December Festivals and Events

Texas temperatures dip during the final month of the year with temperatures averaging in the 50s in Dallas. The temperatures are still mild enough to be pleasant, particularly for those in attendance at one of the many festivals and events staged throughout Texas. 

Consider a festival celebrating the Victorian-era in Galveston. Revel in the Mariachi experience in San Antonio. Taste wines in Texas Hill Country. Review these events and more that you might want to consider checking out when vacationing in the Lone Star State in December. 

  • 01 of 06
    Dickens on the Strand
    ••• Allen Sheffield / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    For more than three decades, characters from Charles Dickens' novels have strolled Galveston's historic Strand District during December. Known as Dickens on the Strand, this holiday festival takes visitors back to the Victorian era as street vendors with pushcarts work amongst carolers and street musicians, while children busy themselves at the Royal Menagerie Petting Zoo. The Strand District is a National Historic Landmark District of mainly Victorian-era buildings that now house restaurants, antique stores, and curio shops.

  • 02 of 06
    Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza
    ••• W.K. Kellogg Foundation / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

    The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio is an annual event celebrating the history and cultural impact of mariachi music. The festival includes concerts by world-renowned musicians, competitions with participants from all across the U.S and workshops. This is a can't-miss event for mariachi music lovers, and it is an opportunity to hear some of the best mariachi groups from the region. 

  • 03 of 06
    Vineyard in the Texas Hill Country
    ••• DHuss / Getty Images

    Spanning 17 days in December, you can tour more than 40 wineries through the Texas Hill Country from Austin to Fredericksburg, also known as the Christmas Wine Affair. You can purchase a tasting passport for the wineries that enables you to enjoy the wine tastings, appetizers, barrel tastings, art shows, and more. 

  • 04 of 06
    Dallas White Rock Marathon Starting Line
    ••• Courtesy of Dallas White Rock Marathon

    The BMW Dallas marathon, half marathon, and the five-person relay are fun and memorable city races with a racecourse that highlights iconic Dallas landmarks and features hundreds of thousands of spectators cheering on participants in Dallas' largest annual single-day sporting event. The race, which is Texas' oldest marathon, attracts runners from every state and across the globe each December. Race proceeds are donated to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

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  • 05 of 06
    Whistle Stop Christmas Lights
    ••• Courtesy of Whistlestop Christmas

    In Cleburne, just south of Fort Worth, the Whistle Stop Christmas Lights wow visitors on an annual basis. The main draw for this county-wide event is the 11 acres of Christmas displays covering Hulen Park which stay lit for the whole month of December. There are an estimated 3.5 million lights throughout Johnson County.

  • 06 of 06
    Dallas Holiday Parade
    ••• Courtesy of Dallas Holiday Parade

    Kick-off your holiday season by attending the Dallas Holiday Parade. For more than 30 years, the Dallas Holiday Parade brings holiday magic and memories to the streets of Downtown Dallas. As one of the largest parades in the United States, the parade attracts a crowd of more than 500,000 spectators. The parade features spirited marching bands, famous characters, magical holiday floats, larger-than-life balloons, and much more. The parade was formerly known as the Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade.