Christmas in Fredericksburg, Texas, combines German traditions passed down through generations with the charm of the Hill Country and all the fun things the town is known for. Between parades, ice skating, fabulous light displays, and lots of special events, the holiday calendar is packed here, making it a great time to visit and experience the joy of a Fredericksburg Christmas.
See the lights of Marktplatz and beyond
One of the central features of Fredericksburg at Christmas is the town’s lights. Every night from Thanksgiving week through the first week of January the Marktplatz comes alive with lights at 6pm. There is a countdown to the lighting along with holiday music before the thousands of bulbs turn on.
It’s impossible to come to Fredericksburg during the season and not see the giant Community Christmas Tree and the town’s most popular attraction–the 26-foot tall traditional German Christmas pyramid complete with moving wooden figures and a spinning windmill. Make a beeline here for the ceremony or visit after dark to see the decorations in their shimmering glory.
In addition to the formal light display, the storefronts along Main Street are lit up for the season. Take a stroll after dinner to see the creative displays.
Go wine tasting
From late November through Christmas Eve, 40+ wineries in Fredericksburg participate in the Christmas Wine Affair. A passport gets you free wine tastings and discounts on bottles at some of the best vineyards in the area.
The tasting rooms are decorated to the hilt for the season, and many wineries also offer seasonal specialties like mulled wine and desserts that you’ll only find around the holidays.
See the singing Christmas tree
Every year, the Pioneer Museum hosts Der Singende Weihnachtsbaum, an hour-long concert of Christmas music presented in a most unusual way. Sixty singers fill the 30-foot-tall lighted and decorated Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas Tree) outside on the museum’s grounds and entertain the crowd with holiday favorites.
Shop at the Christmas store
Open year-round, The Christmas Store in Fredericksburg is a great stop in any season. Right on Main Street, the store is filled with decorations, traditional and quirky ornaments, and collector’s items. We collect Christmas ornaments to as a way to remember our travels, so a store like this is the ideal spot for us.
Deck the halls at Sauer-Beckmann Farm
History comes alive at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm thanks to dedicated interpreters who show what life was like for settlers in the early 1900s, from growing and preserving their own food to working the farm. During the “Deck the Halls” event, visitors get a unique look at the Christmas traditions that were part of life at the time.
During the special event held Thanksgiving weekend, visitors can get hands on with making Christmas tree decorations like popcorn strings and cookies and show their skills at wreath making and dipping candles.
Join the festivities at LBJ State Park
Every Christmas season, the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historical Site gets festive. The former estate of LBJ, the 36th president of the United States, welcomes visitors to experience traditions that started decades ago with the Johnsons themselves.
In addition to a live nativity and an appearance by Santa, visitors will find carolers singing and decorations on the grounds. Festivities culminate in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony that’s not to be missed.
See the Johnson City Lights
Just a half-hour from Fredericksburg, the tiny town of Johnson City transforms itself into a dazzling site throughout December. From the day after Thanksgiving until the day after New Year’s, local businesses are lit up and the courthouse is covered in dripping lights with displays around its grounds amounting to over 100,000 Christmas lights.
Near the courthouse, the Pedernales Electric Cooperative puts on a display like no other. It incorporates 1.3 million white and blue LED lights into something so bright that it can be seen from space. The lights shine until midnight every night, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy them. The site draws visitors from around the Hill Country, and a visit here makes an ideal trip from Austin.
Luckenbach is one of our favorite places to go in the Hill Country in any season. With its welcoming atmosphere and daily music, it’s always on our list when we visit Fredericksburg.
At the holidays, Luckenbach is lit up for the season with festive Christmas trees and decorations on the stages and in the dance hall. There is even a light trail to visit. The first week of December, the venue hosts a Christmas Bazaar with music (of course) and vendors. The highlight is the tree lighting.
The biggest event at Luckenbach comes on New Year’s Eve when visitors gather for music and dancing. There is plenty of champagne to celebrate and toast the New Year. Tickets are required for the event.
Watch the Christmas parade
Light the Night Christmas Parade is one of the highlights of the Christmas season in Fredericksburg. Practically the whole town (and lots of visitors!) flock to Main Street to watch the spectacle.
More than 100 floats, marching bands, displays, clubs, and others put on their holiday best for the route through downtown. After the main event, the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce extends the fun by hosting an outdoor marketplace to help visitors get their shopping done early.
Go ice skating outdoors
An outdoor ice-skating rink may not be the first thing you would think of in Central Texas, but you’ll find one right in the heart of Fredericksburg. From late November through the first week of January, Eisbahn ice rink is one of the main attractions of the Marktplatz.
Skaters of all ages can enjoy the rink and the holiday music at this fun event that helps raise funds for local charities. Just $15 lets you skate all day.
See a production at the Fredericksburg Theater Company
Every year, the Fredericksburg Theater Company puts on funny and joyful performances around the holidays. This year, the season kicks off in November with Blood & Holly: Christmas West of the Pecos written by and staring Greater Tuna star Jaston Williams (if you don’t already know the Texas Christmas comedy Greater Tuna, you’re missing out). In December, the Company presents Scrooge, The Musical, an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.
Browse the wares at Trade Days
Trade Days are one of the classic activities in Fredericksburg. Once a month, Sunday Farms is full of over 400 vendors selling antiques, gifts, clothes, jewelry, and unique offerings. There’s always lots to choose from, but the holidays bring even more options. In addition to the November and December Trade Days (the latter happens days before Christmas), there’s a bonus market during the weekend of Thanksgiving
Trade Days is free to visit, and parking is only $5. There are hundreds of booths to browse as well as numerous food vendors. You could practically spend all day here, if you wanted to.
Visit the Lone Star Christmas tree
December makes a perfect time to discover some of the quirky things about the Fredericksburg area. In nearby Comfort, you’ll find an unexpected roadside attraction in the Lone Star Beer Christmas tree. Decorated entirely in Lone Star Beer cans, the tree has been a tradition since 2013. It’s located right beside the Cartoon Saloon, which is also worth a visit.