Crafts, Financial, Lifestyle, Travel

Best Spots for a Houston Winter Festivity

As a native Houstonian, and current resident, I am proud of the progress my city has made over the course of the past couple of months. We have shown strength, unity, and resilience since the horrific hurricane known as Hurricane Harvey. The Astros have led the charge in bringing additional joy and spirits back to the city. Now, we’re approaching the Holiday season. Let the Christmas lights, great cocktails, seasonal scents, and (possibly) cooler weather begin!

Note: I have provided links throughout the post to access the sites’ websites. They are NOT affiliate links and I am not making any money off of this post. Thanks!

Houston Winter Festivity Option 1: Zoo Lights (Houston Zoo)

Photo Credit: Flickr

I am ashamed to make this next statement… I, AmberLynn, have never been to Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo. This event takes place from mid-November until mid-January. There are two types of tickets that can be bought, on Value and Prime nights. Either way, the tickets are less than $20. (The picture will lead you to the website.) What a deal. At zoo lights, individuals have the opportunity to explore the zoo while checking out their spectacular light shows and decoration. Though I have never been (formally) to the zoo lights, I have explored the zoo while they were decorating/setting up, and I can say their decor is nothing short of spectacular.

The scenery provides the perfect backdrops for spectacular pictures. Social media is so second nature to a lot of people. We’re all photographers in our own right. Though we are not professional, most people understand the importance of good lighting, great backdrops, and a good camera (mostly on the phone). I mean look at this shot above… how can you not love the lighting. If Christmas lights are something that excites your holiday spirit, then I would definitely recommend going. I’m even following my own advice and will be going this year. (Plus, I just love going to the zoo.)

Houston Winter Festivity Option 2: Kemah Boardwalk

Photo Credit: Flickr

Most native Houstonians have been to Kemah Boardwalk at some point. Before the thought comes to mind… yes, I have been. On SEVERAL occasions, even during different holidays. I enjoy Kemah so much because of the variety of activities and food that it provides. You have beautiful coastal views, it’s relatively close to Houston, and it’s far enough to be considered a quick getaway. PLUS… it has a super catchy theme song. I know it by heart… it’s kind of sad actually.

Additionally, Kemah will be open on Christmas Day. A lot of places will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but they will be going strong. This helps if you are looking for a holiday getaway. You can always stay onsite at the Boardwalk Inn. If you happen to be in town on December 9, they are having a Christmas Lights Boat Parade. It is for one day only, unfortunately. Either way, I think Kemah is a fun place to visit whether you are a couple, solo traveler, or are being accompanied by children. The fun never stops…come and get it! (I couldn’t help it LOL) There’s fun for people of ALL ages.

Houston Winter Festivity Option 3: The Nutcracker Ballet

Yes, I have added a ballet on here. There is even a great show production put on by the Houston Symphony. (Just thought I’d plug the symphony here.) As a child, when I would go see the Nutcracker Ballet, (yes, I’ve been several times. Yes, I enjoy it every time) I did not understand why there were no words. As I got older, I learned to appreciate the story being told through the music and the dancing. It’s definitely a show that can appeal and draw audiences of varying ages and diversities.

As far as the Houston Symphony, I’ve never been that fortunate to make it there. At least, if I did, I don’t remember going. I’ve seen the commercials and read the reviews, and it seems like a good time. If you’re musically inclined, this will appeal to you. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the larger crowds in a theme park and enjoy a beautiful show. You may be thinking… how can you recommend somewhere you’ve never been? The answer is simple. Easy! Reviews, commercials, previews, and word of mouth go a long way. What may appeal to me may not appeal to you, and vice versa, so my job is to provide a variety of options.

To find tickets and pricing for both, check of these links here (Nutcracker Ballet) and here (Houston Symphony).

Houston Winter Festivity Option 4: Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights

Photo Credit: WikiCommons

Moody Gardens is one of my favorite places in Texas to visit. Sadly enough, my first few times going were not until adulthood. As recently as a year or two ago. (Yes, I’ve been multiple times recently, and I’m not ashamed of it.) Anyway, Moody Gardens is another venue that appeals to multiple audiences. Like Kemah Boardwalk, they have their own hotel on the premises. They are blocks away from Galveston Beach, and it is surrounded by amazing food. (It’s sad that I’m thinking about food when I should be talking about winter festivities. However, I think that food plays a great role in all of this fun. We have to eat, right? Of course!)

Moody Gardens have everything you could want or need. They have a natural plant/animal exhibit in the rainforest pyramid, an aquarium pyramid, 3D and 4D theatres (including Spongebob Squarepants), and so much more. It may get a little windy and cool because it’s a beach, but the weather won’t be that bad. I can’t find a reason for someone NOT to visit Moody. Honestly, how can I sell it more than I already have? It’s the best of all worlds.

Other Various Houston Winter Festivities

A lot of events take place in Houston during the month of December. The Margarita Festival is coming up in a couple of weeks. Santa will take over all of the malls of Houston for photos. Some of the Houston neighborhood will become Christmas light trails and exhibits. There will be parades around the surrounding suburbs of Houston. There is no shortage of things to do around the holidays in Houston. If you are looking for a more intense theme park, driving for a couple of hours will get you to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, or Six Flags Over Texas. Take your pick.


What are some of your favorite things to do during the holidays? Where are your favorite places to go? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you haven’t already, you should check out my last post: The Gift of Travel: The Gift That Keeps on Giving. Happy Holidays!

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  • Reply Brittany

    This makes me want to take a trip to Houston during the Holidays! So many fun, family friendly things to do.

    November 27, 2017 at 6:24 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      You definitely should. It’s a place with so much variety and diversity. I know that I’m a little biased, but it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

      November 27, 2017 at 2:48 PM
  • Reply Nita

    This Festival of Lights look so pretty! I have never been to Houston and after Hurricane Harvey, it looks like the town has really pulled together and rebuilt it.

    November 27, 2017 at 9:03 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      We definitely have. There’s work to do, but the city is still beautiful and still resilient.

      November 27, 2017 at 2:49 PM
  • Reply Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor

    These are some great attractions. I have family in Houston, so I’ll have to remember these the next time we visit in the winter.

    November 27, 2017 at 10:10 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It’s a wonderful place. You should definitely check it out. 🙂

      November 27, 2017 at 2:50 PM
  • Reply Zesty Olive

    Those photos make me want to visit Houston! I hear so many wonderful things about it, and this guide gives me a sense of the community and amazing events that it has!

    November 27, 2017 at 11:02 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It’s definitely a city of diversity and community pride and spirit. I love it here. Then again, this is my home. There’s always something to do and somewhere to go.

      November 27, 2017 at 2:51 PM
  • Reply Saranya

    This is great to know! And your visuals are so inviting! Would definitely visit Houston after this!

    November 27, 2017 at 11:03 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you so much! You definitely should. I recommend it to anyone, not just because I live here.

      November 27, 2017 at 2:52 PM
  • Reply Sarah Dean

    These all look so fun! I’d love to have Christmas in the US one year.

    London has Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, which has market stalls, Christmassy food and drink, and carnival rides and games. It’s so fun and I try to make it every year! 🙂

    November 27, 2017 at 11:07 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Sounds beautiful! I’ve been dying to visit London. That sounds like fun. Christmas is great anywhere in the world, I’m sure. 🙂

      November 27, 2017 at 2:52 PM
  • Reply shan

    Looks so fun. Would love to visit one day soon!

    November 27, 2017 at 9:04 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It is most definitely fun. You’d love it if you came. 🙂

      November 29, 2017 at 4:36 PM
  • Reply Bee

    Makes me want to take trip out to Houston! Great post thanks for sharing!

    November 27, 2017 at 10:20 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      As you should 🙂 I’d recommend Houston to anyone during any time of the year.

      November 29, 2017 at 10:28 AM
  • Reply Asia

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Texas I’ve always heard wonderful stories about someone visiting and never wanting to leave lol.

    November 28, 2017 at 6:40 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Personally, I am a little biased because I live here, but I, hands down, think that Texas is the best state and Houston is the best city. Again, I’m biased. It’s a great place to visit, and there is always something to do and somewhere new to go in Texas.

      November 29, 2017 at 10:29 AM
  • Reply Suzanne

    Love all of these! We have Zoo Lights in Chicago, too and I’ve never been either. Maybe this year!

    November 28, 2017 at 9:46 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Maybe we can both make the commitment to go to our zoo’s zoo lights. I’m hoping to get to go this weekend.

      November 29, 2017 at 10:29 AM
  • Reply Alexandra

    I loved Moody Gardens when I visited Galveston several years ago. Have to see it during the holidays!

    November 28, 2017 at 10:40 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      I haven’t been able to see it lit during the winter, but I look forward to checking it out. I love Moody! 🙂

      November 29, 2017 at 10:30 AM
  • Reply Vox

    I didn’t realize that Houston had so much to offer in terms of family holiday entertainment. Thanks for giving us quite a few options!

    November 28, 2017 at 5:21 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      No problem! The Holidays are my favorite, so I love to share that with others.

      November 29, 2017 at 10:30 AM
  • Reply Felicia @ The Starving Chef

    I wish I lived in Houston – all these places sound like so much fun!

    November 28, 2017 at 7:09 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Aww! That’s sweet. Houston is a wonderful place filled with so much diversity (in all things). 🙂

      November 29, 2017 at 10:31 AM
  • Reply Brit

    How timely is this post! I will be visiting Houston Saturday, and will definitely be adding a couple of these to my to-do list.

    November 28, 2017 at 10:43 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Ahh! Yay! I’m so glad to be a help. Let me know what you try and how you like them 🙂

      November 29, 2017 at 10:31 AM
  • Reply danielle

    We’ve never been to Houston, I can’t even believe I just had to say that, for a girl who loves to travel. Clearly this is getting added to our family travel list. I just did a post just like this for Chicago!


    November 29, 2017 at 5:06 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      I’ve been to Chicago once, never during the winter, but I would love to. The only concern that I have is encountering snow. We don’t really get that here in Houston. Either way, I’m sure whatever time of year you visit, you will have a great time. There is so much to do.

      November 29, 2017 at 10:33 AM
  • Reply Sarah

    These look like fun! I lived in Austin for a little while but they didn’t have as much going on during winter. My cousin lives near by so I’ll forward this on. 😀

    November 29, 2017 at 10:25 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you so much! Believe it or not, a lot of Houstonians flock to Austin for a lot of things, especially for bar hopping. We can go a lot here, but we still like to get out of the city to another sometimes. 🙂

      November 29, 2017 at 10:33 AM
  • Reply Jazz

    I’m a native Houstonian and haven’t done any of these things! Hoping to change that this season.

    November 29, 2017 at 2:53 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It’s okay! There’s plenty of time and opportunity to get things done. Best of luck. 🙂

      November 29, 2017 at 4:36 PM
  • Reply Jessica Bradshaw

    THere are so many great holiday events! I love all the light festivals. I could stare at Christmas lights all night.

    November 29, 2017 at 2:54 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Yes, that’s one of the reasons I love Houston the most. There is always something to do. I agree! I could stare at Christmas lights for an eternity. They’re so beautiful.

      November 29, 2017 at 4:40 PM
  • Reply Nagham

    I never realized there was so much to do during the holidays. I know in the small town I live in they only have a light show. I wish there was more options. They all look so fun and beautiful!

    December 1, 2017 at 12:51 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you! I haven’t been to everything on the list, but I look forward to checking them out and finding out more for next year. 🙂

      December 2, 2017 at 1:21 PM
  • Reply Holly Benjamin

    Omg this looks like so much fun! I’ve never been to Houston but it’s on my list!!

    December 2, 2017 at 1:59 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      You’ll love Houston. Besides the residents, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain about it. 🙂

      December 7, 2017 at 7:06 AM

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