As the saying goes, everything is Bigger in Texas. Holiday light displays are no exception. The Southwestern U.S. may not get much snowy, holiday weather, but people there still know how to put on a great holiday lights display. Here are some of the best holiday lights in Texas and the Southwestern United States.

Looking for the best places to check out holiday lights in Texas and the Southwest? Here's our top picks!

Holiday Light Displays in Texas


It’s the 53nd Anniversary of the Zilker Park Trail of Lights this season. With more than 2 million twinkling lights in colorful displays, guests can stroll along the mile-long trail. December 9 – 23

College Station

Boasting the “largest Christmas Attraction in Texas,” Santa’s Wonderland includes horse-drawn carriage & hay rides through the lights. Come visit this year and help celebrate their 20th year! November 10 – January 7

The grandly lit entrance to Santa's Wonderland in College Station, Texas.

The grandly lit entrance to Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, Texas. Photo by Nasreen Stump / Road Warrior TravelingMom


Fort Worth

More than 600 LED Light Displays can be seen each holiday season at the Texas Motor Speedway’s Gift of Lights. It ends with a drive through, light-up tunnel.  November 23 – December 30


Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens returns for the 15th season. It features a mile-long trail of more than 100 lighted holiday scenes, shows, visits from Santa and a “Snow Zone” for kids. November 11- January 7

San Antonio

The San Antonio River Walk transforms for the holidays with more than 100,000 lights. The Ford Holiday River and Lighting Ceremony kicks off the fun. Look for lighted floats with celebrities, bands and costumed participants, and enjoy Holiday Boat Caroling during evenings in December. November 25 – January 7

Holiday Light Displays in Arizona


The North Pole Experience brings Santa’s Workshop to life! Start at the Little America Hotel to see the twinkling light display and catch the Polar Express train to the North Pole. November 17 – December 28

Las Noches holiday lights

Las Noches de las Luminarias – Photo Credit: Desert Botanical Garden


Desert Botanical Garden celebrates its 38th year of Las Noches de las Luminarias. It features 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and the vibrant sounds and sights of 10 performing groups. November 24- December 30


Take a trip on the Polar Express with the Grand Canyon Railway! Each evening passengers travel to the North Pole, a Christmas village where Santa and his reindeer welcome visitors. November 10 – January 6

Holiday Light Displays in Colorado

Colorado Springs

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Electric Safari features more than 1 million lights, more than 80 animated light sculptures, Sky Rides, and visits with Santa. December 8 – January 1


The Denver Botanical Gardens presents a Trail of Lights for the whole family, with more than a million twinkling lights synchronized to music.  Hot drinks, seasonal entertainment and hay rides available. November 24 – January 1

Holiday Light Displays in New Mexico


The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden hosts the holiday light show, “The River of Lights.” It features giant sculptures of plants, animals and seasonal themes created by millions of lights. November 25 – December 30

Santa Fe

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden celebrates GLOW on weekends throughout the holiday season. Look for Santa, hot cocoa and more fun for the family. December 16 – January 1

Holiday Light Displays in Nevada

holiday lights

Glittering Lights – Photo Credit: Glittering Lights

Las Vegas

Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a holiday drive-through event, has more than 1 million lights in over 400 animated and sparkling displays.  Fun includes a PJ 5K Fun Run and a Living Nativity. November 10 – January 7

Holiday Light Displays in Oklahoma


The Festival of Light features more than 3.5 million twinkling lights in more than 100 dazzling light scenes. There are animated displays, and even a computer animated light show synchronized to joyful holiday tunes. The centerpiece of the Chickasha Festival of Light is the iconic 172 foot Christmas tree that can be seen for miles around. This year, they celebrate 25 years! November 18 – December 31

Midwest City

Midwest City Holiday Lights Spectacular is one of Oklahoma’s largest animated drive-through light displays. More than one million lights transform 90 dazzling displays, including the majestic 118-foot Christmas tree lit with 9,000 bulbs and topped with an 8-foot star. November 17 – December 30

Holiday Light Displays in Utah

Salt Lake City

Utah’s Hogle Zoo celebrates Zoo Lights with more than 200 animated light displays. Guests wear hologram glasses to walk along lit pathways and through the 135-foot lighted tunnel.  Santa is scheduled to visit, among other nightly planned events. December 1 – December 31

Disclosure:  This is an updated version of a post originally written by Rebecca Darling. 

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