Season’s greetings! Bay Area Houston–a charming bayside region nestled between the big-city allure of Houston and the wide-open beaches of Galveston–is gearing up for the holidays with family-friendly events in each of its distinct cities. With amazing attractions, water sports, and award-winning restaurants at your fingertips, Bay Area Houston is an easy, delightful coastal experience with plenty of Baycation spots to explore along the way.
Featuring a charming-as-can-be Historic District, gorgeous parks, and scenic waterfront views, League City takes great pride in its heritage and natural beauty. Marked by towering oaks and thriving locally owned shops and eateries, League City invites you to enjoy lakeside sunsets, gorgeous sailboats, amazing birding, fascinating history, and all the laid-back leisure of life along the creek.
Experience the Magic of Main Street as the League City Proud Organization throws their 25th annual Holiday in the Park festival at beautiful League Park during the first weekend of December. Live music, craft vendors, a children’s parade, the Grand Night Parade (the largest holiday parade in Galveston County), and more are in store for this annual League City tradition.
Dozens of charming boutiques and specialty shops make League City a fantastic shopping destination. With charming shops sprinkled throughout the city, you’ll discover unique treasures, locally-crafted jewelry, gourmet food, and high-end clothing at every stop. Visit the Shoppes at Founder’s Square and Old Town Square, antique homes turned boutiques that are decked out in holiday décor.
Homestyle meals, smoked barbecue, and creative combinations along with globally inspired cuisine make dining in League City a culinary pleasure. Venture down League City Main Street and try local favorites Main Street Bistro, Esteban’s Café y Cantina, and Red River Barbecue, or eat a hearty breakfast with enormous pancakes at Red Oak Café.
Built in 1962 as a community for astronauts and NASA employees, Nassau Bay’s citizens include men and women who have visited outer space, and a few who have walked on the moon! Make all your space explorer dreams come true at Space Center Houston. Travel to a Mars exhibit, hear stories of space from real astronauts, or take a NASA Tram Tour to explore NASA Johnson Space Center. Grab your walking shoes and head to the Nassau Bay Wildlife Peninsula, 76-acres of wetland with a diverse ecosystem perfect for birders and nature lovers.
Get ready to be dazzled with sparkling Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston. As the most interactive and technologically advanced light display in Texas, Galaxy Lights takes you on an experience through high-tech kinetic colorful light shows in the Main Plaza and a Winter Wonderland with large, 3-D holiday décor and lights, all while enjoying hot cocoa and other holiday food and beverages. Galaxy Lights is open from November 13 to January 2, and you can purchase your tickets on Space Center Houston’s website.
Do a little bit of shopping at the Nassau Bay Farmer Markets. Located directly behind Erma’s Nutrition Center and held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this market features a variety of fresh, locally sourced products, artists showcasing their work, and a vegetarian food truck.
From Nassau Bay’s fantastic Mediterraneo Market & Cafe to sweets staples like Scrumptious Houston or Jenny’s Bakery, there are plenty of great places to dine by the bay. Try Kasra Persian Grill for delicious helpings of Persian food, or have a soothing cup of coffee from Java Owl Coffee House.
Blast off to Space Center Houston to explore the wonders of space travel. Check out the newest permanent exhibit, the Artemis Program. Named after Apollo’s twin sister, this program highlights humans returning to the Moon for the first time in 50 years. Explore the future of space travel with this new interactive exhibit that includes designing mission patches and lunar habitats, experiencing an Artemis and Apollo landing site, and much more.
Seabrook is home to some of the freshest seafood markets in the Bay. You’ll find a mouthwatering array of shrimp, fish, oysters, crabs, (seasonal) crawfish, and even lobsters! Need help finding your way around? Follow the Seabrook Pelican Path, a colorful trail of over 75 pelican sculptures painted by local artists. No two pelicans are the same, and these feathered friends stand over six feet tall, and are the perfect unique photo stops.
Ring in the holidays on December 1 with Seabrook’s beloved Main Street Tree Lighting Ceremony. Festivities will take place on the Seabrook Community House starting at 6 p.m. and will include rich hot chocolate, scrumptious cookies, local vendors, musical performances by area schools AND an appearance from the man himself, Santa Claus!
Seabrook is famous for its amazing selection of sea-side dining experiences. Try favorites like fresh seafood dishes from Sam’s Boat, where you have the best sunset and waterfront views of Clear Lake. Or Tookie’s Seafood, a well-loved staple in Seabrook with all the fried gulf seafood and mesquite grilled fresh fish you could eat.
Go on a shopping adventure through Seabrook’s boutique and specialty store scene. Immerse yourself in laid back luxury with Good Sense Provisions and choose from rich scents to indulgent looks, with many distinctive touches, tastes, smells, sounds, and sights that are available to peruse and purchase. Indulge your inner childhood with superheroes and villains via classic comics at Dimensions Comics, Music, and More.
There’s always something happening in the Texas oasis of Clear Lake Shores. Enjoy live entertainment from businesses like SoulFreak Studio Café and Okie’s Yardhouse and Courtyard, and feast on tasty dishes from Schafer’s Coastal Bar & Grille. Or check out the CLS Downtown Market that happens every second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Celebrate the 61st annual Christmas Boat Parde on Clear Lake with Clear Lake Shores and friends on December 10 starting at 6 p.m. With more than 60 brightly decorated power and sailboats traveling the waters of Clear Lake, this parade is a well-loved tradition in Bay Area Houston.
From big retail stores and restaurants, to small specialty shops and waterfront venues, there’s something for everyone in Clear Lake Shores. Celebrate sunsets or welcome the sunrise in the Yachting Capitol of Texas. Hit the waters and take a paddle through Clear Lake at the Kayak Shack, or take it down a notch at Salon Renew–an upscale salon with a relaxing vibe right on the water. Find more ways to play at Visit Clear Lake Shores.
Shop ‘til you drop with the Holly Jolly Shopping Trail
Jingle all the way into holiday savings with Bay Area Houston’s Holly Jolly Shopping Trail! Get ready to shop, save, and discover the best boutiques and local shops in League City, Seabrook, Nassau Bay, and Clear Lake Shores. This free, digital savings program will help you find gifts for everyone on your list while enjoying exclusive deals and discounts. Think of it as the ultimate local gift guide. Simply sign up online to begin your holly jolly shopping experience in Bay Area Houston!
Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a fun-filled family vacation, the Visit Bay Area Houston website is the place to start.