Houston’s Most Impressive Holiday Lights

We are grateful to partner with Reliant, bringing you the best of holiday events in Houston.

Who doesn’t love holiday lights? Reliant is lighting up the holidays with memorable experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Check out Galaxy Lights or the new Radiant Nature immersive exhibit to make lasting memories as a family.

Light Show Experiences

Galaxy Lights, presented by Reliant

{November 11th – January 7th}

What better way to get into the spirit of the holidays here in Space City than Galaxy Lights, presented by Reliant. The magic of the holidays meets the wonders of the cosmos in the only space-themed light show around at Space Center Houston. This is one of the most technologically advanced light displays in all of Texas, providing Houstonians with an interactive, out-of-this-world experience! Visitors can experience a 200-foot LED light tunnel, two high-tech kinetic light shows, massive models of each planet, an interactive light pad underneath the wing of the historic shuttle carrier aircraft, and a showing of the original film “Holidays in Space.” In addition, enjoy festive holiday treats like hot cocoa and s’mores! Experience this holiday tradition with family and friends of all ages.

Date-entry general public tickets start at $19.95 and member tickets start at $15.95; Ages three and younger receive free admission. Grab your tickets here!

parakeet light installation at Houston Botanic Garden

Radiant Nature, presented by Reliant at the Houston Botanic Garden

{November 17th – February 25th}

New to the Houston Botanic Garden this year, a majestic light display celebrates multicultural holiday festivities during the winter season. Unlike most other holiday light displays, Radiant Nature, presented by Reliant, is a stunning visual experience that can be enjoyed night or day. Visitors will experience the art, skill and beauty of a traditional Chinese lantern festival with more than 50 larger-than-life installations, including a 200-foot-long illuminated dragon, a vibrant 12-foot peacock with a moving fan, a whimsical wisteria tunnel and much more. Talk about Instagram-worthy! And don’t forget to let the kids enjoy the interactive swings, seesaws and digital kaleidoscope. You have plenty of time to visit as the exhibit will stay open through the Lunar New Year in February.

Timed-entry tickets are on sale now through February 25, 2024, for $28.50. Children ages three and under receive free admission and garden members receive a discount.

TXU Energy presents Zoo Lights

{November 17th – January 7th | 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Final entry at 9:30pm}

Enjoy the magic of the holiday season at Houston’s favorite holiday lights experience, TXU Energy presents Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo! The spectacular Zoo grounds are the perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with family and friends. Stroll through the Enchanted Forest, enjoy fabulous photo opps, and don’t forget to stop by Santa’s Workshop to say hello, now until December 23rd. Note: tickets are ONLY available online. Buy your Zoo Lights tickets now.

Lighting of the Doves

{November 18th | 3pm – 8pm}

The Lighting of the Doves Festival is a long-standing tradition in The Woodlands that signifies the start of the holiday season in the community. Symbolizing peace during the holidays, the ceremonial illumination of the giant doves has attracted thousands of visitors each year.

Dasher’s Lightshow

{Opens November 18th | 5:30pm – 10:30pm}

You don’t want to miss this magical display of lights at Sam Houston Racepark! The route through this wonderland is approximately a mile long, and you will be immersed in fun, holiday music and a lightshow spectacular! Tickets available now.

Marriot Marquis Houston’s Texas Winter Lights

{November 10th – December 31st | 5:00pm – 10:00pm}

Looking for something more local? A staycation, if you will? Then, book your stay at the Marriott Marquis Houston for their Texas Winter Lights. From November 10, 2023 – December 31, 2023, the Altitude Rooftop & Pool transforms into an interactive light experience this holiday season with thousands of twinkling lights and winter-themed activations. Guests can immersive light displays from 5 PM – 10 PM nightly.

Big Rivers Christmas in New Caney

{November 17th – December 31st}

Enjoy both this drive thru/walk thru up in New Caney! Features Christmas Lights displays, Santa, hayrides, and more. Tickets to Big Rivers Christmas available here.

Light Up Lake Jackson

{December 13th – January 3rd | Check website for details}

Reliant's Mayors Holiday lighting

Tree Lighting Celebrations in Houston

From Katy to Kingwood, and from The Woodlands to the Heights, the Houston area is filled with local events!

Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular

{December 2nd | 6-8pm}

Join Mayor Sylvester Turner and Reliant for the ultimate event to kick-off the holidays! Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular is a beloved tradition for the Houston community and is back and better than ever. This year, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks will headline the show and sing some of her hits plus popular festive tunes! The FREE event in Hermann Square at City Hall will include the lighting of the city’s official holiday tree, which stands at 52 ft. tall with nearly 100,000 energy-efficient LED lights, plus an impressive fireworks display, pictures with Santa, holiday treats for the kids to enjoy, and much more. Of course, guests will also receive Reliant’s fan-favorite blinking Santa hats.

More details on this year’s event can be found here!

Kingwood’s Christmas in the Park & Annual Tree Lighting 

{December 2nd | 10am – 6pm}

Head north for “Christmas in the Park!” This annual festival attracts dozens of local vendors sure to get you in the shopping mood, and pictures with Santa are a must! Wrapping up the event, the Town Center Christmas Tree will be lit at 6pm.

Sugar Land’s Annual Tree Lighting 

{December 1st | 5 – 8pm}

This stunning 40 foot tree is not to be missed! Entertainment and activities are completely free to the public, and this year’s fun will include holiday crafts, face painting, performances by local artists and choirs, and photos with Santa.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase too.

LaCenterra’s Annual Tree Lighting

{November 17th | 6 – 9pm}

If you are on the west side of town, head over to LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch for their spectacular 51′ foot tree lighting ceremony. With twinkling lights all throughout the outdoor mall and live entertainment, this Katy tradition is a must!

Santa photo times for 2023:

  • Saturday, December 2 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 5 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 12 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.

The Woodlands Annual Tree Lighting at Market Street

{November 16th | 6pm}

Come see the gorgeous 70ft Christmas tree illuminate Market Street! Kicking off a holiday season of events, the celebration continues with live musical performances, entertainers and holiday carriage rides. Free and open to the public with more than 25,000 lights in their Central Park.

Neighborhood Traditions

Every year, families prep some hot chocolate, pile into the car and take a long drive through the most festive, Christmas light filled neighborhoods. Here are a few favorites that catch the eyes of Houstonians every year!

Pecan Grove in Richmond

Practically the entire neighborhood takes part in creating magical light displays! The weekends are definitely a bit busier so try to go during the week or pick up said favorite hot chocolate and enjoy! Also, several of the area high schools offer hay rides as part of their Project Grad but book quickly because these fill up fast.

River Oaks

The stately mansions and gorgeous trees make for a beautifully lit wonderland! Park your car and take a walk under the gorgeous canopy of lights. Head towards the River Oaks Country Club and you are sure to find it!

Spring Branch

Head towards Quincannon Lane in the Spring Branch area for a Candyland display of lights! There is only one entrance into the street so be prepared for some traffic, but it is well worth it and a happy delight!

Connect with Reliant

Logo: Reliant. An N R G company. The joy of community and the spirit of generosity make this season the most wonderful time of the year. At Reliant, our commitment to the communities where we live and work – especially here in our hometown of Houston – is as strong as our Texas roots. On behalf of Reliant, we hope you have a joyous holiday season! #ReliantLightsYourHolidays

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Looking for more holiday fun?

Head over to The ULTIMATE Guide to Holiday Events in Houston!

Family in the winterwonderland celebrating holidays in Houston

Please Note :: While we make every effort to crosscheck current links and holiday events 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.  And if you know of any other holiday happenings around town, include them in the comments to keep the list going as well!

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Meagan Clanahan
Meagan is a Dallas native who has lived in the Katy area for over a decade. She kicked a soccer ball all the way to Louisiana to attend college at her family’s alma mater of LSU, where she promptly fell in love with a Texas Aggie in Baton Rouge for an internship. After swimming back to Texas following Hurricane Katrina, Matt and Meagan fell in love with the Houston area and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Following several years of infertility, their miracle twins Ryan and Quinn were born in June of 2010. She believes there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, a large Sonic Diet Coke, sushi take-out, Girls Nights Out, and a mindless book to curl up with. Besides playing chauffeur and catering to the whims of her children, Meagan also is the Co-Owner of Houston Moms Blog. You can keep up with Meagan at The Clanahan Fam and on Instagram @meaganclanahan!


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