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Home Travel Tips & Guides Texas Offering Holiday Food, Fun & Festivities

Texas Offering Holiday Food, Fun & Festivities

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Texas is presenting a variety of distinctive holiday events, many of them available through Jan. 4, 2009, and they range from tree lighting festivals to historic home tours, markets and parades.

One thing is for sure: No snow boots or parkas are required to enjoy festivities around the Lone Star State during the holiday season.

"Texas is the perfect holiday getaway destination, offering an array of distinctive events and activities, including tree lighting festivals, historic home tours, concerts, parades and so much more," said Julie Chase, Director of Tourism for the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism.

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Texas brings together the old and the new with many holiday events around the state, and we have a list of events that you might want to enjoy if your travels take you to the Lone Star State in December. Here is a sampling of fun things to do.


Holiday Lighting Festivals & Market Days

Hundreds of lighting ceremonies across Texas illuminate the skies during the holidays.


Christmas Holiday Festival & Parade: December 3-7, Beaumont
Beginning with the official Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, this festival offers a lighted parade, ice skating, a children's holiday party, choir concert, outdoor holiday movies, and a 5K Jingle Bell Fun Run.
www.beaumontcvb.com/Calendar

Schlitterbahn's Hill Country Christmas Event: November 25-January 4, New Braunfels
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, summer home to the world's best water park, transforms the original Schlitterbahn into a dazzling evening spectacular blanketed with more than 1 million lights, light sculptures, sledding on "faux snow," ice skating, a 60-foot Nativity scene, a reindeer barn, festive food and unique shopping, making this a new must-see holiday family tradition. www.schlitterbahn.com/news/press/releases/nb/8-12-2008-hill-country-christmas.htm

Holiday at the Arboretum: November 28-January 4, Dallas
A fantasy world filled with more marionettes, ornaments and figurative art than even the most seasoned collector can imagine awaits guests at The Dallas Arboretum this holiday season. Guests of The Dallas Arboretum will be transported back to the pages of beloved fairy tales with the help of various decorative vignettes, telling beloved stories and nursery rhymes including "Rumplestiltskin," "Rapunzel," "Puss in Boots," "Hansel and Gretel," "The Old Woman in the Shoe" and many more.
www.dallasarboretum.org/Events/Holiday.html

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Christmas in the Square: November 28-January 2, Frisco

In Frisco, just north of Dallas, more than 350,000 people are expected to experience the largest choreographed holiday light show in the state of Texas. Christmas in the Square also offers various family-friendly activities including outdoor movies, carriage rides, snow machines, Santa's Workshop, a model railroad display, and a snow slide.
www.friscosquare.com/ChristmasInTheSquare2

Candlelight Posada: December 5, McAllen
McAllen hosts Candlelight Posada, an annual tree lighting, parade and nativity procession that draws more than 40,000 spectators.
www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/orgs/posada99.htm

Alamo Plaza Christmas Tree: November 28-January 1, San Antonio
Every year one of America's favorite Christmas trees is lighted on the day after Thanksgiving in historic Alamo Plaza. Many a family visits this iconic site during the holidays for very Texas Christmas pictures.
http://heartofsanantonio.com/just4fun/3d/3dchristmas/holidayevents.html

San Antonio Riverwalk: December 5-21, San Antonio
More than 6,000 luminarias will line the famous San Antonio Riverwalk.
http://heartofsanantonio.com/just4fun/3d/3dchristmas/holidayevents.html

EmilyAnn Theater Trail of Lights: November 29-January 1, Wimberley
Spend an evening in Wimberley celebrating the 10th year of The EmilyAnn Theatre's Trail of Lights, where you will find an enchanted pathway winding up a six-acre hill leading to a lighted Christmas tree and a 360 degree view of the Wimberley Valley.
http://www.emilyann.org/

Deck The Halls - Historic Home Tours And Cityscapes

Horse drawn carriages and candlelit Victorian staircases may sound like a scene from a Charles Dickens novel, but it's actually what visitors to Texas will experience through the many historic home tours on show this holiday season.

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The Holiday Home Tour: December 13 & 14, Georgetown
In Georgetown, north of Austin, the doors will open on five very different houses - all of which offer a unique perspective on creating the ideal living space from sustainable materials. Visit examples of classic, modern, and eclectic renovation; as well as a ‘work in progress' and a new home built from recycled materials.
http://holiday.georgetown.org/hometour.html

 Annual Christmas Candle Light Tour of Homes: December 6 & 7, Jefferson
At the 26th Annual Christmas Candle Light Tour of Homes in Jefferson, visitors to East Texas will experience the holiday spirit as they are swept back into the 19th Century and are surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas past.
www.historicjeffersonfoundation.com/

Dickens on the Strand: December 6 & 7, Galveston
Dickens on the Strand is where bobbies, Beefeaters and the Queen herself will be on hand to recreate the Victorian London of Charles Dickens. A bustling nineteenth century cityscape comes alive, with characters from Dickens's novels walking the streets. Now in its 35th year, the family festival will include three parades (including A Pickwick's Lantern Parade) and free, non-stop entertainment on the festival's six stages, plus strolling carolers and roving street musicians, bagpipers...and, of course, food.
www.galveston.com/dickensonthestrand

What Would The Holidays Be Without A Train Ride?

The North Pole Express Train Ride: December 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, Grapevine

"The Christmas Capital of Texas," northwest of Dallas, offers children rides on the North Pole Express through a city blanketed with millions of lights and decorations.
www.grapevinetexasusa.com/FestivalsAndEvents/ChristmasonMainStreet/NorthPoleExpress/tabid/577/Default.aspx

The Polar Express Train Ride: December 2-6, 9-13, 15-20, Lubbock
The Polar Express comes to life when trains depart the Lubbock depot for a memorable journey full of Christmas carols and hot chocolate. Listen to a reading of The Polar Express, meet Santa and his elves at the North Pole and receive a special Christmas bell.
www.westtexaspolarexpressride.com.

For a complete list of everything there is to see and do while on a winter getaway to the Lone Star State, visit
www.TravelTex.com.

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