JohnsonCityLights RandallMaxwell

(Photo by Randall Maxwell)

‘Tis the season for dazzling Christmas displays—let our list of some of the biggest and brightest displays across Texas light your path toward a fun holiday outing with family and friends.

Lighting up the River Walk

Holiday River Parade and the Lighting of the River Walk, Nov. 27-Jan. 1

Fiesta de las Luminarias, Dec. 4-6, 11-13, 18-20

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony begins the San Antonio Riverwalk’s highly anticipated light display each year. At 7 p.m., the switch is thrown to reveal trees draped in colorful lights, and more than two dozen lighted barges float down the river to kick off the Christmas season.

If you want a front-row seat, tickets for spots along the parade route are sold at starting in September, or do as the locals do and scout out your own spot on one of the bridges overlooking the action. Restaurants and hotels also offer dinner packages for those who would like to enjoy the parade with food and drinks.

If you miss the big event on Nov. 27, you can still enjoy the festive lights until the new year, plus more than 6,000 luminarias and carolers on river barges on weekends from Dec. 4–20. Call the local visitor bureau at 800/447-3372 for more information.

The more, the merrier

Looking for more Christmas events? Jingle all the way through the season with our comprehensive list of holiday happenings across Texas. 

We recommend checking websites or calling ahead to find out whether any admission fees apply, and whether the display is drive-through or walk-through. These are just a few ideas to get you started–do you know of any holiday lighting displays that are worth the drive? (If you have one you’d like to add to our list, do so by submitting an event listing here!)


2015 Holiday Lights Destinations from the Texas Highways Events Calendar

Abilene:  Christmas Lane, Dec. 4-23 

Addison: Vitruvian Lights, Dec. 4-26

Athens: Christmas Park Land of Lights, Nov. 1-Jan. 2

Austin: Trail of Lights, Dec. 8-22 

Amarillo: Christmas Garden of Lights, Nov. 28-Dec. 19 

Bastrop: River of Lights, Nov. 27-Dec. 31

Belton: Nature in Lights, Nov. 13-Jan. 3

Big Spring: Comanche Trail Festival of Lights, December 15-31

Brownsville: Holiday Village, Nov. 23-Dec. 31

Burnet: Christmas Trail of Lights, Dec. 1-31

Cleburne: Whistle-Stop Christmas, Nov. 23-Dec. 31

Cleveland: Christmas Ranch, Nov. 26-Dec. 31

College Station: Santa’s Wonderland, Nov. 13-Jan. 3

Cuero: Christmas in the Park, Nov. 23-Jan. 1

Dallas: Holidays at the Arboretum: The 12 Days of Christmas and “The Artistry of the Nativity,” Nov. 8-Jan. 3

Denison: Grayson County Holiday Lights, Nov. 27-Dec. 31

Dickinson: Festival of Lights, Nov. 28-Dec. 31

Ennis: Lights of Ennis, Dec. 1-31

Fort Worth: Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway, Nov. 26-Jan. 1

Galveston: Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, Nov. 14-Jan. 2

Giddings: Lights of Tejas, November 27-December 29

Goliad: History in Lights, Dec. 1-31

Grand Prairie: Prairie Lights, Nov. 26-Jan. 1

Grapevine: “ICE!” and “A Lone Star Christmas,” Nov. 12-Jan. 3

Grapevine: Light Show Spectacular, Nov. 24-Jan. 3

Hidalgo: Festival of Lights, Dec. 1-31

Houston: Zoo Lights, Nov. 20-Jan. 9

Houston: Magical Winter Lights, Nov. 20-Jan. 10

Jefferson: Rail of Lights, Dec. 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31

Johnson City: Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style, Nov. 22-Jan. 1

La Grange: Trail of Lights, Dec. 5, 11-12, 18-19

Liberty: Christmas in the Park, Nov. 26-Dec. 31

Llano: Starry, Starry Nights, Nov. 27-Dec. 31

Lubbock: Carol of Lights, Dec. 1-Jan. 1

Luling: Lighted Yule Trail, Nov. 25-Jan. 1

Marble Falls: Walkway of Lights, Nov. 20-Jan. 1

Marshall: Wonderland of Lights, Nov. 25-Dec. 31

New Braunfels: Santa’s Ranch, Nov. 6-Jan. 2

Odessa: Starbright Village, Dec. 3-31

Orange: Christmas Strolls at Shangri La, Dec. 10-12, 17-19, 22-23, 26

Round Rock: Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour, Nov. 30-Dec. 26

San Angelo: Concho Christmas Celebration Tour of Lights, December 4-31

San Saba: Mill Pond Park Christmas Lights Extravaganza, November 26-January 6

Spring: Home for the Holidays, Nov. 21-Dec. 21

Sugar Land: Sugar Land Holiday Lights, Nov. 27-Jan. 3

The Colony: The Colony Christmas Spectacular Light Show, December 5-January 2

The Woodlands: Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink, Nov. 15-Jan. 18

The Woodlands: Lighting of the Doves and International Winter on the Waterway, Nov. 21-Jan. 3

Tyler: Up In Lights, Nov. 27-Dec. 26

Vidor: Lights at Pine Forest, Nov. 27-Dec. 25

Waring: Christmas Light Fest, November 26-December 31

Wichita Falls: ElectriCritters, Nov. 20-Dec. 26 

Wichita Falls: Fantasy of Lights, November 23-December 27

Wimberley: Emily Ann Trail of Lights, Dec. 1-29


Get more Texas in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletters and never miss a moment of what’s happening around the state.