weekend event planner

Here are the top 12 things to do in Houston this weekend

Here are the top 12 things to do in Houston this weekend

Stages presents Panto Little Mermaid
Panto Little Mermaid takes the classic to Galveston. Photo by Melissa Taylor

The holidays are in full swing, with just a little more than two weeks before the big day. That means a flurry of holiday-themed events, such as a Coca-Cola Caravan stop, a candelight Christmas concert, a Christmas tour of homes, and an ugly sweater stroll.

Also look for a beloved Disney classic that comes to the stage — and Galveston — for a hilarious romp, plus an "artsy fartsy" shopping day with Bad Santa.

Here are your best bets for the weekend.

Thursday, December 9

Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan
As many holiday traditions have evolved due to COVID-19, Coca-Cola is doing something to preserve the real magic of the holiday season, including a one-of-a-kind experience with the man in the big red suit himself. To experience Santa first-hand, this caravan is embarking on an epic, cross-country tour. The caravan heads to Houston this week, making stops at multiple spots (like the University of Houston and Memorial City Mall on Thursday) before closing out its stay in Houston with an appearance at the Houston Texans Game on Sunday. Noon and 6 pm.

Kristina Koutsoudas and DivineDances present Inara and the Tre of Souls: An Anthology of Tales - Selected Readings
Funded in part by a grant through the city of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance, this project is based on the tales of the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of Inanna and expands upon them. In choreographer/performer/scholar Koutsoudas’s version, the traditional narrative of "The Hulpullu Tree," the center of the tales, is reframed to emphasize the need for the protection and preservation of nature, of the wilderness within and around us, rather than the use of violence against it and the women who represent it. 7 pm (2 pm Sunday).

Stages presents Panto Little Mermaid
There are gadgets, gizmos, and garbage aplenty under this sea. In this tidal wave of romance and hilarity, a courageous, redheaded mermaid trades her voice for a chance to save her home of Galveston Bay. However, the wicked, accessory-loving Pursula has plans of her own. With the help of her sea creature friends and a handsome marine biologist, audiences will find out if Hairielle can clean up these shores as Hans Christian Anderson’s tale is reimagined as a Panto. Through Friday, December 31. 7 pm (2 and 7 pm Saturday; 2 pm Sunday).

Friday, December 10

Human Rights Day at Holocaust Museum Houston
Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) is hosting free admission on Human Rights Day. Free admission includes access to HMH’s Holocaust, Human Rights, Diaries and Samuel Bak galleries along with entry to the featured exhibitions, Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare and Speaking Up! Confronting Hate Speech. Throughout the day, guests can participate in Q&As with museum educators and curators, bilingual storytime in the Boniuk Library and arts & crafts. 10 am.

The Menil Collection presents "Collection Close-up: Bruce Davidson’s Photographs" opening day
This exhibition comprises a selection of the American photographer’s most consequential series made between 1956 and 1995, primarily drawn from an anonymous gift to the museum of approximately 350 of Davidson’s photographs, which have never before been on view at the Menil. Seeking a shared humanity, Davidson’s photographs offer an intimate perspective of his subjects and their communities, from circus performers to Welsh miners to New York City neighborhoods. On display through Sunday, May 29. 11 am.

Houston Chamber Choir presents Candlelight Christmas
This Friday and Saturday, the Grammy-winning choir, under the direction of founder/artistic director Robert Simpson, presents its annual holiday concert, in which joyful music of the season will resound through the candlelit beauty of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston. The Houston Chamber Choir once again offers carols both old and new to welcome the Yuletide season. Patrons are invited to bring items to donate to The Beacon, a nonprofit that works to end homelessness and restore hope. 7:30 pm (3:30 and 7:30 pm Saturday).

Saturday, December 11

Bad Santa’s Artsy Fartsy Toy Drive + DIY Graffiti Art Experience
Celebrate the holidays under one festive roof at this first annual toy drive, hosted by creatives Sebastien "Mr.D 1987" Boileau and Karla Modesto of Babe City Blooms. Bring the family to enjoy a sorta kid-friendly day of art, flowers, shopping, and shenanigans including a DIY graffiti experience to create an artsy-fartsy, Kimono Zulu masterpiece. That’s where you create your own wearable art gift and spray paint a vintage kimono. 2 pm.

Bloom Houston Grand Opening 
Bloom Houston is a hybrid venue that combines the best of dining, craft cocktails, and nightlife entertainment. Bloom will serve up unique craft cocktails and a curated menu created by renowned executive chef Jake Ellis, who was most recently recognized for his work at Brasserie 19, Brenner's Steakhouse and his very own pop-up kitchen "Salt and Smoke." Bloom is also a visual spectacle with large floral and mural walls, magnificent sparkling chandeliers, neon signage that make great photo opportunities, a full bar and a glitzy outdoor patio. 4 pm.

Autism Society of Texas presents AutFest Texas
The Autism Film Festival, known as AutFest Texas, was created by the Autism Society of Texas to raise awareness by showcasing films that portray life with autism in an honest and responsible way, as well as films created by autistic filmmakers. The films will feature a range of ages and abilities, challenges and triumphs of people living with autism. The event is recommended for those 18 and up due to some of the content and themes in the films. 5 pm.

Sunday, December 12

Cigna Sunday in the Park
Cigna Sunday in the Park provides Houstonians with an opportunity to engage with others, meet new neighbors and explore the community. The Levy Park event will feature a holiday theme with live music, games, dancing, photos with Santa and fun activities for the whole family. The Houston Health Department will also be onsite to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for those 5 and up. Noon.

Blue Triangle Garden Club presents 60th Diamond Anniversary Christmas Tour of Homes
This virtual event will showcase homes in the MacGregor neighborhood and other homes throughout the Houston area. This year’s tour will feature homes in Seabrook, Missouri City, Pearland, Clear Lake and the MacGregor area. The tour will feature nine decorated homes offering a variety of themes. Though each of the homes will embrace the club’s “A Christmas to Remember” theme, each will have its own distinct style and unique appeal. 1 pm.

City Place Plaza presents Ugly Sweater Holiday Strolls
City Place Plaza will host its ugly sweater holiday stroll, one of few events where it pays to be on the worst dressed list. Participants can don their gaudiest seasonal pullover and come out to enjoy some complimentary hot chocolate, live music, lawn games and letters to Santa while enjoying a front-row seat to the ugliest of seasonal couture shows. (If you don’t have any ugly sweaters on you, we’re sure Montrose clothing store Pavement is fully stocked with ugly sweaters galore.) 4:30 pm.