Hallmark-vibe hotel hideaways and 9 more Texas travel tips for December

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Texans to travel and spend quality time with family. Need help deciding where to go on a quick vacation, road trip or vacation? Here are 10 events, special celebrations and hotel happenings to help you plan a December getaway.

In the Houston-Galveston area

Galveston’s elegant new Lucin Hotel(formerly the Treasure Isle Motel) is open in time to welcome holiday visitors. The new destination hotel includes a rooftop bar, lobby bar and restaurant, as well as The Fancy, a “fancy” restaurant currently serving dinner. The hotel’s owners aimed to transform the two-story property into a “modern experience designed to appeal to Gen X’ers ​​and Millennials.” Nightly rates at Hotel Lucine start at $155 in December. For more, read our impressions here.

Hotel Lucine welcomes guests to Galveston.

Photo by Samantha Wiley Photography

The C. Baldwin Hotel downtown tempts hotel guests (and all visitors looking to have fun) with 12 days of cocktails featuring a rotating menu of specialty cocktails available at the hotel’s lobby bar and Rosalie Italian Soul. Seasonal offerings include Apple Cider Old Fashioned, Pumpkin Spice Martini, Winter Spritz and more. Plus, a special holiday market in partnership with Southern Kindness Gallery in Houston will feature 30 local artisans on Saturday, December 9. More information can be found online.

The most prestigious holiday hotel of all is offered by Hilton Americas-Houston. They are making a limited time Hallmark Channel “Countdown to Christmas” Holiday Suite by Hilton available through January 1, 2024 for $1,050 per night. The hotel is one of only three Hilton hotels nationwide to offer this one-of-a-kind holiday dream. The hotel’s Haul Out the Holly Suite is decorated with a cascade of seasonal cheer and is based on the all-new, original Hallmark holiday movie of the same name. Look for magical holiday designs and light treatments throughout the suite, including adorable light-up pillows, a lighted holiday village that will dazzle the world’s biggest Christmas enthusiasts, personalized holiday lighting, a gingerbread bar and more. Read more about it here.

In the hill country

Beat Pedernales in Stonewall is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a special event on December 8-10. All weekend long, the winery will be offering an anniversary package featuring three special wines for $99 plus tax. On Saturday, December 9, patrons can stop by to enjoy wine and cake while supplies last. Reservations are required for tastings and can be made online through Tock or by emailing [email protected].

From Jingle Bell Runs to photos with Cowboy Kringle, the Christmas season is in full swing Gruen. Every Saturday and Sunday in December there are festive events. And if swing dancing is on the 2024 resolution list, Texans can get a head start by visiting Gruene Hall on Dec. 19 and 26 to learn easy, fun moves for beginners. Swing dance lessons are $10 per person, but many other family events at Gruene are free to the public.

There is plenty of time to get there Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk for a unique 12 Days of Christmas event that takes place from December 12 to 23. Activities include complimentary mini-massages from Thompson Spa’s expert therapists on December 13, a mandatory mixology class on December 17 and a live jazz performance on December 21. These events are free and visitors can register to attend online through the website.

In Austin

On Christmas Eve, the families are staying in Austin Commodore Perry Estate can enjoy milk and cookies while the kids write their letters to Santa, then enjoy a special Christmas Eve prime rib dinner and participate in holiday cookie decorating. On Christmas Day, the resort will have a breakfast display with homemade pastries and more. A special Christmas feast prepared by Chef Bradley and Chef Suzanne will be available throughout the day, paired with festive wines curated by the estate’s sommelier. Rates at the Commodore Perry Estate start at $454 per night in December.

Santa is making special appearances all over Texas to learn what kids want for Christmas and on Barton Creek Square, families will be able to take pictures with Mr. Christmas all month long. On December 5th and 12th, families can don their most festive holiday pajamas for a photo with Santa on Pajama Day. Visitors can also bring their furry friends for special pet photo sessions on December 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Reservations are encouraged and can be made through whereissanta.com.

The Hyatt Centric Congress Avenue Austin is launching its own luxury vacation deal for guests through Jan. 3: the Miracle on Congress Avenue package. Guests can use the promo code “WINTER” when booking a stay at the hotel’s Artist’s Residence and enjoy the amenities of a beautifully decorated holiday-themed penthouse on the 31st floor, a $100 food and beverage credit that can be used at Le Bis’ famous Luminaire restaurant or rooftop bar and complimentary festive minibar. Rates for the Miracle on Congress Avenue package start at $747 per night.

Through North Texas

In its first holiday season, the new Omni PGA Frisco Resort is offering a special “Home for the Holidays” package that includes movie nights, holiday games and crafts, s’mores and a meet and greet with Santa. Valet parking, early check-in and check-out, and weekend breakfast are included. Holiday package nights (available through December 23) start at $426. For some added holiday wonder, guests can take up to 20 percent off their resort stay with the Ticket to Wonder package in partnership with Dallas chocolatier Kate Weiser.

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