Photo courtesy of Dasher's Light Show
Photo courtesy of Dasher's Light Show

Best Drive-thru and Walk-thru Christmas Lights in Houston

There's something magical about Christmas lights that make the holidays come alive (even in Houston when it's 80 degrees in the winter). Twinkling lights and snowy scenes always help make spirits bright! From drive-thru (and drive-by) experiences to free walking adventures, and out-of-this-world displays to an old school Santa's workshop, we've rounded up holiday and Christmas lights in Houston to suit every taste. For the best over-the-top Christmas lights in Houston, check out one of the locales or events below. And for more holiday and Christmas ideas, check out our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events.

In light of Covid-19, all ticketing availability is subject to change. We encourage you to check ahead of time for the most up-to-date safety and health protocols in place at each venue and to practice social distancing and wear masks while in public spaces.

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See Dasher's Lightshow in Hockley without leaving your car. Photo courtesy of Dasher's Light Show

Drive-thru and Drive-by Christmas Lights in Houston

Dasher's Lightshow - Hockley

22731 FM 2920, Hockley, TX
Over 1 million synced lights dance to holiday music playing on your car radio as you drive through Dasher's Lightshow (formerly Rudolph's Lightshow). Plus, venture through giant Christmas trees, snowmen, and more. Open daily. Tickets range from $30 - $35, depending on the day and time. 

The Light Park - Hurricane Harbor Splash Town, Spring, and Typhoon Texas Waterpark, Katy

21300 Interstate 45 N, Spring and 555 Katy Ford Bend Rd., Katy
Experience the magic of holiday lights in a socially distant way this year by driving through The Light Park, which features an interactive holiday experience that includes millions of twinkling lights, holiday music, and festive cheer. Open daily. Tickets start at $30 and vary depending on the date. No limos, RVs, or trailers are allowed.

Prestonwood Forest's Nite of LightsCypress

Prestonwood Forest Drive and Hwy. 249
Since the '80s, Prestonwood Forest has lit up during the holidays with extravagant light displays with themes on each street. Visitors are invited to drive through the neighborhood and judge which streets and houses have the best and most award-worthy holiday decorations. Starting December 11, the schedule for 'Lights On' is at dusk or by 6 pm. To reduce late-night traffic, 'Lights Off' is encouraged to be 11 p.m. Friday-Sunday and 10 p.m. on weekdays.
 

Free Holiday and Christmas Lights Walks Near Houston

The Woodlands Town Center - The Woodlands

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands
Winter Wonderland in The Woodlands is a colorful Christmas lights display with different scenes and themes near the township's Town Center ice rink. While guests have to pay to ice skate, admiring the lights is free! The trees along The Waterway are also wrapped in holiday lights making for a beautiful nighttime stroll after dinner. 

Uptown Holiday Lights

Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer
The annual Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting is back in person this year, with more than 300 artisan-made holiday trees that line over 2 miles of Post Oak Boulevard and continue to light up the night throughout the holidays. You can take a stroll down the boulevard or enjoy it from your car.

CityCentre's Twinkling Lights

800 Town and Country Boulevard, Houston
Thousands of twinkling lights adorn the tree-lined streets at CityCentre. In addition to plenty of holiday shopping and tasty restaurants, CityCentre boasts an enjoyable green space decorated immaculately during the holiday season. Check the website for other seasonal events like ice skating and visits with Santa.

Memorial City Mall

303 Memorial City Way, Houston
3.5 million twinkling holiday lights span Memorial City Mall, making it a holiday light experience you don't want to miss. You can even complete all of your holiday shopping at the many stores throughout the mall. Check the website for details on Santa visits (he's got special hours for sensory-friendly experiences for kids with special needs and their families), indoor snowfall, and live music.

Friendswood's Home for the Holidays Lighted Christmas Trail

1100 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood
Walk through over 100,000 twinkling holiday lights, mail letters to Santa, and snap some family Christmas photos at the Home for the Holidays Lighted Christmas Trail. 


Lots of holiday photo ops throughout the Galaxy Lights display at Space Center Houston. Photo courtesy the Space Center.

Holiday and Christmas Light Shows and Experiences in Houston

Lightscape - Houston Botanic Garden

8210, Park Place Blvd., Houston
This year, see something different with the new magical light display at Houston Botanic Garden, including a towering arch tunnel with 100,000 lights. An illuminated path winds through the gardens, featuring installations from local and global artists. These illuminations are a step up from traditional holiday lights. Tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for ages 3-12, and free for 0-2s. Parking must be purchased separately.

Galaxy Lights - Space Center Houston

1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston
Space Center Houston's Galaxy Lights embraces all things galactic with astronaut- and space-themed displays. Enjoy an indoor meteor shower, travel through a tunnel covered in 250,000 dazzling LED lights, and check out six aluminum 20-foot lit trees that represent Space Station partners surrounded by multicolor glowing stars along the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
 
 
Travel down to Galveston for some of the best Christmas lights near Houston. Photo courtesy of Moody Gardens
 

The Holidays at Moody Gardens - Galveston

1 Hope Blvd., Galveston
Guests can expect dazzling light displays and tons of holiday activities during The Holidays at Moody Gardens, from outdoor ice skating to showings of classic holiday films, an Arctic Slide, train rides, fireside s'mores, and other festive family fun.

Sugar Land Holiday Lights - Sugar Land

1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land
Sugar Land's Constellation Field comes alive at night with more than 100 walkthrough displays made up of 3 million lights. There are different themed areas and a range of activities.

Zoo Lights - Houston Zoo

6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston
Lions and tigers and light displays, oh my! The zoo completely transforms into a holiday wonderland with colorful scenes around every corner. You can read more about tips and tricks for enjoying Zoo Lights here
 
 
If you're up for a drive, Santa's Wonderland has some of the best Christmas lights near Houston (or about a 90 minute drive). Photo courtesy of College Station
 

Santa's Wonderland - College Station

18898 Hwy. 6, S., College Station
Although this requires a bit of a drive, a trip to College Station is definitely worth it to experience Santa's Wonderland. Tour Santa's magical world, take a hayride, a carriage tour, and enjoy the beautiful light displays.

Texas Winter LightsDowntown Houston

1777 Walker Street, Houston
Take part in an interactive walking or float-through Christmas lights experience at the Marriott Marquis Houston. Guests can swim through the lights in the Texas-shaped lazy river, snap photos among the lights, play light-up lawn games, and dine at High Dive. Tickets are $20.

Hometown Holidays and Trail of Lights at Silver Sycamore - Pasadena

5111 Pine Ave, Pasadena
Indulge in some holiday magic at the annual Hometown Holidays and Trail of Lights. There is no shortage of holiday cheer with over 100,000 lights to see, games for the kids, and more.

River Oaks Christmas Lights - River Oaks

1600 River Oaks Blvd, Houston
Travel into a holiday wonderland as you tour the River Oaks neighborhood. Homes are decked out in unparalleled holiday lights' displays, and Santa is even hanging out at one of the houses! 

Holiday Light Tours in Houston

Houston Historical Tours Holiday Lights Tour - Various locations

Hit multiple Houston hotspots for holiday lights with your choice of 9 holiday light tours by Houston Historical Tours. Bus tours last from 3-7 hours and take you to various stopping points to see light displays while enjoying holiday music and playing trivia games on board.
 
For more neighborhoods and homes around Houston with over-the-top light displays, we've got you covered! Check them out here.

This post was originally published in 2017.

Family Storytime & a Craft at Levy Park
Levy Park Conservancy - 10:00 AM Pick
Boogie Bash at The Woodlands Children's Museum
The Woodlands Children's Museum - 11:00 AM Pick
Holidays at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens - various times Pick
Santa's Wonderland
Santa's Wonderland - various times Pick
Curious Kids at Nature Discovery Center
Nature Discovery Center - various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides