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.
Table of Contents
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!
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!
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 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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Dates: December 2, 2023, 10am-10:30am
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.
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!
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!!
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 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!!
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.
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 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!
Hours: sundown to sunup
Listen to carolers sing as you walk through the Natural Bridge Caverns
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!
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!