HOUSTON — "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there's a feeling of Christmas.
Christmas light displays are up all over the Greater Houston area, offering a simple, safe option to get out of the house over the holidays.
Enjoy the Christmas magic from the comfort -- and safety -- of your car, or mask up and stroll through the streets to admire the lovely light displays.
Here's a list of some of the best spots.
Houston holiday lights
The concrete canyons of downtown Houston come alive with millions of twinkling lights and big, beautiful trees this holiday season.
Head to Avenida for a free interactive light exhibition and check out the Alley Theatre's annual "Deck the Trees" display. It was moved to the George R. Brown Convention Center this year with social distancing in mind. Not far from there, you can enjoy the festive Holiday Decor on Main Street from your car.
The Marriott Marquis Houston has launched its inaugural Texas Winter Lights rooftop event nightly. The star of the show is the hotel's iconic Texas-shaped lazy river aglow with one mile of sparkling lights. You can even take a dip in the heated pool while you enjoy the gorgeous view. General admission is $15.
One of Houston's favorite -- and prettiest -- holiday traditions is back at the Houston Zoo. At Zoo Lights, guests can stroll through the new 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light, see dragons come to life in the 4-D Enchanted Forest and experience Winter Wonderland. You'll need a mask and tickets are timed with social distancing in mind. Tickets prices range from $12.90 - $29. Buy tickets here.
Photos: Houston Zoo Lights 2020
Lights in the Heights
Lights in the Heights, another favorite event, is scaled down this year due to COVID. There's no official event, but you can count on homeowners in the charming Woodland Heights neighborhood to go all out anyway -- especially since they're still handing out awards for the best displays. A drive through the neighborhood is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Another inner Loop neighborhood guaranteed not to disappoint is River Oaks. The owners of some of Houston's grandest homes and massive mansions go all out for the holidays. If you're looking for neighborhoods full of oohs and aahs, this one is a must-see.
Sugar Land’s Holiday Lights are up at Constellation Field with more than 3.5 million lights sparkling on the the field. With eight themed areas and movie nights, they call it the "best holiday lights show in all the land." They're limiting capacity at the popular event to allow for social distancing. Masks are required, along with temperature checks at the door and Santa is behind plexiglass. Tickets start at $15.
Pin Oak Subdivision
This neighborhood near Katy Mills Mall goes all out for their annual Christmas Katy. It started 14 years ago with one family's spectacular light display. Now their neighbors join in on the fun. Think over-the-top Clark Griswold lights timed to twinkle and dance to music on the radio.This subdivision is popular every year so expect traffic jams. Map with directions and tips.
The Light Park
Tune into their special radio channel for The Light Troupe's holiday tunes that keep time with the animated lights. DJ Snowflake, Pixel Penguin and Barry Bear are in the house. The cost is $35 per vehicle and you can buy tickets online.
The Woodlands area
Merry & Bright Tour of Lights
Many of the lovely tree-lined neighborhoods in The Woodlands feature beautiful light displays that make it worth the drive.
Five miles north of there in Montgomery, Woodforest is hosting a Merry & Bright Tour of Lights November 28 to December 31 featuring three miles of elaborate holiday displays. It starts at Christine Allen Nature Park and you can follow the signs from there to see 70 light displays.
Space Center Houston
Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston promises the most interactive and technologically advanced light display in Texas. They're bigger and better this year with high-tech Kinetic light shows, light tunnels and a tribute to the Space Station anniversary. They say you'll need at least 90 minutes to explore Galaxy Lights. Tickets are $19.95.
Head northwest to Hockley and you'll find an elaborate drive-thru display that's well worth the trip. Rudolph's Lightshow features a million colorful lights, including spectacular light tunnels. If you buy tickets online, they're $30 per car. It's $40 in person. Rudolph's Lightshow is located at 19623 Bauer Road.
Moody Gardens Festival of Lights
The holidays have begun at Moody Gardens with the 19th Annual Festival of Lights display and other holiday attractions. Guests are encouraged to wear masks and social distance as they explore the one-mile walking trail decked with two million lights synced to favorite Christmas songs. The $30 ticket includes other attractions.
Home for the Holidays Christmas Trail
Friendswood will have a lighted trail in Stevenson Park to replace their "Santa in the Park" event. The path will includes different themes of lights every evening from November 27 to New Year's Day. On Saturday nights, the park will also feature holiday music and food vendors. The Christmas trail itself is free to the public.
Check back for additional locations in the coming days!