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The Ultimate Guide to the Holidays at the Kemah Boardwalk

The holiday season is in full swing at the Kemah Boardwalk. If you’re looking for a big dose of holiday cheer in the Houston area, do not overlook this place.  It’s packed with festive activities and holiday ops in every nook and cranny. Here’s everything you need to know about the holiday season in Kemah.

Kemah Boardwalk Christmas Tree

The towering Christmas tree is located at the West entrance, near the parking garage and Boardwalk Inn, flanked by the giant Tin soldiers.  The entrance arch adds a final magical touch to the display. Traditional ball ornaments adorn the tree. At night it sparkles with thousands of colorful lights.


Santa Clause Residence

To the right of the tree, there’s a Santa’s house adorned with the candy canes and gingerbread men. The windows are always open, so the curious ones can peek inside.


Christmas Hut

While waiting on the spot to take a photo with the Christmas tree, it gets crowded at times, the island-style Christmas hut dressed in twinkling lights and giant snowflakes is yet another photo op. It looks delightful during the day, but at night it’s magical. It comes alive with thousands of glowing lights from rides in the background and decor itself.


The Walk

There’s no shortage of lights and decorations throughout the Boardwalk. To enjoy all the holiday views at their best and brightest, venture into the park anytime between dusk and 8 p.m. Holiday lights start illuminating the grounds an hour before dusk.  You can hop aboard the train to take in all the views throughout the place, including the special tunnels or just walk around the sites at your own pace. It gets pretty cold from time to time in December, so have the right layers for the walk.


Christmas Tree Crawl:

1. Boardwalk Inn

In addition to the walk, I enjoy doing a Christmas tree crawl around Kemah during the holidays. While browsing the windows of souvenir shops, I spotted this seaside-inspired Christmas tree in the lobby of the Boardwalk Inn. Dressed in nautical ornaments and nestled among poinsettia, a glittering white and red tree makes the season brighter and calls to hearts of those who dream about Christmas in Hawaii.


2. Bay Area Houston Visitor Center

One more place to strike a pose with a Christmas tree in Kemah is at the Bay Area Houston Visitor Center. The welcome arch creates a site-specific mood and adds that vintage traditional vibe to the photo. It’s a nice photo op right across from the Voodoo Hut and Toucan Alley.


3. Toucan Alley


4. Candy Box


Breakfast with Santa at the Aquarium Kemah

December 7 , 8, 14, 15, 21-24, 2019

To score the merriest photo with a boisterous Santa, check out the Breakfast with Santa at the Aquarium Kemah in December. The rumor has it Scuba Santa and Sharkey will make a special appearance to greet guests. Reservations are required.

Stacked Christmas Ornament Balls

These larger-than-life ornament balls give you a big dose of Christmas spirit. I am such a giant holiday installation fan, so I always make sure to stop by the East entrance first for a mandatory family photo. Both entrances set the tone for that magical holiday feeling even before you enter the Boardwalk.


Voodoo Hut

The number of ways and places to eat at Kemah Boardwalk is endless. From fine seafood restaurants to steak houses to iconic boardwalk foods on the go, such as corn dogs, funnel cakes, and turkey legs. To get the most out of dining, I like places with laid-back vibes and eclectic design, so Voodoo Hut strikes a chord with me. This place looks like one of those authentic voodoo bars you’ll find around the French Quarter in New Orleans. The ambiance of the place and its eclectic cool design complements the food, drinks, and service. Plenty of seating outside, a hammock zone, a striking colorful design, a live band, and deck games set the stage for a relaxed outing.

Toucan Alley Holiday Shopping

Located within walking distance from the Kemah Boardwalk, Toucan Alley is home to family-owned businesses and small shops. Food joints and small artisan shops are perfect to get lost in. Not to mention, the Alley is all dressed up for the holidays. Traditional light displays and garlands blend in with the place’s coastal vibes and a row of palm trees.



Holiday Treats

Cool Cow Creamery. 
Treat your taste buds to that handcrafted ice cream at the Cool Cow Creamery. Everything from ice cream to a shake to a slice of pie is made in-house. Top it off with their signature sampling skateboard with 12 flavors of the day and you got me for good. Not to miss the spot, look for the ice cream truck in front of the building. 


Jingle on the Boardwalk

Weekends in December

Every weekend in December is packed with special events from Santa’s workshops to snow patches to holiday stiltwalkers. To learn more, visit


Christmas Boat Parade

December 14, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

More than a hundred boats will be decked out for the holidays as they glide past the boardwalk. Arrive early for the best view.

Decked out boat in Kemah


Tips for Visiting Kemah Boardwalk:

1. Consider buying the all-day ride pass. You can buy tickets for individual rides, however, if you're going on more than two rides, you may want to look into buying the all-day pass Note: No entry tickets are required.

2. Open on Thanksgiving Day. Not many places are open on Thanksgiving, the Kemah Boardwalk is one of those places that are open.

3. Parking. Parking at the Boardwalk is $9. Weekend parking is paid year-round. Free parking is available at the Toucan Alley center and along the streets, if you don't mind to park a little further away.

4. Consider visiting Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston. If you in the area, check out a brand-new light exhibit Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston. Credited as “the most technologically advanced light display in Texas”, the display features a variety of light installations from a giant shooting star to kinetic light show to suspended from the trees twinkling planets. It is open 6 – 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 5, 2020 and is closed on Dec. 24 and 25.

A brand new Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston

Have you been to the Kemah Boardwalk at Christmas time? What did you enjoy most?

Christmas Craft

The holiday season is around the corner, and if you want to add a fun twist to your gifts, use this printable PDF – Free Funny Gift Tags For Any Occasion. It's guaranteed to make your gift exchange memorable, thoughtful, and hands down fun.

You may also enjoy: 

1. 15+ Best Things to Do In Galveston During The Holidays 
2. Kemah Boardwalk is a Fun-Packed Mecca for Family Getaway
3. 15+ Fun and Free Things to Do in Houston  

The Ultimate Guide to the Holidays at the Kemah Boardwalk

The Ultimate Guide to the Holidays at the Kemah Boardwalk


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