Planning a trip to Magical Winter Lights this holiday season? We asked a few of Houston’s favorite moms and Magical Winter Lights mommy veterans to give advice to help you plan the most magical trip for you and your family!

1. My family wants to visit Magical Winter Lights this holiday season, but we have to drive at least 45 minutes to get there. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep my rowdy kids occupied during the car ride?

“I totally understand what you mean! It took our family an hour and a half to get to La Marque. The toddler watched a movie and we listened to Christmas music on the radio. We enjoyed singing along and it helped us get into the Christmas spirit to see the lights. Also, pack snacks or make a pit stop at a convenience store for some treats to enjoy in the car.”

– Christine Nguyen, Houston Mom’s Blog & TSB Cakes

Instagram & Twitter: @tsbcakes
Facebook: @thesweetboutiquebakery
 

“We listened to music that the whole car enjoyed (with kids ages 3, 13, and 16 this feels like a victory!) and stopped in between for dinner. It kept everyone happy and provided some fuel for walking around to see the lights. Save room for the treats offered at Magical Winter Lights, though!”

– Kyla Hebert, My Life Is

“The drive to La Marque can be long… but we try to go a little early on the weekdays (or on the weekends) to beat rush hour. We stop at a park to play and at our favorite Buc-ee’s! On the drive, we play the ABC game… “We are going to Magical Winter Lights and I’m bringing Apples, Bananas, Cat Food, D…”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity
     

“Sing Christmas carols together or get an audiobook from the library with a fun Christmas story.”

– Stephanie E.

“Bring glow sticks and have them build glow in the dark jewelry they can wear when you arrive!”

– Susan B.

“I had pictures of MWL on my phone and they looked at them and we came up with a plan of what we were going to do and see once we got to MWL.”

– MICHELE C.

“I usually play a game where I describe something and the kids have to guess what it is. We pick a category and then we take turns to describe something. The categories we pick from are movies, places, people, objects, books and animals.”

– CELINA T.
2. Texas has been getting ridiculously cold during the winter the last few years and my kids need to bundle up, but I still want to take plenty of cute pictures of them! How should I dress them so they stay warm but also look their best?

“Texas weather is so unpredictable. I would recommend lots of layers if you must have them in a cute outfit. I actually loved the picture of my toddler in her puffy jacket next to the lights because it set the Christmas mood.?

– Christine Nguyen, Houston Mom’s Blog & TSB Cakes

Instagram & Twitter: @tsbcakes
Facebook: @thesweetboutiquebakery

 

“It’s the holidays! Put on a cute hat or a Santa hat!”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

3. Magical Winter Lights has so many things to offer in such a short amount of time! How should I plan my trip so that I am able to see all eight lantern exhibits, the Chinese Acrobats, visit with the Ice Sisters and Santa, and have time to enjoy all the food, AND the carnival?

“Definitely plan to stay there as long as you can or as long as your children will allow you to. We made our way through all of the exhibits first, watched the acrobat show and then saved the carnival for last.”

– Christine Nguyen, Houston Mom’s Blog & TSB Cakes

Instagram & Twitter: @tsbcakes
Facebook: @thesweetboutiquebakery

 

“When we visit Magical Winter Lights, we rush through the lanterns one time… because we are so excited. Then we watch the acrobats and take a second trip through the lights and pick our very favorites to visit a third time. Along the way, we do some shopping at the panda store and grab some food.”
 
– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

“Buy tickets and carnival wristbands online, arrive early and do the carnival side first. There will be no lines at all and we got to go on every ride twice. We then got some food and walked around the displays until it was time for the acts.”

– Michelle C.

“Make sure you have your mommy or daddy walking shoes on! There’s a lot of walking to do so also put comfortable shoes and clothing on children. If you have a little one, do not go without a stroller you’ll regret it! Having extra cash for the carnival is a plus. I’s day 3-4 hours is a good time to be at Magical Winter Lights.”

– Desiree M.

“You could go earlier in the day and experience the carnival. Take a break to sit down and eat once you finish up with the carnival, and then experience the lights once the sun has gone down. Work your way around the park to be able to arrive at the acrobats for the showtime. The kids normally need a break in between, so the acrobats will be the perfect time to take one.”

– Veronica R.
4. Magical Winter Lights is such a beautiful place and I love taking photos there, but the photos we take always look bad or too dark. Do you have any tips on how we can take the best pictures of our kids?

“Photos are always tricky in the dark. Try to hold still and to take the photos from several angles. Look at the results along the way and see what is working!”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

5. I am planning a full trip to Houston and want to make sure I get to see Magical Winter Lights for all its worth! What night should I go on to be able to have the best experience?

“We went after Christmas and the crowd was great! I personally feel like it’s large enough though that even when it’s busy you can still walk around and not feel crowded! Definitely purchase tickets online ahead of time!”

– Chelsea C.

“Anytime the week of Christmas. We went on Christmas Eve and it was a great way to enjoy the holiday.”

– Kimberly T. 

“I suggest going as earlier in the year as you can when they start the event. The closer you get to Christmas the busier it will be. Weeknights are always less busy too.”

– Christina P.
6. My child has special needs, is wheelchair bound but loves these types of events. Is this event special needs friendly?

“My middle child is in a wheelchair and it was very accessible. She didn’t feel like she was missing out on anything and we didn’t have any issue a helping her get around. You have to keep an eye out for the containers for the electrical cords that are on the ground, but they are easy to get over with a chair or even navigate around.”

– Kyla Hebert, My Life Is

“The lanterns and shows are accessible and there is a lot of room between lanterns to maneuver. There are some “speed bumps” where power cords run through plastic covers.”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

7. We plan to visit Magical Winter Lights – but will be in a hurry to get kids to bed on time. What are the must see activities that can’t be missed?

“If our family was in a rush, I would tour the lanterns, see the acrobats and skip the carnival… but I would need to have the kids agree on this ahead of time to minimize the complaints!”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

8. Our family, plus friends that always join in, is a big group. Is this a good activity for large groups? 

“Magical Winter Lights is big enough for everyone… and some people can watch the shows while others look at lanterns or eat or ride the rides!”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

.

9. Do you have any additional tips on how to make my experience at Magical Winter Lights the most magical it can be?

“Don’t let traffic affect your mood on the way there. Take your time and enjoy the mini road trip with the family. Most of the exhibits are interactive so be patient and let the kids run around and stretch their leg after being in the car for so long.”

– Christine Nguyen, Houston Mom’s Blog & TSB Cakes

Instagram & Twitter: @tsbcakes
Facebook: @thesweetboutiquebakery

“If you have smaller kids, bring a stroller & a wheelchair for elderly that have problems walking distances. There is quite a bit of walking and standing. Arrive at the for 30-45 minutes prior to acrobat show start, as seating is limited. You will get good seats by arriving early.”

– Kimberly T. 

“Bring plenty of cash to buy delicious food and carnival rides.”

– Carlos M.

10. Personal Tips to MWL Customers:

“Don’t let traffic affect your mood on the way there. Take your time and enjoy the mini road trip with the family. Most of the exhibits are interactive so be patient and let the kids run around and stretch their leg after being in the car for so long.”

– Christine Nguyen, Houston Mom’s Blog & TSB Cakes

Instagram & Twitter: @tsbcakes
Facebook: @thesweetboutiquebakery

“Try to go on a weekday to beat the crowds. And regardless of the day, go at opening or just before closing (if you can stay up late). Bring your camera and enjoy the night out. And stop at Buc-ee’s before and after to avoid some trips to the port-a-potties.”

– Jill Jarvis, Big Kid Small City

Social Media Handle: @BigKidSmallCity

.

“The weather in the Houston area is tricky. If you are typically someone that gets cold, or are traveling with children, remember jackets or blankets. We took our 3 year old daughter and she tired quickly from all of the walking. I am so happy that we remembered her stroller. Speaking of walking, there is so much area to cover to get to see everything. Make sure you dress comfortably and wear walking shoes. Always take someone with you that is willing to take photos of your whole family. If you can’t, don’t be shy! Ask another family if they will snap a few family pics. Have fun and enjoy. It is truly a magical experience inside Magical Winter Lights!!!”

– Amanda D.

“Around the winter time it is very important to bring a cozy sweater to avoid being cold and to guarantee a fun and enjoyable experience. Also, if you plan to take pictures I recommend that you charge your electronics fully, or bring with you a wireless charger.”

– Emily G.

“Bring a wagon for the kids to hop on and off of while walking around viewing the lights.”

– Jessica D.

Add to our Mommy FAQ page now!

Have a question you want answered? Submit your question here!

Want to be included on our Mommy Q&A Panel? Fill out a request form here!