14 Best Things To Do At Christmas In Texas, USA

things to do at christmas in texas
| 6 min read

The second-biggest state in the USA, Texas is graced by scenic cities, beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, hiking and trekking spots, deserts, and numerous vacation hotspots. With Christmas celebrations just around the corner, Texas is brimming with endless opportunities for festive fun and adventure. From the spectacular Festival of Lights, exciting hayride tours, and marvelous zoo lights, to the gigantic, German Christmas pyramid, this beautiful city has everything to make your Christmas memorable. Whether you are a solo traveler, couple, or family with kids, Texas features worthy attractions and exciting activities for all. But before you book a fancy hotel in Texas, take the time to learn more about the best Christmas spots and activities that will make your vacation more interesting and fun. Read this list of the best things to do at Christmas in Texas, USA.

1. Take a stroll along the Holiday Lights on the River Walk, San Antonio

Go Rio Riverboat at the Aztec Theatre
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

Looking for things to do in Texas during Christmas? Nothing brings the community together during the holiday season more than a lovely stroll surrounded by bright, colorful lights. When in San Antonio, don’t forget to check out the Holiday Lights on the River Walk.

Over 100,000 lights are on display, lining the river walk and its cypress trees. Best of all, this Christmas event in Texas is free! If you’re looking for budget-friendly things to do this holiday season, this activity should definitely be on your list.

Holiday Lights on the River Walk

Address: 849 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Website: Holiday Lights on the River Walk

Takes place: November to January

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2. Celebrate the oldest Texan town at Nacogdoches Nine Flags Christmas Festival, Nacogdoches

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The Gutter Guys

Posted by Nacogdoches Nine Flags Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 11, 2016

Looking for a memorable Christmas experience in Texas? Then check out the Christmas festival in Nacogdoches. Considered as the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches meets its fair share of celebrations, especially during the holidays. When visiting the city this holiday season, make sure that you catch the Nacogdoches Nine Flags Christmas Festival. This festival holds a fun, lighted parade and a fireworks display. Keep an eye out for updates so you can witness one of the most loved events in this city!

Nacogdoches Nine Flags Christmas Festival

Website: Nacogdoches Nine Flags Christmas Festival

Takes place: December

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3. Take photos with Santa at Wonderland of Lights, Marshall

Posted by Wonderland of Lights on Thursday, 18 January 2018

Spending your time at the splendid Wonderland of Lights, one of the most spectacular lighting events in the USA, is one of the best Christmas activities in Texas that you can do. Behold the stunning, illuminated site of Old Harrison County Courthouse. Explore the fascinating Winter Wonderland in the charming downtown area. Make sure you visit Santa’s Village, a fabulous Christmas tradition, with your kids while you’re here. The village is composed of three small houses, with each house hosting a different activity. Watch your kids create and play with a wooden toy train, decorate a wonderful Christmas cookie, and take photos with Santa.

Wonderland of Lights in Marshall

Address: 211 N Washington Ave, Marshall, TX 75670, United States

Website: Wonderland of Lights

Takes place: November to December

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4. Marvel at the spectacular Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, Galveston

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Enjoy exploring a sprawling, mile-long (1.6-kilometer) trail, which is illuminated by more than a million lights, by visiting Moody Gardens Festival of Lights in Galveston, Texas. Treat yourself to a stunning view of the festive Galveston Bay. Do not miss the fun of ice skating, and let your kids enjoy gliding down the Arctic Slide. Go for an exciting train ride, which runs through a section of illuminated trail at the Festival of Lights. Gaze at scenic sights and listen to the festive music.

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, Galveston

Address: 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, United States

Website: Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

Takes place: November to January

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5. Ride the tracks with Santa at North Pole Express, Grapevine

...on the North Pole Express in #GrapevineTX! Additional tickets on sale today at noon. Merry Christmas! https://tickets.grapevineticketline.com/event/north-pole-express-2018 #GVChristmas

Posted by North Pole Express on Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ride the North Pole Express and travel through the elegantly adorned Grapevine Vintage Railroad during your holiday in Texas. Board the train and feel excited when Santa’s elves greet you with a cup of Santa’s special Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk. As you take your seat, relish a delicious Christmas cookie that is served to you. Upon arriving at Reindeer Ridge, Mrs. Clause gifts every child a silver bell called ‘We Believe’. This fascinating train takes you to the North Pole, where you can explore the amazing North Pole Forest and reach Santa’s Workshop. Watch an outstanding performance by the elves, along with Santa and Mrs. Clause, in the workshop.

North Pole Express, Grapevine

Address: 705 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051, USA

Website: North Pole Express

Takes place: November to December

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6. Enjoy a dazzling hayride tour at Santa's Wonderland, College Station

WEEKEND HAYRIDE DELAYS: (TONIGHT) Saturday, November 17th and Sunday, November 18th are our annual Fun Run nights...

Posted by Santa's Wonderland- A Texas Christmas Experience on Saturday, 17 November 2018

Do not miss the splendid experience of a glitzy hayride at Santa’s Wonderland in College Station when celebrating Christmas in Texas. Listen to the melodious holiday music and gaze at the dazzling surroundings as you enjoy a hayride with elevated seating. Also, have fun by trying out the toboggan chutes and train rides inside the premises.

Santa's Wonderland, College Station

Address: 18898 Hwy 6, College Station, TX 77845, United States

Website: Santa’s Wonderland

Takes place: November to December

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7. Attend an entertaining concert at Fort Worth Stockyards

Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user chrisc39 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are a music lover, make sure you catch the fun concerts held at Fort Worth Stockyards this holiday season. You can kick off your visit with a meet-and-greet with Cowboy Santa and catch shows like A Twitty and Lynn Acoustic Christmas and performances from Scotty McCreery, Charley Crockett, and Dylan Wheeler throughout the season.

Fort Worth Stockyards

Address: 409 East Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76164-8210

Website: Fort Worth Stockyards

Takes place: November to December

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8. Stroll under sparkling lights at San Antonio Zoo

things to do at christmas in texas | stroll under sparkling lights at san antonio zoo
Source: instagram

Visit San Antonio Zoo with your family and kids and watch it turn into a cool, wild wonderland. Marvel at eye-catching views of numerous sparkling lights. View life-sized animals found in the Savanna, including an illuminated giraffe that stands 15-ft (4.57-m) tall at Starry Safari, which is definitely worth visiting. Walk leisurely under the stunning display of colorful lights, enjoy sipping some delicious hot cocoa, meet Santa, and have fun decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus. Also, don’t miss watching the Lakeside Light Show.

Zoo Lights at San Antonio Zoo

Address: 3903 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212, United States

Website: San Antonio Zoo

Takes place: November to January

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9. Jog and jive at Austin Trail of Lights

Your experience at the Austin Trail of Lights is always our top priority. As we continue to prep for this year, we want...

Posted by Austin Trail of Lights on Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Experience the largest holiday tradition in Austin by visiting Austin Trail of Lights this Christmas. Based in the heart of Zilker Park, this iconic Christmas attraction is sure to charm you. Put on your best holiday outfit and make your way merrily through the magnificent illuminated trail. As you complete the trail, enjoy the holiday spirit by going to the Finish Line Festival.

Austin Trail of Lights

Address: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704

Website: Austin Trail of Lights

Takes place: November to December

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10. Revel in the festive spirit at Grand Prairie Holiday Tree Lighting

Posted by Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation on Friday, 18 November 2016

The Christmas Tree Lighting in Grand Prairie is one of the most sought-after Christmas events in Texas. Watch the beautiful Christmas tree light up in front of City Hall on this eventful evening. Listen to the melodious tunes of caroling and holiday music played by the school choirs. Have fun exploring various booths and food stalls available here, and please your taste buds with delicious treats.

Grand Prairie Holiday Tree Lighting

Address: Lynn Creek Park, 5610 Lake Ridge Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75052

Website: Grand Prairie Holiday Tree Lighting

Takes place: November to December

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11. Cheer up at Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade

Be delighted to watch the pleasant Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade as you tour through New Braunfels, Texas, this December. It focuses on embracing the festive spirit of the holiday season, supporting local businesses, encouraging families to get together, and creating pleasant new memories. Admire the outstanding local talent displayed during the parade. A visit from Santa Claus is expected during this event.

Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade at New Braunfels

Address: Downtown New Braunfels, Texas

Website: Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade

Takes place: December

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12. Admire the phenomenal German Christmas Pyramid at Fredericksburg

You simply can’t miss seeing the magnificent German Christmas Pyramid at Fredericksburg when you spend your Christmas holidays in Texas. This 8-m (26.24-ft) tall Christmas Pyramid looks like a magnificent carousel. Attend the short lighting ceremony of this pyramid on the 29th of November and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

German Christmas Pyramid at Fredericksburg

Address: 100 block of W. Main St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA

Website: German Christmas Pyramid at Fredericksburg

Takes place: November to January

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13. Browse the many shops at the Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington

The last “snowflake” has fallen… This year’s Texas Christkindl Market is now closed. We hope you have a great holiday!

Posted by Texas Christkindl Market on Thursday, December 23, 2021

Arlington is the sister city of Bad Königshofen in Germany, and to commemorate that relationship, the Texas Christkindle Market was born in 2011. The primary aim of this market is to bring the same magic and feeling of Christmas markets in Europe to people in Texas.

In this market, you can enjoy scrumptious German dishes, as well as unique holiday-themed souvenirs and collectibles from various shops and stores. And if you’re a member of the exclusive Kinder Club, you will have access to even more exciting activities. This family-friendly market in Arlington is open to the public from November 25 to December 23, 2022.

Texas Christkindl Market

Address: North Plaza at Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX

Website: Texas Christkindl Market

Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)

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14. Indulge in the artsy and festive scene of the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin

Posted by Armadillo Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, December 19, 2021

Get lost in the world of art and live music when you visit the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar this holiday season. From December 17 to 23, 2022, you can purchase a ticket to enjoy the many shops that feature one-of-a-kind products created by local award-winning artists. There are also several live music events for music enthusiasts, and if you’re in the mood to socialize, you can hang out in the full bar in a festive atmosphere.

Admission is priced at 12 USD for a day pass, but if you’d like to access the whole season, you’ll have to pay 47 USD. Children aged 12 and under are always free.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Address: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Website: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Opening hours: 11am - 8:30pm (daily)

Price: 12 USD (one-day pass); 47 USD (season pass)

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Enjoy a memorable Christmas in Texas

Trail of Lights Austin
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user That Other Paper used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With tons of fun Christmas activities in Texas, your holiday is going to be one for the books! Spending your Christmas here is sure to please you and help you start the new year feeling refreshed. So make no delay in planning your December vacation here, and be sure to enjoy all these best things to do in Texas during Christmas.

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Frequently asked questions about the best things to do at Christmas in Texas, USA

  • What are the best places to go for Christmas in Texas, USA?

    Texas always goes big for the holiday season, and that’s why you can find many amazing festive places here. The River Walk in San Antonio is a lovely place to visit with all its holiday lights on. Other places you might want to visit include The Wonderland of Lights in Marshall and Santa’s Wonderland in College Station.

  • What are the best Christmas markets to visit in Texas, USA?

    A Christmas vacation in Texas isn’t complete if you don’t visit a Christmas market. Luckily, you have many options. Some of the ones you should check out include the Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington and the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Manjiri Kochrekar is a travel blogger from India. She loves exploring and learning various destinations, their history, culture, and peculiarities. Writing is her passion, which means she enjoys...Read more

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