I’ve been going to the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market for almost 20 years! It is one of the highlights of the year for me, right up there with Christmas and birthdays! Six years ago we started a tradition for “Nutcracker”. Our family from Dallas comes in town, we go to breakfast, we shop all day and then head home for pizza, wine and show and tell. We present to the guys and they come up with awards like Best Negotiating, Best Presentation, Best Purchase, Worst Purchase and a bunch of other silly awards. It is crazy dorky fun! They present us our certificates in these mugs:
Friends who’ve never been ask about Nutcracker Market and usually think it’s arts and crafts. It’s not and this is the best way to describe it: Imagine the best stores from the best town squares across America and put them all under one roof, that’s it! Most of them are celebrating Christmas along with their regular merchandise. Add delicious food vendors, a few inventors and you’ve got a giant Nutcracker Market!
|2009 at Le Peep before Nutcracker.|
My friend Laura was going for the first time a couple years ago so I sent her my secrets for a successful Nutcracker. I do believe I’m an expert by now. The subject of the email was “Crash Course on Nutcracker” and I found the hysterically serious email. This is an updated version of it:
secrets for a successful Nutcracker event:
and foremost, lower your expectations, I’m trying
hard to do this too. But I’m still crazy excited! (This is a psychological strategy. I’ve built it up to be the greatest shopping wonderland and I don’t want anyone, including myself, to be disappointed.)
ticket at Randall’s, you can save $1 and avoid the looooooong ticket lines at the door (more time to shop).
cash and a budget, not that the vendors won’t accept credit cards (they do), but you can negotiate
with cash. Allow yourself to spend up to a certain amount, no buyer’s
remorse here and no guilt!
|This is my daughter on the rickshaw, so much fun!|
bag and program from the volunteers when you go in, you’ll use both.
is $40 because i have cash and they’ll agree to it! Most booths have set
prices but the mom and pop booths will negotiate. Sometimes I
will offer to buy two items from their booth instead of just one and ask
for a lower combo price. My proudest negotiating moment was when I
bought a necklace for $90 and it was originally priced $140! I only
had $90 cash left and the designer agreed to it.
Check and Pick Up- don’t carry your heavy stuff around. I
think it costs $5 and the pick up is always fast. Located on the furthest
right aisle and at the very back.
- Sandstone Gardens
- Two Bar West
- Leftovers Antiques
- Cherry Republic
- Gourmet Apples
- Flirt by Kid at Heart (I like to take my daughter here)
- Nothing Bundt Cakes
- Write Designs
- cloud mine
- Beyond Baroque
- Annette’s Touch of Class
- Paul Michael
- Round Top Collection (not my style anymore but I always like to check it out)
|Sandstone Gardens, I took this pic because I liked the b&w bow, sorry bad pic.|
|I can’t get enough of the Gourmet Apples, worth the wait in line.|
Courtney Taylor says
love that you love it so much! and totally remember your necklace negotiation. also funny how our styles have changed over the years. Still have my ***** birds….don't like them anymore but can't seem to throw them away. 🙂
I'm going for the first time this year…soooo excited!! Thanks for the tips!
Jud and Lindsey Martin says
Love, love, love!!! I'll be there on Friday. Hope to see you!
Pineapples and Pickles says
A four day shopping pass? I'd be in so much trouble. Maybe I'll run into you on Friday!
I know this is an older post, but I just came across it. Is it still true that you can use your HLSR volunteer parking permit all year for events? My mother in law and sister in law have been volunteers for several years and are both unaware of that handy bit of info. That is an awesome piece of information if that is still true!
tell it to your neighbor! says
I used it last year after this post so I think it's still true. I think I've done this for parking for the past 6 nutcrackers and each year I visit about 3 times! I've saved a lot on parking! Have fun and good luck with the pass!