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Guide to the Best Christmas Lights Displays  in Houston 

Guide to the Best Christmas Lights Displays in Houston

There’s no denying that Christmas comes around so soon. While it doesn’t seem so long ago when we were revisiting our new year resolutions, we’re once again greeted by the holiday season like an old friend.

This can mean a lot of things – reunions, rekindling, and the redecorating of our spaces to welcome a beloved time of the year. One thing that’s ever present during this season all over the world, especially in Houston, is Christmas lights.

Celebrating the Holidays with Impressive Christmas Light Shows in Houston

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the season, and the people of Houston approach this by means of light shows. If you travel around Houston regularly, these may be in places you already know but have never visited during the evenings.

These illuminating Christmas light displays in Houston show a more dazzling city during the night, and we urge you to explore with us.

Today, let’s go over the best displays in Houston that can make your holiday celebration one for the books.

1. Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston

Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston

If you’re particularly fascinated with museum tours, then this is definitely a show you need to see.

The Galaxy Lights is an interactive winter light display at the Space Center Houston that is open from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. A recommended exploring time of 90 minutes is highly suggested so guests and visitors fully enjoy the experience.

Public admission costs $19.95, while member tickets cost $15.95, and kids below the age of three get free access. Their display is shown from the 12th of November to the 1st of January.

There are several fascinating things to look forward to, and one of them is the Kinetic Lights above the Main Plaza. Here, the light moves in choreographed motions in sync with the music, making it a captivating view for any visitor of every age.

Another display designed to intertwine with nature is the Winter Wonderland, located at the Food Lab Patio. Not only are the trees filled with Christmas lights, but guests can also walk underneath a fully lit space launch system rocket.

If you head over to the Independence Plaza, you can also enjoy the 200-foot illuminated tunnel filled with LED lights, acrylic sculptures, and multicolor platforms. Going on a date here during the holiday season can truly be a noteworthy experience.

Location: Space Center, 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, Texas

Time: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Days Open: Nov 12 to Jan 1

Admission: $19.95 for guests, $15.95 for members, free for kids below 3

2. Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

If you’re planning a trip to Galveston Island with either your family and friends for the holidays, then you should definitely head over to the Moody Gardens.

Contrary to its name, the Festival of Lights at the Moody Gardens is a destination that offers a feast for the eyes. 

The season transforms the island into an evening paradise with light displays, entertainment, rides, shows, and parties. That said, there is so much in store for anyone planning to visit the island during this time of the year.

As for the tickets, getting a holiday pass means you can enter the premises at 4:00pm and enjoy their amenities. This includes Ice Land, Festival of Lights, Ice Rinks, and 3D or 4D Theaters.

If you prefer a more premium experience, you can get the value day pass for more privileges!

For those who are new or just moved to Houston, getting a hotel or apartment in this area is fairly easy. Not only are there plenty of affordable accommodations, but the vicinity also offers free parking to guarantee convenience.

The view at the Galveston Bay is one of the things to look forward to during your visit. Just prepare your feet for the long walks, and your camera for all the beautiful moments you ought to capture.

Location: Galveston Island, Houston, Texas

Days Open: Nov 18 to Jan 7

Admission: $29.00 for adults, $24.00 for kids and seniors

3. Houston Zoo Lights

Houston Zoo Lights

The Houston Zoo is already an established travel destination in the city. However, when the sun goes down during the holiday season, the zoo offers one of the most spectacular Christmas light displays.

With their illuminated pathwalks and captivating large statues, this is truly one of the best travel spots for families. In fact, kids will love the fact that Santa stops by on some nights to take pictures.

During the lighting hours, most of the animals will be already resting, but this is not to say there is nothing left to gaze upon. You will encounter life-sized creatures and historical oak trees lit with energy-saving LED Christmas lighting.

Another thing to love about this place is that a lot of things are going on, so visitors will hardly get bored. The nearby restaurants also serve sustainable, organic, and locally sourced ingredients.

Their zoo lights display start on the 15th of November and end on the 9th of January. Their show rates differ for non-members and members, while value nights are generally cheaper than prime nights, when they stay open until 11:00 pm.

The best thing about supporting this event is the organization handling the Houston Zoo allows them to continue their advocacies. Namely, these advocacies include wildlife preservation, educational adventure programs, and camp zoofari events.

Location: Houston Zoo at Hermann Park, Houston, TX 77058

Time: 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm

Days Open: Nov 15 to Jan 9

Admission: $12.95 – $17.95 for members, and $17.95 – $22.95 for non-members

4. Lightscape at Houston Botanic Garden

Lightscape at Houston Botanic Garden

This internationally-acclaimed light show welcomes the holidays with illuminated winding paths that guide people through Houston’s beloved Botanic Garden.

The area is filled with lit installations and sparkling tunnels that can easily entrance any viewer. Not only is it a sight for sore eyes, but it is also a great place for sharing moments with the community.

The spectacular setting features backdrops, living museums, as well as fire pits where you can bring out some smores and sit by the fire. On-site parking is also available for $20 per vehicle.

As for the tickets, you can get either timed tickets ro flex passes, which is a separate payment from daytime access. Unlike timed tickets, flex passes allow you to enter and leave the premises without a fixed schedule, but it is slightly pricier than the other option.

While they do allow you to bring your cameras for photos and videos, they do not allow the use of drones in the vicinity. Pets are also not allowed, except for service animals designated by the ADA.

The best thing about this experience is that it opens people’s eyes to the beauty of nature, and the importance of conserving our natural environments.

This dazzling destination is among the best spots to visit during the holiday season in Houston, and that means it’s almost always packed. That said, we recommend you book your tickets online and in advance to secure your spot.

Location: 1 Botanic Lane, Houston, Texas

Time: 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Days Open: Nov 18 to Jan 1

Admission: $12.95 – $17.95 for members, and $17.95 – $22.95 for non-members

5. Prestonwood Forest

Prestonwood Forest

The last, but not the least option in our list is the Prestonwood Forest. Featured in this location is an annual light show where communities participate by decorating their homes and joining the competition as a tradition.

Houstonians are encouraged to visit and place their vote for two categories: recognition for the best bloc, and the best individual home lighting. Just recently, they also included the best mailbox, lamp post, and door in the criteria for individual homes.

Blocks are also awarded for four additional categories – most traditional, best special effects, most decorated and creative, and the best block with a theme.

This event starts in mid December up until last week, with the lights turning on at 6:00pm up to 10:00pm in the evening. During these times, they do not allow for street parking, suggesting that people immerse themselves in the neighborhood during their visit.

This seemingly quiet neighborhood springs to life during the Christmas season, and the best part about going here is this: admission is for free!

Given that crowds usually flock to this residential area, constable patrol is scheduled to keep track and maintain traffic control, as well as public safety and security. 

Definitely a great way to build a better community while supporting local events, the Nite of Lights in Prestonwood Forest also observes themes to welcome the holidays. In a way, the warmth shared by homeowners and visitors does enliven the holiday spirit.

Location: Prestonwood Forest, northwest Houston, Texas

Time: 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Days Open: 2nd week to last week of December

Admission: Free

The appeal of the holiday season at night time does have a more serene and awe-inspiring impact – much more so with the help of Christmas light displays.

The best thing about visiting these places is that they are just within the city of Houston, and generally accessible to the public. These areas are also great areas to re-experience community between Houstonians.

We hope that with the help of this short guide, you will gain an idea about the best Christmas light displays that you can visit with your family and friends.

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