weekend event planner
Here are the top 12 things to do in Houston this Christmas weekend
Editor's note: By now, most in the Greater Houston area are ready to hunker down as the arctic freeze approaches. While we've listed events on Thursday (when the freeze hits) and Friday (another frigid day), many or all are expected to be canceled due to weather. Check social and event pages for updates.
As the weekend warms, holiday offerings abound, including movie fun and a visit from Cirque du Soleil before and on Christmas Eve and some quintessential H-Town events on Christmas Day.
Above all, we urge you to stay safe and warm. Whether you're staying in or venturing out, we wish you the happiest holiday season.
Thursday, December 22
It’s that time of year, when the Community Artists’ Collective helps out those who are still looking for last-minute gifts to give their loved ones on Sunday. The Midtown art temple will present its 15th annual Ashé Holiday Market, featuring artistic and unique gift items made by local artists. The market will be open to the public Thursdays-Saturdays, and by appointment through December 31. Noon.
Timely, beautiful, and poignant, the annual Animation Show of Shows is back. This curated selection comprises the “best of the best” animated short films by students and professionals around the world. Featuring films from 10 countries (including Germany, France, Switzerland and, of course, the USA), the 22nd edition offers an array of highly imaginative, thought-provoking, and moving works that reflect the filmmakers’ unique perspectives and their relationships to the world. Recommended for ages 12+. 6 pm.
One of Houston’s own will be giving people some holiday laughs before Christmas Day pops off. Ali Siddiq has traveled the comedy circuit for over 15 years using wit, thought-provoking punch lines, life experiences, and perfect comedic timing to engage diverse, racial, economic, and cultural audiences through standup as a headliner and through multiple other mediums as a writer, producer, and host. 7:30 pm (7:30 and 9:45 pm Friday).
Friday, December 23
This annual tradition wraps a Broadway-style production around an infusion of contemporary circus arts. As lights dim and the music swells, audiences will have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads as a fantastical cast of holiday storybook characters come to life. Singers, dancers, penguins, toy soldiers, and reindeer invoke the dreams behind a child’s eye on the most magical of nights. Amidst a backdrop of new sets, scenery, and storylines, this family-friendly production is sure to put a twinkle in your eye! 4 & 8 pm (11 am and 3 pm Saturday).
Before this dips out next weekend, you might as well check out The Music Box Theater’s holiday-concert mashup of Christmas standards and Beatles classics. Song selections include some of the group’s original Christmas/Beatles mash-ups, such as “In My Life/Christmas Canon,” “O Come All Ye Faithful/Revolution,” “Golden Slumbers/O Holy Night/In the End” and “The Long and Winding Road/I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” 7:30 pm.
DJ Wes Wallace will be up to his ol’ Classic Numbers shenanigans on Friday, but he’ll be adding a special treat. Just in time for Christmas, Wallace will be throwing a record-release listening party for his blue-moon marble vinyl Psycho Killer EP. He’ll also be giving away some deluxe vinyl packages and other goodies. New Christmas drink specials will be served until 10 pm, and yes – heat will be blowing all through this piece! 9 pm.
Saturday, December 24
This Saturday is the last chance for people to get all Grinchy with it this holiday season. The Houston Farmers Market has gone with a Grinch Who Stole Christmas vibe this year. Bring the kiddos, take your picture with the meanest citizen of Whoville, and see if the Grinch’s heart grows a few sizes. Hopefully, the Market will also play some music from that animated 2018 The Grinch, composed by – believe it or not! – Tyler, the Creator. 11 am.
Wild Oats, the Texas-inspired, family-friendly restaurant in the Houston Farmers Market, will host their Muppet Christmas Carol-themed brunch on Christmas Eve! Catch the classic movie at one of two showings. Make your reservations so your family and friends can enjoy the Muppet-themed menu, including Al-Gonzo's Texas meat and cheese board, smoked turkey legs with Kermit’s Joplin’ John with crowder peas and Miss Figgy pudding. $50 per adult ($35 per child, free for kids 3 years old and under). 11 am & 3 pm.
This promises the most unpredictable and chaotic showtime in the comedy scene. Audiences will feel immersed in an intimate late-night crowd where everyone is loose and ready to have fun. The show will include a hot lineup of standup comedians both local and visiting. So, spend Christmas Eve keeping yourself warm by getting your laugh on! (There will also be a New Year’s Eve next Saturday.) 11 pm.
Sunday, December 25
If you have a lovely little ride that you’ve been meaning to show off this holiday season, here we have this Christmas Day block party that’ll be going down over at MacGregor Park, presented by Still Grinding Entertainment. All car clubs and bikers are welcome at this afternoon shindig. You can bring tents, lawn chairs, dogs, cats, whatever. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with spending the holiest of holidays checking out all the fly slabs that’ll be showing up. 2 pm.
Over at The Rustic’s Post Oak location, come deck the halls and drink the tree! They will be open on Christmas evening for their annual celebration of eating hot tamales and drinking cold beer. Guests can “drink the tree” by choosing from an assortment of beers on The Rustic’s original, beer bottle Christmas tree, and their kitchen will be serving homemade tamales from open to close. Admission is free with an RSVP. 5 pm.
Now in its seventh year, the Continental Club has been throwing a free Christmas show guaranteed to get people jumping after a day of gift-giving, turkey-consuming and possible relative fisticuffs. The band that’ll be kicking the yuletide jams this evening will be Houston’s own Molly & the Ringwalds. Needless to say, they are a party band that specializes in ‘80s music. So, come spread cheer, joy, and mirth all in one evening. 8 pm.