Festive Houston: Your Complete Guide to Winter Events and Christmas Festivals

As the temperatures drop, Houston transforms into a festive wonderland, brimming with activities and events to celebrate the holiday season. From holiday light extravaganzas to ice skating under the skyline, and sipping Krampus cocktails at a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, Houston offers an array of experiences to make your festive season unforgettable. This guide delves into the heart of Christmas activities in Houston, promising a holiday season filled with joy and merriment.

Christmas holiday lights in urban downtown Houston.

Christmas holiday lights in urban downtown Houston.
Photo by depositphotos.com

Holiday Lights in Houston

Uptown Houston Holiday Trees

From November 1 to January 1, Post Oak Boulevard comes alive with over 1,000 twinkling stars and 300 dazzling 20-foot holiday trees. This free event allows visitors to immerse themselves in a festive light show synced to music available on the Uptown Radio app, creating a magical experience for all who wander through.

The Light Park

Running from November 3 to January 1, The Light Park at Hurricane Harbor and Typhoon Texas Waterpark offers a drive-thru experience like no other. For $29 per car, you can enjoy DJ holiday beats, millions of lights, and elaborate displays, making it a must-visit for Christmas activities in Houston.

Texas Winter Lights

The Marriott Marquis Houston, from November 10 to December 31, hosts the Texas Winter Lights. Visitors can float in 80-degree waters of a rooftop pool and Texas-shaped lazy river, all illuminated by over 1,500 glittering lights. Prices range from $15-$25, with complimentary access for hotel guests.

Blurred image Christmas and New Year celebration lighting in Houston, Texas, USA

Blurred image Christmas and New Year celebration lighting in Houston, Texas, USA
Photo by depositphotos.com

Christmas Festivals and Activities

Ice Skating at Discovery Green

Returning to Discovery Green from November 10 to January 28, the outdoor ice skating rink is a highlight of things to do in Houston this Christmas. For $8-17, including skate rental, glide under the city skyline and bask in the festive atmosphere.

Celtic Christmas at the Texas Renaissance Festival

From November 24-26, the Texas Renaissance Festival transforms into a festive wonderland for its annual Celtic Christmas celebration. With tickets ranging from $10–34, experience a blend of holiday cheer and Renaissance charm.

Radiant Nature at Houston Botanic Garden

From November 17 to February 25, Houston Botanic Garden introduces Radiant Nature, celebrating various holidays including the Lunar New Year. This light show, inspired by traditional Chinese lantern designs, features enchanting lantern installations and a colossal 200-foot dragon.

Christmas in the Square

From November 27 to December 23, head over to Sugarland Town Square for a free winter wonderland extravaganza. It’s a day filled with ice skating, delicious bites, and drinks from popular Town Square eateries. Don’t miss the chance to meet Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch, and shop at the Boho Market. Plus, there’s a rumored chance of snow!

Caring Santa at Katy Mills

From December 4 to December 24, Katy Mills welcomes children of all abilities to a special photo experience with Caring Santa. This event is thoughtfully designed to accommodate the sensory, physical, and developmental needs of kids with special needs, bringing holiday magic to every family.

The Nightmare Before Christmas with Houston Symphony

On December 9 and 10, join the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall for a special screening of Tim Burton’s acclaimed “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Experience the film with its full cinematic glory and a live orchestral performance of Danny Elfman’s captivating score. Families can enjoy a 20% discount on group tickets, making it a fantastic outing.

Fun Holiday Things to Do in Houston

Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston

Running from November 11 to January 7, Space Center Houston’s Galaxy Lights offers a unique space-themed holiday light show. Tickets range from $19.95-$27.95, and the outdoor experience includes s’mores and hot cocoa, perfect for Christmas in Houston.

Magical Winter Lights

Held at Katy Mills from November 17 to January 7, Magical Winter Lights invites visitors to a festival of lights featuring thousands of lanterns, illuminated tunnels, and life-size dinosaurs. It’s a fantastic addition to the list of Christmas activities in Houston.

Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo

From November 17 to January 7, the Houston Zoo lights up with twinkling lights, a 33-foot holiday tree, and snow-filled photo ops. At $27.95+, it’s a magical experience for those looking for Christmas parades in Houston and more.

Holiday Shows in Houston

Holiday Magic on the Plaza

This free holiday show at Avenida Houston runs weekends from November 17 to December 17. Featuring lights, music, dance performances, and a glimpse into Houston’s culture, it’s a key part of Christmas activities in Houston.

A Christmas Carol at Alley Theatre

From November 17 to December 30, Alley Theatre presents a new adaptation of Dickens’ classic. With tickets from $35–$88, it’s a perfect way to experience Christmas in Houston through theater.

The Nutcracker by Houston Ballet

Witness the magic of The Nutcracker at Wortham Theatre from November 24 to December 27. Set to Tchaikovsky’s score, tickets start at $30+, making it an essential part of Christmas in Houston.

Food and Drink Holiday Events in Houston

Miracle Pop-Up Bar

From November 20 to December 31, local bars like Johnny’s Gold Brick and Winnie’s host the Miracle Pop-Up Bar. With no cover charge, enjoy nostalgic holiday settings and festive beverages.

Tinseltown: The Christmas Speakeasy

Running from November 24 to December 30 at Chatters Cafe, this pop-up immerses you in a festive atmosphere. For $22, book a 90-minute session to enjoy holiday tunes and winter drinks.

The Ugly Xmas Sweater Musical

From November 28 to December 24 at The Hobby Center, this holiday musical, with tickets from $40–$69, combines humor and creativity, perfect for a unique Christmas in Houston experience.


As the festive season wraps its arms around Houston, the city lights up not just with dazzling displays and joyous celebrations but also with a warmth that touches the hearts of those who visit. This unique blend of cultural richness, festive cheer, and community spirit in Houston during Christmas time has an enchanting effect, often leading many to consider making Houston their permanent home.

The festive atmosphere in Houston is so captivating that it inspires people to lay down roots in this dynamic city. The twinkling lights, joyous parades, and an array of Christmas activities create a sense of belonging and community. 

It’s no surprise that during this magical season, many individuals and families decide to make a significant life change by moving to Houston. Recognizing this, a moving company in Houston, TX, often experiences a surge in inquiries and business, as more and more people choose to relocate to Houston, drawn by its festive allure and vibrant community life.

This phenomenon highlights the city’s ability to not only be a place of visitation but also a place of habitation. The decision to move to a new city is significant and often influenced by the quality of life it offers. Houston, with its festive charm and welcoming nature, particularly during the Christmas season, proves to be an irresistible choice for many.

In essence, Christmas in Houston is more than just a seasonal celebration; it’s a showcase of the city’s spirit and an invitation to be a part of its thriving community. Whether you’re here for the holiday lights, the Christmas activities, or considering making Houston your new home, the city’s festive season is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart.

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