If you are looking for fun places to celebrate Christmas in Texas, then you are in the right place! We were born and raised in Texas and still call it home today, so we have visited numerous Christmas celebrations in the Lone Star State!
Granted, you probably won’t have a white Christmas in Texas (although we have a few times), but Texans make up for the lack of snow by decorating bigger than Texas!
All over the state you will find small towns and big cities are dolled up with millions of twinkling lights, garland, and most any kind of holiday decor you can think of.
Of course, the holiday lights and decorations aren’t the other change during the holiday season.
Nope, these Texas towns also go all out with their holiday events to celebrate Christmas.
Many towns kick off the holiday season with a night Christmas parade and Christmas tree lighting ceremony to put everyone in the holiday spirit.
After that the fun generally continues with holiday events planned through the New Year in many cases.
It doesn’t matter if you are going on a Texas road trip, or just a weekend getaway, these towns are perfect for getting you in the holiday spirit, and are all great places to spend Christmas.
So start making your list and packing your bags as you set out on an awesome Texas Christmas adventure!
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Why Spend Christmas in Texas
If you choose to spend Christmas in Texas, then you are in for a definite treat.
Of course, the first and foremost reason is the Texas weather. Temperature in Texas are generally mild during the holiday season.
Granted, it often snows in the Panhandle and some of Western Texas, but overall, the rest of Texas is warm and cozy. This makes it the perfect escape when compared to the colder regions in the northern U.S.A.
Both North Texas and the Central Texas region, including the Texas Hill Country, generally have brisk evenings and mild days.
This makes it perfect for enjoying a nice fire at night at watching classic Christmas movies and fun outside activities during the day.
But the weather is only one reason to spend Christmas in Texas. The main reason is that Texas is awesome!
Texas is fabulous anytime of year. There are so many diverse places to visit in Texas that it really does have something for everyone.
When you combine that with all of the magical winter lights, holiday decorations, Christmas events, festive holiday music, and southern hospitality, you know you are in for a fabulous holiday season!
Texas Christmas Towns
Known as the ‘Christmas Capital of Texas,’ Grapevine, Texas offers visitors so many fun and unique way to celebrate Christmas.
The 40 days of holiday events kicks off with the annual Carol of Lights in Historic Downtown Grapevine.
This annual event in the Christmas Capital of Texas includes live performances, seasonal food vendors, and fun craft events for the whole family followed by the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
The evening is capped off with fireworks to help put everyone in the holiday spirit.
One of the most popular attractions during the holiday season in Grapevine is the North Pole Express which takes place on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.
The Christmas spirit comes to life as families are invited to hop onboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad to set out on a holiday adventure to Santa’s Workshop. Along the way, Mrs. Claus treats everyone to cookies and milk and shares a special holiday story.
Other festivities include the Gaylord Texan Christmas celebration, Snowland at the Great Wolf Lodge, an ice skating rink, holiday themed movies, and more.
Please visit the Grapevine Texas website for the most up to date information on operating hours, calendar of events, and ticket prices.
Once you see all that the Christmas Capital of Texas has to offer you will definitely want to add Grapevine to your list towns to celebrate Christmas in Texas.
Pro Tip: If you want to participate in the North Pole Express, be sure to purchase your tickets well in advance as this annual event always sells out.
Like most big cities in Texas, Dallas is loaded with fun events to help spread the holiday cheer.
A unique holiday light display occurs annually at the Dallas Arboretum, drawing visitors from all over the Lone Star State.
The display, the 12 Days of Christmas, dazzles visitors with gorgeous Victorian-inspired animated Christmas gazebo.
In addition to the 12 Days of Christmas, the Arboretum also has a Christmas Village which houses Santa Claus, and an authentic German Christmas Pyramid.
This Texas Christmas town also host numerous holiday themed performances like the annual performance of The Nutcracker.
Enjoy cocktails at one of the many Christmas themed pop-up bars, or take a fun chocolate tour during your time in Dallas. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Of course, one of the biggest holiday events in Dallas is the annual Christmas parade, the Dallas Holiday Parade. Tickets go on sale early, so don’t miss out on this one!
Of course, the suburban areas around Dallas are also bustling with holiday festivities. One of the most popular Christmas light displays is Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie.
Prairie Lights is a drive-thru light display that also includes carnival rides, a walk-thru forest, photos with Santa Claus, and more.
Pro Tip: The Christmas events at the Arboretum are known to sell out, so be sure to get your tickets in advance! This event makes for a great date night in Dallas!
3. San Antonio
For the ultimate Christmas in Texas celebration, head to San Antonio to enjoy the many festivities that they have planned during the holiday season.
The San Antonio Riverwalk sparkles and shines thanks to the thousands of Christmas lights that are strung amongst the trees and on the bridges.
One of the most popular events (and my personal favorite) is the Ford Holiday River Parade. This annual lighted Christmas parade features over 20 illuminated floats highlighting the Christmas spirit.
Crowd favorites always include Santa Claus and the infamous Mr. Grinch!
During your time in San Antonio, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas as well.
The holiday decor at Fiesta Texas combined with the rides and live music will definitely help to spread the holiday cheer.
Another of the Christmas traditions in San Antonio dates back hundred of years. The Fiesta de las Luminarias lines the San Antonio Riverwalk with thousands of Mexican Chinese lanterns. These lanterns were said to guide the holy family on their way.
Today, the Fiesta de las Luminarias is just one of the many great ways that San Antonio honors the holiday season.
Of course, these are just a few of the celebrations. There are some amazing San Antonio Christmas lights throughout the town, a festive Christmas market, and some awesome holiday performances and holiday pop up bars that you can check out!
Honestly, San Antonio is one of the Christmas towns in Texas that we find ourselves visiting again and again.
Pro Tip: While there are several places to watch the River Parade for free, for the best seats, consider purchased a reserved seat along the Riverwalk. You can find more information here.
4. Johnson City
The Texas Hill Country town of Johnson City is a fabulous place to celebrate Christmas in Texas.
Plan your visit during the last weekend of November to participate in the opening ceremonies of the Johnson City Christmas Lights.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, the Blanco County Courthouse twinkles and shines thanks to the 100,000+ holiday lights that adorn it.
These lights are only the start of the fabulous lights in this Christmas town. You will find white holiday lights throughout the town, including the town Christmas tree.
The Pedernales Electric Cooperative helps to create a winter wonderland with their 1.3 million LED holiday lights.
Johnson City also offers carriage rides, hay rides, and festive Christmas decor at the stores throughout town.
Fredericksburg is another of the Texas Hill Country towns to celebrate Christmas in Texas.
While the German heritage of Fredericksburg is always apparent, it shines especially bright during their Christmas celebrations.
Your Christmas vacation in Fredericksburg will have you Christmas shopping, enjoying the annual tree lighting ceremony, listening to some live music, and taking in all of the beautiful Christmas decorations!
The festive season also includes an outdoor ice skating rink. Yes, you read that correctly, there is an outdoor ice skating rink in Texas!
Fredericksburg is one of the best Christmas towns for people who like to experience Christmas events and Christmas decor with a German flair.
This is especially apparent when you see the 26-foot tall German Christmas Pyramid in the center of town.
Of course, a trip to Fredericksburg wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the best wineries in Fredericksburg and the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Distillery in nearby Hye, Texas.
Doing a holiday trail of wineries is one of the reasons Fredericksburg is one of the best Christmas towns in Texas!
A visit to Galveston during the holiday season rewards visitors with a fun and unique Victorian Christmas celebration, an awesome Festival of Lights, and, of course, a great Texas beach destination.
Time your Christmas in Texas visit to Galveston at the perfect time and you can participate in the annual Dickens on the Strand Christmas celebration.
This old-fashioned Victorian-themed celebration includes costumed entertainers, specialty food vendors, crafts, a parade, and so much more!
If you can’t make it for Dickens on the Strand, then don’t worry, because Galveston is one of the Christmas towns in Texas that truly has so much to offer.
Christmas lights can be found throughout town creating a winter wonderland by the ocean. There is just something magical about the way the Christmas lights and Christmas decor look against the backdrop of the waves.
Be sure to visit the Galveston Railroad Museum for their Polar Express train ride. Hop aboard the Polar Express as you sip hot cocoa and eat cookies served by singing chefs and become immersed in the Polar Express movie.
During your time in Galveston, be sure to check out all of the holiday festivities happening at Moody Gardens. Moody Gardens Christmas kicks off the holiday season with the lighting of their Christmas tree.
Other holiday attractions at the resort include the Festival of Lights, and ice skating rink, a Christmas market, and some incredible ice sculptures.
The holiday light display showcases numerous light displays, with million of twinkling lights. It’s the perfect place to sip hot cocoa and enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer!
Moody Gardens also offers holiday themed meals and holiday movies for the whole family to enjoy, now that is an awesome Texas Christmas destination!
Head to the East Texas town of Jefferson for a fun and unique holiday celebration, Christmas on the Bayou.
Jefferson kicks off the season with a holiday lights Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony, which is really an Enchanted Forest Tree Lighting Ceremony.
This is one of those light displays that you should definitely have on your list.
One of the top holiday attractions in this East Texas town is their annual Candlelight Tour of Homes.
The Candlelight Tour of Homes occurs the first two weekends in December and allows visitors to tour the gorgeous Victorian homes found throughout the town.
You can enjoy seeing the beautiful historic homes decked out in their holiday best and you stroll through the town sipping hot cocoa.
Jefferson is definitely one of the Christmas towns in Texas that you don’t want to miss.
8. College Station
Christmas in Texas would not be complete without a visit to Santa’s Wonderland, located in College Station, TX.
This holiday village is truly a Texas winter wonderland. Decked out in Christmas lights with holiday music playing, it is easy to see why families flock to Santa’s Wonderland.
Take time to explore the holiday village and see all that it has to offer.
There are opportunities to take a hay ride, shop the holiday gift market, take horse drawn carriage rides, drink hot cocoa and make s’mores, and so so much more.
One visit and you will see why College Station is one of the top Christmas towns in Texas!
Celebrating Christmas in Texas in Wimberly, Texas guarantees that you will have a delightful small town Christmas experience.
Located about an hour north of San Antonio, Wimberley is a charming artist community that is sure to steal your heart.
Start your getaway by visiting the Wimberley Holiday Trail of Lights held at the EmilyAnn Theatre.
The Wimberley Holiday Trail of Lights draws visitors all from all over Texas. Here you can enjoy a big Christmas tree surrounded by six acres of Christmas lights.
Stroll through the light displays, listen to some live music, and roast s’mores over a campfire during your visit to this fabulous annual event.
The best part is, this event is entirely free!
10. Marble Falls
Head about 1.5 hours north of San Antonio, and about 50 miles north of Austin, and you will find the charming lakeside community of Marble Falls, Texas.
A Texas Christmas in Marble Falls means 44 days of holiday events and celebrations. Now, that is a celebration as big as Texas for sure!
The annual Walkway of Lights if a fabulous holiday light fest that takes place on the banks of Lake Marble falls in the historic downtown area.
Featuring over 2 million lights, this free to visit event, will have you feeling you have been plopped into the set of a Hallmark movie.
To add to the holiday joy, Marble Falls has a winter ice skating rink set up in downtown Marble Falls.
There are also numerous holiday events scheduled, including watching live demonstrations of ice sculptures being created!
Honestly, there are so many fun things to do in Marble Falls that we visit all of the time. It is truly one of the best Texas small towns!
The lakeside community of Granbury, Texas is truly one of our favorite places to visit in Texas.
Big on things to do, and boasting with small town charm, Granbury truly has something for everyone, and that definitely holds true during the holidays.
Standing tall in the courthouse square, you will find the Granbury Christmas tree decorated to the nines and ready to welcome visitors.
The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony coincides with the Granbury Nights of Lights Parade where the whole town comes together to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Claus to town and kick off the holidays.
For a fun Texas Christmas, Granbury hosts numerous events throughout the season.
You can enjoy the candlelight tour of homes, shop at the fabulous boutique shops throughout town, visit the many wineries, distilleries, and breweries, or just take it easy at a lakeside bed and breakfast. The choice is yours.
A list of Texas Christmas towns wouldn’t be complete without including the fun and trendy town of Austin.
A great weekend getaway from Dallas, Austin boasts loads of fun and festive holiday events for you to choose from.
One of the biggest holiday events in Austin is always the Austin Trail of Lights.
Located in Zilker Park, this event boasts millions of lights, beautiful holiday trees, and awesome light displays.
Of course, there are also load of holiday bazaars and holiday markets available to ensure that you find that perfect unique Texas souvenir or Christmas gift.
You will also find numerous holiday performances and holiday themed pop-up bars around town!
One of my favorite Austin events is the Four Seasons Gingerbread Village.
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, this annual event features glorious gingerbread creations that will blow your mind!
13. Fort Worth
Last but not least on our list is my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.
There are always so many fun things to do in Fort Worth, so it doesn’t surprise me that they also go big when celebrating Christmas.
Choosing Fort Worth as your Texas Christmas destination ensures that you will have a great holiday celebration.
The city kicks off its holiday events with the Fort Worth Parade of Lights. This annual tradition takes place in Downtown Fort Worth and is a fun way to ring in the season.
Visitors love to see the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, and Christmas is a fabulous time to do just that.
Christmas in the Stockyards includes photos with a Cowboy Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, a holiday ice rink, strolling carolers, Cowboy poetry, and more. It’s truly a unique and fun way to spend the holidays.
Pay a visit to the trendy West 7th Street area to see the glorious Christmas decorations, and to do some bar hopping.
If you’re lucky, there will be a Christmas themed pop-up bar open during your visit!
The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens hosts the famous Lightscape exhibit during this time of year as well. Lightscape is an internationally acclaimed custom light trail that is incredible to experience.
While strolling through the lighted walking trail, guests are also invited to enjoy sipping hot holiday beverages and toasting marshmallows over a camp fire!
You will also find holiday performance taking place throughout the city. There is always a rendition of the classic ballet The Nutcracker taking place in addition to musical performance also.
Just north of downtown, you can drive through the Gift of Lights at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Gift of Lights is a drive-thru light display that showcased over 2 million lights. The highlight is always the drive thru lighted tunnel.
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.