GUIDE: 9 holiday activities in and around San Marcos, Buda and Kyle

The Meadows Center transforms its glass-bottom boat tour for the holidays. (Courtesy Meadows Center for Water and the Environment)
The Meadows Center transforms its glass-bottom boat tour for the holidays. (Courtesy Meadows Center for Water and the Environment)

The Meadows Center transforms its glass-bottom boat tour for the holidays. (Courtesy Meadows Center for Water and the Environment)

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Buda's Trail of Lights takes place over three upcoming weekends. (Courtesy city of Buda)
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Sights and Sounds is the annual San Marcos tradition that includes rides, games, food, entertainment and more. (Courtesy Sights and Sounds)

Nov. 16-Dec. 22

Merry at the Meadows

The Meadows Center glass-bottom boat tour is transformed with lights and sounds of the holidays. Pre-registration required; tickets can be purchased online. 5 p.m. $14.

Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

201 San Marcos Springs Drive, San Marcos


Nov. 22

Angels and Mistletoe Holiday Market

Enjoy holiday decor, Christmas music, caroling, photos with Santa and shopping with vendors, who will be selling clothing, gifts, home decor, gourmet food, jewelry, arts, crafts, candles and more at this multiday San Marcos market. Fri. 5-9 p.m. (preview party), Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $20 (Friday preview party), $4 (Saturday admission with donation to food bank), $5 (Saturday admission).

Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel, Conference Center & Spa

1001 E. McCarty Lane, San Marcos


Nov. 23

Christmas Bazaar

Buda’s United Methodist Women hold an annual bazaar in the church Fellowship Hall to raise money for the organization’s global missions. Handmade items and baked goods will be for sale. The event will also feature a silent auction. 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Buda United Methodist Church

302 Elm St., Buda


Dec. 4

Santa on the Square

This annual event in downtown Kyle features school choirs performing holiday songs as well as activities, food and a visit from Santa Claus, who will be available for photos. 4:30-9 p.m. Free.
Mary Kyle Hartson City Square Park

101 S. Burleson St., Kyle


Dec. 5

Ellington Nutcrackers

Texas State University’s Jazz Ensemble, along with dancers from the Texas State Division of Dance, will perform Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” 7:30 p.m. $12 (general admission), $10 (students and seniors), $5 (Texas State students).
Evans Auditorium

627 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos


Dec. 4-7, 11-14

Sights and Sounds

An annual San Marcos tradition that runs over the course of two weeks, the Sights and Sounds festival celebrates the holiday season with lighted displays, photos with Santa Claus, a petting zoo, carnival rides, holiday vendors, food and more. 5-11 p.m. Free (12 and under), $5 (adults), $15 (8-day pass).

Dec. 14

Sights and Sounds Jingle Bell Run 5K and Kids K

Mark the end of the festival with holiday music along the route—through downtown San Marcos—of the 5K adult race or the 1K children’s version. 9 a.m. (5K), 10 a.m. (kids 1K). $10 (kids 1K), $35 (adult 5K until Dec. 7), $40 (adult 5K on Dec. 7).

San Marcos Plaza Park

401 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos


Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 21-23

Trail of Lights at Stagecoach Park

Historic Stagecoach Park will be illuminated by displays from local businesses and organizations. Meet Santa Claus and purchase hot beverages from the Santa Cruz Catholic School, Project Graduation, the Boy Scouts and other groups. 6-10 p.m. Free.
Historic Stagecoach Park

880 Main St., Buda


Dec. 8

Local Market Days

Hosted by Better Together Vendor Events and Bucks Backyard, this kid- and dog-friendly Christmas-themed event includes works for sale from dozens of local artisans as well as drinks, food and play areas. There will also be a spot to make donations to the Buda Food Bank. 1-5 p.m. Free to attend.
Bucks Backyard

1750 S. FM 1626, Buda


Dec. 14-15

Starlight Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert

The regional community orchestra performs its annual interactive, family-friendly holiday concert. Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Free.

Hays CISD Performing Arts Center

979 Kohler’s Crossing, Kyle

By Katharine Jose
Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat


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