Looking for the best Christmas lights in Houston and beyond? Our city is full of neighborhoods decked out in Christmas lights — often synchronized to music. But how do you find these often tucked-away places in such a big city?

Best Christmas Lights Houston

Word-of-mouth with my readers is certainly one way. After doing my own research, here is my list of Houston’s don’t-miss Christmas light displays in 2017.

Central

River Oaks — Drive through River Oaks to see the mansions and huge oaks wrapped in lights. These traditional displays are amazing with dripping lights and more. River Oaks Country Club, Inwood Drive, Willowick and Del Monte are some prime streets. Check out the corner house at Mockingbird and Del Monte for an amazing display!

christmas lights river oaks  

Woodland Heights — This area of the Heights is known for its concentration of Christmas lights. The neighborhood hosted Lights in the Heights December 9, but the lights will continue to be lit all season. Bayland Ave. east of Studewood is a main street along with Highland and Woodland.

Lights in the Heights

photo: Theresa Quintanilla

Spring Shadows — This Christmas lights display, Candy Wonderland, is on Quincannon Lane and features several vacant lots and homes for a magical treat! Visitors must stay in their cars, according to posted signs. It’s north of I-10 and Memorial City Mall off Gessner. There is only one entrance in and out of this neighborhood so lines can get long at times. An officer is onsite for security.

christmas lights quincannon lane 2016

Northwest

Prestonwood ForestPrestonwood Forest in Northwest Houston is considered the “granddaddy” of Houston neighborhoods with entire streets participating in elaborate light displays since the 1970s. The 40th annual Nite of Lites will be lit December 9 – December 31 (dusk to 10 pm weekdays and till 11 pm weekends). The 786 homes in the neighborhood compete for awards: Best All Around Home, Best Cul-de-Sac, Best Block Best Mailbox and more. Check out the Visitor’s map for more details. The neighborhood is off Tomball Parkway (SH249).

Christmas Lights Houston

Johnson’s Christmas Corner (Cypress) The Johnson family has been creating holiday light displays for 10 years. The family took a break in 2016, but is back this year. Its light display at 14811 Cypress Meadow Dr. includes 70,000 lights synchronized to 50+ songs for a different show six nights a week, snow machine and bubble machine. Here is the music schedule:

Monday: “Classic Christmas Carols” by the original artists
Tuesday: “Modern Classics” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Mannheim Steamroller
Wednesday: “Rock-n-Roll Christmas”
Thursday: “Country Christmas”
Friday: “Movie Night at the Corner” — lights move to iconic movie themes
Saturday and Sunday are a mash up of songs from the week

Santa is also available on certain nights to take photos with the kids. Follow on Johnson Corner Facebook or Twitter to be informed of nights with Santa. A new feature this year is its online Santa chat where kids can ask a question to Santa. 

photo: Johnson Family

Franck’s Christmas Light Show (Copperfield) — The Franck family on Viney Creek shares a neighborhood lights tradition since 2008. Songs are timed to music. The light show runs nightly from 5:30 pm – 10 pm (Sunday through Thursday) and till 11 pm on weekends. Located at 15923 Viney Creek. Music is broadcast on 89.7 FM. Every time I visit I smile. The music and lights are so fun and uplifting! The whole show is around 45 minutes and is on a loop.

christmas lights franck family

North

Christmas Ranch (Cleveland) — This free, massive drive-through display is celebrating 33 years of bringing joy to the community. The Christmas display has grown so much the Hanleys moved to a larger, more accessible home in 1995! It features more than 300,000 lights, holiday scenes, 32-ft reindeer, and more. Santa will be around for the kids December 23-24 from 6 pm – 8 pm. The family shares the donations it receives with needy in the community. Christmas Ranch is located about an hour north of downtown at 14651 FM 1725 in Cleveland. And it’s completely free! Hours are 6 pm – 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and 6 pm – 11 pm Friday and Saturday. The display is open through New Years.

christmas ranch

Dodd Family Holidays (The Woodlands) — Since 2001, the Dodd family has shared their love of Christmas lights with the community. Chris Dodd spends two to three weeks setting up his display. He enjoys coming out and mingling with visitors. His light show is two hours with around 45 songs. Hours are 6 pm – 10 pm Sunday – Thursday and 6 pm – midnight Friday and Saturday. Music is simulcast on 95.1. Located at 62 W. Knightsbridge Dr. in The Woodlands.

dodd family lights

Schultz Holiday Lights (Spring) — The Schultz family enjoys displaying Christmas on Rose Dawn, its animated holiday lights from Thanksgiving to New Years since 2010. Hours are 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm Sunday – Thursday and till 10:30 on weekends. The family is helping Tomball Assistance Ministries through a Giving Tree. Located at 19827 Rose Dawn, Spring. Check out videos from last year.

schultz family lights rose dawnWM

West

Christmas Katy (Katy) — Fans of Christmas in Katy will be disappointed to learn the computer equipment and control systems were flooded in August with Hurricane Harvey, and the family can’t do their traditional light and music display. The family has Christmas lights in the yard, however. Located at 24603 Stoughton Court off I-10 and Pin Oak in West Houston.

Southeast

Dickinson Festival of Lights (Dickinson) — Since 1998, the Dickinson community comes together to create Dickinson Festival of Lights, a free walk-through lights display at Paul Hopkins Park. Lights will be on nightly December 15 – December 23, 6 pm – 8:30 pm. All parking and shuttle buses are free. Parking on weekends is courtesy the Dickinson Plaza Shopping Center, exit 19, I-45 N feeder. Only those needing handicap parking can park onsite Friday through Sunday. The shuttle is the best way to go!

christmas lights dickinson festival of lights

photo: Dickinson Festival of Lights Society

Moss Lights (League City) — Moss Lights is back this year! With 80,000 lights, Moss Lights will be on nightly through January 2: 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 pm – 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Its 21 minutes of synchronized music took 525 hours to program! Moss Lights is located at 540 Southampton Dr. in League City.

photo: Moss Lights

Edwards Family lights (Scarsdale) — Fans of the Edwards Family lights will have to wait another year! The family is moving to League City this month and taking a break this year. They will return with Halloween and Christmas light shows in 2018!

Bufkin Christmas Wonderland (Pasadena) — This is the last year, after 25 years, for this amazing lights display — a Pasadena tradition for many area families. The Bufkin family’s light display fills the front and back yards with more than 165,000 lights. Since its beginning, it’s estimated more than 330,000 folks have visited this display. Hours are 6:15 pm – 9:30 pm daily through December 27. The home is located at 2731 Lilac in Pasadena. Don’t miss this profile filmed by Houston Public Media.

South

Green Tee Subdivision (Pearland) — This is another neighborhood with a long history of beautiful light displays. Each year the Tour De Lites features a leisure 6-8 mile bike ride (or hay ride) through Green Tee just to see the lights. This is located off FM 518 and Country Club.

Southwest

Pecan Grove (Richmond) — This Fort Bend neighborhood near Richmond is known for its Christmas lights. Pecan Grove Plantation is the area I toured off FM359. Plantation Drive is the main thoroughfare through the community. Most any side street will have some lights, but some are definitely decked out more than others. There are house after house of traditional beautiful displays.  Hayrides are common as folks gather up the kids and drive through the streets. Some of the major streets to check out include Morton League, Austin Colony and Quarterpath where P.O.A. Hall of Fame homes display their award-winning sign.

christmas lights pecan grove 2016

Light Displays for a Fee

Zoo Lights — Houston Zoo
Trail of Lights — Dewberry Farm (the first year!)
Magical Winter Lights — Gulf Greyhound Park, La Marque
Sugar Land Holiday Lights — Constellation Field, Sugar Land
Santa’s Wonderland — College Station
Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights — Galveston