Special Holiday Events In and Around Houston 2020

While this guide is sponsored by Reliant, all of our thoughts are proudly our own. We are proud to partner with Houston-based Reliant on all of their initiatives.
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Houston is big on themed events, aren’t we? The holidays are no different! One of the holiday events that we are looking forward to the most is Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular on December 18th | 7:00pm – 8:00pm. This year’s Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular event has been virtually reimagined to celebrate the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The spectacular event is a local holiday tradition of festive entertainment, lights and, of course, the towering 70-foot White Fir tree in front of City Hall. This year’s entertainment includes Robert Glasper, Ledisi, American Idol’s Laci Kaye Booth, Disney’s DCappella group and other regional and local talent. The show will be broadcast on ABC 13 on Friday, December 18 from 7-8 p.m.

Polar Express Train Ride

{November 13th – December 27th | Departure times vary}

All aboard for the Polar Express in Palestine for special holiday events! Throw on your favorite Christmas PJ’s and experience a magical journey to the North Pole. After being served cocoa and yummy treats, just 30 minutes later your children will be greeted by Santa and all his elves, with a special gift from the jolly man himself.

Rosenberg Railroad Museum Family Fun Day

{Saturday, November 28th | 10 am to 5 pm}

There will be plenty of things to do for all ages including photo ops with Santa from 10 am to 3 pm, outdoor games and activities with prizes, holiday trains on the garden railroad, a free cookie for every family that visits. In addition, the museum will have a rideable train from 11 am to 3 pm ($3 per ticket or 2 for $5), weather permitting. 

Holiday Nights: A Small Town Christmas Experience in Historic Downtown Rosenberg 

{Thursdays in December | 5:00pm – 8:00pm}

Downtown Rosenberg’s Tree Lighting Ceremony will be on December 3rd, and each Thursday evening is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the holiday cheer, shop for great gifts for the whole family, and take advantage of Rosenberg Railroad Museum’s  Membership Christmas Package Specials and purchase other gift shop items which are great gifts for grandparents, children, and grandchildren! 

The ICE at Discovery Green

{November 13 – January 31, 2021 | Various times  } 

The ICE at Discovery Green powered by Green Mountain Energy is officially the Southwest’s largest outdoor skating rink. Special events happen all season long at the ICE in addition to the regular skate times, so make sure to check the website for all the details. 

Dickens on The Strand

{December 5th – 6th} 

The magic of Galveston’s Victorian festival returns yet again! Be transported back in time with elegant costumes, street peddlers, parades, carolers, and plenty of holiday eats and drinks. Bonus :: If you dress up in a Victorian-era costume, your entrance fee is 50% off!

Kemah Boardwalk’s Jingle on the Boardwalk  

{December 4th – 20th} 

From snow patches and Santa’s Workshop to holiday movies and live music, there’s something for everyone at this holiday celebration. Don’t miss the annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade where hundreds of decorated boats cruise down the bay. They also have a huge New Year’s Eve celebration with family fun and fireworks too!

Alvin’s Christmas Train

{November 27th – 28th, December 4th – 5th, 10th – 12th, 14th – 23rd | Departure times vary} 

Hosted by Living Stones Church and Victory Camp, the holidays come alive on this 3/4 mile track accented by over 300,000 lights and Christmas displays, gingerbread houses, and more. The train conductor does recommend purchasing tickets online in advance, but walk up tickets are also available on a first come, first serve basis.

Brenham’s Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade

{December 5th | 11:00am – 9:00pm}

Each year Brenham hosts their fabulous Christmas stroll where you can shop among the beautifully decorated downtown shops, enjoy wonderful eats, and take in a breathtaking lit parade. A completely FREE event that is sure to put a smile on your face as you enjoy the small-town charm of this nearby town. 

Katy’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Festival

{December 5th | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm} 

This year’s festival will feature a beer garden, food trucks, vendors, a Santa visit from Noon – 4pm, and a Snow Park from 11am – 5pm with 50,000 pounds of snow for the kiddos!

Tamale Festival

{December 12th | 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm}

If you aren’t a native Houstonian, you might be surprised to discover that tamales are a BIG deal around the holidays here. This fun and festive event celebrates the diversity of Houston, and of course, all things TAMALE. Come hungry and ready to dance the afternoon away, while enjoying the various vendor booths and local offerings.

Pearland’s Hometown Christmas Festival

{Friday, December 4th | 7:00pm – 10:00pm} 

One of it’s biggest bashes of the year, the City of Pearland is once again hosting their Hometown Christmas Festival. Expect a gorgeous lighting of their town Christmas tree, Winter Wonderland, horse and carriage ride, Holiday Gift Market, local performances, plus cookies with Santa too.

Polar Express Parade at Katy Budget Books

{December 12th; 6:00 – 7:00 pm}

Of course it’s still 2020, so we have to have a Polar Express Car Parade, right? Decorate your car and head down to this local book store to create memories with your kids 2020 style. Click on the link to purchase a craft kit, and sign up for the virtual story time to follow the parade!

The Grinch’s Grotto at The Woodlands Mall

{November 27th – December 31st | Book your time}

“The Grinch’s Grotto” will kick off on November 27th across North America. Tickets for each engagement will go on sale on November 12th. Tickets will be limited and it is recommended guests pre-book their visits online prior to visiting. To see a list of locations and to pre-register for tickets please visit the link above.

Tree Lighting Celebrations

From Katy to Kingwood and from The Woodlands to the Heights, the Houston area is filled with local events!

Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular

{December 18th | 7:00pm – 8:00pm}

This year’s Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular event has been virtually reimagined to celebrate the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The spectacular event is a local holiday tradition of festive entertainment, lights and, of course, the towering 70-foot White Fir tree in front of City Hall. This year’s entertainment includes Robert Glasper, Ledisi, American Idol’s Laci Kaye Booth, Disney’s DCappella group and other regional and local talent. The show will be broadcast on ABC 13 on Friday, December 18 from 7-8 p.m.

Kingwood’s Annual Tree Lighting 

{December 5th | 10am – 6pm} 

Head north for “Christmas in the Park!” This annual festival attracts dozens of local vendors sure to get you in the shopping mood, and pictures with Santa are a must! Wrapping up the event, the Town Center Christmas Tree will be lit at 6pm.

Sugar Land’s Annual Tree Lighting 

{December 1st- 12th} 

This stunning 40 foot tree is not to be missed! Entertainment and activities are completely free to the public, and this year’s fun will be spread over the course of multiple days to ensure the ability to safely participate. 

Old Town Spring’s Home For The Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony 

{December 14th | 4:00pm – 6:00pm} 

Join us November 14th for our annual tree lighting ceremony that rings in Home for the Holidays in Old Town Spring. This has been a difficult year for all of us, but we still want to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with some music, cookies and a lovely town decorated in thousands of lights. Come and join us on November 14th

Give Santa a helping hand this year from November 9th – December 11th, and donate to the KHOU 11 Secret Santa Toy Drive. KHOU 11 is once again teaming up with The Salvation Army, Reliant and additional sponsors to bring holiday joy to underprivileged children across the Houston area. With impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Christmas assistance has never been greater. Your generosity can help rescue Christmas for those in need. Houstonians can donate from the comfort of their homes by visiting KHOU.com/SecretSanta or drop off new, unwrapped toys at Houston-area Salvation Army locations.

Connect with Reliant…

The joy of community and the spirit of generosity make this season the most wonderful time of the year. At Reliant, our commitment to the communities where we live and work is as strong as our Texas roots. On behalf of Reliant, we hope you have a joyous holiday season!

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

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Please Note :: While we make every effort to crosscheck current links and holiday events 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.  And if you know of any other holiday happenings around town, include them in the comments to keep the list going as well!

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