magical winter lights in baytown tx

Best Places to Visit in Texas During Christmas Holidays

I’m so excited to share the very best places to visit in Texas during Christmas holidays! Like everything else, Christmas is bigger and better in Texas. Get ready to discover some of our eclectic holiday traditions with a Christmas road trip to Texas that your family will remember for years to come.

I’ve got lots of tips for enjoying Texas Christmas traditions and celebrating the season in 20 of the very best places to visit during the holiday season. Check out all my favorite spots to celebrate. Then, discover the best Christmas cabins in Texas and cozy Christmas resorts in Texas too.

Best places to visit in Texas during Christmas

Texas Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Texas is different. Holidays here are an eclectic mix of ethnic traditions that come together to create a beautiful celebration for everyone! You’ll find connections to Mexico in the tamales and luminaries. Plus, a nod to our Cajun influence in a Southeast Texas fried turkey.

We even decorate differently. You’ll love seeing the longhorns pull Santa’s sleigh instead of the traditional reindeer. Then, enjoy Cowboy-themed decorations like barbed wire wreaths and garlands made from cactus pads. 

Citrus from the Rio Grande Valley is found all over America and the world during the Christmas season. When you indulge in oranges at Christmas, you’re enjoying a bit of Christmas in Texas too! 

The Best Spots for Christmas in Houston

Keep reading to discover the best places to visit in the greater Houston area during the Christmas holidays.

Santa’s Wonderland

Visit Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, Texas to experience holiday thrills with your whole family in November and December. Santa’s Hayride attraction features more than 4 million lights and festive holiday music for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Christmas in Houston

If you’re looking to avoid waiting in lines, you can rent a horse-drawn carriage to take you through the light display instead. 

Then, visit Santa’s station to chat with the big guy about what you’d like for Christmas and snap photos with the kids. You’ll also get the chance to meet Mrs. Claus and chat with her about the reindeer and her famous cookies. 

Finally, don’t forget to visit Tinsel the resident elf, and discover whether you’re on the naughty or nice list this year. You’ll even get a keepsake certificate to prove which list you’re on just in time for Christmas. 

Dewberry Farm

Dewberry Farm in Brookshire, Texas is a great place to get your Christmas tree. You can support local farmers while enjoying a special holiday adventure as you search for the perfect tree to decorate your home. 

First, take a wagon ride to the tree forest to find the perfect tree. Then, enjoy eight holiday activities including a carousel, a Ferris wheel, train rides, and exciting blaster cannons!

Gullo House

This local gem is renowned for its stunning Christmas light displays and has become a cherished tradition for many families in the area.

The Gullo House transforms into a whimsical spectacle during the holiday season, with thousands of lights illuminating the property and creating a magical ambiance. Take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting displays, marvel at the meticulously decorated trees, and admire the intricate details that adorn the house.

The Gullo House is a true testament to the holiday spirit and is sure to leave you feeling inspired and full of Christmas joy. Make sure to bring your camera along to capture the enchantment and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Old Time Christmas Tree Farm

Choose and cut a fresh Christmas tree from the Old Time Christmas Tree Farm in Spring. Getting together with the family to choose your own living tree on the farm is a holiday experience that will quickly become a tradition. They even offer professional photographers to snap the perfect family photo for your holiday cards.

best places to visit in Texas during Christmas

Don’t forget to get a photo with santa, ride the train, grab a fresh cut evergreen wreath, and check out the petting zoo while you’re at the farm too. It’s a laidback Christmas tradition the whole family will appreciate this year. 

Ice skating at Discovery Green in Downtown Houston

In the northern states, ice skating is a popular holiday tradition. In Houston, you can enjoy ice skating in the middle of the city at Discovery Green. 

This seasonal ice rink is a budget-friendly option for families looking to make holiday memories in Texas this Christmas. That’s why it’s one of the best places to visit in Texas during Christmas.

Lights in the Heights

Drive or walk through the Woodland Heights neighborhood in Houston, Texas to experience a unique neighborhood light show that’s full of family fun!

lights in the heights

Everyone will have fun choosing their favorite houses decorated with lights and voting on the winner. Don’t forget to bring cookies and hot cooca as a special holiday treat in one of the best Christmas towns in Texas!

Houston Zoo Lights

Have you ever wondered how wild animals celebrate Christmas? Discover the secret at the Houston Zoo Lights event. Guests can stroll through the zoo exhibits enjoying a light show set to music. 

Houston Zoo also offers Sensory Friendly Nights with fewer crowds, quieter music, and limited flashing lights for guests of all ages and neurotypes to enjoy the show. There are even a few designated quiet areas to take a break when you need to regroup.

Dasher’s Light Show

Formerly known as Rudolph’s Light Show, Dasher’s Light Show is a Christmas tradition in the Humble, Texas. You can drive through this event including tunnels of lights that immerse your whole car in the Christmas spirit. The 30 minute ride features holiday characters and a mile long light show.

If you’re not interested in driving, you can opt to view Dasher’s park and watch show. This is a great option if you want to sit and watch the light show while enjoying some of the other attractions. There are inflatables, mazes, tasty treats, and souvenirs available to help you get in the Christmas spirit.

Prestonwood Christmas Lights Tour

Are you looking for budget-friendly ways to enjoy the holidays with your family in Texas this year? One of the best places to visit in Texas during Christmas is also one of the most affordable. Check out the Prestonwood Christmas Lights Tour to see the whole neighborhood lit up with Christmas spirit from the houses to the lampposts and mailboxes!

Festive Christmas Resorts in Texas

Is your family planning a Christmas vacation in Texas this year? If you’re looking for places to stay in Texas that are full of Christmas spirit, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the Christmas resorts in Texas listed below.

These spots are full of festive light displays, Santa Claus sightings, and live entertainment for the holidays. 

The Gaylord Texan (Grapevine)

In December, the entire Gaylord Texan Resort transforms into a magical land filled with holiday spirit! Your family will enjoy rotating Christmas trees with two million lights and a life-size gingerbread house to explore!

Christmas in Texas

Everyone will be filled with holiday cheer at this resort in Grapevine, Texas as they participate in the hotel’s scavenger hunt, holiday events like escape rooms, and a Christmas lights show.

There’s even a Christmas carousel, photo sessions with Santa, and real snow!

Can you imagine building your own snowman with real snow during a Christmas road trip in Texas? That might just be the best part of celebrating this festive season in Grapevine at the Christmas Capital of Texas.

Barton Creek Resort & Spa (Austin)

If you’re looking for the comfort of a traditional Christmas carol and classic Christmas movies as you get ready to celebrate the season, Barton Creek Resort & Spa might be the perfect place to enjoy the days of Christmas with your loved ones.

Their recent renovations have added a new pool complex, golf courses, and seven restaurants with signature cocktails for you to try. 

Barton Creek also features a holiday movie cinema, breakfast with Santa, and gingerbread workshops! Don’t miss the chance to visit the Hills Light Trail leading you to Santa’s Magical Toy Shop where you can play mini golf in the dark and make your own stuffed animals.

Moody Gardens Hotel (Galveston)

Moody Gardens hosts one the biggest Christmas experiences in the state from late November through early January. There’s a 4D Rudolph experience, an Arctic slide, a polar express-style train ride, a dancing tree of holiday lights, evening boat cruises, and more. 

Plus, don’t miss making smores as you enjoy the trail of lights at the Festival of Lights. Children will enjoy treats, activities, and Christmas carols on the trail. The Moody Gardens Hotel puts you in exactly the right spot to enjoy it all!

Lancaster Hotel (Houston)

The Lancaster Hotel in downtown Houston overlooks the lively Theater District. This beautiful boutique hotel features 1920’s era styles with contemporary art from local artists. In the lobby, you’ll find decorated trees and festive music to get you in the holiday spirit. 

The hotel’s restaurant offers a special Christmas Eve dinner special and complimentary breakfast. If you’re celebrating Christmas at The Lancaster Hotel, you’ll want to get the special holiday package too. It comes with a hot toddy kit, Christmas-flavored coffee pods, and a stocking filled with candy!

Best Christmas Cabins in Texas

If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s more cozy and removed from the usual holiday hustle and bustle, check out the best Christmas cabins in Texas. These private cabins are ideal for renting with your family to celebrate the season. 

Texas Hill Country Cabin

December is beautiful, but it’s also a time filled with tight schedules, crowded shopping ventures, and dozens of obligatory holiday parties. If you need to escape and find time to relax, try enjoying the season at Peyton and Shelly Boles’ Christmas Cabin in Texas hill country.

They begin decorating in early November to make the cabin extra cozy and festive. You’ll find vintage items, repurposed decor, and holiday items crafted from nature to fall in love with as you enjoy a merry Christmas. 

Mill Creek Ranch Cabins

Visit Canton, Texas for one of the best Christmas Cabin experiences in the state. If you’re looking for a cabin experience with all the amenities of a resort, Mill Creek Ranch Cabins would be just right for your family. 

Avoid cleaning and preparing your home for holiday guests. Instead, gather everyone to enjoy these cabins with a full kitchen for holiday meal prep, activities for the kids, and a relaxing spa to unwind in after your holiday shopping is complete.

More Places to Visit in Texas During Christmas

There are so many more beautiful places to visit in Texas during Christmas! I can’t wait to share our favorites with you.

Check out the list to discover the very best places to visit in Texas during Christmas holidays. 

Lighting of Rudolph in Lufkin

If you find yourself in the charming town of Lufkin during the Christmas season, be sure to witness the magical lighting of Rudolph.

Lufkin is home to a beloved holiday tradition that brings joy to the hearts of both locals and visitors alike. Each year, on a designated evening, the community gathers in anticipation as the iconic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer statue comes to life in a stunning display of lights.

As darkness falls, a hushed excitement fills the air, and then, with a flick of a switch, Rudolph illuminates the night with a warm, glowing radiance. The sight is truly enchanting, evoking feelings of nostalgia and childlike wonder.

Families, friends, and neighbors gather to celebrate this magical moment, and the atmosphere is filled with laughter, music, and the scent of hot cocoa.

The lighting of Rudolph in Lufkin is a heartwarming event that captures the true essence of Christmas, bringing the community together and spreading holiday cheer. It’s a must-see spectacle that will leave you with cherished memories and a warm glow in your heart.

Holiday Lights at the River Walk in San Antonio

Holiday lights at the River Walk in San Antonio are totally worth a Christmas road trip to Texas. This famous holiday light show is totally free and features a televised lighting ceremony to kickoff their dusk to dawn shows all season long. The lighted boat tour through this park is one of my favorites!

best places to visit in Texas during Christmas

Highland Park Christmas Light Tour in Dallas

It’s easy enough to find Christmas light displays you can drive through or walk through all over Texas. The Highland Park Christmas Light Tour is extra special because you get to rid through the lighted streets of this Dallas neighborhood in a horse-drawn carriage. Carriage rides are an hour long and it’s definitely a special way to get in the holiday spirit this December.

Grapevine (Christmas Capital of Texas)

Grapevine, Texas has definitely earned her title as the Christmas Capital of Texas! Gather your family and friends to create holiday memories you’ll cherish forever here. This Texas small town hosts 40 days of Christmas events including traditional light displays, unique animated characters, and giant decorations.

Christmas capital of Texas

The Christmas wine train is the perfect way to celebrate the season with your girlfriends and a Farmstead Christmas Celebration in Grapevine is a great way to make memories with the entire family. For a really special treat, don’t miss the holiday parade! 

The Christmas Tree in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square

In Fort Worth’s Sundance Square Plaza, you’ll be greeted with a larger than life holiday tree decorated for the season. The tree lighting ceremony happens at the close of the Fort Worth Parade of Lights when this 50-foot fir tree is illuminated with 10,000 LED bulbs! 

As you enjoy the tree, listen to live music on the nearby stage and keep an eye out for Santa Claus. He usually makes a stop to wish everyone in Fort Worth a Merry Christmas at the end of the night.

Galveston’s Dickens on the Strand

Each year in early December, the Galveston Historical Foundation hosts a phenomenal festival with Victorian costumes, parades, entertainment, and vendors. It’s a fun way to experience what Christmas would have been like in the Victorian period. 

Christmas in Galveston strand

Join in the fun with period costumes and live entertainment on multiple streets, including carolers, musicians, bagpipes, and juggling. It’s a special holiday event you won’t want to miss!

Fredericksburg’s German Christmas

Ok, so you’ve seen enough Christmas trees this December. What about a Christmas pyramid? Fredericksburg’s Christmas pyramid, handcrafted in Germany, was first displayed at Marktplatz in 2009. They light it up every year in November to kick off the holiday season in Fredericksburg, Texas.

While you’re in Fredericksburg, don’t forget to enjoy a traditional German Christmas market experience. It’s the perfect place to get unique gifts for family and friends this year. This little Texas town is one of the best places to visit in Texas during Christmas if you’re looking to experience a German heritage Christmas too.

Baytown’s Magical Winter Lights

If you’re seeking a mesmerizing and larger-than-life holiday experience, make your way to Baytown, Texas, and immerse yourself in the enchantment of Magical Winter Lights.

This spectacular event has gained popularity over the years for its dazzling displays and immersive atmosphere. As you enter the festival grounds, you’ll find yourself transported to a world of wonder, surrounded by vibrant colors and larger-than-life lantern sculptures. From magnificent dragons to whimsical fairytale characters, the intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail will leave you in awe.

magical winter lights in baytown tx

Explore various themed sections, such as the Land of Dinosaurs and the Mystery of the East, and witness the magical light displays that bring these creations to life. Don’t miss the nightly live performances, cultural showcases, and delicious international cuisine available at the festival.

Magical Winter Lights in Baytown is an unforgettable experience that will ignite your holiday spirit and create cherished memories for years to come.

Lights Spectacular in the Hill Country

You should definitely add “The Twinkiliest Town in Texas” to your Christmas road trip to Texas this year! The Lights Spectacular Festival in Johnson City is one of a kind! 

What’s so special about this Christmas display? With over two million lights, NASA has even reported seeing this Christmas light show from outer space!

Corpus Christi’s Harbor Lights Festival

In Corpus Christi, Texas, you can celebrate the holidays with a unique Christmas parade. Check out the Harbor Lights Festival featuring an illuminated boat parade! 

Waco’s Magnolia Market at the Silos

Enjoy a Magnolia Christmas Chip and Jo Gaines style at the Silos this December. Everyone can revel in the Christmas magic with loved ones near while enjoying holiday lights, hot chocolate, visits with Santa, and shopping for special gifts at Waco’s Magnolia Market.

Victorian Christmas in Austin

6th Street in Austin is definitely one of the best places to visit in Texas during Christmas if you’re looking for a nostalgic traditional festival everyone can enjoy. This Austin Christmas celebration is a Victorian-era festival featuring carolers, live music, a parade, and a bazaar with street performers to delight kids of all ages!

Denton’s Holiday Lighting Festival

Finally, don’t miss the Holiday Lighting Festival in Denton, Texas. Meet Santa’s longhorn helpers for a unique Texas Christmas experience! The festival begins by lighting all the trees in the town square and includes holiday music and dance performances. 

So which are the best places to visit in Texas during Christmas that I forgot? Do you have a favorite holiday tradition or festival that I didn’t mention? 

Share your best places to visit during the holiday season in the comments. I can’t wait to read them and make some new Christmas memories at your favorite places this year too!

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