light it up!

12 sparkling holiday light shows spreading cheer to Houston

12 sparkling holiday light shows spreading cheer to Houston

Houston Zoo Lights
Get wild at Zoo Lights.  Photo courtesy of Houston Zoo
Galaxy Lights Space Center Houston
Blast off with Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston.  Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston
Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
Moddy Gardens shines with its Festival of Lights.  Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Houston Zoo Lights
Galaxy Lights Space Center Houston
Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens

The pandemic may have nixed many holiday happenings this year. But that won't stop Houstonians from getting their spirit on with festive holiday lights. Taking in holiday lighting is a safe, socially distanced activity that's fun for whole family.

With that in mind, here are a dozen places you can check out and enjoy all the shiny, yuletide splendor:

Commercial displays

Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is back with this festive holiday adventure. In a new outdoor path, guests will walk through a 200-foot, LED light tunnel made of more than 250,000 lights synchronized to festive holiday music. Runs through January 3. 6 pm.

Holiday at the Gardens at Moody Gardens 
The beloved Festival of Lights is still a favorite annual holiday happening. This year, look for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 4D, the Arctic Slide, holiday 3D films, Star: The Dancing Tree of Light, train rides, and more. Runs through December 31. 6 pm.

The Light Park
Billed as "a very merry, drive-thru spectacular at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown," this Spring park boasts more than a million LED lights throughout its one-mile light show/musical experience. $35 per vehicle. Runs through December 31. 5:30 pm.

Merry & Bright Tour of Lights at Christine Allen Nature Park
In Montgomery, Woodforest presents these three miles of shimmering holiday displays. Guests can follow the signs for the drive-thru tour of more than 70 light displays and to “Santa’s Workshop,” where they can take holiday photos and drop off letters in Santa’s mailbox. Runs through December 31. 6 pm.

Rudolph's Lightshow
This premium holiday light experience over in Hockley, which features over 1 million lights that "dance" or are synced to holiday classics that can be heard over a specified radio station, can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle. Runs through January 3. 6:30 pm.

Sugar Land Holiday Nights at Constellation Field Stadium
The Sugar Land Skeeters will once again present this glowing spectacular. This time around, the holiday fun will be socially distanced, complete with over 3 million lights, great food, holiday vendors, a carnival, and more. Runs through January 3. 6 pm.

Texas Winter Lights at Marriott Marquis Houston
This hotel's iconic, Texas-shaped lazy river will be surrounded by one mile worth of sparkling lights, providing an interactive light experience 110-feet above street level. Light displays include the  Light Up Sports Lawn, Glow Garden, Hanging Icicles, and various Instagram-worthy set ups. Runs through January 3. 5 pm. 

Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo
TXU Energy presents this fun time, where guests can sip hot chocolate, stroll through a 125-foot-long, Infinity Tunnel of Light, see dragons come to life in the 4-D Enchanted Forest (presented by King & Spalding LLP), and experience “snow” in Texas. Runs through January 10. 5:30 pm.

Neighborhoods

Christmas Ranch in Cleveland
It's that time again, when this Cleveland ranch gets all splacked out for the yuletide season. And, as always, Santa is scheduled to visit Saturdays in December from 6 to 8 pm, and on Christmas Eve from 6 to 8 pm. Runs through December 31. 6 pm. 

Prestonwood Forest
This neighborhood will once again throw its 43rd annual Nite of Lites celebration. Starting December 12, 785 homes will participate in friendly, holiday-spirited competition for a variety of individual and block recognition categories, which are awarded by a committee of guest judges. Runs through December 27. 6 pm.

River Oaks
The lights will be sparkling over River Oaks this holiday season. People will be able to check out all the decorated home via bus tours, carriage rides, etc. Runs through December 25 (some residents will leave decorations and lights until 1st week in January). 5:30 pm. 

Woodland Heights
It's Lights in the Heights time over at this part of town, starting December 11. Among the events that'll be going on during the night (and day) in this neighborhood: family tree decorating at the Norhill Esplanade, a traditional house-decorating contest, and a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Runs through December 26. 7:30 pm.