photo: Mayor’s Office of Special Events

Get out your calendar and schedule free holiday fun in Houston. This year’s list features 50 free holiday events! Enjoy the season and create memories with family and friends. Check out the big list!

25 DAYS OF FREE HOLIDAY FUN
December 1

Pearland hosts its own Pearland Hometown Christmas Festival December 1, 7 pm – 10 pm, with a tree lighting ceremony, snow play area and hill, Santa, strolling performers and more. Located at Pearland Town Center, 11200 Broadway.

Don’t miss the 98th annual Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting in downtown Houston from 6 pm – 8 pm. The holiday tradition features musical performances, Santa, fireworks and family fun. The public is invited to this free community event at Hermann Square by City Hall.

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 onsite but free shuttles are available.

December 2

Watch a free outdoor performance of The Nutcracker at Central Green Park in Katy December 2, 2 pm – 4 pm. Students from Intempo Dance will perform this classic holiday story. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

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.

DesignCraft is AIGA Houston’s 8th annual outdoor fair featuring the work of local artists, artisans, crafters and creatives. The one-day event allows Houstonians to discover local, well-designed and crafted goods. The event takes place from 10 am – 5 pm at Market Square Park, 301 Milam Street.

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.

December 3

Support local at the CultureMap Holiday Pop-Up Shop at Silver Street Sunday, December 3. 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.

December 4

Mistletoe on the Go! returns this year! Grab your sweetie and visit Texas’ largest mistletoe ball at 150-inches dangling from a 15-ft. oversized candy cane. The festive greenery is located downtown at Market Square Park through January 2 at 301 Milam. Don’t forget to share your pic with #XOmistletoe.

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.

Houston Cecilia Chamber Choir will perform a free Christmas concert of Lessons and Carols December 5, 7 pm. Donations will be accepted at this event. This is held at Prince of Peace Catholic Community, 19222 Tomball Parkway.

December 6

Got a kid who loves trains? Don’t miss Second Baptist Church’s elaborate model train display for the Christmas season. Trains wind through snow-covered villages! Pre-schoolers will love Stories at the Trains Wednesdays in December at 10 am. Families can enjoy a Christmas-themed story, cookies and more. This is located in the Atrium of Second Baptist’s Woodway campus, 6400 Woodway.

December 7

Exhalted Art Theatre Company presents The Great Exchange – an original Christmas musical. It’s a theatrical portrayal of Heaven’s Chief Resident, God, and His plan to redeem all the people of the world. This free event takes place at The DeLuxe Theatre, 3303 Lyons, from December 6 – 10. Free tickets are online.

From the whimsical to the traditional, Tomball is Texan for Fun at Christmastime. This year’s Downtown Holiday Lamp Post Stroll in Tomball is daily through December 31. Merchants and local organizations decorate 50 lamp posts for the Christmas season. Browse around Main, Commerce and Market Streets.

Head downtown for Bank of America Screen on the Green free outdoor movie screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at Discovery Green. Movie begins at 7 pm. Be sure to bring your blanket or lawn chairs. Located at 1500 McKinney.

December 8

Don’t miss Home for the Holidays in Old Town Spring, the 37th annual event through December 23! 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.

December 9

Enjoy Christmas on the Farm – Kids Crazy Christmas Show at Second Baptist Church in Cypress for an unforgetable show. Be entertained with dancing, Christmas music and puppets who creatively tell the “Christmas Story.” Shows at 10 am and 11 am on December 9 (plus evening shows December 7-8). Located at 29900 Hwy 290.

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 8-10.

Enjoy the lights of Jingle & Mingle at The Square at Memorial City. Live music, a spectacular snowfall and appearances by the Memorial City Reindeer. This takes place each Saturday until Christmas from 6 – 9 pm at the Square by Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City Way.

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.

Celebrate Homestead Holiday as the Redbud Hill Homestead comes to life with Christmas cheer from 1 pm – 3 pm. This is part of the Second Saturday Settlers Series at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. Enjoy the celebration with a warm cup of wassail and old-fashioned treats. Kids can have their picture taken with old Saint Nicholas. Located in Humble at 20634 Kenswick.

Celebrate holiday creativity at the 9th Annual Gingerbread Build Off, December 9, 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 December 11-15 at the Central Branch of the Houston Public Library (500 McKinney St.).

Christmas on Commerce returns to Tomball December 9, noon – 4 pm. Enjoy Christmas crafts, live entertainment, activities, and a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Located on Commerce St. in downtown Tomball.

The City of League City 56th 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.

Woodforest in Montgomery County invites the public to its Parade of Lights Saturday, 6 pm – 7 pm. It includes a procession of lighted cars, bikes and other wheeled vehicles from the community’s Forest Island, 4665 Woodforest Parkway North to Jackson Park. Be sure to look for a special guest marshal!

December 10

Visit First Presbyterian Church downtown for their 37th annual Messiah Sing-a-Long at 7:30 pm. Located at 5300 Main Street.

This is the final day of Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival featuring live music on four stages, open air market, strolling Christmas carolers, kids activity area, free hayrides, Christmas lights tour, petting zoo, 200 street vendors, and more. It’s a great bargain with free admission and free parking!

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 9-31.

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 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.

December 13

Moonlight Movies returns to CityCentre for the holidays with a free outdoor screening of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Free popcorn begins at 6 pm with the movie starting at 7 pm. Located at 800 Town and Country Blvd.

Pre-schoolers will enjoy Stories at the Trains December 13 at 10 am. Families can enjoy a Christmas-themed story, cookies and more. This is located in the Atrium of Second Baptist Church’s Woodway campus, 6400 Woodway.

December 14

Catch a free outdoor screening of It’s A Wonderful Life at Discovery Green. The movie begins at 7 pm, 1500 McKinney.

Celebrate the holidays with Handel’s Messiah free performances December 14-17 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.

December 15

Don’t miss Dickinson Festival of Lights celebrating its 20th year. This amazing walk-through event is open Fridays – Sundays, 6 pm – 8:30 pm (December 1-3, 8-10) and nightly December 15-23 at Paul Hopkins Park. Free admission, free parking and free shuttle.

The Polar Express Pajama Party returns to Katy Budget Books December 15, 6:30 pm. Kids wear their pajamas for this special story time and indulge in treats and giveaways! Located at 2450 Fry Road.

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 pm – 8 pm. Located at Sugar Land Town Square.

December 16

Celebrate the holidays with Handel’s Messiah free performances December 14-17 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.

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 17

There is lots of free fun planned at Jingle on the Boardwalk Saturdays and Sundays on the Kemah Boardwalk. December 17 features Santa’s Workshop, Santa pics and a Holiday Saxophone Soloist from 2 pm – 6 pm. Located at 215 Kipp Ave.

Take a stroll through Bufkin Christmas Wonderland. This is the last year, after 25 years, for this historic Pasadena home to show off their large display of Christmas lights and Christmas villages. Light displays are set up through the walking path for photo opps. Located at 2731 Lilac St.

December 18

The Polar Express Pajama Party returns to Katy Budget Books December 18, 6:30 pm. Kids wear their pajamas for this special story time and indulge in treats and giveaways! Located at 2450 Fry Road.

December 19

Drive through Prestonwood Forest subdivision in NW Houston for its 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 in the People’s Choice Award. Dates are December 9-31.

December 20

Pre-schoolers will enjoy Stories at the Trains December 20 at 10 am. Families can enjoy a Christmas-themed story, cookies and more. This is located in the Atrium of Second Baptist Church’s Woodway campus, 6400 Woodway.

December 21

From the whimsical to the traditional, Tomball is Texan for Fun at Christmastime. This year’s Downtown Holiday Lamp Post Stroll in Tomball is daily through December 31. Merchants and local organizations decorate 50 lamp posts for the Christmas season. Browse around Main, Commerce and Market Streets.

December 22

Wander the streets of Old Town Spring for Home for the Holidays, the 37th year of this holiday tradition. Enjoy the beautiful decorations, holiday lights, family-friendly activities, and more. Santa is available for visits (for a small fee). The event runs every day in December through December 24.

December 23

Head to Katy for a free outdoor screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Central Green Park. The movie begins at dusk. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Free fun continues at Jingle on the Boardwalk Saturdays and Sundays on the Kemah Boardwalk. December 23 features holiday dance performances from 1 pm – 3 pm, Santa’s Workshop 2 pm – 6 pm, Snow Patch, Santa pics and more. A free holiday movie (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) begins at 7 pm. Located at 215 Kipp Ave.

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. Fill out this online registration form to participate.

Enjoy a Christmas Eve Snow Fall at The Square at Memorial City at 4 pm before snuggling in tight to wait for Santa. These magical 30-minute snow falls happen daily through December 24. Located at 303 Memorial City.