Here's how to survive Houston malls' holiday parking lots

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Shopping at the mall is a favorite seasonal tradition, but fighting traffic and finding parking spots are not.

ABC13 has put together a list of the best parking hacks, which were provided by some of our most popular malls.

Memorial City Mall
To park at this busy west side favorite, skip the exit at Gessner and take Bunker Hill instead. A turn on Barryknoll will lead to a less congested east side of the mall. Then, head straight to the rooftop of Macy's or the Dillard's garage for the best shot at an available parking spot.

First Colony Mall
In Sugar Land, try to use Dillard's, Macy's and Dick's Sporting Goods for available parking. Use the mall entrances off Sweetwater and Lexington during the mall's busiest hours from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Fridays - Sundays. Senior General Manager of First Colony Mall, Heidi Westlund, also recommended valet parking near the Cheesecake Factory and Breaker's Korean BBQ.

Houston Premium Outlets of Cypress

At this shopping mecca, there are a handful of designated spots for military, veterans and expecting moms.
  • Valet Parking: the valet stand is available on weekends only for $10 near Aeropostale and Victoria's Secret. When shoppers arrive, the valet will send a digital ticket directly to their phone.
  • To retrieve your car, simply show the same digital ticket and click the ticket to pay valet.
  • Parking Made Easy: This option is only available on the weekends and during the holiday season for $7. It's located near the mall's main entrance.
  • Reserved parking for military and veterans: there are four premium reserved parking spaces, two are located at the north side of the center at the Saks Fifth Avenue off the 5th entrance (lot H), one by Express Factory Outlet entrance (lot G), and one by the Columbia Sportswear entrance facing 290 (lot C).
  • Reserved parking for expectant mothers: There are four premium reserved parking spaces for expectant mothers, two are located at the north side of the center at the Saks Fifth Avenue off the 5th entrance (lot H), one by the Express Factory Outlet entrance (lot G), and one by Columbia Sportswear entrance facing 290 (lot C).

Katy Mills Mall
At Katy Mills Mall there are more than 9,169 available parking spaces, and the Simon Mobile App will help you navigate its 175 plus retailers. Having the mall's directory at your fingertips will keep you from having to back-track through holiday crowds.

Pearland Town Center
While construction stretches the nearby length of SH-288, there are ways to avoid the crush of congestion. From SH-288 take the County Road 59 exit to access the mall from Kirby or Business Center Driver.

The Galleria
The Galleria is usually busy year-round, but does have nine valet parking stations. There are also three express parking lots with automated pay stations. For the best route, avoid Westheimer and use Sage, Hidalgo and West Alabama to enter and exit the parking garages. If you want to leave your car behind, consider one of the routes to the Galleria via METRO.

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