In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Things To Do This Weekend: December 6 – 9

If you’re looking for fun things to do in East Texas this weekend, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our rundown of some fun things happening around the area from December 6th – 9th. This Weekend Preview is brought to you by the Texas State Railroad.

[Jump ahead to Friday | Saturday | Sunday]

Thursday, 12/6


Vintage Christmas Display 

  • When: All Day, December 1 – 30
  • Where:Cole Art Center, Nacogdoches
  • Cost: Free

The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will host a holiday exhibition that provides a glimpse into the celebrations of Christmas from bygone eras. The Christmas display, which will show Dec. 1 through Dec. 30, includes vintage and antique ornaments, decorations, dolls and toys from days gone by. Admission to exhibitions is free.

20th Annual CASA of the Pines Christmas Home Tour

  • When: 2:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Where: CASA of the Pines, Lufkin
  • Cost: $20, get your tickets  here.

The tour begins at 2:30 pm and concludes at 8:00 pm. It is a come and go tour, and a participant should probably allow 2 hours for the entire tour. There are 4 beautiful homes on the tour this year, as well as, the Pines Theater. Home tour participants will have some great photo opportunities and delicious desserts to look forward to at the Pines Theater. Back by popular demand will be Cheryl Calhoun and her team with Texas Custom Catering. Their donated desserts were such a hit last year at  Tickets are available online here or may be purchased in person at The Very Thing, Merle Norman, The Pink Leopard, the CASA office, and home tour homes. You can learn more about the home tour here.

Geeks Who Drink Trivia

  • When: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Where: Oil Horse Brewing, Longview
  • Cost: Free to attend, beer is extra

What is all this? Here’s the short version: Geeks Who Drink is a homegrown Pub Trivia Quiz modeled after those in Ireland and the UK. The quizzes cover everything from celebrities in trouble to wordplay to bad television. You can get a feel for the questions by playing a sample round. Each quiz has two audio rounds: a “Name that Tune” style round, and another round comprised of soundbites from movies and TV. Play in teams of up to six or by yourself if you’re some kind of savant. If you want to play but don’t have a team, go anyway. They can usually get single players recruited onto an existing team. Winning teams gets street cred, bar cash and other prizes depending on the venue. Bonus Questions for free pints are sprinkled throughout the quiz.

Bethlehem Drive Thru

What was Bethlehem like when Jesus was born? Come experience a “live” Bethlehem as the townspeople shop, Mary and Joseph approach the Inn, the Roman Soldiers watch over the people’s activities, Jesus is born and placed in the manger, and the angels celebrate! Enter from E Acker Tap road – the high school entrance road – – and you’ll exit back to 346 from the church parking lot. Click the link here to go to the audio links so when you arrive you will be ready to listen to the story. Learn more here.

Riders in the Sky with the Quebe Sisters

The holiday-themed show will feature two of the hottest Western music acts today. For more than thirty years Riders In The Sky have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing the genre. And while remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life “The Cowboy Way!” The Quebe Sisters are three triple-threat fiddle champions from Texas whose playing and sweet harmonies are blowing audiences away nationwide. The sisters’ past is as colorful and eventful as their future is bright. Growing up in Burleson, they attended their first local fiddle competition in nearby Denton and decided fiddling was what they wanted to do. Since then, they have gone on to share the stage with legends like Willie Nelson, George Strait, Merle Haggard and more. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for students, available online here.

Sherman Symphony Orchestra Christmas Pops Concert

The Annual Sherman Symphony Christmas Pops Concert is the orchestra’s most popular show each season, selling out two performances in Sherman and now spreading holiday cheer to Greenville at the GMA! Come hear your favorite Christmas and holiday songs, including Sleigh Ride, and enjoy a fun audience Sing Along. This year, they’re playing a special segment of familiar themes; try and guess the movie or TV show! From superheroes to space travel and beyond, we’ll have both old favorites and current shows represented. This is a show that will help you get your holiday season started right!

Friday, 12/7


The Grinch’s Lair

  • When: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Where: Texas Jail House, Palestine
  • Cost: Tickets start at $10

This Christmas season don’t miss a rare opportunity to come see Mr. Grinch locked-up in Palestine at the Texas Jail House (AKA: Historic Anderson County Jail)! It hasn’t always been easy for the Grinch to give gifts but, all that has changed (At least a little)! Admittedly, a bit of a grump from time-to-time, our funny, silly, loveable Grinch is on a mission to make sure all boys and girls have a magical Christmas. Even if that means giving gifts back! The Grinch’s Lair is a fun, festive experience. You will be greeted by our Who’s Who in the Whoville inspired jail lobby and short-term holding cells before they send you up into the lair. From this point on you’ll get an exclusive tour with Mr. Grinch through his Christmas Texas Jail House Lair. You never know what ridiculousness he’ll be up to! Please check their website or call (903)-373-8158 to be sure of exact times and ticket availability.

Nature Wonderland Hike 

  • When: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Where: Tyler State Park, Tyler
  • Cost: Hike is free, but admission into the park is $6 a person

Join the folks at Tyler State Park for a stroll around yhe park’s Lake as the sun goes down and delight in the sights, sounds, and smells of winter. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and be ready for a 2 mile hike. Meet at the Silver Canoe Park Store.

A Pineywoods Christmas Decorated Drive-thru

Get outdoors, take a break from the holiday rush, and enjoy the season. Drive or stroll through decorated camping areas and savor the sights, sounds, and smells of an outdoors holiday. Come by the Silver Canoe Park Store for some seasonal refreshments and discounted shopping for unique gifts. 1/2 off Admission: $3.00 per person 13 and up (12 and under are free) This is a great inexpensive family outing!

Polar Express Train Ride

  • When: 5, 6:30 & 8 p.m. rides
  • Where: Palestine Depot, Palestine
  • Cost: Tickets range from $20 – $130

The first POLAR EXPRESS™ of the year heads to the North Pole on Saturday, November 17, 2018. Ticket prices start at $20 per child, dependent on the date and time of departure. The magical story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. (The adventure is even more fun when families and friends show up in their pajamas!) Book here.

Live In Texas! Griffith Family and The Sound

The Griffith Family and The Sound are two National Touring Gospel Groups that will be coming to Lufkin Tx, on December, 7th at 7:00 P.M. at the Hudgins Hall Auditorium. (Angelina College). These groups have appeared on some of Gospel musics biggest stages around the country including, The National Quartet Convention, Show Street Theatre, Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Daystar Television Network, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), and many more. This is a Family friendly show that listeners of all ages will be able to come, sit back, relax and enjoy an uplifting night from two of the best groups in all of gospel music.

Dominoes, Dance & Drinks

DJ Yogoman & Bongo Jac will be spinning Country Western, Texas Blues, Cajun, Soul, and a mix of other Southern favorites on vinyl. They will be taking requests and tips. Come dance and play dominoes while sippin on your favorite drink at the Linden VFW Post 6968. Full bar available. $5 entry at the door.

Saturday, 12/8


ArtsView Children’s Theatre Jingle Bell Jog

ArtsView Children’s Theatre invites you to Get Your Jingle On at our annual Jingle Bell Jog Family Fun Run! The Jingle Bell Jog 5K & 1-Mile events will bring together family and friends for a fun, healthy, kid-friendly holiday celebration. In addition to the race, we will have a Christmas Obstacle Course ($5 entry), special race add-ons, pictures with Santa Flavious and Joshua the Elf, Street Licious will be on-site selling their famous breakfast sandwiches, face painting, a performance by our Dynamics Show Choir, and more! The Jingle Bell Jog Family Fun Run will take place on Saturday, December 8, 2018, at ArtsView Children’s Theatre in downtown Longview.

Holiday in the Garden and Bazaar

Take photos with “Mater and Lightning”, shop with more than 55 vendors inside from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., enjoy live entertainment, visit with Santa Scirto, watch an ice scuplture demo, enjoy all the lights in the Rose Garden and more! Free Admission! Concessions and Kid’s Zone available for a fee. Learn more here.

Mrs. Claus at the Goodman

On Saturday, December 8, 2018, Mrs. Claus will be at the Goodman Museum for a special day of reading children stories to celebrate the holiday season. There will also be a scavenger hunt and holiday prizes given to those who find everything on the list! The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Introductory Archery Class for the Hole-i-day Season

  • When: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Mission Tejas State Park, Weches
  • Cost: Class is free, but admission into the park is $3 per person

Visit Mission Tejas State Park for an introductory archery lesson with our Interpretive Ranger, Jared and their Superintendent and Certified Instructor, Gary! They will discuss why archery was important to the American Indian groups of Texas, including the Caddo Confederacy who called this part of the state home. Do you know what bow wood found in their territory made Caddo trade associations valuable throughout North America? They will go over archery safety, proper technique, and then let the arrows fly! All equipment will be provided by the park, with bows in both youth and adult sizes. After a few practice heats, those who desire can enter a shootout to win a special prize (youth and adults will compete separately).

Santa Paws

Come Join us December 8th from 10 AM- 2PM and take a selfie with Santa while also visiting with our beautiful cats! It’s something the whole family will enjoy!

Deck the Halls

  • When: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Kilgore
  • Cost: Free

At 11:00 a.m., downtown merchants and restaurants will be hosting a progressive cookies activity. Customers will get the opportunity to get one cookie per stop – and add the cookies to their very own box. More activities include Stories with Santa and friends including the Grinch, Frozen Characters and more. Look for a special Christmas activity book for the kids with a coupon page at the back.

Outdoor Christmas Market

  • When: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Marshall
  • Cost: Free

The Outdoor Christmas Market is a free event that features vendors from around the region selling homemade Christmas and holiday crafts, decor, and plenty of great gifts and “stocking stuffers”. Join us downtown for a day of outdoor shopping all along North Washington Avenue.

Polar Express Train Ride

  • When: 2, 3:30, 5, 6:30 & 8 p.m. rides
  • Where: Palestine Depot, Palestine
  • Cost: Tickets range from $20 – $130

The first POLAR EXPRESS™ of the year heads to the North Pole on Saturday, November 17, 2018. Ticket prices start at $20 per child, dependent on the date and time of departure. The magical story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. (The adventure is even more fun when families and friends show up in their pajamas!) Book here.

Annual Palestine Main Street Wine Swirl

Save the date for Palestine Main Street’s Annual Wine Swirl event in the streets and stores of historic downtown this holiday season! December 8th, from 4-8 p.m., downtown Palestine will host Texas wineries throughout the historic district. VIP tickets include a champagne reception from 7-10 PM.

The annual Wine Swirl is definitely a crowd pleaser. It takes all the things that make our Historic Palestine Main Street District great and rolls them up into one event. There is something for all tastes; great Texas wine, professionally designed culinary pairings, historic architecture, unique shopping experiences, Christmas music playing as you stroll the city streets and fun times with great people.

Art Walk’in in a Winter Wonderland

  • When: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Where: Heart of Tyler, Tyler

Heart of Tyler will be hosting its ‘Art Walk’in in a Winter Wonderland’ at seven (7) downtown locations with local artists displaying fabulous art work to make your Christmas shopping a breeze! Begin the Art Walk at the Heart of Tyler, Inc. office to pick up your map, and enjoy holiday cheer refreshments and musical entertainment! Stay tuned for more details! Visit their Facebook page for more details.

Blue Santa Pub Crawl

Are you looking for a way to get on Santa’s good side this year? Turns out you don’t have to wear red to be Santa Claus this Christmas! All you have to do is buy tickets and have some fun at the 2nd Annual Blue Santa Pub Crawl! That’s because 100% goes to the children of the East Texas Regional Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #51 Blue Santa program that focuses on giving gift cards to needy children each year during the holidays. Yes, 100% of your ticket cost goes directly to local children in Tyler, Texas.

Holiday Open House 2018

Join The Discovery Science Place in Tyler for a FREE holiday event! Bring two canned food items per person to donate to the East Texas Food Bank and play at the museum from 5-8pm, Saturday, Dec. 8th. We’ll have warm apple cider and cookies, face-painting, and a fun “instant-snow” experiment for the kids!

The Nativity Live

This FREE community event will bring the Bible to life for people of all ages in the heart of downtown Tyler. You’ll start on the third floor of the church and travel through different scenes narrating the story of Christ’s birth. We’ll even have live animals! They are also bringing in Say Cheese and Curbside Taco food trucks to enjoy while you’re there.

Pittsburg by Candlelight

  • When: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Pittsburg
  • Cost: $25

Pittsburg by Candle Light is a Historic Walking Tour of 7 historical sites in Pittsburg, including The Holman House, The Abernathy House, The Heath House, The First United Methodist Church, Farmstead Museum, Ezekiel Airship Museum and the (Carroll) Shelby building. Souvenir tote and refreshments during the tour included. You can find more information here.

Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly – A Rockin Blue Christmas

Liberty Hall is proud to welcome back Johnny Rogers, aka Buddy Holly, for a holiday show perfect for the whole family. Join Buddy as he rocks and rolls away your holiday blues with a mixture of classic rock n’ roll and Christmas time favorites. This is an acclaimed Christmas concert. Make sure to get your tickets early so you don’t miss out.

Sunday, 12/9


Christmas on the Square

  • When: All Day
  • Where: Downtown Garrison
  • Cost: Free

Christmas on the Square is a community event celebrating the Christmas Season. Parade with Santa, Band concert, Entertainment, vendor booths – food and crafts, school booths, fundraising, and so much more. Family friendly and free event.

Polar Express Train Ride

  • When: 2, 3:30, 5 & 6:30 rides
  • Where: Palestine Depot, Palestine
  • Cost: Tickets range from $20 – $130

The first POLAR EXPRESS™ of the year heads to the North Pole on this weekend. Ticket prices start at $20 per child, dependent on the date and time of departure. The magical story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. (The adventure is even more fun when families and friends show up in their pajamas!)Book here.

Drive Thru Living Nativity 

This is a Free event for the family of all ages to come and enjoy. As you drive through the church property, you will see stations for Christmas.

*All dates and information are subject to change. Contact us if there are changes to the schedule or if we left anything out.

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You should also check out:

The Best Christmas Lights in East Texas

Head to the North Pole on The Polar Express