Skip to Content

15 Best Places to Enjoy Christmas in Texas

Spending Christmas in Texas and looking for trip ideas?

Visiting the Lone Star State during the Holiday season and want to know the best Christmas town in Texas?

From charming small towns that dress up for Christmas to spectacular holiday events in the big cities, there are a variety of options to enjoy Christmas in Texas!

Here are our favorite Christmas events, destinations, adventures, and more to be had in Texas during the holiday season.

Why spend Christmas in Texas?

Many visitors enjoy a trip to Texas during winter because the weather is warm and cosy.

Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Texas in winter

It rarely snows in Texas except for some parts of the panhandle and western Texas.

The Gulf Coast and Rio Grande Valley regions have lots of sunshine and are home to winter Texans. 

Central Texas and the Hill Country also have the perfect weather for sitting around a fire and roasting marshmallows.

But the best part about a trip to Texas in December?

Christmas light displays, shopping for gifts, Christmas markets, classic Christmas movies, and lots of events and festivities! 

There are many Christmas towns in Texas that you need to put on your holiday bucket list.

But it’s not just the small towns!

You can easily find Christmas cheer in the Lone Star State’s big cities: Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio all ring in the holidays with a lot of events. 

Christmas tree in front of the Texas state capitol building in Austin
Christmas tree in front of the Texas state capitol building in Austin

Amazing Christmas Towns in Texas to Visit Now

The small towns of Texas offer a variety of experiences and events during the holidays.

From traditional German Christmas to Cowboy Santa Claus, Christmas is especially magical in these towns!

You will find spectacular light displays, winter wonderlands, holiday trains, holiday shopping, traditional foods, and more in these charming Texan towns.  

Here are the best Christmas towns in Texas to visit this holiday season.


Grapevine is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas!

Located just half an hour north of Dallas, Grapevine is a must to visit with the kids for holidays.

There are many activities in Grapevine where you can create holiday memories with the family and your loved ones. 

The best light displays are obviously those at the Historic Downtown district.

See the trees decked up in hundreds of twinkling lights and watch the City Hall light show.

The Gaylord Texan Resort has amazing holiday activities including a giant Christmas tree, gingerbread house, Santa Claus, gift shop galore, and more.

You can also ride the North Pole Express of the Grapevine Vintage Railroad to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The sheer variety of celebrations during Christmas time make Grapevine one of the best Christmas towns in Texas. 

Also Read: Best day trips from Dallas

Christmas tree in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
Christmas tree in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


Located in the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is a charming, romantic town.

It was settled by German pioneers way back in 1846.

This Texas small town has beautiful architecture and lots of cultural attractions.

It is also popular for its amazing Christmas celebrations and is a must-visit during the holiday season. 

There are many amazing things to do in Fredericksburg at Christmas.

Visitors can take a stroll along the charming Hill country town and admire the holiday decor and Christmas lights.

You can marvel at the beautiful wooden German Christmas pyramid which is an icon of the area.

Attend the famous Light the Night Christmas parade, a festive holiday music and lights extravaganza on Main Street.

Overall, Fredericksburg is the perfect place to spend a festive holiday weekend with your loved ones. 

Winter light displays in Dallas
Winter light displays in Dallas

New Braunfels

While the small, charming town of New Braunfels is amazing to visit year-round, it is especially beautiful during Christmas.

New Braunfels has German heritage and celebrates Christmas in the traditional German way.

You can visit the Weihnachtsmarkt, the German-themed holiday market, and buy handmade gifts and artisan produce.

Other activities include holiday lights, parades, wine festivals, and more. 

One unique attraction here is Country Christmas Celebrations in the Gruene Historic District.

The charming downtown and its historic structures including Gruene Dance Hall twinkle with Christmas lights and Pony Express Rides are held in the town.

But the most popular event is a photo with Cowboy Kringle, a Texan Santa Claus wearing a hat and boots!

Kids especially love this and it adds significantly to the holiday cheer.


Palestine is home to our favorite Texan holiday tradition, the Polar Express!

Kids can get a golden ticket and hear the famous story on the train as it makes its way to the North Pole to see Santa and the elves.

Besides the holiday train, Palestine also has excellent shopping and dining and makes for a great holiday vacation in December.

You can also meet the Grinch at Texas Jail House in Palestine. 

San Antonio Christmas train ride at the Texas Transportation Museum
San Antonio Christmas train ride at the Texas Transportation Museum

South Padre Island

South Padre Island may be more famous as a Texas spring break destination, but this island resort city is also amazing to visit during the holidays.

It is the best Christmas Town in Texas for beach lovers.

You can have a beachy holiday on the island complete with building sandcastles and beachcombing for shells. 

South Padre Island also has sandcastle holiday exhibits including Santa, snowman, and more.

There are parades and events taking place throughout the city.

While the water temperature is too cool to enjoy a swim, the hotel rates are amazingly low to have a budget friendly warm weather holiday. 


A holiday time trip to Jefferson, Texas is amazing in its own way.

You can see the beautiful and one of its kind Candlelight Tour of Homes in this Texas town.

On the tour, you will see beautifully decorated grand historic homes in Jefferson.

Other activities include a Christmas Express holiday train ride through the forest, horse drawn carriage rides, boutique shopping for gifts, etc. 

San Antonio Riverwalk look stunning when decorated during the holiday season
San Antonio Riverwalk look stunning when decorated during the holiday season


Located in the Piney Woods region of East Texas, Marshall is our favorite Texas Christmas town.

Marshall is famous during the holiday season for its Wonderland of Lights Festival.

During the festival, downtown Marshall is transformed into an enchanting place full of lights, decorations, and the holiday spirit.

The Historic Marshall County Courthouse located in Whetstone Square looks especially beautiful when lit up at night.

Other Christmas activities in Marshall, Texas include ice skating, holiday train rides, Santa’s Village, a vintage carousel, and Christmas market.  

This East Texas town makes the perfect holiday destination for everyone.

Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall, Texas at Christmas
Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall, Texas at Christmas


Longview, Texas is a beautiful place to spend Christmas.

The temperature is usually cool, but not too cold, and the city is decorated with lights and festive decorations.

Located just outside of Longview, Texas, Carmela’s Magical Santa Land Drive-Thru Holiday Lights is a must-visit destination for families during the holiday season.

This highly popular event combines spectacular light displays with fun activities like photos with Santa, hot chocolate, and a holiday market.

In addition to the plentiful attractions on site, visitors can also enjoy an amazing synchronized light show as they drive through the park.


Wimberley is another Texas Hill Country town with splendid Christmas celebrations.

Located near H-Town, Wimberley makes an excellent winter day trip from Houston.

Wimberley Christmas events are focused around the EmilyAnn Theater and Gardens.

During the holiday season, the garden is transformed to a winter wonderland and the sparkling lights are everywhere.

The best part is that this is a free event and fun for everyone.

Johnson City

Johnson City, in the Texas hill country, celebrates Christmas in a rather presidential manner.

Here you will find traditional Christmas celebrations including a large Christmas tree, nativity scenes, carriage rides, and hayrides, Christmas parades, holiday lights, and Grinchmas!

Visitors to the city can also visit the historic LBJ Ranch, which was the childhood home of president LB Johnson, at night.

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative Headquarters also has a fascinating light display, making Johnson City one of the best Texas Christmas towns to visit.

Don’t forget to take a camera and take family photos if visiting the Johnson City Christmas lights.

Bright Yellow and Purple Guitars and Holiday Tree and Ornaments lit up with Lights at Mozart's Coffee at Lake Austin in Austin, Texas
Bright Yellow and Purple Guitars and Holiday Tree and Ornaments lit up with Lights at Mozart’s Coffee at Lake Austin in Austin, Texas


Want to visit the North Pole without leaving Texas? Visit the Holiday Village in Brownsville!

The event takes place in Dean Porter Park and has several Christmas inspired cottages.

There’s a Santa’s Workshop, a bakery that makes gingerbread cookies, a general store, and even the North Pole Bank!

The walk-through Holiday Village looks right out of the pages of a Christmas story book and is a hit with kids.

Brownsville is located on the Gulf Coast near the border with Mexico and can be easily combined with visit to Texas beach towns.

Penguins at Moody Gardens Iceland Pole to Pole
Penguins at Moody Gardens Iceland Pole to Pole

Best Cities to Enjoy Christmas in Texas

The best cities in Texas put on a holiday season that easily rivals that of New York and Chicago.

Visit Santa Claus, sing Christmas carol, walk through an enchanted forest and other themed light displays, listen to live music and enjoy the holiday magic in these Texan cities.

San Antonio

San Antonio is one of the best places to visit for Christmas in the world.

The pretty San Antonio Riverwalk is studded with a million Christmas lights.

The Riverwalk trees look pretty at night and the bridges have beautiful wreaths and Christmas decor.

You can listen to holiday songs being played in the Riverwalk restaurants and can enjoy a romantic meal by the water. 

Even the river cruise boats are decorated in holiday colors.

San Antonio has many other festive events taking place throughout the city including the Ford holiday River Parade and holiday events at the San Antonio theme parks.

Plus the weather here is always warm making it a great escape from northern snow states.

Stay in a hotel by the Riverwalk and enjoy the holiday ambiance of this amazing city. 

San Antonio has many other attractions such as the Alamo, museums, Mexican market, and more to keep visitors happy.

Also Read: 21 Festive Things to do for Christmas in San Antonio

Beautiful holiday lights on the San Antonio Riverwalk during Christmas
Beautiful holiday lights on the San Antonio Riverwalk during Christmas


Houston is a great place to visit during the holiday season.

There are many events taking place in the city throughout the holiday season.

From beautiful lights at the Houston Zoo to the amazing Christmas decorations in the neighborhoods such as Pecan Grove and River Oaks, the holiday season in Houston is just marvelous. 

Even the Space Center has its own amazing holiday lights event complete with an indoor laser show called the Galaxy Lights.

Put your skates on and enjoy the outdoor ice skating rink at Discovery Green. Take the kids on the Christmas Train at Alvin.

Attend the annual Christmas tree lighting at City Hall.

The options for Christmas events in Houston are endless!

Other things to do for the holidays in Houston include shopping for gifts at the Galleria, ice skating at Discovery Green, and enjoying the lazy river at Downtown Marriott at night. 

Read out ultimate guide to Christmas in Houston now.

Christmas tree amidst the skyscrapers of downtown Houston
Christmas tree amidst the skyscrapers of downtown Houston

College Station

College Station, located north of Houston, makes a perfect day trip from the city.

Christmas in College Station is a hit with families in Texas for one reason: Santa’s Wonderland!

This seasonal amusement park truly feels like the North Pole with its holiday atmosphere and cheerful vibe.

Kids can take hayride tours to see Santa Claus.

The beautiful Gingerbread house has many intricate details and is beautiful to see.

Other things to do at the holiday light fest include live nativity scenes, a holiday train ride, mailing letters to Santa, and horse carriage rides. 

If you want to keep the kids happy, then be sure to celebrate Christmas at Santa’s Winter Wonderland in College Station!


Austin may not be famous as a holiday destination, but the Texas capital has a lot of Christmas events taking place throughout the season.

The most famous is the Holiday Trail of Lights at Zilker Park.

The Circuit of the Americas hosts the Peppermint Parkway, while the Wildflower Center has luminaries.

Christmas shopping markets are present throughout the city and holiday shows are held in the theaters. 

Seeing the Christmas tree in front of the Texas State Capitol is also a memorable experience.

Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park from above
Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park from above


Galveston is our favorite place to spend the holidays.

The entire island takes on the holiday spirit and is stunningly magical throughout the year.

Downtown Galveston looks beautiful in wreaths and holiday decor while Strand Street is transformed to Victorian England.

Kids love the Polar Express ride at the Galveston Railroad Museum.

Moody Gardens Christmas celebration has Iceland, a festival of ice sculptures, and a Festival of Lights events.

Both of these are awesome and enjoyable holiday attractions in Galveston Bay.

Moody Gardens Iceland Polar adventure
Moody Gardens Iceland Polar adventure


The Dallas metropolitan area has a host of Christmas attractions for families and couples.

From the holiday lights at the Dallas Arboretum to the celebrations at Six Flags Over Texas theme park in Arlington, there is something to do for every age group in the city.

The theatres put on amazing Christmas productions and orchestras and pop up holiday bars are held in the city.

You will find skating rinks, chocolate tasting tours, and more in Dallas in the holiday season. 

Christmas lights at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
Christmas lights at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Fort Bend

Looking to spend a historical Christmas in Texas?

Visit the George Ranch Historical Park in Fort Bend!

We hope you enjoyed our post on Best Places to visit in Texas for Christmas.

You can enjoy Christmas traditions from the 19th century at this living history site.

Activities include hayrides, Christmas crafts for kids, and songs and story sessions around the campfire.

Christmas tree at Sundance Square Plaza in Downtown Fort Worth Texas
Christmas tree at Sundance Square Plaza in Downtown Fort Worth Texas

Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie, located near Dallas, is a great place to spend Christmas in Texas.

See Prairie Lights, a premier drive through light display or enjoy shopping at the Holiday Gift Market.

Nearby Arlington is home to Texas Christkindl Market, the largest outdoor Christmas market in the Southwest.

Did we miss any fantastic holiday destinations to get in the Christmas spirit in the Lone Star State? Let us know in the comments.