As the temperature drops into scarf weather (brrr! 50s and 60s!) and the shelves at the supermarket overflow with seasonal goodies, the Coastal Bend is starting to take on that holiday glow.
To help make sure you and your loved ones have an unforgettable Texas holiday, we’ve compiled a list of just some of the exciting events coming up in the Coastal Bend. Warning: your calendar is going to fill up quickly!
1. Taste Your Way Through The Town
From eggnog to hot toddies, the holidays can be a boozy time of year. But Corpus Christi is keeping it classy with its third annual Wine Festival at the historic and romantic Heritage Park. The Starter Pack ($25) includes 10 tasting tickets plus a snazzy commemorative glass.
Additional tickets will be available for purchase, which we highly recommend since bottles and bottles of wine will be available from all over the world (not to mention local craft beers because…this is Texas, after all). As they sip, visitors can sway to live music, “try your feet” at grape stomping, and get artsy at the epic paint-and-wine competition. And, of course, all of Corpus’ favorite food trucks will be firing up their grills to offer the best in Coastal Bend cooking.
When: Saturday, November 17, 12:00PM-11:00PM
Where: Heritage Park, Downtown Corpus Christi
2. Eat Brunch With Santa
The best way to make sure Santa knows what’s on your Christmas list is to tell him yourself! Luckily, Santa is taking time out of his busy schedule to stop for brunch at Billy Joe’s Craft House in Port Aransas. We’re pretty sure the only thing that beats brunch on the beach is brunch on the beach with Santa. Afterward, walk off the food with a sandy beach stroll.
3. Sing the “Sounds of the Season”
Join the Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi Islanders in a celebration of music and the holidays with their 18th Annual Holiday Concert, Sounds of the Season, in the stunning TAMUCC Performing Arts Center. Featuring student and faculty orchestra, as well as choir and jazz groups, the performance will include familiar carols and new classics.
Get there early for the Islander Lights Campus Lighting Ceremony to truly get that “most wonderful time of the year” feeling.
When: Friday, November 30, 8:00 PM
Where: TAMUCC Performing Arts Center
4. Experience The Magic Of The Harbor Lights Festival
When palm trees line every street and the view from your apartment includes a sandy beach and glittering bay, it’s hard to imagine Corpus Christi as a snowy wonderland. But every year, the Harbor Lights Festival transforms the city into a scene straight out of a holiday storybook.
Starting with the Children’s Parade, the festival offers a packed schedule of activities like games at the Elves Gift Shop and the ceremonial Lighting of the Tree. The day ends in true Corpus style with a dazzling lighted boat parade in the marina and carols led by the captains and their crews.
When: Saturday, December 1, 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: Downtown Corpus Christi
5. See Snoop Dogg Live
While you’re wrapping presents, Snoop Dogg will be rapping lyrical downtown at the Hooks’ stadium. Why not give someone you love (read: yourself) an early holiday present with tickets to see Snoop Dogg live in concert?! Take in the beauty of the Harbor Bridge in the background as Snoop headlines a fully-loaded show of rap greats.
6. Sail Into The Holidays At The La Posada Lighted Boat Parade
Get into the spirit of giving with La Posada, one of Padre Island’s most beloved traditions. The five-day event includes live and silent auctions, two boat parades, and a Parade Awards Dinner. All up and down the north and south canals of the island, hand-decorated boats will twinkle and be merry as residents and visitors watch from canalfront decks (most likely while enjoying hot BBQ and cold beer). The event partners with Toys For Tots to raise money and collect gifts for children in the Coastal Bend.
7. Head To The Art Museum (For Free!)
The holidays can put a lot of stress on your wallet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season! On December 8th, explore the beautiful Art Museum of South Texas…without spending a dime. While you’re there, check out the Christmas Tree Forest exhibit, which features trees decorated by local school children.
Visitors can vote for their favorite tree, and (after voting) the trees will be donated to families in need. (Pro tip: Since you saved all that money on admission, consider treating yourself to a coffee or snack from Hester’s Cafe afterward.)
8. Sing Along With Santa At The Symphony Orchestra
South Texas’ premier symphony orchestra will once again host its longtime holiday masterpiece, “Home For The Holidays” on December 8th. The orchestra will join with local choirs to perform classic carols and seasonal favorites. The elegant TAMUCC Performing Arts Center will be decorated to the nines, and this event is sure to become one of your most cherished holiday traditions.
When: Saturday, December 8, 7:30 PM
Where: TAMUCC Performing Arts Center
9. Festival Navideño
Learn about holiday traditions of different Hispanic cultures at the Festival Navideño. Loaded with kids’ activities, the event will include a tree lighting with the Corpus Christi Mayor and “La navidad de los abuelitos” (the presentation of gift baskets). Local musical groups will perform Ballet Folklorico, Kwanzaa Dance, and Christmas Carols.
Admission is free, and food trucks will be in abundance. Bonus: Rumor has it Santa will be attending the festival, too, so bring your wish list!
10. Take The Plunge
Get cold for a cause at the Corpus Christi Polar Bear Plunge & New Year’s Day Run. Warm up with a fun run on the beachwalk before diving into the Corpus Christi Bay. With average highs hitting 71 degrees Fahrenheit and lows hitting 51 this time of year, the plunge won’t be as polar as in other areas of the country, but it will still wake you up!
Afterward, stick around to mingle and celebrate the New Year with great eats and drinks. Registration is free but organizers will be accepting donations for their charity partner: the ALS Therapy Development Institute.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor family fun, a classy date night, or an exciting new experience, the Coastal Bend offers a wide range of holiday activities for everyone. And no matter which holiday you celebrate, we promise you won’t have to shovel snow that morning.
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