Holiday Gift Guide Life + Arts

A wintry event guide for the holiday Houstonian


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Looking for something fun to do this holiday season? Check out these events going on all around Houston. From light festivals to plays, there’s something for everyone.

Festival of Lights

Nov. 15 to Jan. 3

Enjoy Moody Garden’s waterfront light spectacular featuring a mile-long trail of more than 1 million lights in 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays. There will be hot chocolate, festive food, holiday buffets and nightly live entertainment. Moody Gardens will also have an outdoor ice-skating rink and the Arctic Ice Slide until January 4.

Price: $8.95 for Festival of Lights admission. $7 each for ice skate rental and the Arctic Ice Slide.

Zoo Lights

Nov. 19 to Jan. 4

This annual light display at the Houston Zoo is back and even brighter, now with more than 2 million lights. Stroll through the Zoo while the animals slumber and enjoy the colorful decorations as well as the food, drinks, and musical entertainment.

Price: $12.95 at the gate and $10.95 online for Value Nights. $14.95 at the gate and $12.96 online for Prime Nights. Discounted prices for Zoo Members.

The ICE at Discovery Green

Nov. 25 to Feb. 8

Create magical winter memories at Discovery Green’s 7,716 square foot outdoor ice rink in the heart of Downtown. Attendees can also enjoy outdoor movies every Friday, live music and DJs, ice sculptures and “Field of Light,” a fiber optic art installation illuminated nightly.

Price: $13 for ice rink admission and skate rental. $6 on Cheap Skate Nights.

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas

Nov. 21 to Dec. 24

The Alley Theatre presents this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ tale of redemption and holiday spirit while located at the University of Houston during renovations of its downtown building.

Price: $14 for students with valid ID or online using promotion code UHSTUDENT.

Holly Jolly Jingle Symphony Spectacular

Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.

Ring in the holidays with performances of holiday classics and popular carols at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Gates open at 5:30 pm, so arrive early to ride the Candy Cane Express, frolic in the snow, enjoy arts and crafts, visit the petting zoo and more.

Price: Free

Dickens on the Strand

Dec. 5 to 7

This annual Victorian London-themed holiday street festival in the Strand Historic District of Galveston Island celebrates the era of Charles Dickens and features parades, live entertainment, food and vendors.

Price: $14 at the gate and $12 online. Half price for attendees dressed in Victorian costume.

Mayor’s Holiday Celebration

Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

Join Mayor Annise Parker at City Hall’s Hermann Square for the Mayor’s official tree lighting ceremony, music, fireworks and holiday fun.

Price: Free

6th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off

Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come to City Hall’s Hermann Square to cheer on the more than 30 teams that will create gingerbread buildings and structures and be judged by an independent panel of food, design, art, and architecture professionals. Winners will be featured in a one-week exhibition (Dec. 15 to 19) at Architecture Center Houston.

Price: Both the competition and follow-up exhibition are free

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

Enjoy this classic holiday comedy starring Chevy Chase at Market Square Park presented by Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow. Dogs, blankets, lawn chairs, food and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome.

Price: Free

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