Beautiful holiday displays in different areas of Houston is a favourite holiday tradition for locals. Houston usually sees warmer weather in November and December, so the city is ideal for long evening walks through the magically lit-up streets with the family.
Uptown Holiday Lighting (November 25, 2021)
The annual Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting ceremony traditionally takes place on Thanksgiving evening. It features 80 lit up trees on recently renovated Post Oak Boulevard. This free family event offers festive performances, uniquely designed art cars, and holiday concessions. The evening culminates with a traditional countdown while Santa conducts the holiday trees' festive lighting, followed by a fireworks extravaganza and dazzling light show. Also, throughout the holiday season, more than holiday trees will line the Eastern Glades. Enjoy the festive holiday lights from December 4, 2021 to January 3, 2022. Food trucks will be available on the weekends.
Houston Zoo Lights (November 15, 2021–January 9, 2022)
Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo are perfect for walks with children as there are many animal-themed displays, transforming the zoo into a winter wonderland. You can sip hot chocolate while strolling by the light and sound installations across the Zoo. Get a selfie on an ice throne and take a socially distanced photo with Santa. Infinity Tunnel of Lights, 4-D Enchanted Forest with dragons, and "snow" experience—what could be a better holiday experience for families?
River Oaks Christmas Lights (late November–late December 2021, unconfirmed)
The cozy downtown neighborhood of River Oaks hosts a free annual event with magical lights displays and the "Santa House" at Del Monte Drive. Santa greets visitors on weekends starting from the first day after Thanksgiving through late December. River Oaks neighborhood permits driving tours; some of the best spots to enter River Oaks are either Shepherd Drive or Westheimer Road.
Magical Winter Lights (dates for 2021–2022 TBA soon)
The Magical Winter Lights lantern festival in the town of La Marque, TX, is the largest holiday display in the area. It is also the largest festival of its kind in the United States, according to the Magical Winter Lights website. Visitors can tour more than 100 individual lantern sets in eight themed sections of the park which include a Christmas village, Houston skyline, the mystery of the East, and a Dino fun zone. A vast 20-ac (8-ha) space also features carnival games and a holiday market.
Dickinson Festival of Lights (November 27–december 30, 2021)
Dickinson Festival of Lights takes over Paul Hopkins Park in the Southeast Houston–area. Countless lights, concession stands, pictures with Santa, and a decorate-your-own-cookie factory. This mesmerizing walk-thru event offers free admission, shuttle service, and parking.
Holiday in the Moody Gardens in Galveston (November 20, 2021–January 2, 2022)
The Holidays at the Moody Gardens features dozens of holiday activities, like ice skating and holiday 3D films. One of the biggest holiday festivals in the region, Festival of Lights features more than one million lights combined in 100 animated light displays synchronized with music and other sounds. Moody Gardens also has an outdoor ice skating rink, ice sculptures of animals, The Arctic Slide, train rides, great food, and Santa's residence.
Woodlands Christmas Lights (late November–late December 2021)
The Woodlands town center offers a colorful light display in the urban setting. The vibrant scenes and installations concentrate near the Town Center ice rink. The trees along the Woodlands Waterway are worth the admiration while they are glowing with hundreds of lights.