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A Local’s Guide to Christmas in Fredericksburg

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and it’s not even Thanksgiving! I, however, am a proponent of early holiday celebrations and firmly believe that Thanksgiving is the Christmas pregame. While Austin certainly offers a myriad of festive Christmas activities, I invite you to check out the living Hallmark movie town in your backyard: Fredericksburg.  

As a local, I have a lifetime’s worth of tips for y’all out-of-towners. The holiday season in Fredericksburg begins in November, with its official kickoff the day after Thanksgiving, and runs all the way through the New Year. If you’re interested in visiting–especially if you want to do a weekend or overnight trip–it’s worth it to start making your plans and reservations now, before everything books up and prices shoot through the roof. And so, for your holiday edification, I present to you a local’s guide on Christmas in Fredericksburg.

  1. Respect the locals. No matter what time of year you visit Fredericksburg, this should be the first thing you keep in mind. We like you guys, but we also deal with tourists every weekend, and it can be frustrating. Please treat us with kindness and respect on any visit–it truly does make a lasting impression on us. I’ve worked in the stores on Main Street and the wineries on 290, and in the hordes of tourists I’ve met there, I’ve never forgotten the ones that treated me well. 
  2. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption–another tip to always keep in mind on a trip to Fredericksburg. By all means, enjoy the breweries and wineries–drinking in Fredericksburg is meant to be an enjoyable experience, and I want you to be able to partake in it if that’s something you want, too. However, remember that Fredericksburg has no public transportation, very few Ubers, and very few UberEats or GrubHub drivers. If you’re drinking, have a designated driver or sober partner to keep you safe. 
  3. Okay, enough with the heavy–here’s some dates to keep in mind this holiday season. On November 26, Fredericksburg will kick off the holidays by lighting up all the decorations for the first time this year at nightfall. On December 3, we’ll hold our annual Christmas parade on Main Street, and on December 11, our annual German Christmas Market will be held at the Marktplatz (the town square). Any of these holiday events will be enough to get you in that Hallmark Christmas movie spirit. 
  4. Although the German Christmas Market takes place on a Saturday, I generally recommend steering clear of Fredericksburg on that day of the week. Saturdays are packed with tourists and it can be difficult to get into the stores, wineries, and restaurants that you want to visit. Going on Sunday–when most people are leaving–or on a weekday will help you get the best experience since you’ll have the town for yourself. I especially recommend this for wineries–I work at one, and part of my job is to provide wine recommendations and chat with customers to make sure they’re having a good time. If you go on a less busy day, your winery host or hostess will be able to connect with you better–and that means they’ll figure out your taste in wine better. 
  5. Going off that last point–for the above 21 crowd who likes to drink, definitely check out the wineries and breweries. For anyone who likes beer or who wants to learn to like beer, check out Alstadt brewery, and for the winos, book a shuttle to take you up and down to check out all the different wineries of 290. Some wineries–such as Fredericksburg winery, which has a Main Street storefront–also offer special spiced Christmas wines. 
  6. Speaking of Main Street–this is the perfect place to do your holiday shopping! Main Street begins decorating in November, with peak decorations up after Thanksgiving, and the entire place looks like a series of gingerbread houses with holiday lights and colorful Christmas decorations everywhere you look. Main Street boasts dozens of boutiques selling all the collectibles and clothing you need for under the tree. 
  7. Food on Main Street is also excellent. Sit down at Auslander’s or Friedhelm’s for some authentic German food–including German Christmas dishes–or Vaudeville or Otto’s, the latter one block off Main, for a date night. Java Ranch’s coffee and mochas will keep you warm during your Christmas shopping, and Clear River’s ginormous Christmas cookies and other baked goods will give you a much-needed sugar rush. 
  8. Carve out some time to check out Marktplatz–our town square. It’s across the street from our courthouse–which also gets decked out in lights–and features a giant Christmas tree, a Weihnachtspyramide (a spinning German Christmas tower with nativity scenes), an ice skating rink, and other various holiday decorations. For the holidays, Fredericksburg truly has everything you need to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Hallmark Christmas movie–except for, of course, the snow.