City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic | Kids Out and About Houston <

City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic

*The event has already taken place on this date: Mon, 01/02/2023
The yuletide season is right around the corner, and Houston First and Central Houston, Inc are joining forces to transform Downtown Houston into the ultimate holiday destination this year. Dubbed City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic, the festivities kick off on Friday, November 18 beginning at 5:30 pm with a ceremonial lighting on the plaza @ Avenida Houston. The experience continues through January 2, 2023, and whether you’re enjoying a night out with friends or co-workers, an evening of family fun, a memorable activity for visiting friends and relatives, or just some “me” time, there is something special for everyone and all ages to enjoy.

Please help us keep this calendar up to date! If this activity is sold out, canceled, or otherwise needs alteration, email so we can update it immediately. If you have a question about the activity itself, please contact the organization administrator listed below.

Open to the public and mostly free, City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic will span eight unique, themed villages across downtown. Discover holiday markets, a hot chocolate bar, roaming carolers, movie nights, sweet treats, and more. “This will be an exciting holiday season as downtown Houston transforms itself into a signature wonderland unlike anything we have seen in years past,” said Michael Heckman, CEO of Houston First Corp. “From the elaborate holiday villages to skating on the largest outdoor ice-skating rink in the southwest, families and visitors will now have multiple opportunities to make new holiday memories.” “Downtown’s walkability and its central location within the region make it the perfect neighborhood for all Houstonians looking to enjoy a picturesque and affordable holiday experience,” added Kristopher Larson, CEO of Central Houston, Inc.

Plaza at Avenida - Deck the Trees and Live Music Benefitting the Alley Theatre’s educational community and artistic initiatives, a display of 30 wonderfully festooned Christmas trees will appear in the Grand Holiday Window at the George R. Brown Convention Center facing Avenida de las Americas. Adding to the ambiance is the Avenida Concert Series with live musical performances. Check out for the concert schedule.

Marriott Marquis - Texas Winter Lights The Marriott Marquis is bringing back their one-of-a-kind poolside tradition, Texas Winter Lights, an interactive walk-through - or float–under–lights experience at Altitude Rooftop & Pool. From November 11 – January 8, guests can set course through the Marriott’s Grove of Trees, float among the Archway of Lights, or kick back on the lazy river, which is heated all to a perfect 80 degrees all winter long, as lights glimmer from above. Enjoy more than 30 festive beverage offerings, a new interactive graffiti wall, and nightly snowfall, or cozy up with a poolside movie every Thursday at nightfall. Tickets start at $25 and are available for purchase here. Make a night of it and upgrade your stay with room rates starting at $179/night.

Discovery Green - Holiday Ice Village Glide your way into the holidays underneath the glittering lights of Downtown at this bustling, open-air ice-skating rink sponsored by Green Mountain Energy in the heart of Discovery Green. You can anticipate a number of quirky and cool, themed skate nights and even an opportunity to hit the ice with Santa. Tickets are priced at $17 per person and include a skate rental. And if skating isn’t your thing, enjoy a holiday movie under the stars every Thursday evening or explore the park and Solstice Art Installation. Every Saturday in November and December, Flea by Night brings an eclectic array of vendors selling items perfect for gifting that special someone. Check for details.

Hilton Americas - Land of Sweets Get ready to be wowed in the lobby of the Hilton Americas with the return of its iconic holiday chocolate display. Sweeter than ever this year, this year’s hand-sculpted and Minion-themed masterpiece will boast well over 2,000 pounds of chocolate. Check it out and explore all the festivities Downtown has to offer with the hotel’s ‘Tis the Season package, which includes luxurious accommodations, a holiday treat, and two tickets to the Discovery Green ice rink.

Wortham Theater – Sugar Plum Plaza Looking for visions of sugarplums to dance in your head? For this magical time of year, the iconic Fish Plaza at the entrance of the Wortham Theater is being reimagined as an ode to the holiday season. Listen to cheerful tunes while you wander around the seasonally renamed Sugar Plum Plaza to gaze at the larger-than-life custom-built ornaments. Market Square Park - Mistletoe Square Texas’ biggest mistletoe installation returns to historic Market Square Park aka Mistletoe Square for the holidays. Share a smooch with a loved one under this 150-inch ball of greenery hanging from a giant 15-foot candy cane. Snuggle up under the twinkling lights and enjoy a holiday movie – check for details – or make your very own gingerbread house with Phoenicia Specialty Foods.

Main Street Square – Santa’s Village Santa Claus is coming to town to share the wonder of the season. Get your photo with Kris Kringle every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 pm at Santa’s Village in Main Street Square, known for its vibrantly lit 40-foot water bursts and 250-foot-long, eight-inch-deep reflecting pool. After Santa shares his magic, explore a series of holiday markets taking place every Friday and Saturday. Winter Wanderland on Bagby Street Ensure your season is merry and bright as you stroll through 100,000 twinkling LED lights along recently reconstructed and beautified Bagby Street from Lamar to Preston. Signature elements include giant angel wings, constellation arches, and an 80-foot light tunnel across from The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information on City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic, please visit www.visithouston/ Sign up for the free City Lights Pass for a chance to enter to win holiday-themed experiences every week.

*Times, dates, and prices of any activity posted to our calendars are subject to change. Please be sure to click through directly to the organization’s website to verify.


Houston First


701 Avenida de las Americas
Houston, TX, 77003
United States


Contact name: 
Crystin Pactor
The event has already taken place on this date: 
see schedule