Texas Thanksgiving Getaways

Texas Thanksgiving Getaways
Although popular with some in the Lone Star State, you don't have to fry your turkey to have a Texas-style Thanksgiving. If Texas is your next Thanksgiving destination, aim for some traditional holiday spots. There are a number of options to suit a variety of tastes.

Galveston & Moody Gardens

With its many attractions, restaurants and accommodations, Galveston is a common vacation destination, especially for its holiday celebrations. One of the most popular spots during Thanksgiving and Christmas is Moody Gardens' Festival of Lights. Moody Gardens is an entertainment park which lies on the gulf shores and has attractions like an aquarium, IMAX theaters and tropical gardens. Beginning each November, Moody Gardens transforms its garden into a winter wonderland. On opening night, Santa parachutes in and switches on a mile-long trail of over a million lights and 100 animated displays. There's an outdoor skating rink, live entertainment nightly and train rides along the light trail. Festival of Lights begins a few days prior to Thanksgiving and runs through New Year's. It costs $5.95 to see only the festival, or you can purchase a park pass and see all the other attractions.

Moody Gardens
1 Hope Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77554

San Antonio River Walk

Lined with hotels, restaurants and attractions, the San Antonio River Walk (Paseo del Rio) is a pedestrian-only street open year-round with special holiday festivities. Each year on the day after Thanksgiving is the Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. When the sun goes down, 122,000 lights form a canopy over the River Walk. Stay for the parade at 7 p.m. featuring illuminated floats, celebrities, bands and participants in lavish costumes. Parade tickets are sold on site for $10, $15, $20 and $25 depending on your location on the route. The River Walk has museums, riverboat rides, live entertainment, shopping, theaters and nightclubs. There are a variety of hotel accommodations within walking distance.

Paseo Del Rio Association
110 Broadway, Ste. 500
San Antonio, TX 78205

Old Town Spring

Just north of Houston is this quaint, 1900's railroad town, popular for shopping, dining and holiday celebrations. Built along the Great Northern Railroad, this former boom town has Victorian-style buildings and costumed characters that evoke the feeling of stepping back in time. Beginning each November before Thanksgiving, Old Town Spring kicks off "Home for the Holidays." The festivities start with a tree-lighting and include strolling musicians and barbershop quartets, visits with Santa, train and carriage rides. Enjoy holiday light displays and elaborate decorations reminiscent of seasons past. Bring the kids to The Old Town Spring museum for special children's activities and entertainment. Shop and dine each day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day, and check the schedule on the town website for event dates and times. There is lodging all around the Old Town area. Festivities are organized by the Old Town Spring Preservation League which can assist you in finding lodging and planning group tours.

The Old Town Spring Preservation League
123-F Midway
Spring, TX 77373

Article Written By Lesley Henton

Lesley Henton has a journalism degree and over 20 years of writing experience. She belongs to the Golden Key and Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Societies. She's been published in regional magazines like "Brazos Family" and "In the Zone." Henton co-edited and wrote in the books "Discovering Greater Phoenix" and "Los Angeles: Place of Possibilities."

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