Nothing Awes More Than the Magic of Light

What would the holidays be without mesmerizing lights and heartwarming decorations? There’s nothing more enchanting and suited to get you into the holiday spirit than the wondrous trails and festivals of lights right here in Texas. So no matter where your Texas vacation takes you, there’s an adventure of lights around the corner. Round up the whole family, fill up your mugs with cider or hot cocoa and prepare to light up your Texas vacation with holiday magic.

Christmas in the Gardens - Amarillo

Head to Amarillo in the Texas panhandle for the full holiday experience this season.

In the lovely Amarillo Botanical Gardens, there’s tons to do with the whole family. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, popcorn or s’mores as you stroll through the enchanting light displays, listening to local groups and schools singing your favorite carols. Make sure to get your reservation for the Poinsettia Luncheon & Style Show on Dec. 6, featuring a guest speaker, catering by Macaroni Joe’s and music by Patrick Swindell. And while you’re at it, do a little shopping for those special gifts and decorations that always put the whole family in the holiday spirit.

Austin Trail of Lights

Make your way to Central Texas during the holidays for the Trail of Lights. Located in Zilker Park, this holiday event is a must-see for any family wanting to dive into the spirit. Check out the specialty nights where you can celebrate and enjoy the vibrancy, spirit and diversity of Austin’s community of holiday enthusiasts. Don’t miss the Zilker Tree Lighting, Movie Night, Heroes Night and other events to keep the family feeling the spirit throughout the holidays. Local tip: Sign up for the Fun Run on Dec. 3 where you can walk or jog down these wondrous tunnels of lights in your best holiday-themed outfit. Plus, upon crossing the finish line, enjoy a free beer or cocoa with the whole community! With over two million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees and 70 other jubilant displays, you’ll never want to leave this winter wonderland.  

Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens in Galveston

If your holiday vacation leads you to the Texas coast, then you have a lot to look forward to. There is no shortage of holiday cheer and fun to be had at Moody Gardens, replete with ice skating and the Arctic Slide, along with, you guessed it, light displays you’ll be talking about until you come back next year, including a four-story-tall Dancing Tree of Light. The Moody Gardens holiday attractions also include holiday 3D films, train rides and a cruise where you can see the sights from the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat for a whole new perspective of the Galveston Festival of Lights.

Gift of Lights — Fort Worth

Lights, camera, selfie! At the Gift of Lights, you’ll want to document every second of family fun. For those who want to hit their holiday event in a limo or the bed of a pickup, this trail of lights in Fort Worth has your name on it. We recommend you get a cup of hot cocoa and turn up your favorite holiday jams as you coast through wondrous light tunnels and decorations that dazzle and enchant every minute of your visit.

The Polar Express in Palestine

The time has come for the ultimate holiday tradition. Get your tickets for the whole family on The Polar Express Train Ride in Palestine, Texas, to bring this captivating tale to life. As you and your family make the journey to the North Pole, you’ll be served hot chocolate and cookies as the chefs recite the story from this beloved children’s book. Bring a copy aboard so your little ones can follow along as this one-of-a-kind experience turns into a memory they’ll keep forever. Dress warm and cozy, and in fact, you’re encouraged to show up in your pajamas! But don’t wait to reserve your seat. Book your trip today.  

Starbright Village in Odessa + the Lights of West in McLennan County

Looking for charming lights and that small-town vibe? Cruise through these locally made light displays, perfect for those who love DIY, with over 300,000 lights to mesmerize the whole family. Walk or ride through Starbright Village from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, where you can enjoy a hot drink and concessions as you gaze and wonder at the unforgettable lights. If you find yourself farther away, you can still celebrate brilliantly with the Lights of West in McLennan County, featuring trailer rides and a chance to get your wishes in with the one and only St. Nick.

Holiday Lights on the River Walk – San Antonio

Be there for the official televised lighting ceremony at the Arneson River Theatre on Friday Nov. 25 to kick off the holiday season at the annual Ford Holiday River Parade. See the River Walk’s magic increased tenfold during the holidays. The cypress trees are draped with thousands of string lights all up and down this magnificent river. Enjoy caroling from the river banks or a restaurant patio from Dec. 1 through the 23. Better yet, get your friends and family together and reserve your own boat here to sing your favorite carols as you cruise down the San Antonio River during the most wonderful time of the year.  

The Magic Never Stops in Texas

If you and your loved ones are looking to relish the season’s magic, holiday lights in Texas will do just the trick. And thankfully, there’s a holiday festival or trail of lights waiting for you no matter where you are in the state. We can’t wait to see you under the lights.

P.S. Looking for holiday’s natural light displays? Texas has some of the best stargazing in the country. Find all the celestial hot spots here.