weekend event planner
These are the top 15 things to do in Houston this weekend
This weekend gets into the holiday fun with everyone's favorite Elf, Buddy, in concert. Stages' vivid vision of Panto Alicia in Wonderland shakes up the classic tale with a a quinceañera, Shakira, and J-Lo, and more.
Anita Baker brings the grooves, plenty of markets await, and Sunday offers a very Merry Plantmas, full of shopping, sips, and plants, of course.
Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, December 14
Hope Stone Dance presents its final performance, horse latitudes, a work that explores how and whether we can collectively heal over time. horse latitudes is a 30-minute film choreographed and directed by Jane Weiner, artistic director of Hope Stone Dance, and created with director of photography Ben Doyle of BEND Productions, composer Ran Bagno, editor Ari Feldman, and the nine company dancers featured in the film. 7 and 9 pm.
Stages’ Panto tradition gives the Lewis Carroll classic a fresh, new Houston spin. As her quinceañera approaches, Alice (not Alicia) questions the tradition and pushes away her culture. But once she falls down the rabbit hole, the magical world around her celebrates all that makes her Alicia. Created by Houston’s own TEATRX — and studded with parodies of Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and more — Panto Alicia in Wonderland topples headfirst into wonder and fun. Through Sunday, December 31. 7 pm (2 and 7 pm Saturday and 2 pm Sunday).
Friday, December 15
Deutsch Fine Jewelry’s final trunk shows of the season are here. Join them on Friday and Saturday to meet representatives from enchanting designers Lauren K and Armenta. Known for organic shapes, colorful gemstones, and one-of-a-kind natural stone designs, Lauren K effortlessly marries luxury and nature, while Armenta is a women-owned, local Houstonian gem that matches elegant designs with edgy colors and patterns, culminating in a unique take on luxury jewelry. 10 am.
For those of you who are still missing Halloween this holiday season, there’s still a place where you can get your scare on this weekend. On Friday and Saturday, 13th Floor Houston has transformed the beloved haunted house into a Christmas wonderland, although it won’t be all glitter and snowflakes. Horrifying Christmas characters will haunt all those who enter, trading Christmas cheers for Christmas fears. 7 pm.
In Elf, Will Ferrell’s Buddy was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. Audiences can relive this heartwarming holiday classic on a giant screen as every note of John Debney’s score is played live to picture in Elf in Concert. 7:30 pm.
R&B/soul singer Anita Baker is one of the great ones. Her classic hit “Sweet Love,” from her Grammy-winning 1986 album Rapture, is one of the staples of adult-contemporary R&B radio. And while she may have trouble sharing the spotlight (just ask Babyface), she can still bring beautiful soul stylings onstage. This weekend, she comes to Houston to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her debut solo album The Songstress. 8 pm.
Saturday, December 16
DACAMERA’s Beethoven for All series, performed by leading Houston pianists, will include 20 sonatas spanning Beethoven’s lifetime. In celebration of Beethoven’s birthday on December 16, the music series will culminate in an afternoon marathon at Rothko Chapel. Pianist Timothy Hester begins the day with the sonatas nicknamed “Pathetique” and “Waldstein.” Pianist Tali Morgulis will take to the stage to perform the second concert. And artistic director Sarah Rothenberg will perform Beethoven’s final sonatas. 1 pm.
Andrew Durham Gallery will present an exhibition celebrating the life and work of the late, great artist. The exhibition will feature a diverse range of artwork, including paintings, drawings, and ephemera. Each piece has been carefully selected to represent different phases in Tolbert's artistic development. From his early explorations to his most recent works, the collection provides a glimpse into the artist's creative process, inspirations, and the development of his distinctive style. Through Saturday, January 27. 6 pm.
Visitors can celebrate the beginning of the Winter season at the Yule Solstice Festival. There will be potions & brews, dozens of local occult vendors and artists, holiday shopping with local handcrafted artisans, food, tarot readings, and more. We’re talking about almost fifty local artisan vendors, tarot readers, curated music, and delicious dishes and brews from the Saint Arnold Biergarten and restaurant. 6 pm.
Houston hip-hop gadfly Craig “BBoyCraig” Long is throwing one heck of a hip-hop party this weekend. Not only is it an album release party for The MIghty D-Risha’s latest, Escape from HTX, but D-Risha will do his final live performance. Kyle Hubbard will also perform, with assistance from Fullmetal and DJ Discipline, along with Dirty N Nasty and George Young. Long will host the whole shebang, with DJ Flat Pat on the ones and twos. 8 pm.
Sunday, December 17
The Plant Project welcomes all to celebrate a Merry Plantmas.Photo courtesy of The Plant Project
Craft Pita, the 2023 CultureMap Tastemaker Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, is hosting a fundraising lunch at its West U location (5172 Buffalo Spdwy). A portion of proceeds from any meal during lunch service will benefit the non-profit Plant it Forward, an organization that empowers refugees to develop sustainable urban farming businesses that produce fresh, healthy food for the community. Craft Pita diners can also make in-person donations. 11 am.
Get ready to kick off the holiday cheer with a delightful brunch with Santa at Ostia. Indulge in a limited menu available family-style or a la carte, featuring scrumptious, holiday-inspired French toast, soft eggs, and more. And guess who's making a special appearance? Santa himself is dropping by to spread some magical joy! This merry affair is perfect for the entire family, priced at $42 per person and kids under 5 eat for free. Bring in a toy for Toys for Tots, and for each donation, savor a free dessert or a glass of bubbly prosecco from Ostia. 11 am.
Bree Iman Clarke, Houston’s pioneering (read about her here) empress of plants and owner of The Plant Project lush oasis of all things plants and community, invites plants lovers and everyone, really, to a Plantmas celebration. This holiday version of her popular Plants & Prosecco series features a mini wreath bar, delicious bites, plenty of sips, and holiday-themed snowflake and Nutcracker crafting. While at the Plant Project, stroll through the forest of plant offerings for that perfect holiday gift (poinsettias, anyone?) and more. Noon.
Houston’s premiere burlesque troupe The Divine Darlings will have a special holiday edition of The Burly Soirée at 8th Wonder Distillery. Attendees can look forward to performances that sleigh from headliner Peter Pecker, a Houston burlesque dancer and singer; Divine Darlings Foxy Tocin, Ivy Divine and Sin Pellegrina; special guests Devilish Damia and Flip Oliver; and the Soirée's host and producer, Lady AnnaBelle. Multiple vendors will be selling handcrafted items, so event-goers can purchase their own burlesque and beyond accessories. 2 pm.
The Harvey Bott ROBOTT Opera Revisited is the culmination of a two-day workshop that brings together sculpture, drama, conservation, and robotics in a tribute to one of Houston’s most beloved and longstanding visionary artists. Inspired by H.J. “Harvey” Bott’s experiments with remote-controlled art robots in the late 1970s and early ’80s, the performance will include a series of hand-made robots, projected video, and live musical accompaniment. 4 pm.