There is nothing that will get you in the Christmas spirit quite like loading the kids up in the car to go check out some of the best small Texas towns for the holidays. We’ve sought out towns who put a lot of effort into their holiday displays and festive events from parades, ice skating rinks, Christmas markets and even some train rides.
Editor’s Note: With COVID-19 restrictions this year, be sure to check out each town’s website to confirm events are still happening before hopping in the car.
This adorable small town of just over 18,000 people—and only a little over an hour away—doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Christmas cheer.
There’s a Christmas Parade of Lights Dec. 5 that goes through old town and downtown, and ends with the historic Anderson County Courthouse being lit with thousands of lights.
The parade is just the beginning of this town’s joy of Christmas. There’s also a Polar Express Train Ride (Nov. 13–Dec. 28), old town carriage rides (Saturdays, Nov. 14–Dec. 24), a make-your-own glitter ornament event and other suer fun events that kiddos will love.
OK, so this really isn’t much of a road trip—but if your kids are young this might be the perfect getaway, and we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you about Grapevine as it is the Christmas Capital of Texas.
Even if you live in Dallas Fort Worth, Grapevine is worth a weekend stay as you probably can’t do it all in one day. The Gaylord Texan Resort is known for turning into a holiday extravaganza, and this year doesn’t disappoint.
The resort has acres of lights and decorations and tons of holiday activities including snow! Slide down the snow in tubes, go ice skating, and enjoy an interactive experience called “I Love Christmas Movies” where you can walk through your favorite Christmas movies including The Polar Express and Elf.
Grapevine has even more to offer with the North Pole Express that is a totally immersive experience where your kiddo gets to shake their “We believe” silver bells to meet Santa. And if that isn’t enough, downtown Grapevine has the Historic Grapevine Christmas Spectacular that includes hundreds of thousands of lights (and 100% chance of snow flurries).
There’s also the choreographed show, City Hall Show Spectacular, and the Carol of Lights: Bring Home the Holidays Drive-Through Experience at the First Baptist Church Grapevine.
Check out even more festive events in Grapevine on the town’s website.
Now this is a pretty long drive (about four hours), but it is totally worth it. Fredericksburg is an incredibly charming German town that transforms into a Christmas haven from Nov. 12–Jan. 6.
There’s ice skating, a 30-foot Christmas tree, a 26-foot German Pyramid, shopping along main street at dozens of sweet, locally-owned businesses, amazing food—and even wineries for mom and dad. Every night at 6pm head to the Marktplatz where there will be a nightly lighting countdown before the town’s thousands of lights are set ablaze.
You can also find out more about Fredericksburg during the holidays in our article here.
Photo courtesy of the Grapevine Convention & Visitor Bureau.