Experience Texas history with Christmas events at Texas State Historic Sites

The Sam Rayburn House is located in Fannin County, Texas.

The holidays are upon us, and the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) state historic sites are presenting festive, family-friendly events over the holiday season and a special gift guide curated for Texas history and heritage travel enthusiasts.  

See how the holiday was celebrated in the mid-20th century at the Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site with “A Very Rayburn Holiday” from 5:30–7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8. Enjoy self-guided tours of the first floor of the Rayburn home, then enjoy cookies and cocoa in the visitors center.  

Visit the French Legation State Historic Site from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 for a cooking demonstration event: Holidays in the 1850s. Savor the smells of a full 1850s holiday meal prepared in the home’s detached kitchen. Holiday celebrations in early Texas always included good food, and entertaining family and friends. Turkey, chicken, duck, beef, pork, wild game, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and imported delicacies graced many tables in Austin during the holiday season.  

Join Fulton Mansion State Historic Site from 4–7 p.m. on Dec. 10 for Photos with Santa. Guests can have their photo taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus from 4–6 p.m. Enjoy tours of the mansion between 5–7 p.m. 

The grounds of Kreische Brewery State Historic Site will be transformed with beautiful holiday lights from Dec. 9–10 and 16–18 from 5:30-8 p.m. for the annual Trail of Lights. While walking the trail, guests can explore living history programs at the Kreische House and enjoy live music, holiday refreshments, visits with Santa, crafts, and more. The site will remain open Dec. 19–23 for visitors to continue enjoying the decorations. 

Join staff and volunteers at San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Dec. 10 for Texas history and holiday crafts to celebrate the Christmas season. Enjoy activities including readings of The Legend of the Poinsettia and poinsettia papercraft activities for kids, and baked goods and refreshments at the outdoor oven in the Villa de Austin historic townsite exhibit.  

Join the soldiers, officers, ladies, and children of Fort McKavett State Historic Site from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 for their Victorian Christmas Fair as they explore the holiday season on the Texas frontier. Enjoy Christmas tea and carolers, meet Saint Nicholas, decorate cookies, and make unique crafts.   

To see a full list of upcoming holiday events, visit the full events calendar. 

Many of our state historic sites offer unique gifts made by artisans across Texas. The THC is pleased to share this online holiday gift guide to assist those looking for something special.  

About the Texas Historical Commission  

The THC manages 34 state historic sites, the Texas Heritage Trails Program, the Texas Main Street Program, and many more heritage tourism and historic preservation initiatives across the state. For more information, visit thc.texas.gov


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