The Five Best Houston Neighborhoods for Viewing Christmas Lights

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I'll admit I'm a sucker for a good Christmas lights display. When my parents were not terribly interesting in stringing lights from the house, I made plans. I used graph paper to map out the entire house and figure out what lights would go where. This was a big deal in my world as a kid. Even today, I like stringing lights and looking at impressive displays by others.

While I may not light my house like Clark Griswold, I admire those who give it a shot. The neighborhoods on this list definitely go all out when it comes to lighting the holidays. So, pop on the all-Christmas station in your car (or do like I do, and make a mix of Christmas jazz) and take a drive to soak in some holiday cheer...and perhaps get a sunburn at night.

Honorable Mention: Tanglewood

This slew of upscale homes, while not covered in lights, usually has some beautiful decorations, so it warrants a mention.

5. Woodland Heights

This neighborhood in the Heights family of subdivisions seems to always have the most decor and is the epicenter of the Lights in the Heights celebration every year. In particular, drive around the north end and down Bayland with its beautiful overhanging oak trees reminiscent of Rice University. Bonus, this is where the dude with the duck hunting santa lives.

4. Pecan Grove Plantation

This suburb of Richmond in Fort Bend County has become well known for its neighborhood-wide displays. It has even boasted a house with lights synced to music. If you don't mind the drive, the view is worth it and they have hay rides and, apparently, Santa on a fire truck if you go at the right time.

3. River Oaks

Nothing says elegant beauty -- and "I had my lights put up by my yard day laborers" -- like River Oaks. Houston's home for old money is also home for some of the prettiest twinkling lights in town, most of them white and neatly organized around tree trunks and dripping from limbs. It's a great wandering drive to take on Christmas Eve.

2. Shepherd Park Plaza

When I was growing up, one of my closest friends lived in this near north-side neighborhood and even then, 25-plus years ago, the neighborhood went bonkers around the holidays. Lines of cars would wind through the upper-middle-class subdivision gawking at the displays, which included entire cul-de-sac themes. It's a wonder to behold.

1. Prestonwood Forest

The mother of all Christmas light viewing spots is Prestonwood. Located near Cypresswood and 290 249 on the far northwest end of town, the lighting displays are a thing of legend. It is routinely on lists of the best Christmas displays in Texas let alone Houston, and its residents take great pride in the contest that makes Snoopy's doghouse in A Charlie Brown Christmas look like a pre-lit plastic tree in the drugstore display window.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.