4 insider shopping hot spots to check out at the 40th annual Nutcracker Market

4 top shopping spots to catch at the 40th annual Nutcracker Market

2021 Nutcracker Market
Knock out your holiday shopping at the annual Nutcracker Market. Photo courtesy of Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market

The holiday shopping season has already begun, and this weekend Houstonians are in luck of working their way through their lists.

No need to fret about shipping delays, empty shelves, or out-of-stock products – the Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Market – The Redo celebrates its 40 years of tradition with the return of in-person shopping.

“Forty years is such a momentous occasion, especially after the challenges of last year,” said Patsy Chapman, CEO of the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, in a release. “We are thrilled to have this time to appreciate and celebrate so many years of unforgettable memories and to continue this tradition which has been so enthusiastically embraced by our community.” 

The fundraising market, which benefits the Houston Ballet, is rolling out its trademark red carpet through Sunday, November 14. Eleven percent of all merchandise sales, plus proceeds from admission and special events tickets, aid the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy, and scholarship programs.

The Nutcracker Market has contributed $75.3 million to the Houston Ballet Foundation to date. With the funds raised in 2019, more than 70,000 Houston-area students benefited from the Academy’s Education and Community Engagement programs; over $700,000 was awarded to approximately 217 students to continue their dream of studying dance at the Houston Ballet Academy; and students from almost 300 Houston-area schools and community centers experienced the ballet for the first time.

From its inception as a church bazaar in 1981 to the second-largest fundraising event at NRG Park, the annual extravaganza has grown over the last four decades. Today, it attracts over 100,000 shoppers.

Year after year, the Nutcracker Market selectively curates the various merchants, blending long-running fan favorites with new shops. Returning local brands include Christina Greene (Booth 1001), Chloe Dao (Booth 1444), Kendra Scott (Booth 508), Manready Mercantile (Booth 454), Mirta Tummino Studio (Booth 644), and Paris Texas Apparel Co. (Booth 600).

Expect more than 50 new vendors this year. Here are four to watch:

Brenda Grands – Booth 1512
Inspirational daily jewelry and a best seller Texas collection

C. Shel Shop – Booth 1136
Handcrafted jewelry, a bead and shell jewelry bar, home decor.

LH Candle Studio  – Booth 1432
Handcrafted and decorative home fragrance products.

Maria Victoria by Lilly Chic – Booth 1238
Handwoven recycled plastic handbags and accessories made by talented Mexican artisans.


The Nutcracker Market runs through Sunday, November 14 at NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. Hours are 10 am to 8 pm on Friday; 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday; and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $20 at the door.