Looking for the best Christmas lights in Houston and beyond in 2019? 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?
Word-of-mouth with my readers is certainly one way. After doing my own research, here is my list of the best places to see Christmas lights in Houston in 2019, sorted by region.
Moody Garden Festival of Lights —This holiday light spectacular at Moody Gardens is one of the area’s top displays and a holiday tradition for many families. Open November 16, 2019 – January 12, 2020, Festival of Lights promises a bigger and brighter experience than ever this year with a four-story digital Christmas tree, two million festive lights, and new scenes along the trail (along with the old favorites, of course). Click here for more info.
Magical Winter Lights — MWL has over 20 acres of holiday lights and festival activities! Tour over 100 lantern sets, a Christmas village, Dino fun zone, acrobats, carnival rides and games, and much more. This is a truly unique attraction that has something for everyone and many cultures. The attraction is open from November 15, 2019 through January 5, 2020. Click here for more info.
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! This neighborhood arguably offers the best Christmas lights in Houston.
Woodland Heights — This area of the Heights is known for its high concentration of Christmas lights in Houston. The neighborhood hosts Lights in the Heights December 14, but the lights will continue to be lit all season. Bayland Ave. east of Studewood is a main street along with Highland and Woodland.
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 as it’s a very popular place to see Christmas lights in Houston. An officer is onsite for security.
Shepherd Park Plaza — This Christmas lights display dates back to the late 1960s, and it’s truly one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city for looking at lights. It’s one street after another of amazing displays as the neighbors compete for awards for Most Original, Best Overall, Most Creative, and more. To get there, take Ella Blvd. north a little past 43rd street and the neighborhood will be on the right-hand side.
Prestonwood Forest — Prestonwood 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 13-29 (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).
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 they’ll be good to go for the 2019 season. Its Christmas 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 2019 music schedule:
Monday: “A Classic Christmas”
Tuesday: “TSO & Mannheim Night” 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. Another cool feature is its online Santa chat where kids can ask a question to Santa.
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 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 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.
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 typically 6 pm – 10 pm Sunday – Thursday and 6 pm-midnight Friday and Saturday. Music is simulcast on 95.1. Located at 62 W. Knightsbri
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.
The Gullo House (Magnolia)–This 5-acre winter wonderland is the creation of Tony Gullo, owner of Gullo auto dealerships. It’s a truly remarkable display of Christmas lights and decorations, and Mr. Gullo even dresses up as Santa Claus at various times throughout the season. You can learn a bit more on this unofficial Facebook page.
Christmas Katy (Katy) — Christmas in Katy is back for 2019 with a new look and plenty of upgrades to their popular display! Located at 24603 Stoughton Court off I-10 and Pin Oak in West Houston.
Moss Lights (League City) — Moss Lights is normally a popular place to see Christmas lights in the Houston area, and after taking a year off in 2018, they’re back for the 2019 season!
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.
There are a few popular annual light displays in the area that will unfortunately be closed in 2019:
Dickinson Festival of Lights (Dickinson) — Note: The Dickinson Festival of Lights will be closed for the 2019 season due to the construction of a new bridge at Paul Hopkins Park. It will return in November 2020.
Bufkin Christmas Wonderland (Pasadena) — Unfortunately after 25 years, this amazing Christmas lights display — a Pasadena tradition for many area families — is no longer open.
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 is 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.
Houston Christmas Light Displays for a Fee
There are some other places to see Christmas lights in Houston for a fee. Learn more about these light displays at the links below:
Zoo Lights — Houston Zoo
Christmas in the Country — Dewberry Farm
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
Galaxy Lights — Space Center Houston,
Know of any other spots to see the best Christmas lights in Houston? Comment below with the details.
Make sure to check out our full guide to free holiday fun in Houston for more ways to get in the Christmas spirit!