Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail

hill country christmas lighting

Fredericksburg's Market Square

photo courtesy Fredericksburg CVB
photographer: Marc Bennett

Sure you can celebrate 12 days of Christmas, but why not do it up in a Texas-sized way with a whole month of festivities? That's an easy wish to fill thanks to the Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail, one of the largest holiday events in the state, stretching north from San Antonio to encompass many of the communities of this region. Shops, historic sites, courthouses, and churches welcome travelers with a show of spectacular lights and seasonal cheer.


• For more information: 888-842-8080, www.visitboerne.org
• Top Choice: Weihnachts Fest Parade, a colorful night parade that illuminates the Historic District. Santa and Mrs. Claus officially kick off the start of the season at the end of the parade at the Main Plaza Gazebo. During the night parade, many shops along the restored Hauptstrasse (Main Street) remain open extended hours.
• For a Texas Touch: visit the Cowboy Christmas at Enchanted Springs Ranch. This ranch, home to a period Western town, offers hayrides and caroling plus shows and even a Cowboy Santa.


• For more information: 512-756-4297, www.BURNETCHAMBER.org
• Top Choice: The first two weekends of December transform Burnet into Bethlehem. The Main Street Bethlehem celebration in the town's historic district, located at Washington Street (one block south of Highway 29) and Vanderveer Street. Expect big crowds for this very popular event where you and your family can walk through the gates of “Bethlehem” and see costumed townspeople bartering at the city market, baking bread, and tending their camels, donkeys, and other animals. A live nativity scene is presented at the street's exit.
• For a Texas Touch: Christmas Past at Ft. Croghan. The city’s historic fort takes travelers back to the holidays of 1849. Cedar wreaths decorate the gates and welcome visitors to the homesteads where costumed reenactors decorate their cabins, craft pioneer ornaments, and welcome visitors with refreshments served by frontier fireplaces.

Dripping Springs

• For more information: 512-858-4740, www.drippingspringstx.org
• Top choice: “Christmas on Mercer” will celebrate with extended hours at the shops along Mercer Street as well as live entertainment and Santa.


• For more information: 888-997-3600, www.fredericksburg-texas.com
• Top Choice: The fun kicks off with a lighted night Christmas parade launching “Weihnachten in Fredericksburg”, a three-day Christmas festival and market. Weihnachten includes a Christmas tree forest filled with decorated trees, each with its own special theme. Old-fashioned gingerbread houses also are on display throughout the event. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, live entertainment fills the air while shoppers stroll the Christmas market. Authentic German foods, from lebkuchen (honey cakes) to pfeffernusse (peppernuts) tempt holiday visitors at the event and at several local bakeries. Don’t miss“Eisbahn” in Fredericksburg, an outdoor ice skating rink.
• For a Texas Touch: The Holiday Wine Trail gives visitors a chance to tour local wineries and enjoy the spirit of the season.


• For more information: 325-648-3619, www.goldthwaite.biz
• Top Choice: Shop at the Arts and Crafts Festival at the Mills County Civic Center, showcasing local artisans.

Johnson City

• For more information: 830-868-7684, www.lbjcountry.com
• Top Choice: The stars—or the Christmas lights—at night are bright in Johnson City! Blanco County Courthouse is aglow with over 100,000 lights and the Pedernales Electrical Co-Op Headquarters, which can't be missed thanks to its one million light display.
• For a Texas Touch: “A Timeless Christmas in Johnson City” including a lamplight tour of the LBJ Boyhood Home as well as an 1860 Christmas at the nearby historic Johnson Settlement.


• For more information: 325-247-5354, www.llanochamber.org
• Top choice: “Pathway of Arches” lighting display at the Llano River Park

Marble Falls

• For more information:
800-759-8178, www.marblefalls.org
• Top choice: Christmas Walkway of Light on the banks of Lake Marble Falls in Lakeside Park . Over a million lights light a self-guided walk with over 130 light sculptures and a spectacular light tunnel made up of over 12,000 clear lights.

New Braunfels

• For more information: 800-572-2626, www.nbjumpin.com
• Top choice: Old Gruene Christmas Market Days Festival includes a lighting ceremony and plenty of arts and crafts.

Round Mountain

• For more information:
• Top choice: enjoy the historic buildings outlined in tiny lights including an 1876 church and 1874 stagecoach inn.


• For more information: 512-847-2201, www.wimberley.org
• Top choice: EmilyAnn Theatre's Trail of Lights, warmed by a smoldering Yule log

For More Information:

For more on the trail, including a map with the community locations, visit www.tex-fest.com or call 1-866-TEX-FEST for the free brochure.


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