In the Texas Hill Country, a ride on a one horse open sleigh may be hard to come by, as one necessary ingredient (snow) is a rarity. However, don’t let that dismay you – the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail leaves nothing to be desired. Just pile the kids into your sleigh on wheels, and go for a wonderful drive through the Texas Hill Country to see the festival of lights in the small towns that dot the landscape.
The Regional Christmas Lighting Trail encompasses 11 central Texas communities. The participating communities are Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Goldthwaite, Johnson City, Kerrville, Llano, Marble Falls, New Braunfels, and Wimberley.
Last night we had the pleasure of driving through Goldthwaite, a bucolic community located on U.S. 183 north of Austin. The light display was beautiful, and we noticed one couple enjoying the tour of lights on a horse drawn, open air carriage.
The Johnson City display features over 1,000,000 lights adorning the Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s main office, with another 300,000 lights on the county courthouse.
In addition to the famous specialty shopping, brew pubs, museums and bed and breakfasts, Fredericksburg serves up seasonal cheer with lights all along Main Street and in the central Marktplatz park. The park features a 26 foot tall Christmas pyramid, Christmas tree, and an outdoor ice skating rink.
Llano’s festival is called “Starry Starry Nights” (named after the famous Van Gogh painting) and includes animated displays, a 55 foot tall Christmas tree, and a 30 foot tall snowman which is this year’s newest addition.
Wimberley’s “Old Fashioned Christmas” includes not only the requisite trail of lights but also a Yule Log with marshmallow roasting.
Marble Falls’ “Christmas Walkway of Lights” is the host to over one million glowing bulbs on the shores of Lake Marble Falls. The lights are ablaze nightly from 6 pm until 10 pm through New Year’s Day.
Kerrville lights up its courthouse and downtown area with over 100,000 lights and includes various food and festival activities depending upon the date you attend.
Burnet’s “Christmas Festival” is easily reached from Austin via the Hill Country Flyer steam train. What a romantic evening that would be – to ride a steam train to a Christmas light festival in Hamilton Park featuring lights, luminaries, and other Christmas décor.
Making a trip to the scenic and festive Hill Country communities is one of the best ways to enjoy time with the family as well as to get filled with Christmas cheer. Be sure not to miss out!
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