They might not see snow, but communities throughout the Greater Houston area will usher in the holiday season with the lighting of trees, streets, and homes. Strolling through residential areas made famous for their elaborate lighting designs is a family tradition for many. Others enjoy an annual expedition downtown to witness the heart of the city covered in holiday decorations.
The Prestonwood Nite of Lites includes roughly 750 homes beaming with holiday lights that align with varying themes for each block. On the first night, judges tour the neighborhood to determine awards for categories like the Best House, Best Mailbox, and Best Cul-de-sac, but attendees visiting the area can also cast their vote online on the event's webpage. The 2019 Nite of Lites program invites visitors to take in the lights at night between December 13 and 29.
Moody Gardens' Festival of Lights is one of the largest holiday events in the Houston area, featuring over a million lights, choral performances, photo opportunities with Santa, and an outdoor skating rink. The lights can be seen November 16, 2019 through January 12, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets prices vary by day and can fall on the higher side, but with all there is to do, it's well worth the price. There is also Ice Land, which coincides with the Festival of Lights.
Houston's annual holiday celebration and tree lighting in downtown Houston has been going on for roughly a century and features the official lighting of the city's holiday tree, as well as music, Santa, and even fireworks. This year, Houston will be celebrating its 100th anniversary of the tree lighting on November 30, 2019.
Every evening during the holiday season, the Houston Zoo turns into a spectacle of lights and sounds. The park's trees and pathways are lit with 15 miles of lights and lighted animal sculptures, often set to the rhythm of holiday music playing throughout the park. The display runs from November 23, 2019 to January 12, 2020 and is closed on December 24 and 25. Ticket prices vary, depending on how much traffic is anticipated and are separate from standard general admission tickets. If you've never experienced the Houston Zoo at night, it's a fun family or date night activity to try at least once. New this year is a hundred-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light and 4-D Enchanted Forest with a life-like Ice Dragon.
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The Uptown Holiday Lighting display features roughly 500,000 lights, concerts, live stage performances, fireworks, and more. The lighting itself is traditionally held on Thanksgiving Day, with the lights sparkling on Post Oak Boulevard between San Felipe and Westheimer Road all holiday season long. The event is free to attend, but go early if you want to get a good spot to see the tree lighting. Parking throughout the Uptown area will also be free.