Photo by J. Griffis Smith

It doesn’t cost much to enjoy a weekend in Texas. If you’re on the hunt for free fun, head to these events across the state—including holiday craft fairs and Christmas extravaganzas.

More Events

Find more exciting things to do using the Texas Highways Events Calendar database.

Ford Holiday River Parade

San Antonio: Nov. 24

Witness one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions all lit up for the holiday season. Barges decorated in the theme of “Christmas at the Movies” float down the River Walk in an hourlong ceremony that’s sure to awe and delight. Arrive early to see Christmas music being performed and the lighting ceremony. While tickets for the event are available for purchase, there is a free viewing area that is first come, first served, so get there early to snag a spot.

Dickens on Main

Boerne: Nov. 24-25

The town of Boerne holds a two-day Christmas spectacular with five individual villages full of activities and merriment. Some of the things available for your enjoyment include a 60-foot ice slide, a petting zoo, carriage rides, arts and crafts for kids, Santa and reindeer photo ops, an ice-sculpting battle, and live music in the evenings. While admission is free, some vendors do charge for services.

A Square Affair

Fairfield: Nov. 25

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce is hosting a series of vendors in the downtown square on Small Business Saturday. Be sure to buy local for all your gift-giving needs—or if you’re a craftsperson or artist, you can set up for shop for free, too.  

Christmas in the Park

Sulphur Springs: Nov. 25, Dec. 2

Visit each of the historical buildings at Heritage Park for a holiday-related activity or treat. The blacksmith shop hosts demonstrations, the general store features handmade Christmas decorations for sale, the one-room log house hands out snacks, and the chapel is filled with Christmas music. Other spectacles include lights, strolling carolers, Santa, and a live nativity scene. While the admission is a nominal $3, kids 7 and younger get in for free.

Renegade Craft Fair

Austin: Nov. 25-26

Dozens of independent, local artists and craftspeople line Fair Market for this twice-yearly event. Find everything from art prints to clothing to candles for the hip people in your life. There will also be a DJ, tarot readings, braid bar, and food trucks like Texas Chili Queens and Steel City Pops to keep you nourished while you shop.

Rio Brazos Star Party

Granbury: Nov. 25

Gaze into the twinkling night sky as the Rio Brazos chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists hosts this free star party. There will be a guest speaker at twilight under the pavilion adjacent to the parking area. A short walk will lead you to the farm house where telescopes will be setup for your viewing pleasure. Bring a blanket or chairs to sit and enjoy the evening.

Trail of Lights

Wimberley: Nov. 25-Dec. 28

This weekend kicks off Wimberely’s season-long Trail of Lights. On Saturday night, see Santa arrive is style on a fire truck along with Anna and Elsa from the Disney hit Frozen. Stroll the walking path that features more than 100 lighted exhibits, roast a marshmallow at the Yule Log, and enjoy festive refreshments and live entertainment. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Photos with Santa

Sugar Land: Nov. 26

Gather up the kiddos and get in line for free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Make sure he has your wish list by dropping off your letter in his mailbox. With a $5 donation, you’ll get a return letter. And because it’s the giving season, be sure to bring new and unwrapped toys for the Fort Bend Rainbow Room’s Christmas Project, which helps meet needs for abused and neglected children. 

From the December 2017 issue

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