15 Spectacular Christmas Festivals!

By Linsey Thut | December 1, 2016

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas in Texas. Across the state, lights are twinkling in the trees, wreaths deck the front doors of every home and storefront, and you can find a Christmas tree on just about every corner. If you’re having trouble getting in the Christmas spirit, no problem! We’ve gathered 15 of the holliest and jolliest festivals and lights shows happening across the state, so you can experience as much Christmas Cheer this holiday season as possible!

Georgetown Christmas Stroll – Dec. 2-3

http://www.toddwhite.org

Picture by Todd White.

Head to the Georgetown Square to walk through a Winter Wonderland! During the free 36th Annual Christmas Stroll, the Square transforms into a magical place complete with a Who-Village where the Grinch waits to greet you and a Bethlehem Village where you can explore the town where Christ was born. On Saturday, there will be a Christmas Parade and Santa will be stopping by this weekend to hear all your Christmas wishes!

Main Street Bethlehem – Dec. 2-4, 9-11

Picture by John Hallowell.

Picture by John Hallowell.

The First Baptist Church of Burnet has recreated the holy night that Jesus was born at Main Street Bethlehem. More than just a live nativity scene, you will find yourself transported back to the streets of ancient Bethlehem as you find your way through crowds of peddlers and animals on the outskirts of town, and peruse through the bustling marketplace in the heart of the village. You’ll search for the inn, only to find it’s already full. Finally, you’ll find solace with Mary and Joseph in a cave surrounded by animals as Christ is born in a manger. The event is from 6-9 p.m. each night and admission is free, but donations are accepted.

Austin Trail of Lights – Dec. 10-23

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Picture by Dear Wesleyann Photography

Make your Holiday Season extra bright by walking through the 2 million lights strung across the 300+ acres of Zilker Park. Along a trail of 1.25 miles, you’ll find lights galore, gourmet food vendors, live performances and more! You can stop by Candy Cane Lane and the North Pole to say “hello” to Santa and take some epic selfies with the giant Zilker Tree! Find ticket information here.

Concho Christmas Celebration – Dec. 2-31

Picture by Don Treadwell Photography.

Picture by Don Treadwell Photography.

Along the banks of the Concho River in San Angelo you’ll find a 2.5 mile Tour of Lights with giant Christmas cards and Holiday scenes galore! The twinkling lights along the trail depict The Twelve Days of Christmas, a nativity scene, poinsettias and more at the Concho Christmas Celebration! Admission is free, but a donation of $5 per car is suggested.

Christmas in the Gardens – Nightly until Dec. 23

amarillobotanical

Picture by the Amarillo Botanical Gardens.

In Amarillo  during the Christmas season, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens become a 4-acre dazzling display of twinkling lights and beautiful flowers and foliage as over 200,000 lights are strung across the garden. Stop by Christmas in the Gardens to watch the plant life glow. Admission is free, and donations are accepted. Each night, the festivities last from 6-8 p.m.

Rail of Lights – Thurs. – Sun. until Dec. 24

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Forget the Polar Express, this railroad in Jefferson is all you’ll be needing this Christmas! Hop aboard the 1964 Christmas Train steam engine where you’ll ride past a life-size nativity scene, the German Markets, a Teddy Bear tree, Jerusalem and so much more! Find more information and purchase your tickets here.

EmilyAnn Trail of Lights – Nightly until Dec. 29

Picture by Scot Brinkley

Picture by Scot Brinkley

Visit Wimberley for all the Christmas fun you could possibly imagine at the EmilyAnn Trail of Lights! Not only can you walk through 8-acres of lights and explore a musical garden, but you can visit Santa, hop on the Jingle Bell Express and even meet a few Disney Princesses! At the event, there will also be raffle prizes and all kinds of sweets and snacks. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

Gift of Lights – Nightly until Dec. 30

Picture by Roderick Cordova Photography.
Picture by Roderick Cordova Photography.

Race on over to the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for lots of lights and tons of fun – and it benefits FIVE local charities! The Gift of Lights trail will lead you through archways of light and Christmas figurines, and you may even find yourself on the inner track of the largest Speedway in Texas! And while you’re there, stop by Santa’s Village to share a cup of hot cocoa with the big man in red, himself, and even see a few retired race cars! You can save $5 on tickets if you bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Find more information here.

Wonderland of Lights – Wed.-Sat. until Dec. 31

Picture by the Marshall News Messenger.

Picture by the Marshall News Messenger.

Visit Marshall, TX, where the heart of downtown is decked out from top to bottom in Christmas cheer and dazzling decorations at the Wonderland of Lights. Glide on the outdoor skating rink, decorate cookies, take photos with Santa in his workshop, and hop on the carousel, horse-drawn carriages or Wonderland Express for a truly festive view of the glowing Square.

Santa’s Wonderland – Daily until Jan. 1

Picture by Santaland.

Picture by Santa’s Wonderland

In College Station, you can wander through an entire village of Christmas fun and Holiday festivities! Take a carriage ride through archways of dazzling light, cozy up by a crackling fire, climb to the top of West Pole Mountain Adventure to slide down the Texas-sized slide or visit with Santa. To make the whole experience even more magical, it snows every night at Santa’s Wonderland. 

Prairie Lights – Nightly until Jan. 1

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Take an enchanted journey through 4 million lights in Grand Prairie at the Prairie Lights. You’ll enjoy driving through archways of dancing lights and seeing fun Christmas scenes from the comfort of your warm car. Halfway through, you can stop by the Holiday Village for hot chocolate, fun with Santa, a Magical Forest and more!

SantaLand – Nightly until Jan. 4

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When Santa’s not at the North Pole prepping for Christmas, he likes to spend time in Tyler, and he’d love for YOU to visit him! This 24-acre park is filled with Christmas Cheer from giant dancing trees and marshmallow monsters to tractor trailer rides and Christmas Tree Lane. And until Dec. 24, you can visit old Kris Kringle at Santa’s Igloo! Click here for ticket information.

Magic of Christmas Light Show – Daily until Jan. 8

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Pictures by the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau.

If you’re looking for the Christmas Spirit, look no further than Grapevine, the “Christmas Capital of Texas.” Each night, as you’re exploring Main Street, which is decked out in Holiday lights and decorations, be sure to catch the Magic of Christmas Light Show that plays continuously from 6-11 p.m. This town is as packed with seasonal festivities as Santa’s bag is filled with toys on Christmas Eve. Check out our Holiday fun in Grapevine here.

Magical Winter Lights – Daily until Jan. 8

Picture by Magical Winter Lights.

Picture by Magical Winter Lights.

Modeled after Chinese Lantern Festivals that date back to about 2,000 years ago, this festival in La Marque is sure to be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. The park is divided into different sections, but no matter where you start, you’re sure to be amazed. Walk through giant Dinosaurs, furnished castles, Christmas trees and even landmarks of the world — all formed out of multicolored, glowing lanterns. At the festival, you’ll also find an epic carnival and cultural performances.

Holiday Lights on the River Walk – Nightly until Jan. 16

Picture by J. Michael Short and the Paseo del Rio Association.

Picture by J. Michael Short and the Paseo del Rio Association.

Visit the San Antonio River Walk during the Holidays to see the river dressed up for Christmas. Not only are hundreds of lights strung along the historic architecture of the river walk, but as you wander up and down the water, you’ll find all sorts of Christmas festivities, from Holiday Boat Caroling to traditional Mexican Christmas luminary lanterns strung along the water. Click here for coupons that you can use along the River Walk provided by Rio Magazine. Find the complete schedule of activities here.

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