In 1981, visions of sugar plums inspired long-time Houston Ballet supporter Preston Frazier to approach the board of Houston Ballet Guild with a new concept and means to raise much needed funds for the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and scholarship programs. His dream of a holiday market in the tradition of a European or Latin American street market has grown steadily and spectacularly ─ from humble beginnings in a church bazaar setting to a four-day shopping extravaganza at NRG Center. In 2018, over 113,290 customers with a strong passion to shop spent over $20.6 million at more than 270 national and international booths ─ each offering unique items for the entire family, including home décor, gourmet food, apparel, accessories, toys, men's items and much, much more … and all of this just in time for holiday shopping!

From the moment former First Lady Barbara Bush cut the ribbon at the opening of the Nutcracker Market, and through the many successful years filled with a lot of enthusiasm, imagination and dreams, the Nutcracker Market has become an annual tradition that kicks off the holiday season in Houston, Texas.

“Texas. It’s a whole other country,” goes the slogan.
We might say, “The Nutcracker Market. It’s a whole other world!”



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.

Since 1981, the Nutcracker Market, including its Spring Spectacular, has contributed over $68.8 million back to Houston Ballet to help:

  • Bring arts education to 70,236 Houston-area students through the Houston Ballet Academy’s Education and Community Engagement programs.
  • Award over $942,870 in scholarships to approximately 246 students this past season to continue their dream of studying dance at Houston Ballet Academy.
  • Give students from nearly 368 Houston-area schools their first opportunity to see a ballet and hear from dancers through free programing, performances and classes at Houston Ballet’s prestigious Center for Dance.
  • Support the national and international touring of Houston Ballet II, the second company of Houston Ballet, to cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, and Toronto to help raise the reputation of Houston as a cultural and world-class city for the performing arts.
  • Shopping at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market means you are directly supporting a Houston arts nonprofit and the money raised stays right here in Houston.

2019 Nutcracker market

The 2019 Nutcracker Market is themed "Clara's Dream"  and will be chaired by longtime Houston Ballet Guild and Nutcracker Market Committee member Sara Wright Parr. We can't wait to see what's in store!


Stay in touch with the Nutcracker Market and follow all our 
social media updates year-round!


Contact Us

We love to hear from Nutcracker Market fans! Contact us directly with any questions and stay connected with all Nutcracker Market updates on social media! #nutcrackermarket

Nutcracker Market Media Highlights

We aren't the only ones talking about the Market. Read up on the latest Nutcracker Market in the news.

About Spring Spectacular

Check out just how the Nutcracker Market Spring Spectacular came about, and learn about the people behind the event as well as its history and mission.