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Rita Cook – Guest Contributor
Dec 8 @ 15:00
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EnchantChristmas-Vancouver 3_PhotoCredit - Dale Kl

No matter how much time you have for a holiday jaunt this month to get in the Christmas spirit, here are a few standout destinations to keep your December busy near or far.

If you want to unplug from the holiday madness and experience a bit of Texas from a historical standpoint, the mid-1800s Washington on the Brazos festivities in Washington, Texas is an alternative worth considering. The holiday highlights include interactive experiences and this weekend you can celebrate Christmas on the Brazos at the historical state park.  Christmas on the Brazos is a creation of frontier festivities, period music, visits with interpreters and candlelit venues. The activities begin in the early afternoon at Independence Hall and the Star of the Republic Museum and extend into the evening bringing an 1850s Christmas to all. 

Even better, children can meet St. Nick and there is an afternoon with Dickens at Independence Hall with the staff dressed in period clothing and regaling visitors with tales of Olde Time Christmas, as told by the author, Charles Dickens. At the Star of the Republic Museum docents will be hosting a “make-and-take” period craft event as well.

On December 16 enjoy a Living History Saturday at Independence Hall and Old Washington Townsite where visitors travel back in time to March 2, 1836 when 59 delegates met in Independence Hall in Washington, Texas to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico. From 1836 until 1846, the Republic of Texas proudly existed as a separate nation. Staff and volunteers will be dressed in period clothing providing a unique opportunity for the entire family to discover various aspects of life surrounding the birth of the Republic of Texas.

Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site is located halfway between Brenham and Navasota, off State Hwy. 105. For more information about the Christmas events this weekend visit Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site.

A bit further afar from now until Christmas, the tiny mountain town of Taos, NM was voted as the third best Christmas destination in the world by US News & World Report.  You not only get unique holiday traditions among the beautiful snowcapped Sangre de Cristo Mountains, but visitors can revel in the annual Yuletide in Taos too.  The Yuletide event includes festivities in a town that is richly influenced by Native American and Spanish cultures as well as the modern art colony located there where artists are preparing their wares for Christmas shoppers.

Closer to Home

A bit closer to home the Enchant Christmas North Texas extravaganza made its U.S. debut this year at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Guests will see the world’s largest Christmas light maze and North Texas’ largest outdoor Christmas tree.  The 300,000-square foot Christmas celebration is going on now until December 31 with food trucks, a holiday market, Santa’s Place, a skating pond and more than two million twinkling lights.  Based upon the children’s story “The Adventures of Enchant: The Great Search,” written by Leanne Johnston, Enchant Christmas is a world of wonder for holiday revelers who enjoy outdoor strolling through a winter wonderland. 

The Season of Science at the Perot Museum www.perotmuseum.org might not be getting out of town, but it will get the kids out of the house for a sleepover. This year’s holiday offerings include an extra helping of special activities and programs, an all-about-space Discovery Days and a “winter wonderland” sleepover. Little ones ages five and under can get crafty making melted snowmen and snowflakes, sorting winter objects, and play with water at the Candy Cane Art Lab.

And for a sleepover the entire family will enjoy, head to Grapevine where the Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas is well underway. Offering a variety of holiday activities, live entertainment, and grand displays to celebrate the season and delight Christmas lovers of all ages, the fun lasts from now until the end of the year.  This year there are 2 million holiday lights decorating the resort’s indoor atriums, 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice for ICE! featuring ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, 2 million pounds of real Texas snow for a two-story tall, a 12-lane snow tubing hill, a 6,000-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree adorning the center atrium, magical miniature train sets throughout the property, 25-foot-tall Nutcrackers and 2,300 decorated wreaths, 5,600 feet of garland, and 15,000 festive ornaments.  Take advantage of the Gingerbread Decorating Corner presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas and choose from a tasty gingerbread cookie family, a traditional gingerbread house or a Train Kit then get a hug and a picture from the resident Gingerbread Man.