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Texas State Parks Featuring Christmas in the Parks Events
AUSTIN – Help support Texas state parks and start a new holiday tradition by attending one of the many holiday events taking place this holiday season.
Visit one of more than a dozen state parks this holiday season and learn how to make old-fashioned tree decorations at Government Canyon State Natural Area, join in an underground Christmas carol sing-a-long at Longhorn Cavern or attend the 42nd annual Christmas tree lighting festivities at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site.
The Lone Star State’s multicultural roots will be honored at several Texas state parks during the holiday season. Learn how to make bunuelos, a tasty Mexican pastry, at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco or head to far west Texas to experience a traditional Mexican posada at Fort Leaton State Historic Site. Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site in La Grange invites visitors to stroll the lighted park trails to the historic Kreische House, where they can experience a 1850s-era Texas-German Christmas.
Details of the aforementioned events and other state park holiday events follow:
Dec. 1-31 Yuletide Texas — Battleship TEXAS State Historic Site
Daily, except closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Missing family and friends, the crew of the TEXAS did their best to make the ship feel more like home during the holidays. Come share the sights and sounds of the season as the ship is adorned with lights and ornaments, reminiscent of the crew’s traditional decorations. Fees apply. Wheelchair-accessible on Main Deck only. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (281) 479-2431
Dec. 1-31 History in Lights – Goliad State Park
Come take an evening stroll at Mission Espiritu Santo and discover the history of the site. Flickering light and shadow tell the story of the mission — from its long-ago role as a Spanish Colonias mission, through its reconstruction by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, to its refurbishment in the 1970s by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Park entrance fees apply. Please use self-pay station. Every evening, sunset until 10 p.m. (361) 645-3405
Dec. 15 Posada at the Fort – Fort Leaton State Historic Site
Come learn and experience one of the oldest Mexican Christmas traditions. The traditional “posada” is a celebration in true Mexican fashion commemorating Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in anticipation of their child’s birth. Traditional treats and entertainment will be provided in this “must see” border event. 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (432) 229-3613
Dec. 16 Christmas on the Border – Barton Warnock Visitor Center
This special event is a must see if visiting the Terlingua and Lajitas areas of the Big Bend. Join the staff and volunteers of The Barton Warnock Visitor Center celebrating the holiday season in West Texas border fashion. Local community performers will provide the entertainment. Refreshments and treats will be served and a special visit by Santa Clause for the children. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. (432) 424-3327
Dec. 16-17 Trail of Lights — Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Site
Enjoy a fantastic quarter-mile trail illuminated with thousands of lights that decorate the Monument Hill and Kreische House portions of our park. Walk a trail overlooking the town of La Grange. Experience the more traditionally decorated 1850’s-era German home of H.L. Kreische, bedecked in Christmas splendor in a Texas-German style. Bring your children to tell secrets to Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and enjoy the genuine seasonal hospitality of the Friends of Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, who sponsor the event. Get into the Season’s spirit with us! Admission fees apply. No pets allowed. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. (979) 968-5658
Dec. 16-18 Holidays at the Tramway – Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park
Start a new family tradition and have your picture taken with Santa Claus at the top of Ranger Peak. Take time to see our Christmas decorations and to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, apple cider, or coffee at our “Mile High” gift shop. You’ll find unique gifts like candles, books, apparel, toys and other one-of-a-kind items for everyone on your shopping list. Noon- 5 p.m. (915) 562-9899
Dec. 17 Breakfast with the Birds and Santa – Estero Llano Grande State Park
Come have breakfast on our magnificent covered deck situated right on one of our lakes and spend some time visiting with a special guest, Santa. There will be photo opportunities galore, with both Santa and the birds that often come very close to the deck. Join Santa as we have a light holiday breakfast on the deck and then follow our knowledgeable guides as they take you on a guided nature walk. Fees: $7 adults, $5 senior citizens, free for children 12 and under; reservations required. Fees apply. 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. (956) 565-3919
Dec. 17 Bunuelo Bites and Christmas Lights – Estero Llano Grande State Park
Come enjoy an evening full of Christmas spirit. Walk the park’s colorfully lit walkway up to the visitor center where you can join our park naturalists around the piano playing music and singing Christmas carols. Stroll down another lit path to Pauraque Hall and learn to make and enjoy traditional hot chocolate and bunuelos. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the park on a ride in our tinseled trolley! Be sure to visit the park store, where you’re sure to find the perfect gift for anyone on your list. 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (956) 565-3919
Dec. 17 Christmas for the Birds – Dinosaur Valley State Park
The workshop will cover how to build a wild bird feeder out of a log. The goal is to fill the log with bird food that will aid the birds through the winter months. We may get a visit from “Old Saint Nick”. Come and join the fun. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. (254) 897-4588
Dec. 17 Barrington Farm Holidays – Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site
Join us for an all new celebration and discover the joy of Christmas! Together we will enjoy the simplicity of farm life by making decorations and toys for the home and family, enjoying period music and discovering the true meaning of “Peace on Earth, Good Will towards all Men.” Activity fees: $5/adult; $3/student 7 years and over; free for TSPP holders. Fees apply. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (936) 878-2214
Dec. 17 Pioneer Kids Christmas – Government Canyon State Natural Area
Join us at Government Canyon State Natural Area for a Pioneer Kids Christmas! Experience what a typical Christmas would have been like for pioneer children in this region. Learn about the origins of pioneer Christmas traditions; create your own nineteenth-century Christmas decorations; listen to Christmas stories pioneer children may have heard; and play with traditional nineteenth-century children’s toys. Reservations requested, ending at noon Dec. 16. For reservations or more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (210) 688-9055 x289. Include the name of each participant/guardian, age of participant, contact e-mail and telephone number. Entrance fees apply. 10 a.m. – noon (210) 688-9055
Dec. 17 Christmas in Fairfield Lake State Park – Fairfield Lake State Park
Join us as we celebrate the season with a trail of lights and a hayride. Santa will be stopping by from for pictures. Campers will be encouraged to decorate their campsites; fees will be waived per the park manager for those that participate. At the dining hall you’ll find classic Christmas movies playing along with hot cocoa and wassail to help put you in the Christmas spirit. The park is also serving as a drop off point for Toys for Tots. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. (903) 389-4514
Dec. 17 Caroling in the Cave – Longhorn Cavern State Park
Join us at Longhorn Cavern as we celebrate the season with the singing of Christmas carols inside the cavern, and food and games in the administration building. Different musical artist each week. Reservations highly recommended. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. (512) 756-4680
Dec. 18 42nd Annual LBJ Tree Lighting — Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
Come join the Texas Hill Country community in this special tradition started 42 years ago by President and Mrs. Johnson. Enjoy the spectacular tree lighting and an evening of holiday fun. Step back in time at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm for cookies amid glowing lanterns and a traditional candlelit German Christmas tree. The park store will be open and will help you with all your holiday gift needs. Special ornaments and artist will be in the park that evening and these decorative items are sure to be a holiday hit. It’s a night for the entire family and is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. (830) 644-2252
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