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 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 Fredericksburg. Suppose you’re a Christmas collector, wine connoisseur, or perhaps a lover of German ambiance; in that case, 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, but never during the holidays. From what I’ve heard about the 26-foot-tall German Christmas Pyramid, complete with moving wooden figures and a spinning windmill, and the 30-foot-tall 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 its website), then I’m planning my next trip during this magical time of year! Come out and experience an old-world Christmas in Texas Hill Country, and check out these magical holiday experiences in Fredericksburg, Texas.
1. Fredericksburg’s Christmas Nights of Lights
Grab a hot toddy and come out one evening for Fredericksburg’s Christmas Nights of Lights, during which the city lights up the Marktplatz promptly at 6 p.m. They play traditional holiday music and do a countdown to the lights. This short 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 after 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, the Trade Days Holiday Encore will provide even more than you want or need.
Don’t worry if you miss this weekend — the regular Fredericksburg Trade Days are held on every third 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. 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 there is a small fee to park.
3. The Peddler Show
The Peddler Show has been coming to the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg for over 40 years. Shop the products of 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 on The Peddler Show website.
4. Art And Vino Painting Class
Weekends, Late November–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. Eisbahn Outdoor Ice Skating
Mid-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. Locals and visitors have made their way to this wonderful event to make family traditions while skating and listening to traditional Christmas music. Every worker is a volunteer from Heritage School, and the event raises funds to help out two local charities.
Tickets: For $15 (including skate rental), you can skate all day, and it’s come and go. Special price on Tuesdays of $10.
6. Holiday Food & Wine Walking Tour
The Holiday Evening Food & Wine Tour hosted by Fredericksburg Tours takes you on a journey downtown to see the holiday lights, holiday window displays, and the charmingly decorated Marktplatz square. This half-day walking tour will take you through the festive Marktplatz and to three wineries for guided wine tastings paired with delicious food from some of the best eateries in town.
7. The Jolly Trolley
Late November–Early December
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 for a fun-filled, 3.5-hour holiday tour. Ride to Johnson City (another must-see city at Christmastime) to view the spectacular light displays totalling over 5 million bulbs. Enjoy holiday music and watch vintage editions of Rudolph or Charlie Brown’s Christmas (and more) along the way.
Pro Tips: 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!
8. The Christmas Store
Open Year Round
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-kind, upscale holiday collector’s items and something for your Christmas tree at home or the office. I love buying holiday ornaments from places we visit so I can hang them on the Christmas tree to remind us of what a fabulous time we had.
9. Christmas Wine Affair
Early December–Before Christmas
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 on the Texas Wine Trail website 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 participating wineries (with a limit of four 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 yearly, Fredericksburg typically has at least 12+ wineries participating. Also, a limited number of tickets are sold, and they do sell out.
10. The Christmas Market & Festival
Oh my! So much holiday shopping in Fredericksburg! Here is another market to put on your list to visit. The Christmas Market & Festival, sponsored by The Texas Food Festival, is held at the Bankersmith Dance Hall and Saloon and is the place to experience a Western Christmas wonderland. Shop for holiday gifts from various vendors while listening to live music and eating festive food. Plus, there is a petting zoo, hayride, and a live nativity scene with donkeys, camels, and other animals. And the best part, Santa will be there for free photo opportunities.
11. Holiday Musicals At The Fredericksburg Theater
Every year, the Fredericksburg Theater Company presents holiday productions around Christmastime.
In 2022, the theater proudly presents a classic holiday story we all love and adore: Miracle on 34th Street. I grew up watching the movie, in black and white, each year as a family night date. I still, to this day, will at least have the movie on in the background just so I can hear all those memorable quotes. One of my favorite quotes is when Susan Walker said, “I believe, I believe, even though it’s silly, I believe.” This heartwarming holiday classic will surely bring you back to your childhood, and may even spark a tear or two.
12. New Year’s Eve Dance In Luckenbach
Toast the New Year where “everybody’s somebody” — the nearby community of Luckenbach, Texas! Ring in the New Year cowboy style with your friends, family, and a popular singer-songwriter. Check out the lineup at on the Visit Fredericksburg website.
Pro Tip: Tickets are around $45 and include a champagne toast and party favors. Purchase your tickets early, as they will sell out.
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. Locals and visitors make the holidays in Fredericksburg a family tradition.
Planning your Fredericksburg visit? Complete your itinerary with our tips for the best things to see and do in Fredericksburg, Texas. If you want to make it a weekend, these are the best places to stay in Fredericksburg, and these are the most luxurious Fredericksburg experiences.