Winter Wonderland

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on December 14, 2010 in Recreation, Woodlands Events |

Christmas Lights in The Woodlands

The Christmas Holidays in The Woodlands bring forth thoughts of many things including family, food, fun, and holiday lighting displays. The Woodlands Township presents the Winter Wonderland, their annual Christmas light display in Town Center just east of Market Street and west of Cinemark Tinseltown in a surface parking lot. The annual Winter Wonderland display features a fantasyland of magical, lighted toy soldiers, elves, doves, musical angels, and snowmen. The lighting display extends along Lake Robbins Drive and then along Six Pines Drive with a smaller section of lights adjacent to the main entrance in between the parking lots dividing Tinsletown and the ice rink parking area.

woodlands ice skate rink

The Woodlands Winter Wonderland 2011

A brief historical perspective

While this is the familiar and what we would consider the home location, in 2008 the rink was located next to the Town Center Parking Garage; more specifically in between the garage and the Waterway. The 2008 Winter Wonderland light display was held along the Waterway and along a large pathway leading up to where the ice rink was located providing a nice area to walk along and take in the entire display. This was what we consider to have been the best season in recent years for the Christmas light display to be seen and enjoyed. Even though you had to walk a slight distance to see all of the lights, the displays were far enough back that you could easily identify the various shapes and characters without seeing the framework and bumping into other guests. The surrounding light was ample and the trees along the back side of the display were illuminated from the ground with Christmas colors. Additionally, there was the Waterway itself providing a nice venue for the christmas lights display.

winter wonderland

The Woodlands Winter Wonderland 2008

The Woodland Ice Rink 2008

The Woodlands Winter Wonderland 2008

The Wonderland returns home 2009

Prior to the 2008 Winter Wonderland and since 2009, The Woodlands Christmas Light Display has been held immediately adjacent to the Ice Rink itself; and while it does add to the overall ambience of the rink, and Town Center for that matter, it’s not really the best place for a Christmas lighting display. Why would I say that? The answer is simple; it’s difficult to appreciate all the hard work into setting up the lights when you can only view them from a maximum of 6 feet away.

Remember when we mentioned that the Christmas Lights extend along Lake Robbins and Six Pines Drive? The light displays are inside of the pathways – about 15′ (+/ – 3′) from the street, which, when viewed from Lake Robbins isn’t too bad – except that you’re driving your car along a fairly busy street. The lights are OK for the kids looking out the passenger windows, but still not really allowing a for unobscured view of them. The Christmas Lights along Six Pines drive, while further from the street, are obscured by trees (this is The Woodlands remember) so you can forget a drive-by viewing of that stretch of lights. So with the car parked nearby, walking along the sidewalk is the only way to take them in and yes, you’re back to that 6′ maximum viewing distance. Six feet is simply not enough space to really appreciate the Christmas lights. Combine that with nothing behind them except for support equipment, an occasional parked car or passerby, and the ice rink in the near distance, leaves an overall empty feel to the display.

Woodlands Christmas light display

The Woodlands Winter Wonderland 2010

Is there a better location?

In short, it’s too bad that all of that Christmas Holiday beauty is reduced by a less than prime location. So if not there, then where should the Christmas Winter Wonderland Light Display be held? Good question… Along the Waterway seemed to work well enough. Granted, there aren’t many other Christmas Displays to enjoy during the trek to see them but, the waterway did provide a very nice environment for such a display. Town Green Park would likely come up for review as it could provide a nice area for the lighting display, however, it is unlikely that the Township would put the rink there during the holiday season as other events are held there throughout the year. The grass would surely be destroyed and then there is the limited parking issue. The Market Street HEB parking lot should actually be large enough to handle the parking requirements yet, parking is always restricted during public events such as iWoW, Concerts at CWMP and the like. It’s a tough call indeed, as there doesn’t appear to be a location that is ideal for both venues to be held adjacent to one another. The parking area at 18 Waterway avenue is certainly large enough to handle the ice rink and it has a tree lined area along the waterway which would be a better backdrop for the lights, and it’s still close to the other Town Center Venues. Additionally, the display would be visible from teh Waterway Square Fountains, just to keep the two things close to each other. It’s understandable that the Township wants the rink to be in the middle of Town Center and that’s all good – we just need to have a better setup for the christmas lights.

This is just our own opinion, what do you think?

An awesome christmas light display near Austin, Texas!

Christmas Lights in The Woodlands 2012


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