Make Your Season Bright with these Dazzling HolidaY Light Shows
It’s getting festive around Bay Area Houston, and this year our area has two of the most spectacular light shows in Texas. I visited both of these breathtaking displays, and can confirm they are magnificent. If you’re looking for a memorable evening with friends and family this holiday season, check out these extraordinary light shows.
Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston
- Runs nightly from Nov. 16, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020 (closed Nov. 28, Dec. 12, Dec. 24 & 25)
- A brand-new, interactive holiday lights experience
- More than 750,000 lights span more than one million square feet
- The Saturn V Rocket features a projected light story
- View the original film “Holidays in Space” during your visit
What. A. Show. With all the brain power at Space Center Houston, you know you’re in for something next-level amazing before you even set foot in the door. The display is so immense that you can see some of it from the road, including dozens of trees lit up, and others wrapped in white lights. This holiday light show does not disappoint. From start to finish, you’re in for an incredibly unique experience you won’t find anywhere else on Earth.
First, there’s the LED kinetic light show hovering over the Main Plaza. It’s the first thing you notice when you walk in, and you’ll have a hard time peeling your eyes away. I’ve never seen anything like it. The lights are programmed to music, changing color and moving to create various shapes and images. Keep your eyes on it, and you’ll spot some Christmas icons formed by the glowing spheres.
The highlight of Galaxy Lights is the tram ride. The tram took us through a tunnel of lights, programmed to some of our favorite Christmas songs, and brought us to Rocket Park. I never tire of seeing the Saturn V Rocket, but this time was extra special. A paw-sitively adorable space-themed holiday story is projected onto the different sections of the massive rocket. Rocket Park itself is decked out in gorgeous gleaming galactic figures, from planets to astronauts, adding an extra layer of wonder to this already extraordinary destination.
The tram drops visitors off at Independence Plaza, which is also photo-op central. If you want to wow your family with a creative Christmas card picture, this is the place to do it. Sit on the moon for a family photo, or pose with a “space tree” in front of the enormous NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft and mounted space shuttle.
Magical Winter Lights in La Marque
- Festival runs nightly from Nov. 15, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020
- The nation’s largest lantern festival of its kind
- 20 acres of lanterns and attractions
- Lanterns are created with Chinese lantern-making techniques
- Some lanterns measure 60 feet in height
It’s in the name—magical. And it’s the perfect word to describe the feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of brightly colored, gorgeously designed, massive-scale lanterns. I brought my family to experience this merging of culture and light, and the creative beauty had our attention from the moment we walked in. As we walked the park, we were immersed in eight enchanting worlds, from a prehistoric land filled with glowing dinosaurs to a sparkling realm of ice and snow.
We walked through a space maze to the glowing space shuttle at its center, and went “under the sea” with a towering mermaid, her glittering tail shining amidst the ocean floor. We traveled from London to the Far East, and back to Space City where Houston’s skyline shines bright. Visitors can snap a photo with the Ice Sisters who came all the way from snowy Arendelle, or get a free pic with Santa Claus himself (on select dates and times).
One of Magical Winter Lights’ most popular attractions is the live Chinese acrobatics performance. There are two shows every night, and you’ll want to grab a seat early because they fill up fast. These stunning performances are layered with tradition and spectacular skill. You can also browse and buy traditional Chinese arts and crafts, including intricate finger paintings, name painting, embroidery, and more.
Contributing to the buzzing festival atmosphere are the carnival rides and games. The 87-foot-tall gondola Ferris wheel is so large it can be spotted from a distance driving down I-45. There are exciting thrill-rides and easy-going kid friendly ones, so everyone can enjoy an evening filled with entertainment and smiles. When you’ve had your fill of the rides, grab a funnel cake or some popcorn, and continue to explore this colorful dreamscape celebrating light and culture.