Texas really knows how to get into the holiday spirit, and the busy metropolis of Houston is certainly no exception. The city of Houston and surrounding suburban areas really get into the Christmas spirit in December and put on spectacular shows for the community to enjoy. So, if you’re up for a festive drive, these are the best neighborhoods to see Christmas lights in the Houston area.
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Prestonwood Forest is a Houston neighborhood that loves celebrating Christmas and is on the northwest side. Here you can attend the Annual Nite of Lights, which runs from December 13th to 29th this year. The route goes to Prestonwood Forest Drive from S.H. 249 to Charlynn Oaks from Hargrave Road, Prestonwood Forest Drive to Cypresswood Drive, and Ravenhurst Lane from Shroeder Road. It’s been an annual tradition here for 40 years and welcomes thousands of visitors annually. The event features a friendly competition for awards from guest judges and also lets visitors vote for their favorite home on the route for a “people’s choice” award.
River Oaks is also one of the very best Houston neighborhoods to visit if you enjoy looking at festive Christmas lights. This area in Central Houston has many big mansions and grand estates that really go all out with their decorations. You can start your drive or make a stop at the River Oaks Country Club and then drive around the surrounding area. Saturdays are particularly busy times to drive around River Oaks in December, so plan your drive for a weekday night, is possible. You’ll enjoy all the lights from the comfort of your car and can easily spend about 45 minutes admiring them all, perhaps while listening to some Christmas music on your car radio.
Don’t forget about downtown Houston when you’re looking to get into the festive mood because there are lots of things to look forward to here. This is where the mayor’s holiday celebration and tree lighting take place in the heart of downtown with music and family fun. Market Square Park in the downtown area is also where holiday light tours usually kick off and go past festive sights, such as City Hall, the Discovery Green, and the beautifully decorated River Oaks and Woodland Heights neighborhoods.
This neighborhood is between Chimney Rock and Voss and Westheimer and San Felipe, and it’s filled with fun Christmas lights in the residents’ front yards. The family-friendly Briargrove neighborhood is also known for its lovely oak trees that make perfect placeholders for Christmas lights to decorate them. Overall, the Briargrove neighborhood is known for being quiet, family-centered, and a friendly close-knit community.
With a neighborhood name like Candlelight Park, you might not be surprised that this is one of the best Houston neighborhoods to see Christmas lights. The Shepherd Park nearby is also a top area to drive through in the days leading up to Christmas. Here you’ll find everything from simple Christmas light displays to large inflatable characters and themed dioramas and cutouts. Start your journey through this neighborhood on Thornton or Martin roads and make sure to see the displays along Bethlehem Street.
Green Tee is a Pearland subdivision in the Houston area that is locally famous for its great light displays around Christmas time. Green Tee is known for its annual Tour De Lites, which is a family-friendly tradition involving a bike ride and hay ride (for those who cannot ride a bike). For an evening in December, you can join local residents and visitors for a fun ride through the area to view the Christmas lights and enjoy holiday music, cookies, and hot chocolate. This year, the event will take place on Saturday, December 14th and will begin at Independence Park. Register for the event because seating is limited. Helmets are also required for safety. The bike ride is about seven miles and goes at a leisurely pace. There’s also a bike decorating contest and a bike raffle for kids’ bikes.
Candyland, Spring Branch
One specific display that’s not to be missed in the Houston area is the Candyland display. The display is on Quincannon Lane in Northwest Houston and a very popular spot with usually a long line of cars waiting to see it. Expect some traffic when you drive by, and perhaps bring along some hot chocolate in to-go cups in the car to make the wait a little more festive.
Another destination for Christmas lights in the Houston metro area is Pecan Grove. This is a bit of a trek from the city center but well worth the drive if you love Christmas. From the Randall’s parking lot, hop on a holiday hayride here to enjoy the lights, hot chocolate, and visits from Santa Claus. The hayrides typically run on the hour from 6pm to 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights in December. It’s a family-friendly activity that lasts about 40 minutes and is choreographed with festive holiday tunes. Last year, the cost of the hayride included cocoa, while kids ages two and under could ride for free.