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Christmas in Texas: 7 Festive Places to Celebrate

The Lone Star State may not typically be a winter wonderland during the holiday months, but all over Texas, towns go above and beyond to celebrate the season. From East Texas to Central Texas and everywhere in between, you are sure to find a Texas town where you can celebrate a festive Christmas in Texas.

You can visit these amazing Texas Christmas towns year-round, but there is definitely something special that comes with the twinkling lights and holiday spirit that comes around Christmas time.

Each town has its own unique way of celebrating the holidays, allowing you to visit multiple towns throughout the Christmas season.

Here are the best places to celebrate Christmas in Texas, plus what unique things to do once you get there!

limestone building in the texas hill country decorated for christmas in texas

Jefferson

Jefferson Texas is the most precious East Texas town that boasts the most unique charm all year round, but is especially lovely when it transforms into one of the best Christmas towns in Texas each December! Visiting Jefferson during the holidays will make memories that will last a lifetime.

Jefferson has multiple events throughout the holiday season that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Every year, there is a Christmas parade that strolls through the downtown main street and is full of floats of all shapes and sizes. Right after the parade is typically the annual tree lighting ceremony to light the tree downtown.

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Jefferson also has an enchanted forest that you walk through to enjoy the lights as well as visit Santa and grab a cup of hot cocoa.

Lastly, the shop Made in the Shade typically has movie nights where they offer hot cocoa and show holiday movies.

Christmas tree in a rustic cabin in Texas with a cowboy hat on top

Austin

If you visit Austin throughout the year, you know there is always something fun and exciting happening in the capital of Texas. One season in particular that Austin seems to come alive for is Christmas and the holiday season.

There are multiple Christmas light displays that are located all over Austin including Zilker Park’s Trail of Lights as well as Circuit of the Americas. You can grab some hot cocoa, load up your family, and visit thousands of Christmas lights that are sure to get you in the Holiday spirit.

Another neat attraction in Austin during the holidays is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife center that is a botanical wonderland covered in lights and accompanied by holiday music. Mozarts Coffee Roasters has a really neat event every year where you can grab some coffee and watch the perfectly choreographed light show that plays holiday music.  

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You can also purchase tickets to see the Nutcracker while you are visiting Austin which is sure to be a memory that you can never forget. There are also multiple theaters such as Alamo Drafthouse that begin showing the best holiday classics around Christmastime.

After you have adventured all over town, participating in multiple Christmas events you can grab some special Christmas souvenirs at the many holiday markets that happen every year. One such market is the German-Texas Christmas Market that happens every year and is full of handmade gifts and Christmas decor for all to enjoy.

Austin is a bustling city that always has plenty going on, but it seems to really come alive during the holiday season. No matter the reason you are visiting Austin, you are sure to make memories that last a lifetime.

display of giant guitars made of christmas lights in austin, one of the best places to spend a texas christmas

Marshall

Marshall is an East Texas town that is a must-visit during the holiday season. During the holidays, the downtown transitions into a Christmas spectacle that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit, making Marshall one of the best Christmas towns in Texas.

Every year Marshall has the Wonderland Festival of Lights which is full of activities for all. From ice skating to train rides and everything in between, Christmas activities in Marshall run from November-December every year. Horse-drawn carriages are pulled down the streets of downtown taking you past buildings adorned with Christmas lights of all shapes and colors.

Another important part of the Wonderland Festival of Lights is the Wassail Walk and Christmas Market that visitors come from all over to be a part of.

Marshall may be a smaller town on the list, but that doesn’t take away from it being one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in Texas.

County courthouse in Marshall, one of the best Christmas towns in Texas, lit up with holiday lights

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is a destination for so many throughout the year due to its German heritage, a plethora of wineries, and great antiquing–and when better to enjoy a German-style town than when looking for an amazing place in Texas for Christmas celebrations? This precious town turns into a Christmas wonderland and is a must-see during the holiday season.

Kids of all ages can watch Santa fly into town on a small airplane at the Gillespie County Airport. You can grab your friends and attend the Fredericksburg Trade days holiday market or soak in the holiday spirit at the many wineries around town.

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Fredericksburg’s centrally-located Marktplaz boasts a giant German Christmas Pyramid and tree that are big draws to all. While you are downtown, make sure to stroll around the many shops to pick up some Christmas goodies during your trip, preferably with a glass of mulled wine in hand!

Make sure to also grab a seat for the Light the Night Christmas Parade that rolls through Main Street every single year with more than 100 floats and bands to watch.

German style Christmas pyramid in Fredericksburg Texas on a sunny days, one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in Texas

San Antonio

San Antonio is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas year-round, but it pulls out all the stops for the holiday season, starting with the 100,000 Christmas lights that line the already-beautiful Riverwalk!

You can load your whole family up into your car and visit Don Strange Christmas on the Ranch. During your visit, you and your family will drive through over 4 million lights and see multiple interactive displays. You can even get some hot cocoa for the kids as well as pictures with Mr. & Mrs. Claus.

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For many, tamales are part of their annual holiday meal and you can get some of the best tamales in the state in San Antonio. During the holidays, there are multiple places that sell tamales as well as a tamale cooking competition.

Another super unique San Antonio Christmas tradition is the Ford Holiday River Parade. During this parade over 29 decorated floats go down the Riverwalk for all to enjoy. Many restaurants located on the Riverwalk will have special dinners specifically for you to eat and enjoy the parade. There are also multiple seating areas along the Riverwalk that you can buy admission for.

Christmas in San Antonio at the Riverwalk with lights hanging from the trees at night

Grapevine

Grapevine has been labeled as the Christmas Capital of Texas, and for good reason.

This adorable town goes all out for Christmas and you can start attending events around November every year. Grapevine is full of fun for the whole family and visiting during Christmas will be a one of a kind trip for everyone.

Grapevine has Christmas fun for the whole family and you can make fun crafts to document all of your Christmas adventures by purchasing a Christmas passport. Your family will visit different shops around downtown and create one of a kind projects that can be taken home for all to enjoy.

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Grapevine’s Historic Railroad even has a Polar Express ride for families to enjoy during the holiday season. You can round the night out by catching a Christmas movie classic at the historic Palace Theater in downtown Grapevine.

Grapevine has endless activities for the whole family, but one must-see while visiting Grapevine is the Gaylord Texan. The Gaylord Texan Lone Star Christmas has so much to do you’ll need to book plenty of time away. You can participate in a multitude of Christmas activities from ice skating, snow tubing, as well as shows for the whole family to enjoy.

Grapevine has the perfect Christmas activities for a girls weekend away too including a Christmas Wine Trail for all to enjoy. After you sip on some delicious wine from one of the many wineries in Grapevine, you can head downtown to do some Christmas shopping.

storefront in a small texas christmas town at night lit up with lights

Wimberley

Wimberley, Texas is a small town in the Texas Hill Country that is always bursting at the seams with fun things to do and see. If you are looking for a fun destination to visit to celebrate Christmas in Texas, look no further than Wimberley.

Every holiday season people come from miles around to watch the annual Christmas tree lighting as well as the Wimberley Trail of Lights. The Wimberley Trail of Lights is a yearly event at Emily Ann Gardens that allows visitors to walk through over 6 acres of lights and truly soak in the Christmas spirit.

During your time in Wimberley, you can book a spot at the Blair House Inn where you can relax, unwind, and even celebrate Christmas with their yearly Christmas feast. Wimberley is a great town to visit all year-round, and while the town’s famous swimming holes may be closed in December, Christmastime in Wimberley is a unique experience.

4 photos of christmas in texas: lights in a small town, decorated house, german christmas pyramid, downtown lights. black and red text on a white background reads "7 prettiest texas towns for christmas"

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