Lodgeur Guide: The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market

Discover the magic of Houston’s holiday tradition at the Nutcracker Market. Shop unique artisan goods, indulge in gourmet food, and celebrate the season while supporting the Houston Ballet Foundation.

With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to visit Houston-based Nutcracker Market. In this blog post, we’ll dive into all the details you need to know about Houston’s beloved traditional Christmas market to benefit the Houston Ballet.

What is the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market?

The Nutcracker Market is an annual holiday shopping wonderland held over four days in November that brings together over 250 exhibitors under one roof. But the market is far more than just a shopping experience—the event is a beloved Houston tradition that raises funds for the Houston Ballet. 

What makes the Nutcracker Market special?

The Nutcracker Market has been a staple of the holiday season in Houston for more than 35 years. Founded in 1981, the market has become one of the city’s most famous events, attracting visitors from all over the country. In addition to being an incredibly fun shopping experience, the event is also a fundraiser for the Houston Ballet Foundation (including its ballet academy and scholarship programs).

When and where is the Nutcracker Market?

Nutcracker runs from November 14-17, 2024, at the NRG Center. 

Market Days:

There are also a few extra events, for which you will need special event tickets:

Also, the Market Raffle takes place during the entire four days of the Nutcracker Market.

How do I buy tickets to the Nutcracker Market?

You can buy tickets at the door, at certain HEB grocery stores and at Ticketmaster.com. Children under 2 are free. There are three kinds of tickets:

1-Day General Admission Tickets: General admission on one-day only. $20.

4-Day Early Bird Tickets: Early access to shop the Market on Thursday and Friday (8:30am admission for Early Bird Tickets); admission for the sale is good through Sunday. $60.

Sugar Plum Tickets: For $2,500, Sugar Plums receive access for 2 and valet parking throughout the whole Nutcracker Market experience:

• 2 tickets to the Wells Fargo Preview Party 
• 2 tickets to the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show & Luncheon 
• 2 tickets to the Macy’s Fashion Show & Luncheon 
• 2 Early Bird tickets

Shop for special gifts you can’t find anywhere else

The Nutcracker Market offers a wide variety of shops that sell everything from artisan goods and kitchen wares to holiday decorations. There are a few booths where you can check any items you purchased while you continue to explore the sale, and even a curbside pickup service.

Here are a few booths we recommend checking out:

● Peppermint Forest Christmas Shop: This shop has everything you need to decorate your home for the holidays, including ornaments, wreaths, and lighting.

● Texas Tamale Co.: If you’re looking for a taste of Texas, check out Texas Tamale Co. They sell homemade tamales that come in a variety of flavors, such as brisket and pork.

● The Round Top Collection: This shop sells unique home decor pieces that are perfect for the holidays. Their signature products are handcrafted from steel and hand-painted with beautiful designs.

The food is reason enough to go

The Nutcracker Market offers a range of gourmet food options to satisfy your cravings. Don’t leave without making a purchase from these vendors:

● Lee’s Fried Chicken and Donuts: This Houston-based restaurant offers fried chicken and waffles, donuts, and biscuits. They’re perfect for breakfast or lunch.

● Yapa Artisan Empanadas: Yapa specializes in handmade, baked empanadas that come in both sweet and savory flavors. Try the apple and cinnamon empanada for a delicious sweet treat.

● Pecan Lodge BBQ: This Dallas-based restaurant was voted the “Best BBQ in Dallas” by D Magazine. Make sure you try their barbecue sandwich or brisket.

What else should I know?

The Nutcracker Market is an incredible opportunity to shop, eat, and be part of a beloved Houston tradition that benefits a great cause. Whether you’re from Houston or visiting during the holiday season, this Houston Ballet event is worth checking out. Happy shopping!

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