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Downtown District lists 2021 holiday events

Downtown Houston will be busy with Thanksgiving events, kicking off with the 72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other happenings include a holiday block party, drive-in movies, live performances and more. Highlights are below, and a full rundown is at www.downtownhouston.org/calendar.

Photo: H-E-B


72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade
Located in the heart of Downtown Houston, this event is one of the oldest Thanksgiving Day parades in the country. Covering over 20 city blocks, the parade features elaborate floats, colorful marching bands, high-flying balloons and other uniquely Houston floats, entertaining paradegoers who line the streets of Downtown Houston on Thanksgiving morning. 9 a.m.

Drive-In Movie at Marriott Marquis: The Last Holiday
Cozy up near the fire pit with a cocktail and popcorn and enjoy this holiday favorite poolside at Texas Winter Lights. Tickets start at $20. Showings at 6:20 p.m. and 8:10 p.m.


Downtown District is shutting down Main Street (between Commerce and Rusk) for this returning holiday tradition in Downtown’s Historic District. The giant block party will feature a night market, carol-oke, photo ops with hipster Santa, lighting projections and much more. Eventgoers can enjoy food and drink specials and live music at area bars and restaurants. Recommended for ages 21+. 5 p.m.–12 a.m.

Bob Schneider & The Moonlight Orchestra
Start your holiday season at the Hobby Center, where the Mucky Duck presents Bob Schneider for his annual Moonlight Orchestra Holiday show with special guest Lex Lund. Join Bob for a magical evening that will kick off your holidays in style, with a lineup of crowd-favorite holiday standards as well as a number of Bob’s other dance-worthy hits. Tickets start at $65. 8 p.m.


The Grand Ol' Christmas Show
Will Hearn’s Grand Ol’ Christmas Show is a raucous, rollicking, one-of-a-kind musical comedy featuring Americana standout Blue Water Highway. The retro radio show brings sketch comedy antics and Christmas classics to a traditional Christmas Eve broadcast at the 1225 N-O-E-L studios, led by Nick Brown’s Radio Orchestra and Gospel Singers. Made for music and comedy lovers—from boomer to millennials—this tribute to American Christmas traditions cleverly and progressively blurs the lines between heartfelt nostalgia and contemporary pop-culture satire. Tickets start at $36. 7:30 p.m.

YUMMY! Kid’s Gingerbread Cookie Decorating Classes
Sprinkle the power of creative cheer into the holidays with YUMMY! Kid’s Gingerbread Cookie Decorating Classes. As a special treat after each class, there is a brunch party featuring family entertainer Uncle Jumbo. The class runs approximately 2 hours and is geared for kids 4 to 10. Tickets start at $35; email Yummy@PhoeniciaFoods.com to RSVP. 10 a.m.

Flea by Night at Discovery Green
Shop local this Christmas at Flea by Night, an open-air market at Discovery Green featuring Houston artisans and small business owners selling vintage, handmade, recycled, repurposed and local goods with entertainment and food trucks. 6 p.m.


Buffalo Bayou Christmas Cruises
Cruise Buffalo Bayou on a pontoon boat this holiday season. Enjoy festive boat lighting, holiday treats and time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets start at $15. 1 p.m.

Jazzy Sundays at The Water Works
Bring your own picnic, blanket or lawn chairs to this free concert series that celebrates the legacy and evolution of jazz in Houston. Order a picnic basket from A Bayou City Picnic by Friday at noon, and they’ll donate 12.5% back to Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Crystal Thomas will headline the Nov. 28 concert. 4 p.m.

Postmodern Jukebox Grand Reopening Tour
Don't miss Postmodern Jukebox taking the stage at House of Blues for their Grand Reopening Tour. Tickets start at $30. 6 p.m.


The Nutcracker at Wortham Theater Center
Bring the family back to the theater to share the joy of Clara’s magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets this holiday season. Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker is a grand spectacle of opulence and one of the most splendid versions of this holiday classic ever staged. This Houston Ballet performance is a positively joyous treat for ballet lovers of all ages. Rejoice in the return of this time-honored tradition! Tickets start at $27. 7:30 p.m. on Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday; 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Thanksgiving Weekend: Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty
With its soaring, impassioned themes, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 is a perennial audience favorite. Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma delivers an electrifying performance, and romantic and enchanting music from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet score rounds out a Thanksgiving-weekend program from the Houston Symphony the whole family will love. Tickets start at $29. 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Green Mountain Energy Ice at Discovery Green
Experience the magic of ice skating under twinkling lights of Downtown Houston. Special events, concerts and more are planned throughout the holiday season. Tickets start at $15 and include skate rental. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday; 11 a.m.–8 p.m. on Sunday.

Mosaic of Light at Discovery Green
Mosaic of Light, Discovery Green’s winter art installation, combines light and shadows to create geometric forms and patterns. Designed by HYBYCOZO, studio artists Serge Beaulieu and Yelena Filipchuk, the exhibition includes two site-specific pieces inspired by Houston. 7 p.m.

Alley Theatre: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Experience A Christmas Carol through the eyes of Alley Theatre director Brandon Weinbrenner in this inventive adaptation of the Dickens classic, pared down to its essential elements. A resident company of actors assemble to perform this new production of the heartwarming Christmas story. Tickets start at $55. 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

62st Annual Autorama
Don't miss AutoRama featuring America's' finest hot rods, customs, trucks and motorcycles at George R. Brown Center. Tickets start at $18. 3–8 p.m.

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