Wondering where to see the best holiday lights in Houston this year? Houston has a ton of sights and experiences to offer both locals and visitors year-round, and the holiday season is no exception. Whether you love spectacular winter wonderlands that twinkle with millions of lights, or your tastes run toward smaller, more intimate neighborhood displays, we’ve got you covered.
It’s always a good idea to start planning early. This is doubly true if you’ll be venturing out to one of the bigger, ticketed lights displays. As any Houstonian knows, parking and traffic can get hectic, especially around the holidays. Fortunately, a bit of advance planning will reduce some of the stress, so you and your loved ones can enjoy a purely festive time.
Here are some of the best options for taking in some holiday magic around Houston this Christmas:
- Lightscape at the Houston Botanic Garden: This unique holiday lights and music event features stunning immersive installations along winding paths throughout the Botanic Garden. Two brand-new installations will be making their U.S. debut this year, alongside many well-loved favorites—including 100,000 dazzling lights in a single towering arch tunnel—all set to popular holiday tunes. Visitors can also enjoy seasonal snacks and beverages, including s’mores prepared over an open fire. Timed tickets and flex passes are available online; on-site parking tickets can also be added.
- Magical Winter Lights: Located at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, this holiday favorite is back with more than 100 individual lantern sets in eight unique themed sections of a truly enchanting holiday journey. Visitors will discover a magical castle, a Christmas village, a Dino fun zone, carnival rides, festival foods, a meet-and-greet with Santa and the Ice Sisters, and so much more—as well as incredible skyline views of Houston.
- Holiday in the Gardens: Starting November 18, visitors to Moody Gardens in Galveston can enjoy nine holiday attractions in one venue, including Ice Land, Festival of Lights, a Cirque Joyeux holiday show, an ice-skating rink, 3-D holiday movies and more. Tickets are now available online!
- Holiday Lights in Sugar Land: This annual sparkling wonderland features over three million twinkling lights and numerous themed displays at Constellation Field in Sugar Land. Visitors can also get some holiday shopping done, enjoy great food and meet Santa, from November 18 through the new year.
- The Lighting of the Doves Festival in The Woodlands: Symbolizing peace during the holidays, this free longtime tradition is a great way to kick off the season. On November 19, thousands of visitors will take in the ceremonial illumination of the giant doves, along with traditional and international performances that showcase the cultural diversity of The Woodlands.
- River Oaks Christmas Lights: From Thanksgiving night through Christmas, visitors to this iconic central Houston neighborhood can take in incredible views of historic mansions and gorgeous oak trees wrapped in thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights. Enjoy the displays for free from the comfort of your own car, or from a carriage ride, hayride or chartered bus tour.
- Local Tree Lighting Ceremonies: Numerous local tree-lighting ceremonies in and around Houston are sure to spark holiday cheer in your heart. Visit the Tree Lighting Spectacular in Deer Park on November 17; the Light It Up! Christmas Tree Lighting in Tomball on November 18; or the Town Center Christmas Tree Lighting in Pearland on November 26.
Want your own home to be at the top of your neighbors’ lists of the best holiday lights displays in Houston? Consider hiring a holiday lights professional to design and install the lights display of your dreams. Today’s lights are as sparkly as ever, as well as highly energy efficient. Hiring a pro means you can simply sit back and enjoy the warm, festive feeling that comes from a beautiful lights display. At the end of the season, the installer returns to take down the lights, safely and completely—no muss, no fuss for you.
Houston Christmas Events
Holiday lights are a wonderful way to connect with the magic of the season—but there are also plenty of other festive Houston Christmas events to spark your holiday cheer. From live performances to ice skating, holiday markets and more, here are some of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit in and around Houston this Christmas season.
- Houston Ballet Presents The Nutcracker: From November 25 through December 24, bring the whole family to this ultimate holiday tradition at the Brown Theater. Share in the joy of Clara and Drosselmeyer’s magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince.
- A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theatre: Bring the whole family to enjoy Dickens’s witty wording and evocative style, rich Victorian costumes, exciting magical elements and beautifully sung holiday carols. The perfect way for families to recapture the nostalgia of Christmases past and create memories for many Christmases to come.
- “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra: With just two shows on December 29, this can’t-miss event is a completely updated presentation of an unforgettable, multi-generational holiday tradition. At least $1 from every ticket sold goes to support a local charity.
- Green Mountain Energy Ice at Discovery Green: From mid-November through the holidays, ice-skaters can glide beneath the glittering lights of downtown Houston and discover the holiday magic on Green Mountain Energy Ice Rink. Ticket sales support Discovery Green Conservancy, a non-profit organization that maintains Discovery Green, the beautiful, urban park located in downtown Houston, and funds free events each year.
- Holiday in the Park in Bellaire: Into smaller, more local events? Visit Town Square in the City of Bellaire on December 1 to enjoy Holiday in the Park. Visitors can enjoy live music from local choirs, snow slides, food, and more at this free event. (Pictures with Santa will be available for purchase.)
- Bolivar Christmas Market: On November 26, head to the Pavilion at Festival Park in Crystal Beach to enjoy a day of family fun and shopping. Visitors can expect arts and crafts, furniture, Christmas decor, clothing, jewelry and more—along with the official Christmas tree lighting for Bolivar Peninsula.
- Jingle on the Boardwalk: There’s something festive going on every weekend in December at Kemah Boardwalk, 30 miles southeast of downtown Houston. One favorite is happening on Saturday, December 10, with the 61st annual Christmas boat parade, featuring hundreds of decorated boats. Visitors can also welcome the season with Santa, holiday music and movies, and more. The Boardwalk is even open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve!
Christmas Tree Farm Houston
Looking for the best Christmas tree farm in Houston? Here are some great spots for picking up a Christmas tree in the Houston area.
- Derrick’s Christmas Trees: With two locations in the Houston area, in Deer Park and Pearland, this farm offers a variety of Christmas trees in many shapes and sizes, and will prune to the customer’s specifications. Wreaths, garlands and door swags are also available for purchase along with tree stands and flocking services.
- High Star Christmas Tree Farm: Where Christmas is for kids—and the young at heart! Visitors to this tree farm in Hockley, northwest of Houston, can take a free wagon ride to the tree field, where they can choose and cut their own Christmas trees. Parking is free; so are the maze, haystack and picnic area. For small fees, you can also enjoy tractor-drawn train rides, fun nighttime hayrides, or educational tours of the farm. Opening day is always the day after Thanksgiving.
- Old Time Christmas Tree Farm: Just a few minutes north of Houston in Spring, you can start a family tradition by choosing and cutting your own fresh, Texas-grown Christmas tree. The farm has saws and measuring sticks for you to use; you only need to bring the family and enjoy the atmosphere. For those not interested in cutting their own tree, the farm also carries a variety of fresh, pre-cut fir and spruce trees for purchase. Tree stands, and accessories are also available on-site for purchase, along with fresh wreaths and garlands. But that’s not all! Visitors can also enjoy many Christmas activities and attractions at the farm, from train rides through the Christmas tree fields to a petting zoo, a bounce house, and a giant slide. Delicious food and beverage offerings and photo ops with Santa round out the experience for people of all ages.
And if you’d like to bring holiday cheer to all your visitors and neighbors this Christmas season, hiring a professional to drape your home, yard, and landscaping in twinkling lights is a great idea. A pro can handle everything from design to installation and then take the lights back down again at the end of the season. No more balancing on tall ladders or dealing with tangled lights strands—when you hire a professional lights installer, you only have to enjoy the sparkly display.
ABC Can Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays
Spend more time with your family this season and contact ABC Home & Commercial Services to hang your holiday lights. Our professionals will get the job done in no time. And we return at the end of the holiday season to take your lights down.