Winter Break Fun in Houston: 6 spots to take the family this holiday season

Find out where you can make Holiday memories

HOUSTON – Are you looking for fun family-friendly things to do during winter break?

Or how about some cool places to see holiday lights, or even take a last-minute picture with Santa Claus?

Local writer and mom of three, Amanda Sorena, shared a list of her top places around the Greater Houston area where you can get into the holiday spirit without breaking the bank.

To see Sorena’s complete recommendations, check out the video above.

To connect with Sorena, click here.

1. Holiday Lights Sugar Land

“This year marks the 9th Annual Holiday Lights Sugar Land which has become a family favorite tradition. If you go every year or have never been, they are keeping it fresh with a new light show, a 40-foot tree, and over 3 million lights in 10 different themed areas. You can visit Santa up until Christmas Eve for photo ops and shopping in their Holiday market. Also, if you are looking for New Year’s Eve plans, they will have a fireworks show at midnight,” said Sorena,

Where: Constellation Field (1 Stadium Dr., Sugar Land, TX 77498)

When: Now through January 1st, 2023

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 6 pm to 9 pm, Friday - Saturday 6 pm to 10 pm

Cost: Adults $19, Children 4-12 $14, Children three and under are free and there are discounts for Seniors 55+ and Military.

2. Texas Winter Lights Marriott Marquis

“Located in the heart of downtown Houston near Discovery Green, The Marriott Marquis is a summer staple with its iconic Texas-shaped Lazy River, but have you visited them in December for their Texas Winter Lights? The pool deck twinkles with 1,480 individual lights and you can stroll through the illuminated Grove of Trees before taking selfies in several Instagram-worthy setups like their Archway of Lights. If you are interested, you can also float in their lazy river (which is heated to 80 degrees). They also feature a hot cocoa station, a winter beverage menu, and a DJ starting at 6 pm. " said Sorena,

“On select nights next week, Texas Winter Lights is also showing outdoor movies like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and “Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” (Note that movie nights will cost you a bit extra.)” she said.

Where: Marriott Marquis (1777 Walker Street, Houston, TX 77010)

When: Now till January 8, 2023

Hours: 5 pm to 10 pm Nightly

Cost: Complimentary for hotel guests; $25 for guests age 2+; $30 on movie nights; available to the public Monday – Thursday and reserved exclusively for hotel guests Friday – Sunday.

3. POST-Houston - Winter Wonderlawn

“POST-Skylawn is once again the place to be! Not only does it have stunning views of the Houston Skyline, but at “Winter Wonderlawn” you’ll experience 100,000′s of lights, a 25 ft Christmas Tree, and multiple holiday-themed activations on Skylawn. Access to the experience is free and open to the public of all ages,” said Sorena.

Where: POST-Houston (401 Franklin Street, Houston, TX 77201)

When: Month of December

Hours: Sunday - Wednesday 11 am to 9 pm, Thursday - Saturday 11 am to 10 pm

Cost: Free

4. Dasher’s Lightshow & Winterland

“Dasher’s Lightshow & Winterland in Humble has not one, but two experiences for you. Dasher’s Lightshow is a drive-thru experience that is ticketed per vehicle. Tickets are timed for 30-minute windows for you to cruise through the light show listening to holiday music on your radio that they have pre-programmed to the light experience driving through lighted tunnels and spotting your favorite holiday characters. If you would prefer a more interactive experience, then you can opt for Dasher’s Winterland. You pay for a per-person general admission ticket and then can add on tokens to pay for various other experiences such as Inflatable Obstacle Course Inflatable Maze, Santa Photos on exclusive dates, and Character Photos on exclusive dates.

They also have chef-crafted food and cocktails and drinks for sale on site. Both of these events are ticketed separately and you do need to make reservations in advance online.

Dasher’s has also set us up HL viewers with a promo code HOUSTONLIFE to receive 15% off through December 20th, 2022 when purchasing a Dasher’s Lightshow drive-thru ticket from their site,” said Sorena.

Where: Humble Civic Center (8233 Will Clayton Pkwy, Humble, TX 77338)

When/Hours: Check the website for exact days/hours as they vary

Cost: Dasher’s Lightshow - $29.95 per vehicle. Dasher’s Wonderland is $4.95 for vehicle registration, plus $9.95 general entry per person, plus your token packages. Children four and under are free.

5. Bering’s Santa

“Bering’s has been a part of the Houston scene since 1940 and they have a pretty wonderful (and free) Santa setup. All they ask is that you bring your own camera, but a sales associate will help you get the best photo with the big guy. All ages are welcome,” said Sorena.

Where: Both Bering’s Locations (3900 Bissonnet St. Houston, TX 77005 and 6102 Westheimer Rd.. Houston, TX 77057)

When: Saturday, December 17th

Hours: 12 pm to 4 pm

Cost: Free

6. Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop

“Make a visit to Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop for a free 4x6 picture with Santa. They have a number of free holiday activities to do in the store as well as a mailbox to get your letters to Santa. Bass Pro Shop does ask you to make a photo reservation online and releases photo spots a week in advance,” Sorena said.

Where: Pearland (1000 Bass Pro Dr. Houston, TX 77047) and Katy (5000 Katy Mills Circle Katy, TX 77494)

When: Daily till Christmas Day

Hours: Weekdays 10 am to 8 pm, Weekends 10 am to 5 pm

Cost: Free, but photo reservations need to be made online

If you’d like to keep up with Sorena, follow her on Instagram @TXFamilyTravel.

About the Authors:

Beatriz is a producer for Houston life. She’s a dog mom who enjoys traveling and eating her way through new cities and cultures.