25 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Corpus Christi and Beyond - The Bend Magazine

25 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Corpus Christi and Beyond

Mark your calendar! Here are 25 Coastal Bend holiday events for the ultimate winter bucket list.

Photo provided by American Bank Center, taken by Fonzie Munoz Photography.

1. Watch the Illuminated Boat Parade

Marvel at water vessels of all shapes and sizes decked out in holiday decor on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. The parade will be viewable at the seawall between the Lawrence Street T-head and Coopers Alley L-head. 

2. Go Ice Skating at Coastal Christmas

American Bank Center’s Coastal Christmas returns with indoor ice skating and holiday fun for the whole family. Regular skate sessions, late-night sessions soundtracked by a live DJ and sensory-friendly sessions are all available. Dec. 19 through 23. 

3. Attend the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra’s Home for the Holidays

Happening Dec. 10, it’s a classic Coastal Bend holiday event you don’t want to miss! Guests will enjoy holiday musical stylings and a special guest appearance.  

4. Visit the Christmas Tree Forest at AMST

In partnership with H-E-B and Junior League of Corpus Christi, the Annual Christmas Tree Forest features 30 individual trees decorated by local students. The exhibit is up until Dec. 14.

5. Experience snow in South Texas 

While the holiday season in the Coastal Bend doesn’t generally include a blanket of snow, the Rockport Tropical Christmas Festival is the next best thing. Happening on Dec. 3, the festival includes a snow slide to tube down. 

6. Celebrate Christmas Rockport style

Christmas in the District is a festive family fun event in the heart of downtown Rockport on Dec. 10. The evening includes art exhibitions, kids’ activities, beautiful holiday lights, shopping and more.  

7. Drop a letter in Santa’s Mailbox

Keeping the magic of Santa alive, the Millikans’ candy-red colored mailbox in the front lawn of their home on 1026 Belmeade Drive offers young and old believers alike the chance to send a letter to Santa. Drop off your letter, with a return address, by Dec. 17 to receive a reply from Santa himself. 

8. Volunteer for H-E-B’s Feast of Sharing

There’s no time like the holidays to give back. On Dec. 23 at the American Bank Center, you can help pass out a delicious hot meal to community members. Register to volunteer with H-E-B online.

9. See the Nutcracker

Discover the magic of Corpus Christi Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Selena Auditorium. Family weekend will take place Dec. 10 and 11 with discounted tickets, and Gala Weekend with live music takes place Dec. 17 and 18. 

10. Contribute to Toys for Tots 

Help to spread holiday cheer to all in the community by donating toys or becoming a collection site for this annual drive. This year’s distribution dates are Dec. 16-18. For information on how to become a drop-off location or where to bring unwrapped presents, visit the organization’s website. 

11. Enjoy Symphony by the Sea

Featuring the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra under the direction of guest Conductor Shira Samuels-Shragg, the Rockport-Fulton High School Choir will perform all your favorite holiday tunes on Dec. 11 in the Martha Luigi Auditorium.

12. Send a free holiday postcard 

Visit Corpus Christi is here to help spread holiday cheer on your behalf with a free, handwritten postcard. These unique holiday cards are a limited print and can be mailed anywhere in the world! Select your favorite print and fill out a message on VCC’s website. 

13. Shop Holiday Markets on Peppermint Lane 

Taking place every Sunday through Dec. 18 from 1 to 8 p.m., the Holiday Market on Peppermint Lane will host dozens of pop-up vendors, food trucks and seasonal photo opportunities. Located on Chaparral Street, from Lomax to Lawrence Street.

14. See Abuelita’s Christmas Carol

Written and performed by Alex Garza, Abuelita’s Christmas Carol is stopping by Aurora Arts Theatre Dec. 17. The Tex-Mex holiday play is centered around family, Christmas and Mexican culture and includes a wacky cast of characters. 

15. Hit the ice in Portland

Don’t miss the Holiday Ice Rink in Portland. The rink kicks things off on Dec. 3 and will be open daily through New Year’s Day. Admission fees include unlimited skating and ice-skate rentals. 

16. Let a Local Bakery Do the Holiday Baking for You

Check out holiday pre-orders from spots like Bien Mérité, Hester’s Café, Cookie + Crumb Bake Shop or Central Kitchen Bakery. 

17. Marvel at A Drag Queen Christmas

Get in the holiday spirit with your favorite queens! Hosted by Trinity Taylor and Nina West from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” A Drag Queen Christmas is making a stop in Corpus Christi at the American Bank Center on Dec. 12 with holiday performances and meet and greets. 

18. Visit Sand Santa

At the corner of Oakes and Alister in Port Aransas, you’ll find the iconic Sand Santa sculpture and his workshop, which pops up around Dec. 1 and remains up through Christmas. 

19. Brighten the season with more boat parades

The Port Aransas Lighted Boat Parade takes place on Dec. 4 and La Posada Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 9 and 10. 

20. Participate in a holiday fun run 

From the Reindeer Run 5k Run-Walk on Dec. 10 to the Jingle All the Way 5K & 10K on Dec. 17, there are plenty of seasonal runs for good causes. 

21. Take a photo with the holiday-decorated Gaines Street Gorilla.


22. Explore HOLLY-DAYS at the Gardens

Four weekends (Nov. 25 – Dec. 17) of lights, trees, a petting zoo, hayrides, s’mores and hot cocoa, photo ops and more at the South Texas Botanical Gardens. 

23. Check out seasonal coffee drinks at your favorite local coffee shops

Coffee Waves, The Coffee MUGG and Roasted Coffee are all great options with seasonal varieties. 

24. Snap a selfie with Scuba St. Nick

The beloved Scuba St. Nick will dive into the H-E-B Caribbean Sea Exhibit at the Texas State Aquairum every day from Dec. 10 to Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. to take photos with guests and their families.

25. Have a winter beach day

Sand angels, anyone? Coastal Bend beach days in the winter just hit different. The water might be a bit too chilly, but roasting marshmallows over a campfire, sipping on hot cocoa and enjoying the cool breeze … now that’s winter in the Coastal Bend.

Looking for more features? Check out 7 Coastal Bend Desserts and the People Behind Them or Flour Power: A Look at Coastal Bend Cottage Bakers.