Galveston’s Ice Land: Christmas Around the World exhibit allows visitors to view ice sculptures in the likeness of international monuments. Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB.

International Peace Market/Mercado de Paz

San Antonio: Nov. 29-Dec. 1 

Celebrating the tradition of open-air markets, the Mercado de Paz brings people together as a community, not as consumers. Local and visiting artisans and merchants offer handcrafted gifts with themes of peace and justice; diversity; and cultural and environmental preservation. More than 90 vendors offer everything from traditional indigenous wear and folk art to ancestral remedies and natural body products.

Holiday Village

Brownsville: Nov. 25-Jan. 1 

A collection of 34 life-size cottages are on display, each providing a glimpse of a holiday scene that may be historic, cultural, or whimsical in nature. Some examples include Santa’s workshop, holiday in space, a frosty treats ice cream shop, and the elf scouts’ bunkhouse. While this event may be viewed during the day, it is best viewed at night when each cottage are lit inside and out. Santa is available to visit with children on weekends until Christmas.

Christmas Belles

Clute: Nov. 29-Dec. 8 

A Southern farce about squabbling sisters, family secrets, a surly Santa, a vengeful sheep, and a reluctant Elvis impersonator.

Old West Christmas Light Fest

Boerne: Nov. 28-Dec. 25 

Featuring a rustic Texas “Old West” town filled with holiday lights, the light fest brings the holidays to life with family fun. Visit Santa, listen to live music, and enjoy beer, wine, or hot chocolate in the saloon. Stroll through town and play holiday games while making memories and enjoying tasty treats around the campfire. Be sure to visit Santa’s Holly Jolly Herd, with Santa’s Longhorns ready to pull his sleigh across Texas. 

Parrot Talk and Tortoise Tales

Corpus Christi: Dec. 1 

Visitors can interact with several stars of the center’s exotic parrot collection; learn about large and small tortoises and turtles; and chat with animal-care specialists and trainers at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.

Ice Land: Christmas Around the World

Galveston: Nov. 16-Jan. 12 

Chinese ice-carvers created this exhibit carved from 2 million pounds of ice. Visitors walk through depictions of colorful, iconic places from around the world.

Christmas Wine Affair

Fredericksburg: Dec. 1-15 

Tickets include a Tasting Passport to receive complimentary tastings and wine discounts at dozens of participating Texas Hill Country wineries on this self-guided tour.

Christmas in the Big Thicket

Silsbee: Dec. 1 

Spanning three blocks, this event features craft and food booths, live performances, pups on parade, a children’s area, make-and-take-it at the Ice House Museum, Santa Claus photos, wiener-dog races, and a 1-mile run. The event culminates in the annual lighted parade sponsored by the Silsbee Volunteer Fire Department. 

Vitruvian Lights

Addison: Nov. 29-Jan. 1 

Vitruvian Park transforms into a magical holiday wonderland. Enjoy gourmet food trucks, sweet treats, free photos with Santa, classic holiday characters, elf balloon artists, and performances by Jordan Kahn Orchestra, Phat Strad, and Sonny’s Holliday.

The Grand Ol’ Christmas Show

Fort Worth: Dec. 1 

This one-of-a-kind variety show brings all-time favorite Christmas classics and original sketch comedy antics to theaters across Texas. Produced by Will Hearn, it features musician Robert Ellis, Americana standout Blue Water Highway, and a cast of the best entertainers in the state.

Holidazzle Wine Tasting

Grapevine: Dec. 1 

Messina Hof Grapevine’s fifth annual HoliDazzle experience invites guests to savor the winery’s award-winning wines in Riedel’s handcrafted crystal Veritas red and white wine-tasting sets. The wine will be paired with chocolates.

Home for the Holidays—A McKinney Christmas

McKinney: Nov. 29-Dec. 1 

For the 38th year, this hometown Christmas celebration takes place in the 14-block area of McKinney’s 165-year-old historic downtown. Partake in family activities and entertainment, including a community tree-lighting ceremony Friday evening followed by a street concert.

Trans Pecos Big Buck Tournament

Van Horn: Nov. 29-Dec. 16

The annual desert mule deer hunting tournament kicks off Nov. 29.

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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