Chritmas card front 1170x1755 Al Rendon

The Fiesta de las Luminarias in San Antonio lights the river. Photo courtesy San Antonio River Walk

South Texas Plains

 

Centennial Celebration

Weslaco: Dec. 6-10

Celebrate Weslaco’s 100th birthday with a parade on Dec. 7 and a downtown festival concluding with a fireworks show at the Weslaco Independent School District stadium on Dec. 10.

Fiesta de las Luminarias

San Antonio: Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22

Starting at dusk, stroll the banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 2,000 luminarias, a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern consisting of a candle inside a small bag.

 

Big Bend Country

 

Christmas and Chili Market

Monahans: Dec. 7

Enjoy breakfast, pictures with Santa, nativity displays, craft vendors, and hot chili.

 

Gulf Coast

 

Yoakum County Tamale Festival

Abercrombie: Dec. 5-7

Celebrate all things tamale. The festival includes a kickoff dinner, Christmas parade, tamale cookoff, tamale-eating contest, vendors, games, and visits from Santa and festival mascot Tomas the Tamale.

Christmas in the Park

Clute: Dec. 5-7

Expect to see a variety of beautiful Christmas trees, Santa Claus, a marshmallow roast, festive clowns, and other holiday treats at the 38th annual Christmas in the Park. 

Dickens on the Strand

Galveston: Dec. 6-8

This holiday street festival transforms downtown Galveston into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens. 

Seaside Holiday

Palacios: Dec. 7

Santa arrives on a shrimp boat for this event. There are also carolers, refreshments, and a complimentary book and goody bag for each child.

Lighted Boat Parade

South Padre Island: Dec. 7

Watch as boats of all sizes cruise by, decorated in their holiday finest. Designated viewing areas throughout the route offer free public viewing.

 

Hill Country

 

Downtown Holiday Stroll and Sing-Along

Austin: Dec. 7

Sing carols and watch the lighting of the Texas State Capitol Christmas Tree, then stroll down Congress Avenue and browse vendor booths and listen to live music.

Oma’s Christmas Craft Fair

Boerne: Dec. 7-8

For more than 35 years, vendors have sold their wares at this craft fair—everything from handcrafted clothing and homemade jellies to custom arts and crafts, ceramics, and woodwork. Concessions and photos with Santa are available.

Main Street Bethlehem

Burnet: Dec. 6-8

Feel the anticipation of Joseph and Mary approaching the gates and experiencing life in Bethlehem—from the myriad townspeople to animals like camels, donkeys, and sheep—before finding a place to rest after their journey.

Redbud Artisan Market

Dripping Springs: Dec. 7-8

More than 60 Texas artisans display their work at this show of fine arts and crafts. The indoor show features original art only. Meet the artists and enjoy live local music, great food, and local wines.

Santa Claus Crawl

Hutto: Dec. 7

The fourth annual Santa Claus Crawl features special holiday drink recipes served by downtown businesses. Purchase a commemorative mug, then sip while strolling downtown and shopping at the stores. At the end of the night, vote on your favorite beverage. An after-party includes a costume contest with prizes awarded for best costume.

A Frontier Christmas

Johnson City: Dec. 7

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, this event offers free bus rides to the Johnson Settlement, where guests can visit with chuckwagon cooks as they cook and recite cowboy Christmas stories and poetry over a campfire. Visit the dogtrot log cabin of Sam and Eliza Johnson, grandparents of President Johnson, where “pioneer” women in living history costumes serve cookies and cider. Local musician Bryan Anders is playing holiday songs and carols at the event center.

Christkindlmarkt

New Braunfels: Dec. 6-7

This open-air Christmas market, inspired by the Christmas markets of Germany, Austria, and other European countries, is complete with food, drink, craft beer, handcrafted glühwein (mulled wine), music, singing, dancing, vendors selling ornaments and handcrafted artisan gifts, family-friendly activities, and the Christkind—the traditional Christmas gift-giver.

Wool and Mohair Style Show

Ozona: Dec. 7

The Crockett County Museum hosts the annual Wool and Mohair Style Show. Lots of door prizes are given. Proceeds benefit the Crockett County Museum.

 

Piney Woods

 

Journey Through Bethlehem

Huntsville: Dec. 6-7

A multi-denominational presentation of Bethlehem as it was on the night Jesus was born. Centered on a live nativity, this family-friendly event draws thousands of visitors each year. Live animals and volunteers dressed in period clothing offer an experience that includes the food, customs, crafts, and trades of the time.

 

Prairies and Lakes

 

Holiday Wine Trail

Brenham: Dec. 7-15

In the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail’s holiday event, a trail ticket lets you enjoy two specially selected wine tastings, paired with a holiday food sample at each winery. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a commemorative keepsake at the sixth winery visited, while supplies last. Guests can start at the winery of their choice.

Black Nativity

Dallas: Dec. 5-22

For 16 years, Langston Hughes’ joyous story of the birth of Christ has transformed the Bishop Arts Theatre stage into a gathering place for artists and audiences of different ages, backgrounds, and beliefs. With an inspirational score, Black Nativity is an Oak Cliff tradition that shares the unforgettable story of the nativity through compelling gospel music and poetry.

Salado Christmas Stroll

Salado: Dec. 6-15

Bring the entire family to Salado’s largest event of the year. Enjoy festivities such as carriage rides, a live nativity, A Christmas Carol at the amphitheater, a visit with Santa, carolers, and food vendors. Many of the shops along Main Street are open for late-night shopping.

Sip ‘N Stroll

Seguin: Dec. 6

Walk through downtown and taste over a dozen varieties of homemade hot chocolate while enjoying some after-hours shopping at Seguin’s downtown businesses. Also on hand are live entertainment from the Seguin High School Star Steppers, horse-drawn wagon rides, photos with Santa, a wiggle-waggle train ride, and a variety of food vendors.

Christmas at the Silos

Waco: Dec. 6-7

A weekend of festivities includes a Christmas market of artisan vendors, Santa Claus, family activities, and your favorite Christmas tunes at the ticketed evening concert.

Cover photo: Cerro Castellan at Big Bend National Park by Wayne Suggs


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November 2019 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


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