Holiday
Top Ten Things To Do In Downtown This Holiday Season
Photo: Richard Carson
The most wonderful time of the year is finally here and Downtown is THE place to experience the holidays. From shopping for the perfect gift at Heartmade Art Market to witnessing epic gingerbread battles and taking selfies under Market Square Park's Mistletoe on the Go!, get your dose of holiday action with these must-do events in the heart of Downtown.
1.

Mistletoe On The Go!

Pucker up—Texas’ biggest mistletoe ball is back Downtown this holiday season. Mistletoe on the Go!, a 150-inch ball of kiss-inducing greenery hanging from a 15-foot giant candy cane, is located at Market Square Park through Jan 2. Passersby are invited to stand under the massive ball and kiss—just because! Share your smooches using #XOmistletoe.
2.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN DOWNTOWN

Ditch the mall this holiday season and shop local at Downtown's holiday markets instead. Find the perfect stocking stuffer at AIGA Houston’s DesignCraft on December 2 in Market Square Park then continue your shopping festivities at GreenStreet’s Pop Shop Holiday Market. Not done yet, come back the following weekend for Heartmade Art Market and Discovery Green's Winter Flea by Night Whether you’re shopping for family, friends, or treating yourself, the unique selections at each event will have you screaming holiYAY! Check out our holiday shopping guide for a full list of holiday markets around the neighborhood.
3.

HPL'S CANDY CANE CINEMA CELEBRATION

Turn "family time” up a notch this holiday season at the Houston Public Library’s first ever Candy Cane Cinema bash. In partnership with Aurora Picture Show, the sugar-themed program will be celebrating the art of creative storytelling with short imaginative films, a sweet ballet performance, cookie decorating and a special visit from jolly Saint Nick on December 3 from 2-4 pm. 
4.

HEARTMADE HOLIDAY ART MARKET

You'll fa-la-la-la-la in love with the strolling carolers at this year’s Heartmade Holiday Art Market at Main Street Square. Downtown’s favorite holiday art market on December 9 showcases the work of 50+ local artists, live music, food truck fare, photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Clause and lots of kid-friendly activities!
5.

OUTDOOR HOLIDAY FLICKS

‘Tis the season for twinkle lights and holiday movie nights in the city core. Catch some of your holiday favorites including Home Alone, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life and more at Discovery Green every Thursday starting December 7 through January 18. Looking for a darkly comic classic? Market Square Park has you covered with a special screening of Scrooged on December 13. Whip up some hot cocoa to go and snuggle up next to your favorite someone for a movie with a skyline view. 
6.

9TH ANNUAL GINGERBREAD BUILD-OFF

A must-do event to add to your checklist is AIGA Houston’s 9th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off. Competing teams will create their masterpieces using 100% edible materials as 4,500+ spectators rally and cheer in excitement during the epic gingerbread battle on December 9. There will also be a fun kids' construction zone for the little ones, food truck fare, holiday caroling, and photo opportunities with Santa. Do we need to say more?
7.

CAN’T MISS HOLIDAY THEATER SHOWS

Celebrate the magic of the holidays by catching a show in the Theater District or at Resilance Theater at the George R. Brown. Whether you're in the mood for Alley Theatre's iconic, A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas, looking to get captivated by Houston Grand Opera's heartwarming debut of The House Without A Christmas Tree, or are eager to hum along to Houston Ballet's timeless classic, The Nutcracker, there's plenty of shows to help you deck the halls. For those of you on the naughty list, perhaps the risqué version of The Nutcracker at Prohibition is more your cup of tea. Their burlesque-inspired adaptation, Tales of A Hard Nut, will run through December 23. Visit our online calendar for more information on all show dates and times. 

8.

Ready, Set, Skate!

Lace up your skates and glide along The ICE at Discovery Green for some frozen fun in the heart of Downtown. You might want to put your dancing skates on December 8 for Rainbow on Ice, the ultimate dance party blowout taking over the 7,716 square-foot ice skating rink. This year's LGBT extravaganza will include electrifying entertainment featuring music by DJ Joe Ross, special performances by Crawford Nation channeling their best Britney Spears, Rihanna and Selena, and KPRC Houston's Derrick Shore turning things up starting at 7 pm and hosting through 10 pm! 
9.

80S PROM NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT MKT BAR

Have an unforgettable New Year’s Eve by traveling back to the days of metal bands and leg warmers at MKT Bar’s 80s Prom NYE Party. Ring in the new year paying homage to the classic decade with a tubular prom king and queen voting, vintage arcade games, Polaroid cameras along with food and drink specials, and a worldly bubbly menu!
10.

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT HYATT REGENCY

No plans for NYE? No problem. Ring in the new year at  Houston’s longest-running New Year’s Eve party. The 40th annual event boasts a 50,000 balloon drop from the hotel’s 33-story atrium, two live bands, a DJ and fabulous room packages.
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