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Dec. 18-23

Buffalo Bayou Christmas Cruise: Enjoy downtown Houston’s holiday lights during 30-minute tours on Buffalo Bayou run every half hour 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 21-23. The tours, aboard the non-profit Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s new pontoon boat, departs from Allen’s Landing, 901 Commerce St. Tickets are $7 cash-only, $5 for children. Seating is limited to 21 per tour and reservation are not taken.

The Christmas Train: Take a train ride through a holiday display with more than 175,000 lights in Alvin. The train chugs through Camp Victory’s winter wonderland every 12 minutes 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. each evening through Dec. 23. The display includes a Nativity and refreshments from Big Al’s Pizza will be available for purchase. Cash-only tickets are $4, $2 for children ages 3-11. Note: train does not run in inclement weather; call 281-388-2267 for update. Camp Victory is located at 1407 Victory Lane in Alvin.

Dec. 25

Continental Club: If the holiday festivities leave you feeling the need to escape from the family for a few hours on Christmas Day, join the Handsomes, who are playing their eighth annual Christmas show. Expect loads of “fun-time pop-soul with a ska tinge,” said bassist Ben Stark, as well as fake snow, Christmas lights and copies of the band’s brand-new EP. The show has become a Houston tradition. Doors open at 8 p.m., opening act Thunderado starts at 9 p.m. and the Handsomes go on around 10:30 p.m. Cover is $10, and the show frequently sells out.

Dec. 31

A.D. Players: A faith-filled New Year’s Eve celebration includes a performance of A Christmas Unwrapped, dinner at Ouisie’s Table and dessert and a worship service led by Jeannette Clift George. Tickets are $115.

Ars Lyrica: The early music ensemble’s New Year’s Eve concert at the Hobby Center will feature soprano Melissa Givens, bass-baritone Timothy Jones, Kathryn Montoya on recorder and Colin St Martin on Baroque flute. A gala following the concert will include a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and prizes. Concert tickets are $31.25-$41.25. Gala admission is $51.25.

Theatre Southwest: Company’s New Year’s Eve gala includes appetizers, an opening night performance of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, full buffet, party favors and dancing. Tickets are $50, or $95 per couple.

Murder Mystery Midnight Madness: Be a part (and party) at this event where professional actors guide you through a homicide investigation. All inclusive tickets — $139 — hors d’oeuvres reception, four-course dinner, one drink ticket, a DJ for dancing and champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Held at the Doubletree Hotel downtown; guest rooms available for $170 and includes overnight valet and breakfast for two.

Kid-friendly New Year’s Eve

Children’s Museum of Houston: New Year’s Noon Bash is 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; admission $8, includes parade with New Orleans-style brass band and a countdown with ball drop.

Downtown Aquarium: Sharkey’s NYE Bash will be 2 p.m.-5 p.m.; $15.99 ($9.99 for ages 4-12) includes a light buffet, kid-friendly DJ spinning tunes, balloon drop and games.

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