Best Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah in Houston

December 7, 2012 7:00 AM

This year, Hanukkah begins at sunset Dec. 8, and the Houston area has plenty of events planned to celebrate this ancient tradition.

hanukkah Best Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah in Houston

(credit: Thinkstock)

Hanukkah is an important celebration with a lengthy and rich history that goes back more than two millennia. Often referred to as the “Festival of Lights,” it spans a period of eight days and eight nights and always starts on the 25th day of Kislev, taken from the Hebrew calendar. This year, Hanukkah begins at sunset Dec. 8, and the Houston area has plenty of events planned to celebrate this ancient tradition. Here are some of the best Hanukkah events this year.
Chanukah Jews Cruise
3101 NASA Parkway
Seabrook, TX 77586
(713) 419-3960

Price: $15 to $40 per person
Hours: Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m.

Those who love the water and boating will not want to miss the Chanukah Jews Cruise, scheduled for the second day of Hanukkah and departing from the Endeavour Marina. Chabad of Uptown is sponsoring this event for young adults and professionals, and it will include 3.5 hours of cruising on beautiful Galveston Bay as well as delicious drinks and inspiring music. A menorah lighting at sunset will highlight the evening’s events, and many surprises await. The boat has limited space, so interested parties should sign up quickly.

: Houston Holiday Theater Preview

Chanukah on Ice at the Galleria Mall
5085 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 622-0663

Price: free
Hours: Dec. 9 – 8 p.m.

Chanukah on Ice is a great celebratory event for families. Sponsored by Levy Funeral Directors and, it is held at the Galleria Mall ice skating rink, one of Houston’s most popular places to skate. Families may ice skate around an ice menorah and even enjoy a little time skating with Clutch, the Houston Rockets mascot. Other events planned for the evening include Spin the Driedel, Meet Judah the Maccabee and Chanukah Gelt.

Hoops and Hanukkah
1510 Polk St.
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 758-7451

Price: $15 and up, adults and children
Hours: Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

Those who prefer a more casual Hanukkah celebration will want to head to the Toyota Center in downtown Houston for this evening of basketball and celebration featuring the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. Tickets for this special event should be ordered either by phone or by using the promo code menorah if purchased online. Along with a ticket to the game, the cost of admission includes a Hanukkah pre-game party and a 2011-2012 Hoops and Hanukkah T-shirt. There will be a special halftime show featuring the Dancing Rabbis and party- goers will be invited down to the court after the game to toss a few free throws.

Chanukah Menorah Mobile Parade
2840 McCue Road
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 774-0300

Price: free
Hours: Dec. 12 – 7:30 p.m.

A fun way to celebrate the festival of Hanukkah, this car parade begins in the Galleria area at 2840 McCue Road and progresses all the way to the Chabad Outreach Center at 11000 Foundren Road. All are invited to bring their automobile and make their way down the designated parade route to the spiritual and education center. It’s a nice way to enjoy some fresh air and congregate afterward at Chabad for some good conversation in the fellowship of friends.

Menorah Lighting at Houston City Hall
901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 837-0311

Price: free
Hours: Dec. 15 – 8:30 p.m.

The eighth day of Hanukkah is considered the most important. This final day commemorates the courageous Jewish military victory over the Greeks more than 2,100 years ago and it will be celebrated at Houston City Hall with the addition of an eighth light to the menorah. Hanukkah is all about freedom of religion and freedom of thought. In addition to celebrating the ancient victory over the Greeks, this memorial will include remembrance of the brave soldiers who gave up their lives to keep America free.

Related: Texas Doomsday Exhibit to Demystify May Calendar

Bryan Carey is a Houston, Texas resident with an avid interest in restaurants, dining, breweries, wineries, festivals, cultural events, museums, theatre, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. He has been writing about entertainment, travel, and related topics for more than fifteen years and has thousands of articles to his credit. His work can be found at

Listen Live