Things to Do

New Braunfels is Your Home Away from Home for Holiday Magic

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The Hill Country is always hopping with year-round events, and the holidays are an exceptionally special time to enjoy the unique charm that each town has to offer. New Braunfels is a regular hot spot for many visitors, but the river, tubing, and even Gruene Hall take a back seat to the exciting events of the holiday season in November and December. A place brimming with activity in summer, you’ll be happy to know that New Braunfels offers an equally cheery time in the cooler months.

The holiday fun kicked off with a bright start on November 16 at the lighting of downtown. When the mayor flipped the switch, thousands of little twinkling lights sent their glow up into the sky. At the ceremony, Santa also made a grand debut on a vintage firetruck, and, of course, he was available for pictures!

New Braunfels is Your Home Away from Home for Holiday Magic

Photo: playinnewbraunfels.com

The Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade is one new tradition you won’t want to miss. The fun takes place December 1 from 5 p.m. 9 p.m. Beginning in Prince Solms and ending in Landa Park behind the courthouse, this event, like many of the others in New Braunfels, is free to the public and hosted by a group of devoted volunteers. The Parade has also partnered up with Emily’s Elves, a group that works to bring gifts to less fortunate kids. For more information check out the website here.

Also happening December 1 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is the Gruene Town lighting. Santa will be busy that night appearing as Cowboy Kringle who rides into town on horseback to light up Gruene with magical Christmas lights! Live music and wine for purchase will be available, as well as a show at Gruene Hall that night. After the lighting, visitors will want to stay a while and do their Christmas shopping at Gruene’s many charming shops.

New Braunfels is Your Home Away from Home for Holiday Magic

Photo: playinnewbraunfels.com

Are you into caroling? Most people appreciate the nostalgic feeling that comes with carolers making the rounds to sing to neighbors and community members. On December 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30, you won’t have to wait for the carolers to come to you! Make your way to the New Braunfels Plaza for the 38th Annual Caroling on the Plaza.

The month of December is also the perfect time to visit Natural Bridge Caverns for Christmas at the Caverns! Many events will be taking place, such as mazes, lights, campfires, caroling, evening hayrides, and an elf zip line! Check the calendar on this link for details of when events will be taking place.

New Braunfels is Your Home Away from Home for Holiday Magic

Photo: playinnewbraunfels.com

November and December host many festivals and market days for all your holiday shopping needs. Christkindlmarkt is a German-inspired open-air market with German-inspired craft beer, handcrafted Gluehwein, German music, singing, and dancing. It promises to be a big hit! Vendors will be selling Christmas ornaments, décor, and handcrafted artisan gifts, so bring your Christmas lists. Activities will also be available for the kids in attendance such as face-painting, a bungee trampoline, rock-climbing, and a visit from Hill Country Santa and Mrs. Claus. Check here for dates and times!

New Braunfels is Your Home Away from Home for Holiday Magic

Facebook/Sophienburg Museum and archives

Check out Wassailfest on December 6 from 6-9. Warm those weary bones with some great Wassail samples! You’ll probably want to take some home after sampling. Food, vendors, and music will be available at this event. You can sip your hot drink while you stroll along the Christmas-lit streets. You might also be interested in taking home a 2018 Wassailfest mug.

If you’re looking for a day-time activity, check out Gruene Christmas Market Days on December 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Over 100 artisans and vendors will be selling hand-made goods and gifts. From reclaimed metal to original art, from seasonal to all-seasons, you are sure to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, or for yourself! Enjoy free parking and entertainment while you shop! While this event happens monthly except for January, the December event is sure to please your holiday cravings. Check out specific vendors here.

New Braunfels is Your Home Away from Home for Holiday Magic

Photo: Facebook/Gruene Market Days

With all the food and sweets that you’ll enjoy at each of the events above, you might want to sign up for one of the holiday runs happening in New Braunfels. The Chosen Half Marathon and 5k Run will take place on November 17, and the Comal Cops for Kids Run will take place on November 22. Dress up or just wear your warm-ups, but come and enjoy a run through the Hill Country!

To all of the Hill Country and beyond, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy holiday season!