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Houston in the Holidays


Article by Radhika Patel

Photography by Provided and Chris Crump

The best time of the year is here! I have so many fond memories of Christmas growing up, and I wish we could be this festive all year round! Lights, mulled wine, hot cocoa, and fun activities overload! I have rounded up some of the best Houston holiday activities for you to explore! Let's start with one of my "first Houston holiday" experiences when I moved here...

Self-Guided River Oaks Holiday Lights Tour

Truly magical! Every year the residents of River Oaks spare no expense in decking out their homes and lawns into what I can only describe as an elegant winter wonderland. Begin your journey at the River Oaks Country Club and follow the mesmerizing lights around the neighborhood from the comfort (and safety) of your car.

November 27th - December 25th, 5pm - 10pm

Holidaze in the River Oaks District

If you're a tad behind on your holiday card pictures, fear not! This recently opened immersive gallery experience in the River Oaks District has got you covered! The District has partnered up with local artist and visionary Matt Johns, the founder of MATTER Creative. You'll have a chance to explore four very unique displays that serve as a beautiful backdrop for pictures! Featured below is the amazing Houston Influencer, Marissa. Check out her Instagram page @mommystylefile to see more stunning pictures from her time at Holidaze.

December 5th - January 3rd, 10am onwards

Santa "Magi-sphere" in Sugar Land

A fun, interactive, and safe "magi-sphere" holographic snow globe has popped up in the popular Sugar Land Town Square, where kids can meet Santa safely, in true 2020 style. Reserve your spot to get your wishlist in now!

November 27th - December 24th, Sunday: 10am – 5pm, Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Thursday: 3-9pm, Friday: 12pm – 9pm, Saturday: 10am – 9pm

Houston Zoo Lights

See the zoo like never before! Take a stroll through the zoo at night while it's lit up in lights! You'll even get to see some snow in Houston - a rarity! I first went to the Zoo Lights back in 2013 and loved it! Being at the zoo at night was different in itself, then you have the lights and Christmas spirit - so much fun and a memorable evening!

November 14th - January 10th, excluding December 24th and 25th, 5:30pm - 10:30pm

Space Center Houston Galaxy Lights

NASA gets a festive makeover with even more light displays this year! You'll get to experience the Space Center like never before with newly added outdoor and socially distanced installations!

November 14th - January 3rd, excluding December 24th and 25th, 6pm - 10 pm

Texas Winter Lights at Marriot Marquis

A brand-new experience at the infamous Texas-shaped lazy river and pool deck at the Marriott Marquis in Downtown Houston. Each night the deck will be lit up in thousands of twinkle lights with lots of fun activities and installations including:

  • Light Up Sports lawn
  • "Glow Garden"
  • Purchase a s'mores kit and get toasty by the firepits
  • Rent a cabana and take in all the lights
  • Various Instagram-worthy setups to capture your perfect holiday picture

Visit on the weekend and you'll get to enjoy hourly giveaways, live music, and a dedicated beer garden!

November 20th-January 3rd, 5pm - 10pm

There you have it, Houstonians! My top "Houston in the Holidays" activities! Share with your friends and family...Happy Holidays, all!