Tis the freaking season, y’all! Temps have dropped, lights are up, and I’ve got a spiked cider in hand — let’s talk holiday activities in Houston!
This Houston Holiday Guide will be updated with more throughout the season, so check back often for new things to do!
WHERE TO SEE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
There are a handful of spots that go all out for Christmas lights — all of these spots charge an admission fee, but I super feel all are worth it! Grab your crew and make the plans! Check this Houston Holiday Guide back later for more info as it becomes available.
GALAXY LIGHTS. My absolute fave in town!! Already started, you can catch these lights nightly (6-10 pm) until Jan. 1. Tickets are just $20, and it’s such a fun time seeing these uniquely Space City lights!!! Read more about this experience!
ZOO LIGHTS. An old reliable. The animals are asleep and the grounds of the Houston Zoo are LIT. Catch them Nov. 18 through Jan. 8, 5:30-10:30 p.m., last entry at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are around $25, and there are add ons like smores and even wine and cocktails you can buy and enjoy along the way through the experience.
DOWNTOWN HOUSTON. Man there is so much to do for the holidays in Downtown Houston this year! You can *try* to do it all in one night, but here’s what all to put on the list:
- Plaza at Avenida – Deck the Trees and Live Music. A display of 30 Christmas trees are decked in the halls of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Plus, free shows — the Avenida Concert Series! avendiahouston.com for the concert schedule.
- Marriott Marquis – Texas Winter Lights. An interactive experience at Altitude Rooftop & Pool. Plus fun festive drinks! Tickets start at $25 and room rates starting at $179/night.
- Discovery Green – Holiday Ice Village. Open -air ice-skating rink! Tickets are priced at $17 per person and include a skate rental. Plus holiday movies under the stars every Thursday evening. explore the Solstice Art Installation, and Saturday Flea by Night — discoverygreen.com for the details.
- Hilton Americas – Land of Sweets. The lobby of the Hilton Americas is decked and featured a Minion-themed edible masterpiece with over 2,000 pounds of chocolate.
- Wortham Theater – Sugar Plum Plaza. Listen to cheerful tunes in Sugar Plum Plaza at the entrance of the Wortham Theater to gaze at the custom-built ornaments.
- Market Square Park – Mistletoe Square. Texas’ biggest 150-inch mistletoe installation returns to historic Market Square Park aka Mistletoe Square for the holidays. Catch a holiday movie — marketsquarepark.com for details
- Main Street Square – Santa’s Village. Get your photo with Kris Kringle every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 pm at Santa’s Village in Main Street Square.
- Winter Wanderland on Bagby Street. Stroll through 100,000 twinkling LED lights along Bagby Street from Lamar to Preston — giant angel wings, constellation arches, and an 80-foot light tunnel across from The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
- The Post. Check out the rooftop garden for all things festive!
LIGHTSCAPE. Hosted at the Houston Botanic Gardens, this experience is $26-$28 per timed ticket. The lights run from Nov. 18 through Jan. 1, Entry from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
SUGAR LAND HOLIDAY LIGHTS. I kind of think of this one as the most kid friendly especially for the little ones. Catch them at Constellation Field from Nov. 18 through Jan. 1, Entry from 6-9 pm, or until 10 on weekends. There are a lot of themed nights and ticket prices vary. Pay attention to day closures too.
MOODY GARDENS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. Head south to Galveston for a beachy holiday lights experience from Nov. 19 to Jan. 7, 4 to 10 pm. Ticket prices vary for different experiences — santa pix, ice skating, and more.
HOUSTON HOLIDAY EVENTS & SHOWS
OH WHAT FUN are Houston’s holiday events and shows! Here are some of the ones you cannot miss.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. A holiday market in Old Town Spring from Nov. 12 – Dec. 24.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL. A dang classic you cannot miss at Alley Theatre starting Nov. 18 to Dec. 30.
UH HOLIDAY MARKET. Support small businesses from University of Houston students at Sesh Coworking on Nov. 19.
THANKSGIVING PARADE. Nov. 24 beginning at 9 am in downtown Houston.
THE NUTCRACKER. November 25–December 27, at the Wortham Theater. Tickets from $30 to $170.
DASH HOLIDAY MARKET. Dec. 1-4 at Richmond Square (corner of Post Oak Blvd and Richmond).
DICKENS ON THE STRAND. Dec. 2-4, go back in time in historic Galveston.
MAYOR’S HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR. Dec. 3, this FREE event in Hermann Square at City Hall will take ya to Christmas town.
HOME ALONE. Enjoy this classic film with Live Orchestra Dec. 3, 2022 Christmas concerts are always magical and this year the Houston Symphony brings the music of Home Alone live at Jones Hall with two screenings of a true holiday favorite.
BAYOU BEND’S CHRISTMAS VILLIAGE. Beginning on December 9th, join Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens for 20 nights of Christmas magic! After a two-year hiatus, Christmas Village returns to the 14-acre estate with lights, carolers, animated projections, and even a photo opportunity with Santa Claus.
LIGHTS IN THE HEIGHTS. Duh. Dec. 10 from 6 to 9 pm. BYOB and be respectful — you’re walking around outside people’s homes.
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Toyota Center for The Ghosts of Christmas Eve Tour for two shows on Dec. 29.
FAVORITE BARS/RESTAURANTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Booze and festive cheer aplenty in this Houston Holiday Guide. Make those reservations.
MIRACLE AT JOHNNY’S. Late November through all of December.
MIRACLE AT WINNIE’S. Late November through all of December.
MONKEY’S TAIL. Now until the end of the holidays.
PORCH SWING. Black Friday through all of December.
LEI LOW. Festive drinks and tons of lights in this tiki dive.
RIVA’S. The team at Riva’s goes all out for Christmas. Eat soup, salad, breadsticks, and pasta until you pop!
WONDERBAR. Stay tuned to their Insta for when they deck their halls!