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Holiday in the Parks

Written by , published December 9, 2014

santaTexas' state parks can be quite festive at Christmastime. In fact, many have lights up and are ready to welcome travelers to a holiday-in-the-park experience. Here are a few state parks that you can visit this weekend.

December 12

1st Annual Christmas in the Park. Lake Whitney State Park: Campsite fees will be waived for all visitors who decorate their sites on Friday and Saturday night. Visitor entry fees will be waived Saturday night from 5 to 10 p.m. for all visitors who would like drive or walk through the park and experience the decorated campgrounds.

Christmas in the Park, Atlanta State Park: Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and Smokey the Bear stop in for a visit. Refreshments will be served. Decorate your campsite and your camping fee will be waived.

Trail of Lights, Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site: A quarter-mile walking trail is illuminated with thousands of lights that decorate the Monument Hill and Kreische House portions of the park.

3rd Annual Christmas in the Park!, Lake Bob Sandlin State Park: Drive through the park on Friday and Saturday night to check out the campsites decked out for the holidays. Visit headquarters for hot cocoa and kids crafts.

Christmas in the Park, Cooper Lake State Park - Doctors Creek Unit: Drive through the park Friday and Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday night visitors will have the opportunity to visit Santa and have refreshments.

Mission History in Lights, Goliad State Park and Historic Site: “History in Lights” exhibit runs from 6-10 p.m. throughout December. Lights and shadows will tell the site's story as visitors walk the same path taken by Native Americans and Spanish Franciscans Priests so long ago.

December 13

Family Breakfast with Santa, Stephen F. Austin State Park: Children can bring their wish list as they have breakfast with Santa and his elves from 8:30-11 a.m. Enjoy a Holiday Nature Walk, too. Event is $5 ($4 for children ages 9 – 4 and free to children 3 and under). 

 T’was the Hike Before Christmas, Franklin Mountains State Park: Hike the Franklin Mountains while wearing a Santa hat or festive attire.

Santa's Bird Hike, Estero Llano Grande State Park: Join Santa on a bird walk to find South Texas specialties like the Green Jay, chachalaca and more.

Christmas in the Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Enjoy a Hill Country Christmas at the legendary Enchanted Rock, where a variety of Holiday-themed events will be happening throughout the day.

Christmas-on-the-Brazos featuring Barrington's Candlelight Christmas, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site: Barrington's Candlelight Christmas features timed vignettes, offering glimpses into 1850s festivities through a candlelit tour of Barrington Farm.

Christmas in the Park, Village Creek State Park: Enjoy family fun while making nature-themed holiday decorations and singing Christmas songs.

Battleship TEXAS - Dr. Who Event, Battleship Texas State Historic Site: Support the Dr. Who Event & board the ship for half price. Take pictures with the coolest Tardis and participate in the costume contest.

Yuletide TEXAS! "A Sailors Christmas", Battleship Texas State Historic Site: Festive Christmas event aboard the Battleship TEXAS

Christmas in the Valley-Decorate Your Campsite for Christmas, Dinosaur Valley State Park: Win a free night's stay for the best decorated campsite.

Frontier Christmas! Festival of Lights and Cookie Walk, Davis Mountains State Park: Create wildlife-friendly ornaments and join in the Cookie Walk.

Holiday in the Park, Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center: Make ornaments, build fruit wreaths for backyard birds and explore the park's holiday-themed geocache hunt.

DIY: Holiday Crafts, Galveston Island State Park: Make your own holiday crafts with the help of Ranger Lisa.

Wildlife Holiday Ornaments, Mckinney Falls State Park: Create wildlife-themed holiday ornaments.

Give Back to the Birds, Martin Dies, Jr. State Park: Make pine cone feeders as a holiday gift for the birds.

All Around the Campfire Christmas, Lake Colorado City State Park: Participate in games, crafts, caroling and Christmas stories around the campfire.

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Fort Richardson State Park & Historic Site/Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway

Step back in time to watch “ghosts” of cavalry soldiers and their families celebrate Christmas at an 1870’s U.S. military post. Enjoy refreshments and strole the historic buildings by candlelight.

Jolly Night Hike, Resaca de la Palma State Park: Stroll the park's Trail of Lights, sing carols on a hayride, visit with Santa and create crafts.

Pineywoods Christmas Celebration!, Tyler State Park: Drive through the Cedar Point, Lakeview and Big Pine camping loops and enjoy a Pineywoods Christmas in lights. Enjoy refreshments and shopping at the park store. Free admission to the park after 5pm on Dec. 13.

Christmas in the Park, Atlanta State Park: Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and Smokey the Bear stop in for a visit. Refreshments will be served. Decorate your campsite and your camping fee will be waived.

Fa-La-La in the Forest, Abilene State Park: The public is welcomed to tour decorated campsites and enjoy hot chocolate and other refreshments. Campers can waive the day's fees by decorating their campsites.

Twinkle Tour, Lake Tawakoni State Park: Tour the decked-out campgrounds, enjoy refreshments and visit with Santa.

Trail of Lights, Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site: A quarter-mile walking trail is illuminated with thousands of lights that decorate the Monument Hill and Kreische House portions of the park.

Christmas in the Park, Cooper Lake State Park - Doctors Creek Unit: Drive through the park Friday and Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday night visitors will have the opportunity to visit Santa and have refreshments.

Caroling through Penn Farm, Cedar Hill State Park: Take a lantern-lit tour of Penn Farm and join in a Christmas carol singalong.

Buneuelo Bites and Christmas Lights, Estero Llano Grande State Park: Enjoy Christmas carols, arts and crafts, lights, hot chocolate and bunuelos.

Get more Texas State Park holiday events.

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