It’s our pleasure to provide this special calendar showcasing fun things to see and do in the Texas Hill Country for December 2017.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to sign up for our next monthly newsletter (arriving the week of November 27) to discover a few more select events and activities across the area, from San Saba to San Antonio! (Hint: We’ll be telling you about some terrific Christmas markets and a very special, can’t-miss musical event.)
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Calendar of Events
** Denotes events recommended to us by our readers
Reminder: Wise Wildflowers know, of course, to double-check event times, locations, weather, reservation deadlines, and entry fees—especially before driving long distances. Have an event to suggest for our January 2018 calendar? Submit it to us for review no later than 5 p.m. on December 15.
November 23 – December 31
** Christmas Light Fest (Boerne): What could be more Hill Country than a drive-thru holiday lights display? Try taking a hayride through two million lights on the famous Don Strange Ranch outside of Boerne. And don’t forget to hit up Santa’s Village for delicious foods, gift ideas, and more. Fee required.
November 24 to January 1
** Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style (Johnson City): Beginning with a two-day party on Thanksgiving weekend, this community on the banks of the Pedernales River transforms from a quaint town with presidential ties (LBJ lived here!) into “the twinkliest town in the Hill Country,” full of holiday charm. (Look, too, for a pop-up store by our Science Mill friends on Nov. 24 & 25!) Free.
November 28 – December 28
** Trail of Lights (Wimberley): Judging from their month-long events calendar this annual holiday affair brings together folks and organizations from across Wimberley. Free.
November 29 – December 2, 6 – 9
** Sights and Sounds of Christmas (San Marcos): Since 1987 this community-minded festival has brought together local non-profit charities to raise money and foster Christmas spirit. Free for kids 12 and under; fee for adults.
November 30 – December 21 (Thursdays only)
Pearl Holiday Night Market (San Antonio): Expect farmers market vendors, craftspersons, live music, and holiday fun amid the twinkly lights of the historic Pearl Brewery complex. Free.
December 1 – 3, 8 – 10
Main Street Bethlehem (Burnet): For the faithful, this recreation of Mary and Joseph’s journey through ancient Bethlehem produced by the First Baptist Church of Burnet will be a welcome seasonal reflection. Free but donations are welcome.
Poinsettia Preview Party (Blanco): Hosted by the legendary Arnosky Family Farm, this is your chance to pick up a fresh poinsettia, homemade hams, bulbs, and other gift items. The entry fee is $25 but you’ll get to take home your choice of three poinsettias as well as wine, beer, and snacks. Fee; reservations suggested.
Weihnachts Parade (Boerne): Ho, ho, ho! Santa has loaded up his sleigh and is ready to make his first appearance in the Hill Country during Boerne’s annual parade. Look for dozens of floats, street vendors, and shops and restaurants lining Main Street to be open late. Free.
Meditation Hike at Enchanted Rock (Fredericksburg): Reflect on the year’s end at this spectacular nature spot. Participants will participate in South American and Western-style mediations. Fee; reservation required.
Gruene Pony Express Ride (Gruene): At 10 a.m., the charming Gruene Historic District will receive Pony Express Riders from New Braunfels bearing a special Christmas greeting from the Governor Texas. A temporary mail station will be put in place, allowing visitors—for one day only—to have their mail postmarked “Gruene, Texas.” Free.
Annual Christmas Tea at Sandstone B&B (Llano): An old-fashioned English tea with Devon cream, lemon curd, live music by the Bluebonnet Harmonies (part of the Bluebonnet Chorale) and gluten-free menu options? We’re sold! Fee; reservation required.
** Candlelight Vespers at Trinity University (San Antonio): Campus choirs and guest artists come together for this beautiful service featuring the traditional Lessons and Carols service. Free but seating is limited.
Fredericksburg Chorale Christmas Concert (Fredericksburg): Singing societies have deep roots in our region. In fact, they were especially popular among early German settlers who relished the opportunity to convene to raise their voices. So what better way to observe Christmas this year–and honor those traditions–than with a trip to Fredericksburg for a chorale concert? Two performances are scheduled at St. Joseph’s Halle. The 3 p.m. show features a concert of Old World Christmas carols. At 7 p.m. is a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Free but donations are welcome.
Make Your Own Santa’s Cookie Plate (New Braunfels): Gear up for Santa’s big night by creating a keepsake cookie plate. Fee; pre-registration required.
** Wassailfest (New Braunfels): Stroll the streets of one of the region’s oldest city, take in the holiday lights, and pop into local shops to taste the wassail! Free.
** Winter’s Eve: Holiday Festival on the Square Sponsored by The Wimberley Merchants Association, Winter’s Eve is your opportunity to shop, visit food booths, and experience live music in one of the area’s most charming communities. Free.
Santa Photos (Luckenbach): If you were hoping to put an old-fashioned Hill Country spin on your holiday photos this year, then make plans to meet up with Santa in Luckenbach. Free.
Christmas Market on Main (Marble Falls): Expect homemade items from local craftspeople, live music, warm drinks, activities for the kids, and lots of Christmas cheer. Free.
Movies, Campfires & S’more (Georgetown): Cozy up to loved ones on the grounds of the Sweet Eats Fruit Farm, toast marshmallows over a campfire, and indulge yourselves with an outdoor viewing of that hot new holiday classic starring Will Ferrell as everyone’s favorite oversized Elf. Free.
** La Gran Tamalada (San Antonio): A local tradition moves to the Historic Market Square this year, bringing with it your chance to learn how to make tamales, purchase some from a local vendor, or get your family photo made with Pancho Claus. Free.
Austin Plant Swap at Hope Farmers Market (Austin): Take a break from the holiday madness, grab a plant from your patio that you’d like to swap, and head out to the farmers market to indulge your green thumb. Word is that there will also be some small plants available for purchase, too. Free.
Pairing 101: Holiday Cookies Edition (Fredericksburg): No, we didn’t ever think that we needed to think through which wines pair best with our Christmas cookie recipes, but now we’re open to the idea. If you are, too, you’ll want to see this Messina Hof Hill Country event. Free but reservations are required.
Tamale Making Workshop (New Braunfels): Learn how to go DIY with your tamales—and take home a dozen you crafted yourself. Space is limited. Fee; reservation required.
December 15 & 16
** National Wreaths Across America Day at Ft. Sam Houston (San Antonio): On December 15, volunteers are needed to help prepare for the following day’s official wreath laying ceremony at Ft. Sam. On December 16 folks can help distribute the wreaths on graves to a section of the cemetery. (Wreaths can be purchased, too, by November 27 using this link.) Free.
** Chanukah on the River (San Antonio): In addition to the traditional lighting of the menorah in honor of this Jewish holiday, expect a boat ride, live music, donuts, and more. Fee.
** Deck the Halls to Gorman Falls – A Guided Hike (Bend): Grab your Santa hat and head out to Colorado State Park (near San Saba) to experience one of the Hill Country’s best kept secrets, Gorman Falls. Free.
A Big Band Christmas (San Antonio): Get in the swing of things this Christmas with Big Band holiday tunes. Fee; ticketed event.
Austin’s New Year 2018 (Austin): This family-friendly event features live music, food trucks, and fireworks. Free.
Kids Countdown (San Antonio): Gather up the littles and ROAR INTO 2018 with the DoSeum’s safari-themed, kid-centered New Year’s Eve bash. (Tickets to this event do tend to sell out in advance.) Fee; pre-registration required.