It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Houston, Texas! Holiday shopping and festive tree lighting ceremonies are just around the corner. Get into the spirit of the season with hot chocolate at the Houston Zoo or Magical Winter Lights.
Don’t forget to mark the occasion with a keepsake photo with Santa. Here are some of our favorite Houston Christmas events. Updated for the 2021 season!
Christmas in Houston: Light Displays
Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo
Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo is a family favorite. Perfectly lit pathways meander beneath sparkling, majestic oaks. Families will be delighted to stroll right by the sleeping animals. Many of the cats at the zoo (ocelots, cougars, leopards, and more) are still active at night.
Holiday music, hot chocolate, and festive treats will get guests in the spirit of the season. Don’t miss the enchanted forest where you can see holiday trains chugging through the landscape, life-sized animal sculptures, and the dollhouse village.
Walk through the 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light and get your picture taken with Santa.
This nightly event requires separate admission and tickets can not be purchased at the gate. Tickets begin to go on sale October 15, 2021 and the event runs November 15, 2021 – January 9, 2022.
The Houstonian Hotel and the Rivre Oaks Neighborhood
Ooh and aah over the spectacular Christmas lights and holiday décor at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa which always gets decked out for the season.
Wander through the property to enjoy the 19-foot-tall Christmas tree, the six-foot-tall Gingerbread Houses, sweet treats, and nightly live music from local musicians.
Last but not least, opt to keep things free and low key. Simply pile into the car, play some Christmas carols, and cruise the neighborhoods of Houston.
You will be amazed at the light displays at the homes in the upscale River Oaks Neighborhood. River Oaks Country Club, Inwood Drive, and Willowick are the don’t miss streets.
Living History Houston Christmas Events
Kick up your boots and get cozy around the campfire at the Children’s Campfire Christmas at George Ranch Historical Park. Families will love seeing what Christmas was like for the first settlers in Texas.
A light dinner is included, along with a hayride through the park, Christmas crafts, and a campfire sing-along. More Christmas fun can be found at George Ranch Park throughout the month of December.
Campfire Christmas will take place December 10, 11, and 18, 2021.
Enter the 19th century Victorian world of Charles Dickens at the Annual Dickens on The Strand Festival December 3-5 2021 on Galveston Island. This holiday street festival entertains families with parades, live entertainment, roving Christmas Carols, food, hot chocolate, and gift-buying opportunities galore.
Christmas in Houston- Ice Skating
The largest outdoor ice-skating rink in the Southwest is ICE at Discovery Green. Skate under the downtown skyline and enjoy a variety of holiday programming throughout the season.
Opening night is November 12, 2021 and includes ice sculpture carving, live music, and more. The rink is open through January 30, 2022.
Check the schedule to see outdoor movies, live music, and Jazz on Ice. Perfect for young families is the Ice Box, a special, toddler-friendly rink.
Ice at The Galleria was named one of the top 10 places to skate in the USA by Olympian Evan Lysacek. Perhaps it’s skating under the amazing glass atrium, or twirling around the tall Christmas Tree during the holiday season that warrants this honor. Families can enjoy Kids Night Out with drop off daycare service and fun activities on the ice.
The Ice Rink in the Woodlands is a fun place for families to enjoy ice skating plus all the Christmas events of Holiday in the Woodlands. As a bonus, there is a separate ice rink for beginners and children 5-years-old and under. Perfect for families with young kids to enjoy their first skating experience!
Find out what made our list of the Top 10 Things to do in Houston with Kids!
Thrilling Houston Holiday Parades
Start off the holiday season with the 72nd Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by H-E-B. It’s free and open to the public. Find a seat curbside and bring chairs and blankets for the parade’s start at 9 am. This year’s parade will be held on November 25, 2021.
Join families gathering for the Christmas Boat Lane Parade along the Kemah Boardwalk. Bring hot chocolate and festive snacks and watch as the long line of decked-out boats goes sailing past.
Christmas in Houston: All Wrapped Up Together
Moody Gardens hosts one the biggest Christmas experiences in the state from November 20, 2021 through January 2, 2022.
There is a Rudolph 4D experience, an Arctic slide, train rides, S’mores, a four-story-tall dancing tree of light, and the Festival of Lights. The Festival of Lights is a walking trail filled with treats, activities, and carolers.
Stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel for a front seat pass to ALL of the action. Plan on spending a week here, you’re going to need it!
Houston Magical Winter Lights returns to La Marque for its fifth year to present immense lantern displays organized into eight themed areas. Visitors will also love the holiday market, cultural performances, character encounters, amusement rides, and so much more.
Is there a Houston Christmas event we missed? Does your business have updated information to share? Email [email protected] and tell us about it!