Fashion / Shopping

Houston’s Holiday Wonderland — Go Uptown Into a Land of Memories: Top Restaurants, Designer Shopping, Rooftop Movies and More Are Calling

BY // 12.11.18

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays. But there is a place in Houston that is even more fun and festive to hang out — Uptown . This iconic Bayou City district is the must-visit, must-explore, must-enjoy mecca of the Christmas season.

“I think that Uptown has long been Houston’s destination for the holidays,” John Breeding, Uptown District president, says. “You may shop here, you may shop somewhere else. But at some point you have to make the discovery of what’s going on in Uptown.”

Uptown is at the center of Houston shopping, whether you’re buying presents or treating yourself. You’ll find high-fashion shops, upscale boutiques and a bevy of local designers and stores on Post Oak Boulevard.

Not to mention the fine dining at restaurants such as La Table, Caracol, Masraff’s, Grotto Ristorante, North Italia and more. Or for a more casual feast, dig into a whopping reuben from the iconic Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli.

But it’s not just the shopping and restaurants that make the district sing. It’s truly a winter wonderland, with care given to every last detail. Uptown is all gussied-up for gift giving, decked out in never-before-seen-lights for a truly immersive experience.

Pedestrian bulbs sparkle with festive stars, and twinkling lights adorn the half-dozen pairs of arches on Post Oak Boulevard like a diamond sleeve. If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, we don’t know what will.

Breeding gets starry-eyed imagining the perfect winter day strolling in Uptown.

“The familiarity within the area is something that draws people back time and time again,” he says.  “My wife and I are fortunate to live close by. We love that day of shopping and browsing and maybe buying a special gift for each other, and then that idea of being able to take a late lunch.

“My goodness, what restaurant do you choose? We have so many standbys we’ve loved over the years and so many new ones coming into the area. I love that. I think getting out and going up and down the boulevard is a special treat.”

While Uptown’s familiarity draws folks in like the comfiest cashmere throw ever, there are new elements you just have to check out. It’s all about entertainment.

An Entertainment Mecca

Take Rooftop Cinema Club, the new soaring movie theater perched on the roof of BLVD Place, with views of skyscrapers and sunsets. This season’s lineup is nostalgic and merry, from White Christmas to Polar Express.

“And my goofy favorite, Elf,” Breeding laughs.

rooftop cinema club 10
Rooftop Cinema brings a grand outdoor movie stage.

This year also brings the new George Center, home of the A.D. Players. The playhouse is running charming shows of It’s A Wonderful Life through December 23rd, with extra, convenient Saturday afternoon performances.

“That’s one cool thing to do with the kids. You go to that, and when you come out it’s dark and all the lights are on. It’s beautiful,” Breeding says.

“What I want people to do is create memories,” Breeding says. “Can you imagine, going shopping and then about 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock a late lunch, maybe a margarita, and walking to BLVD Place for showing of White Christmas? That would be a memory-maker.”

His personal favorite memory of the welcoming, convenient district is Starbucks trips with his son.

“My son and I, who is now 26 years old, since he was probably five years old, every year during the holiday season we have to go to the Starbucks in Uptown Park and Post Oak Boulevard. We always get the hot chocolate,” Breeding says. “I told him the other day, ‘You know, it’s that time of year we have to get a hot chocolate.’ ”

Make merry at Uptown this holiday season — and make some memories of your own.

For more information on everything Uptown Houston has to offer, click here.

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