Houston’s Best Christmas Lights :: Neighborhood Edition

Sometimes I can be the fun mom. Not often. But if you ask my kids what I have done that is fun they will tell you about the time one December we put them to bed, said goodnight and then five minutes later busted in their rooms declaring it was time to get up, grab a cup of hot chocolate and go look at Christmas lights. They were delighted.

There is something magical about Christmas lights. Kids find them mesmerizing and adults can admire the effort and hard work it took to make them so magical in the first place. We can also delude ourselves that “next year is the year we will go all out.” We’ve been saying that our kids for three years now.

However you and your family enjoy this tradition, and wherever you live in the Houston area, you can find intricate and over the top Christmas lights near you!

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Colorful Christmas lights lining the trees along a street. Pecan Grove

Located off 99 between the Westpark Tollway and Hwy 6, it’s a bit of a drive for most, but from what I’ve heard – completely worth it! This is not far from where we currently live and this is the year we are checking this neighborhood out. I hear almost every house is decorated, lights are choreographed to Christmas music, and there’s a hayride on weekends.  Included in your $5 hayride ticket is hot chocolate and a Santa photo op! Really, what more could you ask for?

River Oaks

If you know Houston, you know River Oaks. It’s fun to check out the magnificent homes on a regular day, much less decked out in Christmas lights. Not every house is decorated, but they are well done. You are in for a treat with cascading lights coming down from majestic oak trees. Experts recommend the stunning view at the corner of Inwood Drive and River Oaks Boulevard, and also be sure to drive by the River Oaks Country Club.  It’s beautiful. Just pack your patience {It is the holiday season after all!} and be prepared for traffic. If the weather is mild you can park and walk the streets as well!

The Heights

Another quintessential Houston neighborhood.  Who doesn’t love The Heights?!  It’s charming, quaint, and beautiful at Christmas time.  And if you want more than just driving around, check out Lights in the Heights taking place on December 11. This is a free neighborhood Christmas festival that we have attended in the past. There is a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes and don’t bring wine in a camelback. It doesn’t dispense very well. If you can’t make Lights in the Heights, the homes in Woodland Heights will be be lit for all of December and is well worth the visit.

Shepherd Park & Candlelight Park

Just north of 610 and east of 290, the joining of these neighborhoods is an oldie but a goodie. These neighborhoods have been going strong for YEARS and are among local families’ favorites for sure. There are many categories of competition, themed cul-de-sacs, and just streets and streets of houses glittering with lights. Consider starting on either Thornton or Martin Road {or somewhere north of West 43rd Street on either side of Ella Boulevard}, and make sure to stop by Bethlehem Street, named appropriately for its beautiful displays. With window dioramas, inflatable Santas and college mascots, and personalized cutouts, these Christmas light displays are must-sees, even just to see if you agree with the judging!

Green Tee

Located on the east side of Pearland off 518, this is another neighborhood that’s been going all out for years. It has several categories of competition, a hayride, plenty of traffic, tons of homes decked out in lights, and a few that are truly spectacular. And if going on foot is your thing, this is a great neighborhood to run through. They even have a family-friendly Tour De Lites on December 11th this year!

Prestonwood Forest

Prestonwood is my old school Christmas lights neighborhood. I came here growing up as a child and it was the first place I saw lights coordinated with music which blew my mind.  Prestonwood Forest is located just north of Willowbrook Mall and northeast of Tomball Parkway. Homeowners have welcomed Christmas {and all those looking for festivity} for more than 40 years. Hundreds of homes participate and compete for prizes with dazzling themed displays, inflatables, and lights galore. Grab your hot chocolate, buckle up, and follow the 2021 Nite of Lites Map for a magnificent Christmas light experience


Located between Westheimer and San Felipe and Chimney Rock and Voss, Briargrove is a front-yard neighborhood that is full of young children and tons of gorgeous oak trees that are overflowing with lights at Christmas time. When it comes to holidays, Briargrove is a family-centered neighborhood that goes all out. If you are in central Houston, maybe make a grand night of it and pair this with a trip into the Heights or River Oaks as well!

Panther Creek & Alden Bridge

While there are many neighborhoods in The Woodlands that feature house, and entire streets, lit up to deck the halls, the Panther Creek and Alden Bridge neighborhoods are Christmas light display show-stoppers! Some light displays are choreographed to music, and you can sit back and drive through both large neighborhoods and soak in the season.


Greatwood is a neighborhood on the edge of Sugar Land and Richmond. With over 4,000 homes, it’s a huge development with a lot of eager neighbors who participate in Christmas lights. There are residences with music playing, movies streaming on the side of houses, Santas peeking out of upstairs windows, and an epic Star Wars house with moving parts in the front yard. There is even an R2D2 robot that dispenses a small gift to each child. Here are photos of past winners! This is also my neighborhood hence the pressure to up my Christmas light game.

Cleveland, TX

For 32 years now, this Cleveland area family has been lighting up the skies with Christmas Ranch – a drive thru light display not to be missed!  Each year, they invite the community to come out and take in their magnificent light display, and while the views are completely free – donations are appreciated and benefit those in need within the area.

Dayton, TX

For those up North, there is a GIANT Display in Dayton, Texas {located on FM 1960}. It’s like nothing you’ve probably ever seen with thousands of lights and hundreds of decorations, including Santa, sleigh, reindeer, snowmen, angels… everything! They set it to music, and you are sure to find yourself in the holiday spirit.

Now that you’ve read our list, what neighborhoods are on yours?! Whether it’s one incredible home that we must see or a hidden gem of a neighborhood we missed, please share! 

Please Note :: While we make every effort to crosscheck current links and event details on our guides, we always encourage you to do the same before making final plans. If details are missing or incorrect, please let us know so that we can make every attempt to correct them. 

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Sarah High is a Texan through and through. Born in Waco and raised in Houston, she attended school at the University of Texas in Austin and now lives in Sugar Land with her husband, Jordan, and two children, Hudson {2012} and Lucy {2014}. After working in legal marketing and business development, she stayed home after the birth of her first child determined to be the perfect stay at home mom. Reality set in, expectations were lowered, and now her main goal is to get her children to school on time with clean teeth and hair. Sarah likes to work out, enjoys the arts and restaurants Houston offers, loves to read and dance, and is always on the lookout for the best patio or French 75 in town. A recovering perfectionist, she continually seeks more grace for herself and others.


  1. My family had LOTS of fun driving around Prestonwood Forest and now I’m hooked. The problem is I have no idea how to set up a synchronized lighting show. If anybody near Humble can walk me through the process would be very much appreciated.

  2. I like to shoot in the time period between when the sun goes down and the horizon loses its glow. I like just a little bit of light in the sky because once things get too dark the photos lose context. If the sky, or ambient light level, is too bright then the bulbs get lost and the lighter spots become distracting.


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