Ah yes, ’tis the season to get drunk and look at the best Christmas lights in Houston. Even though we’ll likely have an unseasonably warm December this year (like usual), there’s really no one stopping you from spiking that hot chocolate and indulging in that mulled wine while perusing through some of the finest (read: extravagant) displays of Christmas. The locations below are really taking one for the team by increasing their electricity bill by apx. a bazillion dollars this holiday season for your entertainment. Make sure that these venues get their moneys worth by taking a stroll through some of the best places in Houston for Christmas lights.
The Best Christmas Lights in Houston
In the Loop
Discovery Green. Downtown is such a fun place to be, and Discovery Green always has some sort of festival or event going on. Hit up the ICE rink (if it’s not melted), grab a drink at The Grove, and check out the latest interactive light exhibition on Avenida de las Americas that is present through January.
Christmas Village at Bayou on the Bend. A dazzling bridge brings you into a winter wonderland featuring thousands of lights and activities for all ages throughout the 14-acre estate. Fun, holiday-themed tours of Ima Hogg’s historic mansion feature live actors, theatrical effects, and Christmas decorations. Click here to learn more.
Zoo Lights. Head over to the Houston Zoo view the incredible lights winter wonderland. The walk around the zoo takes about an hour, and they sell fun seasonal snacks like popcorn and [spiked] hot chocolate. You can see the Zoo Lights until mid-January. Be sure to check out our post: 10 Things to Know Before You Go.
River Oaks. Pretty much the end all be all for Christmas lights in Houston. The massive mansions definitely take the phrase “go big or go home” to the next level. Not only are their homes are big, but they’re wildly, yet tastefully, decorated. Be sure to hit up River Oaks Blvd. for some incredible mansion viewing. Santa and horse and carriage rides frequent the area on the weekends. Also this neighborhood is such a bfd there is an Instagram location for it.
Lights in the Heights: Whether you can make it to the official event (where they closed off the streets and people pulled around coolers of booze), there is nothing stopping you from taking a stroll through the delightfully decorated Woodland Heights neighborhood. Recreate the Lights in the Heights event and walk from Studemont to Beauchamp on Woodland St. and Euclid St. In addition to gazing upon some beautiful homes, you’ll see everything from 30ft tall lit up dinosaurs to Santa escaping the Houston floods in a canoe. Check out our recommendations on 10 Things to Know Before You Go to Lights in the Heights! The official Lights in the Heights event is on December 14, 2019.
P.S. The infamous 2017 Astros house is at the corner of Omar and Watson. It’s complete with a love train to Kate Upton and the championship trophy!
In the Burbs
Pecan Grove. Yes, I know this isn’t Houston. It’s not even inside the loop. Either loop for that matter. (It’s in Richmond in case you’re wondering). But the amount of Christmas spirit in this neighborhood is outrageous and contagious. Get a group of buddies together for a boozy hayride. Check out everything from insane Texas pride to a movie lovers dream mansion. It’s insane how coordinated this one neighborhood is.
Magical Winter Lights: This is a new light installation to the Houston holiday scene, and describes itself as a “larger-than-life festival that presents a fresh multicultural take on traditional holiday light shows.” If you’re down to make the drive out to La Marque (close to Texas City), it might be worth it to wander around the crazy lit up attractions. Catch the Magical Winter Lights festival in Houston until January 2, 2018. Check out their website for tickets. Also, if you time it right, you can also hit up Dickens on the Strand in Galveston the first weekend of December!
ALSO! Find the biggest Christmas trees in Houston at the Ice Rink in the Galleria and in front of City Hall downtown.
This post was originally published in 2015. It’s been updated with the 2019 locations.