This post has been updated for 2016 locations.
Ah yes, ’tis the season to get drunk and look at Christmas lights. Even though we’re having unseasonably warm December this year, 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.
1.Zoo Lights: Head over to the Houston Zoo after hours to take a peek at the incredible lights display that transforms the zoo into a 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 January 15. Be sure to check out our post: 10 Things to Know Before You Go.
2.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 as their homes are big and wildly, yet tastefully, decorated. Be sure to hit up River Oaks Blvd. for some incredible mansion viewing. Santa and horse and carriage rides have been known to frequent the area on the weekends. Also this neighborhood is such a bfd there is an Instagram location for it.
3.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 and check out everything from insane Texas pride to a movie lovers dream mansion. It’s insane how coordinated one neighborhood can be.
4.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 2016 Lights in the Heights event is on December 10, 2016.
5. 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 light exhibition “Firmament” and “Enchanted Promenade” that are present through January and February, respectively.
Throwback to the 2015 Bruce Munro’s FIELD OF LIGHT of light display. It created the perfect ambiance for a park date and people watching.
Get artsy y'all. Bruce Munro's Field of Lights at Discovery Green, which runs till February, will literally light up your day. You gotta go after dusk, and runs till 11pm. Also on display is Wings of the City, an art installation located all around the park. #ohyeahanditsFREE #FREEthingsinHouston #fieldoflights #takesomanyinstas #feelingcultural #artsy #fartsy
Bonus: Find the biggest Christmas trees in Houston at the Ice Rink in the Galleria and in front of City Hall downtown.