Spend a weekend at one of the 70 state parks that offer group facilities and create a new holiday tradition in the great outdoors. Serve turkey and all the trimmings in a park recreation hall equipped with a full kitchen or gather near a roaring fireplace in an open-air pavilion to sing carols and rejoice in the season.
Just in time for the holidays, Texas Parks and Wildlife is hosting an outdoor cooking contest that will run until Dec. 8. Submit your favorite recipes for a chance to win a Texas Outdoor Family workshop of your choosing for up to six people. The dishes can be anything from appetizers to entrees to desserts that can be prepared outdoors or made at home. A panel of judges will choose the top 10 entries and feature them on TPWD’s website and the TPWD Pinterest page. The recipe with the most re-pins by Jan. 14 wins.
In addition to the cooking contest, parks around the state are getting in the holiday spirit and hosting Christmas- themed events for the whole family to enjoy.
In the Hill Country, the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site will be hosting the 44th annual LBJ Tree Lighting from 6-9 p.m, Sunday Dec. 15. A tradition started by President and Lady Bird Johnson, the tree lighting will not be the only thing to enjoy. Visitors can enjoy carolers, a live nativity scene, Santa Claus and a traditional German Christmas setting at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm.
On the coast, Lake Corpus Christi State Park will begin a new tradition and host an event called a “Sparkling Christmas at Lake Corpus Christi” on Dec. 13-14. There will be a competition for best-decorated campsite and the winner will receive a weekend of free camping. The judge will be none other than Kris Kringle himself, who will stop by the campsite to see the decorations and eat some cookies.
Visit the calendar page for a listing of events happening around the state through the month of December. Also, be sure to view the printable PDF of the “Christmas in the Parks” brochure, which lists all holiday events in state parks.
To book a cabin, lodge or other group facility, call 512-389-8900. For same-day reservations, contact the park directly.