Best Holiday and Christmas Light Displays in Houston Neighborhoods for 2021
During the most magical time of the year, there are many ways to get your Christmas light fix, and one of the nicest is seeing all the neighborhood lights from the comfort of your car. Houston has beautiful public lighting displays, but nothing beats driving the family around a neighborhood in your Christmas pajamas. For those evenings when you want to enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at your own pace, it's helpful to know which Houston neighborhoods have the best Christmas lights and holiday decorations.
We've rounded up the neighborhoods with must-see lighting displays, so all you have to do is gather the family into the car, turn on some holiday tunes, and explore the Bayou City on your own time. However, many neighborhoods prefer visitors between 6–10 p.m. Lights are typically up from Thanksgiving through New Year. Also, for all things holiday in Houston—from free events to shows—check out our ultimate Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events for families.
River Oaks is a beautiful neighborhood in Houston known for Christmas lights. Photo courtesy of River Oaks Residents/Facebook
Enter River Oaks from Kirby at Shephard or Westheimer and begin winding your way through this elegant Houston neighborhood that boasts grandiose and traditional displays of white Christmas lights. You will discover enclaves of beautifully wrapped trees, glowing deer, and lights dripping from large branches creating stunning landscapes. Enjoy from 5–10 p.m., but be aware that any day after 7 p.m. can be bumper to bumper, and Friday and Saturday are particularly busy.
Post Oak Boulevard, Highland Village, and Uptown
These shopping centers offer lovely Christmas lights displays and are a quick 10-minute add-on to the River Oaks neighborhood lights. From Loop 610, take San Felipe west into Post Oak, then turn left onto Post Oak and drive south toward the Galleria, where you can catch spectacular white lights on the 300 Christmas trees lining Uptown's main holiday thoroughfare. Take a left on Westheimer and cross under the Loop to head towards Highland Village, where you can see a 60 ft. Christmas tree. Take a left onto Kirby to make your way into the heart of River Oaks described above.
Known for its Christmas lights and its famous Lights in the Heights event, this is an easily accessible neighborhood with many award-winning light displays. Drive within the area bordered by I-10, Heights Boulevard, and 19th Street to I-45, and you will be sure to find many eye-catching and magical holiday scenes. The Lights in the Heights Night is on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, from 6–9 p.m. The featured streets this year will be Byrne and Euclid from Studewood to Beauchamp.
Start north of West 43rd Street on either side of Ella Boulevard to find many giant inflatable characters, arches over the streets, large cutouts, and dioramas.
One of the famous yards in Prestonwood Forest, photo courtesy of tripstodiscover.com
Start at Prestonwood Forest Drive, just off Highway 249. This neighborhood in Northwest Houston is known to be the top area to experience extravagant Christmas lights with themed streets and even a chance to see Santa. Since the 1980s, neighbors have competed in several categories, including best house, best block, and even best lamp post. Visit Prestonwood Forest's annual Nite of Lites event from Dec. 11 2021-Jan. 2, 2022, and see a wide variety of traditional and modern looks. Plan for this trip to take an hour and a half to two hours in order to have time to see all the complex displays and to park and get out of your car for some of them.
Located at 14651 FM 1725 in Cleveland, TX. For 35 years, the owners of Christmas Ranch have invited the public to drive through their complex and beautiful Christmas light display with over 300,000 lights now located in Cleveland, TX. You will see many glowing scenes and decor including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas bears, and even dinosaurs with Santa hats. Santa will be there to visit on Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11, and 18, as well as Thursday, Dec. 23 and Christmas Eve. It is free, but the Christmas Ranch accepts donations to St. Mary's Catholic Church to help those in need in the community.
This Christmas lights display in a neighborhood near Houston uses more than 50,000 lights. Photo courtesy of ChristmasKaty.com
Located at 24603 Stoughton Court off I-10 and Pin Oak in West Houston. This home celebrates its fifteenth year of synchronized lighting. It features more than 50,000 LED lights, a 32-foot tree, 10-foot Nutcrackers, and a Christmas show with 17 songs broadcast on 89.9 FM. The whole street is lit up and beautiful as neighbors are also a part of the show. Shows start at 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturdays the show runs from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Christmas Katy runs through Jan. 1, 2022, and on Christmas Eve the show runs until 10 p.m.
Pecan Grove in Richmond
This Fort Bend neighborhood is known for its Christmas lights. Kids often get to see the lights on hayrides through the streets. In 2022, Santa will once again visit Pecan Grove via the PGVFD Fire Truck on Saturday, Dec. 11.
Green Tee Terrace Subdivision in Pearland
Located off FM 518 and Country Club. This is a neighborhood with a long history of gorgeous Christmas light displays.
Candy Cane Court and other neighborhoods in Atascocita
Located in the Pinehurst Subdivision, you will find Evening Shades Court which residents turn into Candy Cane Court each Christmas. Giant candy canes, candy cane trees, a life-size dancing Santa, a mailbox for letters to Santa, music, a homemade train that travels around the cul-de-sac, and lights upon lights transform the street into a Christmas destination complete with friendly neighbors passing out candy canes to visitors. Other planned communities to check out nearby include the Walden, Eagle Springs, and Summerwood neighborhoods.
At the end of Kemp Forest (off Gessner), you will find colorful and fanciful Christmas light displays along the 3000 block of Quincannon Lane, including traditionally decorated homes, large wrapped trees, and entire lots filled with whimsical holiday cheer. However, do note that the most famous Johnson's house has a smaller grinch display this year after issues with traffic in 2020, so if you are heading there specifically for that usually spectacular residence, this is maybe the year to try somewhere new!
Christmas lights in a Woodlands yard, photo by P.D. Zuirman
Many neighborhoods in this area will have decorated homes and streets that are show-stoppers but start at the Panther Creek and Alden Bridge neighborhoods for over-the-top Christmas light displays set to music. Whoville at June Breeze Place and the musical display at 62, W. Knightsbridge Drive are two worth stopping by.
Off Westheimer (near San Felipe and Chimney Rock) this longtime Houston neighborhood has certainly aged well. The houses and the towering oak trees spread throughout are decked out in holiday cheer each year.
After taking 2020 off, Schultz Holiday Lights are back this year. Located at 19827 Rose Dawn Lane, Spring. The Schultz family has invited visitors to its animated holiday lights display since 2010. Colorful trees and other seasonal decor are synchronized with a playlist of lively holiday tunes.
This is a walk-through, not a drive-through, lights display at Paul Hopkins Park in Dickinson. In addition to large light displays, food and drink concessions and photos with Santa are available. There is free parking at Dickinson Plaza Shopping Center and free shuttle buses.
Franck's Christmas Light Show - Canceled for 2021
According to updates at the start of December 2021, it looks like the Franck family will have to skip this year with their amazing light and music show. So cross it off your itinerary for 2021 and look forward to its return next year. Located at 15923 Viney Creek. The Franck family has shared their neighborhood lights tradition with visitors since 2008.
This post was originally published in November 2016.