Plan your weekend: December 5 to 8, 2013

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Make the most of your weekend with our Houston Weekend Guide for Thursday, December 5 to Sunday, December 8, 2013.

[quote_box_right]Weekend Shortcuts

All Weekend Long

Thursday, December 5

Friday, December 6

Saturday, December 7

Sunday, December 8

[/quote_box_right]It’s shaping up to be a wet and wintry weekend, but there’s gobs of holiday cheer to be found across the Bayou City, including the red, white and green lighting on fountains at the McGovern Commons at the Texas Medical Center in the Medical District (pictured above).

Or if the Christmas season sends you running in the other direction, there are also some cool art, music and dance events that you can lose yourself in.

Happening All Weekend

  • The Bayou City Music & Film Festival | Starting Friday – This unique spin on music festivals focuses on an eclectic array of fantastic music and then digs deeper to showcase the artists and the stories behind it. The five-day festival happens at 14 Pews in the Heights, where attendees can experience a wide variety of music films, with guest performers, lively receptions and more. With a program that spotlights blues, country, folk, rhythm and blues, rock, and hip-hop, it’s truly representative of Houston’s culture and musical sounds.
  • Elf: The Musical at The Hobby Center | Starting Friday – Based on the insanely popular and hilarious Will Ferrell movie of the same name, Elf: The Musical lets you experience the tale of Buddy the Elf in an entirely new way. The Theatre Under the Stars show arrives to the Hobby Center after two years on Broadway, with shows running from Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 22, 2013. Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster, but you’re likely to find better seats or cheaper prices via TicketSpot’s resale market.
  • 40th Annual Dickens on the Strand in Galveston | Friday through Sunday – Celebrating 40 years, this Galveston tradition is adding an extra day and kicking off on Friday, December 6 and wrapping up on Sunday, December 8, 2013. Based on 19th Century Victorian London, the annual holiday street festival is chock-full of parades, live entertainment, Christmas carolers, musicians, jugglers, artisans and vendors, and more. Not only are performers dressed in Victorian garb, but vendors selling art, gift, food and drink are in on the act as well. Guests who dress in period costumes get half off admission. Tickets range from $12 to $14 for adults, with discounts available for advance purchases, multiple days, kids 7 to 12, and members of the Galveston Historical Foundation.
  • Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour 2013 | Friday & Saturday – Take the opportunity to delve into the rich architectural tradition of the Heights, with a visit to five unique and distinctive homes. Each of the charming homes is outfitted for the holidays and you’ll find musicians and carolers adding to the mix. 6pm to 9pm on Friday and 3pm to 9pm Saturday. $25 or $20 if purchased before Friday, December 6.
  • FrenetiCore’s Dance Tribute to David Rakoff | Friday to Sunday – FrenetiCore celebrates the late humor essayist David Rakoff, a frequent contributor to This American Life, with a production titled there is no answer as to why me, honoring Rakoff’s life and writing through a combination of contemporary dance, film, music, and his own recorded voice.
  • Holiday Train on the Hermann Park Railroad | Daily – Take a two-mile, 20-minute ride around Herman Park with a hot cocoa or apple cider on the festively decorated Holiday Train.
  • Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker | Daily – Enjoy the latest production of Houston Ballet’s perennial holiday performance at the Wortham Center.

  • Zoo Lights 2013 at the Houston Zoo | Daily – Take an evening stroll through the Houston Zoo while the animals sleep. You’ll take in the whimsical, magical and amusing LED light installations – with more than a million new lights added this year.

Thursday, December 5

  • First Thursday on Mid-Main | Free – The monthly Thursday evening block party steps it up a notch for December. In additional to the usual art shows, live music, bar bites, drinks and revelry, the December 5 edition of First Thursday features the first ever Mid Main Holiday Orna-MENTAL with festive artwork by Arts Pop Up, Sharon Kopriva, Sherry Owens and more. Bring a new, unopened toy for The Orange Show’s Toy Drive. Events start at 5pm.
  • Cultured Cocktails at Bar Boheme – Enjoy happy hour on Boheme’s wintery patio or inside the toasty bar from 5pm to 7pm and help support Houston nonprofit Writers in the Schools.
  • Justin Timberlake “The 20/20 Experience” at Toyota Center – JT may have sold out his Houston concert, but if you’re desperate bring sexy back, you can still snag last minute tickets via TicketSpot’s resale market.
  • John Williams Joins Yo-Yo Ma at Jones Hall – Along with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the composer who created the themes to Star Wars, Harry Potter and countless other Hollywood blockbusters performs with the Houston Symphony for one exclusive engagement. Tickets range from $225 to $450 per person. For $1,000 you can meet both John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma at a post performance supper.

Friday, December 6

  • Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting at Houston City Hall | FREE – Enjoy a live musical showcase headlined by Danielle Bradbery, star and winner of the 2013 season of “The Voice” along with holiday music, Christmas lights, an appearance by Santa Claus and a spectacular holiday fireworks finale. 6pm to 8pm.
  • Pasadena’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting | FREE – Be there before 6:15pm to see Santa and Mrs. Claus throw the switch, lighting the impressive Christmas tree in front Pasadena City Hall. Enjoy free Starbucks coffee (while it lasts), cookies, hot chocolate, hay rides, and live performances from Pasadena school bands, orchestras and singers. 6pm to 9pm.
  • Fridays at the Brewery with No Label Brewing Co. – Stop by the No Label Brewery between 4pm and 7pm for and enjoy a point of fresh beer. Choose from six open taps. Regular beers are $3 and seasonal beers are $4.
  • Family Films for the Holidays: Elf Quote-a-Long at The Orange Show – Experience this outdoor screening of the beloved and hilarious Will Ferrell holiday film, and quote along with the movie to your heart’s content. 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door; $5 for kids.
  • North Pole on 19th in the Heights | FREE – The shops and restaurants on 19th Street in the Heights stay open late, with extras like live music, holiday lights and décor, goodies and cheer. Enjoy eggnog and treats while you shop, and take your picture with Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and a Gingerbread Man. 6pm to 10pm.
  • Festive Family Friday at Bayou Bend – Experience the Yuletide: Holiday Time at Bayou Bend exhibition as it comes alive at night, with festive lighting and décor, Christmas music, puppets, games, storytellers and refreshments. 5pm to 8pm. $12.50 adults, $7.50 Ages 10 to 17, and free for ages 9 and under.
  • Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors – The rockets take on the boys from Oakland, starting at 7pm. You can save 10% to 50% if you buy your tickets via ScoreBig (And you’ll save an additional $20 off of that if your order is larger than $75 courtesy of us here at 365 Things to Do in Houston). 8pm.
  • ABBA The Concert at Jones Hall – Enjoy a live, two-hour musical showcase traces ABBAs beginnings in 1974 through the bands many hits, with performers filling in for the famous members of the band itself. Expect to hear all of ABBA’s greats including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Money, Money, Money” and, of course, “Mamma Mia.”
  • Die Hard Movie Screening at River Oaks Theatre – Catch the classic 1988 action flick that spawned Bruce Willis’ film career when the River Oaks Theatre screens Die Hard at midnight. There’s another screening on Saturday, December 7, 2013.

Saturday, December 7

  • FM 903 Pop Up Bakery at Triniti Restaurant – Drop into Triniti Restaurant to experience pastries, sweet treats and delicious drip coffee as the upcoming FM 903 Bakery samples its goods from 10am to 2pm.
  • Karbach Charity Pub Crawl in Midtown – Warm yourself on a chilly Saturday afternoon with a Karbach Pub Crawl through Midtown bars Little Woodrow’s, Dogwood, Midtown Drinkery, 3rd Floor Bar and Celtic Gardens. All proceeds from sales of Karbach drafts go to assist future fire fighters attend local fire academies.
  • Skate with Santa on The ICE at Discovery Green – Join St. Nick himself as Santa takes to ice for a special hour of skating from 4pm to 5pm. It’s free to visit and have a look. If you want to head lace up and skate, standard $12 skating fees apply.
  • Caroling on the Square in The Woodlands | FREE – Enjoy a performance from live holiday carolers from 6pm to 8pm at the Woodlands Waterways.
  • Kanye West “The YEEZUS Tour” with Kendrick Lamar at Toyota Center – Love him or hate him, the always outspoken Kanye West brings his latest musical incarnation to Houston. You can still get tickets via the Toyota Center, but you can likely get better seats or cheaper tickets on TicketSpot’s resale market.
  • Late Night Noodles at D&T Drive Inn – Belly up to D&T’s second Northern Thai style pop-up dinner, as Chef PJ Stoops steps in to serve up two variations on Khao Soi, the classic Northern Thai noodle dish, in addition to Thai Satay. Widely unknown in the States, Khao Soi is a delicious Thai noodle dish served in a coconut broth with countless variations. Starting at 8pm, D&T will be serving a Chiang Mai style Khao Soi with a lighter, sweeter broth made with chicken and coconut milk. The Burmese variation Khao Soi Tai Yai features goat meat and includes boiled eggs.
  • Die Hard Movie Screening at River Oaks Theatre – Catch the classic 1988 action flick that spawned Bruce Willis’ film career when the River Oaks Theatre screens Die Hard at midnight.

Sunday, December 8

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Was your favorite event missing? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Andy McCullough