Celebrate The Season! Enjoy a German Heritage Holiday in Fredericksburg By Shelley Seale
Germany is well known for its festive holiday markets and advent celebrations. But you don’t need to head to Berlin or Munich to get a taste of German holidaymaking. Central Texans are fortunate to have an historic German town right in our midst: Fredericksburg, in the heart of the Hill Country and only a 90-minute drive from Austin. Founded in 1846 by the first German settlers in the area, Fredericksburg is still steeped in the authentic culture and heritage they brought from the Old World. This history is especially kept alive on Main Street, which is lined with the original limestone buildings. If you’re looking for a winter holiday getaway—whether for a few nights or just a day trip—Fredericksburg provides a magical setting in which to make merry.
SHOPPING SPREE AT THE TREE The centerpiece of the holiday season is Marktplatz, a green space in the middle of town that serves as its social hub. From late November through early January, the square is flanked by a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree on one side and a 26-foot-tall traditional German Christmas Pyramid, complete with moving wooden figures and a spinning windmill, on the other. The entire Marktplatz glows with colorful lights, and walkable Main Street is a shopper’s delight where you can find gifts for everyone. Holiday shopping in town reaches a fever pitch during the Luckenbach Christmas Bazaar (December 5) and Fredericksburg Trade Days holiday edition (December 18-20).
FAMILY ACTIVITIES There is so much to do in Fredericksburg, it’s hard to know where to start. Kids and adults alike will love carving ice at the Eisbahn Outdoor Ice Skating Rink (open Nov. 27-Jan. 3) as well as the drive-through live Nativity story. Or you can check out fun family events such as A Ranger Christmas at the Texas Rangers Heritage Center (December 5—the same day as the aforementioned Christmas Bazaar). A third event on December 5 is the Pioneer Museum’s Kinderfest, a tradition that has lasted for more than 40 years. Kids can bring stockings to hang above the fireplace, which are filled while they enjoy Christmas stories, songs, crafts and refreshments. >> 46 WATERWAYS | December 2020
Bethany Lutheran drive-through Christmas Journey