As news comes that the entire state of Texas is soon to open, with no masks required, at that, shoppers can hit a beloved annual event — in-person.
Get those credit cards ready, as the Nutcracker Market - Spring returns to NRG Center April 16-18. As savvy shoppers are painfully aware, both the cherished Nutcracker Market fall and spring events were canceled in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This is the third iteration of the spring market, which debuted in 2019.
November’s long-running Nutcracker Market serves as Houston’s holiday season kick-off, while the spring bash celebrates all things spring and summer — from unique graduation and wedding gifts to beach accessories, backyard BBQ’s, and warm weather wares. Shoppers can comb the season’s newest apparel and clothing trends, colorful accessories, gourmet food, cheerful home and holiday décor, and more.
Hours for the Spring market are:
- Friday, April 16: 9 am-7 pm
- Saturday, April 17: 10 am-5 pm
- Sunday, April 18: 10 am-5 pm
Expect adjustments to policy, but currently, these are the new safety guidelines:
- Anyone ages two and older entering NRG Park property (indoors or out) for the market will be required to wear a mask — no exceptions — and practice social distancing.
- Event staff will monitor for social distancing and mask wearing.
- There will be increased space between booths and significant spacing of the aisles. The average Nutcracker Market SPRING aisle will be 24-feet wide.
- The Market will be spread through four halls (compared to the two halls used for the 2019 Nutcracker Market SPRING).
- NRG Park capacity for shoppers will be limited to 6,500. Staff will keep count of shoppers as they enter and exit the halls.
- NRG Park will provide enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the day, including cleaning high-touch surfaces and deep cleaning every evening.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available.
- Concessions will be limited. Only when actively eating or drinking, shoppers may remove their masks.
- NRG Park has upgraded the filters for all air-handling units to high efficiency MERV-13 air filtration system.
- Many merchants will offer touchless payment options. All concessions will only offer touchless payment options.
- Health screenings, including temperature checks, will be performed on all persons upon entering NRG Park.
“We cannot overstate how excited we are to return to NRG Center and bring back an in-person Market for our merchants and shoppers,” said Patsy Chapman, CEO of the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, in a statement. “We have carefully and thoughtfully prepared our plan for in-person shopping with recommendations from local and national experts on reopening protocols. Many aspects of the Market will look a little different, but ultimately, the experience of shopping for a great cause is still at the heart of this event.”
New merchant offerings include handmade jewelry and whimsical oyster decoupage jewelry dishes by C. Shel Shop, Ettiene Market’s heirloom-quality kitchen goods and gourmet pantry staples, apparel by Jadelynn Brooke, sunglasses by Smart Choice Sunglasses, boutique shop Bohemian Cowgirl, and more, per a press release.
Meanwhile, popular merchants such as Kendra Scott, The Pajama Princess, and Pony Pal Stable make their first spring. Regulars can find fan favorites such as The Round Top Collection, Karma Living, BURLEBO, and The Royal Standard.
Shoppers can look for ideas for Mother’s and Father’s Day, graduations and weddings, vacation getaway apparel and accessories, and home décor for festivities such as Fourth of July and Cinco de Mayo.
Proceeds from tickets plus 10 percent of all merchandise sales benefit the Houston Ballet Foundation, its academy, and scholarship programs.