food & drink · music & nightlife ·
Published January 21, 2023
Houston's Ultimate 2022 Winter Bucket List
Houston, we have a holiday lift off. 🎄🎉
by Houston Bucket List
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and holiday celebrations in Houston are done to the nines. We’ve rounded up the best winter events Houston has to offer this year, no matter your age or interest. Have your choice of walking, driving, or riding a train through stunning light shows, get festive with themed cocktails or hot chocolate, and spread the holiday cheer by giving back to your community. ‘Tis the season!
Bar Crawl Your Way Through New Year's Eve
Why choose one New year's Eve party to go to, when you can party your way through all of Austin's best bars. Barcrawlerz is a Bar Crawl like no other. $20 gets you into any of the participating bars with no cover, plus gets you drink specials all night. Just make sure to check in between 6 PM and 11 PM!
Visit Holiday Pop-Up Bars: Miracle at Winnie's and Miracle at Johnny's
Gather your crew, put on your ugliest Christmas sweater, and experience the Miracle at Johnny’s and Winnie’s pop-up immersive holiday experiences! 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.
Have Breakfast with Santa at the Aquarium
Bring friends and family together for the most festive breakfast this holiday season. Get your picture taken with Santa and Sharkey, Aquarium Restaurant’s mascot. Reservations are required, so don’t let this holiday experience pass you by.
Where:215 Kipp Ave Boardwalk #11, Kemah, TX 77565
For more information on Breakfast with Santa.
Pick out your perfect tree at Old Time Christmas Tree Farm
Just a few minutes north of Houston, you can transport yourself into the homey wilderness of a family-owned Christmas tree farm. But this wilderness has BBQ, funnel cake, and hot chocolate vendors on site. 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.
Where: 7632 Spring Cypress Rd, Spring, TX 77379
For more information on Old Time Christmas Tree Farm.
Watch “The Nutcracker”
A classic holiday show, “The Nutcracker” will run at the Houston Ballet this winter. Witness the festive and extravagant sets, costumes, and score that is well-loved by theater and Christmas lovers alike. If you want to do something special, get the VIP experience for refreshments, a photo booth, and the opportunity to go on stage for a commemorative gift.
Where: 501 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
For more information on “The Nutcracker.”
Attend Holiday Theater Shows
Alley Theatre is in the holiday spirit with two magical performances. Don’t be a Scrooge — watch the new production of the beloved “A Christmas Carol.” For an adult holiday comedy, get ready to laugh at “What-A-Christmas!”, which is set right here in Houston.
Where: 615 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
For more information on Holiday Theater Shows.
Take a ride on 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. But that’s not all — walk through a lakeside trail, general store gift shop, and kids' craft area.
Where: 1407 Victory Ln #8532, Alvin, TX 77511
For more information on The Christmas Train.
Go Ice Skating at the Galleria
Lace up your skates and hit the ice! Ice at the Galleria is a year-round indoor ice rink, but there's something a bit more magical about ice skating during the holidays, especially when the tree is lit, and lights are strung. Located on the bottom floor of the Galleria, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a few turns on the ice before getting your holiday shopping done.
Where: 5015 Westheimer Road #1260, Houston, TX 77056
For more information on Ice at the Galleria.
See the sights of River Oaks Christmas Lights
Arguably offering the best Christmas Lights in Houston, a cruise through the mansions and oak trees of the 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 to check out. Choose your own adventure by driving through or signing up for a bus tour or carriage ride.
Where: River Oaks Blvd, Houston, TX 77019
For more information on River Oaks Christmas Lights.
Volunteer or donate to a worthy cause like 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 helps provide three meals to our neighbors in need.
Attend Magical Winter Lights
Spanning 20 acres, Magical Winter Lights at Houston Raceway Park will get you into the holiday spirit. Explore eight themed lantern sections, local entertainment, carnival rides and games, and more. You might even get to see Santa in a meet-and-greet.
Where: 2525 FM 565, Baytown, TX 77523.
For more information on Magical Winter Lights.
Be mesmerized by Lightscape
The Houston Botanic Garden will put on Lightscape for the second year in a row. This internationally acclaimed lights and music event will take you through the Garden as you’ve never seen it before. Immersive installations — both new and returning — will light up with your favorite holiday tunes. Indulge your munchies with s’mores at the fire pits or snap a pic at one of the many Instagrammable photo ops.
Where: One Botanic Ln, Houston, TX 77017
For more information on Lightscape.
Get the best of both worlds at ICE LAND: A Caribbean Christmas
Bundle up for a holiday experience like no other. Combining the best of the North Pole and the tropical Caribbean, you can witness the natural beauty from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico, discovering underwater life and Christmas surprises. You can even stop at Shiver’s Ice Bar for some festive spirits.
Where: One Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554
For more information on ICE LAND: A Caribbean Christmas.
Be wowed by Sugar Land Holiday Lights
Come one, come all to Constellation Field for ultimate holiday fun! This sparkling wonderland features over 3 million lights, 10 themed areas, holiday movie nights, a full-on carnival, and a variety of holiday shopping vendors to peruse.
Where: 1 Stadium Dr, Sugar Land, TX 77498
For more information on Sugar Land holiday lights.
Experience Dasher’s Light Show: A Christmas Drive Through
Houston, get your sleigh cars ready for Dasher's spectacular light show! Formally Rudolph's light show, the original Houston Christmas light drive-thru experience is back with a mile route featuring immersive light tunnels and festive characters. Opt for the Park & Watch experience and you’ll get even more exclusive light features, photo ops, and crafted food and cocktails, all while watching lights synced to your favorite holiday tunes.
Where: 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy, Humble, TX 77338
For more information on Dasher’s Light Show.
See the Houston Zoo Lights
With hot cocoa in hand, stroll through a brand new light tunnel at the beautiful Houston Zoo. Bask in the glow of animal-themed lanterns, flowers, and butterflies, and even experience “snow” in Texas! Bonus: take a photo in front of the towering 33-foot-tall color-changing holiday tree.
Where: 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030
For more information on Zoo Lights.
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