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Where to watch the World Cup in Houston

where to watch the world cup

Pitch 25/Facebook

Soccer fans all over the world are turning their attention to Qatar where the World Cup will take place from November 20 through December 18. The 32-team field includes the world’s top squads, including the US’s first appearance since 2014.

For those whose knowledge of international soccer is limited to playing FIFA, check out this handy guide from The Verge that explains the controversies surrounding the event, lists a few teams to watch, and offers other tips for newbies.

A number of Houston bars and restaurants will be showing many of the matches, some of which kick off as early as 4 am. Look for plenty of opportunities to root for all the participating squads, with some establishments offering themed food and drink specials to champion individual countries.

Betelgeuse Betelgeuse
Washington Avenue’s cocktail bar and pizzeria will open at noon November 21-28 to show the 1 pm matches. Drink specials include $15 domestic buckets and happy hour pricing until 6 pm — $7 32-ounce drafts, $6 wines by-the-glass, and $8 World Cup-themed cocktails.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
The whiskey-obsessed comfort food restaurant will serve special dishes for all matches by the USA, Mexico, England, and France. Look for dishes such as the All American Dog (chili cheese hot dogs), fish and chips, birria tacos, and steak frites. Each menu comes with drinks specials such as $10 Maker’s Mark bourbon, beer specials, and $25 glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

CounterCommon Beerworks & Kitchen
Bellaire’s new brewpub rolls outs its brunch menu this week, which is just in time to show the opening match on Sunday. Look for food specials for the 1 pm matches in the first, such as fish and chips for Monday USA vs Wales tilt and a Sonora hot dog for Mexico vs Poland on Tuesday.

Drift
The popular sports bar will open at 10 am November 20-28 to show World Cup matches on 50 TVs. Expect daily drink specials to put fans in the proper rooting spirit.

The Flying Saucer Downtown
The craft beer destination will open at 10 am this Sunday, November 20 for the opening match and at 10 am on Tuesday for Mexico vs Poland. Look for drink specials such as $4 Houston drafts on Sunday, $4 drafts and $4 cocktails on Monday, and more.

Lyric Market
Downtown’s newest food hall will show all matches that take place during its operating hours of 7 am - 10 pm on both a projector screen and its TVs. Bar manager Andy Charlton has created a menu of $8 cocktails inspired by each of eight groups in the round of 32. For example, consider Group B’s Best of Enemies (Pimm’s, bourbon, lemon and mint syrup) or Group F’s Second Time’s a Charm (rye, cold brew coffee, Maraschino liqueur, and bitters).

Monkey’s Tail
The north Houston bar will open at noon for all of the Mexico and USA games that start at 1 pm. In addition, the kitchen will serve two-for-$12 birria taco during Mexico’s matches and $7 Frito pies during USA matches.

Patterson Park
The Heights-area bar will open at noon for the USA matches on November 21, 25, and 29. It will show the games on its 40 TVs with full sound.

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House
San Leon’s waterside restaurant will show World Cup matches on the TVs at its bar and patio. Get $4 drafts during weekday matches, and fans sporting team gear will receive 10-percent off their bills.

Pitch 25 Beer Park
Naturally, Dynamo legend Brian Ching’s massive, soccer-themed bar in EaDo will open as early as 7 am for select matches. The indoor-outdoor bar’s World Cup parties will feature a 20-foot screen, more than 45 TVs, six pop-up bars, food trucks, and appearances by soccer players including former members of the Mexican National Team.

Those looking for a more premium experience may opt for VIP passes that come with a dedicated seating area, separate entrance, and a private bar.

The Richmond Arms
The beloved, Galleria-area pub will open at 7 am November 21-28 and at 9 am November-December 18. As everyone knows, watch soccer is more fun with English pub grub and properly poured pints.

The Upside Pub
Garden Oaks’ newest neighborhood bar will offer different drink specials during the 1 pm matches. Some days will feature discounts on specific breweries while other days will feature early happy hour pricing.

William Price Distilling
Head to Garden Oaks where this distillery will be showing all of the 7 am, 10 am, and 1 pm games on a 20-foot indoor screen on its production floor and on multiple TVs in its tasting room and lounge. Fans can catch all of the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina matches, including the one that starts at 4 am.

Attendees can sip coffee, beer, wine, or cocktails, and food will be available. Plus, the distillery offers fast wifi for anyone who needs to get a little work done. Reservations available via Eventbrite.

Photo by Emily Jaschke

Houstonians score a ton of fun at CultureMap's first-ever Tailgate party

score big

Houston’s biggest sports fans partied overtime at CultureMap's newest signature event, The Tailgate.

Recently held at Silver Street Studios, the celebration of all things sports attracted a crowd ready to have some game day fun.

And they certainly didn't go hungry. Past Tastemaker Awards winners and nominees brought snacks galore, from Thai sausage to pizza bites to brisket sliders and more.

Guests could vote for their favorite munchies via QR code, leading to d’Alba Craft Kitchen & Cocktails taking home the trophy for their Falcon Lakes Bolognese. J-Bar-M Barbecue’s cochinita pibil sausage wraps also earned raves. Drool over a full list of the snacks here.

Those looking to scoop up ideas for their next watch party could sample catering from Whole Foods Market, then walk away with a stadium-approved clear backpack filled with snacks, samples, and coupons for future purchases.

No one's cup ran dry, thanks to bars stocked with 11 Below Brewing Company beers, Austin Cocktails, and specialty drinks featuring Dripping Springs Vodka and 1800 Tequila, the official tequila of the Houston Texans.

Speaking of sips, five local bars competed to create the best vodka cocktail with Dripping Springs vodka. In the end, Loch Bar’s Lavender Rose cocktail was the big winner.

In between bites and sips, guests browsed a silent auction stuffed with valuable sports memorabilia, with a portion of proceeds benefitting our nonprofit partners. The first bidder for each item scored a special reward: a glittering replica of a championship ring (which we can confirm were appropriately heavy).

Attendees could also learn more about and donate to each of the event's nonprofit partners. The Sugar Land Space Cowboys and their mascot Orion represented The Astros Foundation, which harnesses the passion of baseball fans to support youth baseball and softball programs, the recognition/honor of our nation's military, childhood cancer awareness, and efforts to reduce homelessness.

Former safety Eric Brown and former offensive lineman Fred Weary joined the Texans mascot Toro and the Texans cheerleaders on behalf of the Houston Texans Foundation, which serves children in the Houston area through partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and the Houston Texans Teen Club, the Houston Texans YMCA in the Third Ward, the Houston Food Bank, and more. Other key programs include disaster response efforts, youth football, support for members of the military, veterans, and their families, as well as funding social justice efforts in Houston.

Houston Dynamo mascot Diesel represented Dynamo Charities, which leverages the passion of their players, staff, and fans to provide resources and education that positively impact lives in the community. Those who stopped by could show off their kicking skills at a giant inflatable goal.

Spotted among the sea of jerseys were Leisa Holland-Nelson, David Gow, Brittany Campbell, Isabel Protomartir, Murray Manley, Deets Hoffman, Leon Barileva, Jeff Solomon. Filiz Elshani, Hera Olsson, Natalie Lyles, Allie Marin, Savannah Sullivan, Austin Lyles, Christen Fobbs, Isley Maglalang, Sandra Panesso, and Stephen Pinkney.

Photo by Emily Jaschke

Haley Fahrenthold, Jackie Heston, Grace Ryan, and Peyton Ross

Photo courtesy of WTA

World's top women tennis players start final showdown of 2022 in North Texas

Game, set, world-class match-ups

While all eyes in Houston are on the Astros as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series, tennis fans also have an eye on North Texas.

Though not as famous as Wimbledon or the US Open, the WTA Finals will crown a new queen of the women's pro tennis tour in North Texas this week — and all are invited to court.

For the first time, Fort Worth hosts the prestigious year-end finale for the WTA, featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the world. Singles players vying for title, and their rankings, are:

No. 1 Iga Swiatek (Poland)
No. 2 Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
No 3 Jessica Pegula (United States)
No. 4 Coco Gauff (United States)
No. 5 Maria Sakkari (Greece)
No. 6 Caroline Garcia (France)
No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka*
No. 8 Daria Kasatkina*

U.S. superstars Gauff and Pegula are also competing in doubles.

The "round robin"-style competition will take place October 31-November 7 at Dickies Arena, and tickets start at $20.

The prestigious year-end finale has been moved to Fort Worth from Shenzhen, China, for one year only, WTA officials say. It's the first time the contest has been staged in North Texas, and the first time it's in the United States in 17 years. The total prize money pool is $5 million.

Players assembled at Fort Worth's Hotel Drover for a celebration and "draw party" on Friday, October 28. (More on the groupings, draws, and prize money each player picks up throughout each round here.)

Each day in the first rounds, play starts at 3 pm, and both singles and doubles matches will be played. Friday through Sunday, play begins at 1:30 pm. The finals in both doubles and singles will take place at 5:30 pm and 8 pm respectively, Monday, November 7.

The initial order of play, on October 31 and November 1 is:

Monday, October 31
3 pm:
(1) Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) & Katerina Siniakova (Czech Republic) vs (8) Desirae Krawczyk (USA) & Demi Schuurs (Netherlands)
Not before 5 pm:
(3) Jessica Pegula (USA) vs (5) Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Not before 7 pm:
(2) Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) vs (7) Aryna Sabalenka
Followed by:
(3) Coco Gauff (USA) & Jessica Pegula (USA) vs (6) Yifan Xu (China) & Zhaoxuan Yang (China)

Tuesday, November 1
3 pm:
(4) Veronika Kudermetova & Elise Mertens (Belgium) vs (5) Lyudmyla Kichenok (Ukraine) & Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Not Before 5 pm:
(1) Iga Swiatek (Poland) vs (8) Daria Kasatkina
Not before 7 pm:
(4) Coco Gauff (USA) vs (6) Caroline Garcia (France)
Followed by:
(2) Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) & Giuliana Olmos (Mexico) vs (7) Anna Danilina (Kazakhstan) & Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)

"I’m super excited to be in the finals," says top-ranked Swiatek. "I feel like it’s a celebration of what we’ve done in the past year. I’m just proud to be here."

The eyes of the tennis world will be on DFW, too. According to NBC5, the matches will be broadcast in 160 countries to a projected viewing audience of 900 million people. Find coverage at tennischannel.com.

To keep up with the tournament, follow WTA on Facebook or visit the website.

(*Per WTA style, players native to Russia do not have their country listed.)

Photo courtesy of Houston Texans Foundation

These sporty nonprofits are bringing athletes and inspiration to The Tailgate

Work Together

If you've been psyching yourself up for The Tailgate on October 27, you likely already know what we'll be serving and what you might want to wear.

But a key component of our newest party is shining a spotlight on sports-related nonprofits —and you'll even get to meet some of the athletes that champion these important causes.

Read up on who's going to be there and how you can get involved in their life-changing work:

Houston Texans Foundation
The mission of the Houston Texans Foundation is to be champions for youth. Since 2002, the foundation has raised more than $41.7 million dollars to support programs in education, character development, and health and wellness to empower the next generation of Texans.

The Houston Texans Foundation is proud to serve children in the Houston area through partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and the Houston Texans Teen Club, the Houston Texans YMCA in the Third Ward, the Houston Food Bank, and more. Other key programs include disaster response efforts, youth football, support for members of the military, veterans, and their families, as well as funding social justice efforts in Houston.

Two big fans of the foundation — and Texans legends themselves — will be at The Tailgate: former safety Eric Brown and former offensive lineman Fred Weary. You can meet and pose for pics with them, Texans mascot Toro, and the Houston Texans cheerleaders.

Test your skills and win prizes at the Quarterback Toss, or buy a raffle ticket for a chance to score two VIP passes to The Taste of the Texans on December 5 under the stars at NRG Stadium.

The Astros Foundation
The official charity of the MLB team harnesses the passion of baseball fans to support youth baseball and softball programs, the recognition/honor of our nation's military, childhood cancer awareness, and efforts to reduce homelessness. Cornerstone initiatives include the Community Leaders program, the Astros MLB Youth Academy, and the Astros RBI Program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).

The Sugar Land Space Cowboys — the Astros' Triple-A affiliate team — partner with The Astros Foundation to extend these efforts and distribute funds back into the greater Fort Bend community.

The Space Cowboys will be at The Tailgate with their mascot, Orion, sharing information on the organization, their season, the 2022 Sugar Land Holiday Lights event, and how you can get involved.

Try your luck in the raffle for four tickets to a 2023 Space Cowboys game and some cool swag, plus the opportunity to throw out the first pitch.

Houston Dynamo Charities
Dynamo Charities believes in using the sport of soccer to support communities in the greater Houston area. They are committed to leveraging the passion of their players, staff, and fans to provide resources and education that positively impact lives in the community.

Photo courtesy of Houston Texans Foundation

Houston Texans Foundation helps serve and empower the next generation.

Stop by their tent to play yard games and show off your kicking skills at the giant inflatable goal, plus say hi to mascot Diesel while you're there.

For the raffle, each donation over $25 gives you a chance to win a 2022 team-signed Houston Dynamo FC jersey.

How to buy tickets
Fired up to make a difference in your community? Show up to The Tailgate on October 27 at Silver Street Studios, where delicious food and drink, fun games, and representatives from all these nonprofits will be waiting.

Here are all the ways you can benefit our nonprofit partners: make a donation through our Eventbrite page. Then, at the event, enter to win the ultimate sports package in the raffle and bid on silent auction items, where a portion of proceeds go back to the charities.

Get your tickets now, and use promo code CM15 for $15 off your ticket price.

Sticky's Chicken/Facebook

All the mouthwatering food and drinks you'll find at The Tailgate

Yum Yum

Attention, sports fans: The Tailgate is almost here. CultureMap Houston's newest signature event is happening October 27 at Silver Street Studios, and you'll want to be there.

Why? Because even if you aren't a football fanatic, hockey hound, soccer supporter, or basketball and baseball buff, you're probably a big fan of fantastic local food and drinks.

Here's what's on the menu:

  • 2021 Tastemaker Awards Restaurant of the Year winner Street to Kitchen will be serving sai oua, a spicy northern Thai sausage.
  • d'Alba Craft Kitchen & Cocktails, the 2022 Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant winner, is presenting its Falcon Lakes Bolognese.
  • Tastemaker Awards 2020 Best Pizza winner Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana is bringing Truffalo Wing Pizza Bites.

Also expect:

  • chicken wings from Sticky's Chicken
  • pulled pork tostadas from Chef Jake Gober of Silver Whisk Elite (who also happens to be JJ Watt's former personal chef)
  • hummus, pita chips, and veggie sticks with Labneh ranch from Craft Pita
  • queso arancini, elotes, and mini hotdogs from Heights & Co.
  • brisket sliders from Daily Gather
  • pretzels and queso from Dish Society
  • smoked pork yakisoba from Ramen Tatsu-Ya
  • cochinita pibil sausage wraps from J-Bar-M
  • chicken barbacoa tacos and drunken pulled pork BBQ sliders from Bayou & Bottle at the Four Seasons
  • drunken pineapple-glazed brisket from Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar
  • assorted kolaches from Kolache Shoppe

Whole Foods Market will have a game-day catering spread and a variety of 365 favorites for tailgating — learn all about their delicious options here.

Cast your vote on-site to choose the best tailgate dish, and we’ll announce the winner at the end of the event.

To wet your whistle, there will be signature cocktails by 1800 Tequila and Dripping Springs Vodka — just wait until you taste the Sideline Rita and QB Crusher — plus Austin Cocktails and beer from 11 Below Brewing. You'll also get to vote for your favorite drink in the cocktail competition hosted by Dripping Springs Vodka.

Aside from the concessions, expect game-day activities and fun yard games, the chance to snap pics with the Houston Texans cheerleaders, and there just might be appearances from your favorite athletes, who will be shining a spotlight on the sports-related nonprofits they support and giving you the chance to pitch in and make a difference for the causes they champion.

Get your tickets now, and use promo code FOOD15 to get $15 off tickets. We’ll see you on October 27.

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Lake Resort

Fall into fun this autumn at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Lake Conroe

No Passport Required

Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. The calendar at the Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe is jam-packed with plenty of events and activities this fall that will keep the good times rolling.

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Lake Resort

Every hour is happy hour at Margaritaville Lake Resort.

Receive a $100 resort credit per day at all the restaurants and bars the resort offers. You can also receive 25 percent off at St. Somewhere Spa, 25 percent off on a round of golf, and 25 percent off a boat rental with the resort’s special promotion “No Passport Required.”

Below are a few of the events and activities on tap at Margaritaville Lake Resort this fall:

Wine Pairing Dinner
Raise a glass to fall on October 19 with wines from Bernhardt Winery paired with tantalizing Margaritaville-inspired dishes. The fixed menu includes Ahi tuna tostada, burrata caprese salad, steak au poivre, and tiramisu. Special Margaritaville-branded wines also will be available. The cost is $90 per person. Call 1-877-286-9590 to reserve your spot today.

Halloween at Margaritaville Lake Resort
Pack up your costumes and treat your family to a Halloween like no other. It’s not a trick — with two heated pools, two hot tubs, and a variety of Halloween activities planned, there’s no end to the frightening fun. Make a weekend out of it and have a scary good time all weekend long. On October 29, there will be trick-or-treating throughout the resort for the kids, a family costume contest, and so much more.

Margaritaville 5K
Lace up your sneakers and escape to paradise on November 19 from 8-11 am. Boasting more than 20,000 acres of glassy waters surrounded by lush, green golf courses, Lake Conroe is the perfect setting for a gorgeous run. For more information and to register, visit here.

LandShark Bar & Grill and Boathouse Bar & Lounge Happy Hours
Every hour is happy hour at Margaritaville Lake Resort. Check out this variety of food and drink specials, available four nights a week from 4-7 pm:

  • Margaritaville Mondays
  • Taco Tuesday
  • Ladies Happy Hour (Wednesdays)
  • Texan Night (Thursdays)

Sing your heart out every Thursday night from 8-11 pm in the LandShark Bar & Grill. Enjoy refreshing cocktails and beers on tap plus a variety of bar bites. To learn more, visit the website.

Golf and Spa Happy Hours
From 11 am-2 pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays, The Club at Margaritaville Lake Resort offers golfing Happy Hour, which includes a golf cart and greens fees for $45. The friendly resort course meanders through a landscape of tall pines, sandy beaches, and cascading waterfalls that create one of the most enjoyable golfing experiences in Montgomery County.

If golfing isn’t your kind of margarita, spend happy hour at St. Somewhere Spa. Relax and renew with discounts on several spa treatments booked between 12 pm and 3:59 pm, Sunday through Thursday. Find more details on the website.

Football and playoff baseball in Boathouse and LandShark
Watch as your favorite baseball team makes a bid for the World Series or your favorite football team runs for the end zone. Gather your friends and settle in for an afternoon of fall sports at Boathouse Bar & Lounge or LandShark Bar & Grill all season long.

Thanksgiving 2022
This year, let Margaritaville Lake Resort do the cooking. Make plans to join the resort for Thanksgiving and bask in tranquil views of Lake Conroe as you enjoy some of your traditional favorites. Refreshing fall cocktails, Blood Marys, and mimosas are on the menu for $19-plus. Adults are $69 and up, children are $30 and up, and children 5 and under are complimentary. Members receive a 20 percent discount, and reservations are highly encouraged — please call 1-877-286-9590.

For these events and more activities happening this fall at Margaritaville Lake Resort, visit here.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Iconic Texas 'cowboy-style' BBQ joint's Katy outpost closure leads week's top stories

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Iconic Texas 'cowboy-style' barbecue joint's Katy location quietly closes. Sadly, the local outpost couldn't replicate the magic of the original in Llano.

2. Ken Hoffman urges Houston travelers to keep calm and enjoy the trip at the new-look Bush IAH. Our columnist explains why travelers might be in "for a big, pleasant surprise at Houston’s Bush-Intercontinental Airport."

3. Houston's most spectacular winter light shows and events dazzle for the holidays. We rounded up where to see dazzling lights with family, friends, and visitors.

4. Disgraced Theranos CEO and former Houstonian Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years for fraud. Additionally, Holmes faces a fine of $400 million.

5. Houston's NASA leaders 'giddy' after historic Artemis 1 moon flyby. The spacecraft cruised just 81 miles above the lunar surface.

Disney's Strange World is a visual stunner with too many story ideas

Movie Review

For a studio whose entire reason for being seems to rely on creating and sustaining familiar characters, Walt Disney Animation takes its fair share of risks. In the last 10 years, it has released nine films, seven of which were not based on pre-existing properties (the other two were sequels for two of those seven). That’s a lot of new stuff, most of which has succeeded mightily for the perennially-popular leaders in animation.

They’re at it again with Strange World, which takes place in an unknown country/world known as Avalonia, where Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid) is a famous explorer whose only desire is to find a way over, around, or through the imposing mountains surrounding the land. His son, Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), doesn’t share his enthusiasm, and an early discovery by Searcher of a unique energy source leads to a rift between father and son. Jaeger continues onwards, while Searcher returns home with a plant they call Pando that creates harmony throughout the land.

Years later, when the plant shows signs of failure, Searcher is recruited by Avalonia leader Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu) to help in an expedition to find the source of whatever is attacking Pando. What they and others – including Searcher’s wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union) and son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) – find in their travels certainly lives up to the title.

Co-directed by Don Hall and Qui Nguyen and written by Nguyen, the film is a visual stunner. The quality of animation in Disney movies rarely fails to impress, and Strange World is the latest and greatest example. Whether it’s the humans, the landscape, or the innumerable weird creatures that populate the film, there is almost nothing that doesn’t deserve to be stared at and admired.

It’s odd, then, that the story does not come close to matching the graphics. There are a variety of reasons for this failure. Nguyen is the sole credited writer, and he stuffs the film full of big and small ideas, probably too many for this type of project. Searcher’s family and the world of Avalonia and beyond are diverse in multiple ways, to the point that it feels like Nguyen was trying to include everything he could think of in case he never got another shot.

The bigger sin, though, is how quickly the film advances through its plot, often bringing up new things out of nowhere. While Searcher and his family make for an interesting group, the side characters never make an impact. There are also multiple instances where the story takes a turn that makes no sense, either in the world of the film or a storytelling manner.

This includes the final act of the film, which features a significant twist that is presented and accepted in a way that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. It adds on yet another message in a movie that contains a lot of them, but in a way that even those inclined to believe in what it’s trying to say may wonder why that part is there at all.

The science fiction element of Strange World is a bonanza for the filmmakers and animators to go as wild as they wanted in the visual department. But all that splendor is in service of a story that just doesn’t measure up, making it one of Disney’s less successful offerings in recent years.

---

Strange World is now playing in theaters.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), Jaeger (Dennis Quaid), and Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) in Strange World

Affluent Houston suburb leads region for highest holiday spending budgets in U.S.

Santa Baby

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Sugar Land as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

According to the personal finance website, the average holiday budget in Sugar Land is $2,793 per person, the 15th highest in the nation. As CultureMap previously reported, Sugar Land residents here make an average of $123,261; the average home price is $337,600.

Fittingly, Fort Bend, home to Sugar Land, was recently named the second-richest county in Texas.

As for Greater Houston, Santa's bag could be a mixed bag, with three suburbs in the top 100, but the urban center falling far behind:

  • Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
  • Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
  • The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
  • Houston, No. 366, $890

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.

"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.

Elsewhere in Texas, 10 North Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:

  • Flower Mound, No. 3, $3,531 (The only Texas city in the top 10)
  • Allen, No. 17 , $2,670
  • Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
  • McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
  • Plano, No. 50, $1,999
  • Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
  • Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
  • North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
  • Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630
  • Fort Worth, No. 366, $890
  • Dallas, No. 401, $845

Spending in the Austin area won't be ho-hum with the Capitol City's budget of $1,705 ranked at No. 78. Two Austin suburbs, Cedar Park (budget $2,855) and League City (budget $2,541) ranked 14 and 20, respectively.

Things don't look too jolly for San Antonio, ranked at No. 431 with an average budget of $803 or Pharr, which was the lowest ranked city in Texas.

At No. 553 with a budget of $487, the Rio Grande Valley city came in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, CT with a budget of only $211.