Best Christmas Towns in Texas

Looking for somewhere in Texas to visit during the Holidays? Want to know which Texas towns celebrate Christmas the best? From epic Christmas Light displays to festive holiday markets and events, these are The Best Christmas Towns in Texas to visit during the Holiday Season:

Texas Christmas Towns to Visit During the Holidays

OVERVIEW:

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Best Christmas Towns in North Texas

Grapevine, Texas

What better place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than the Christmas Capital of Texas? Grapevine, Texas is home to a whole host of cheery Christmas events—between November and January, enjoy a whopping 1,000+ events just for the holiday season, including:

Dallas, Texas

You might be surprised to know that one of the best places to spend Christmas in Texas is in Dallas! Here are the best places to enjoy the Holidays:

  • Zoo Lights at the Dallas Zoo: Enjoy over one million magical Christmas lights, including lit up animal sculptures and fun interactive exhibits—like scavenger hunts, making ornaments, and sitting on Santa’s lap.
  • Dallas Arboretum: See the 25-foot-tall elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of the 12 Days of Christmas,  enjoy over one million Christmas lights, visit the Christmas Village, see Santa Claus, and more!

Grand Prairie, Texas

Don’t want to shiver in the chilly weather that strikes Grand Prairie this time of year? You’re in luck, as one of the main highlights in this Texas Christmas town is the drive-thru Prairie Lights display (photo below from the Prairie Lights Facebook page). 

Christmas Towns in Texas - Grand Prairie

Afterward, be sure to stop by the Christmas Village. You can take a picture with Santa, enjoy an indoor laser show, and even walk through a magical animated Christmas forest.

Fort Worth, Texas

Stay socially distant and safe at the outdoor Panther Island ice skating rink or enjoy some world-class holiday shopping at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas this holiday season.

Gift of Lights Best Christmas lights in Texas

 Looking for a light show? Then head to the Texas Motor Speedway, which is transformed every Christmas with over 2 million holiday lights (photo above from website).

Waco, Texas

I couldn’t leave Waco off this list of best Christmas towns in Texas, and for good reason. Waco has a whole host of holiday events, including Waco Wonderland, which is mostly being celebrated online this year. 

Another popular spot to visit in Waco is Magnolia’s Christmas at the Silos (photo above from their Facebook page), where you can meet Santa and do some ice-skating on the lawn. And don’t miss the drive-thru nativity scene put on by Columbus Avenue Baptist Church!

Need a place to Stay? Check out this List of Best Waco Airbnbs

Best Christmas Towns in Central Texas

Johnson City, Texas

Johnson City is called “The Twinkliest Town in Texas” during the holiday season! The Lights Spectacular is an annual event that’s been going on for over 30 years and boasts over 1.3 million lights!

 

Austin, Texas

Austin is filled with fantastic spots to check out incredible holiday light displays. One of my favorites (and one of the most famous!) is the Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park, complete with over two million lights and 40 beautiful holiday displays. 

Best Christmas Towns in Texas - Austin

More things to do in Austin, Texas during the Holiday Season:

Need a Place to Stay? Check out the Coolest Airbnbs in Austin, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

The highlight of Christmas in San Antonio? Walking along the picturesque river walk, all lit up for the holiday season. You might even see Santa on one of the gondolas that float by! Make sure to check out the Holiday Light Fest for a parade along the river, complete with live music and charming Christmas decorations.

And if you’re in San Antonio, you’ve got to head over to The Alamo and see it all lit up for Christmas too!

San Antonio Alamo at Christmas Time

Need a place to Stay? Check out this List of Best San Antonio Airbnbs

Fredericksburg, Texas

This German town is especially charming during the Christmas season and hosts an incredible Christmas market every year. And 2020 will be no different, with Fredericksburg’s tourism board dedicated to keeping the holiday magic alive even in difficult times with the following activities and events:

Photo from Visit Fredericksburg TX Facebook page, credit Trish Rawls.

Georgetown, Texas

When it comes to places to spend Christmas in Texas, you can’t miss Georgetown. Enjoy a special breakfast with Santa at the Georgetown Community Center. 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of this special event (note: this year, there will be no breakfast but a meet-and-greet instead). Or, do some holiday shopping at the downtown Georgetown Historic Square while enjoying the Christmas lights. 

Georgetown Texas Christmas Lights

Best Christmas Towns in West Texas

El Paso, Texas

El Paso is one of the best Christmas towns in West Texas for those who have some serious holiday shopping to do. Check out their massive Christmas market, which has been running for over 40 years and features over 200 merchants. Holiday goers should also attend WinterFest, which normally runs from November till January (NOTE: this year, it is mostly virtual). 

Best Christmas Towns in Texas - El Paso Winterfest

Or, drive down Scenic Drive in El Paso to soak in the gorgeous Luminarias -traditional Mexican Christmas lanterns made with brown sacks – adorning churches, buildings, and homes.

Amarillo, Texas

If you’re looking for Texas Christmas towns that’ll get your heart rate up, Amarillo may be the choice for you. They host a variety of themed winter races where you can work off some of the holiday cookies, enjoy hot chocolate along the sidelines, and sing some Christmas carols. The Amarillo Botanical Gardens is also known for their holiday celebration called Christmas in the Gardens.

 

Or, head to the Bishop Hills neighborhood to see the spectacular Christmas decorations that neighbors have been decking out their homes in for over 50 years.

Best Christmas Towns in East Texas

Palestine, Texas

This is one of the best Christmas towns in Texas if you’ve got kids—just check out the Texas State Railroad’s Polar Express ride in Palestine, TX. This magical journey will take your family to the North Pole to meet Santa and the elves. Enjoy hot chocolate and Christmas cookies during the train ride. 

Another unique pitstop in Palestine, TX? You won’t want to miss the Grinch’s Lair in Anderson Country Jail.

Marshall, Texas

The town of Marshall lights up at the holidays — literally! The Wonderland of Lights Festival has over 1 million Christmas lights. You can enjoy an outdoor skating rink, horse-drawn carriage rides, and of course, visit Santa in his village!

2020 note from their website: “there will be no ice skating, carousel, train rides, or traditional Santa’s Village this year as a COVID-19 precaution” this year.

Jefferson, Texas

Calling all history buffs! Jefferson, Texas is the spot to be to soak up some historical architecture while getting in the Christmas spirit. You can tour some of Jefferson’s oldest homes, dating back to the 1800’s. They’re all decked out for the holiday season, and the tour is given by magical candlelight.

Tyler, Texas

If you’ve been to Tyler, Texas in spring, you’ve probably walked through the stunning Azalea District. You won’t want to miss this neighborhood come Christmas time either, as the homes there transform into a winter wonderland complete with lights and decorations. You can even vote for your favorite house online. 

Here are some other festive events in Tyler, Texas (photo above from the Visit Tyler, Texas Facebook page):

  • Mistletoe & Magic: The Junior League of Tyler’s local Christmas market  ( it’s virtual this year)
  • Santa Land 
  • 2020 Rotary Clubs of Tyler “Drive-Thru” Christmas Parade
  • Lights in the Rose Garden

Best Christmas Towns in South Texas/Gulf Coast

Houston, Texas

There are tons of Holiday festivities in Houston, Texas! Get some holiday shopping done at the Galleria while also enjoying the festive light displays and some ice skating (photo below from last year on their Facebook). Make sure to get a picture with Santa while you’re there! 

Christmas Towns in Texas - Houston

Enjoy the perennial Society of the Performing Arts performance of the Christmas classic “Christmas Carol,” taking place online this year, streamed live each night. And of course, if Houston is on your list of Texas Christmas towns to visit, you’ll need to stop by the incredible light display at the Houston Zoo Lights

Zoo lights - Christmas in Houston

Above photo: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Need a place to Stay? Check out this list of Best Houston Airbnbs

Galveston, Texas

Another favorite Christmas town on the Texas coast? Galveston! Experience the magic of Christmas at the famous Moody Gardens. While this destination is worth visiting year-round, it’s especially magical around the holidays when it’s decked out for the Festival of Lights. You can also see some incredible ice sculptures and ice skate outdoors at this Christmas destination.

Galveston Texas Christmas Light Displays

Photo courtesy of Moody Gardens

Which of these Texas Christmas towns have you been to? Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram!

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xx Chels

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