Seasonal events

Fun-filled festivals are around the corner

Each year, areas around Houston host different holiday-themed festivals, markets and events. Several family friendly options are taking place in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Cougar Christmas Market

Hosted by the Cypress Creek FFA Booster Club, the Cougar Christmas Market is held the second weekend in December. More than 200 vendors provide gourmet foods, toys, clothing and dcor. There is a silent auction, a raffle and a toy drive benefitting the Salvation Army. The event helps the booster club with future activities. The market takes place both indoors and outdoors with gifts, food and entertainment. Cy–Fair Exhibit Center, 11206 Telge Road. Dec. 8–9. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (Sunday). Free admission and parking. 832-292-6822.

The Woodlands International Winter on the Waterway

Countries all over the world celebrate distinctive traditions during the holidays. Those who visit the International Winter on the Waterway festival in The Woodlands have the chance to celebrate cultural diversity. The annual festival—hosted by The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau—is held in conjunction with the 30th annual Lighting of the Doves ceremony. Other activities include live music, snow machines, ice carvers and children's activities. Nov. 17. 3–9 p.m. Town Green Park along The Woodlands Waterway, 281-363-2447.

Tomball German Christmas Market and Festival

To celebrate the relationship between Tomball and its sister city, Telgte, Germany, downtown Tomball hosts the German Christmas Market and Festival. The event features hundreds of street vendors, live music, lighting of the city's Christmas tree, food and refreshments. The open-air market has three stages for performances and tents hosting various biergartens. Food vendors offer patrons traditional German food and drink, such as bratwurst, apple strudel and Glhwein—a spiced mulled wine. Dec. 7–9. 6–10 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Sunday). 200 Market and Walnut, Old Town Tomball. Free admission and parking.

Dickens on the Strand

The Galveston Historic Foundation hosts the 39th annual Dickens on the Strand, which transforms The Strand National Historic Landmark District into a 19th century cityscape of Victorian-era London. Visitors and locals can walk the streets as Dickens did, complete with costumes, decorations, food and entertainment from another time. Hundreds of vendors and performers entertain guests with street performances from carolers to bagpipers. Food carts provide a taste of the past, and vendor booths offer period clothing, accessories, decorations and gifts. Dec. 1–2, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Sunday). 409-765-7834.