The 39th annual Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market returns to NRG Center this Thursday. Now’s your chance to knock off everyone on your gift list!

Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is a Houston tradition and signature holiday fundraising shopping event where over 100,000 visitors descend on the NRG Center to mingle & browse during this festive holiday market, featuring 4 days of shopping, all in support of the Houston Ballet. It is one-stop shopping featuring over 260 merchants offering unique items for everyone, including home décor, gifts, food, apparel, toys, accessories and more. It is the best way to shop and give back during the holidays, as proceeds from each admission and special event ticket that you purchase, plus 11% of all the merchandise you buy, goes back to Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and scholarship programs. Learn more about our history and mission. This year’s theme, “Clara’s Dream,” is a tribute to the “market’s namesake — creating a scene reminiscent of the beautiful Nutcracker Ballet.

There will be 23 new vendors this year and one to watch for is Houston’s own Jentry Kelley Cosmetics (Booth No. 1406) Jentry is one of the few beauty vendors and will be bringing her Holiday 2019 collection, which features her JKC mini brush set ($99), skincare sets for all skin types, and more. Shoppers can also expect to see returning favorites such as Texas pecan toffee and other delightful treats from Susie’s South Forty Confections, gourmet tamales from Texas Tamale Co., hickory-smoked meats from Bear Creek Smokehouse, plus the ever-popular Houston Ballet Nutcracker Boutique.


Admission tickets can be purchased at a discount at Houston-area Randalls stores.  Tickets may also be purchased at the Market for $20 (CASH OR CHECK ONLY). Children under 4 are free. Half-price tickets go on sale three hours before closing time.

You can bring your kids but be prepared to carry them. No trollers rolling carts, rolling bags, wagons or pets are permitted inside the Market. Wheelchairs and walkers are permitted.

Parking is $15
*CASH ONLY. Parking rates are subject to change without notice. No in and out access.


  • Eat before you go because it’s all fast food and it’s pricey
  • Comfy shoes are a must
  • The restroom lines in the Market can be very long. The restrooms located at the top of the escalator have no wait time *be sure to get a stamp to get back in.
  • Shuttles run continually to all parking areas. Remember the color of the parking lot to get on the right shuttle when you leave. 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 

The Nutcracker Market runs Thursday, November 14 through Sunday, November 17 at NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. The hours are 10 am to 8 pm on Thursday and Friday; 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday; and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday.