Holiday Happenings Houston 2018
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9 best Houston holiday events to make the season bright

9 best Houston holiday events to make the season bright

Mayor Holiday tree lighting houston downtown
The Annual Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting is in its 99th year.  Photo courtesy of City of Houston
Zoo Lights Houston Zoo 2014
Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo. Houston Zoo
The ICE at Discovery Green ice skating downtown
Skating on Discovery Green's ICE.  Photo by Katya Horner
Mayor Holiday tree lighting houston downtown
Zoo Lights Houston Zoo 2014
The ICE at Discovery Green ice skating downtown

The City of Houston will officially get into the holiday spirit on November 30 at 6 pm, as the 99th Annual Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting offers up a dazzling array of music, fireworks and, of course, a Santa Claus on the premises. But all through this winter season, there will be many recurring events that'll serve up some decent, holiday cheer.

Here is a rundown of other yuletide-themed happenings you and your loved ones can check out this month:

Avenida Houston 
Get in the "LOOP," an imaginative, interactive experience where a retro-futuristic machine — a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar — creates animated fairy-tale loops. Runs through January 6. 8 am-11 pm.

Community Artists' Collective 
The collective will kick off its weekend, Ashe Holiday Market on December 7, with a trunk show featuring Project Runway star Korto Momolu. The funds raised fuel The Collective's art education programs for children and adults. Runs through December 29. Noon. 

Constellation Field Stadium
Celebrate the season with the fifth annual Sugar Land Holiday Lights, which features more than 2.5 million lights and numerous themed displays. Guests can also get some holiday shopping done. Runs through January 1. 6 pm.

Discovery Green 
Glide on ICE, the largest, outdoor ice-skating surface in the Southwest, all through January 22. Flea by Night will also start up on December 1, as the night market will feature artwork and other treasures until December 22. 5 pm (11 am Fridays and Saturdays).

The French Farm
Indulge in a Holiday Open Warehouse Sale for the next three Fridays and Saturdays, offering up the finest imported foods and accessories, all carefully crafted by small, family owned businesses using traditional recipes and techniques. Runs through December 15. 10 am.

Gulf Greyhound Park
The park presents the 2018 Magical Winter Lights, which will feature eight themed sections as well as a Holiday Market Square where guests will have a chance to explore the festival food court and shopping areas. Runs through January 6. 5 pm.

The Houston Zoo
The beloved zoo has already been transformed into a winter wonderland. For the seventh year in a row, you can stroll through the grounds as fifteen miles of earth-friendly LED lighting illuminate the trees and paths. Runs through January 13. 5 pm.

The Houstonian Hotel 
The iconic hotel, famous for its holiday gingerbread cookie display (worth a visit alone), is offering a Merry Mansions series, including Cocktails and Cookies events on the premises. Another popular attraction is Merry Mansions Bus Tours. Tour guests can hop on a deluxe motor coach and take a journey full of fun facts, history, and glimpses into the past of many distinguished River Oaks mansions. Runs through December 23. 3:30 and 5 pm.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 
Look for the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend on December 14. The 14-acre estate will have a trail of lights, carolers, a hand-crafted model train, animated projections, and festive activities for all ages. Runs through January 5. 10 am.