Best Places to Spend Christmas in Texas
Texas may not be known for its White Christmases, but the Lone Star State has a lot of Christmas traditions up its sleeve to share with tourists – Texas-style.
While some people can’t imagine Christmas without being surrounded by snow, down in Texas they know how to celebrate Christmas in style no matter what the weather brings. Downtown Austin, Dallas and Houston deck the halls with Christmas lights, and have Christmas parades, while cities and towns throughout the big state throw themselves into the Christmas spirit.
It may be statistically unlikely that visitors will have a white Christmas in Texas, but it’s highly likely that they will have a Christmas filled with twinkling lights, festive parades, and good old-fashioned family fun.
The Holiday Trail of Lights Continues to Attract Tourists
Every year, locals and tourists alike make the journey through Shreveport-Bossier City and Natchitoches Louisiana to Marshall, Jefferson, and Kilgore, Texas, to enjoy the Holiday Trail of Lights. While each town has its own Christmas light traditions, together the five destinations create a Christmas mini road trip, all laid out over an easy one-hour drive along interstates 20 and 49.
Marshall, Texas, has its own holiday extravaganza called the Wonderland of Lights, which runs from the night before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. With more than 10 million lights, live entertainment, an outdoor ice skating rink, and carriage rides, Marshall has laid claim to the “Grandaddy of Texas Lighting Festivals” title.
Historic Jefferson, Texas, has some of the oldest homes in Texas decked out in Christmas decorations, as well as offering a ride on an old-fashioned steam train and a riverboat to take in five miles of twinkling lights.
Meanwhile, Kilgore is home to an unusual Texas Christmas vacation tradition – Christmas in the Oil Patch. It is here that oil derricks are able to dress up as Christmas trees for the holidays, as the East Texas Oil Museum puts stars on top of the old structures in the World’s Richest Acre Park. It’s amazing how festive an oil derrick can look with a little help.
Uncertain Floating Christmas Parade in Texas is Certainly Family Fun
For more than 20 years, the Uncertain Floating Christmas Parade has filled Caddo Lake, Texas, with the Christmas spirit. The town of Uncertain, Texas, is home to only a couple of hundred people, but their floating Christmas parade brings people in from nearby towns and cities.
As local contestants take their Christmas themed boats down the bayous, visitors line the bank of the only natural lake in Texas to take a wave and take pictures. The parade follows a designated route and can be viewed along the shoreline. The Uncertain Floating Christmas Parade is held on the third Sunday of December and gets underway at 2 pm.
Santa’s Wonderland Gives a Texas Christmas a Theme Park Twist
At Santa’s Wonderland, College Station, Texas, visitors can explore more than 40 acres of Christmas lights and decorations. Depending on how adventurous they’re feeling, they can take in the lights from the comfort of their own car, by stepping into a horse and carriage or even hopping up onto the back of Santa’s hayride.
After being dazzled by more than two and a half million Christmas lights, guests find themselves in Santa’s Town where they can take in live music and classic Christmas movies on an outdoor screen, while the children can enjoy pony rides and the petting zoo. Discount tickets to Santa’s Wonderland are available if booked in advance.
Christmas Decorations Light Up a Texas Vacation
While other tourist destinations such as the Smoky Mountains can provide a white Christmas with all the trimmings, Texas has its own Christmas charms. There is a long list of other Texan destinations that embrace the Christmas light tradition, including the Texas Hill County communities of Marble Falls, Round Mountain, and more.
So for those people who are heading to Texas for their first Christmas, rest assured Santa has Texas on his map, and remember the spirit of Christmas has nothing to do with snow, and everything to do with the people you celebrate it with.