Christmas is just days away and Houston will celebrate with a balmy, 80-plus-degree day. Fortunately, plenty of cool options await your weekend.
Look for a ground-breaking VR experience that jets you to a space station, a party celebrating Die Hard (yes, it's a Christmas movie), a real snow day for the kids, a tribute to George Michael ("Last Christmas," anyone?), a naughty and nice Santa party, and the beloved tradition of A Christmas Carol.
We wish you and your family a very merry Christmas, and of course, a happy New Year. Here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, December 23
The Infinite Houston Experience
The first multi-sensory, interactive virtual reality experience to transport visitors aboard the International Space Station, this experience is touching down in Space City for its American debut — straight from Montreal. The Infinite redefines the frontiers of the user experience by allowing visitors to roam freely inside a life-scale replica of the International Space Station, bringing audiences closer to the feeling of being in outer space than ever before. Through Sunday, February 20. 11 am.
Community Artists' Collective presents Ashé Holiday Market
For those last-minute, Christmas shoppers who are looking for creative gifts to give to your loved ones, may we direct you to this holiday market, which will be open on Thursday and Friday? The market features artistic gift items by Monae Jacobs, Sandi Patterson, Patrick Grady, Shanequa Smith, and others. By the way, the market will be back next Thursday and Friday, with special activities planned for children and their families. 1 pm.
International Youth Fellowship presents Gracias Christmas Cantata
The Gracias Choir & Orchestra will present this show-stopping musical event, that has been performed in venues like the Sydney Opera House and Madison Square Garden, featuring three music-filled stages and an eternal message of hope. Gracias Christmas Cantata instills in its audiences the true meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of hope, love, and God’s forgiveness in our hearts. 7 pm.
Friday, December 24
Nakatomi Plaza Christmas Party
Even though it came out in the summer of 1988, Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie. And it will certainly be the theme of this destined-to-be-wild, Christmas party. Come as you are or join in on the fun by dressing as Bruce Willis's John McClane, Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber or other characters. Bring your best suit, white wife-beater or other Christmas party attire. Yippee ki-yay ... well, you know the rest. 8 pm.
Sleigh All Day with Santa at Children's Museum Houston
The Man in Red invites you to Children’s Museum Houston (where there will actually be real snow!) before his big departure. Join the holiday countdown with Santa Claus before he embarks on his annual journey around the world. Bring your wish list and snap a selfie with Santa while he hands out free cookies. Make sure you’re on the right list and that he checks it twice before it’s too late. 10 am.
Red & White Salsa & Bachata Xmas Party on the Rooftop at Ivy
This super-fun, indoor/outdoor party and social will be popping off on Christmas Eve, located not too far from the Galleria. You will have a great time learning, dancing, and socializing at this stunning place. Everyone is welcome regardless of dance level. Singles, couples, and groups are welcome. VIP sections with bottle service available. No partner required — plan to dance with everyone! 8:30 pm.
Saturday, December 25
14 Pews presents C'mon C'mon
Here's a cute film to watch on Christmas evening: Joaquin Phoenix puts his Oscar-winning Joker theatrics on pause to play a guy who forges a tenuous but transformational relationship with his young nephew (Woody Norman) when they are unexpectedly thrown together, in this delicate and deeply moving story about the connections between adults and children, the past and the future, from writer-director Mike Mills (Beginners). 7 pm.
The "Last Christmas" Party: A Tribute to George Michael at Etro Lounge
George Michael left us on Christmas five years ago. To honor his legacy, Etro Lounge will salute the iconic dance-pop star on this holiest of nights. DJ Rice Cube will be playing George Michael's music-video hits, from his days in Wham! to his solo career. Plus, there will be '80s synth-pop and new-wave hits to be played all night. There will be no cover and festive drinks. Join your friends on the dance floor for this tribute. 10 pm.
Pour Behavior presents Santacon
So, the fine folks at Pour Behavior will have a Santa free-for-all with this late-night, Xmas party. Basically, it's a night inviting everyone to come dressed in their best Mr. or Mrs. Claus outfit to spread the holiday joy. We're pretty sure there will be milk (most likely mixed with alcohol) and cookies that'll be served, along with people running around being naughty and nice. God bless us — every one. 11 pm.
Sunday, December 26
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Drive My Car
If three-hour movies are your thing, you have to check out the latest from Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, which is already being called the best movie of the year by many critics. It follows a Japanese actor (Hidetoshi Nishijima) who directs a production of Uncle Vanya, a play that brings back some sad memories. Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, this haunting road movie travels a path of love, loss, acceptance, and peace. 2 pm.
Alley Theatre presents A Christmas Carol
Even though Christmas will be over the following Sunday, the Alley will keep this going until the end of the year. A resident company of actors assemble to perform a new production of the heartwarming Christmas story. And through Wednesday, January 12, a paid digital version filmed live at the Alley will be available for all those Omicron-weary theatergoers. Through Wednesday, December 29. 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
Mannheim Steamroller at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Mannheim Steamroller will bring their annual holiday tour to fans throughout the country. While 2020 was the first year the group was unable to tour in 35 years, 2021 will reunite the No. 1 Christmas music artist in history with its legion of long-time fans. Audiences can experience the music that has become the hallmark of the holidays and a tradition for multi-generational families. 7:30 pm.