December 7, 2023   Holidays  Texas  Texas Hill Country  christmas  hill country  texas  travel  travel texas

Taking pictures with Cowboy Kringle is a fun thing to do for Christmas in New Braunfels.

Christmas is red and it is “GRUENE!” Green like Gruene, Texas! Yes, green is how Gruene is pronounced! Gruene and New Braunfels is the place to be for the most country Christmas experience you will find! I mean when you think of a destination Christmas in Texas, you are looking for a country Christmas; and Gruene, Texas is where you will find it!

Horses, boot stores to Christmas shop at, pictures with Cowboy Kringle, country Christmas singers, chili peppered Christmas trees, steak dinner under an upside down Christmas tree, and pecan praline fudge. I mean can you get more of a perfect Texas Christmas than that!? All of these things are what make New Braunfels, Texas the most magical place to visit for Christmas.

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Things You Have To Do To Have A Country Christmas In New Braunfels, Texas

Grab a Christmas cookie at 2Tarts Bakery

Okay I know I said Christmas is red and green, but lets add a little pink in there too. You can not visit New Braunfels, Texas and not go to a bakery and 2 Tarts is too cute to pass up. This bakery is everything you are looking for in a bakery. It is covered in pink garland, pink Christmas trees, and pink donut ornaments. It is decorated so cute!

2 Tarts Bakery is decorated for a pink Christmas and is a great place to get breakfast in New Braunfels.
Christmas cookies and treats at 2 Tarts Bakery in New Braunfels!
New Braunfels has an adorable bakery that has the best Christmas pastries in town!

Obviously though the food is probably what you are most interested in and let me tell you it did not disappoint! They had everything from cakes to pies to cookies, and every pastry in between. There were warm breakfast foods of all variety and the warm beverages everyone wants in the morning. Seriously that hot chocolate was so good I had to go back and buy another!

They have the signature Texas breakfast option of kolaches (pigs in a poncho as they called them) and they give such a Texas country taste. They are delicious sausages covered in biscuits and wrapped in bacon or jalapenos. Such a Texas breakfast staple!

Everything was so delicious and so beautiful it was almost hard to eat it because it was so beautiful! Note I said almost! The Santa and reindeer cookies were so perfectly designed, it was hard to believe it was actually a cookie! They were too cute!

The favorites according to my family were the chocolate Eclairs, Pumpkin pie, and blueberry scones!

Location: 139 N Castell Ave #300, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Hours: Thurs-Tues 7am-10am, Wed 7am-5pm

Stay in a ranch house at the Gruene Homestead Inn

You can not get more country than this! Homestead Inn has an adorable assortment of ranch style homes located 3 minutes down the road from Gruene Historic. Each house is so unique, but each gives such a homely feel too it.

We stayed in the country house with a gorgeous front porch that we may have spent way too much time on swinging and sipping hot chocolate! It was such a cute house, but it somehow got even cuter inside. Inside felt like an old country home with its metal beds, mugs hanging from the walls, and wooden accents.

The Homestead Inn is the perfect place to stay for a country Christmas in Gruene, Texas
Stay at a ranch house in Gruene Texas for a country Christmas experience.
The Gruene Homestead Inn is the best place for families to celebrate a country Christmas in Texas.
The bathroom at the Homestead Inn in Gruene, Texas
The Homestead Inn offers a variety of adorable country style homes to stay in while having Christmas in Gruene, Texas
The bedroom at the Homestead Inn In Gruene, Texas
Enjoy a countryside stay at the Homestead Inn in Gruene, Texas
The Homestead Inn in Gruene Texas is a fun place for families to visit.

The other buildings each had their own unique features to them, one even was a silo! Ours was perfect to fit our family of 4 kids! Speaking of those kiddos they loved this Inn due to the assortment of activities offered. They loved the lawn games located throughout the property and especially the pool and hot tub! This is the perfect place to relax and feel that country Christmas vibe!

Location: 832 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Have a gourmet country breakfast in front of a rustic Christmas Tree

Normally when people think of a country breakfast, they think of biscuits and gravy with bacon and sausage. Well, Gruene has that, just taken up a notch! Buttermilk Café is the place to eat in the morning. Like I am not kidding the line is out the door, because it is just that good.

When I describe the design of this restaurant as being surrounded by art of canned goods and roosters along with Christmas trees and garland, you would think we ate in a barn. BUT this place was so fancy and had a fresh clean feel to it. And it was SO delicious!

The best place for breakfast in Gruene, Texas is Buttermilk Cafe.
Have breakfast in a rustic gourmet cafe for a country Christmas in Gruene, Texas
My husband's favorite thing to eat at Buttermilk Cafe in Gruene.

I had an egg strata with eggs so soft they felt like melted butter in my mouth! Heavenly! My kids loved eating their biscuits and gravy, sausage, French toast, bacon, and eggs. The list of options to eat is endless and everything, I mean EVERYTHING is delicious!

My husband would be so disappointed in me if I did not suggest having his Cajun Shrimp plate. I know shrimp for breakfast, who does that. Hear me out though! Imagine Cajun shrimp over jalapeño grits covered in a delicious sauce and topped with a poached egg. I don’t think my husband will ever be satisfied with another breakfast again!

Location: 1324 Common St, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-2pm, CLOSED SUNDAY

Take pictures with Cowboy Kringle

Taking pictures with Cowboy Kringle is a fun thing to do for Christmas in New Braunfels.
For a Texas country Christmas in New Braunfels, be sure to visit Cowboy Kringle.

Gruene, Texas doesn’t do anything simple! They take every day, ordinary activities and make them grand! Lets take Santa Clause for instance. Instead of just walking up to Santa Claus sitting in his big red throne, imagine walking up that said Santa in a cowboy hat and on a throne of saddles and hay!

Can you imagine visiting Santa in Texas and him not having cowboy boots and a cowboy hat!? It just wouldn’t be right!

Location: In the alley between Gruene General Store and the Grapevine

Hours: Dec 9th 10am-5pm, Dec 10th 12pm-5pm, Dec 16th 10am-5pm, Dec 17th 12pm-5pm, Dec 22nd 10am-5pm, Dec 23rd 10am-5pm

Prices: $12 reservation fee, packages range from anywhere between $19-$129

Snack on cookies while riding on the mini train at Landa Park

Throughout Texas there are a couple of places that offer Polar Express train rides. Each one is outrageously priced around $40 a person at least! So instead of going and spending hundreds of dollars just to have your kids bored on a long train ride, why not have your very own DIY Polar Express ride right in New Braunfels, Texas!

A fun thing to do in New Braunfels is ride the mini train in Landa Park.
Sometimes you can find the Grinch at Landa Park in New Braunfels.
Riding the train is a fun thing to do in New Braunfels, Texas with kids.

Landa Park right near Main Plaza, has a tiny train station. Tickets are a mere $5 a person and cookies are $1.50. Bring a canister of hot chocolate, come dressed in your Christmas pjs, get your tickets punched, and enjoy your snacks while riding this mini train around the park!

If you are lucky you might also catch a glimpse of the Grinch. He visits the park from time to time!

Location: 164 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Hours: 11am-8pm weekends only

Admission: $5 a person, under 1 years old FREE

Grab some Pecan Praline Fudge at the Gruene General Store

I am not a fudge eater, but there is something about Christmas that makes me want to eat fudge! Gruene General Store has the largest assortment of fudge I have ever seen! From flavors of gingerbread, M&M, Peppermint Oreo, Egg Nogg, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cashew, Red Velvet, and my personal favorite Pecan Praline!

There are so many yummy treats at the Gruene General Store in New Braunfels.
The General Store is a fun place to shop for Christmas in New Braunfels.
The Gruene General Store is a fun western Christmas store.
Historic Gruene is a fun place to visit for the holidays.

I adore Peacan Pralines and this treat is sold all over Texas! You can’t find a more Texas Christmas treat than this! And it is SO delicious! If you aren’t really a fudge person they do offer ice cream, the craziest candies you can think of, and the giant variety of Western Christmas decorations.

Location: 1610 Hunter Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Hours: Sun-Thurs 9am-9pm, Fri 9am-10pm, Sat 9am-10:30pm

Pet some horses and get your Christmas cards stamped at the Pony Express ride through town

Every year a special event happens on the streets of Gruene, Texas; the Annual Pony Express ride. For almost 50 years riders mount their horses to walk down the street of Gruene Historic District to deliver a Christmas greeting from the Governor!

For a country Christmas in Gruene, Texas, you need to watch the Pony Express ride to deliver the Christmas greeting.
Gruene's Pony Express ride is a fun thing to see during Christmas in Gruene
You can pet and sit on the horses at the Gruene Pony Express ride!

The ceremony is very short where the letter is presented and read aloud, the fun part is after the letter is delivered. This is the time to love up on some horses and even sit in the saddle yourself for a little bit. My kids were in heaven sitting up on the horses to get their pictures taken.

The highlight of this event for adults is that you can bring your own Christmas cards and get them stamped with the special Gruene Pony Express stamp! Just a fun way to spice up your Christmas cards!

Location:

Dates: December 2, 2023, 10am-10:30am

Admission: FREE

Dine on a steak dinner under an upside down Christmas tree at the Gristmill

There is no better place to eat in Gruene, Texas than the Gristmill River Restaurant!! Located underneath the giant iconic water tower of Gruene, the Gristmill is a gorgeous rustic restored cotton gin. This place is beautiful and has so many different dining hall options.

The Gristmill was all decorated for Christmas even the animals had hats.
The Historic Gristmill is the best place to eat for Christmas in Gruene, Texas.
The Gristmill in Gruene, Texas is a very cute and delicious place to eat for Christmas.

When you walk into the building the first thing you will notice is the giant upside-down Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling! Yeah that is pretty amazing! As you walk into each room you are surrounded by windows that overlook the forest and Gruene river. Each room as a giant stone fireplace with taxidermy animals above them. They even had Santa hats on each animals; the turkeys with Santa hats were adorable!

There are several outdoor eating areas as well. 2 patio areas overlook the woods while the other area surrounds a small stage where local artists serenade you with gorgeous Christmas tunes! The whole building is amazing to walk through, but the FOOD!!!! Oh my goodness the food is AMAZING!

It can't be a country Christmas in Gruene without a steak dinner at the Gristmill.
Don't forget a strawberry shortcake while you are visiting Gristmill
The Gristmill is the best place to eat in Gruene Texas

I had a New York Strip steak that was cooked so perfectly with an incredible juicy flavor. Normally when I order sides I play it safe with fries and potatoes, but this time I decided to try out some veggies and settled on coleslaw and squash! I know that doesn’t sound appetizing, but it was so good! The coleslaw had the perfect amount of sweet to it and the squash was cooked and sprinkled with shredded parmesan. It was amazing!

It can’t be a country Christmas without a delicious steak dinner by a cozy fire! Don’t forget some strawberry shortcake for dessert!

Location: 1287 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm

Enjoy the change of season in the trees by walking by the river

Just down the road from Gruene Historic District is the Gruene River Bridge. This bridge isn’t anything to look at and not special in any way, but what you can see off of this bridge is!! LOOK AT THIS!!

Gruene Texas is beautiful to visit in December!
The leaves are changing colors in Gruene Texas in December causing gorgeous scenery.

I mean honestly do you need to do anything else in Gruene other than gawk at how gorgeous these trees and river are!!

Location: Gruene River Bridge, 1613 New Braunfels St, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Get some Christmas shopping done in the Gruene Historic District

Gruene Historic District is one of the cutest little country towns in Texas! Each store is so unique and has something for everyone on your Christmas list! Each store has rustic, country décor and is decked out for Christmas.

My personal favorite stores in Gruene Historic District:

Gruene Texas is a great place to get your country Christmas Decorations.
Red and Gruene in Historic Gruene District has the cutest Christmas decorations.
Shopping in Gruene Texas has all of your western essentials.
The Gruene General Store has a large variety of stocking stuffers and fun Christmas gifts for everyone.
  • Gruene Boot Company- The smell in this store!! I love the smell of leather! Tons of gorgeously designed boots for the whole family!
  • Gruene Antique Company- This store if so vintage and has a huge variety of antiques that are so well preserved! My kids loved all of the taxidermy animals throughout the store! Their Christmas window out front is just adorable!
  • Gruene General Store- This quirky store has it all! From Armadillo dropping chocolates, hilarious Christmas ornaments all Texas themed, and the best variety of silly stocking stuffers! Such a fun store!
  • Got Toys- You know your there when you find the giant rubber ducky! This store was like toy heaven to my kids. Warning you can not leave empty handed! It has the most adorable selection of toys and such a huge variety!
  • The Great Texas Pecan Candy Co- If you are a sucker for pecan pralines like I am, you HAVE to visit this cute tiny rustic store!
  • Red and Gruene- A variety of gorgeous Christmas ornaments, sparkling snow globes, and dazzling Christmas decorations of all kinds.

For a complete map of Gruene Historic District, click here.

Dance to the country Christmas singers while shopping Gruene Market Days

Imagine a regular ol’ farmers market except that it got dusted with Christmas! They had all your regular things you would find at a farmers market, you know dog collars, paintings, hanging art, cookies and cakes, metal décor, and freeze dried candy. Except everything is Christmas themed!!

The Market Days in Gruene, Texas is like a rustic Christmas market
There are all sorts of gift ideas at the market days in Gruene, Texas
For a Christmas in New Braunfels experience, go shopping at Market Days.
There is a large assortment of shopping opportunities in Gruene, Texas

Those dog collars are covered in Santas and Christmas trees! Paintings of Santa and the nativity hanging all around! Adorable hanging Christmas trees and crystalized snowflakes dazzle shoppers as well as incredibly designed metal décor of the Grinch and Santa.

Cookies, fudge, candies, cakes, pralines, and cupcakes are all shaped as Christmas icons and are almost too beautiful to eat….almost! Imagine those German and French Christmas markets countrified.

Location: in the lot in front of the Adobe Verde Restaurant

Dates for 2024: 10am-5pm

  • February 17 & 18
  • March 16 & 17
  • April 20 & 21
  • May 18 & 19
  • June 15 & 16
  • July 20 & 21
  • August 17 & 18
  • September 21 & 22
  • October 19 & 20
  • November 16 & 17
  • December 7 & 8

Walk through the lights at Main Plaza

The best place to see Christmas lights in New Braunfels is Main Plaza
The entire courthouse is covered in lights for Christmas in New Braunfels, Texas.

The most iconic lights in New Braunfels, Texas are at Main Plaza! Drive around the loop to see the entire courthouse covered in Christmas lights as well as the small park trees all lite up! You can just drive around, but I suggest finding parking and walking to the park in the center for the full experience!

There is a bright gazebo in the middle of the park that my kids loved to dance in to the Christmas music. Be sure to walk around the giant Christmas tree and ornaments!

Location:

Hours: sundown to sunup

Admission: FREE

Listen to carolers sing as you walk through the Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns is a really cool place to walk through Christmas Lights.
The Natural Bridge Caverns has a ropes course with ziplines.
Christmas at the Caverns in New Braunfels, Texas is a really amazing experience as you can listen to an series of carolers throughout the cave.
You can take a cave tour through the Natural Bridge Caverns.
The Natural Bridge Caverns is a fun thing to do in New Braunfels during Christmas time.
A fun thing to do near Gruene for Christmas is walk the trail of lights at the Natural Bridge Caverns.
At Natural Bridge Caverns you can visit with Santa and Mrs Clause for Christmas.
If you visit Natural Bridge Caverns during Christmas time you can listen to carolers in the caves as you tour it!

Just 20 minutes west of New Braunfels is the Natural Bridge Caverns. There are tours offered that you can go inside these caves and walk through to see the outstanding formations. It is a gorgeous cave with a really cool natural bridge arch entrance.

Now you are probably wondering why I would put a cave in a Christmas article, but imagine walking through this cave while listening to live Christmas music performances!! That’s right each area of the cavern tour is a Christmas musical show! This is taking a cave tour to a whole new experience!

If walking through a cave while listening to Christmas carols fill the cave isn’t really your thing, I guarantee there is something here that is! Christmas at the Caverns offers a large assortment of Christmas activities for the whole family!

  • Panning for gold in the mining chutes
  • Zipline and ropes course
  • Trail of Christmas lights
  • Ice Skating
  • Storytime with Mrs Claus
  • Visits with Santa Claus
  • Smores by the fireside
  • Live music performances
  • Play in the snow machines
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Find all of Santa’s Reindeer as you make your way through the maze!

Location: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266

Hours: Dates for Christmas at the Caverns: Dec 9th-10th, 15th-23rd, and 26th-30th
Hours: 9am-9pm, Caroling tours start at 5pm

Admission: prices range between $27.50-$46.99 a person depending on the day, FREE PARKING

My Final Thoughts on Christmas In Gruene, Texas

New Braunfels/Gruene Texas is the destination for the most country Christmas in Texas! Whether you are looking for a Christmas date away or a family holiday getaway, Gruene is the perfect place to be! I LOVED Gruene and New Braunfels. In fact while we were there I was making a list of stuff I wanted to do when we come back.

It is a place you will want to visit again and again no matter the season! But if you are planning to visit during the Christmas season your trip will be full of fun, good eatin’, beauty, and just the right kinda country magic!