While we not might get the picturesque weather that some other snowy states might receive during November and December, we more than compensate with a plethora of enchanting light spectacles for the whole city to enjoy. This season, be sure to check out 15 of our favorites to make the most of the most wonderful time of the year!
1. Lightscape at Houston Botanic Garden Nov. 18
From now until January 2, the Houston Botanic Garden will illuminate a one-mile trail with Texas-themed light fixtures, worldly installations, and a Winter Cathedral fixed with 100,000 bulbs.
“Lightscape is an internationally acclaimed extravaganza of light, art and music from London that transforms the Houston Botanic Garden into an illuminated night experience that is not to be missed,” the Houston Botanic Garden writes on its website.
“Wander through the magnificent Winter Cathedral, experience the breathtaking Fire Garden and more. Lightscape is a truly memorable, family-friendly walking event that is perfect for holidays entertainment and gatherings.”
2. Magical Winter Lights Nov. 18
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Clutch City. Now that we’re in the last leg of November, with December and all of its festive cheer around the corner, the people of Houston are hitting the lights and providing some very welcome twinkles to the city.
Recently, Magical Winter Lights, former champions of The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC Network, returned for another year to Baytown with 20 acres and 52 days of magical winter fun.
“Magical Winter Lights is back for the 2021 holiday season! Begin your enchanted journey to tour more than 100 individual lantern sets in eight unique themed sections. Find the magical castle, a Christmas village, skylines of Houston, a Dino fun zone, festival foods, carnival rides and games, Santa and Ice Sisters meet-and-greet, local cultural performances on select nights, and more!”
This year, the city is getting into the spirit more than ever with brand new holiday festivities in Downtown, Houston. Beginning this November, downtown is transforming into a magical holiday destination for City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic.
- Market Square Park: The mistletoe you won’t want to miss. Market Square Park is bringing back the state’s biggest mistletoe installation for the holidays, suspended from a gigantic, 15-foot candy cane.
- Main Street Square: Santa’s main hangout this year is going to be at Main Street Square. Every Friday and Saturday, the big man will be making appearances at Main Street Square’s Santa’s Village and holiday market series.
- Bagby Street: Find dazzling holiday light installations – including an 80-foot light tunnel – on Bagby Street from Lamar to Preston.
- Plaza at Avenida: In addition to hosting a variety of live concerts over the course of the season, Plaza at Avenida will also display 30 gorgeously decorated trees in the Grand Holiday Window at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
- Wortham Theater: This year, the Fish Plaza at the Wortham Theatre will turn into Sugar Plum Plaza, and feature a variety of life-size holiday ornaments.
But when it comes to the most Houston-centric lighting display, nothing says “Space City” more than the Galaxy Lights spectacle that orbits Space Center Houston. Recently, Space Center Houston announced the opening of their annual Galaxy Lights holiday display, from November 13 – January 2, billing it as “the most technologically advanced light display in Texas” – and that’s no hyperbole.
Visitors will be able to float through the grounds, charting the center’s many features, including The Food Lab. Here, stargazers and spacewalkers are invited to watch an indoor meteor shower before checking out the larger-than-life holiday decor and 20-foot twinkling tree on the patio – hot cocoa in hand.
Every year the Houston Zoo hosts a dazzling light spectacle for the City of Houston. This year, the zoo will continue its tradition for its 10th year from November 15 – January 9, 2021. The zoo is set to feature a myriad of enchanting attractions for the whole family. Highlights are set to include: a 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light; 33-foot-tall multicolored holiday tree; glowing canopy of butterflies and flowers in the hanging pollinator garden; the one and only Santa Clause; as well as Holiday Grove filled with hundreds of incandescent great oaks, flowers, and animal-themed lanterns.
For its Texas Winter Lights event, the hotel is hosting a poolside winter wonderland complete with fireside s’mores, lit-up lawn games, Saturday DJ sessions, and Xmas movie nights (on Thursdays). Winter Lights’ cynosure, undoubtedly, is a laid-back ride on its Texas-shaped lazy river. You might argue that ’tis not the season for water rides, but the pools over at the Marquis Hotel are turned up to warm-hearted 80 degrees and run through a spectacle of twinkly festive lights.
Hello, holidays: Houston’s first drive-thru animated Christmas light experience has rolled into Spring for the joyous season:
“Don’t miss the Brightest Show South of the North Pole,” the group writes on its Facebook page. “Electric holiday attraction features millions of lights synchronized to a festive mix of music and includes entertainment while you wait.”
Say “howdy” to the holidays this season in College Station for the annual Santa’s Wonderland, a massive, festive, and bright holiday tradition that features a Texas-sized spectacle of lights, gingerbread village, snow playground, live music, and boundless merriment for the whole family.
At Santa’s Wonderland, visitors can enjoy a stocking’s worth of opportunities to experience the LED-lit magic of Christmas. Such includes their Santa’s Hayride Tour, which whisks visitors through their breathtaking displays of over 4 million holiday lights while seated on freshly bundled hay.
15. Dasher’s Light Show Nov. 18
Drive out to Humble this year to cross off the last light show on your list. Dasher’s Light Show is a one-mile-length immersive light show located at 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy. Synced up with your favorite holiday music, the light show lasts about a half hour. Prices vary so consult their website with all details.