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Christmas Lights Corpus Christi

How to make the most out of Christmas in Corpus Christi this year!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! What’s your favorite dish to dig into at your holiday dinner? Turkey? Green bean casserole? Pumpkin pie? Mine’s lumpia, or mashed potatoes, or tamales – I can’t choose! Besides food, I’m thankful for all of you, dear readers, for the Coastal Bend, and for all the fun things we can do. You got your spendin’ money ready? Here’s what’s up in our area this weekend:

 

SHOP SMALL PORTLAND

Friday through Sunday
Portland

Pop over the bridge to support local businesses – complete with a map. Hit any locally-owned, participating business in Portland to grab your card and map. Collect as many stamps as possible – one for visiting, two for shopping – for a chance to win a prize. No entry fee. 

 

HOT YOGA, COLD BEER

Every Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Nueces Brewing Company

Are you feeling a little downward dog? Eclipse season got your chakras all out of alignment? Do you feel a little more limber with some liquid help? This donation-based class is held weekly in the brew room of Nueces Brewing. Grab a cold one for some hot yoga, and we promise you, you’ll feel like a happy baby in no time. 

 

HYBRID RECORDS’ 8TH ANNIVERSARY

Friday, 11 a.m.
Hybrid Records

Head downtown to Hybrid Records for RSD Black Friday and to celebrate the establishment’s eighth anniversary! Pick up some new vinyl, grab a pie from Marty McPies and wash it down with a cold one from Lazy Beach downtown. 

 

80’s VINYL NIGHT

Friday, 8 p.m.
House of Rock

Keep celebrating Hybrid Records’ 8th anniversary with the official after party at House of Rock. DJ JELLOxSHOT will keep the party bumpin’ with an all-vinyl set. Dig out the neon and the scrunchies, crimp your hair and get ready for a totally tubular ’80’s celebration.

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Friday and  Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Harbor Playhouse

It’s opening weekend: Don’t Scrooge around and miss out on this timeless holiday classic. Tiny Tim will never forgive you if you don’t grab a ticket and catch a showing of the Harbor Playhouse’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” Don’t let the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future show you what you missed out on this holiday season.

 

HOLLY-DAYS AT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS

Friday, 6-7:30 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
South Texas Botanical Gardens

Before that holiday blues becomes EVERGREEN, maybe it’s time to SPRUCE up your weekend with a trip to the Botanical Gardens! Check out the gardens’ tree and light displays, as well as environmental artist Sheila Rogers’ “Eco Christmas Tree.” This family-friendly event features photo opportunities with parrots (reservations required) and Santa, a hayride and a petting zoo. Grab some s’mores and cocoa and slither over to the reptile room. The good time won’t be around FIR long: even though the event expanded to five weekends this year, it’ll only last until Dec. 23. AND: Take advantage of free admission this weekend when you bring a plastic bottle or single-use plastic bag, brought to you by H-E-B’s Texas Recycles Day. 

 

SOUTHSIDE FARMERS’ MARKET

Saturday, 9 a.m.
5800 Everhart Road

Stock up your pantry with local fruits, veggies and more at the Corpus Christi Southside Farmers’ market. This weekly market is held rain or shine in the Market shopping center at 5800 Everhart Rd. 

 

NOVEMBER FARMER’S MARKET

Saturday, 9 a.m.
Kingsville Farmers Market

Score some fresh fruits and veggies, or get started on your holiday shopping, at the monthly Kingsville Farmers Market. And, put it in your calendars: this market happens every last Saturday of the month. Stop by to get your fill of farm-fresh produce and handmade goods. 

 

SHOP SMALL BUSINESS CRAWL

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Various locations

Shop small and support local on Saturday! Join the Shop Small Business Crawl, highlighting local vendors and businesses, all across Corpus Christi. Grab a punch card (available at any stop), visit each of the venues and get the card punched for every purchase. Shop at all locations and you’ll be entered to win a gift basket filled with goodies from all participating vendors. Stops include Made in Corpus Christi, Jewel’s Clothing & Accessories, Meadowbrook Plaza (including Sew Bonita, L&RK at the Dry Bar, The Roughian, Driftwood Coffee), The She Shed, Boarri Craft, 20/20 Vintage, Wildflowers Emporium, BUS and K Space Contemporary. Find pop-up vendors at some of the locations (including my favorite Jalapeña’s Salsa), too! 

 

CHRISTMAS IN ARANSAS PASS

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce

Snap some holiday photos with Santa, get some shopping done with craft vendors, nosh at food trucks and jam out to live music all day behind the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce. Make a day trip of it and stay for the lighting of downtown Aransas Pass at 6 p.m. to kick off your coastal Christmas season.

 

ROCK N ROLL FLEA MARKET

Saturday, 11 a.m.
House of Rock

Get ready to rock, errr, shop at this installment of the Rock N Roll flea market. Snag that rockin’ merch from vinyls and CDs to tees, and everything else you need to add to your collection. Stop by House of Rock on Saturday to shop small and support local vendors – what could be more metal than that?

 

HOLIDAY MARKET 2023

Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Port Aransas Community Center

It’s holiday market season! Take a day trip out to Port A to get started on your holiday shopping at the Port Aransas Community Center. Or, just take a day trip to get away after spending all that time with your family. I’m not judging. 

 

SHORELINE FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL

Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.
Downtown

Bring an empty stomach and sample all the food from local food trucks at Saturday’s Shoreline Food Truck Festival. Make a day of it by jamming to local musicians and shopping at local vendors. Proceeds benefit the First United Methodist Church.

 

2ND ANNUAL TURKEY DERBY

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Flour Bluff

Break out your gloves and (Little League approved) bats, and head over to the Laguna Little League’s baseball and softball home run derby fundraiser. Purchase one ball for $1, or 25 balls for $20. Ball sales begin at 12:30 p.m.; last ball sold at 6 p.m. Find out more here

 

SHOP SMALL SATURDAY: KEEP THE GLASS

Saturday, 2 p.m.
Rebel Toad Brewery

Celebrate Texas beer at Rebel Toad this Small Business Saturday by purchasing a pint (and pint glass)!  A portion of proceeds from each limited edition glass, designed by Mystic Desert Studio, will support the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. Shop and sip local this weekend. Find out more here

 

H.O.R.S.E. HOOPS TOURNAMENT FOR FALLEN HORSE RESCUE

Saturday, 3 p.m.
The Annex

We’re not horsin’ around – or are we? Shoot some hoops for a cause at the Annex’s first H.O.R.S.E. tournament for Fallen Horse Rescue. Want to join? It’s $10 per player, with half benefitting the rescue and the other half going to the winner’s pot. Sounds like some fun horseplay, if you ask me.

 

MATT MEETUP 2023

Saturday, 8 p.m.
House of Rock

Calling all Matts: Matthew, Mateus, Mat, Matte … Whatever your Matt, head over to House of Rock for the “Matt Meetup.” The celebration, dedicated to all things Matt, features the prestigious Matt Awards, with categories like “Tallest Matt,” “Best Dress Matt,” and “Best Dance Moves by a Matt.” Not a Matt? Don’t worry, you can still join in on the fun for a $10 cover ($5 for Matts). 

 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS RIDE OUT

Saturday, 8 p.m.
Water’s Edge Park

Strap on your helmets and knee pads for the Saturday Lights Ride Out! All ages and skill levels are welcome to join this casual-paced five mile ride through Shoreline and downtown. Grab your bicycle, ebike, skateboard, rollerblades, roller-skates or scooter and wheel out for this ‘ride at your own risk’ event. 

 

17TH ANNUAL TURKEY BOWL

Sunday, noon
Palm Social Club, Port Aransas

Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock and roll: the 17th annual Turkey Bowl is on! Roll down to the Palm Social Club for day of knocking down the pins. Kids roll at 2 p.m., and adults slide on to the floor at 3 p.m.

 

WATER STREET FARMER’S MARKET

Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Water Street Market

Kick off your Sunday Funday by supporting local vendors and restocking your pantries with fresh veggies, and more, when you head down to the only Sunday farmer’s market at Water Street Market.  

 

PEPPERMINT LANE HOLIDAY MARKET

Sunday, 2 p.m.
Downtown

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … shopping! Grab some hot cocoa and shop local with dozens of vendors and small businesses at the Peppermint Lane Holiday Market. Snap some selfies with Santa and the Grinch while you find the perfect gifts for your loved ones … or while you’re treating your ‘elf’. 

 

CHICKEN SHIZ BINGO

Sunday, 2 p.m.
The Annex

Feeling clucky? Put up some cash at the Annex’s monthly Chicken Shiz Bingo. Pick your square, and if the chickens bless your square with some shiz, you win! Easy peasy. First come, first served for tickets. A portion of the winnings will benefit Paws & Claws of the Coastal Bend.

 

FULL MOON MEDITATION 

Sunday, 7 p.m.
Communitea

Spill the astrology tea, sis: The full moon is in Gemini on Monday, and while I don’t exactly claim to know what that means, I’m sure you can learn about it at this monthly event by MagiaBella’s Witchy Things at Communitea. Center yourself with a guided meditation, followed by an astrological forecast for the month. BYOFM (bring your own favorite mug). 

 

JAM NIGHT AT THE EXCHANGE

Sunday, 9:30 p.m.
The Exchange

Join the Exchange Jamily every Sunday for jam night. Take to the stage to play alongside local musicians or just groove out with $3 pints all night. (BONUS: Show up to the Exchange for a Jamily Friendsgiving at 3 p.m. Bring a side dish for the jamily-style potluck and a canned food item to donate to families in need.) 

 

🎄 IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE …

Mark your calendars: these holiday events are sure to spread the cheer. From Christmas markets to local theater, from live Nativity scenes to tree lightings, you’ll find something to do every week in the Coastal Bend. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store for all you good little boys and girls: 

 

WINTER WONDERETTES

Friday and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Aurora Arts Theatre

Are you ready for the Christmas season? Kick it off with a showing of the ‘Winter Wonderettes’ at Aurora Arts Theatre. Jam along to the ’60’s versions of your favorite holiday classics, like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Run, Run, Rudolph,” as the Wonderettes go on a search to find Santa when he turns up missing. This family-friendly show runs through the holiday season.

 

ABUELITA’S CHRISTMAS CAROL

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m.
Aurora Arts Theatre

“She’s no George Bailey. She’s no Ebenezer Scrooge! She’s a little bit spicier: She’s Rosita, aka ‘Abuelita!’” OK, yeah, we’re sold. For one day, and one day only, Alex Garza returns to the Aurora Art’s Theatre on Saturday.  His one-man play, written about his maternal grandmother, includes wacky characters … including a pig ghost named Agapito. With a description like that, who wouldn’t want to ring in the holidays with this Tex-Mex classic? 

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Fridays and  Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 2:30 p.m.
Harbor Playhouse

Don’t Scrooge around and miss out on this timeless holiday classic. Tiny Tim will never forgive you if you don’t grab a ticket and catch a showing of the Harbor Playhouse’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” Don’t let the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future show you what you missed out on this holiday season.

 

ART WALK

First Friday, 5 p.m.
Downtown 

Take advantage of the cooler weather and head downtown for your fill of music, local vendors, food and fun, with block parties on nearly every corner. With outdoor stages, downtown music venues, pop-up vendors, and your favorite food trucks, you’ll be sure to kick off the holiday season in style. 

 

2ND ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

Friday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m.
Newbury Park, Aransas Pass

Start your holiday season off right with carols and cocoa at the second annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Aransas Pass. Special guest Santa Claus will make the rounds at this free community event at Newbury Park. It’s holiday fun for the whole family with face painting and more. 

 

INGLESIDE TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

Friday, Dec. 1, 6:15 p.m.
N.O. Simmons Park, Ingleside

Your heart will grow three sizes at this park lighting ceremony with the Ingleside mayor and mystery V.I.P. The fun only starts when the lights turn on – stay for cookies and refreshments and settle in for a holiday movie in the park, featuring ‘The Grinch’. 

 

WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE MUSEUM

Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Find a magical experience this holiday season at the Museum of Science and History. Send letters to the North Pole at the Nuecestown Post Office, get lost in classic holiday tales on the Story Time Stage, craft snow globes and ornaments nad hang out with the Grinch, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Score your tickets for this enchanting experience here

 

TAFT ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL AND PARADE

Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.
Taft City Park

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style … for Taft’s annual Christmas festival and parade. Get your fill of food, snag some arts and crafts for those hard-to-please family members and jam out to live music. Get into the holiday spirit with the parade starting at noon.

 

MISTLETOE MAKERS MARKET

Saturday, Dec. 2, 11:30 a.m.
Nueces Brewing Company

Meet me at the Mistletoe Makers Market, trying to score some holiday goodies from local vendors and enjoying a cold one from Nueces Brewing Company. 

 

H-E-B CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING & LIGHTED BOAT PARADE

Saturday, Dec. 2, 4 p.m.
Water’s Edge Park

Don’t get blinded by the lights when the H-E-B Christmas Tree dazzles downtown. Kick off the holiday season with food trucks, live music and vendors – and snap a selfie with Santa at the annual Christmas tree lighting downtown. Make a day of it and snag your seat along the seawall for the Illuminated Boat Parade once the sun goes down. Stay warm with hot cocoa and treats from local vendors. 

 

A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS

Thursday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.
Fulton Mansion State Historic Site

Travel back in time with friends and family for a special, free event at the Fulton Mansion in Rockport. Try your hand at some Victorian-inspired crafts and get your photo taken with a Dickens-era Santa in the parlor.

 

LA POSADA BOAT PARADE

Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9
Padre Island

Float on down to the island to “ooh” and “ahh” over the La Posada Illuminated Boat Parade! We’re unabashedly big fans of parades (I mean, who isn’t??), and this one supports a good cause: Toys for Tots.

 

SANTA’S JINGLE BELL JAM

Friday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.
In the Game Funtrackers

Have a holly, jolly time jingle bell jammin’ with Santa at Funtrackers. For $25, kids can enjoy 15 play credits, one attraction, Jingle Bell JAM dinner, a hot chocolate bar, a craft station and the stocking scramble challenge. Parents can join in on the merriment for $15 (for the meal only). 

 

10TH ANNUAL REINDEER RUN 5K

Saturday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m.
Brewster’s Street Ice House

Run, run, Rudolph: Race your way to Brewster’s Street Ice House for the Mattress Firm Reindeer Run, benefitting Bikes for Kids. This family-friendly run/walk boasts a 5K and Kids 1K, so everyone can join in on the fun. Participants will receive a goodie bag filled with Christmas cheer, including antlers. Stay for the post-party at Brewster’s where every 21-and-up runner will also receive a gift of a free beer! Sign up here

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m.
USS Lexington

Ahoy there! Santa’s on his way – and you and the kiddos can welcome him with a pancake breakfast on the USS Lexington. After breakfast and photos with Santa, get some lessons on how to be nice (or naughty) with a showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in the MEGA Theater. Then you and your first mates can take part in a scavenger hunt on the historic ship. Every family will receive a custom USS Lexington holiday ornament to remember this bright and merry memory. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. 

 

FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE ART MUSEUM

Saturday, Dec. 9,  10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
South Texas Art Museum

Prefer your Christmas tree forest indoors? Stop by the Art Museum for their free family fun day! Take a look – they’re outside of books: the trees, decorated by local schools and groups, draw inspiration from children’s literature and will tickle every bookworm, or non-reader’s, fancy. In the wise words of Sam, I Am: “You may like them. You will see. You may like them in a tree!” Vote for your favorite – the top three vote-getters win a gift card to H-E-B. Want to check out the trees before then? The exhibit’s been open since Nov. 18! 

 

PORT A LIGHTED BOAT PARADE AND DRONE SHOW

Saturday, Dec. 9, 6 p.m.
Port Aransas Fisherman’s Wharf

Hop on the ferry to catch the annual Port Aransas Lighted Boat Parade. This year, for the first time ever, a holiday-themed drone show will follow the parade. Make your way to the Port Aransas Fisherman’s Wharf to partake in all the festivities, including live holiday music, photo ops, holiday beverage and more. The party doesn’t stop after the drone show – make your way to the Palm Social Club for Grammy-nominated Ruben V live on the outdoor stage.

 

3RD ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK

Saturday, Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m.
Goose Island State Park

Celebrate the holiday season by getting back to nature with a Christmas on the Coast at Goose Island State Park. Take in the lit-up park, partake in holiday activities and camp for free when you decorate your campsite. Camping not your thing? Enjoy a free drive through the Live Oak forest instead. Stop by Santa’s Village for holiday crafts, games, and hot chocolate around the campfire. Vote for your favorite campsite – the top three will win a prize. Camper who agree to decorate their campsites will get fees waived for Dec. 8-9. To sign up or learn more, email sara.rock@tpwd.texas.gov.

 

PEPPERMINT LANE HOLIDAY MARKET

Sundays, 1 p.m.
Downtown

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … shopping! Grab some hot cocoa and shop local with dozens of vendors and small businesses at the Peppermint Lane Holiday Market. Snap some selfies with Santa and the Grinch while you find the perfect gifts for your loved ones … or while you’re treating your ‘elf’. The market runs every Sunday through the holiday season. 

 

HOLLY-DAYS AT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS

Fridays, 6-7:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
South Texas Botanical Gardens

Before that holiday blues becomes EVERGREEN, maybe it’s time to SPRUCE up your weekend with a trip to the Botanical Gardens! Check out the gardens’ tree and light displays, as well as environmental artist Sheila Rogers’ “Eco Christmas Tree.” This family-friendly event features photo opportunities with parrots (reservations required) and Santa, a hayride and a petting zoo. Grab some s’mores and cocoa and slither over to the reptile room. The good time won’t be around FIR long: the Holly-days run through Dec. 23.

 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS POPS CONCERT

Saturday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
TAMUCC Performing Arts Center

It’s time to rock around the Christmas tree! Get those sleigh bells jingling and mosey over to the TAMUCC Performing Arts center for a holiday concert presented by the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. Join three local choirs to sing a sleighin’ song that night. Tickets are $15 for students, and adult tickets range from $25 to $90. Don’t have a blue Christmas and miss out on this family tradition! 

 

THE NUTCRACKER

Saturdays Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, 3 p.m.
Selena Auditorium

You won’t need to put on your dancing shoes to get visions of sugar plum fairies dancing around your head. Just gather the family for the Corpus Christi Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker.” (No, not those kinds of nuts, ya filthy animal.) Get your tickets now.

 

COASTAL CHRISTMAS

Dec. 18 through Dec. 23, 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
American Bank Center

Strap on some skates and glide through American Bank Center’s winter wonderland. Bring the whole family to grab your holiday photos with Santa. Warm up (after skating or after braving the arctic blast outside) with hot cocoa. Don’t procrastinate (like I’ll probably do with my Christmas shopping) and miss out – this event only comes once a year. 

 

H-E-B FEAST OF SHARING

Saturday, Dec. 23, 11 a.m.
American Bank Center

Every year, for 35 years now, H-E-B has hosted a free meal at its annual Feast of Sharing. The event will also feature live music, arts and crafts, children’s activities and entertainment for the whole family. No wonder us Texans are spoiled: No store does more, am I right? Find a full list of events here.

 

 

House of Rock Lone Star

House of Rock Lone Star Tree

HOUSE OF ROCK TAMAL DINNER

Sunday, Dec. 24, 9 p.m.
House of Rock

It’s not Christmastime in South Texas without tamales. Don’t have an abuelita or tia plug for those sweet goods? Just want to celebrate the holiday with family of your choosing? House of Rock has got you covered. Head downtown Christmas eve for the annual tamal dinner. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and dinner’s at 9. While you’re there, try your hand at guessing how many Lone Stars were downed to make that epic can tree (and maybe even down some Lone Stars with your meal!)

 

Hey besties! Help a girl out and let me know of any events coming up for the holidays, please! Want your turkey trot to run up our list? Know of a great market for some holiday shopping? Is Santa Claus coming to your town? Drop this events writer a line at diandraspicak@gmail.com, or find me on Instagram @deeanndruh or on Facebook. And, as always, email us at righton@rightoncorpus.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @rightoncorpus, and DM us there, too! We’re always looking for new things around the Coastal Bend.