Elgin and Bastrop This Holiday Season


Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means the Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm is open for business. The Christmas tree farm has been a beloved Central Texas tradition since it opened as a small retirement business in 1984; and today, the farm has the largest selection of Christmas trees in Central Texas.  Each year the Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm plants over 6,000-7,000 seedlings, and they have multiple fields that they sell from each year. Their farm has a variety of different trees, including Virginia Pines, Loblolly Pines, Leyland Cypresses and pre-cut Fraser Fir Trees, and not only are you getting an authentic, Central Texas-grown Christmas tree  at their farm, you’re getting an experience along with it as well! The farm  features fun, family-friendly activities including a petting zoo, scenic hayrides, mazes, a Christmas Cottage and a children’s playground. They’re open every day until 5:30 p.m., except later on Thursdays and Fridays, when they’re open until 8:30 p.m.

Central Texas

Photo courtesy of YNN

Elgin is a bit of a drive from Kyle for a Christmas tree. (And totally worth it, for the experience of the farm and the smell of fresh pine in your home throughout the holiday season.) But if you need another reason to make the journey worth your while, Bastrop is hosting their annual Lost Pines Christmas celebration this weekend (Thursday , December 12th through Sunday, December 15th). Each day of the holiday party offers something different and unique, including stargazing and other activites at McKinney Rough Nature Park, the Christmas Street Market in downtown Bastrop, Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Bastrop Public Library, an array of shows and performances including The Nutcracker, as well as lighted Christmas parades, the Bastrop River of Lights and more.

More than 30 family-friendly activities occur throughout the four day weekend, and each event is distinctly and uniquely Bastrop. Visit the Lost Pines Christmas website for a full schedule and details about the event. It’s a great way to have some holiday fun away from home, for a day or for the weekend!

Central Texas holidays

Bastrop River of Lights courtesy of the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce

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Holiday Films and Live Showings in Central Texas


Of all of the holidays throughout the year, those in December are often the ones that are most celebrated in pop culture – whether it’s through song, films, plays or other live experiences. Such mainstays as The Nutcracker, The Grinch and It’s a Wonderful Life have become holiday traditions for many people this time of year; and across Central Texas, there are countless opportunities for experiencing your favorites.

Austin is the perfect place for getting your holiday fix this December, as it’s a mere 20 minute drive away from Kyle – and nearly every movie theater or theater house in town is celebrating the holiday season in their own way. The Alamo Drafthouse, for example, is showing both holiday classics and modern favorites (many with their own special programming) including a Home Alone Pizza Party, a Christmas Vacation Quote Along, It’s a Wonderful Life and more.  Most of the special programs are shown at the original Drafthouse location on 6th Street, just down the road from I-35, making it an easy stop for those of us traveling to the theater from Kyle. Plus, there’s the Paramount and Stateside Theaters a little further into downtown Austin which are also showing holiday films throughout the month.

Plum Creek Kyle TX

Photo courtesy of Ballet Austin

If a live experience is more your thing, the ZACH Theater in Austin is showing their own take on the Christmas classics A Christmas Story and This Wonderful Life the whole month of December; and Ballet Austin will be performing their annual presentation of The Nutcracker at The Long Center for the Performing Arts as well.  The Nutcracker will also be shown in San Marcos at the San Marcos High School Performing Arts Center thanks to the River City Ballet, and THIS THURSDAY, the famous jazz version of the classic ballet from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, will be put on by the Texas State University Jazz Ensemble and the Department of Theater and Dance at Texas State’s Evans Auditorium. The Evans Auditorium will also be home to the Hill Country Youth Chorus’ free presentation of the “Holidays in the Hill Country” on December 9th as well.

Plum Creek Kyle TX

Photo courtesy of the San Marcos Mercury

In Kyle, the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center located in Plum Creek is host to another array of holiday shows and events throughout the month, including holiday performances from the districts’ choirs, orchestras and bands, a performance of The Nutcracker on Sunday, December 15th and The Night Before Christmas on December 20th and 21st.

So to get you and yours in the holiday spirit this month, complement the holiday classics you have on VHS and DVD with some live film and theater experiences, and celebrate not only the season, but the talent and creativity that’s present here in Central Texas!

 

 

Lights, Parades, Ice Skating & More | Holiday Events and Activities in Central Texas


While malls and departments stores have been ready for the holidays since Halloween, Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season has officially begun. Starting this weekend, cities and towns from across Central Texas are gearing up for the holidays with lights, events and festivities throughout the month of December. To help make your holiday season as festive as possible, we’ve compiled a partial list of events and celebrations happening in the area.

This weekend, Buda’s annual Budafest takes place from 10 a.m. to dusk, December 1-2nd. The 33rd annual celebration will feature an array of fun, family friendly events including live music, over 125 craft vendors, a wide selection of locally-prepared food and a carnival for the kids. The event takes place at Buda City Park and will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a holiday parade starting from the Fire Station.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

November 28th to December 1st, San Marcos hosts their four-day Sights & Sounds of Christmas celebration south of Kyle. Festivities include arts and crafts, a carnival, food vendors, a 5K & 1K Run a parade along downtown Main Street hosted by the San Marcos Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, and live music performances each night. Tickets to the event are $4 per night, or $7 for the complete four days. For more information about the event, including a performance schedule and event details, visit the Sights & Sounds of Christmas website.

Throughout the month of December, San Marcos will also host Santa’s Ranch – a mile of spectacular holiday scenes featuring over 1 million lights and 100 displays and animations.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Other holiday light scenes can be found in towns throughout Central Texas thanks to the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Tree Lighting Trail. Eleven communities are participating in this year’s event with light displays and special festivities occurring throughout the month. Special events and features a self-guided, winter wonderland walk amidst 2 million lights reflecting on the waters of Lake Marble Falls; a German-themed Christmas tree, holiday lights and an outdoor ice skating in Fredericksburg; and a Cowboy Christmas at Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne, December 22-23rd. For a complete list of participating communities, and more information about each city’s festivities, visit the Texas Hill Country Christmas Trail website.

Other holiday events in the area include a capella caroling inside the Cave Without a Name in Boerne December 8th, ice skating atop Whole Foods Market in Austin, Polar Express Movie Night under the stars in New Braunfels, and an endless array of holiday craft and vendor markets in towns across the area.

So, when you catch a minute between shopping, decorating, cooking and cleaning for the holidays, take some time to enjoy the spirit of the season with some lights and family fun in Central Texas.