Houston’s Top 10 Neighborhoods for Christmas Light Cruising

The whole family packed in the car … everyone “ooh-ing and aah-ing” and arguing over which house had the best lights … and then coming home and deciding next year we’ll up our game {or maybe not}…

For many of us, driving around looking at Christmas lights is a treasured pastime from our childhood, and Houston neighborhoods are lit up and ready for passing along this tradition with our own families and spreading a bit of holiday magic along the way. Whether you load up with hot chocolate and drive by, or get out and meander through scenes of a winter wonderland, you can be sure to enjoy some seasonal joy with the BEST Houston neighborhood Christmas lights!

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Pecan Grove

Located off 99 between the Westpark Tollway and Hwy 6, it’s a bit of a drive for most, but from what I’ve heard – completely worth it!  It’s at the top of my list of must sees this year.  This neighborhood goes all out!  Almost every house is decorated, lights are choreographed to Christmas music, and there’s a hayride on weekends.  Included in your $5 hayride ticket is hot chocolate and a Santa photo op!  Really, what more could you ask for?

River Oaks

If you know Houston, you know River Oaks. It’s fun to check out the magnificent homes on a regular day, much less decked out in Christmas lights. Not every house is decorated, but they are well done. You are in for a treat with cascading lights coming down from majestic oak trees. Experts recommend the stunning view at the corner of Inwood Drive and River Oaks Boulevard, and also be sure to drive by the River Oaks Country Club.  It’s beautiful. Just pack your patience {It is the holiday season after all!} and be prepared for traffic.

The Heights

Another quintessential Houston neighborhood.  Who doesn’t love The Heights?!  It’s charming, quaint, and beautiful at Christmas time.  And if you want more than just driving around, check out Lights in the Heights.  This is a free neighborhood Christmas festival, although the organizers have been scaling it down the past few years, preferring it to be neighborhood-only event. However, the homes in Woodland Heights will be be lit for all of December. 

Shepherd Park & Candlelight Park

Just north of 610 and east of 290, the joining of these neighborhoods is an oldie but a goodie. These neighborhoods have been going strong for YEARS and are among local families’ favorites for sure. There are many categories of competition, themed cul-de-sacs, and just streets and streets of houses glittering with lights. Consider starting on either Thornton or Martin Road {or somewhere north of West 43rd Street on either side of Ella Boulevard}, and make sure to stop by Bethlehem Street, named appropriately for its beautiful displays. With window dioramas, inflatable Santas and college mascots, and personalized cutouts, these Christmas light displays are must-sees, even just to see if you agree with the judging!

Green Tee

Located on the east side of Pearland off 518, this is another neighborhood that’s been going all out for years. It has several categories of competition, a hayride, plenty of traffic, tons of homes decked out in lights, and a few that are truly spectacular.  We have been regular Green Tee viewers for a few years now, even if I may have gotten mad at a few of my favorite houses last year for not participating.  And if going on foot is your thing, this is a great neighborhood to run through. They even have a family-friendly Tour De Lites on December 9th this year!

Prestonwood Forest

Prestonwood comes up as the place to view lights in Houston. Just north of Willowbrook Mall and northeast of Tomball Parkway, homeowners have welcomed Christmas {and all those looking for festivity} for more than 40 years. Hundreds of homes participate and compete for prizes with dazzling themed displays, inflatables, and lights galore. Grab your hot chocolate, buckle up, and follow the 2017 Nite of Lites Map for a magnificent Christmas light experience


Located between Westheimer and San Felipe and Chimney Rock and Voss, Briargrove is a front-yard neighborhood that is full of young children and tons of gorgeous oak trees that are overflowing with lights at Christmas time. When it comes to holidays, Briargrove is a family-centered neighborhood that goes all out. Take it from a local contributor – it’s a must-see!

Panther Creek & Alden Bridge

While there are many neighborhoods in The Woodlands that feature house, and entire streets, lit up to deck the halls, the Panther Creek and Alden Bridge neighborhoods are Christmas light display show-stoppers! Some light displays are choreographed to music, and you can sit back and drive through both large neighborhoods and soak in the season. 

Cleveland, TX

For 32 years now, this Cleveland area family has been lighting up the skies with Christmas Ranch – a drive thru light display not to be missed!  Each year, they invite the community to come out and take in their magnificent light display, and while the views are completely free – donations are appreciated and benefit those in need within the area.

Dayton, TX

For those up North, there is a GIANT Display in Dayton, Texas {located on FM 1960}. It’s like nothing you’ve probably ever seen with thousands of lights and hundreds of decorations, including Santa, sleigh, reindeer, snowmen, angels… everything! They set it to music, and you are sure to find yourself in the holiday spirit.

Now that you’ve read our list, what neighborhoods are on yours?! Whether it’s one incredible home that we must see or a hidden gem of a neighborhood we missed, please share! 

Looking for more holiday fun? Don’t miss The ULTIMATE Guide to Holiday Events in Houston below!

Please Note :: While we make every effort to crosscheck current links and event details on our guides, we always encourage you to do the same before making final plans. If details are missing or incorrect, please let us know so that we can make every attempt to correct them.


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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


  1. May want to change to Shepherd Park Plaza and Candlelight Plaza :). Those are the correct neighborhood names-and the lights are going to be awesome this year!!!

  2. Another good one to go look at (even though it’s a ways and not a neighborhood) is Santas’ Wonderland. Well worth the trip and well worth the drive. It gets bigger and bigger every year


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