Holiday Happenings

The Holidays have arrived! This magical time of year is the perfect time to visit Washington County. Here are a few of the things to do throughout the holiday season in Brenham and Washington County.

The Downtown Brenham Christmas Stroll & Lighted Parade – Dec. 3-4


The Downtown Brenham Christmas Stroll kicks off the Christmas season with as much small-town Christmas magic as a holiday movie set! The lighted parade on Saturday, Dec. 4 is the highlight of the festivities, but the weekend also includes the First Friday Farmer & Artisan Market, Breakfast with Santa at Must Be Heaven, Jingle Bell Market at Ant Street Inn, rides on the 1950 Invader Firetruck following the parade, and more. For a complete schedule of the weekend festivities, click here.

A Taste of Christmas

Join the Downtown Brenham businesses on Saturday, December 11, for a tasty stroll! Shops will be open until 6:00 pm, offering drinks and treats to enjoy while you shop. Stay late for more Downtown fun during the Brenham Bounce Santa Crawl. Dress up in your favorite Christmas costume and visit your favorite Downtown venues for dining, drinking and live music.

 

Photos with Santa

Several retailers offer portrait sessions with Santa. Appointments with Brenham Portrait Gallery are offered on several days each week at Hermann Furniture throughout November and December. Other businesses including Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails, Silverwings Ballroom, and South Texas Tack also offer Santa photo ops on select dates.

 

Christmas Concerts at The Barnhill Center

The spirit of Christmas is captured in music at the historic Simon Theatre at The Barnhill Center! Catch Gary Morris Christmas on Friday, December 3, and Celtic Angels Christmas on Saturday, December 18. Purchase tickets online.

Unity Theatre “A Tuna Christmas”

Unity Theatre presents a holiday visit to Tuna, Texas. Don’t miss Foster Davis and Kyle Sturdivant (directed by Julia Oppenheim) as they portray nearly two dozen characters, make split-second costume changes, and cope with comical seasonal calamities in the third-smallest town in Texas.

“A Tuna Christmas” by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, playing on the Main Stage Dec 2 – 19, 2021 (Dec 11th & 12th are mask required performances; all others are mask optional).
 Tickets available online or by phone, 979-830-8358.

Live Nativities

Celebrate the reason for the season with one of the area’s live nativities. The Greatest Gift Live Nativity by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is December 3-4, 6:00-9:00 pm, at 1400 Niebuhr Street, Brenham. The following weekend is Bethlehem in Independence, December 11-12, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Independence School House, 9325 FM 390 E.

Christmas in Chappell Hill

Saturday, December 11, is the perfect day to visit Chappell Hill. Festivities begin with the Christmas Home Tour by the Bluebonnet Garden Club. That afternoon, 3:30-5:00 pm, the annual Teddy Bear Parade is a family favorite. Kids are invited to bring their favorite teddy bear and enjoy Christmas crafts, cookie decorating, and a cocoa bar. Santa will be there, and Christmas music will be part of the scene.
Enjoy shopping until 7:00 pm every Friday in Chappell Hill through December 17.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

Celebrate Texas history and Christmas at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for a “Candlelit Christmas,” December 10-11, 4:30-8:00 pm. Walk the candlelit paths at Barrington Plantation and experience a Texas Christmas in the decade before the Civil War. Discover the origins of some of our favorite Holiday traditions as costumed interpreters bring to life the festivities of the season with musket-fire, music, dancing and more. Tour the historic home of the last President of the Republic, Dr. Anson Jones, as the family enjoys their Christmas gathering. Visit the plantation quarters to hear how those enslaved at Barrington celebrated the season. Sip a hot cup of cider, cozy up to the fire and begin your holiday season with Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site!
On December 18, return to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for “Dickens-on-the-Brazos” Yuletide Celebrations in the Republic of Texas.

Christmas in Burton

Burton’s Christmas Market on Saturday, December 11, 12:00-400 pm, at The Burton Railroad Depot, has something for everyone in the family. Enjoy shopping, kids’ crafts, Photos with Santa, and Christmas caroling.
Be sure to check our event calendar for a complete list of everything happening in Washington County!

Finding Holiday Magic

Finding Holiday Magic

This is my favorite time of year … waiting and anticipating the first cold snap of the season … when the air turns crisp, leaves begin to float gracefully to the ground, coffee tastes better and animals and children alike seem to get a boost of extra playfulness. It’s magical.

Sounds a bit like the opening of a Hallmark movie, but … it is real. Brenham and Washington County can’t be replicated. This is true Texas. Unapologetically Americana. Authentic.

Fall wouldn’t be complete in Brenham without candy-littered streets from the annual homecoming parade, including of course, homecoming queen hopefuls waving from convertibles. It doesn’t get much more Americana than this, right?

October boasts creatively dressed scarecrows posed in front of Downtown Brenham shops. Each one lovingly put together by dozens of schoolchildren and individuals alike, who have put their hearts into these straw creations, in hopes of winning one of the many prizes. Local spirit and pride are reflected in each entry.

Our community of Chappell Hill, located just 15 minutes east of Brenham, throws its annual Scarecrow Festival. This popular event draws huge crowds to its tiny town to shop, eat and welcome the season with a smile. Tent-lined streets are full of holiday shoppers, happy to escape big city mass merchandise to enjoy unique street vendors and small-town life.

November continues the holiday spirit with what we’ve all been looking forward to all year long … the Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade in Downtown Brenham … an event that will melt the heart of even the worst Scrooge. Downtown Brenham comes to life with residents and visitors mingling on the streets and throughout the shops. No crowded malls here, just a hometown atmosphere of genuine Christmas spirit. Brenham’s Downtown shopkeepers dazzle and surprise unsuspecting visitors with unique finds. Inside some of the antique architecture, new hip ventures are alive and well and waiting to be discovered.

The Stroll is kicked off with the tree lighting ceremony where onlookers are serenaded by a Girl Scout choir singing carols. As night continues to fall, the parade begins. Beautifully decorated and fully lit floats, marching bands, horses and dancers parade through Downtown, all to the delight of friends, family and visitors. And of course, the man of the hour SANTA makes his grand entrance to the squeals of excited children lining the streets, frantically waving to him as he passes by, perched atop a Fire Truck.

People passing, children laughing, meeting smile after smile … doesn’t just happen in a song or a Hallmark movie. It’s in Brenham, Texas and Washington County … where It’s a Wonderful Life! Sorry, couldn’t help myself!

 

Finding Holiday Magic in Brenham & Washington County

This is my favorite time of year … waiting and anticipating the first cold snap of the season … when the air turns crisp, leaves begin to float gracefully to the ground, coffee tastes better and animals and children alike seem to get a boost of extra playfulness. It’s magical.

Sounds a bit like the opening of a Hallmark movie, but … it is real. Brenham and Washington County can’t be replicated. This is true Texas. Unapologetically Americana. Authentic.

Fall wouldn’t be complete in Brenham without candy-littered streets from the annual homecoming parade, including of course, homecoming queen hopefuls waving from convertibles. It doesn’t get much more Americana than this, right?

October boasts creatively dressed scarecrows posed in front of Downtown Brenham shops. Each one lovingly put together by dozens of schoolchildren and individuals alike, who have put their hearts into these straw creations, in hopes of winning one of the many prizes. Local spirit and pride are reflected in each entry.

Our community of Chappell Hill, located just 15 minutes east of Brenham, throws its annual Scarecrow Festival. This popular event draws huge crowds to its tiny town to shop, eat and welcome the season with a smile. Tent-lined streets are full of holiday shoppers, happy to escape big city mass merchandise to enjoy unique street vendors and small-town life.

November continues the holiday spirit with Christmas at the Mansion, a home tour and Christmas fair held at Brenham’s beautiful Giddings Stone Mansion. The mansion’s exterior and eight rooms will feature different holiday themes, designed and decorated by Jennifer Hermann of Hermann Furniture.  There is inspiration at every turn.  Self-guided tours are available all weekend and even two separate seatings for a special lunch on Saturday (reservations required).

Antique Rose Emporium’s 32nd Annual Fall Festival of Roses is a favorite outdoor experience in November. Breathing in the cool rose scented air while taking in spectacular blooms and learning how to care for them is a unique seasonal event not to be missed.

And, what we’ve all been looking forward to all year long … the Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade in Downtown Brenham … an event that will melt the heart of even the worst Scrooge. Downtown Brenham comes to life with residents and visitors mingling on the streets and throughout the shops. No crowded malls here, just a hometown atmosphere of genuine Christmas spirit. Brenham’s Downtown shopkeepers dazzle and surprise unsuspecting visitors with unique finds. Inside some of the antique architecture, new hip ventures are alive and well and waiting to be discovered.

The Stroll is kicked off with the tree lighting ceremony where onlookers are serenaded by a Girl Scout choir singing carols. As night continues to fall, the parade begins. Beautifully decorated and fully lit floats, marching bands, horses and dancers parade through Downtown, all to the delight of friends, family and visitors. And of course, the man of the hour SANTA makes his grand entrance to the squeals of excited children lining the streets, frantically waving to him as he passes by, perched atop a Fire Truck.

People passing, children laughing, meeting smile after smile … doesn’t just happen in a song or a Hallmark movie. It’s in Brenham, Texas and Washington County … where It’s a Wonderful Life!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself!

Photos by: Natalie Lange