When it comes to celebrating Christmas, like most things in Texas, the Lone Star State does it bigger and better.
Whether one prefers the big city lights of Austin, complete with a Christmas tree in the heart of the Capitol or the small-town feeling of Marshall, with carriage rides and ice skating, Texas has something for everyone this Christmas season.
Two Texas towns even topped Country Living’s national list of “Best Christmas Towns That You Need to Visit This Holiday Season.”
Coming in at number 8, Big Spring, often called the “Lighted Poinsettia Capital of Texas,” not only made the list but broke the top 10 with a particular appreciation for the West Texas flair the town brings to the Christmas season.
Not surprising to Texans familiar with the area, Fredericksburg also made Country’s Living’s nationwide list, coming in at number 50.
The town’s Christmas themed wine tastings, downtown shopping, and lighted displays are just a few of the many holiday festivities to be enjoyed while taking in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.
The Central Texas town is also renowned for the many ways it mixes Texas tradition with its German heritage, even adorning the Marktplatz with a Christmas tree, lights, and a 26-foot-tall German Christmas pyramid made of wood.
For those in the East Texas city of Palestine, families with little ones looking for something to do this holiday season can enjoy real-life attractions based on classic Christmas movies.
Fans of The Polar Express can take a ride on the iconic Christmas train complete with hot chocolate.
Naturally, pajama-wearing is also encouraged on the locomotive bound for the North Pole.
Similarly, fans of Dr. Seuss can venture to the Historic Anderson County Jail, which is transformed into the Grinch’s lair during the Christmas season.
With wine tastings, farmer’s markets, and local craft shows, however, there’s also plenty for adults and kids alike to enjoy in Palestine during the holidays.
For those who prefer big city lights and the wide variety of festivities offered during the holidays, from the lights of Sundance Square in Fort Worth stretching down to Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas’ big cities do not disappoint.
Austinites can enjoy thousands of Christmas lights and other holiday displays adorned throughout Zilker Park or take a stroll through the grounds of the Capitol, which harbor festive decorations this time of year.
Those in San Antonio can stroll the River Walk surrounded by lights hanging from the trees before taking a Christmas themed gondola ride complete with a real-life Santa.
However, there is perhaps no other city in Texas that better encapsulates the holiday spirit than Grapevine, the official “Christmas Capital of Texas,” as designated by the Texas Senate in 2009.
With Main Street adorned with Christmas lights in a fashion that would make even Clark Griswold proud, the North Texas city boasts more holiday attractions than any other city in Texas, holding 1,400 Christmas events in 40 days.
Other Christmas festivities also include ice skating, a North Pole Express train, and ICE!, an event featuring 2,000 pounds of carved ice sculptures at the Gaylord Texan.
Patrons at the Gaylord can also view millions of twinkling lights, visit a life-size gingerbread house, and take pictures in front of a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree.
So, no matter one’s preference, big city or small town, there’s a little something for everyone in the Lone Star State this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas, y’all!
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.