Cruisin' with Courtney: Houston holiday festivities

HOUSTON, Tex. (KBTX) - The holidays have hit Houston, and there's few places that do it better than Discovery Green in the heart of downtown.

"I go here about once or twice every season during Christmastime and I just love the lights and stuff over here" said Mackenzie Rice.

"They have Christmas music and it's just really neat to skate around and just enjoy yourself" said Christian Buckely.

"Some people don't even know it's here. They just pass by and light up ya know and just come on in and have a new experience, so it's a lot of fun" explained Patrick Sheehan, a rink monitor at the Discovery Green ice rink.

Even if you aren't an ice skating pro, it's still fun to get out there and give it a shot!

"I usually just have to go around a couple of laps holding on and then I can start to go off but you always fall and that's just something that comes with ice skating" explained Rice.

"Everybody gets right back up. For the most part, you see a big smile every time they hit the ice" said Sheehan.

And if you need some sakting advice, Sheehan says, "Keep your knees bent, don't stand up straight".

Once you skate to your heart's desire, there's a sweet art exhibit to check out!

The Firmament is 52 feet wide and made of more than 21,000 LED lights, so it wasn't exactly easy to get here from California!

Christopher Schardt is the artist who created this colorful creation.

"It's been a lot of hard work, but when I see these kids ya know, diggin' it, then it's all worth it" explained Schardt.

Schardt is an artist, sculptor, and computer programmer from San Francisco.

He is well known for his art installations created for Burning Man, which is an annual festival of arts and music.

The Firmament will be at Discovery Green until January 8th, 2017.

The coordinated lights and music sure keep you mesmerized, but when traditional Christmas lights are calling your name, it's time to head to the Houston Zoo!

"We have carolers, we have a model train, we even have, new to this year a 33 foot Christmas tree, so it's really a wonderful way to spend time with your family and really get into the holiday spirit" explains Jackie Wallace with the Houston Zoo.

The animals have called it a night, and instead the zoo is filled with more than two million lights!

"Its' beautiful out here and I really like it" explained Dahla, a young zoo-goer.

"It lifts my spirit. It just, I don't know, all of the different colors makes you want to laugh and take pictures and drink hot cocoa because it's cold" explained Vanessa.

"I just like coming out here. It's my second time coming. But it look real pretty" said Jason.

There are spots all around the zoo that make for perfect Christmas card photo-ops.

"This can bring you into a family spirit and that is what the holidays are all about" explained a young zoo-goer who seems to understand the reason for the season.

For more information on the ice rink, art installation, and Zoo Lights, visit the websites under the related links section.