A new immersive holiday light show has made its way to Houston! Be sure to add the Lightscape at the Houston Botanic Garden to your holiday lights exploration list. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Lightscape at the Houston Botanic Garden.
What is Lightscape?
Lightscape is an immersive art, sculpture and light experience at the Houston Botanic Garden that runs Friday, Nov. 19, and runs through Jan. 2, 2022. Local and international artists created installations sprinkled throughout a 0.8-mile long trail in the Houston Botanic Garden. Each installation is accompanied by its own set of curated music by Sony Music. Lightscape hosted similar sold-out shows in Chicago and London, so it’s particularly exciting that we’re getting our own Houston version!
Click here to get your tickets to the Lightscape.
About Houston Botanic Garden
The Houston Botanic Garden is located in southeast Houston about 20 min drive from Downtown on I-45. After opening in 2020, the garden features 132 acres of horticultural displays, natural ecosystems, walking trails and hundreds of plant species from around the world. During the day, it’s a great space to explore. It has 2.5 miles of walking trails and 2 miles of waterfront along Sims Bayou.
Click here to read about the opening of the Houston Botanic Garden.
What should I expect at Lightscape?
About the Lightscape trail
The Houston Botanic Garden has about 15 light installations and art pieces that are woven throughout the garden. It took my family and I about an hour to walk through them all. While there are several evergreen light trees and riffs on traditional Christmas music accompanies some installations, the general vibe isn’t particularly holiday-y. I found that rather refreshing! To me, it felt like artists brought to life their creations through a series of pop-ups that happened to be in nature and happened to be in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Click here to read about some of the artists. Filter for “Houston” to see which ones are in town!
Food & drinks at Lightscape
At the beginning of the trail and about 1/3 of the way through you have the option to grab alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. I loved their “Hot Blitzen” aka spiked hot chocolate. They also serve a “Candy Cane” with vodka and peppermint schnapps, a selection of beers and wines. While we skipped the s’mores stand halfway through the trail, I was certainly tempted by flavors like dark chocolate with strawberry, peanut butter and honey, and pumpkin spice.
Social distancing & accessibility at Houston Botanic Garden
We had timed tickets which was nice so the park staff could maintain the crowd flows and there weren’t too many people navigating the loop at a time. The one-way path was mostly paved with some gravel sections (and mud!). I wore white heeled boots and was fine but definitely would recommend comfortable walking shoes as you are on your feet for about an hour. Benches are sprinkled throughout the gardens if you do want to relax or soak in the sights at a particular installation. Visitors were not required to wear masks.
The best spots for Lightscape photos
It’s hard to chose just one favorite installation at Lightscape, but I do have several that brought me particular joy:
- “Mother”: neon lights recalling the connection between Mother Earth and maternal figures
- “Global Collection Lights”: colored lights through the tropical plants of the Houston Botanic Garden
- “Winter Cathedral”: classic holiday lights tunnel made with 100,000 lights (best photo op!!)
- “Fire Garden”: felt like a graveyard of flames with intense solemn music
- “Triangulate”: triangle light tunnel with synchronized music– super fun!
Since the experience is really truly immersive from sights to sounds to garden smells, my photos definitely don’t do it full justice! You just have to experience the magic of the Houston Botanic Garden for yourself!
How to Get to the Houston Botanic Garden
The address for Houston Botanic Garden is: 1 BOTANIC LANE, HOUSTON, TX 77017. However, Google Maps doesn’t always pull up the right location, so you can use this one to plug this one into your phone:
8210 PARK PLACE BLVD.
HOUSTON, TX 77017
Tickets for adults are $23-$25 and children (3-12) $16-$18, infants (0-2) are free. I booked a parking pass to park on-site ($20) with my tickets. You can also do the Park & Ride option which is $6. Shuttles run every 10 minutes. You can also book Accessible parking for $6.
Lightscape at the Houston Botanic Garden is on display from November 20, 2021 to January 2, 2022. Be sure to get your tickets ahead of time as they will likely sell out on weekends and popular days closer to the holidays.
Click here for details on parking and tickets.