Christmas To-Do List

Christmas To-Do List
Need Some Holiday Festivities in Your Life? We've Got You Covered.
You might have to start planning now! With limited capacity, reservations are filling up to get festive this Holiday Season.
Austin Area: 
Trail of Lights: Starting at $35 per car. Returning to Zilker park as a drive-through event this year! Get your tickets here.
Zach Theater: Starting at $77 per group. Seasonal offerings such as 'A Rockin' Holiday Concert' are happening but tickets are selling out. Get yours here.
Mozart's Coffee Christmas Light Show: Starting at $10 a table. If you love coffee, hanging out with friends, and watching a light show... this one's for you.
Watch Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker" from home. Starting at $30. This year, it looks a little different for the Austin Ballet, but they're still performing. Watch this years, "The Nutcracker" from the comfort of your living room and support the Austin Ballet today.
The North Pole Train Ride: Starting at $60. The Austin Steam Train Association is offering limited capacity and offering a small amount of rides this year... so if you're interested... act soon! Santa is on board EVERY ride! Don't miss out on this incredible experience here.
Robert Earl Keen's 9th Annual Christmas show. Prices vary. December 17-19. This family friendly concert with full food and beverage bar is sure to be a hit at ACL Live. 

Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (Free-$18) Get your tickets now and enjoy the natural wonder of a Hill Country winter on strollable, illuminated trail walk featuring the forts of Fortlandia.

Ice Skating in Marble Falls: $10-$12. A soon-to-be holiday tradition, ice skating in Lakeside Park promises to bring a smile to everyone’s face and delight you and your skating partners – big and small. Join us for a festive, fun ice skating season from November 20, 2020, until January 2, 2021. The Ice Skating Rink will operate nightly from 5-10 pm, weather permitting. Families are required to purchase tickets for a weekly time frame. Your ticket will entitle you to access to the skating rink during the reserved time frame and will include skate rental. Tickets purchased in advance = $10.00 Tickets purchased day of = $12.00

Santa's Ranch: (New Braunfels) Starting at $35 per car. Bring your friends and family and enjoy one of the best holiday light exhibits in the state! You’ll take a drive through over a mile of winding country roads while taking in the beautiful lights, animated Christmas displays, and enjoying homemade hot cocoa, kettle corn, and snacks.

Bastrop's Lost Pine Christmas Specials: FREE From touring Bastrop's river trail of lights to watching elf at the opera house, Bastrop is geared up and ready for the Holiday Season.

Dallas Area: 
Holiday at the Arboretum:  Prices starting at $12/kids, $17/adults. Open daily from 9am-5pm through Dec. 31. Holiday at the Arboretum features the 12 Days of Christmas and The Christmas Village. Stroll the garden to see the 25-foot-tall elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos that represent each of The 12 Days of Christmas, presented by Reliant.
Cheer: $5/kids, $20/adults. CHEER! is a pop-up, contemporary art experience that deconstructs the wonder and joy of the holidays through four site-specific installations by Jessica Bell, Outloud Consulting, Chloe Curiel x Iam540, and Jennifer Wester. Snap your own selfies or bring a photographer to capture truly unique holiday portraits! This ticketed exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, November 14th, and is only open to 8 people at one time, in twenty minute timed slots.
 
Dallas Zoo Lights Drive Through: Starting at $50-$60. The Dallas Zoo's beloved holiday tradition returns, with a socially distant twist! Cruise through a newly constructed pathway – and through familiar parts of the Dallas Zoo – while marveling at more than one million lights in elaborate displays, silk-covered animal lanterns depicting all your Zoo favorites, an ice palace fit for a trio of penguins, and so much more along the way!
Christmas lights, Chocolate, & Sips Tours: $45/kids, $49/adult. View holiday lights in sweet style on our private heated motorcoach! Taste scrumptious treats from premier local dessert venues (venues will vary, as several tours may be going on at once). Then relax as our lively tour host showcases some of Dallas' most spectacular holiday displays! A panoply of exquisite Winter Wonderlands awaits in beautifully decorated locations like the Park Cities and downtown Dallas. While touring, sip hot chocolate, soft drinks and water as well as other great beverages (you may also BYOB). So sit back, listen to holiday music and enjoy the spirit of the Season! Includes motorcoach transportation, dessert samples and beverages. $4 off with code EAT. Tours run December 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22, 23 from 6:30-10 p.m. and December 5, 6, 12, 13, 20, 26, 27 from 5:30-9 p.m. Family friendly, Taco, Margaritas & Lights, Adults Only, Wine tasting and Lights and other options available. 
Houston Area: 
Moody Gardens Christmas Lights: Packages starting as low as $14. Tour the festival of lights, watch Rudolph in 4D, slide down the Arctic Slide, watch other holiday 3D films, ride on trains through the lights trail, hop on an evening cruise, and even have breakfast with Santa. 
Spring's 40th Annual Old Town Spring- Home for the Holidays event: FREE. Recurring every weekend from November 14, 2020 to Christmas. The hometown holiday festival features a spectacular display of twinkling holiday lights, entertainment, family-friendly activities and photos with Santa every weekend! Mark your calendar and come discover our “Texas-style winter wonderland” this next winter holiday season.

CityPlace Gingerbread Village: FREE. Experience a super-sized, fantasy version of the holiday classic. From the Plaza, cross under an entrance guarded by two giant gingerbread men, wind around a path dotted with oversized candy canes, lollipops and gumdrops and arrive at a raised clearing featuring cookie trees, a 16-foot high house and 12-foot windmill.

Christmas Train (Alvin, TX): Starting at $8. Dec 4-5, 10-12, and 14-23. 

Aquarium Houston's Breakfast with Santa: $14/kids, $22/adults. Dec 12,19,20 & 24. 
San Antonio Area: 
Walk around the San Antonio Riverwalk. FREE Visiting the River Walk to enjoy the spectacular holiday lights is free. The River Walk is a public park and is open every day of the year, 24 hours a day. The lights are a gift to the public from the San Antonio River Walk Association and the City of San Antonio.
Ford Fiesta de Las Luminarias. FREE Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 2,000 Luminarias at night. This centuries-old tradition begins at dusk Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for three weekends, only in December. Luminarias are a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a small bag.
Ford Boat Caroling. ~$125 Sing in the holidays by Caroling with friends and family from a boat on the River Walk. Celebrate the timeless tradition of spreading joy with a San Antonio twist.The public is encouraged to enjoy the caroling for free from the banks of the river or while seated on a restaurant patio. Experience the sounds of the season as caroling boats float along the river in the downtown area.  See the caroling route map posted in the photo gallery. Boats randomly stop at restaurants. Get tickets here.
Kayaking on the Riverwalk. Prices Vary. New this year! Advanced Reservation Required | Not a guided tour! | Available 8am-11am on weekends, Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays December 4 through January 31st (excluding Christmas Day & New Year’s Day) Rent a kayak and enjoy kayaking along the famous San Antonio River Walk as it winds through the world-famous Downtown Business District. This is a wonderful easy 3.5 mile flat-water kayak trip which is great for beginner kayakers and families.
West Texas Area:

Big Spring's Comanche Trail of Lights:  FREE (donations appreciated.) The Comanche Trail Festival of Lights boasts over a million lights on display in the Comanche Trail Park in Big Spring. Don't forget to visit the gift shop and mark your calendars for Santa's visits to the festival. Open now until December 25th from 6-10pm every night.  

Everywhere Else: 
The Christmas Wine Affair. $45/individual or $65/couple. Tickets available now through December 20th. Tickets include a full complimentary tasting at all 45 participating wineries with a limit of 4 wineries a day and a 15% discount on 3 bottle purchases at each winery.
Santa's Wonderland: Starting at $42/kid, $47/adult. Featuring Real Texas Snow, Drive through and walking light tours, hot cocoa, live music and snow tubing... this one is hard to beat. 

Palestine Old Town Carriage Rides: $25 per ride. Old Town Carriage Rides Saturdays November 14 thru and December 19 and a special opportunity to ride December 24th, Christmas Eve. Departing from the Shelton Gin, climb into a beautiful classic carriage and enjoy a ride throughout the Historic Main Street District aglow with holiday lighting. Each ride can hold 2-4 adults, groups with children may accommodate more riders. 

Palestine Polar Express Train Ride:  Starting at $40/kid $60/adult. Enveloped by the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the tale as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Once onboard, chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies as they recite the classic children’s book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. 

Giddings Drive Through Nativity:  FREE. December 16-19 from 6-9pm. Free drive through with live animals including donkeys, sheep, cows, and a camel. GET THIS. All vehicles will be registered to win a steer including butchering.

Tour the lights at Blora (Belton, TX): Prices starting at $20/vehicle. Open daily, even open on Christmas eve!

Hildago's Festival of Lights (Hildago, TX): Prices start at $21/vehicle. Open Mon-Thur 6-10:30PM and Fri-Sun 6-11PM. Drive in movies are free to all families! 

Virtual Finds: 

Santa Storytime Series: FREE. Every Friday through Dec. 25. Join Brown Books Publishing Group for a virtual storytime series with Santa Claus. Each week we'll read a different holiday tale, and share in the the holiday spirit. Perfect for children of all ages.

51st LBJ Annual Tree Lighting: FREE. Sunday, Dec. 20th. Join the Texas Hill Country community in this special tradition started more than 50 years ago by President and Mrs. Johnson.  Enjoy carolers, a live nativity, Santa Claus, refreshments and, of course, the tree lighting. Then revisit the past at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. 

Watch Houston's production of the Christmas Carol daily here: FREE but donations are accepted.