2018 Nutcracker Market: An Insider’s Guide

The 38th annual Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is in full swing and runs through November 11th.  The theme this year is “Cruising into Christmas” with 280 merchants, including 26 new merchants, offering unique items from home decor to gourmet food, apparel for the whole family, accessories, toys, garden items, kitchen towels and so much more.   You can you get all your holiday shopping done in one place and every dollar that you spend directly supports the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and scholarship programs.  We hit it today and here’s what we learned!

Light a candle for our boys
Light a candle for our boys

Here is the everything you need to know to get your shopping on:

  •  Tickets are $20 at NRG,  $18 at Ticketmaster Online and Randall’s
  •  Half-priced tickets go on sale three hours before closing time 
  •  Children under 4 are free, however it’s hard for small one’s with so many people
  • Eat before you go because it’s all fast food and it’s pricey
  • Comfy shoes are a must
  • The lines for the restroom can be long –  the restrooms located at the top of the escalator have no wait time *be sure to get a stamp so you can get back in
  • Much more seating this year – chairs and tables located in the front and back of the Center and down the middle of the rows
  • Parking is $12.   Shuttles run continually to all parking areas 
  • Remember the color of the parking lot to get on the right shuttle when you leave
  • TIP – Look for the Shuttle Stop Tents when deciding where to park
  • The Orange lot is closest to the Center, located off Fannin
  • Don’t carry around your heavy packages and check them for $6 on Isle 900  You can pick them up when you leave at the booth or outside on the side of the Center
  • It’s easy to lose your party – take along a flag that you can hold up to find your party.  Also, to get through it with more than 3 people, divide and conquer, then meet up with your party at a designated time and place 
  • Great Photo Prop at the Wells Fargo Stagecoach located outside of Hall B 
  • Hours are Thursday and Friday 10 am to 8 pm,  Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday  10 am to 5 pm
  • No strollers, rolling carts, rolling bags, wagons allowed. Wheelchairs and walkers are allowed
lanterns garden
Outside lanterns from Twigs Candles and Lanterns

Favorite Booths:

The Royal Standard, Booth #1837 – Home accessories & gifts, Christmas decor

Paul Michael Co, Booth #925 – Always a must!! Furniture & home accessories, Christmas decor

Twigs Candles and Lanterns, Booth #1238 – Gorgeous 4 feet outdoor lanterns 

Grace Oliver, booth #313 – Beautiful Artisan jewelry and accessories (great prices)

  Illuminodol, booth #513 – Austin original.  American made. Celebrity prayer candles.

burlap bag
Norma rocking her new burlap bag

For more information, visit the Houston Ballet’s website https://www.houstonballet.org/about/nutcracker-market/ 

Posted by: Belinda Rowell

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