Courtesy of Travel Texas
‘Tis the season for holiday celebrations, big and small, Texas has it all. Whether you prefer quiet evenings fireside or nights on the town, it’s a great time to visit the Lone Star State. If you choose to hang your stockings in Texas this holiday season, don’t miss these Texas-style festivities!
Texas Holiday Parades
Kick off the holidays with parades across the state. Dubbed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade of Texas, the HEB Holiday Parade in Houston features hot air balloons, marching bands, cheerleaders and costumed characters.
Too busy cranking out that turkey? Join over 150,000 spectators the day after Thanksgiving for the Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony along the River Walk in San Antonio. Enjoy the Christmas music concert, the lighting of the River Walk and wave at Santa as his sleigh floats by.
Texas-sized Holiday Light Displays
For those looking for bright lights, small towns and big cities alike, host multiple holiday light spectaculars that almost outshine Texas’ big and bright stars. Most hail the name “trail of lights,” including the annual Austin Trail of Lights. Grab family and friends to sit by a traditional Yule Log, ride the Ferris Wheel, write a letter to Santa and more!
Just a few hours south in Houston, stroll through the Houston Zoo Lights for magical lights and musical entertainment from carolers and local musical groups. While most zoo creatures will be fast asleep, you can visit animals in the Reptile House, Kipp Aquarium, Bug House or Carruth National Encounters.
Outside of Houston, take a hay ride through the trail of lights at the biggest Christmas attraction in the state, Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, TX. Get the full experience with a visit with Santa in Santa’s Town, a nostalgic Texas Christmas Village. Capture the experience for your Instagram under the “God Bless Texas” light arch, next to the giant Texas flag light display or in the “Giant Texas Sized Snow Globe.”
If you’d rather stay within the warm comforts of your car, you can experience it all from the passenger seat while driving through the Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas or the San Antonio Christmas Lights Fest.
One-Of-A-Kind Texas Celebrations
The Lone Star State is also home to some unique celebrations. No stranger to beautiful displays, the Dallas Arboretum fills twelve Victorian gazebos with costumed characters, whimsical animals and winter scenes to bring The 12 Days of Christmas to life!
The Trains at NorthPark also call the Big D home. Experience all the trimmings of holiday train travel in more than 4,000 square feet of train themed environments. Nearby in Grapevine, adults can hop aboard the Christmas Wine Train and embrace the holiday spirit with festive treats and of course, wine! For a Western cowboy holiday, visit Christmas in the Stockyards in Fort Worth, TX. The one-day event takes place on December 2 and has western heritage activities for the entire family.
Texas Holiday on the Beach
Feeling more like a holiday beach bum than cowboy? Spend the holidays on the beaches of Galveston, Texas and be amazed by incredible ice sculptures at A Caribbean Christmas at Moody Gardens. The resort brings in a team of master ice carvers to sculpt two million pounds of ice into an undersea journey of tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles dolphins and more!