The Houston area is rife with lavish holiday light displays, from the luminescent lantern creations at the Houston Zoo in Hermann Park to the colossal kingdom of illuminations that is Magical Winter Lights in Katy.
But there is nothing quite like the resplendent spectacle now on display at dusk at the Light Park where tens of thousands of twinkling, blinking, flashing lights enfold visitors in a glimmering earthbound wonderland of rainbow hues.
With locations at Typhoon Texas Waterpark in Katy and Hurricane Harbor in Spring, the holiday attraction features millions of lights synchronized to holiday music and features dozens of animated figures in numerous displays, including a holiday light tunnel.
At The Light Park you need not suffer exorbitant admission fees, slow-shuffling, claustrophobia-inducing crowds, or even submit to the inconvenience of exiting your vehicle — visitors can enjoy the entire show from the comfort of their cars.
The Light Park is open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The show opened Nov. 3, and runs through Jan. 1. Ticket prices start at $29 plus applicable taxes and fees per vehicle and increase to $49 plus taxes and fees per car by mid-November. Tickets are available for purchase at thelightpark.com.
Holiday lights on the cheap
For families watching their wallets, this drive-through is a bargain: It charges a modest $29-49 per car no matter how many people squeeze inside. By comparison, similar local light shows charge between $25 and $30 per person.
“We take pride in watching guests of all ages make memories that can last a lifetime,” said Matt Johnson, Co-Creator of The Light Park, in a statement. “Our team encourages everyone to safely pile in their cars because our entrance fee is per vehicle, not per person. This way, everyone (pets, too) can experience the magic of traveling through the longest holiday light tunnel in the world, rocking out to the coolest tunes and kicking off the holiday season with the most Instagram Reel-worthy shots, for just one admission fee.”
How early is too early to celebrate Christmas?
I consider the day after Thanksgiving the unofficial start of the holiday light display season. The Light Park, however, does not. Operating Nov. 3 through Jan. 1, the Light Park begins its season weeks earlier than most other major holiday attractions in the area. The advantage of embracing Christmas cheer super, super-early? You can avoid the long lines and dizzying throngs of merrymakers that will only grow thicker through the end of the year.
Curious to know what your wait time might be on any given day? Take a gander at the Light Park’s attendance calendar. Unsurprisingly, the park sees an uptick in visitors beginning Thanksgiving weekend.
“The best advice we can give our guests is to plan early and prepare to be awed by the brilliance of millions of spectacular lights throughout this drive-thru holiday park,” Johnson said.
Lights, music, action
Eager to celebrate all the holiday insanity I typically avoid like the plague, I purchased advance tickets to the Light Park so I could visit on opening day.
At dusk on Nov. 3, the lights started to dance to the music in the parking lot of Typhoon Texas Water Park in Katy. They blinked and shimmered, their colors fading in and out, twinkling in time to the music blaring from my car radio, tuned to 87.9 FM.
I oohed and aahed as the musical Christmas extravaganza flashed before me as I cruised through the parking lot. The elaborately choreographed Christmas display included dozens of singing ornaments, dancing elves, and, of course, the big man in red, Kris Kringle himself.
The spectacular display was totally immersive unlike anything I’ve experienced, engulfing me in a kaleidoscope-like landscape of flashing holiday scenery merry and bright.
See scenes of the spectacle in the video player at the top of the page.
Here are a few takeaways from my visit:
- I’m a relentless snacker and I consider snacks a requirement of any entertainment experience. Thankfully, the Light Show had a concession stand on site selling lemonade, soda, water, candy, and oh-so-buttery movie theater popcorn (my personal weakness).
- A sucker for souvenirs, especially those that promise to enhance my experience, I purchased the “magic” glasses ($5 for two pairs) said to offer a glimpse of a “hidden show.” Though the filtered glasses cast a lovely aura over the show, I found it an unnecessary addition.
- Joy of all joys, there was no wait and no crowd. I felt I could take my time and cruise through the light trail at my own pace. I wasn’t confronted by the crush of humanity that I often experience at many of the area’s cherished holiday destinations where it’s often a struggle simply to get a glimpse of the displays, much less enjoy oneself.
- That said, the show itself came and went fast, even while rolling through the course at what I considered a painfully slow speed of two to five mph. Though the Light Park’s website claims the experience may take “up to about 30 to 40 minutes” I crept through in under 15 minutes — three times faster than it took me to get to Typhoon Texas from KPRC 2 in Sharpstown in rush-hour traffic. I enjoyed the show, but wish it had been longer. I recommend the experience to anyone whole lives near one of the two Houston-area locations.
For more information about the Light Park, visit thelightpark.com.
Have you cruised through the Light Park before? What did you think? What was your favorite part of the experience? 📸 Don’t forget to share all your festive fun with us at Click2Pins. We love featuring your photos online and on TV!