at home on January 9, you’re guaranteed a good time. 

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

Experience the tiny cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of 27 years in prison in South Africa in this Holocaust Museum Houston exhibition. Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, on display through January 3, offers visitors a sensory experience that tells a story of repression and resilience. Aside from digital media and imagery, visitors will also see letters written by Mandela and other artifacts such as police riot gear and segregation signs.

Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life

Marvel at the human anatomy in this exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. With more than 100 specimens on display, visitors to Body Worlds will learn about the inner workings of the human body, including how disease and distress affects it. While you’re there, make time to visit the museum’s other exhibits and attractions, including the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which through January 3 will be decorated with white flowers and lights for a White Christmas feel. Kiddos might especially like Trains over Texas, a model railroad exhibit where visitors can watch trains criss-cross across the state (through January 3).

Make it a Staycation

Complete your cultural itinerary with a stay at a Houston hotel in the Museum District or in Downtown, where you’ll be in close proximity to Houston’s many cultural and arts attractions. Check out these Houston hotel deals.