Join the Holiday Fun at a Texas State Park

Austin – Join the Holiday Fun at a Texas State Park

On the eve of the bustling holiday shopping season, Texas State Parks are offering solace for the whole family with Christmas events scheduled in parks statewide.

The holidays will be in full swing at the more than 60 events happening at 49 state parks this year. The festivities will range from Christmas decoration displays, hay rides, guided hikes, a traditional Mexican posada, and tree lightings.

A brochure, available at all state parks, Texas Travel Information Centers and on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website, contains the details and dates of each event. The booklet also includes images from past events and a map of all parks offering holiday happenings. Learn more about holidays in the parks at http://texasstateparks.org/holiday.

Some events include:

9th Annual Christmas in the Park- Cooper Lake State Park- Doctors Creek Unit
Dec. 11-12 from 5-10 p.m.
Visitors will find the park and the entire campground decorated to match the beauty of the holidays. Those joining us on Saturday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. will also find refreshments and have the opportunity to visit with Santa (remember to bring your camera for pictures). The event is sponsored by the Friends of Doctors Creek. Cost is $5 per vehicle. For more information, call (903) 395-3100.

Posada at the Fort- Fort Leaton State Historic Site
Dec. 15 from 6:30- 9 p.m.
Come celebrate Christmas with a traditional Mexican posada. Walk and sing with Mary and Joseph as they search for shelter. Follow the luminarias up to the front door, where you’ll enjoy a Christmas carol concert performed by a local choir, a warm fire, and even a piñata or two. Refreshments will be served. Entrance and event fees waived for this event. The event is wheelchair accessible for most of the event. For more information, call (432) 229-3613.

Trail of Lights- Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Site
Dec. 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 from 6-8 p.m.
$4/adult and $1/child 3-12 years old
Celebrate Christmas in early Texas-German style. Enjoy a beautifully illuminated quarter-mile trail transformed by thousands of lights that decorate Monument Hill and Kreische House. View the lights of the town of La Grange from the trail’s hillside overlook. Experience the home of H.L. Kreische decorated in traditional Texas-German 1850s-era Christmas splendor. Bring your children; they won’t want to miss an opportunity to whisper Christmas wish lists to Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy the genuine seasonal hospitality of the Friends of Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, who sponsor the event. Get into the Christmas Season’s spirit with us – Texas-German style! No pets or alcohol allowed. For more information, call (979) 968-5658.

Can’t make it to a park this year or want to take home something to commemorate the holidays? Take a piece of Texas State Parks home with you by purchasing a Texas State Park ornament.

For the past 14 years, the Christmas ornaments have featured some of the most recognizable landscapes from the Texas State Park system. This year, the ornaments will showcase Brazos Bend State Park and its most recognizable inhabitant, the alligator; park visitors playing in the river at Blanco State Park; and a child flying a kite against the coastal breeze at Mustang Island State Park.

Texas-Holidays-1The ornaments are available for purchase during the month of December by calling the Customer Service Center at 512-389-8900. Limited quantities of previous year’s ornaments are also available for purchase. The ornaments are $8.95 each, or $19.95 for the set of three. View the ornaments at http://texasstateparks.org/ornament.

Another way to bring the parks home for the holidays is to give the gift of a Texas State Parks Pass. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is offering the opportunity to buy a State Parks Pass as a gift for $65 – $5 off the regular price. With this annual pass, the gift allows unlimited visits to more than 90 state parks for themselves and a carload of guests.

Visit the Foundation website to take advantage of this online-only offer through Dec. 19. All of the proceeds from this purchase goes back to support Texas State Parks.

Get a glimpse of the festivities to come in a video showing Christmas on the Brazos and a candlelight ceremony at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site.  View the video below: