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Houston’s Ultimate 2020 Winter Bucket List

It's time for the holidays in Houston ‍🎄

by Houston Bucket List


With Houston being the most populous city in Texas (a state second only to Alaska in size) — you can bet winter celebrations and holiday love here are done just as big. I mean, everything is bigger in Texas, right?

We know things look a little lot different this year; so here’s your guide to living up a healthy and beautiful winter in Houston.

Note: To ensure safe and social distant exploring, please check with each venue to see if they are open before crossing off your bucket list. Updates to city-wide COVID guidelines and restrictions can be found here.

Drive through Rudolph’s Light Show

Rudolph's Lightshow, the original Houston Christmas light drive-thru experience, is back. Drive through light tunnels, past snowmen and acres of land, featuring over 1 million lights merrily synced to your favorite holiday tunes.

When: November 1st, 2020 - January 3rd, 2021;  6:30PM-11PM everyday
Where: Entrance iat 19623 Bauer Road, Hockley, TX 77447
💵 $27 per vehicle (Bucket Listers Discounted Pricing!)

For more information. 

Explore Galaxy Lights at the Space Center


Photo Courtesty of Houston Space Center

The Space City tradition now features open-air and safely distanced exhibits to welcome back patrons for Galaxy Lights! Marvel at the kinetic light shows, a giant twinkling tree, and indoor meteor shower (yes, really)--while saving room for holiday cocoa and desert at the Zero-G Diner and patio. 

When: Now through Jan 3rd
Where: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

For more information.

Breakfast with Santa in an Aquarium

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Aquarium

Bring friends and family together for the most festive breakfast this holiday season. Get your picture taken with the aquarium’s socially fishtanced (sorry, distanced!) Santa and keep an eye on the aquarium tank – you might just see him diving with the fish!

When: Dec. 12, 19, 20 & 24; Seating begins at 9 AM
Where: 410 Bagby St. Houston, Texas 77002 United States

For more information.

Skate and Shop at the Galleria

Photo Courtesy of the Galleria

We all agree holiday shopping is best topped off with an ice skating session, right? The iconic rink—sporting the massive holiday tree placed in the center—is back to welcome shoppers for the 2020 season! Just wear a mask and remember to socially distance.  

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 AM - 5:45 PM, 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: 5015 Westheimer Rd. 713-621-1500.

 For more information.

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 – just bring your masks and remember to socially distance this season. 

(And, if cutting your own tree isn’t your thing, they also carry a variety of pre-cut trees to fall back on.)

When: Open daily after Thanksgiving 9am-5:30pm. 

For more information.

Enjoy the Holiday in the Garden 

Photo Courtesy of Moody Gardens

Come with family and friends to wander through Moody Gardens’ Festival of Lights, where you’ll be able to watch Rudolph 4D and other holiday films, cruise down the Arctic Slide, and gorge on a frosty, chocolatey, sweet dessert. 

Attractions: Open: 10AM - 10PM Daily; Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day Open: 12PM - 10PM
Festival of Lights & Holiday Attractions: Daily: 6PM - 10PM
Where: 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554

For more information.

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.

See the Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo

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: get a socially distanced photo with Santa as he preps for the holidays in his workshop. 

When: November 14, 2020 – January 10, 2021 at 5:30-10:30 p.m., last entry at 9:30 p.m.
Where: 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030  

For more information.

Attend Sugar Land Holiday Lights 

Photo Courtesy of Sugar Land Holiday Lights

Come one come all to Constellation Field for socially-distanced holiday fun! This sparkling wonderland features over 3 MILLION lights, holiday movie nights, a carnival, and a variety of holiday shopping vendors to peruse. 

When: November 20 through January 3 | Sunday-Thursday: 6PM-9PM; Friday-Saturday: 6PM-10PM
Where: Constellation Field in Sugar Land, TX

For more information. 

Devour a “Smorkie” From Fluff Bake Bar

Photo Courtesy of Fluff Bake Bar 

The only cookies Santa wants you to leave out for him on Christmas Eve! Available now 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 Thursday 10AM–6PM Friday 10AM–6PM Saturday 10AM–6PM Sunday 12–5 PM Monday Closed Tuesday 10AM–6PM Wednesday 10AM–4PM 

For more information. 

Drive through the lit up River Oaks Houses

Photo Courtesy of Bobbie Byrd

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.


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