Make your holiday season merry and bright with our top 25 Christmas events and things to do around Houston in 2023.

If you’re counting down the days until Christmas and have already started jamming to holiday tunes, you’ll probably want to mark your calendar for a few of these events and seasonal attractions.

From Christmas light displays and theatrical performances to skating rinks and more, there’s something for everyone, “kids from 1 to 92”.

More Holiday Attractions & Things to Do

The Best Things to Do for Christmas 2023 in Houston

This holiday season, Houston is home to a number of festive events, Christmas shows, and holiday attractions.

We’ve curated 25 of the best taking place across the city, but you can dive deeper into even more things to do in our holiday season guides.

All Holiday Season Long

  • A Motown Christmas at Ensemble Theatre | Through Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24 – This family-friendly holiday revue blends traditional carols with that distinctive Motown sound, with hits made famous by the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye and more. $34 and up. Showtimes vary.
  • Houston Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Wortham Center | Through Wednesday, December 27 – This dazzling production of the beloved ballet recounts the story of Clara, gifted a magical nutcracker one Christmas Eve, and the adventures she encounters in the Land of Sweets. See why Tchaikovsky’s score has captivated audiences around the world for more than a century. $30 and up. Showtimes vary.
  • A Christmas Carol at Alley Theatre | Through Saturday, December 30 – The beloved Charles Dickens holiday classic returns to the stage, telling the story of the miserly Scrooge and, with a series of visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, how he learns the true meaning of the holiday season. $29 and up. Showtimes vary.
The entrance to Magical Winter Lights, covered in colorful LED lights
More than 6 million lights across multiple displays await at Magical Winter Lights | Courtesy of Magical Winter Lights
  • City Lights in Downtown Houston | Through Sunday, December 31 | Some FREE – Take in lighted sights across Downtown this holiday season, where 11 holiday attractions from Discovery Green to the Theater District and Post Houston offer the chance to get into the spirit of the season. Highlights include the illuminated walk-though tunnel at Winter Wonderland along Bagby Street, Jingle Town at the new Lynn Wyatt Square in Theater District, and plenty of holiday fun around Discovery Green and George R. Brown. 5pm to 10pm.
  • 10th Annual Sugar Land Holiday Lights at Constellation Field | Through New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1 – More than three million lights create a sparkling winter wonderland at the home of the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. Walk the ballpark and enjoy 10 themed areas, a holiday market, a snow play area, visits with Santa Claus, and more. Prices vary by date. $15 and up; $10 for ages 4 to 12; free for ages 3 and under. Sunday to Thursday 6pm to 9pm; Friday and Saturday 6pm to 10pm.
  • Magical Winter Lights at Katy Mills | Through Sunday, January 7 – One of the city’s most popular attractions opens its gates at a new location in Katy this year. Wander through a lit-up wonderland filled with millions of lights, dazzling lantern sculptures, interactive displays, and a carnival with fun for the whole family. $25; $18 for ages 3 to 12 and 65+; free for ages 2 and under. Friday and Saturday 5pm to 11pm; Sunday 5pm to 10pm.
Two people emerging from a tall launching rocket light display
Take a journey through space history this holiday season at Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston | Courtesy of Space Center Houston
  • Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo | Through Sunday, January 7 Stroll through the Houston Zoo with hot chocolate in hand while you admire glimmering displays made up of gleaming Christmas lights at this annual must-see attraction. Take advantage of holiday photo ops, make your way through an illuminated tunnel, see life-sized animal lanterns, and more. Prices vary by day; $22.95 and up. 5:30pm to 10:30pm.
  • Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston | Through Sunday, January 7 – The cosmic spectacle returns to Space Center Houston, transforming the campus into a twinkling wonderland of space-themed light installations, high-tech experiences, holiday treats and more in a one-of-a-kind event that can only be found in Space City. Tickets range from $19.95 to $27.95; free for ages 3 and under. Save $5 on each ticket when you use promo code 365XLIGHTS at checkout. 6pm to 10pm.
  • The Ice at Discovery Green | Through Sunday, January 28 – A defining staple of Houston’s holiday season, the beloved outdoor ice skating rink returns to Downtown with weeks of special themed skate nights and appearances by Santa. $17, includes skate rental. Open daily, including holidays. Times vary.
A giant Christmas tree is lit up and fireworks go off behind it
Join in holiday fun at the 104th annual tree lighting at City Hall | Courtesy of Mayor’s Office for Special Events

Weekend of Friday, December 1, 2023

  • 50th Annual Dickens on the Strand in Downtown Galveston | Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3 – Travel back in time as Galveston’s historic Strand is transformed into Charles Dickens’ Victorian London for this annual, family-friendly event. Gear up for parades, live entertainment on six stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers, and a visit from the characters of Dickens’ books. Free on Friday; Saturday and Sunday tickets are $25; $18 for ages 7 to 12. Times vary.
  • 2nd Annual A Charlie Brown Christmas 5K/10K Run/Walk at Addicks Park & Ride | Saturday, December 2 – This annual family-friendly fun run in the Energy Corridor kicks off with a Snoopy Dash for kids, followed by 10K and 5K events. Everyone will get a festive, officially licensed Peanuts finisher medal, bib and t-shirt, plus Santa will come around to visit at the post-race party. $44.95 for the 5K; $49.95 for the 10K; $36.95 for the Snoopy Dash for ages 12 and under. 8am.
  • A Katy Old Fashioned Christmas at Katy Market Day | Saturday, December 2 | FREE – The Katy Old Fashioned Christmas returns in a big way, bringing more than 200 vendors to the open-air market that also includes food trucks, an appearance by Santa, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more. 10am to 5pm.
  • 104th Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular at City Hall | Saturday, December 2 | FREEJoin Mayor Sylvester Turner at City Hall for Houston’s annual holiday extravaganza, which features live entertainment (including a headlining performance by Jordan Sparks), fireworks, a 55-foot Christmas tree lighting, a visit from Santa and other family-friendly activities. 6pm to 8pm.
  • 2023 Holiday Festival at Levy Park | Saturday, December 2 & Sunday, December 3 | FREE – This fest returns to Levy Park, offering plenty of family fun on back-to-back days with a holiday market featuring 20 vendors, crafts station, live music performances, a free photo booth with Santa, and more. Noon to 5pm.
Dancers in lederhosen perform for a crowd by a Christmas tree
The Christmas Market in Old Town Tomball offers tons of vendors and German-themed fun | Courtesy of Tomball German Fest

Weekend of Friday, December 8, 2023

  • Midtown Mistletoe Market at Baldwin Park | Friday, December 8 & Saturday, December 9 | FREE – Under the shade of oaks in Midtown’s Baldwin Park, the Mistletoe Market returns for two days of artisan goods and craft shopping. Come by to shop and stick around to take in the full holiday experience with twinkling lights, Santa Claus appearances, holiday music, craft classes, photo ops and more. Friday 5pm to 10pm; Saturday 10am to 4pm.
  • Tomball German Festival Christmas Market in Old Town Tomball | Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10 | FREE – Do as the Germans do and celebrate Christmas with plenty of food, beer, and wine, as well as live music on three stages, a petting zoo, and a holiday market featuring more than 150 vendors with antiques, arts and crafts, souvenirs, and more. Times vary.
  • Lights in the Heights 2023 in Woodlands Heights | Saturday, December 9 | FREE – Stroll through the beautifully decorated streets of Woodlands Heights during one of Houston’s biggest holiday events, Lights in the Heights. Every year, the neighborhood streets are closed off, allowing pedestrians to roam freely as they admire the gorgeous homes, which host private parties that sometimes feature musical performances on the porch. After admiring the festive scenery, make your way to area bars and restaurants for tons of after-party fun. 6pm to 9pm.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve at Toyota Center | Sunday, December 10 – The acclaimed orchestral ensemble brings its signature holiday tradition back to Houston for their Ghosts of Christmas Eve: The Best of TSO & More tour. $54 and up. 2:30pm and 7pm.
A performer in a red dress sings, accompanied by her band
Raquel Cepeda’s Christmas Concert comes to Heights Theater | Courtesy of Raquel Cepeda

Weekend of Friday, December 15, 2023

  • A Merry Creepmas Market at the National Museum of Funeral History | Friday, December 15 – Houston’s museum for all things funerary hosts a special small business market just before the holidays. Shop more than 20 local vendors with unique finds, sip on complimentary drinks and enjoy lite bites, and take to the many exhibitions on offer at NMFH. $40 and up. 7pm to 10pm.
  • Elf in Concert at Smart Financial Centre | Friday, December 15 – Relive the holiday comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel at this special screening of the 2003 film, featuring a live orchestra performing the score to the film. $35 and up. 7:30pm.
  • A Christmas Jazz Concert with Raquel Cepeda at MATCH | Friday, December 15 – The jazz septet presents this performance of seasonal jazz tunes, Christmas songs from around the world, original jazz arrangements and original Christmas music, featuring the vocal stylings of Raquel Cepeda. $25 and up. 8pm.
  • A Hogwarts Christmas Feast at Westminster UMC | Saturday, December 16 – Pull up a seat at the great feast when Gastrochurch hosts an evening of Harry Potter fandom, where you’ll get sorted and earn points for your house through trivia, solving riddles, winning the costume contest, and more. Tickets include dinner, two drinks and all the festivities. $55 and up; $45 and up for ages under 21. 7pm to 11pm.
A band performs on a holiday-decorated stage with purple light above them
Heights Theater welcomes Will Hearn’s Grand Ol’ Christmas Show just before the holiday | Courtesy of Grand Ol’ Christmas Show

Week of Monday, December 18, 2023

  • Houston Symphony presents A Very Merry Pops at Jones Hall | Wednesday, December 20 to Saturday, December 23 – The Symphony’s annual holiday offering returns, bringing with it familiar favorites to make the rafters ring. The concert features the Houston Symphony Chorus and Broadway leading lady, Mandy Gonzalez, who’s featured in Hamilton and In the Heights. $40 and up. 7:30pm.
  • A Christmas Wish Holiday Spectacular at Moody Gardens | Friday, December 22 to Saturday, December 30 – Take in holiday delights at this annual stage production in Galveston. The holiday program tells a heartwarming story through musical theatre performances, projection mapped lights, cascading snow and atmospheric fog, stunts and acrobats, comedy and the enchantment of Christmas. Daytime admission is $39 and up, $25 and up for ages 3 to 12. Evening shows with dinner are $79 and up, $49 and up for ages 3 to 12. Times vary.
  • The Grand Ol’ Christmas Show with Blue Water Highway at the Heights Theater | Saturday, December 23 – This one-of-a-kind musical comedy from Will Hearn brings a live retro radio show to the stage, complete with sketch comedy antics, Christmas classics and a tribute to the holiday tradition. Americana artists Blue Water Highway will also be around to perform tunes live. $32 and up. 8pm.

More Holiday Attractions & Things to Do

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Justin Jerkins
A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins always keeps an eye out for what's ahead on Houston's horizon while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston. When he's not passing along the latest events, destinations and hidden treasures in H-Town, he loves diving into the city's food scene, shopping local and learning about Houston's rich history.