Though it may not always snow in Texas at Christmas time, that certainly doesn’t stop the Lone Star State from getting into the holiday spirit every time the festive season rolls around. Take a look at 10 of the very best places to visit this season, listed in no particular order.
Wimberley certainly knows how to celebrate Christmas. On the town’s annual event schedule is the Winter’s Eve Christmas Festival, the CRRC North Pole Village and Welch Family Christmas where singer/songwriter Kevin Welch and family perform some festive hits.
The town also has a Blue Christmas at Blue Hole Regional Park, which features thousands of blue lights, a local choir and even a visit from Santa Claus himself. But the main Christmas attraction in Wimberley? The Trail of Lights at the EmilyAnn Theatre, which is now celebrating its 14th year.
Throughout the season, Galveston Island brings Christmas to life with a number of must-see attractions, including the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens, a Santa Hustle, multiple ice sculptures and even a Holiday half marathon. The town also holds the annual ‘Dickens on The Strand’ festival, which dates all the way back to 1974, and sees the town head all the way back to 19th-century London to use oil lamps, Victorian costumes and welcoming ye ole carolers.
Visitors to Richmond during the festive period will definitely want to head to the George Ranch Historical Park, which hosts a Campfire Christmas and a Christmas in the Park celebration every year. The Campfire Christmas celebration is full of old-fashioned fun, offering yummy Christmas dinners accompanied by 1930s cowboy music, followed by a visit to a log cabin from 1852 decked out to look like Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile, Christmas in the Park offers classes on everything from how to make marbled wrapping paper, lessons on making Chocolate Creams from a staple 1885 recipe and even gives tips on how to spool knit something special.
Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie Holiday Tree Lighting, a Christmas Candlelight memorial service and a Traders Village Holiday market with the opportunity to meet Santa himself are just some of the attractions on offer at Grand Prairie.
However, the biggest attraction as to be Grand Prairie’s spectacular light display. Visitors are able to drive for two miles surrounded by thousands of Christmas lights, and also features a holiday village with an indoor laser show and a walk-through forest.
Texans in Jefferson can enjoy Christmas with a Victorian theme thanks to the Jefferson Foundation as part of the town’s Holiday Trail of Lights celebration. Now in its 33rd year, customers are given tours of historic homes around the town that have been lavishly decorated for the Christmas season with a help from a little candlelight. Natives and visitors can also enjoy the Jefferson Texas Rail of Lights Christmas Train, as well as the annual Christmas Parade whenever the Holiday season hits.
Nothing says Christmas in Marshall like the Wonderland of Lights Extravaganza. Now in its 28th year and running all the way up to New Year’s Eve, the celebration features thousands of white lights that transform downtown Marshall into a real-life winter wonderland. Among many other big events hitting the town, visitors to the annual event are treated to a Jingle Bell Run, Lighted Christmas Parade, a Walk to Bethlehem and even a Community Christmas Carol.
Home to Whistle Stop Christmas, Cleburne sure knows how to celebrate Christmas. The annual event takes over Hulen Park from late November to the end of December, and features more than three million festive Christmas lights. The huge festivities begin with the tree lighting parade and continue with food & arts/crafts booths, train whistle blowing, and Christmas entertainment.
The town also hosts Field Street’s Living Christmas Tree, a Christmas and baked goods craft fair and even a Candlewalk Tour of old homes in the local area.
What can’t you do in San Antonio? The city lights up for Christmas with numerous parades, including Light the Way, the Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Festival and the Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias. The city also has numerous traditions to observe when the festive season rolls around, and treats visitors to the Tamales! Holiday Festival, La Tamalada and Time Travel Saturday, La Gran Tamalada and the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, amongst many others.
College Station City also has plenty of things to do when Christmas comes. December plays host to numerous events like Chill Fest, Christmas in the Park, the annual Holiday Concert, and, of course, the Downtown Lighted Christmas Parade, as well as a whole host of others.
College Station is also home to Santa’s Wonderland, where visitors can enjoy a white Christmas, with a little thanks to snow machines, as well as enjoying classic Christmas movies on a huge outdoor movie screen.
There’s no doubting that the city of Grapevine really loves Christmas, as it has over 1,400 events taking place over 40 days from mid-November to early January. Some of the most notable events on offer include a visit to a man made Snowland and ICE! at Gaylord Texan, which features huge ice sculptures and ice slides, all created using close to 2,000,000 pounds of ice.
Grapevine also plays host to a very special train ride for children and features an outdoor big screen showing your favorite Christmas films at the Historic Palace Theatre.