GUIDE: 2018 Houston Nutcracker Market


The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market which has been a Houston tradition since 1981. The market offers festive gifts, party dip and yuletide baubles and so much more. Each year the market raises millions for the Houston Ballet Foundation, with a 100 percent of ticket sales and 11 percent of the proceeds from vendors going to education, scholarships, and more programming.

With more than 100,000 shoppers are expected to descend, drinking an estimated 14,000 mimosas while they shop over 270 vendors spread over the market gets downright crazy. Before you head out you should devise a plan to make the most of your time there. Bring cash in case you park so far you need a pedicab or better yet take an Uber or train.


Thursday and Friday are the best days to attend the market. Doors open at 10 a.m., but you should consider paying for the early-bird pricing that will allow you entrance into the market at 8:30 a.m. You can choose to arrive after 2:30 p.m. when moms head home to pick up their kiddos from school. Bring cash in case you park so far you need a pedicab or better yet take an Uber or train.

Study the floor plan and make your way with purpose. I will be going straight down the middle until we hit the last row—before working my way to the front while enjoying a bag of Copper Kettle Popcorn



Don’t get full with overpriced concession stands
Leave room to enjoy all the samples, especially the dips from Bear Creek Smokehouse and honey butter at Cowboy Country Amaretto.
Pace yourself – Don’t shop until you literally drop, take breaks.
Visit the Houston Methodist Hospital as they will have charging stations for your phone and a lounge area to rest your feet.
Keep calm and keep your manners when someone bumps into you.
You can also check in large purchases for a fee allowing you to keep on shopping.

The Annual Nutcracker Market runs November 8–11; early-bird tickets $50; regular tickets $18 if pre-purchased and $20, cash-only, at the door.

Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is a signature holiday fundraising shopping event in Texas that kicks off the holiday season! It’s a one-stop giant pop-up shop featuring over 280 merchants, offering unique goods for everyone, including home décor, gifts, food, apparel, toys, accessories and more.


NOV 8-11, 2018
NOV 14-17, 2019
NOV 12-15, 2020
NOV 11-14, 2021
NOV 10-13, 2022
NOV 9-12, 2023
NOV 14-17, 2024
NOV 13-16, 2025


There are plenty of parking spots at NRG Park. Parking is $12 per vehicle and is subject to change. Parking rates are regulated by NRG Park.

Market Hours
Peak Nutcracker Market: 9AM – 12PM
Off-Peak: 2PM – 5PM

No strollers or bags with wheels allowed in the market. Check the Houston Ballet Website for more information about all their policies.


Houston Methodist Shopper’s Retreat
Visit the lobby across from Hall B to relax and recharge with plenty of comfortable seating and free phone charging stations.


Enjoy live Christmas music in the lobby with local choir groups on Thursday and Friday mornings. Houston Ballet’s own Education and Community Engagement program X³ will showcase a special dance performance featuring over 70 elementary school students on Thursday morning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *