Best Cheap and Free Holiday Events in HoustonGet out your calendar and schedule these cheap and free holiday events in Houston. This year’s list features over 50 cheap and free holiday events! Enjoy the season and create memories with family and friends. Check out the big list of the best things to do in Houston for Christmas!

 

25 DAYS OF FREE AND CHEAP HOLIDAY EVENTS IN HOUSTON

There are plenty of great Christmas things to do in Houston that won’t break the bank. Here are some of our favorites!

 

TOP PICKS & RECURRING HOLIDAY EVENTS

The Story of the Nutcracker is a lively production the whole family is sure to love. See the nutcracker dolls come to life in this exciting Christmas production at The Company OnStage in Houston. Tickets are just $5 with this 50% discount, and there are multiple showtimes and dates.

See Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Carol in this unique holiday production where two classics meet. It’s Sherlock Holmes meeting the three spirits in a family-friendly production at The Company OnStage in Houston. Showtimes and dates throughout the month of December. Tickets start at just $9 with this offer.

Christmas Bingo is an interactive show that’s hilarious and fun. There’s trivia, prizes, and hijinks. Multiple dates throughout December at Chelsea Market Theatre in Montrose. Get 50% off tickets here.

 

DECEMBER 1

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol hits the stage at The Grand in Galveston. It’s a remarkable theatrical production with beautiful sets, gorgeous costumes, and great music and dance. Get 50% off tickets here.

Old-Fashioned Christmas hosted by Katy Market Days returns Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm with snow arriving at 11 am. It features holiday crafts, 50,000 pounds of snow, visit with Santa ($5), kids activities, entertainment, and food. No Label is hosting a Beer Garden all day! Located in Historic Downtown Katy.

Coffee & Cars does an annual fundraising event and toy drive at Memorial City Mall. This year, from 8- 10 am, sip coffee, see the cars, and donate new, sealed toys to benefit a child in need. Get there early to have breakfast with Frolic!

Christmas on Commerce returns to Tomball December 1, 10 am– 3 pm. Enjoy Christmas crafts, live entertainment, activities, and a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Located on Commerce St. in downtown Tomball.

Holidays in the Plaza at Sugar Land Town Square features the Houston Show Choir. Sing along and chase away your scrooge- blues. The show is free and open to the public, making it one of the better free Christmas things to do in Houston. The music lasts from 5- 7 pm.

DeSTEMber is an Extravaganza taking place in the Plaza at City Centre. GirlStart is a free, hands-on STEM  program for the whole family. Christmas-inspired science, engineering, and other activities at the event from 12 noon to 2:30 pm. Register here.

 

DECEMBER 2

Visit Dewberry Farm for free holiday fun on the farm. Most activities are available during the Christmas season such as Hay Mountain, Old-Fashioned Carousel, and Slide Mountain. Admission to the farm is free but Christmas activities may cost extra.

Support local at the CultureMap Holiday Pop-Up Shop at Silver Street Sunday, December 2. This free curated holiday boutique features 25 local retailers for men, women, kids and pets with jewelry, gifts, home decor items and more. Enjoy cocktails, festive food, carolers, crafting, complimentary gift wrapping and more while you shop. Located at 2000 Edwards.

The 17th Annual Advent Missions Market is back at First Presbyterian Church of Houston. The market showcases unique items from around the world. It’s perfect for Christmas shopping! The market will be open 8 am to 1 pm located at 5300 Main St. The event repeats December 9 and 16.

Santa Cares at La Centerra is a program for families with special needs children. Get your Santa photos in a private session especially tailored to special families. Tickets are complimentary but you need to register. The event is held again on the 9th. Both sessions begin at 9 am. Hint: He’ll also be at Katy Mills on the 2nd at 9:30 am!

Don’t miss Santa Sunday at Pearland Pediatrics & Sports Medicine. The event is free and open to the public, just bring a new, unwrapped gift as donation and register here. There will be photo ops with Santa, crafts, games, Christmas activities, and more.

 

DECEMBER 3

Whether you’re Jewish or just interested in different cultures, check out the Giant Menorah Lighting Celebration at Sugar Land Town Square. There will be dignitaries, arts and crafts, Israeli food, performances, live music, and more. The celebration is from 6:30- 8 pm.

Spend an evening at the shores with Galveston’s Downtown Lanterns and Lights. See downtown Galveston, all lit up. The main corridors of the shopping district will be illuminated plus attractions at Saengerfest Park. The event starts around dusk and runs nightly through January 1st.

The Ice at Discovery Green is jam-packed full of holiday events and Christmas activities for Houstonians to enjoy. The entrance fee is $11 and skate rentals are $4, or you can watch for free!

The West U Tree Lighting Ceremony is open to the public! The ceremony will start at 5:30 pm and you can stay afterward for photos with Santa! The event is presented by the City of West University Place Parks and Recreation Department and will be located in front of the Community Building, 6104 Auden.

 

DECEMBER 4

Don’t miss Home for the Holidays in Old Town Spring, the 38th annual event through December 22! The hometown holiday festival features a spectacular display of twinkling holiday lights, entertainment, family-friendly activities and photos with Santa every weekend! Event located at 403 Main Street in Spring.

The Humble Parade of Lights is from 4- 7 pm. Get there early for the best views! Make sure to check out our full guide to Christmas lights in Houston.

The Danish Club of Houston is putting on a free German Christmas Concert. The event is at Houston Saengerbound starting at 7:30.

 

DECEMBER 5

Visit Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop through December 24. Kids can make crafts, get a free photo with Santa and enjoy free games and activities. You must obtain a free Bass Pass in store. These are limited and go quickly each day. View schedule here. Located at Bass Pro Shop in Katy and Pearland.

Santa is coming to meet the boys and girls of Tomball and The Woodlands! Lone Star College Creekside Center is hosting Santa Claus for holiday photos and wishlists. The event is from 6- 8 pm.

The Houston Fire Museum is one of the most underrated museums in our city, and they have some holiday events for Houston. Their admission is cheap and they have an awesome play area for small kids. Their Houston Holiday Market is taking place December 5-6 from 10 am to 4 pm.

 

DECEMBER 6

The Houston Cecilia Chamber Choir will be at Prince of Peace Catholic Church for Lessons and Carols. The offering concert is free to attend but donations are greatly encouraged. The carols will start at 7:30 pm. 19222 Tomball Parkway.

Enjoy Christmas on the Farm – Kids Crazy Christmas Show at Second Baptist Church in Cypress for an unforgettable show. Be entertained with dancing, Christmas music and puppets who creatively tell the “Christmas Story.” The show runs nightly December 6th and 7th at 6:30 and 7:30. Saturday, December 8th, the shows are at 10 and 11 am.  Located at 29900 Hwy 290.

Home Alone will be on the big screen for Screen on the Green at Discovery Green Park. Bring your blankets, picnics, and lawn chairs- the show starts at dusk!

 

DECEMBER 7

It’s the annual tree lighting at Snowfest Festival in Missouri City, plus snow hill, Santa and his reindeer, moonwalks and camel rides. The Snowfest Parade is on Saturday. Located in Missouri City, 1522 Texas Parkway, City Hall Complex. Parking is not available on site but free shuttles are available.

Head to Central Green in Katy for Carols on the Green. You’re invited to bring lawn chairs and picnics, plus your best Christmas songs! The caroling takes place from 6- 8 pm.

Get ready for a Texas German celebration on the downtown streets of Tomball. Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival is a 3-day weekend event featuring live music on 4 stages, open air market, strolling Christmas carolers, kids activity area, free hayrides, Christmas lights tour, petting zoo, 175 street vendors and more. It’s a great bargain with free admission and free parking! This event is December 7- 9.

Holidays in the Plaza at Sugar Land Town Square takes place every week with a different act. This week, check out the Heart & Soul Ensemble playing Christmas favorites. The free show is from 6:30- 8:30 pm.

 

DECEMBER 8

Lights in the Heights is one of the best and favorite Christmas events in Houston. Stroll through four streets of Houston’s Historic Heights. It’s one night only from 5- 9 pm.

Watch live music, get discounts, sip festive cocktails, and complete your map at Stroll of the Season. La Centerra is putting on an open house galore with the chance to win prizes, watch strolling live entertainment, and try some fabulous bites. Stroll of the Season is from 4- 8 pm.

Celebrate holiday creativity at the 9th Annual Gingerbread Build Off, December 8, 10 am – 4:30 pm. This annual event at City Hall features more than 30 teams competing for the Grand Prix de Show award. The day features gingerbread construction, kids’ zone, Santa, live entertainment and more. Winners and select competitors will be featured in an exhibition at the Central Branch of the Houston Public Library (500 McKinney St.).

The City of League City 57th Annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade on the Clear Lake channel is viewed by more than 100,000 people a year. The parade features more than 100 brightly decorated power and sailboats. The parade begins at 6 pm at South Shore Harbour Marina and the Nassau Bay Lagoon to Galveston Bay.

The Sugar Land Town Square is hosting a Holiday Dance Show featuring local dance schools and companies. Stop by throughout the day from 11 am to 4 pm to see the showcase.

Catch a showing of Elf at Sugar Land Town Square starting as soon as the sun goes down. Movies Under the Moon encourages you to bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a free family movie.

See the Christmas Boat Parade at the Kemah Boardwalk. Entrance to the boardwalk is always free! Get there early for the best views. The parade begins at 6:30.

Free with five canned good donations, Trinity Episcopal in Midtown is hosting a free concert. Watch The Bubba Thomas put on a special Holiday Jazz show. The show is from 6- 8:30 pm.

Christmas on the Homestead is Humble’s answer to an Old Fashioned Christmas. Try cookies and wassail, string popcorn and cranberries, and watch demonstrations. The event is free and open to the public from 1- 3 pm. Just register for the event at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.

 

DECEMBER 9

This is the final day of the Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival. It’s a 3-day weekend event featuring live music on 4 stages, open-air market, strolling Christmas carolers, kids activity area, free hayrides, Christmas lights tour, petting zoo, 175 street vendors and more. It’s a great bargain with free admission and free parking! This event is December 7- 9.

Visit First Presbyterian Church downtown for their 38th annual Messiah Sing-a-Long at 7:30 pm. Located at 5300 Main Street.

Head down to Levy Park for Jewish CultureFest. This event is free and open to the public. With live music, specialty foods, local crafts, holiday activities, and much more, there will be something for everyone. They’ll be on site from 1- 5 pm.

Free admission and complimentary hot cocoa? Count us in! A South Main Bethlehem by South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena. There will be shop owners and craftsmen putting on demonstrations like basket weaving, metalwork, bread baking, live music, and much more. The event is December 7- 9 from 5- 9 pm.

 

DECEMBER 10

Listen to the Christ Church Cathedral students as they put on their Advent show. Listen to Organs, Hymns, and Chants for the Advent. The holiday event is free and open to the public from 7- 8 pm.

Looking for a multicultural Christmas in Houston? Or just want to know what inspired The Nutcracker? Take a journey to the Russian Cultural Center’s Holiday Bazaar. You can get great Christmas presents, decorations, and more. The event is free and open to the public until January 2nd from 9 am 5 pm most days.

Get your puppy some professional photographs! Throughout the month, many malls offer free or cheap photo ops with Santa Claus! Mondays through December 17,  from 5- 8 pm, bring your Pets to pose with Santa.

 

DECEMBER 11

Drive through Prestonwood Forest subdivision in NW Houston for the 40th annual Nite of Lites event, a holiday tradition and competition since the 1980s. Visitors can drive through the community weekdays till 10 pm and weekends till 11 pm. Folks are encouraged to vote online for their favorite home as the People’s Choice Award. Dates are December 8-30.

Join 2nd Baptist Church South Campus in Pearland for a Christmas Program. Captain Tiffany Magellan and her crew are stuck on the S.S. Emmanuel and they’re trying their best to get home. See if they make it on time! The event is free and lasts from 6:30- 8 pm.

Jingle Junction is a wonderfully decorated winter wonderland at Cypress United Methodist Church. The entire front lawn is decked out in multiple Christmas displays which make the perfect photo- op. Bring your camera- the event is free and open to the public every day during daylight hours.

 

DECEMBER 12

Visit Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop through December 24. Kids can make crafts, get a free photo with Santa, and enjoy free games and Christmas activities. You must obtain a free Bass Pass in store, they are limited and go quickly each day. View schedule here. Located at Katy and Pearland.

Moonlight Movies returns to CityCentre for the holidays with a free outdoor screening of It’s a Wonderful Life. Free popcorn begins at 6 pm with the movie starting at 7 pm. Located at 800 Town and Country Blvd.

Chick-Fil-A resturants hold regular events for family and children and December is Christmas- themed! The CFA on I- 10 and Uvalde is hosting Mr. and Mrs Klaus on December 12th from 5- 7 pm. Have dinner with the jolly couple and post for photos.

 

DECEMBER 13

This week’s Holidays in the Plaza features the Travis High School Orchestra. They’re helping you get in the Christmas Spirit with a selection of your holiday favorites. The show is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

The Strand in Galveston is hosting another Fall Sip & Shop from 5- 8 pm. Shops will be offering specials, refreshments, and gift wrapping. Have a glass of wine and get your holiday shopping done!

The JCCS Presents Annie, Jr.! The popular children’s musical features 60 child performers. There are several show times and tickets are cheap- just $6- $9!

 

DECEMBER 14

Celebrate the holidays with Handel’s Messiah  free performances December 13-15 by Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Free tickets are distributed at 7 pm each night on a first-come, first-served basis. Located at 8300 Katy Freeway.

La Centerra’s Central Green in Katy is showing a free screening of Arthur Christmas. You can bring picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs. The show starts as soon as the sun goes down.

Love the circus? See it Second Baptist- style! Tickets to Christmas Under the Big Top start at just $10.  The event is held December 14- 16 at Second Baptist’s Woodway campus, 6400 Woodway.

Don’t miss the Music & Mistletoe at Sugar Land Town Square. It’s a free concert featuring RPC’s Warehouse School of Music. Bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs for the show from 6:30- 8:30.

Get in the spirit of Christmas at Holidays in the Plaza. Singers from River Pointe Church’s Warehouse School of Music will perform holiday tunes from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Located at Sugar Land Town Square.

 

DECEMBER 15

Don’t miss Dickinson Festival of Lights celebrating its 21st year. This amazing walk-through event is open nightly through December 23 at Paul Hopkins Park from 6- 8:30 pm. Free admission, free parking and free shuttle.

The Sugar Land Town Square will be hosting a second holiday music evening this weekend, featuring First Colony Church of Christ’s band. Bring your picnic blankets and lawn chairs.

A winter- themed gymnastics showcase is coming to Central Green in Katy. Levite Gymnastics and Dance brings you Winter Frost. Bring your picnics and lawn chairs while the girls and boys of the school perform excerpts of The Nutcracker.

Santa and snow will take over Balmoral at the Winter Wonderland at Balmoral for a “brrrr-illiant” mix of wintery fun 10 am to noon Saturday, December 9. It features 30,000 pounds of snow, live ice sculpting, free Santa photos and holiday activities like S’Mores bar, cookie decorating and more. This is located at 11930 Talman Run Drive off Sam Houston Parkway and Woodland Hills Dr.

The Houston Tidelanders Chorus is performing a free concert at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center. Head down to Humble to see this four-part harmony choir. Tickets are free but you must register in advance. The show starts at 7.

Enjoy a holiday concert — Enjoy a new Christmas experience, Christmas on the Boulevard, featuring The St. John the Divine Chorale, Houston Boychoir, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. The live nativity begins at 4 pm on the north lawn and the Christmas Gala concert at 5 pm. This is located at St. John the Devine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd.

 

DECEMBER 16

There is lots of free fun planned at Jingle on the Boardwalk Saturdays and Sundays on the Kemah Boardwalk. December 16 features Santa from 2-6 pm for pictures. Located at 215 Kipp Ave.

Love the circus? See it Second Baptist- style! Tickets to Christmas Under the Big Top start at just $10.  The event is held December 14- 16 at Second Baptist’s Woodway campus, 6400 Woodway.

For more Christmas shopping, head to the Sugar Plum Market at Stevenson Park in Friendswood. There are awesome activities for the kids, Santa, and tons of vendors. The market is from 11 am to 4 pm.

 

DECEMBER 17

The Ice Rink at Woodlands Town Center is open daily now through the end of December. Admission plus two hours of skate rentals start at just $6 for little kids and $12.50 for everyone else. Or, you can watch for free! Go during the week and save a few bucks.

With the Sound of the Organ and Trumpet is a free show open to the public at St. John Vianney. The show features collaboration between the Houston Brass Quintet and Clayton Roberts. The show is one evening only from 7- 9 pm.

Get a taste of an old-fashioned winter. Christmas in Goodrich is a cheap, drive-thru event with extra attractions and has grown this year to 5 whole acres! The cost is $5 per vehicle and $5 for a hayride.

Cheap Skate Night at the Ice on Discovery Green is every Monday from 5- 10 pm. Admission is just $8 (a $3 savings!) and $15 for couples.

 

DECEMBER 18

Watch a screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at Historic Market Square Park. The laugh-out-loud comedy is a cult classic Christmas favorite. The show runs from 7- 9 pm.

STEM Story Time is back at Katy Budget Books. Learn How To Catch an Elf and build your own Elf Traps! The event is just $5! It’s for kids aged 4-8 and limited to 25 kids from 6:30- 7:30 pm.

Bring your little ones for an Elf on the Shelf Story Time at The Board Walk Towne Lake. Get a free photo with a receipt from any of the stores on the boardwalk the day of the event. Story time is from 4:30- 5:30 pm.

 

DECEMBER 19

Drive through Prestonwood Forest subdivision in NW Houston for the 40th annual Nite of Lites event, a holiday tradition and competition since the 1980s. Visitors can drive through the community weekdays till 10 pm and weekends till 11 pm. Folks are encouraged to vote online for their favorite home as the People’s Choice Award. Dates are December 8-30.

For a truly magical experience, hop on board the Alvin Christmas Train and take a ride through downtown Alvin, TX. The city is adorned and all lit up. Kids 2 and under are free. Buy your tickets online for just $8 ($10 at the door).

This month’s downtown farmer’s market, Urban Harvest, has the perfect fall foods to compliment your menu. Get Cinnamon Rolls, Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie, Banana Loafs, and more. Admission is free and the event is open to the public starting at 11 am.

 

DECEMBER 20

9th Annual Polar Express Movie Night at Bouncin’ Bears TX is just $5! Kids wear their PJs, parents are having an Ugly Sweater Contest. There will be cookie decorating, free Photos with Santa, and a screening of The Polar Express!

ABC Dental OST is having it’s annual Winter Fair, a free, outdoor event with moonwalks, free gifts, and more. This Houston holiday event is free and open to the public from 3- 5 pm.

Screen on the Green at Discovery Green returns with a screening of Polar Express. You can skate and watch or just have a seat! The event is free- you just pay for skating. Movie starts at dusk.

 

DECEMBER 21

Enjoy a Sing- A- Long at Sugar Land Town Square. The Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long will also feature a performance from The Living Christmas Carol Carolers. The event takes place from 6;30- 8:30 pm.

Bring your own camera for a free Photo Op with Santa! River Oaks is all decked out in their famous twinkling lights. The best time to go is between 6- 8 pm on a weeknight. Santa will be there from 7- 11 pm.

Holiday Movie Nights at Redemption Square is showing Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas at 7 pm. The holiday event is free and open to the public. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs but leave the picnic at home!

 

DECEMBER 22

This is the last day for Home for the Holidays in Old Town Spring, the 38th annual event! The hometown holiday festival features a spectacular display of twinkling holiday lights, entertainment, family-friendly activities and photos with Santa every weekend! Event located at 403 Main Street in Spring.

Catch a showing of the ultimate Christmas movie- Home Alone! Watch Kevin McCallister and his hijinks as he faces off against two would- be robbers. The show starts at dusk.

Trader’s Village is hosting a Holiday Market with Santa every Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is always free and parking is just $4. The event starts each weekend at noon.

Surfside Beach Island of Lights is lit up every weekend in December from 6- 11 pm. Just drive on through- and stop somewhere for dinner!

 

DECEMBER 23

Free fun continues at Jingle on the Boardwalk Saturdays and Sundays on the Kemah Boardwalk. Get Santa pics and other special activities. Located at 215 Kipp Ave.

Head down to Humble for the Stocking Stuffer Market. This is the last night of the market which runs December 22- 23. You’ll find antiques, collectibles, Jellies and Jams, jewelry, and more. The event begins each morning at 10 am.

Come see adorable puppies and kittens at the 30th Annual Neiman Marcus Holiday Windows of Life. All of the animals will be available for adoption. This is the final night of the event.

Skating with the Stars at the Ice at Discovery Green is every Sunday night through December. From 6- 6:45, with regular admission, you can skate with Ice Skating starts.

 

DECEMBER 24

Be a part of St. Francis Episcopal Church’s Christmas Eve Nativity Pageant. Children from toddler – 5th grade can participate. There will be two pageants: 2 pm and 5 pm services. The church will provide costumes. Check with them for participation.

Jingle Junction is a wonderfully decorated winter wonderland at Cypress United Methodist Church. The entire front lawn is decked out in multiple Christmas displays which make the perfect photo- op. Bring your camera- the event is free and open to the public every day during daylight hours.

Lights of Tejas includes hay rides, synchronized lights, a fireworks show, and more. There are events and activities for kids large and small. Admission is just $9!

 

What free and cheap holiday events in Houston are you looking forward to this season? Let us know your favorite Christmas things to do in Houston and the surrounding areas by commenting below: