Get your credit cards ready! The 2020 Virtual Nutcracker Market opens this week

Houston – The 2020 Nutcracker Market starts this Wednesday, Nov. 11. Like everything else this year, it will be very different than in years past. For starters, it’s virtual. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect when you log in to www.NutcrackerMarket.com.

What: 2020 Virtual Nutcracker Market

This is the largest annual fundraiser for the Houston Ballet Foundation. Last year, it raised $5.4 million. This year, with covid-19 restrictions, organizers expect to raise between $500,000 and $1 million.

When: November 11, 2020 - December 11, 2020

Wednesday, November 11: VIP Wells Fargo Early Bird Day $30 (These passes are no longer available).

Thurs, Nov. 12 - Dec. 11- FREE Access for everyone

Where: www.NutcrackerMarket.com

What to expect

When shoppers log in to www.NutcrackerMarket.com, you will see the recipe for the 2020 Virtual Nutcracker Market signature cocktail, the Cosmosa, created by Truluck’s. The Nutcracker folks don’t want to give away the full recipe before opening day, but just so you’ll be prepared, here are the ingredients you’ll need on hand:

  • Vodka
  • Cointreau
  • lime juice
  • Cranberry juice cocktail
  • Sparkling wine or bubbly
  • Sugar
  • Raspberries
  • Mint Sprig

You’ll also find a recipe for Ballerina Biscotti. Organizer Patsy Chapman says she hopes the recipes inspire shoppers to get together, sip, snack and shop.

“Bring your laptops. Get together. Shop together,” said Chapman. “Have your cocktails together. Wear your fun and crazy t-shirts or fun and crazy headbands.”

Time to shop

There are 150 vendors this year instead of the 270 at the live Nutcracker Market. Some merchants, like longtime vendor The Roundtop Collection, couldn’t participate virtually because their products are heavy and won’t ship well. But all four Roundtop Collection stores in the Houston area will donate a portion of their proceeds to the Houston Ballet Foundation for the first five days of the market.

You will see an interactive floor plan online, where you can hover over each booth and click into them. You can also search by products that interest you. Vendors have set up virtual booths with pictures, videos and even a chat feature so you can ask questions.

Once you click to buy something, you will be redirected to that seller’s e-commerce page. Each vendor will have their own specials, sales and shipping fees.

Here are a few of the merchant deals:

DGZ Chocolates

Different weekly deals (percentages off, free toffee gift bag with purchase of $60+, $5 off $45, $10 off $75, free taffy gift box with purchase of $50, etc.). Free pick up.

Dog Collar World

Free shipping. Limited edition fabric patterns only for Virtual Nutcracker Market customers. Other discounts to come.

Gourmet Blends

11/18 & 12/2 surprise flavor offering. 11/25 & 12/9 15% coupon for a future order.

Merchants offering free shipping in the US (promotion code may be required for offer):

Beautiful Brows, Christina Greene LLC, Colada Co., Dog Collar World, Pens by Mike, Yikes Twins