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14 Best Things to do for Christmas in El Paso, Texas

El Paso may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of Christmas…

…but this Texan border town is actually a great place to spend the holidays!

Situated on the Rio Grande, El Paso enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year. 

Also Read: 24 Best Places to Spend Christmas in Texas

Christmas Tree at San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso, Texas
Christmas Tree at San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso, Texas

The weather is warm with average highs in the low 60s in December in El Paso.

Plus, there are plenty of fun festive things to do in the city at Christmas.

Best Things to do for Christmas in El Paso

El Paso may be best known for its sunny weather, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of Christmas cheer to be found here! 

Here are our favorite things to do for Christmas in El Paso, TX.

Also Read: 29 Best Things to do in El Paso, Texas

Enjoy the holiday lights at the San Jacinto Plaza

San Jacinto Plaza is the centerpiece of downtown El Paso and it really comes alive at Christmas time.

The plaza is decorated with hundreds of lights and there’s even a giant Christmas tree in the middle.

It’s the perfect place to take a stroll, do some shopping, or just enjoy the festive atmosphere.

San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso is the best place to see parades and Christmas tree
San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso is the best place to see parades and Christmas tree

Attend the annual tree lighting ceremony and the lights parade

Every year, El Paso kicks off the holiday season with a big tree lighting ceremony and the annual lights parade.

The event features live entertainment, food trucks, Christmas carols, and of course, Santa Claus!

The tree is located in the downtown plaza.

It’s a great opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy some fun festivities.

Also Read: 25 Best Things to do in West Texas

Shop for gifts at the Christmas Fair

If you’re looking for unique Christmas gifts, look no further than the Christmas Fair on the Plaza.

This annual event features more than 100 vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to local art.

You’re sure to find something special for everyone on your list.

The Last Minute Christmas Market hosted by the Upper valley Farmers Market is another great place to shop for gifts.

Luminarias can be seen all over El Paso Texas as part of Hispanic celebration of Christmas
Luminarias can be seen all over El Paso Texas as part of Hispanic celebration of Christmas

Be enchanted by the festive luminarias

One of El Paso’s most beloved traditions is the luminarias.

These are paper lanterns that are lit up and placed along sidewalks and driveways.

They create a beautiful, festive atmosphere and they’re lovely to look at.

If you’re in town during the holidays, be sure to take a stroll along Scenic drive at Rim Road to see them or take the Desert Blvd for stunning photos.

Attend Misa del Gallo on Christmas Eve

Misa del Gallo, or “Midnight Mass,” is a traditional Catholic service that is held on Christmas Eve.

It’s a beautiful and moving service that is conducted in Spanish at churches in the city including the First Baptist Church.

If you’re interested in attending, check with your hotel or the tourism office to find out where it will be held.

Attend the mass at historic churches in El Paso Texas
Attend the mass at historic churches in El Paso Texas

See Fred Loya’s El Paso Christmas Lights

A unique El Paso tradition!

Fred Loya’s El Paso Christmas Light is a beautiful display of lights that enchants all visitors.

This dazzling winter wonderland features millions of lights and holiday decorations.

Thousands of people come from all over to see the lights and enjoy the festive atmosphere. 

Go ice skating in downtown El Paso

Downtown El Paso is home to the the holiday event, WinterFest.

It features holiday-themed activities like cookie decorating, caroling, live music, and visits with Santa.

The main highlight here is the outdoor ice skating rink.

Christmas in Texas is fun for families
Christmas in Texas is fun for families

See the Lights on the Lake at Ascarate Park

This drive through holiday light display is truly a sight to behold.

The Lights on the Lake light show features more than two million lights and 100 animated displays.

It’s located at Ascarate Park and it’s open every night.

Bash the pinatas at a posada

Posadas are a traditional Mexican Christmas celebration that celebrates the Mexican heritage of El Paso.

The event features the breaking of pinatas along with other attractions such as live music and food.

It’s a fun and festive way to celebrate Christmas and it’s a great activity for all ages.

The traditional pinatas is a highlight of Christmas in El Paso Texas
The traditional pinatas is a highlight of Christmas in El Paso Texas

Try delicious tamales in the city

No visit to El Paso would be complete without trying some of the city’s famous tamales at Christmastime.

These delicious, traditional Mexican dishes are made with corn dough and typically filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables.

You can find them at many restaurants and cafes throughout the city.

Eat a traditional Rosca de Reyes

A Rosca de Reyes is a type of stuffed bread that is traditionally eaten on Epiphany, which is January 6th – similar to King Cake.

The bread is typically round and decorated with fruit. Inside the bread, there is a small figurine of baby Jesus.

You can get the bread at several El Paso bakeries at Christmas.

Stunning holiday lights at Carmelas Winter Wonderland in Texas
Stunning holiday lights in Texas

See the holiday lights in Eastridge Neighborhood

The Eastridge neighborhood is well known for its beautiful Christmas lights display.

It’s one of the largest residential light displays in the city plus is free!

Check out holiday shows in the city

El Paso has many holiday musicals, shows, and performances.

See ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ at the Plaza Theater or enjoy a live music show at El Paso County Coliseum.

Past performances have included Merry Achi Christmas musical performance and more.

North Franklin Mountain in El Paso
North Franklin Mountain in El Paso

Take a scenic drive around the Franklin Mountains

The Franklin Mountains are a beautiful mountain range located in El Paso, Texas.

The range offers hiking, camping, bird watching, picnicking, and more.

There are also several scenic drives that offer stunning views of the mountains and the surrounding desert landscape.

So if you’re looking for something a little more low-key this holiday season, take a drive through the Franklin Mountains!

El Paso, Texas skyline at night
El Paso, Texas skyline at night

Christmas in El Paso has a festive atmosphere with all of the lights and decorations.

From Ice skating downtown to taking in the beautiful luminarias, there are several special events for everyone in this Texan border town.

So come on down and celebrate Christmas in El Paso, Texas.

Also Read: 13 Best Things to do in Texas in winter

What are your favorite Christmas activities in El Paso, Texas? Let us know in the comments.