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Houston's Ultimate 2021 Winter Bucket List
Houston's Ultimate 2021 Winter Bucket List

Houston's Ultimate 2021 Winter Bucket List

Houston, we have a holiday lift off. 🎄🎉

Published November 19, 2021

You can bet winter celebrations and holiday festivities in Houston are done right and on a huge scale. Everything is bigger in Texas, right? So spread holiday cheer the Texas way! Walk or drive through massive outdoor light displays, sip on themed cocktails at a limited time pop-up bar, and participate in meaningful volunteer opportunities. 

For more information on how to enjoy the best winter events Houston has to offer, check out Bucket Lister’s must-dos below: 

Miracle at Johnny's: Christmas Pop-Up Cocktail Experience

Photo courtesy of Johnny's Gold Brick 

Gather your crew, put on your ugliest Christmas sweater, and experience the Miracle at Johnny’s pop-up immersive holiday experience! Revel in the wall-to-wall classic decor, a menu of “Chrismapolotins” and other amazing holiday drinks (complete with toasted marshmallow garnishes!), and tons of holiday cheer. Reservations are highly encouraged. 

Where: 2518 Yale St Houston, TX 77008 (and Miracle at Winnies at 3622 Main)

For more information on Miracle at Johnny’s


Ride the Christmas Train in Alvin 

Photo courtesy of The Christmas Train

Your whole family can enjoy an old-fashioned train ride in open air coaches while being dazzled by hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights and displays! The ride also serves up Big Al’s handmade, deep dish pizza, hot cocoa and cookies, as well as a lakeside walking trail, general store gift shop, and kids craft area. 

Tickets: $12 at the door.
When: Nov 26th-27th, Dec 3-4, 9-11, 16-23; 6-9 PM
Where: 1407 Victory Ln Alvin, TX 77511

For tickets to the Christmas Train in Alvin


Attend Holiday in the Gardens

Photo courtesy of Moody Gardens

Enjoy a festive stroll along this mile-long trail, featuring over two million lights and scored with holiday music. You’ll cross the Moody Gardens property and see spectacular views of Galveston Bay. Stops along the way bring you to see Star the Dancing Tree of Light, concession stands of hot chocolate, fireside s'mores and other festive foods, plus plenty of festive photo opportunities!

When: Nov. 20-Jan 2; open daily 4 PM - 10 PM
Where: 1407 Victory Ln Alvin, TX 77511

For tickets to Holiday in Moody’s Gardens


Marvel at Galaxy Lights

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

Houston Space Center is back with the holiday extravaganza: Galaxy Lights. View incredible kinetic light shows and witness an indoor meteor shower (yes, really). Don’t forget to save room for holiday cocoa and desert at the Zero-G Diner and patio.\

Tickets: GA is $19.95; and member price starts at: $15.95
When: Nov 13—Jan 2nd
Where: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

For tickets to Galaxy Lights.


Jingle on the Boardwalk

Photo courtesy of Kemah Boardwalk  

Run to the boardwalk for photo ops with Santa, holiday music, movies, a toy drive, and a boat parade at the Kemah Boardwalk—plus the resident 13 amusement rides and midway games. 

When: December 4th-19th on the weekends.
Where: 215 Kipp Ave Kemah, TX 77565

For more information on Jingle on the Boardwalk.


View the Sugar Land Holiday Lights

Photo courtesy of Sugar Land Holiday Lights

Come one come all to Constellation Field for the ultimate holiday fun! This sparkling wonderland features over 3 million lights, holiday movie nights, a full-on carnival, and a variety of holiday shopping vendors to peruse. 

When: Nov 19th—Jan 9th, open 6 PM-9 PM Sun-Thurs, and 6 PM - 10 PM weekends.
Where: Constellation Field in Sugar Land, TX

For more information on Sugar Land Holiday Lights. 


Skate the Discovery Green Mountain Energy Ice Rink

Photo courtesy of Discovery Green

Glide beneath the glittering lights of downtown Houston and discover the holiday magic on Green Mountain Energy Ice at Discovery Green! The rink returns November 12th for the holiday season, complete with specialty nights like Flashback Fridays and Santa at the Ice.

When: Nov 12th-Jan 30th; Mon-Fri: 5-10 PM (Fridays open until 11pm), Sat 11 AM-11 PM Sunday: 11 AM – 8 PM
Where: 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010

For more information on Green Mountain Energy Ice.


Attend Dasher’s Lightshow: A Christmas Drive Through 

Photo courtesy of Dasher’s Lightshow

Houston, get your sleighs cars ready for Dasher's SPECTACULAR lightshow drive through! Formally Rudolph's lightshow, the original Houston Christmas light drive-thru experience is back with all new  light tunnels, snowmen and acres of land to explore, all covered in 1 million lights and merrily synced to your favorite holiday tunes.

Ticket: $25-$45 per vehicle, dependent on the day
When: November 5th — January 5th;  6:30PM-11PM everyday
Where: Entrance iat 19623 Bauer Road, Hockley, TX 77447

For tickets to Dasher’s Lightshow


See the Houston Zoo Lights

Photo courtesy of Houston Zoo

With hot cocoa in hand, stroll through a 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light. Watch dragons come to life in the 4-D Enchanted Forest and experience “snow” in Texas! Bonus: take a photo in front of the brand new 33’ tall color-changing holiday tree. 

When: November 15, 2021 - January 9, 2022
Where: 6200 Hermann Park Dr Houston, TX 77030

For tickets to Houston Zoo lights.


Have Breakfast with Santa at the Aquarium

Photo courtesy of Aquarium Restaurant

Bring friends and family together for the most festive breakfast buffet this holiday season. Get your picture taken with an aqua-Santa swimming in the aquarium tank, plus receive 50% off stingray reef admission and a take home Christmas craft! 

When: Dec. 11, 12, 18, 19, 22, 23 & 24; Seating begins at 9 AM
Where: 410 Bagby St. Houston, Texas 77002 United States

For more tickets to Breakfast with Santa at the Aquarium.


Chop down your own tree at a farm like “Old Time Christmas Farm”

Photo courtesy of Old Time Christmas Farm

Just a few minutes north of Houston, you’ll be able to transport yourself into the homey wilderness of a family-owned Christmas tree farm (a wilderness with BBQ, funnel cake, and hot chocolate vendors on site, that is). They’ll provide saws for you to cut your own trees – or some pre-cut trees to fall back on if chopping isn’t your thing.

When: Open November 20th, 9 AM - 5:30 PM

For more information on the Old Time Christmas Tree Farm.


Volunteer or donate to a worthy cause like Houston Food Bank

Photo courtesy of Houston Food Bank

One of the most worthy ways to spend the holiday season, especially with increased food insecurity due to the pandemic, is to donate food, money or time to our neighbors in need. At the Houston Food Bank, every $1 provides a full day of meals to our neighbors in need. 

Where: (2 locations) Houston Food Bank East Branch at 535 Portwall Street, Houston, TX 77029 | Houston Food Bank North Branch at 146 Knobcrest Drive, Houston, TX 77060

For more information on Houston Food Bank.


Pick up Santa’s cookies from the Fluff Bake Bar

Photo courtesy of Fluff Bake Bar 

The only cookies Santa wants you to leave out for him on Christmas Eve! Available for local delivery and store pickup: Houston’s “sugar fairy” bakery is back! Swoop up one of the extremely limited holiday pies or treats to be the star of Thanksgiving, or deliver yourself a self-described “campfire in a cookie” (graham crackers, mini chocolate chips & mini marshmallows included). Trust us, you deserve it.

Where: 1701 W 15th St, Houston, TX 77008
When: Delivery Thurs 10AM–6PM Fri 10AM–6PM Sat 10AM–6PM Sun 12–5 PM Mon Closed Tuesday 10AM–6PM Wed 10AM–4PM 

For more information on Fluff Bake Bar. 


Drive through the lit up River Oaks Houses

Photo courtesy of River Oaks Christmas Lights

Arguably offering the best Christmas Lights in Houston, a cruise through the mansions and oak trees of River Oaks district is not to be missed this holiday season. River Oaks Country Club, Inwood Drive, Willowick and Del Monte are some prime streets. 

For more information on River Oaks Houses.

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