21 Things to do in Houston this weekend of December 8 Including 62nd Annual Christmas Boat Parade, Light in the Heights 2023, & more!

21 Things to do in Houston this weekend of December 8 Including 62nd Annual Christmas Boat Parade, Light in the Heights 2023, & more!

Our top picks for things to do in Houston this weekend of December 8 include the 62nd Annual Christmas Boat ParadeLight in the Heights 2023Galveston Island Holiday Experiences, Tomball German Festival Christmas MarketRudolph RunS’mores with Santa, and more!

There’s always a lot to do in Houston, especially on the weekends. And so, if you find yourself searching for ‘things to do this weekend near me’ or ‘Houston events this weekend’ or ‘what to do in Houston this weekend’ we have you covered! Whether you are looking for ‘things to do in Houston this weekend for couples’ or ‘black events in Houston’, you will surely find something you like on our list. 

There are several fun things to do in Houston this weekend December 8 – 10, 2023! Read on to find out! 


Editor’s Note: Our staff works hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, all information is subject to change! As always, please verify with the organizer before heading out! 

Also, remember to check out our other Houston posts: Best Ice Skating Rinks Houston, Winter Wonders at Discovery Green, Galveston Winter Wonders, and Best Christmas Lights in Houston 2023!


TOP PICK! – Galveston Island Holiday Experiences!

Visit Galveston

Galveston Island Holiday Experiences! | Visit Galveston

Whether it’s reliving Victorian times at Dickens on The Strand, marveling at the majestic Sandhill Cranes, or basking in the glow of the Grand Galvez’s lights, every moment spent in Galveston this holiday season is a step into a storybook of winter magic. So, pack your bags, bring your holiday spirit, and make your way to Galveston Island for an unforgettable winter season in 2023!

Some of the big events to look out for include the 50TH ANNUAL DICKENS ON THE STRAND, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ TRAIN RIDE AT GALVESTON RAILROAD MUSEUM, HOLIDAY IN THE GARDENS AT MOODY GARDENS, and many more!

For more ideas on what you can do in Galveston this holiday season 2023, check out Visit Galveston.


Things to do in Houston this Weekend of December 8, 2023 – Friday Night Houston

FROSTIVAL AND GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY ICE AT DISCOVERY GREEN!

Enjoy Winter Wonders with Frostival and Green Mountain Energy Ice at Discovery Green!

Enjoy Winter Wonders with Frostival and Green Mountain Energy Ice at Discovery Green!

As Houston’s favorite holiday destination, Discovery Green, along with the Green Mountain Energy Ice, invites everyone to make the most of this winter season. Whether you’re gliding on the ice, marveling at public art, or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere, there’s a touch of magic waiting for everyone at Discovery Green!

Excited to have fun and slide and glide through the coolest ice rink in Houston? Then take note of the hours of operation so you can plan your visit soon!

  • Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. 
  • Friday, Saturday & HISD School Holidays* 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. 
  • Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving Day 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. 
  • Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve – 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. 
  • Christmas Day & New Year’s Day – 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. 
  • Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 15) – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

*HISD School Holidays are (Nov. 20 – 24; Dec. 25 – 29; Jan. 1 – 5, 8 & 15) 

Green Mountain Energy Ice closes to the public at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19, Dec. 17, and Jan. 21 and at 4 p.m. on Dec 10 & 12.

Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
How Much: Regular admission for the ice rink is $17 plus tax, including skate rentals

For more information and the latest updates on events and schedules, visit Discovery Green’s website and sign up for the newsletter at discoverygreen.com/newsletter.


City Lights at Avenida Houston

City Lights at Avenida Houston

Image credit: Avenida Houston

Watch Avenida Houston come to life with dazzling lights, enchanting songs, and heartwarming performances of “A Happy Houston Holiday” this Thanksgiving weekend! The show will feature world-class performers, local talents, and even community groups with medleys that everyone can sing along to.

When: Friday, December 8 – December 17, 2023, 6 pm – 8 pm
Where: Avenida Houston, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010
How Much: Free


Christmas Village Opening Day at Bayou Bend

Enjoy a delightful and immersive holiday experience at the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend this weekend! 

Expect a wonderful Christmas wonderland featuring thousands of lights throughout the 14-acre estate of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Some of the fun activities to look forward to are sledding in a faux-snow slide, tossing around cotton snowballs, games for all ages, 3D animation, taking photos with Santa, and touring the Ima Hogg’s historic house filled with live actors, theatrical effects, and Christmas decor.

When: Friday, December 8, 2023, 5:30 pm – 10 pm
Where: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77007
How Much: $12 for kids 5 – 12 | $18 for adults and teens 13 and above | Free for kids 4 and below


Holiday Market

Redemption Square will be transforming into a winter wonderland this weekend and bring a slice of the North Pole to Lake Houston. There, you can shop at the artisan vendor market, enjoy food, take pictures with Santa, and more. 

When: Friday, December 8, 2023, 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: Redemption Square, Assay St, Houston, TX 77044
How Much: Free


Tomball German Festival Christmas Market

Things to do in Houston this weekend of December 8 | Tomball German Festival Christmas Market

Image credit: Tomball German Festivals

Take a page from the Germans and celebrate the holidays with plenty of food, beer, and wine this weekend at the Tomball German Festival Christmas Market! There will also be live music on three stages, a petting zoo, and a holiday market featuring more than 150 vendors.

When: Friday – Sunday, December 8 – 10, 2023
Where: Old Town Tomball, 201 S Elm St, Tomball, TX 77375
How Much: Free


Houston Ballet: The Nutcracker

Houston Ballet - The Nutcracker at Wortham Center

The holiday classic “The Nutcracker” is back with grand sets, stunning costumes, iconic score, and impressive choreography with the Houston Ballet. Make sure to grab your tickets early for the best seats.

When: Friday, December 8, 2023, 7:30 pm 
Where: Wortham Center, Brown Theater, 501 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
How Much: Starts at $63


TUTS: The Ugly X-mas Sweater Musical

TUTS presents their newest original musical comedy, “The Ugly X-mas Sweater Musical” that blends elements of “The Office” with the competitive spirit of “Project Runway” and “Pose.” 

The story revolves around a large company that is being bought out by an international conglomerate. To save their jobs, employees have to come up with the best ugly X-mas sweater ever made. 

When: Friday, December 8, 2023, 7:30 pm 
Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
How Much: Starts at $40


Midtown Mistletoe Market

Midtown Mistletoe Market

Image credit: Midtown Houston

Shop from a collection of creatively crafted gift items and home decor this weekend at the magical Midtown Mistletoe Market. After shopping, stick around to enjoy the twinkling lights, appearances by Santa, craft classes, photo ops, holiday music, and more. 

ArtJam sessions are also back this year to offer a slate of free, hands-on maker and creator workshops for both kids and adults – perfect for creating that one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season. Please make sure to RSVP in advance as seating is limited in these events.

When: Friday – Saturday, December 8 – 9, 2023, 5 pm – 10 pm (Friday) and 10 am – 4 pm (Saturday)
Where: Baldwin Park, 1701 Elgin St, Houston, TX 77004
How Much: Free


Opera in the Heights: Hansel and Gretel

Watch the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” come to life this weekend with Humperdinck’s sweeping score sung in English at Lambert Hall. The production is made for the whole family to enjoy so you can rest assured that everyone will enjoy the show. 

When: Friday, December 8, 2023, 7:30 pm 
Where: Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77008
How Much: $29 – $85


Things to do in Houston this Weekend of December 9, 2023 – Things to do in Houston Saturday

Rudolph Run

Rudolph Run

Image credit: CITYCENTREHOUSTON

Put on your holiday running suits and run through wonderfully decorated neighborhoods this weekend at the Rudolph Run. There will be a 1K Cupid Run, a Rudolph 5K run, and a 10K Dasher. 

Don’t forget to smile for the camera and get the chance to win the best costume and a great gift card. You can also take pictures with Santa and enjoy special treats after the run.

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 7 am – 11 am 
Where: CITYCENTRE, 800 Town and Country Blvd, Houston, TX 77024
How Much: $20 – $55


Carols on the Green with Houston Grand Opera

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets this weekend and camp out at Discovery Green while listening to jolly carols! The concert will feature performances from local community ensembles Indigo Arts Entertainment and Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus.

It will also feature selections by the Houston Grand Opera Chorus, Butler Studio, and Bauer Family High School Voice Studio. 

Holiday attire is highly encouraged and if it gets a little chilly, don’t worry. Hot cocoa will be on site. 

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 7 pm – 8:30 pm 
Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
How Much: Free


S’mores with Santa

Hop on your sleigh and enjoy a very cowboy Christmas at George Ranch Historical Park with the family! 

Get your photos taken with Santa Cowboy Clause on his trusty steed, Rudolph the Red Horse. Then, sit by a campfire and roast your own sweet and gooey s’mores while singing along to Christmas and country songs. Don’t forget to stop by the craft table to make your very own holiday ornament photo frame to remember this trip.

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm 
Where: George Ranch Historical Park, 10215 FM 762 Rd, Richmond, TX 77469
How Much: $12 | $10 for kids aged 4 – 12 | $5 for kids 3 and under


14th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off at Levy Park

14th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off at Levy Park

Image credit: AIA Houston Chapter

Do you love gingerbread? Get to watch teams create the most amazing gingerbread masterpieces this weekend at the 14th annual Gingerbread Build-Off! You can cheer on the teams, see Santa Claus, and have the kids play in the kids construction zone.

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 10 am – 5:30 pm 
Where: Levy Park, 3801 Eastside St, Houston, TX 77098
How Much: Free


Heights Mercantile Holiday Market 2023

Get one-of-a-kind gifts this weekend at the Heights Mercantile Market! The event is filled with local merchants and vendors offering unique ware that will surely delight the ones on your gift list. 

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 10 am – 5 pm 
Where: Heights Mercantile, 714 Yale St, Houston, TX 77007
How Much: No cover


The Muttcracker 2023

Bring your wonderful furry friends and jingle and mingle your way at Equal Parts Brewing’s The Muttcracker. Enjoy doggy crafts, a puppacino, a doggie snack bar, and pictures with Santa or the Grinch. There will also be tons of vendors selling awesome doggy treats, accessories, and more. 

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 12 pm – 6 pm 
Where: Equal Parts Brewing, 3118 Harrisburg Blvd #108, Houston, TX 77003
How Much: No cover


62nd Annual Christmas Boat Parade

Things to do in Houston this weekend of December 8 | 62nd Annual Christmas Boat Parade

Image credit: Kemah Boardwalk

Head out to Kemah Boardwalk this weekend with your friends or family and enjoy the sight of hundreds of boats fully decked out in their best holiday decorations. The parade will cruise along Galveston Bay and will pass the Boardwalk around 7 to 8 pm. 

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 7 pm 
Where: Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565
How Much: Free


Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Watch one of Tim Burton’s most beloved films like never before! 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” will be projected onto a big screen and will be accompanied by Danny Elfman’s dark and charming score played live by the Houston Symphony.

When: Saturday – Sunday, December 9 – 10, 2023, 7:30 pm 
Where: Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002
How Much: Starts at $43


Light in the Heights 2023

Stroll through the streets of Woodland Heights and take in the beautiful decorations and lights of the area with your loved ones this weekend. 

Every year, residents of the neighborhood decorate their homes. Some even host private parties that sometimes feature musical performances on the porch. Please take note, however, that some of these parties are open to Woodland Heights residents only. 

After admiring the festive sights, stop by the area bars and restaurants for plenty of after-party fun. 

This year, Lights in the Heights will be on Highland and Omar Streets between Studewood and Florence Streets.

When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, 5:30 pm – 9 pm
Where: Omar St, Houston, TX
How Much: Free


Aquarium Nation Expo

Discover the wonders of the world’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams at this weekend’s Aquarium Nation Expo. Here, you can connect with vendors from across the country specializing in corals, aquatic plants, salt and freshwater fish, shrimp, and more. You can also find everything you’ll need to build your dream aquarium. 

When: Saturday – Sunday, December 9 – 10, 2023, 10 am – 6 pm 
Where: NRG Park, NRG Center, 1 NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054
How Much: Starts at $25 for adults | Starts at $12 for kids | Free for kids 2 and under


Fun Things to do in Houston this Weekend of December 8, 2023 – Sunday Events Houston

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

This version of the classic tale is inspired by the acclaimed teleplay starring Brandy and Whitney Houston. Much like the original, this retelling is as beautiful, romantic, and inspiring. It also features Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs. 

When: Sunday, December 10, 2023, 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
How Much: Starts at $40


Holiday at the Harbor

Holiday at the Harbor

Image credit: Kings Harbor

Enjoy a jolly-filled afternoon this weekend at Kings Harbor! Have fun taking photos with Santa, listening to a holiday concert, face painting, and indulging in treats offered by the restaurants around the area. 

When: Sunday, December 10, 2023, 1 pm – 4 pm
Where: Kings Harbor, 1660 W Lake Houston Pkwy, Kingwood, TX 77345
How Much: Starts at $40


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Travel on your mind? Check out our articles on Things to do in Austin this Weekend, Things to do in San Antonio this Weekend, Things to do in Dallas this Weekend, and Things to do in Boston this Weekend!

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