Upcoming Events: Holiday Home Tour, Gingerbread Competition & Dinner With Santa

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston welcomes the public to take a Holiday Home Tour at Rienzi, the house museum in River Oaks featuring European art, on Wednesday, December 11, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a guided walk through the home to see how beautifully decorated it is for the season and view the Masterson family Christmas ornaments. The tour will include live holiday music and a reception with sweets and snacks, as well as wine and, of course, eggnog. Reserve your spot for $20, or $15 for MFAH members.

Learn how to make a traditional Mexican Christmas dinner at Central Market on Friday, December 13, from 6:30-9 p.m. The class costs $60 per person and is open to guests ages 18 and older. Elizabeth Escobedo will lead the class through a classic Mexican menu. The meal begins with a chorizo, kale and white bean soup with anejo cheese, followed by a Christmas salad with beets, pomegranates and oranges, turkey with green mole pipian, and white and wild rice pilaf with dried cherries and roasted poblano chiles. Escobedo will also show the class how to make sweet tamales with cranberry, pecans and toasted coconut, as well as Mexican hot chocolate, or champurrada. Reserve your spot as soon as possible and dazzle your family with this delightful menu on Christmas.

On Saturday, December 14, the Architecture Center Houston and C2 Creative host the 5th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off. Bring the entire family to City Hall's Hermann Square to see teams build their gingerbread houses (with edible materials) from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. While you watch the competition, grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks, including It's A Wrap, Ladybird, Monster PBJ and Porch Swing Desserts. Youngsters can play in the kids' construction zone and build their own gingerbread houses until 3 p.m. Santa will also be at the event from noon until 2 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. and judges from food, design, art and architecture professions will judge the gingerbread house entries. The winning structures will be on display at Architecture Center Houston from December 16 through December 20. The event is free and open to the public.

Rather than having a breakfast with Santa, have dinner with Jolly Old Saint Nick at MainStreet America on Saturday, December 14, from 5-6:30 p.m. MainStreet America members pay $20 for adults tickets and $10 for children 10 years and younger; non-members pay $25 per adult and $12 per child. Santa will visit each table while families are served a three-course dinner. Adults will enjoy a tossed salad, roasted turkey, gravy, stuffing, whipped sweet potatoes, green beans, and a pumpkin pound cake with vanilla ice cream and a maple-pecan glaze. The kids' menu includes a fruit cup, macaroni and cheese bites with chicken fingers, chocolate milk, peppermint candy cane and Frosty the Ice Cream Man Dessert with Fixins. Each table will receive a souvenir photo with Santa.

Bistro Provence hosts An Evening with Champagne Voirin-Jumel on Tuesday, December 17, at 7 p.m. for $135 per person. Reservations (and a $100 deposit) are required for this Champagne dinner featuring selections from Voirin-Jumel. The meal begins with foie gras chantilly and gingerbread toast paired with Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc, followed by scallop carpaccio paired with Blanc de Noir 1er Cru. The third course includes John Dory, leek fondue and a lobster reduction paired with Millésime 2005. The final savory course features veal paupiette, winter vegetables and Cuvée 555. The meal will conclude with a chocolate and raspberry tiramisu with Brut Rosé.

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