CITY LIGHTS

DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY MAGIC

 

There’s no better place to get into the spirit of the holiday season than in downtown Houston! This year’s City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic, presented by Shell Energy, brings more spectacular lights with larger-than-life experiences. For this new annual tradition, Houston First Corporation has partnered with Downtown Houston+ for a second year to create a family-friendly destination to celebrate the holidays in the heart of downtown in 11 themed villages covering dozens of blocks throughout the city’s central business district. Open to the public and mainly free to enter, these sites offer an ice skating rink, lights to gaze at, and activities to brighten the season for the whole family. If you come to Houston in November and December of this year, explore the city downtown and experience the magic of the holiday season.

 

Presented by:     Shell Energy Logo

 

Citylights Map

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Hop-on / Hop-off Bus and Pedicab Information

 

 

1 DECK THE TREES

GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER | 1001 AVENIDA DE LAS AMERICAS, HOUSTON, TX 77010

Deck the Trees

November 17, 2023 - December 25, 2023

Deck the Trees, the decorated Christmas tree display has been one of Houston's favorite holiday traditions for more than a decade. This year, 30 magical trees will be on display in the "Grand Holiday Window" at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Avenida Houston Plaza. Each tree is decorated by top Houston designers and sponsored by generous businesses and individuals. It is an unforgettable visual spectacle! You will surely be inspired to renew the decoration style of your own Christmas tree. Additionally, these beautiful trees will add the festive atmosphere to the "A Happy Houston Holiday" musical performances taking place on the plaza's main stage every Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. and every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. from November 18 to December 17. The opening party for City Lights will be held on November 17th right in front of the Grand Holiday Window from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

 

Read more about Deck The Trees here

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2 LAND OF SWEETS

HILTON AMERICAS | 1600 LAMAR ST., HOUSTON, TX 77010

Land of Sweets

November 17, 2023 – December 29, 2023

Prepare to be amazed in the lobby of the Hilton Americas-Houston with its iconic display of a chocolate Christmas scene, complete with life-size characters. Sweeter than ever, this year's hand-sculpted Super Mario Bros.-themed masterpiece (Nov. 17-Dec. 29) will feature more than 2,000 pounds of chocolate.

In the hotel lobby, both guests and visitors can delight in contemplating a large Christmas tree and thousands of lights surrounding it. Don't miss the Breakfast with Santa at the hotel from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 1 p.m. on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24. To stay at the hotel, take advantage of the 'Tis the Season' package which includes luxury accommodation, a Christmas gift and two tickets to the ice rink at the nearby Discovery Green.

 

 

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3 Ice @ Discovery Green

DISCOVERY GREEN | 1500 MCKINNEY ST., HOUSTON, TX 77010

Holiday Ice Village

November 10, 2023 – January 28, 2024

Ice skate under the bright lights of downtown Houston and fill yourself with holiday cheer at Green Mountain Energy Ice! Every week on the ice, there are theme nights filled with lots of fun and live music. Children of all ages, along with their parents and friends, are invited to visit Santa Claus on the rink! Skate rental is included in the ticket price.

And if skating isn't your thing, enjoy a free holiday movie under the stars Thursday, Dec 21 and Thursday, Dec 28. night. On Saturdays from November 25 to December 16, you can find a wide variety of items perfect for the home and Christmas gifts at Flea by Night market.

 

Read more about ICE @ Discovery Green here

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4 Texas Winter Lights

MARRIOTT MARQUIS | 1777 WALKER ST., HOUSTON, TX 77010

Texas Winter Lights

November 10, 2023 – December 31, 2023

The Marriott Marquis Houston is once again hosting its huge poolside Texas Winter Lights event. Stunning in any season, the famous Texas-shaped lazy river comes to life during this event with floating orbs, colorful arches overhead, and a nearby grove of trees adorned with bright white lights. Visitors can soak in the ambiance as they float in 80-degree water sipping seasonal-flavored hot chocolate 110 feet above street level, with stunning views of the downtown Houston skyline and Discovery Green Park.

Holiday activities include theme nights (Monday Night Football, Game Night, Silent Disco, and more), movies alongside the pool every Thursday and Sunday, poolside DJ every Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., nightly snowfall, curling rink and illuminated yard games and more. Admission: free for hotel guests; $25 for adults; and $15 for children ages 2 to 12. For an additional fee, guests can experience the new virtual reality ride on Santa's sleigh, Concert Under the Stars (December 6, 13, 16, and 20), and igloo dome dining experience.

 

Read more about Texas Winter Lights here

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5 TWINKLE TOWN

TREBLY PARK | 1515 FANNIN STREET, HOUSTON, TX 77002

TWINKLE TOWN

November 17, 2023 – January 02, 2024

This new park, located near the Toyota Center, opened in January 2023 and is ready to bring the joy of the holiday season to Downtown. Enjoy free Christmas music every Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Santa Paws, so your dogs can have fun too, will take place every Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Be sure to indulge in sweet macaroons at the park's fast-casual café, Tout Suite. Experience a giant music box from "Harmonies", a captivating series of interactive music boxes by LeMonde Studio, presented by the Houston Theater District in partnership with Lynn Wyatt Square, Market Square Park, and Trebly Park. With a simple turn of the crank, these music boxes by LeMonde Studio harness the power of human energy to weave mesmerizing soundscapes and illuminate their surroundings with enchanting lights.

 

 

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6 MISTLETOE SQUARE

MARKET SQUARE PARK | 301 MILAM ST., HOUSTON, TX 77002

Mistletoe Square

November 18, 2023 – January 02, 2024

The largest mistletoe installation in Texas returns to historic Market Square Park, also known as Mistletoe Square, for the holidays. Share a kiss with a loved one beneath this 150-inch sphere of greenery hanging from a giant 15-foot candy cane. A Harmonies music box art installation will be on-site to add to the magic of the village. Every Saturday, visit with a multi-cultural Santa and take advantage of a gift-wrapping station, Mini Market and face painting.

 

Read more about Mistletoe Square here

 

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7 WINTER WONDERLAWN

POST HTX | 401 FRANKLIN STREET, HOUSTON, TX 77002

WINTER WONDERLAWN

November 04, 2023 – January 14, 2024

POST, the new tourist destination in downtown Houston, joins the holiday celebration with Winter Wonderlawn, a display of Christmas lights at the Skylawn rooftop park. The 5-acre space will be adorned with lights and illuminated decorations. Enjoy hundreds of thousands of lights, a 25-foot Christmas tree, and multiple holiday-themed activations with the best views of the Houston skyline as a backdrop. Take unforgettable and unique photos!

 

Read more about Winter Wonderlawn here

 

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8 SUGAR PLUM PLAZA

WORTHAM THEATER | 501 TEXAS ST., Houston, TX 77002

Sugar Plum Plaza

November 18, 2023 – January 02, 2024

For this magical time of year, the iconic Fish Plaza at the entrance to the Wortham Theater becomes Sugar Plum Plaza. Listen to cheerful tunes as you walk around looking at the giant Christmas decorations. Interact with a giant music box from "Harmonies" by LeMonde Studio. Enjoy a journey through time playing LAPS, a modern version of the traditional hourglass that gives us the opportunity to literally take control of time. LAPS was created by Olivier Landreville and produced by Init.

From the top of its 2.33 meters (7.8 feet), the 6 giant modules invite the public to change the time by turning the steering wheel at the desired rate, in one direction or another, and to re-observe their perception of time. Those who catch the time are rewarded with an experience of light and sound that provokes immediate awe.

CREDITS:
Creator: Olivier Landreville
Owner: Init

 

 

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9 JINGLE TOWN

LYNN WYATT SQUARE | Louisiana @ Capitol Houston, TX 77002

JINGLE TOWN

November 17, 2023 – January 02, 2024

In the heart of Houston's Theater District, visit Lynn Wyatt Square in front of Jones Hall with the whole family. This park, which opened in September of this year, will have three giant music boxes from "Harmonies" by LeMonde Studio: a guitar slide, a banjo, and a violin.

 

Read more about Jingle Town here

 

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10 WINTER WANDERLAND

DOWNTOWN DISTRICT | 950 BAGBY ST, HOUSTON, TX 77002

Winter Wanderland

November 17, 2023 – January 02, 2024

Make sure your season is merry and bright as you stroll amidst 100,000 twinkling LED lights along the newly rebuilt and beautified Bagby Street. Attractions include features such as an 80-foot-long tunnel of LED lights arching over the new pedestrian and bicycle walkway in front of the Hobby Center, a series of arches in Sam Houston Park, 3D trees at City Hall, 22 dazzling arches in front to the Downtown Aquarium and the giant illuminated angel wings at the Central Library.

 

 

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11 CITY HALL-IDAY

CITYHALL | 901 BAGBY ST, HOUSTON, TX 77002

HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

December 02, 2023 – December 25, 2023

The seat of city government is also the place to get the best view of H-town’s towering Christmas tree in Hermann Square. Live musical performances and a free photo with Santa will be part of the annual tree-lighting festivities on December 2, 2023 from 6-8 p.m.

 

Read more about City Hall-iday here

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Hop-On / Hop-Off Bus

 

Hop on and off the Downtown Holiday Trolley to explore all the City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic villages this season. Grab a ticket and catch a ride from Sam Houston Park at The Heritage Society's holiday hub and enjoy hot chocolate, free pictures with Texas Cowboy Santa and letters to Santa.

(Tickets can be purchased by scanning the QR code at any of the villages. Once purchased, each ticket is valid to hop on and off at any village for the evening the ticket was purchased. )

$15 for adults, $10 children.

Addresses for Heritage Society Bus Hub:

1100 Bagby Street,  Houston, TX 77002

211 Crawford Street, Houston, TX 77002 (near Pappasito's Cantina) 

212 Dallas Street, Houston, TX 77002 (free parking, limited)

1200 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002 (additional parking at Heritage Clay Street Garage for a fee)

More information at Houston City Tours

 

Pedi-Cab Stops

 

Get in the Downtown holiday spirit and catch a free ride from village to village with the holiday pedicabs provided by DowntownHouston+. Locate the holiday pedicab stations at Discovery Green, Lynn Wyatt Square, POST Houston, Trebly Park and Market Square Park for an easy way to navigate the neighborhood. 

 

Holiday Passports

 

Pick up a holiday passport from Market Square Park, Trebly and Heritage Society to explore all 11 Downtown City Light villages for the chance to win awesome prizes and be entered to win a Downtown holiday staycation package with a one-night stay at Hotel Icon, (4) tickets to a Theater District Performance, and (4) tickets to a Houston Rockets game. 

 

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