h-town All aglow
The plunging thermostats, decorations decking the halls of stores and homes, and wintry music all mean one thing: the holiday season in Houston is finally here.
For many, that means a merry tradition of donning warm winter wear and strolling through the dozens of holiday light displays around the city.
From cosmic Christmas at Space Center Houston to a wild affair at the Houston Zoo to wondrous spectacles at Houston Botanic Garden and downtown Houston, these festive events are sure to light up Yuletime. Here's our roundup of where to see dazzling lights with family, friends, and visitors — from new events to ongoing spectacles.
Four Seasons Houston annual tree lighting
Head to what's been called "Houston's Living Room" downtown for a beloved and grand affair in the Four Seasons' elegant lobby. The fun includes a hot chocolate station, TUTS Choir performance, eggnog and Champagne, and the lighting of the hotel’s stunning Christmas trees. The free event takes place iin the lobby, with a portion of the proceeds from Bayou & Bottle and Toro Toro benefitting Camp H-Town. Free. November 22. 5-7 pm.
Wortham Center Tree Lighting
The annual holiday kickoff offers pictures with Santa, kid-friendly activities, and a special performance by members of the cast of Houston Grand Opera's El Milagro del Recuerdo. Free. November 23. 11 am to 1 pm.
Uptown Holiday Lighting
The cherished Houston family tradition, now in its 34th year, takesplace on Thanksgiving evening. Thousands are expected to gather for the illumination of Uptown’s 300 custom, 20-foot holiday trees along Post Oak Boulevard from the West Loop to Richmond Avenue. The free family event features a market with holiday shopping and treats, street entertainment, and a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Following the ceremonial lighting of the trees, the evening will close with a brilliant light show and fireworks. November 24. 4-7 pm.
Post Oak Hotel
Registered guests can celebrate the hotel's annual tree lighting with festive beverages and live music. There's also a gift cart to find a special gift for everyone on the list. November 26. 5 pm.
Reliant Lights Mayor's Holiday Spectacular
Gloria Gaynor brigs some soul and sass to this annual event held at Houston City Hall. There will be a tree lighting, music and performances, and photos with Santa. Free. All are encouraged to bring something to donate to the Houston Food Bank or Toys for Tots. December 3. 6 pm to 8 pm.
Deck the Park at Memorial Park
Deck the Park brings thousands of lights along the park's half-mile promenade at the the Eastern Glade. A ticketed preview event on December 2 at 4 pm is a family-friendly affair, featuring crafts, treats, and more. The $85 family pack includes five tickets, five mugs of hot chocolate, and a picnic blanket. December 3 through January 1, 2023. Sundown.
Lightscape at Houston Botanic Garden
Lightscape (read our full story here) lets guest wander the garden's winding paths, exploring illuminated installations, a tunnel of lights, and other enchantments, all set to holiday tunes. $26 to $28, adults; $16 to $18 children ages three to 15. Through January 1, 2023. Timed entry begins at 5:30 pm.
The Houston Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with this beloved annual event. "Snowy Slopes" features ski lifts near the Reflection Pool. Life-sized animal lanterns light the zoo's winding paths. Look for a 33-foot, color-changing holiday tree, perfect for photo opps. From $21. Through December 23. 5:30 pm-10:30 pm.
Head to Humble for this multi-sensory experience featuring mesmerizing lights flashing in sync with music, light-adorned tunnels, and twinkling Christmas decorations along a mile-long route. Guests have the option of driving along the route or parking and watching curated segments of the show. $29.95 per car to drive; $9.95 per person to park and watch. Through December 31.
Space Center Houston's annual spectacular is an immersive experience with space-themed light installations. The new Deep Space Backyard is a journey through the solar system. A crystal fireworks display showcases the colors of the galaxies, one of only two such displays in the world. Tickets start at $19.95. Through January 1, 2023.
Holiday Lights at Constellation Field
This Sugar Land event features more than three million lights, 10 themed areas, holiday shopping, and much more. It's family friendly, offering plenty to do for all ages. $15 adults, $12 children ages four to 12. Through January 1, 2023. 6 pm.
City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic
Explore all of downtown Houston through a variety of lighted displays and holiday attractions. (Read our full story here.) Check out the 30 illuminated Christmas trees in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Visit the Land of Sweets in the Hilton Americas Houston. Head over to Main Street for Santa's Village. See Market Square Park transformed into Mistletoe Square. And walk through 100,000 twinkling lights in the Theatre District. Download a pass with all the attractions listed and check off those visited for a chance to win prizes such as tickets to the Alley Theatre's A Christmas Carol. Through January 2, 2023. 5 p.m.
Texas Winter Lights
Head to the Marriott Marquis Houston in downtown for this interactive experience on the deck of the iconic Texas-shaped pool. Expect Insta-worth backdrops, light displays, and killer downtown views. Tickets start at $25. Through January 6, 2023. 5 pm to 10 pm. Weekends only for non-hotel guests.
Magical Winter Lights
Head to Houston Raceway Park in Baytown for this illuminated spectacular that features lantern displays, a caste-themed entrance, and fun for the whole family. For an extra fee, families can attend a performance by Circus Espana, which transports guests to a 1920s winter tale in a faraway place, a story told through jugglers, acrobats and a little magic. $25 adults, $17 children ages 2-12. Through January 7, 2023. 5 pm to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday; 5 pm to 11 pm Friday and Saturday.
Festival of Lights
Moody Gardens glitters up the holiday season, with this mile-long stroll lit by more than 2 million lights and accented by holiday music. Stops along the route feature a dancing Christmas tress, holiday-themed concessions, and more. Through January 7, 2023.
Walk across an illuminated bridge and into a winter wonderland at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Bayou Bend and Gardens. This immersive experiences includes tours of the historic Hogg mansion, holiday carols, sledding down a faux-snow slide, photos with Santa for an extra fee, and more. $15 adults $10 children ages five to 12. December 9- December 30. 5:30 pm to 9 pm.