LIST: Holiday events in Houston, Galveston, The Woodlands

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There are plenty of events/activities happening across the Houston area that’ll make you think Santa is in arm’s reach.

HOUSTON — Need help getting in the holiday spirit?  

There are plenty of events/activities happening across the Houston area that’ll light up your mood and make you think Santa is in arm’s reach.

List of Houston holiday events/activities

Houston Ballet ‘The Nutcracker’

The Houston Ballet is bringing “The Nutcracker” back to the stage at the Wortham Theater Center for the first time in two years. The iconic show will run from Nov. 26 to Dec. 24.

Tickets range from $27 to $200. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. You can also call 713-227 -2787.

Zoo Lights

Houston Zoo’s “Zoo Lights” is back for its 10th year. This year, the zoo is introducing three new light features: The Holiday Grove, The Great Ape Gallery and The Illuminated Ocean. These attractions will include glowing tulips dancing to music, and bright jellyfish in an underwater adventure. 

RELATED: Tickets to Houston Zoo Lights available on Friday

The event will run from Nov. 15 to Jan. 9. Tickets start at $14.95. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Uptown Lighting Ceremony

Uptown Holiday Lighting will continue its annual tradition with lighting 300 custom, 20-ft. holiday trees along Post Oak Boulevard from the West Loop to Richmond Avenue.  

This FREE family event features festive holiday shopping and treats, unique street entertainment and the sights and sounds of the holiday season, along with a special appearance from Santa. A fireworks show will happen after the ceremonial lighting.

This event will take place on Nov. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. 

Click here for more information.

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

The holidays have begun at Moody Gardens with the 20th Annual Festival of Lights. The light show features two million lights that are stretched out a mile long. Along the trail of lights are displays that include:

  • Nutcrackers
  • Toy factory
  • 12 Days of Christmas display
  • Narrated nativity scene
  • Star: The Dancing Tree of Light – a four-story digital Christmas tree

The Festival of Lights will run through January 2. The attraction is open daily starting at 6 p.m. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Mayor Turner’s Holiday Spectacular 

Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Holiday Spectacular is back and will be in-person this year. The FREE event will happen in Hermann Square at City Hall and feature live music and performances, the lighting of the towering tree and additional activities and fun for all ages.  

Pop icon, Taylor Dayne will headline the event. Additional performers include:

  • Port Arthur native and “The Voice” contestant DeAndre Nico
  • Houston-born sisters Shelby and Carley Nunn
  • Houston Contemporary Dance Company 
  • Salvation Army Brass Band

The event is happening on Dec. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.  

Click here for more information. 

H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade

The H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade is back and this year the parade is starting off with a bang. Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria will start the parade with a performance. 

Spectators will then see no less than 14 floats, 20 high-flying balloons and high-energy performances from marching bands, according to parade sponsors.

RELATED: 72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade

This year’s Grand Marshal is Dr. Peter Hotez. Hotez is a vaccine expert with the Baylor College of Medicine who has spent countless hours doing interviews to help guide the country through the pandemic

RELATED: Sneak peek at Houston’s H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade floats

The parade will start at 9 a.m. on Nov. 25.

Ice Skating at Discovery Green

Ice skating at Discovery Green has become an annual tradition for families who come to enjoy the themed skate nights.

The park’s seasonal ice skating rink will be open for the winter season from Nov. 12 through Jan. 30.

RELATED: Ice skating rink at Discovery Green open through January

Tickets are $15 per person — that includes skate rentals, too. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, with a specific reservation time. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

‘Lightscape’ at Houston Botanic Garden 

Houston’s Botanic Garden “Lightscape” attraction is in town just in time for the holidays. Lightscape is a world-renowned light show featuring an array of enchanting artistic installations that will elicit wonder and joy as they dazzle the senses. 

Visitors will enjoy magical light displays along the Garden and a one-of-a-kind experience blending new works with favorites from previous Lightscape installations around the world, such as the Winter Cathedral, an impressive towering arch tunnel sparkling with 100,000 lights.

Lightscape will run through Jan 2 on select dates. Tickets start at $25 for adults and $18 for children. Those with Garden memberships receive a $2 discount. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. 

Christmas Boat Lane Parade on Clear Lake

You can ring in the holidays with the 60th Anniversary Christmas Boat Lane Parade produced by the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The parade features more than 60 brightly decorated power and sailboats that will traverse the Clear Lake channel from the South Shore Harbour Marina and the Nassau Bay Lagoon to Galveston Bay.

The parade will be held on Dec. 11 starting at 6 p.m. The route will start in the Nassau Bay Lagoon. Fireworks sounding from Nassau Bay is your starting signal. 

Click here for more information. 

Dickens on the Strand

Galveston Historical Foundation’s Dickens on The Strand festival will continue its one-of-a-kind holiday tradition with new entertainers and events, returning favorites, and family-friendly programming.

The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on multiple stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers, and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations, and gift items.

This event will be held the first weekend in December near 2228 Broadway St.,
. Ticket prices start at $18 for adults and $12 for children. NOTE: Ticket prices will increase on Nov. 26.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. 

Jingle Run

Jingle All The 5K, 10K” is back for its fifth year! All participants will receive a festive top-notch finisher medal, participant bib, and performance tech t-shirt. There will also be an appearance by Santa and post-race refreshments including Saint Arnold!

The races will happen on Dec. 4. Starting line will be at the Addicks Park and Ride right off of I-10 in the Energy Corridor District.

  • Kids Dash Run/Walk – 8 a.m.
  • 10K Run/Walk – 8:15 a.m.
  • 5K Run/Walk – 8:30 a.m.

Click here for more information. 

Lights in the Heights

The annual Lights in the Heights is taking place this year on Dec. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The featured streets will be Byrne and Euclid from Studewood to Beauchamp.

Click here for more information. 

Duke Family Christmas Lights

Over 65,000 lights are all synchronized to music, featuring traditional Christmas Music along with today’s top 40 songs. This light show runs every day through Christmas.

  • Sunday through Thursday – 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday – 6 to 11 p.m.

Location: 14014 Hartford Heights Way. Rosharon TX 77583

If you have an event that you will like added to this page, email [email protected]