12 Free Things To Do Near Space Center Houston During The Holidays

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Nassau Bay's Light Display


Around the holidays, the Space Center Houston becomes its own galaxy. A space-themed interactive display illuminates the grounds and draws a lot of attention and a big crowd. Although this experience is not free, there are other great light experiences in the area that you don't have to pay for to enjoy.

When the charm of the holiday season starts taking hold,  everyone is ready to make precious memories and start a family tradition or two. Here are some ideas to help you enjoy the season without further draining your wallet. They are all free and family-friendly.


1. Nassau Bay Light Display

When: December through New Year's Eve
Where: Nassau Bay's Town Square
Cost: Free


Right across from the Space Center, Nassau Bay's Town Square is all lit up for the holidays with the shooting stars, a Christmas tree, a giant Saturn, and a twinkling constellation made of stacked balls. The light display is like a small satellite to its big brother across the road – Galaxy Light Display. 


Nassau Bay Light Display

The light display is set in the space sculpture garden that features the rotating-with-the-wind metal design of Earth, Orion spacecraft, an astronaut with the American flag, and others.


Walking along Saturn median is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit and take the perfect family pictures in a quick in-and-out way.


Note: When taking pictures, please practice caution since the display is set between two active roadways.


2. Jingle on the Boardwalk, Kemah

When: Dec. 1 through Dec. 23
Where: Kemah Boardwalk: 215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565


The Kemah Boardwalk can hardly be called a budget place. However each holiday season they have plenty of free family events – holiday dance performances, a snow patch, live music, festive installations, and a holiday movie to name a few. Check their schedule here.

The Holidays at Kemah Boardwalk



3. Baybrook Mall 

When: December
Where: 500 Baybrook Mall, Friendswood, TX 77546 


The merriest place to shop during the holidays is the mall. And Baybrook Mall always does a bit extra to elevate the experience with their lovely Christmas decor and tons of free activities. 


Our favorite part is the holiday fun on The Lawn. Whatever you feel like a holiday spirit calls you to do, you can find it on the big green space by the Christmas tree. Watching a movie on a big screen, listening to a live concert or dancing to the Christmas beats, the lawn has it all. 


In previous years, some reindeer antlers headbands and giant crayons were given at no charge to the ones who ended up on Santa's Nice list.   

Baybrook Mall


5. Stevenson Park, Friendswood

When: December
Where: 1100 S Friendswood Dr, Friendswood, TX 77546 


Many parks turn their grounds into a Christmas wonderland, but some go above and beyond. Stevenson Park is one of those that goes all out for the season, and the best part – each year there's something new they add to the grounds to bring the magic of the season alive. 


Every year, we look forward to the big day right after Thanksgiving when they unveil their decor. Besides the traditional Christmas tree, garlands, and wreathes, there are some special scenes too, all throughout the park. 


We love to discover and strike a pose or two with gigantic colorful balls, embark on a journey through a lighted Christmas trail, hug tightly under a Christmas walkway arch, make a wish under hanging tree lights, and reminisce about that snow day in December of 2017 at a hot cocoa booth. The props are amazing and available for photo shoots.


Stevenson Park in Friendswood

For those who look for more festivities around Christmas, the park hosts an annual event, Santa in the Park, on the first weekend of December.  The Christmas Parade, tree lighting ceremony, and spectacular fireworks are the event's true joys.


The event is also packed with live entertainment, craft vendors, food trucks, tons of kid's activities, and 10, 000 pounds of snow. Attendance to the park during the event is free, but a child needs a $10 wristband to participate in kid's activities.


6. The Christmas Train, Alvin

When: Last Friday in November through December 23
Where: 1407 Victory Lane, Alvin, TX 77511   


This place used to be the best-kept secret in Alvin, but in the last couple of years it has gotten its fair share of attention. And for good reason. Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights, large storybook land illustrations, gingerbread decorations, and seasonal vintage ornaments adorn every nook and cranny of the Victory Camp grounds.  

Christmas Train in Alvin

A gigantic fireplace in the middle of the camp is our favorite and cozy place for family photos. Kids enjoy an elaborate Christmas village display with a multitude of scenes and moving elements.

Even though the train ticket is not free (it is $10 if bought online or $12 at the door), you can still skip the ride and just walk around the camp to enjoy the scenery.


7. Green Tee Terrace in Pearland  

When: December
Where: Green Tee Terrace in Pearland, TX

It never gets old to jump into a car and go around town to see all the lights. There are many merry neighborhoods with stunning displays in Houston. And River Oaks Christmas Lights experience is undoubtedly one for the books. But the traffic and crowds are notorious too. 


A great alternative to the bright lights inside the loop is Green Tee Terrace in Pearland, just outside of  Beltway 8. Conveniently located near I-45, it's only a 25 minute drive from the Space Center. It has a long history of stunning displays and light tours and takes preparation for the most wonderful time of the year very seriously.


For a self-guided tour, go along Green Tee and Country Club Dr. to see beautiful lights. Many homeowners leave lights turned on until after New Year's Day and some through "Epiphany."



8. Gingerbread House at South Shore Harbour Resort 

When: December
Where: 2500 South Shore Blvd, League City, TX 77573


South Shore Harbour Resort breathes new life into a traditional gingerbread house, scaling it up to 6 feet and placing it in the hotel's lobby for everyone to enjoy. Holidays are always merrier when sweetened with shared experiences and a few pounds of elaborate icing, assorted candies, and colorful sprinkles.


It's displayed throughout December in the hotel's lobby and is free to the public.


Gingerbread House at South Shore Harbour Resort


9. League Park 

When: December
Where: 512 2nd St, League City, TX 77573


Full of holiday joy and Christmas trees, this park transforms into a little Christmas village. Shaded by large oak trees and located in the historic League City area, League park is another festive spot to swing into the holidays. 


There's also the Holiday in the Park, the family event that hosts the festivities throughout the first weekend in December. The event has 3 parades, food and craft vendors, holiday shopping, live entertainment, pictures with Santa, and a ton of activities for the kids too.


Holiday in the Park in League Park


10. Edwards Family Light Show, League city

When: December through Christmas Day
Where: 510 Applewood Dr., League City, TX 77573


One of the most lit experiences not to miss is Edwards Family Light Show. It is a fun show with the lights synchronized to music and songs for 40-45 minutes. The show runs from 6-9 pm on Sunday through Thursday, and 6-10 pm on Friday and Saturday. It is such a fun Christmas outing for the whole family.

For updated info on dates and times, visit their Facebook page. The group is private, but members are added upon a request.

This show also reminds me of another light display in League City - the Moss Lights Show.



11. Moss Lights, League City

When: December through New Year's Eve
Where: 540 Southampton Ln., League City, TX 77573

You will definitely want to check out the Moss Lights show. The display is powered by over 80,000 lights synchronized to music. Check their website or a Facebook page to make sure they will have the lights for the current season.


So grateful to all the families who spend so much time and resources on these amazing displays for everyone to enjoy freely.  



Here's a light show we recorded a few years back.


While there, take a stroll around the subdivision to see some sparkly Christmas outdoor displays.


12. Annual Dickinson Festival of Lights

When: First weekend after Thanksgiving through December 23
Where: Paul Hopkins Park: 1000 FM517, Dickinson, TX 77539
Admission: Free


Stroll through the beautifully illuminated grounds of Paul Hopkins Park and start the holiday season early. The opening night is on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. With the time speeding up in December, we opt to go early to the opening night in November to beat the crowd. 


You will see rows after rows of unique installations – lit castles, bright-colored chili peppers, reindeers pulling a monster truck, plenty of sea life displays, and Texas-themed spectacles. Our all-time favorite is the magical lit-up castle surrounded by life-sized tin soldiers drumming into the holiday season. 


The best bit? Admission, parking and shuttle service are FREE of charge. However, donations are appreciated. For more information, go here

Dickinson Festival of Lights

Of course, no holiday outing would be complete without having Santa on site. An old jolly man is available to take pictures with, but the line gets long pretty fast. There is also a little cafe in the park where you can rest your feet and have a bellyful. 


This festival is truly a local Christmas tradition that keeps the holiday spirit alive for the entire month of December and brings the whole community together. 

Christmas is a season of giving and serving, hope and faith. And also, it's a season of lights and memories that we make. I hope all those places mentioned above will become your holiday favorites for years to come.


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12 Free Things to Do in December Near Space Center Houston


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