Christmas doesn’t have a cancel button, so don’t give up on your favorite holiday events just yet. The 2020 Holiday Bucket List is just as full as the lists in previous years. Make the most of this season with these amazing events in our beloved Texas Hill Country.
This year, it seems that most families want to go BIG with their holidays … BIG on giving, BIG on decorating, BIG on family time, and BIG on celebrating the reason for the season. 2020 is the perfect year to start some new holiday traditions or to revive a few that got lost in Christmases past.
One of our favorite traditions is our Family Advent Calendar:
Starting on December 1st, I write down one holiday experience to do for each of the days leading up to Christmas. These daily activities can be must-do tasks, like addressing and sending Christmas cards, or fun nights out, like meandering through a trail of lights after dinner. I love this tradition because we get to participate in all of our favorite events, activities, tasks, and traditions while waiting in joyful anticipation of celebrating the birth of Jesus. In addition to the daily activity, I also include a slip of paper with scripture that tells part of the Christmas story so that each day, a little more of the story is being recited. (Luke 1:26-35; Luke 2:1-20)
Below I’ve included a list of some of the activities I’ve hidden in our advent calendar pockets in years past, followed by the 2020 Holiday Bucket List.
TRADITIONS/FUN AT HOME –
- Bake sugar cookies
- Make cards/gifts for teachers
- Holiday movie night
- Read the story of St. Nicholas and put shoes outside your door for a little surprise (Dec 6th)
- Deliver treats to neighbors
- Caroling at home and holiday charades
- Trim/Decorate the tree(s)
- Make homemade paper snowflakes and tape them in the windows
- Tell stories of our family’s holidays past, as well as dreams for the future (reminisce over photos, plan vacations, etc)
- Make gingerbread houses
HILL COUNTRY HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST –
Nov 7th – Dec 24th
Make a reservation for a socially-distanced photo with Santa and a stroll through the store’s holiday decorations. Your kids can also mail a letter to Santa and take home a holiday craft kit. Plus, no visit to Cabela’s is complete without a visit to the dead zoo.
Nov. 27th – Jan 3rd
Enjoy the natural wonder of a Hill Country winter on a strollable, illuminated trail walk featuring the forts of Fortlandia. Purchase tickets in advance.
Nov 20th – Jan 2nd
Walkway of Lights with a variety of themes, weekend events including breakfast with Santa, ice skating, shopping, and “No Room at the Inn” gallery exhibit… With this many holiday-inspired activities, you could spend every weekend in Marble Falls!
Nov 27th – Dec 27th
Take a short drive to Bastrop for some spectacular holiday events, including a wassail fest, river of lights, a drive-in movie and virtual tree lighting, holiday sidewalk stroll and scavenger hunt, and Elf the Musical.
Nightly November 27th – Jan 3rd
The courthouse and downtown area are aglow with thousands of lights. Local vendors set up tables inside and outside the courthouse. The town of Johnson City is still deciding which events will occur this year. Check website for details.
Nov 12th – Jan 6th
Show up on any day of the week for a spectacular holiday light show and events-a-plenty. Fredericksburg is so full of holiday cheer that you may need a few days to take it all in. Check the website for specific activities and lodging options.
December 5th, 10 am – 5 pm
This fun hometown festival isn’t giving up on 2020. Enjoy shopping with local vendors, a trackless train, pony rides, a festive atmosphere, and an opportunity to write a letter to Santa and mail it on-site.
Weekends in December
Photos with Cowboy Kringle (appointment required), free afternoon shows at historic Gruene Hall, gorgeous Christmas lights and decorations throughout the town, and unique shops to complete your Christmas lists. Traditional events, such as the town lighting and the gospel brunch, are postponed until 2021. Check website for events still taking place.
Dec 5th, 9 am and noon
Take a kit home so your kids can to create their own Treat Tray for Santa. Kids develop hands-on skills with sanding, nailing and applying stickers. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
Texas State Parks have several holiday events, from scavenger hunts to Santa sightings to s’mores and ornament-making. Find a park near you and enjoy the great outdoors this season!
Dec, 17th -19th, 7:00PM & 8:30PM
FREE light and sound show each night created and performed by nationally-acclaimed artists.
Now through Jan 6th
Make a reservation online for this special Austin tradition. Grab a hot cocoa or coffee and enjoy the “dancing lights”.
Nov 21st – Jan 3rd
Over 120,000 lights are on display at a family’s home in Austin for a good cause: the Make-a-Wish foundation! Check out their “Believe” theme this year and leave a donation.