Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market has become the signature holiday fundraising shopping event in Texas that kicks off the holiday season! It is a one-stop shop featuring hundreds of 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 is purchased, plus 11% of all the merchandise you buy, goes back to Houston Ballet. 


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, 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 2022, over 88,000 customers with a strong passion to shop spent over $20 million at hundreds of 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, its Academy and scholarship programs.

Since 1981, Nutcracker Market, including Nutcracker Market SPRING, has contributed over $85 million back to Houston Ballet to help:

  • Bring arts education to over 168,000 Houston-area students through the Houston Ballet Academy’s Education and Community Engagement programs.
  • Award over $163,000 in scholarships to approximately 44 students this past season (2021-2022) to continue their dream of studying dance at Houston Ballet Academy.
  • Give students from nearly 448 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 Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance.

Shopping at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market means you are directly supporting an arts nonprofit and the money raised stays right here in Houston!

Thank you for your support, it really means the world to us. As the largest single event fundraiser for Houston Ballet, Nutcracker Market needs your support now more than ever. You can help our relief efforts by donating directly to Houston Ballet by clicking the button below.


Click here to view Houston Ballet's Mission and Diversity Statements.

2022 Nutcracker Market By the Numbers

Total Shoppers: 88,000+

Total Merchant Sales: $20M

Number of Merchants: 270+

Net to Houston Ballet: $5.5M

2023 Nutcracker market

The 2023 Nutcracker Market will be held November 9-12, 2023 at NRG Center and will be chaired by longtime Houston Ballet Guild and Nutcracker Market committee member Katrina Arnim. We can't wait to see you there!