Holiday Lighting Ceremonies

in Life, Heights, Uptown, Downtown, See

Originally featured on Boulevard Realty's Rediscovering Houston blog.

Nothing puts us in the holiday spirit like the ambiance of beautiful holiday lights, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and music. With at least two major annual lighting ceremonies and myriad neighborhood celebrations in Houston, there’s plenty of spirit to be had around the city. 

Meet The Sugar Plum Fairy (November 25)

Wondering what to do with the kids out of school on Wednesday before Thanksgiving? The Wortham Tree Lighting ceremony is a magical event including performances by Houston Grand Opera’s Opera to go and the Houston Girls Chorus. Costumed characters from the Houston Ballet’s the Nutcracker will be on hand to meet and greet guests. The event lasts from 11-12:30 p.m. and culminates with the lighting of the 24-foot tall Christmas tree by none other than the Sugar Plum Fairy herself! Santa will also be available for photos. This is a free event sponsored by The Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera and the First Corporation.

Light The Lights (November 26)

Gather around Post Oak Boulevard on Thanksgiving Eve between 4 and 7 p.m. and you’ll be amidst the annual Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting ceremony and 80 beautifully lit holiday trees along Post Oak Boulevard. 

While awaiting Santa’s arrival, catch the Merry Holiday Stage Show beginning at 5 p.m., with sights and sounds from local groups, including Houston Concert Band, Houston Choral Showcase, Salvation Army Harbor Light Choir and Mixteco Ballet Folkorico, among others. Santa takes the stage at 7 p.m. for the city’s largest sing-a-long and with the help of the audience, lights up the trees, kicking off the holiday season. Between Santa’s arrival and a fireworks show, you can snack on flavors of the holidays from food trucks and concession stands, including funnel cakes, kettle corn and holiday beverages. This year, a percentage of concession sales will benefit Be An Angel and the Houston Area Urban League.

Be sure to look up at the Hilton Houston Post Oak who is sponsoring its 30th annual balcony decorating contest for families to participate in with creative holiday decorations. Local celebrity judges will choose the top three balconies. Being surrounded by more than a half million twinkling lights and thousands of guests will put the whole family into the holiday spirit.

Celebrate With The Mayor (December 4)

If you want to celebrate the holidays with Mayor Annise Parker this year, go to the 96th Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting presented by Reliant on December 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event, held in Hermann Square at City Hall, celebrates with traditional music, Santa and family fun.

This year’s holiday variety show will be headlined by seven time Grammy Award winner Al Jarreau. The show will also include performances by RaeLynn, “The Voice” season 2 alumnus and Baytown native. She is certified GOLD on country music charts.  Also appearing will be Divisi Strings, HITS Theater, the nationally acclaimed Venezuelan Dancers—Casino Starts and the T.H. Rogers Signing Choir.

To round out the evening, Mayor Parker, ably assisted by Santa Claus, will light the Official Holiday Tree and ignite a spectacular fireworks finale perfectly timed to the Hallelujah Chorus from “Handel’s Messiah” featuring a 60-voice combined choir from area High Schools directed by Earnest Walker.

Santa will also be providing a free photo op for kids in his North Pole themed booth.

Lights In The Heights (December 12)

For a more intimate experience, join the Heights community on December 12 for Lights in the Heights, a neighborhood holiday festival of music and lights. Residents of the Woodland Heights come together to celebrate the holiday season by opening up their porches and yards and providing entertainment.

The streets chosen for this year’s celebration are Woodland and Euclid Streets, between Studewood and Beauchamp.

Come walk along the route to admire the beautiful and creative light displays at almost every house, enjoy the music provided by over 70 entertainment groups, and mingle with the neighbors in this unique tradition that began 28 years ago.

Step Into Yesteryear (December 12 & 13)

Imagine cool nights, warm fires, twinkling lights, and a cup of cocoa in hand. At the Heritage Society’s 53rd  Annual Candlelight Tour in Sam Houston Park. See fully decorated historic homes, each fashioned to represent a different era and hear strolling carolers and story-tellers, and crafters. Visit Santa in his workshop.  The Holiday Art Market will be expanded to include holiday themed items for shoppers delight. The dates are Saturday, December 12 from 5-10 p.m. and Sunday, December 13 from 5-9 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children (5 and under are free!).

So, bring the family to enjoy one, or all, of Houston’s great lighting events and ceremonies that will be sure to put you in the holiday spirit.