Culture / Entertainment

Holiday Lights and Ice Skating Rinks You Need to Have On Your Nice List — Fort Worth and Houston Embrace the Lightscape Spirit

Few Places Do Spectacular Quite Like Texas

BY // 11.23.22

Lightscape has arrived in Texas, with three different holiday light wonderlands in Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio. The 120 acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the backdrop for Lightscape Fort Worth, which is set along an illuminated walking trail winding through the gardens and epic rose garden, as well as through the Japanese Garden with its maple trees and brand new arched bridge on full display. Reliant Energy provides the light and Sony Music is in charge of the seasonal soundtrack during your walking tour.

The Lightscape fun runs through January 8 in Fort Worth and San Antonio at the San Antonio Botanic Garden and January 1st in Houston at the Houston Botanic Garden. In Fort Worth, Lightscape ticketholders get to walk a one-mile-long path with suspended strands and a cathedral arch of light, a fire garden, a bluebonnet prairie, singing trees, treetop sculptures and artistic installations. Hot chocolate and other seasonal (including adult) drinks and snacks are available at stations along the trail.

Tickets are required for admittance, with entry times available every 15 minutes from 5:45 pm to 9 pm nightly. The average time for the festive walking tour runs about 90 minutes, although there is no time limit. You can linger as long as you’d like. For more information and tickets, click here.

Dramatic scenes marked Fort Worth's Lightscape installation. (Photo by Allison Yarid)
Dramatic scenes marked Fort Worth’s Lightscape installation. (Photo by Allison Yarid)

Addison’s Vitruvian Park Spectacle

Vitruvian Park transforms into North Texas’ most magical free holiday wonderland during Vitruvian Lights, when more than 1.5 million sparkling LED lights are wrapped around 555 trees. It all begins this Friday, November 25, and everything will be brightly lit nightly through Sunday, January 1.

Visitors are encouraged to walk or drive through Vitruvian Park to enjoy the beauty of the lights. This is the 10th holiday season of Vitruvian Lights, sponsored by UDR and the Town of Addison. Santa himself will be in Addison to “flip the switch” at 6 pm this Friday, November 25.

A very special performance is on tap too. It will take place at 6 pm on December 3 featuring the Dallas String Quartet. In mid-November, Dallas String Quartet’s latest album Love Always debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Album and Classical Album charts. This will be the popular quartet’s only appearance in North Texas this holiday season.

Holiday Gifting

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  • Zadok Holiday Gifts 2022 Deck 1
  • Zadok Holiday Gifts 2022 Deck 1

While Vitruvian Lights is free, parking is $15 (cash only) onsite in lots on Bella Lane and Ponte Avenue, as well as at the Alfred J. Loos Sports Complex.

Glide Into Festive Ice Rinks

Stockyards Rodeo Rink

This holiday season, Fort Worth Stockyards and Mule Alley – in partnership with Hotel Drover — are gearing up to launch the first annual Stockyards Rodeo Rink. The professional ice skating rink will take over the lawn of the Livestock Exchange Building from this Friday, November 25 through February 5. Offering six sessions daily, beginning at 11 am, the rink measures in at a robust 4,000 square feet. It truly transforms the Stockyards into a winter wonderland.

The area will also host photos with Cowboy Santa, live music, Cocoa Corral, blazing fire pits to warm you up and a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree.

Grapevine Ice Rink

The Peace Place Ice Rink opens Saturday in Grapevine. The ice making process is complete, assuring the rink attained just the right thickness. At some 4,500 square feet it will be the largest outdoor ice rink in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, it opened November 19 and it will remain open through January 8. The Holly Jolly Bar opens this weekend as well at Grapevine Main.

It’s a great time to experience Grapevine, the self-dubbed Christmas Capital of Texas, coming together for a magical holiday season.

Houston’s Outdoor Skating Wonderland

Discovery Green — the downtown park right across from the George R. Brown Convention Center — is once again hosting Houston’s only outdoor skating rink. The skating fun is available every day — even Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day — through January 15th.

Yes, the ice sometimes gets slushy on those hotter Houston December days, but the energy always seems to remain. If you come on Cheap Skate Mondays, it’s only $8 with skate rental included.

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