The lights at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Houston. Dazzling holiday displays have sprung up all over the city to delight visitors of every kind. Traditional favorites like Zoo Lights, Space Center’s Galaxy Lights, and Houston Botanic Garden’s Lightscape delight even the “Scroogiest” of spectators. Suppose you’re looking for the perfect holiday date night. In that case, City Lights, Downtown Magic has you covered with ice for skating, a forest of Christmas trees courtesy of Alley Theatre, and a multitude of lights to gaze upon. The best way to experience this shimmering spectacle is with the Bites and Lights Pass coming to the Houston Marketplace in mid-November. There’s no place like home for the holidays, but a sparkling landscape of even more seasonal festivities lies beyond the city. So, leave that elf on the shelf and follow the red-nosed glow to each of these exciting destinations.
Travel over the river and through the woods to Conroe’s Heritage Place Park on November 29 for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Once the towering evergreen has lit up the night, pack your sleigh and jingle all the way downtown for Christmas on Main St.
Next on Conroe’s festive agenda is the Toby Powell Conroe Christmas Celebration. This beloved annual event includes snow slides, live performances, and photos with Santa. The main attraction, however, is the annual Christmas parade which takes off at 1 pm.
From Tinseltown to Boomtown, Beaumont’s holiday cheer can be seen far and wide. The magic begins with the first-ever Ford Park Magic of Lights, a drive-through experience featuring radiant displays such as Prehistoric Christmas, Barbie TM, and the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights. On November 30 at 5:30 pm, bring a blanket and chair to the Downtown Event Centre for the 5th Annual Beaumont Christmas Tree Lighting featuring fireworks, food trucks, and more. Ready for even more lights? Don’t miss Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum’s Christmas in Boomtown: City of Lights. Christmas carols, hot chocolate, letters to Santa, and more complete this family-friendly celebration. Vendors will also be housed in each museum building, offering opportunities to get a unique gift for those on the nice list. Make sure to visit Cardinal Lights at Lamar University and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas Holiday Tree Lighting.
Brazosport has a wide variety of unique and exciting holiday activities that differ from the norm. For instance, transport yourself to the enchanting Yuletide of Renaissance England with the Elizabethan Madrigal Feast. The evening features an elegant dinner befitting the Christmas season with a modernized and easy-to-follow Shakespeare comedy. On December 3, celebrate Christmas with the Fishes at Sea Center Texas and watch as “Sandy Claws” dives to the aquarium floor, granting the fishes’ wishes and prepping the tank for Santa’s visit. Surfside Beach hosts another aquatic take on holiday celebrations when Santa trades the sleigh for the surf at Surfing Santas! Head to the beach on December 17 to see if Santa’s surfboard nose is as red as Rudolph’s.
For more seaside fun this holiday season, Port Arthur is hosting many events sure to make you merry and bright. Board the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train on December 1 and tour Santa’s workshop, a miniature snow village, and Rudolph’s very own reindeer stable. Next, sail over to the Port Arthur Yacht Club on December 10 for the Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade. These waterfront beauties are a sight to see under the daytime glow, but when the sun sets on December 10, the water will sparkle as they fire up the lights and the holiday spirit. Additional can’t-miss holiday events in Port Arthur include the Port Arthur Lighted Holiday Parade on December 10 and A Very Marshy Christmas at Sea Rim State Park on December 17. If you think Santa guides his sleigh like a pro, wait until you see him steer an airboat!
Make this holiday season unforgettable with the Pearland Hometown Christmas Festival of Lights display at Independence Park. This free, family-friendly experience features the traditional lighting of Pearland’s Christmas tree, H-E-B’s Winter Wonderland, holiday entertainment, stunning light displays, and spectacular fireworks sponsored by the University of Houston Clear Lake at Pearland. The lively program will feature a visit from City Council, community leaders, Santa Claus, and Mayor Cole as they come together to light the tree and spread Christmas cheer for Pearlanders far and near. The Hometown Christmas Festival of Lights, open through December 23, will immerse visitors in Candyland, Pearland, Texas-land, and more. If you’re looking for a partridge to fulfill that first day of Christmas gift list, this is the place to do it.