Fredericksburg, Texas, is a wine lover’s paradise in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, and wine is undoubtedly one of the main reasons visitors come to the city any time of the year. But during the holidays, the city comes together with its holiday flair and combines wine and Old World German Christmas traditions for the whole family to enjoy. From November to New Year’s, it's wine, dine, and shop-till-you-drop time in the city. If you're a Christmas collector, wine connoisseur, or perhaps a lover of German ambiance, then you'll want to make plans to visit Fredericksburg for the holidays for some laid-back hospitality and a genuinely good time -- and you may even want to stay to bring in the New Year!
I've been to Fredericksburg several times over the years, but never during the holidays. From what I've heard about the massive 26-foot-tall German Christmas Pyramid, complete with moving wooden figures and a spinning windmill and the 30-foot Christmas tree, it's a holiday must-see and picture-worthy. If Fredericksburg's Christmas season has been compared to a holiday Hallmark movie (which it has, according to their website), then I'm planning my next trip during this magical time of year! Come out and experience an old-world Christmas in the Historic Texas Hill Country, and check out these 11 magical holiday experiences in Fredericksburg, Texas.
1. Evening Christmas Light Show
Mid-November Through Early January
Grab a hot toddy and come out one evening for the 55 Nights of Fredericksburg Lights, during which the city lights up the Marktplatz promptly at 6 p.m. by playing traditional holiday music and doing a countdown to the lights. This short 5-minute show will certainly set the scene for your festive evening on Main Street.
2. Fredericksburg Trade Days Holiday Encore
The Fredericksburg Trade Days Holiday Encore happens once a year and is held on the weekend of Thanksgiving. It's filled with all things festive, and I'm sure you'll find a treasure or two. Mixed with old and new holiday decor and gift-giving ideas, you'll probably find more than you want or need. And, don't worry if you miss this weekend, the Trade Days are held on every 3rd weekend of each month. Although it won't be quite the holiday event, you could experience Trade Days the weekend before the Encore or in December. I bet they'll have holiday decor then, too! This market is my absolute favorite thing to do when I'm in Fredericksburg. Every time I get down that way, I try to book my stay during the third weekend of the month.
Pro Tip: If you're into antiques, holiday decor, and odd things, I highly recommend bringing a large vehicle with plenty of room in the back! This market is huge and has really nice things to buy. Note that it’s $5 to park.
3. The Peddler Show, A Texas Holiday Shopping Tradition
The Peddler Show has been coming to The Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg for over 40 years. Shop with talented designers, artisans, creators, and craftsmen from all over the country. With three buildings full of “peddlers,” you are guaranteed to find something for the holidays. I love a good-smelling Christmas candle for my mantle. Tickets must be purchased online at The Peddler Show.
4. Art And Vino Painting Class
Weekends Late November To Late December
You don't have to be an artist to get in the holiday spirit at The Yellow Door Studio’s Art and Vino painting classes. Trust me, with a little wine, your painting will be the best one there! Whether you sign up to draw poinsettias, a darling red truck with a Christmas tree in the back, or the little red barn with a holiday wreath hanging on the barn door, you'll fall in love with these paintings as you make tons of memories with your group.
5. Enjoy Eisbahn Outdoor Ice Skating
Late November Through The Holiday Season
Who would have thought you could ice skate in South Texas? Well, you can if the ice is brought in. This is exactly what Eisbahn does every holiday season at Marktplatz in Downtown Fredericksburg. For 12 years, locals and visitors have made their way to this wonderful event to make family traditions while skate and listening to traditional Christmas music. Every worker is a volunteer from Heritage School, and the event raises funds to help out two charities For $15 (includes skate rental), you can skate all day, and it's come and go.
6. Fredericksburg Holiday Tours
November Through January
There are several holiday tours hosted by Fredericksburg Tours. The Holiday Evening Food and Wine Tour takes you on a journey along the Texas Wine Trail and downtown to see the holiday lights, holiday window displays, and the charming decorated Marktplatz square. The Holiday Food and Wine Walking Tour is a half-day tour through downtown. You'll stop along the way for wine tastings paired with delicious food while enjoying the sights of the holidays in Marktplatz.
Or, hop on the Jolly Trolley for some Ho Ho Ho! You'll board the festive vintage-style Jolly Trolley at the trolley stop at Marktplatz on Main Street in Fredericksburg for a 3.5-hour fun-filled holiday tour. Ride to Johnson City (another must-see city at Christmastime) to view the spectacular light displays. Enjoy holiday music and watch vintage editions of Rudolph or Charlie Brown's Christmas (and more) along the way. The trolley is heated, but you'll still want to dress warmly. You never know what the weather will be like in any part of Texas ... even the south!
7. Visit The Christmas Store On Main Street
A three-generation family-owned business that’s been open since 1994, The Christmas Store in Fredericksburg is located on Main Street right in the heart of all the shopping. It's a holiday experience that's a must while visiting -- even if you're not there during the holidays. Shop for one-of-a-kinds, upscale holiday collector items, and something for your Christmas tree at home. I love buying holiday ornaments from where we visit to hang on the Christmas tree to remind us of what a fabulous time we had.
Pro Tip: While you're strolling on Main Street, you might want to stop into the Lone Star Candy Bar and Fredericksburg Fudge for some holiday samples and sweets.
8. Experience The Christmas Wine Affair
The Texas Hill Country wineries come together to host the Texas Wine Trail Christmas Wine Affair. Dress in your holiday outfit (blue jeans are very appropriate in Fredericksburg) and get all festive for a holly jolly time siping and sampling award-winning wines at various wineries across several towns in the Hill Country. If you're already familiar with the wine passport, then you know what a saving it is. Purchase your passport online at Texas Wine Trail and get ready to experience a fun time on your own. Each ticket includes a full complimentary tasting (as determined by the wineries) at all 45 participating wineries with a limit of four wineries a day and a 15 percent discount on three bottle purchases at each winery. Whoa, that's a lot of wine!
Pro Tip: While wineries’ participation can change year to year, Fredericksburg typically has at least 12 wineries that participate. Also, are is a limited number of tickets sold, and they do sell out.
9. Christmas Market At Bankersmith’s
Oh my! So much holiday shopping in Fredericksburg! Here is another market to put on your list to visit. Bankersmith's Christmas Market, sponsored by The Best of Texas, is the place to experience a Christmas Western Wonderland. Shop for a variety of holiday gifts from various vendors while listening to live music and eating festive food. Plus, there is a Christmas Tree contest and a live nativity scene with donkeys and other animals. And, the best part, Santa will be there for photo opportunities.
10. Experience A Holiday Musical At The Theater
Fredericksburg Theater Company proudly presents this hilarious musical: The Nuncrackers. This “nunsense” Christmas musical is full of wacky PG humor and involves performances of some of your favorite Christmas music. It's time to kindle the Christmas spirit with the ones you love in a fun and humorous way. However, if you want to see something a little more serious, the holiday classic The Nutcracker will also be showing.
11. New Year’s Eve Dance In Luckenbach
Toast the New Year where "Everybody's Somebody" -- Luckenbach Texas! Ring in the New Year cowboy style with your friends and singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney. Sunny, who once played on stage with Bob Seger, will sing her heart out with her own country soul music. I'll toast to that! I think Willie, Waylon, and The Boys would approve of this celebration at the Luckenbach Texas Dancehall.
Pro Tip: Tickets are only $20 online and $25 at the door but are limited. If you want to go, buy your tickets online.
More Pro Tips
When Fredericksburg's residents say that the holiday events in their town are not to be missed, it must be a magical time. One of my dearest friends has a place on Barons Creek, which runs through the town. She told me that locals gear up for all the festivities by showing up and participating in all the events. Locals and visitors alike make the holidays in Fredericksburg a family tradition each year. Planning your Fredericksburg visit? Complete your itinerary with our tips for the best things to see and do in Fredericksburg, Texas.