There’s no place like Houston for the holidays. Houstonians can enjoy bright lights displays, holiday-themed performances and festive foods and traditions from its diverse communities. Read on to find out about H-town’s diverse holiday activities.
GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
Just north of Houston, head to Tomball for the annual German Fest Christmas Market. The three-day event (December 9, 10 & 11) features live music, more than 160 street vendors, performers, and German food, of course! Don’t miss the jam-packed lineup perfect for the whole family to enjoy. You may even see Santa! Admission is free. More information at tomballgermanfest.org.
RIVER OAKS LIGHTS
Christmas in Houston isn’t complete without a drive through River Oaks to see holiday lights! The city’s most popular neighborhood to visit during the holiday season features mansions decked out in the most awe-inspiring and bright lights. It’s the perfect family activity! Simply hop in the car, jam to holiday music and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Christmas holiday. You may even spot Santa Claus!
TEXAS BONITA HOLIDAY MARKET
Join the festivities on the Esplanade at Navigation in Houston’s East End neighborhood this holiday season! The Texas Bonita Holiday Market on December 17 is from 3pm-8pm and it’s the best way to get your holiday shopping done while supporting local vendors. There will be live music, food and culture. It is a pet-friendly event as well! Mark your calendars now.
MECA’S FIESTA GUADALUPANA & POSADA
In honor of the Virgen de Guadalupe, MECA will hold its Fiesta Guadalupana on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy pan dulce, hot chocolate, musical performances, and a night market with more than 20 vendors. On Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m., MECA will also host La Posada In Old Sixth Ward, a community re-creation of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem to find shelter during the night of the birth of Christ featuring live music, a piñata, free hot chocolate and pan dulce. There will also be a surprise for kids!
THE CHRISTMAS REVELS
From December 16-18, view The Christmas Revels (“KEEP MAGICK” A 17TH CENTURY CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE) at MATCH in Midtown. An American teen goes on a journey to learn about the history of the Tower of London! Viewers can listen to music, dancing, the "Lord of the Dance," the Abotts Bromley Horn Dance, and a Mummers’ Play all of the elements that make for a “magickal” Christmas Revels!
COLOR FACTORY’S WINTER COLORLAND
It’s the most colorful time of the year at the Color Factory’s WINTER COLORLAND in Upper Kirby! Dress up in your festive gear and get ready for holiday photo ops, installations including a ski lift through the confetti snowstorm and festive treats to taste like Butterscotch flavored ice cream! Visitors of all ages can enjoy displays of frosty, snow-fetti, receive an exclusive retro mug, create a pom pom wreath and more! It’s the perfect place to invite your friends to capture all the snow-tastic and Insta-worthy photos this holiday season!
HOLIDAY SWEET & SAVORY TREATS
Treat yourself to a holiday treat! El Bolillo Bakery is worth a visit at any time during the year but in December, you’ll find tons of delicious Christmas cookies and sweets to add to your haul. For Three Kings Day, look for rosca de reyes. At Three Brothers Bakery, visitors can pick up a variety of holiday treats, from stollen (German-style fruit and nut cake) to dipped cookies.
You can’t have Christmas in Houston without tamales. Traditionally eaten around the holidays, these bundles of masa and meat are a must. The Tamale Stand at Arnaldo Richards’ Picos carries Mexican tamales norteños wrapped in corn husks and tamales oaxaqueños wrapped in banana leaf with various fillings.