12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season

Drive under the holiday lights through Jan. 2 at Santa's Ranch in New Braunfels. (Courtesy Santa's Ranch)
Drive under the holiday lights through Jan. 2 at Santa's Ranch in New Braunfels. (Courtesy Santa's Ranch)

Drive under the holiday lights through Jan. 2 at Santa's Ranch in New Braunfels. (Courtesy Santa's Ranch)

Nov. 5-Jan. 2 | Visit Santa’s Ranch

Drive through over a mile of light exhibits, animated Christmas displays and more. Hot chocolate, kettle corn and other snacks will be available, and the attraction will be open from 6-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu. and 6-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $35 (per vehicle), $75 (per vehicle for a season pass). 9561 N. I-35, New Braunfels. 830-743-1293. www.santasranch.net

Dec. 10 | See ‘Polar Express’ in the park

Enjoy a showing of “Polar Express” at the Landa Park Dance Slab. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to watch the movie. 6:30 p.m. Free. 164 Landa Park Drive, New Braunfels. 830-221-4350. www.nbtexas.org

Dec. 10 | Carol with neighbors


For the 42nd year, the Greater New Braunfels Arts Council will host residents of New Braunfels to join together downtown to sing holiday music. Digital lyric sheets are available online. 7 p.m. Free. Main Plaza, New Braunfels. www.gnbac.org

Dec. 11 | Eat breakfast with the Grinch

Enjoy a pancake breakfast with the Grinch. After the meal, guests will be able to participate in themed crafts and photos with the Grinch. 8-11:30 a.m. $15 (per person). Landa Haus, 360 Aquatic Circle, New Braunfels. www.playinnewbraunfels.com

Dec.17-19 | Enjoy a classic ballet

The Brauntex presents the American Dance Company’s production of Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” in which audiences will watch as Clara embarks on a journey with her nutcracker after he comes to life. 7 p.m. (Dec. 17), 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Dec. 18-19). $26-$50 (per person). Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, 290 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels. 830-627-0808. www.brauntex.org

Dec.18 | Mix science and the holidays

Christmas Chemistry will explore how molecules react to one another, how heat affects molecules and how to melt candy canes. Kindergarten through third grade students gather in the outdoor pavilion at the Headwaters at the Comal for this holiday-themed event. 10-11 a.m. $3 (children of Headwaters members at the contributor and supporter level), $4 (children of Headwaters members at the individual and family level), $5 (per child). 333 E. Klingemann St., New Braunfels. 830-608-8937. www.headwatersatthecomal.com

Meet with Santa

Dec. 4-19 | Photos with Cowboy Kringle in Gruene

Visit Gruene for a chance to meet Cowboy Kringle on weekends in December. Visits will be by appointment only; guests are asked to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled time slot; props will not be provided; and Cowboy Kringle will be unable to hold babies or young children due to coronavirus-related safety precautions. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Dec. 4), noon-5 p.m. (Dec. 5, 12 and 19), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Dec. 11, 17 and 18). $10 (reservation fee, prices for photo packages and ornaments range from $15-$129). www.gruenetexas.com/kringlephotos.php

Dec. 18-19 | Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Float In in New Braunfels will host Santa and Mrs. Claus for breakfast in December along the Comal River. Tickets are required for the events, and guests will choose from a variety of meal options and take photos with Santa. 9-11 a.m. Free (age 2 and younger), $25 (ages 3-11), $35 (per adult). 830-213-2355. www.thefloatin.comDec. 05St. Nikolaus visits the Sophienburg During this event hosted at the Sophienburg Museum and Archives, attendees can learn about the German legends and traditions honoring Nikolaus of Myra, the patron saint of children and sailors. St. Nikolaus visits the Sophienburg each year on the eve of his saint day, and children are welcome to meet him. 5 and 6:30 p.m.$5 (per family). 830-629-1572. www.sophienburg.com/event/st-nikolaus

New Braunfels Worth the trip

Nov. 19-Jan. 2 | Lightscape at the San Antonio botanical gardens


The San Antonio Botanical Gardens will be lit up with light installations from local and international artists that will line a 1-mile path through the gardens. 5:45-9 p.m. Free (ages 0-2), $16-$18 (ages 3-12), $23-$25 (adults). 555 Funston Place, San Antonio. 210-536-1400. www.sabot.org

Dec. 02-04 and 09-11Celebrate Christmas in San Marcos During the annual Sights & Sounds of Christmas event, guests can enjoy a carnival, a petting zoo, a gift shop, live music, a food court and more. Cash will not be accepted inside the park except at the gift shop. 5:30-11 p.m. Free (age 12 and under), $5 (per night per person over age 12), $15 (six-day pass). 401 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos. www.sights-n-sounds.org

Dec. 2-23 | Go Caroling with a Group

The San Antonio River Walk will offer groups an opportunity to perform their favorite holiday music. Groups can rent private boats for an hour. Boats seat up to 15 people with children under 2 not counted toward capacity. 6-9:30 p.m. $125-$150. 203 S. St. Mary’s St. 210-227-4262

www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/ford-holiday-boat-caroling

Dec. 4-23 (Weekends) | Christmas at the Caverns

The Natural Bridge Caverns celebrates Christmas with a trail of lights, an outdoor maze, live music and caroling. 4:30-9 p.m. $14.99-$21.99 (depending on attraction and time of attendance). 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, San Antonio. 210-651-6101. www.naturalbridgecaverns.com/christmas

Dec. 10 | Rock out with the Trans Siberian Orchestra

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform at the AT&T Center on Dec. 10. This year’s show will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the group’s “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” album, bringing Christmas and rock together. Two performances will be held, one beginning at 3:30 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. at 1 AT&T Center Parkway, San Antonio. $49.50-$89.50. 210-444-5140. www.attcenter.com
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.