These nine Texas and Missouri destinations are guaranteed to make your season bright.
The Midwest and South are steeped in German history, none more so than in Texas and Missouri. And if there’s one thing we have in common with our German ancestors—apart from a love of savory sausage—it’s a love of Christmas. From Fredericksburg to Cole Camp, here are nine places worth a trek this winter.
New Braunfels, Texas
This classic German town kicks off the holiday season with Christkindlmarkt, a German-inspired market replete with revelry, delicious beer, German music and dancing. And forget the North Pole–New Braunfels is home to the glorious Santa’s Ranch and The Greatest Light Display in Texas, two can’t-miss attractions open November 3 through January 1, 2019. Ranch revelers can enjoy the display of over 1.5 million Christmas lights while sipping on cocoa and munching on kettle corn.
Fredericksburg and nearby Luckenbach offer endless fun festivities, including outdoor ice skating and Christmas-themed tours of the Wine Country. The town lights a 26-foot tall German Christmas Pyramid each year, a creation inspired by German woodworker’s intricate craftsmanship that may be the inspiration for our modern day Christmas treats.
Gruene has its own brand of Santa: a jolly old fellow named Cowboy Kringle. Countless kids and families take photos and make merry memories with Cowboy Kringle each year at the town’s two-month long Market Days. Over one hundred vendors pack the downtown streets, offering great Gruene goodies perfect for gifts and spreading good cheer. To make matters merrier, a series of Christmas concerts are held each year at the historic Gruene Hall.
Weimar rings in the holiday season with its annual Down Home celebration, a downtown extravaganza where shops stay open late and the town enjoys a lighted parade at dark. Celebrate the season Texas- and German-style as holiday lights illuminate the brilliant Texas skyline enveloping this tiny Texas town.
Hermann is the perfect destination for Christmas lovers in the Midwest. The city hosts a classic European Christmas market, a lantern parade and a 19th-century German Christmas dinner at the historic Pommer-Gentner where revelers enjoy traditional treats while learning classic German Christmas customs.
Cole Camp, Missouri
Cole Camp is a small town with big history. Many residents still speak German, and the local choir honors that history with an annual Christmas music concert with songs sung entirely in German. This Missouri enclave of German heritage hosts its own Christkindlmarkt, a tree lighting festival and the annual Christbaumfest and Craft Show celebrating Cole Camp’s creativity and German heritage through a Christmas-inspired craft show.
Dutzow’s local Blumenhof Winery is a German-inspired staple that has been wetting whistles for over three decades. Blumenhof hosts the annual Kristkindl Market in Merry Olde Dutzow, a German Christmas market featuring locally made gifts and crafts alongside wicked wine sales guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.