There's something magical about Christmas lights that make the holidays come alive (even in Houston when it's 80 degrees on Thanksgiving). For the best over-the-top light displays around town, check out one of the locales or events below.
This post is currently being updated for 2017.
The Woodlands Town Center - The Woodlands
2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands
Winter Wonderland in The Woodlands is a colorful light display with different scenes and themes located near the township's new 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 night-time stroll after dinner.
Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer
Don't sweat it if you missed the annual Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting (held on Thanksgiving evening every year) because the 80 lit holiday trees on Post Oak Boulevard light up the night throughout the holidays.
Zoo Lights - Houston Zoo
6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston
Lions and tigers and beautiful light displays, oh my! The zoo completely transforms into a holiday wonderland with colorful scenes around every corner.
Festival of Lights - Moody Gardens
1 Hope Blvd., Galveston
If the name of this annual festival isn't a dead giveaway, through Jan. 8, 2017, guests at Moody Gardens can expect dazzling light displays and tons of holiday activities, from outdoor ice skating to showings of classic holiday films.
Magical Winter Lights - La Marque
1000 FM 2004, La Marque
These are not ordinary holiday lights. Expect to find elaborate set-ups with themes like Dinosaur Land and Mystery of the East. It's a huge space with dozens of displays as well as carnival games, a holiday market, and a kid's fun zone.
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 2.5 million lights. Kids will also love the massive inflatable snow globe and activities.
Holiday Lights Tour - Inner Loop
1160 W. 26th St., Houston
Hop on a bus for a tour of the city's best holiday lights at the Houston Wave's 7th Annual Holiday Lights Tour. Kids 3 and under are free and can sit on mom or dad's lap, and stops include City Hall, Discovery Green, and River Oaks.
Dickinson Festival of Lights - Dickinson
1000 FM 517 Road E, Dickinson
Walk through, under, and around hundreds of lights at Paul Hopkins Park. The festival also features plenty of photo opportunities with Santa.
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.
Photo courtesy of the Houston Zoo