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Things To Do in Texas This Weekend: Dec. 8-10

Written by , published December 4, 2017

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 The weekend lights up with holiday events galore—a lighted boat parade in Rockport, a historic Christmas at Lubbock's Candlelight at the Ranch, and Austin's annual favorite, Trail of Lights, debut this weekend.

Candlelight at the Ranch

Lubbock: Dec. 8-9
Visitors will step into a "living Christmas card" at National Ranching Heritage Center as volunteer ranch hosts dress in period-appropriate clothing to re-create Christmas scenes in 15 historic structures dating from the 1780s to the 1950s. More than 4,000 luminaries will line the paths of the historic park for the two-day free event, and children will have an opportunity to visit with Santa Claus.

Santa Shootout

Graham: Dec. 8-9
Enjoy watching go-cart racers battle it out at the Young County Arena. The event was created in 2006 to give go-kart racers and their families an opportunity to compete during the normal "off season" while providing them an exciting indoor race that few at the time had ever experienced. Last year's race had 210 entries.

Lighted Christmas Parade and Show and Sell

Van Horn: Dec. 9
At the 24th annual event, enjoy a lighted Christmas parade along Broadway in addition to an open house with vendors, food, and arts and crafts.

Holiday with the Cranes

Galveston: Dec. 9-10
Join the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council for this annual birding event to celebrate the arrival of these large majestic birds. Events include indoor and outdoor nature activities.

Lighted Boat Parade

Rockport: Dec. 9 
Little Bay hosts a parade of decorated vessels to be judged in several classes, including powerboats and sailboats.

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Trail of Lights

Austin: Dec. 9-23
The 51st annual event in Zilker Park is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories, and fun. The annual tree lighting ceremony will be held in November, then the 5K fun run will kick off the spectacular season in early December. Plan your visit early and don't forget to take a spin under the Zilker Tree.

Campfire Christmas

Richmond: Dec. 9, 16 
Travel back in time at George Ranch Historical Park for a fun-filled visit to Christmas Eves past. This visitor-favorite evening event includes a visit with the 1890s George Ranch cowboys, complete with songs, stories, cider, and cocoa around the campfire. Reservations are required.

Lighted Christmas Parade

Blanco: Dec. 9
Celebrate the holiday with a festive lighted parade in the beautiful town of Blanco. Community floats will be alit for your enjoyment around the Old Blanco County Courthouse Square.

Winter's Eve—A Christmas Festival

Wimberley: Dec. 9
Enjoy live music, great food, a visit with Santa, and lots of holiday offerings in charming Wimberley Square.

McKinney Parade of Lights

McKinney: Dec. 9
Presented by McKinney Rotary Club, join Grand Marshal Burton Gilliam and special guest Santa for an evening parade around the downtown square that'll feature all three high school bands, historic military vehicles, and plenty of Christmas lights and cheer. 

Home for the Holidays

Navasota: Dec. 9
Festivities include ice skating, a toboggan tunnel, and snow maze in Downtown Navasota. The lighted Christmas parade at 6 p.m. is followed by the lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree.

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Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker"

Austin: Dec. 8-23 
Ballet Austin kicks off the season with the 55th annual production of this beloved holiday tradition at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

"The Nutcracker"

Round Top: Dec. 9
Round Top Festival Institute once again presents an encore performance of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic. The legendary ballet will be danced by children, for children of all ages—this year's production celebrates the 10th annual performance danced by Ovation, a youth ballet company in residency at Dancers Workshop in Austin.

Christmas at Winedale

Round Top: Dec. 9
Bring the family to tour period-furnished historic 19th century Texas homes, enjoy theatre performances, watch folk life presentations, and view demonstrations of blacksmithing, woodworking, folk dancing, lace making, and pioneer encampment at Winedale Historical Complex. For children there will be old-fashioned crafts and games, a petting zoo, and Weihnachtsmann—a German Santa Claus. Horse-drawn carriages and musical entertainment too. Free and open to the public. 

Super Saturday: South Texas Holiday Traditions

San Antonio: Dec. 9
Imagine the holidays in South Texas during the 19th century at the Witte Museum. Visit the Log Cabins to drift back into the 19th century when they were keeping the old-world traditions alive in their new homes in Texas. Create homemade holiday gifts such as candles, ornaments, mulled cider spices bags, and more.

Mid Valley Lighted Christmas Parade and RGV Santa Dash

Weslaco: Dec. 9
Floats, marching bands, mascots, cars, and more all decked out in lights for an evening parade that starts at Pike Boulevard and travels all the way down Texas Boulevard into historic downtown Weslaco. Get there early to cheer on a stampede of festive and jolly running Santas. 

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