Some say everything’s bigger in Texas — a state geographically larger than any country in Europe and that goes for the sheer number of fun ways to celebrate Christmas in big cities and small towns. Much of Texas tends to sweat through triple-digit summers, but the weather turns welcoming come late autumn and winter. You’ll likely don a Santa hat over shorts and T-shirt at Christmas boat parades along the sub-tropical Texas Gulf Coast.
Texas’ biggest city, and America’s fourth largest, parties on a grand scale when it comes to the holidays. The famed Houston Symphony performs Handel’s “Messiah” each December. At Discovery Green, a downtown park, a model boat basin becomes a giant ice skating rink beginning each November.
The state’s most visited tourism destination welcomes the holiday with mucho gusto, or great pleasure. Bilingual San Antonio celebrates its rich Texas-Mexico cultural heritage each December with a tamale festival at the near-downtown Pearl Brewery Complex.
In Dallas, one Christmas tree isn’t enough at Fair Park, the site of the annual Texas State Fair. Each December, dozens of Christmas trees and hundreds of lights decorate Big Tex Circle at the near-downtown park. Fantasy displays go up each holiday season at the city’s 66-acre Dallas Arboretum. Thousands of holiday visitors converge at the North Park Center shopping mall beginning in mid-November to see an elaborate toy train exhibit featuring miniature replicas of popular U.S. tourist attractions.
Austin celebrates in capital style beginning in early December with the annual lighting of an enormous Christmas tree near the front steps of the Texas Capitol, followed by live entertainment reflecting the city’s nationally renowned music scene.