Around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays the city of Houston starts to glow as holiday decorations, lights and displays begin to appear around the city. Many people have been to the larger light displays like Moody Gardens Festival of Lights and the lighting of the tree on Post Oak Boulevard. The real excitement during the holiday season is seeing all the lights that are put up in different neighborhoods by individuals. My family loves to pile in the car with a snack, turn on holiday music and drive around so our young daughters can enjoy all the displays, I have to admit my husband and I love it also. It is a wonderful tradition to start with your family. Since Houston is so large there are many places with great holiday displays. Here are a few of the best neighborhoods where you can drive to in Houston to see Christmas lights.
Woodland Heights – Lights In The Heights
The popular annual Lights In The Heights parade and holiday celebration will take place Saturday December 11th this year. This is the 24th year of this holiday street festival, voted the best by many Houstons residents. Here you can get a detailed map of the Christmas parade route so you and your family can drive out and get a good seat. The parade and festivities kick off at 6 pm. You will be able to enjoy a viewing all the lovely historic homes with their festive Christmas lights at no charge. This wonderful celebration has a restroom facility and if need first aid station. Many of the residents perform Christmas carols and sing holiday favorites. The streets are blocked off so pedestrians are able to walk around with a hot beverage and enjoy the sights and mingle with others.
Prestonwood Forest – Nite of Lights
This neighborhood is serious about their Christmas light decorations. Their tradition started back in the 1970’s. About 700 homes in this family oriented subdivision participate in their annual Night of Lights celebration, which starts Saturday December 11th. Homes are decorated with a different theme for each block, you will find homes decorated not only with Christmas lights but also elaborate wood cut outs. Some of their past popular holiday display themes were: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, biblical scenes, Texas theme, The Nutcracker and The Twelve Days of Christmas. Being the best neighborhood in Houston to view Christmas lights draw about 10,000 to 15,000 people yearly. They have been featured on the travel channel and even Southern Living magazine. They have even attracted hayrides, church groups, actor Kevin Costner and former President George Bush Senior and his wife Barbara. To find them I suggest using map quest to locate Prestonwood Forest Drive, it is on the northwest side of Houston. You will find signs directing you off Texas highway 249 to the subdivision. To be courteous of the neighborhood drive times are 6 pm to 11 pm.
The neighborhood where Houston’s elite reside you will find stately homes with breathtaking Christmas lights. It is hard not to be in awe as you drive around with your family and take in all the multi-million dollar homes. They are elegantly decorated and many with large nativity’s and trees bathed in holiday lights.This Houston neighborhood does not have any organized parades or gatherings but that does not make these lights any less exciting. A great place to start is the corner of Inwood Drive and River Oaks Boulevard.This is one of the best neighborhoods for you and your family to drive around singing Christmas carols while viewing the decorations.
Dickinson Festival of Lights
The last of the best Houston area neighborhood’s to view Christmas lights are located In Dickinson off of I-45 South of Houston. The 13th annual Dickinson festival of lights kicks off on Saturday November the 27th at 6 pm until 9pm, and runs nightly until January 1st 2011. With weather permitting you and your family will be able to enjoy this spectacular display of holiday decorations. Parking and admission is free, they do accept donations as you can see on their Website. Over the year with the growth of this festival popularity and displays it has been moved to Paul Hopkins Park. Here you can see and example of the Christmas lights you will be able to enjoy once you arrive.