Running November 9-12 at NRG Center, Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market returns for its 43rd year of ushering in the holiday season for eager shoppers and revelers. Attendees will browse festive booths, discover cherished gifts from more than 270 merchants — including 30 new one-stop shops — and enjoy Nutcracker Market’s famous, bustling, atmosphere.
“We are thrilled to welcome everyone back to Nutcracker Market once again,” said Houston Ballet Chief Development Officer, Angie Lane. “We are celebrating the Market’s 43rdanniversary and its incredible impact on our city. Houston Ballet is proud to have created such a cherished Houston tradition where people find joy in the excitement and anticipation of the holiday season, revisiting favorite memories, and making new ones as well.”
Nutcracker Market selectively curates their merchant list each year — blending long-running fan favorites alongside exciting new shops for an experience that is both familiar and fun. Apparel, accessories, handbags, fashion and fine jewelry, gourmet food and treats, home and holiday décor, toys, kitchen wares, and one-of-a-kind gifts will soon fill the halls of NRG Center.
This year’s Nutcracker Market has more than 30 new merchants making their debut. A few new shops in the lineup include Austin-based Stump and Roots, offering recycled glass and sustainably sourced driftwood interior décor; no-blender-needed frozen holiday cocktail mixes by d’marie; Dawn & Dusk’s demi-fine line of trendy, well-crafted, jewelry; Frio Coolers’ colorful coolers, speaker cups, drinkware, and apparel; handmade and festive ceramic cactus trees and DIY ornament kits from Brush Strokes Pottery; and more.
Seasoned Nutcracker Market devotees can expect Pomp and Circumstance Boutique, Bmiley Designs, The Round Top Collection, The Royal Standard, Bear Creek Smokehouse, Two Tequila Sisters, Gourmet Apples & More, Inc., and many other of the must-visit merchants to make their annual appearances. Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Boutique will also return once again to showcase their namesake product, and marinara sauce afficionados can take comfort in the knowledge that Donne Di Domani will be standing by with their famous sauce. For shoppers who like to plan ahead, a full list of merchants is available at nutcrackermarket.com.
Chaired by longtime Houston Ballet Guild and Nutcracker Market committee member Katrina Arnim, Nutcracker Market is Houston Ballet’s largest annual fundraiser. Eleven percent of all merchandise sales, plus the proceeds from admission and special event tickets, supports Houston Ballet, its Academy, and scholarship programs.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity to get out, shop, and soak in the festive atmosphere of Nutcracker Market,” said Lane. “I don’t think most people realize its tremendous impact beyond a magical shopping experience. Funds raised from this event underwrite Houston Ballet’s ability to offer many community programs — largely free of charge — and scholarship opportunities that give aspiring dancers the ability to pursue the beautiful art that is dance.”
Last year’s Nutcracker Market welcomed more than 88,000 shoppers who spent $20.7 million across the four days of the event. This allowed for a contribution of approximately $5.5 million directly to Houston Ballet. Since its inception, Nutcracker Market has directly contributed more than $85.5 million to Houston Ballet.
With the funds raised in 2022, 82,923 Houston-area students were exposed to ballet through the Academy’s Education and Community Engagement programs. Some $212,830 was awarded this past season to ballet students to continue their dream of studying dance at Houston Ballet Academy, and students from nearly 272 Houston-area schools and 36 libraries and community centers got their first opportunity to see ballet and hear from dancers through free programming, performances, and classes at Houston Ballet’s prestigious Center for Dance.
The Nutcracker Market Raffle, located in the main aisle and open during all four days, is sponsored this year by Nan and Company Properties. Prizes include a Kelli Kouri Suede Fur with fox collar and cuffs; The Signature Mother of Pearl Necklace by Katie Clark; tickets to a Houston Ballet Night of The Nutcracker; a Macy’s Shopping Spree gift card; a four-pack of Astros Insperity club tickets, Astros autographed memorabilia, and more!
Nov. 9-12, 2023
- Thursday, November 9 – 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, November 10 – 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, November 11 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday, November 12 – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- General Admission tickets are good for one-day admission only.
- $20 (cash or check only) General Admission tickets available at NRG ticket windows during Market days — ATMs available onsite.
- $20 General Admission tickets available at H-E-B Business Centers beginning
o General Admission tickets can also be purchased at Ticketmaster.com now ($18, plus fees).
- Early Bird tickets allow for 8:30 a.m. admission on Thursday, November 9, and Friday, November 10, as well as repeat admission all four days of the Market.
- $60 (cash or check only) Early Bird Tickets available at NRG ticket windows during Market days — ATMs available onsite.
- $60 Early Bird tickets be purchased in advance by calling 713.535.3231. The deadline to purchase over the phone tickets for placement at will call is 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 3.
- Early Bird tickets can also be purchased at Ticketmaster.com now ($55, plus fees).
- This is the first year Early Bird tickets are available for purchase on Ticketmaster.com.
Children 2 and under are free. All others must have a ticket. There is a check-in area near the entry for strollers, carts, rolling bags, and wagons as they are not permitted inside. Wheelchairs and walkers are permitted. Pets are not allowed. For more details, visit the Market’s Accessibility webpage here.
Special event tickets are good for repeat admission all four days and early 8:30 a.m. admission on Thursday and Friday.
Wells Fargo Preview Party
Wednesday, November 8, 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $300
Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon
Thursday, November 9, 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $200
Macy’s Fashion Show and Luncheon
Friday, November 10, 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $200
Nutcracker Market is generously sponsored by Bank of America, Bora Jewelry, Houston Area BMW Centers, Houston Methodist, KRBE FM, Longhorn Charter Bus, Nan and Company Properties, Northern Trust, NÜTRL, Samsville Gallery, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, Truluck’s, Wells Fargo, and Willow Hill Soap Company.
For more information about tickets, call 713-535-3231 or visit nutcrackermarket.com.