The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Holiday season in Aggieland

Photo by Photo by Melanie McBride

Members of the Bryan-College Station community can view Christmas lights at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park from Nov. 25 to Jan. 1 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night. 

Holiday events and activities in the Bryan-College Station area offer fun festivities for those sticking around after finals are over.

Though many students leave Aggieland to return to their hometowns for the holidays, this year, the seasonal events give cause for spending the holidays in the Brazos Valley. These festive events are hosted by Visit College Station, Destination Bryan and various local businesses. They include Santa’s Wonderland, Christmas at the Park, Howdy Holly-Days, Christmas at the Tree Farm and the Downtown Holiday Stroll and Lighted Parade.

Brazos Valley Tree Farm event coordinator April Theiss said the Christmas at the Tree Farm event is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

“This is the second year that we’re running,” Theiss said. “When we last opened up, it was during the pandemic, and we were smaller. Now, we have a bit more room for crowds. The drive-through part is open seven days a week, and the hayride portion is open Thursdays through Sundays until the week of Christmas. The difference with the hayride is that it takes you through the exact same trail, but also drops you off in Christmas Town.”

Theiss said Christmas Town is where the excitement is, offering activities catered mainly toward children and families.

“There’s Santa, and there’s arts and crafts for people to do and take home with them,” Theiss said. “There’s Santa’s Playland area that has a race track for the kids to go around with little motorized cars, and games and things like that. There’s s’mores roasting and some giant-sized yard games for people to play with while they’re out there. We have our food truck out there, too, that serves snacks and concessions. People can spend as much time out there as they would like to, and then the hayride picks them back up and takes them through the lights.”

Additionally, Destination Bryan public relations and community manager Abigail Noel said in an email to The Battalion that there are exciting, holiday-themed opportunities coming up in the Downtown Bryan area like the Downtown Holiday Stroll and Lighted Parade on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

“People’s Choice voting for the Holiday Window Decorating Contest sponsored by Dexter & Co. will also take place the same night, and voting is simply done by scanning the QR code of your favorite window,” Noel said. 

Visit College Station events coordinator Kendra Davis said there are a variety of experiences planned for the Christmas season in College Station as well, starting with Christmas in the Park.

“The Parks and Recreation Department had Christmas in the Park last weekend, but those lights will stay on until Jan. 1, and you can walk or drive through those for free,” Davis said. “They turn on at 6 [p.m.] and stay on until 11 [p.m.].”

Davis said the Howdy Holly-Days at Northgate event will take place Saturday, Dec. 11, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the promenade, featuring over 50 vendors selling handcrafted Christmas items and much more. Parking is free until 10 p.m. for the event, he said.

“We’ll have live music, an ice skating rink, photo ops and things like that. We’ll also be having a sip-and-shop,” Davis said. “Tickets have already closed for that, but the bars will be handing out samples to ticket holders, so you can get a festive drink sample and walk around and shop. 

Additionally, Davis said the Jones Crossing and Century Square communities are hosting fun holiday events of their own, including Dine Around Jones Crossing on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children 10 and younger, he said. 

“Under those tickets, you get access to over 10 establishments at Jones Crossing offering samples,” Davis said. “You can come out, get samples, walk around Jones Crossing, hang out on the green. We’ll have music, photo ops, things like that.”

The next day, Dec. 19, Davis said Century Square will have its Holiday Artisan market from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“That event is free. We’ll have over 20 vendors set up outside the green at Century Square,” David said. “We’ll have two local music artists, and some of the restaurants and businesses at Century Square are also offering discounts for the event.”

For more information, check out the Visit College Station website.

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