Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Here in the Lone Star State it’s no different. We love to make the season bright with holiday memories. In fact, there’s so many fun things to do at Christmas in Texas that it can be hard to get to them all before Christmas Day. With all the shopping, the baking, the decorating, it’s a busy time of year! Or maybe you just want to hold on to the holiday season a little longer. We have been in both camps and often spend New Year’s Day enjoying a beautiful holiday event. Here’s three Christmas events in Texas open until January if you need a little extra time to enjoy the season too.
Christmas Events in Texas Open Until January
Houston Zoo Lights
We’ve went to the Houston Zoo Lights three of the last seven years it’s been open. It’s become a family favorite. The Houston Zoo lights features fifteen miles of environmentally friendly LED lights. The zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland! There are beautifully lit tree lined paths and animal themed light displays ranging from the charming to the beautiful.
Families can stroll the zoo sipping hot cocoa and listening to holiday music taking in all the beautiful sights. Highlights include a giant holiday tree, the Holiday Train Village, the Enchanted Forest, and Candy the Talking Zebra. If you’ve never been to Zoo Lights before it’s important to note that most of the animals are sleeping at this time. Much of the animal viewing is blocked off as well. The set up path directs you through the holiday lights.
Dates and Prices
The Cafe is open for dining and there are also food trucks and kiosks serving hot chocolate and snacks. Santa is available for photos on select nights so check their website for more details. Value night tickets are $17.95. Prime nights are $22,95. We attended the sensory friendly night for my special needs son when the music is softer and there are no flashing lights. If you’re looking for Christmas events in Texas open until January this is one the whole family will enjoy. It is open until January 14, 2019.
Moody Gardens Festival of Lights
Moody Gardens is one of our favorite Texas attractions any time of year, but we especially love to visit their Festival of Lights. Last year we took the travel trailer and camped on the beach. We enjoyed the Festival of Lights for the third time. (It was so nice not to have to drive the hour back to Houston after our festival fun!)
Moody Gardens Festival of Lights features a mile long trail of beautiful displays (so my fellow Weight Watchers will get their steps in haha!) with more than a million lights. The trail winds around Galveston Bay. The lights reflecting off the water only adds to the holiday magic. Some of the holiday displays pay homage to Galveston’s Victorian heritage. There are also charming traditional Christmas scenes as well as an awe inspiring grand finale.
One of our favorite parts of the Festival of Lights is Ice Land. It almost feels like you’ve been transported to the North Pole! You don special jackets like the ones above to ready you for the 9 degree temperatures and 2 million pounds of ice. The ice is transformed into festive colorful sculptures. The theme varies from year to year (We visited when it was Sponge Bob and this year it is Pole to Pole.) so it’s always worth a visit. There is also a super fun ice slide!
The Festival of Lights is so much more than just holiday lights though. It’s the largest holiday destination in the Southwest. You can check out Cirque Joyeaux, a show with food, circus, and holiday music.While you’re there you can also ice skate, catch a 4D holiday movie, ride the train, and get your photo with Santa. There is live entertainment, great food, and the Pyramids are open to add to the fun!
Dates and Prices
You can get a value pass for adults which includes almost everything for $65.95 or $54.95 for children. You can also buy individual tickets and build your own package. As you’re looking for Christmas events in Texas open until January, Moody Gardens Festival of Lights is open until January 6, 2019.
Gaylord Texan Ice
My daughter has wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas for her December birthday for the last three years. Right across the street is the Gaylord Texan, a beautiful resort that I’ve stayed at for a blogging conference. This year, as I was searching for something special to do while we were there I saw the Gaylord was having ICE! We went expecting ice sculptures but we got that and so much more. We found what quickly became one of our favorite Christmas events in Texas open until January.
ICE! is the Gaylord Texan’s signature holiday attraction. Like the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights ice display, ICE! features beautiful sculptures of ice inside a bone chilling 9 degree environment. (Bring hats and gloves to both!). Two million pounds of ice are carved by Chinese ice sculptors to tell the beloved tale of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. The sculptures were so vivid and perfect it was like we stepped into the storybook. The attraction is well worth the wait, but be prepared for long lines to actually get in. (This is true for Moody Gardens as well.) It is well worth the wait though!
ICE! is so much more than just ice sculptures though. You could easily plan to spend the whole day at the Gaylord (or stay and receive guest event perks!). There is ice slides, snow tubing, a carousel, snow ball target practice, stories with Mrs. Claus, a scavenger hunt, ice skating and more! We had a blast and it was just a five minute drive across from Great Wolf Lodge.
Dates and Prices
Values Days tickets for ICE! are $13.99 per person, with general admission days being $17.99, and peak days $19.99. You can check their calendar and get tickets here. The event runs from November 9 through January 1. All of the other attractions like snow tubing and ice skating are ticketed separately. You can check the Gaylord’s website for full details.
The holiday season in the Lone Star State is as big as Texas. If you’re worried about fitting in all the fun or are just looking for something fun to do with the kids over winter break and fight that cabin fever, then no need to worry. Look no further than these three awesome Christmas events in Texas open until January.