et into the holiday spirit in Houston, Texas, with its variety of Christmas attractions and things to do during the holiday season. This vibrant city is among the largest in the United States. It was founded in 1836 by John and August Allen, brothers who named the city after General Sam Houston, who led the charge of the Battle of San Jacinto, ultimately freeing Texas and winning its independence from Mexico. With a thriving arts and cultural scene and endless attractions, Houston is home to much that is exciting — especially at Christmas.
Bayou Bend, a part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (mfah.org), holds its annual Yuletide event from mid-November until New Year’s Day. Although the themes may change from year to year, its decorations aim to illuminate some of the early American Christmas traditions. Displays include a Christmas tree gallery, a Texas Civil War Christmas, a Victorian Christmas parlor and live reenactments of historic moments. Bayou Bend also features several Candlelight Fridays and Yuletide Thursdays, featuring live holiday music and refreshments. Touring the Houston Christmas Lights displays (houstonchristmaslights.org), a series of Christmas light displays in subdivisions throughout the city, is also a popular holiday outing.
Houston has no shortage of holiday performances and concerts, including some annual staples. Rejoice in Handel’s “Messiah,” as performed annually right before Christmas by the Houston Symphony (houstonsymphony.org). There are live concerts, movies and other family-friendly programming included at Ice at Discovery Green (no website; 1500 McKinney Street; 713-434-7465). It offers ice skating and holiday cheer in the middle of downtown Houston, as a 7,200-square-foot portion of Kinder Lake is frozen solid with nearly 18 miles of cooling tubes. It is held daily from late November through late January.
The city lights up with holiday festivals such as Lasers, Lights and Magic in the Park (no website; Saengerfest Park; 409-762-0062). The park is transformed into a holiday festival every evening from late November through New Year’s Eve. Attractions include a laser light show, holiday music, Christmas lights and a visit from Santa. Another option is the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens (moodygardens.org). The festival opens in early November and is open nightly from mid-December until early January. It features more than a million lights, live entertainment, animated Christmas displays, pictures with Santa, a theater showing holiday movies and snow tubing and ice skating.
Although there are no markets open during the Christmas holiday itself, shoppers can get a head start on holiday shopping at the Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Market (houstonballet.org), held annually in early November. The market features hundreds of vendors, free shuttles that run from parking areas to the market’s entryway and events such as a fashion show and a holiday brunch. Another option is the Tomball German Christmas Market (tomballgermanfest.org), held in early December. In addition to arts and crafts and souvenirs, it also features four stages with live music, a petting zoo, street performances and 150 different vendors.
And make sure you come and eat at Jimmy G’s Cajun Seafood! Jimmy G’s Cajun Seafood Restaurant is the place where north Houston families go to relax and enjoy Cajun & Creole cuisine. Two private dining rooms and a cigar friendly bar make Jimmy G’s the perfect spot for business and pleasure. We look forward to seeing and serving you this holiday season!