Plan Your Weekend: December 14 to 17, 2023

SATURDAY
December 16, 2023

A Cougar mascot cheers with fans in the arena

UT vs. LSU; UH vs. TAMU
Toyota Center
Saturday

Downtown hosts a doubleheader of college basketball greatness when the nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns take on LSU, followed by another ranked showdown between Texas A&M and the Houston Cougars.

$45 and up | 11am and 1:30pm

  • Tamales 101: The Ancient Art of Making Tamales at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen – Head to the Tex-Mex favorite’s Eldridge location for this hands-on class, where participants will learn everything they need to know for making pork and chicken tamales. $75. 1pm to 4pm.
  • BLCK Holiday Market at GreenStreet | No Cover – Head Downtown for an afternoon filled with music, food, and unique finds from local Black-owned businesses. It’s a chance to find the perfect holiday gift while supporting local entrepreneurs. 1pm to 5pm.
  • Christmas With Masterworks, Rejoice at First Lutheran Church – The Houston Masterworks Chorus presents Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël with traditional carols and contemporary holiday favorites. Audience members are encouraged to share memories of favorite Christmases, and everyone is encouraged to sing the “Hallelujah” chorus. $35. 4pm.
  • Pens & Pints at Hardy & Nance Studios – Insomnia Gallery welcomes artists of all skill levels to hang out, draw, or paint at Hardy & Nance Studios. All 50+ feet of gallery wall will be striped with black craft paper and there will be white charcoal pencils to cover every inch. Each person aged 21+ will get a drink ticket for 2 complimentary beers. $10. 5pm to 11pm.
  • Campfire Christmas at George Ranch Historical Park – Step back in time to 1944 for dinner and dance in George Ranch Historical Park’s Ranch House yard. Guests can explore the site at their leisure, visit the cowboys at the campfire, enjoy a tour of the Ranch House decorated for the season, and dance or listen to live music from the era. The evening includes a rustic buffet-style meal. $60 for ages 13 and up; $45 for ages 4 to 12; free for ages 3 and under. 5:30pm and 7:30pm.
  • Monarch Chamber Players presents The Nutcracker Movie at Sugar Land Town Square | FREE – Monarch Chamber Players performs Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet, arranged for wind quintet and percussion by Marsha Schweitzer and Monarch hornist Russell Rybicki, and accompanied by a live video projection of the ballet. 6pm to 7:30pm.

Flea by Night
Discovery Green
Saturday

The Downtown park hosts this popular event, featuring a variety of vendors offering one-of-a-kind vintage, handmade, recycled, and local goods. There will be food trucks and a holiday performance on Avenida Plaza.

FREE | 6pm to 10pm

  • Flea by Night at Discovery Green | FREE – The Downtown park hosts this popular event, featuring a variety of vendors offering one-of-a-kind vintage, handmade, recycled, and local goods. There will be food trucks and a holiday performance on Avenida Plaza. 6pm to 10pm.
  • Pickleball Paddle Battles at the San Luis Resort – Show your skills in, or try your hand at, the most popular social sport to emerge in years when the San Luis hosts a doubles tourney open to all levels. Single players are encouraged and will be paired with a partner. $35. 7pm.
  • The Riot Comedy Club’s YouTube Special Taping at Rudyard’s Pub – Watch four comics hit the stage in this second and final night of live taping for a special that will premiere on the Riot Comedy Club’s YouTube channel. $15 and up. 7pm and 9pm.
  • A Hogwarts Christmas Feast at Westminster UMC – 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.
  • Warrant, Winger, Lita Ford & Steelheart in Concert at Smart Financial Centre – The rock stars come to Sugar Land as part of their Let the Good Times Roll Tour. $49 and up. 7:30pm.
Comedian Brian Gendron performs while holding a stool on stage

Live Taping
The Riot Comedy Club
Saturday

Watch four comics hit the stage in this second and final night of live taping for a special that will premiere on the Riot Comedy Club’s YouTube channel.

$15 and up | 7pm and 9pm

  • Scotty Alexander Live Set at J-Bar-M Barbecue | FREE – Enjoy good food and a live performance from the singer-songwriter and guitarist who blends country and pop sounds, and who’s opened for acts such as Cody Johnson and Kyle Park. 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
  • An Evening With the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the Grand 1894 Opera House – The official modern incarnation of the legendary big band orchestra bring traditional jazz classics like “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”, “Mood Indigo” and more to the historic stage. $25.20 and up. 8pm.
  • William Beckmann’s Los Posadas Tour at the Heights Theater – The Texas crooner brings his Las Posadas Tour to the Heights, performing an intimate set of Christmas music, Spanish songs, storytelling and Beckmann originals. $22 and up. 8pm.
  • Habstrakt DJ Set at Stereo Live – The French-born, LA-based DJ comes to Houston for a performance that blends house, bass and dubstep. Songs such as “Chicken Soup” and “Eternity” will have you dancing all night long. $10. 10pm to 2am.
A market scene on a sunny day with people walking by landscaped gardens and booths

SUNDAY
December 17, 2023

An aerial artist suspends herself in the air from a hoop

A Magical Cirque Christmas
Cullen Performance Hall
Sunday

This holiday variety show is full of nostalgia, charm, and awe-inspiring performances for all ages. The clever, comedic, acrobatic and stunt spectacular features the talents of world-class entertainers performing to beloved holiday music.

$39.50 and up | 4pm

  • A Magical Cirque Christmas at Cullen Performance Hall – This holiday variety show is full of nostalgia, charm, and awe-inspiring performances for all ages. The clever, comedic, acrobatic and stunt spectacular features the talents of world-class entertainers performing to beloved holiday music. $39.50 and up. 4pm.
  • Harvey Bott Robott Opera Revisited at the Orange Show World HQ | FREE – Inspired by H.J. “Harvey” Bott’s groundbreaking experiments with remote-controlled art robots in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, the performance will include a series of hand-made robots, projected video and live musical accompaniment. 4pm to 5:30pm.
  • Family Fun Night at Backstreet Cafe – This festive event features Victorian Carolers and Santa himself, who will meet and take photos with families on the patio. Look for festive décor and twinkling Christmas lights. A la carte menus are available for adults; $20 per child, including a 3-course meal. 6pm to 8pm.
  • For King & Country: Drummer Boy Christmas at Toyota Center – Savor the spirit of the season when the Grammy-winning King & Country return to Houston with fan favorites, beloved Christmas classics and more from their best-selling album, A Drummer Boy Christmas. $29 and up. 7pm.
  • Comedian Sean Patton at the Secret Group – The New Orleans-born, New York-based comedian, writer and storyteller praised for his buffoonery, takes the stage, sharing his take on life and people. $15 and up. 8pm.

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Holly Beretto
Holly Beretto writes about food and wine, the arts and interesting people for a variety of local and regional publications. In addition to 365 Things to Do in Houston, her work has appeared in the Arizona State University Alumni Magazine, Arts + Culture Texas, Bayou City Magazine, Downtown, Galveston Monthly and Houston Woman. She is also a regular contributor to Eater.com's Houston site. She earned her B.A. in mass communication with a minor in professional writing from Franklin Pierce College (now Franklin Pierce University) and her M.A. in communication studies with an emphasis in journalism from St. Louis University. She has worked in television news production, public relations and marketing in Rhode Island, Maine, New York and Texas. A native Rhode Islander, she has lived in Texas since 1997. She is the author of Christ as the Cornerstone: Fifty Years of Worship at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, published by Bright Sky Press.