The Best Hallmark-Like Christmas Towns in Texas

santa claus plush toy

If you’re looking for that Hallmark movie, small town Christmas, Texas is just flowing over with them! We have so many adorable towns, adorned with Christmas lights and Holiday Cheer! Here are some of my favorites! Check out my tips, enjoy my pictures and as always, feel free to let me know if you have any questions!


The Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine loves Christmas!  There is so much to do! Downtown Grapevine is full of lights, carolers, shops and restaurants, as well as plenty of great photo ops! The Grapevine Vintage Railroad boards passengers for a visit to the North Pole! The Lone Star Christmas celebration at the Gaylord Hotel includes Santa’s Wild Workshop Snow Tubing, and just marveling at all the Christmas decor!  Visit Bass Pro Shops when kids can get a free photo with Santa!  Crafts and holiday ambiance included! Spend the weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, when even the wolves wear their red stocking caps!  Tons of holiday fun, in and out of the water!

Palestine A small Texas town that does Christmas in a big way is Palestine!  Head out to the Texas State Railroad to ride the Polar Express, the extremely popular Christmas train based on the story by Chris Van Allsburg!  On select weekends in downtown Palestine, the historic Anderson County jail is transformed into The Grinch’s Lair!  Bundle up for ice skating!  And don’t miss Frost Fest, with snow tubing, home tours and FREE guided tours from a living nativity scene and the streets of Bethlehem!  Oh, and come hungry, because you’ll love the restaurants in Palestine!

For more information on all the December events in Palestine, click HERE.

Bethlehem Revisited in Waxahachie Texas

Waxahachie During the 1st and 2nd weekends of December, the city of Waxahachie steps back in time over 2000 years ago, as they bring to life the nativity at Bethlehem Revisited!  Click HERE to read more.

The Waxahachie Christmas parade is a morning parade, which leaves plenty of time for antiquing in the town’s many downtown antique stores.  Don’t miss Waxahachie’s famous Ellis County Courthouse, learn it’s history and a few ghost tales during the Waxahachie Ghost Tour!

Historic Downtown Granbury Enjoy a walk around the lit-up Courthouse Square, with terrific restaurants and shops! We love Ketzler’s Biergarten for authentic German food. For 2022 they have 2 terrific shows at the Granbury Theater Company The Nutcracker and Miracle on 34th Street.

Galveston Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian London on the historic Strand in Galveston during Dickens on the Strand! I promise, you will enjoy it more if you dress up just a little!  Stay on the Strand at the elegant Tremont House, and don’t miss Moody Garden’s lights!

Click HERE for more information on Dickens on the Strand.   For more on Moody Gardens, click HERE.

Corpus Christi The annual Harbor Lights Festival in downtown Corpus Christi is an illuminated boat parade is the highlight of this holiday tradition!  Live music, great food, lots of vendors selling unique Christmas gifts, children’s area and the Children’s Parade are all part of the fun!

Make a weekend of it!  Enjoy the Corpus Christi attractions such as the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Texas State Aquarium and the U.S.S. Lexington.  The cooler temperatures are a perfect time to enjoy horseback riding along the beach!  Stay at a true coastal bend ranch at Knolle Farm Bed, Barn and Breakfast, just 35 minutes from downtown Corpus!

Historic Jefferson  Located in East Texas, Jefferson embodies the Christmas spirit each year!  The streets twinkle with lights, horse-drawn carriages and the always popular Enchanted Forest!  Reserve a ride on the Historic Jefferson Railway’s Rail of Lights!  The town’s many restored hotels and bed and breakfast will make you feel at home!

For more information on the Historic Jefferson Railway, please click HERE.

Santa’s Wonderland, College Station Santa’s Wonderland is not your average drive-thru Christmas lights, because you leave your car and can choose to see the lights from either a hayride tour or a VIP horse-drawn carriage tour to see millions of dazzling lights!  You’ll stop at Santa’s Wonderland, where kids, old and young alike, will marvel at the synchronized light show!  See Old Saint Nick, ride the Wonderland Express train, lots of yummy food, hot chocolate, make smores around the campfires, or eat peach cobbler from a chuckwagon!  You’ll even get to ride the mechanical bull!

Click HERE to visit the Santa’s Wonderland website!

Photo Credit Lightscapes

Fort Worth Shopping, dining and more holiday fun than you can shake a reindeer’s antler at, that’s what awaits you at Sundance Square in Fort Worth!  Santa is available for pictures and lots of live music and shows!  Click HERE to visit their website.

Lightscape at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Opens Nov. 18th I’m so excited that Lightscape is coming to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden this season! While I haven’t seen it yet, it has been extremely popular in other cities, including the San Antonio Botanical Garden and Houston Arboretum, where it is also returning for a second year! Walk through the enchanted trail of lights, artistic installations, lit with color and accompanied with sounds! Also, the wave of bluebonnets, a favorite in San Antonio, will only be in the Texas locations! There will also be hot chocolate and smore stations along the way!

The Fort Worth Stockyards also does Christmas, but with cowboy boots!  Click HERE to read more!

Holiday in the Park Six Flags, San Antonio and Arlington Sure, you can still ride the roller coaster, but it’s the incredible light displays, shows and food that make Holiday in the Park so special!

San Antonio Riverwalk The riverwalk in San Antonio still has the same amazing restaurants and shops as they do all year long, but it’s all lit up for the holidays in a magical feast for the eyes!  Take a river cruise to really appreciate it all!

Trail of Lights, Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country may love Christmas best of all, because all the little towns that make that part of our state so special go out of their way each year to really shine!

The town of Fredericksburg feels like you just stepped out of a Hallmark movie!

Wimberley host a walking trail of lights, but before you go, stop at the Wimberley Pie Co. just outside of downtown Wimberley.

New Braunfels, another of our favorite towns, has activities all month long, although I’ll be honest and tell you that we’ve made the over 3-hour trip to Gruene from DFW just to eat at the Gristmill and watch the river flow by!  Historic Gruene offers great holiday markets and you’re sure to find the perfect gifts for whoever is on your list at the Gruene General Store! Santa’s Ranch is a fun drive thru light display!

Have a VERY MERRY Christmas, and please check back often as I’ll be updating our list all month long!

Keep Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun! 


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