The winter holiday season is back in full swing with a variety of events across the area that are sure to spread cheer and goodwill. Check out one of the many holiday festivals, gift shopping opportunities, parades, tree lightings, and more available.
The 28th annual Copperas Cove Krist Kindl Markt will be Dec. 1- 4 at Copperas Cove City Park, 1206 W. Avenue B. There will be music, vendors, food and more. Admission and parking are free. Go to www.copperascove.com for more information. Krist Kindl Markt goes from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Killeen’s annual Holiday Under the Stars weekend event will be Dec. 2-3. On Dec. 2, there will be a Holiday Market from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Avenue D between Gray and 8th streets, as well as a tree lighting ceremony with live entertainment and a snow show at 7 p.m. at Santa Fe Plaza. On Dec. 3, the Jingle Bell Dash 5K Run will be at 8 a.m. at the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail, the Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. beginning at Avenue C and College Street, and the Festival of Holidays from 3 to 8 p.m. on Avenue D between Gray and 8th streets. Go to https://bit.ly/3gJZF6c for more information and to register for the Jingle Bell Dash.
The annual III Armored Corps and Fort Hood Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony will be at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 2 at III Corps Headquarters. There will be music by the 1st Cavalry Division Band and caroling led by the Meadows Elementary School Choir. There will also be photo opportunities with Santa, free food and beverages, and more at this event.
The Central Texas Theatre, 3401 S. W.S. Young Drive in Killeen, is hosting performances of its seasonal production of “Elf” from Dec. 2- 4 and 9- 11. Tickets range from $17 to $27. Go to https://www.showpass.com/elf/ for showtimes and tickets.
Tablerock of Salado will host its 30th annual performances of “A Christmas Carol” at 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9, and 10 at Tablerock Amphitheatre, 409 Tablerock Road. Tickets range from $5 to $15 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at www.centraltexastickets.com.
The 62nd annual Salado Christmas Stroll will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 2- 4 and 9- 11 in downtown Salado along Main Street. There will be horse drawn carriages, boutiques open for late night shopping, vendors, live entertainment, light displays, and more at this free event.
The Lampasas Carol of Lights will be at the Lampasas Courtyard Square from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3. There will be a farmer’s market, Christmas carols, the Snow Queen Pageant, food trucks, lighting ceremony, and Christmas parade. Children’s activities will be available from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Ajinomoto Foods Lobby, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Manuel Hardware, and from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at First Texas Bank. Go to www.visionlampasas.org or www.lampasaschamber.org for a full schedule of events.
Nyle Maxwell of Killeen, 3602 E. Central Texas Expressway, is hosting a Christmas Toy Drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3. Donations will benefit the Armed Services YMCA Killeen. Music by Greg Showman and the Back Creek Band will be from noon to 2 p.m.
Christmas on the Chisholm Trail will be from noon to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Bell County Historic Courthouse, 101 E. Central Ave., Belton. There will be vendors, food trucks, a kids’ zone, live holiday music, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a parade at 6 p.m.
The 30th annual Tri-County Toy Run will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 4 at the Mayborn Convention Center, 3303 N. Third St., Temple. Music by Sandee June, food trucks, vendors, and more will be available. Admission is $20 per person or a new toy donation. The escorted ride will depart from the center at 1 p.m. and will conclude at Lampasas High School.
The 76th annual City of Temple Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5. The tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6:15 p.m. at City Hall, 2 N. Main St., before the start of the parade. The parade starts at the intersection of E. Adams Avenue and N. Eighth Street, continues west along Adams Avenue, goes straight in front of the Municipal Building and on to N. 23rd Street, and ends at Temple High School. Visitor parking is available at Temple City Hall and Santa Fe Plaza.
USO Fort Hood is hosting Coffee Connections from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Dec. 8 at 121 761st Tank Battalion Ave. Active-duty spouses are invited to make a holiday craft, network and connect with other military spouses, learn about local resources, and more at this free event. Registration is required by going to https://fal.cn/3u14x.
The annual Carlson Christmas Light Show will be from Dec. 1-23 at 7 and 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 428 Winter Sun Drive, Harker Heights. Extended hours will be from 6 to 11 p.m. Dec. 24 and 25. The show is free and guests can tune to FM 88.1 to hear the music set to lights. Go to https://www.facebook.com/carlsonlightdisplay/for more information.
The annual Nature in Lights 5.5-mile holiday light display is back and will be open from 5:30 to 11 p.m. now through Jan. 1, 2023, at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. Santa’s Village will be available at the Live Oak Pavilion from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from now until Dec. 4 and open nightly Dec. 8- 24. Cost is $20 for cars, mini-vans, and pick-up trucks; $35 for limos, 15-person passenger vans, and RVs; $55 for a 24-person passenger van; and $80 for a 47-person van or larger bus.
The Killeen Police Department is hosting the Blue Holiday Donation Drive through Dec. 24. Non-perishable food, new toys, new clothing, and gift cards will be accepted. Donations can be deposited at Killeen PD Headquarters, 3304 Community Blvd., or Integrity Rehab Killeen, 3302 Janelle Drive.
Salado Glassworks, 2 Peddler’s Alley in Salado, will host multiple Blow Your Own Ornament events through Dec. 18. Cost is $60- $70 per person depending on style of ornament selected. Go to https://www.saladoglassworks.com/glass-blowing-events-for-beginnersto register.
Harker Heights Parks and Recreation will host its annual Wreath Decorating Contest with the theme for this year, “Texas.” Participants can submit their entry forms and wreathes at the Harker Heights Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail, by Dec. 12. Judging will take place Dec. 13- 16, and winners will be announced Dec. 19. For more information, email email@example.com or call 254-953-5493.
The Mayborn Science Theater at Central Texas College, 6200 W. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, hosts a variety of laser shows, movies, and other events based on astronomy.For show descriptions, a full schedule, and ticket prices go to www.starsatnight.org or call 254-526-1800.
USO Fort Hood, 121 761st Tank Battalion Ave.on Fort Hood, will host the USO Holidays Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 3. This event is geared toward military children ages 8 and under and their families. This event is free but registration is required by going to https://bit.ly/3H4YcBZ.
Chick-fil-A Killeen, 1402 E. Central Texas Expressway, will host Breakfast or Lunch with Santa Cow from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 3. Children and families are invited to take a picture with Santa Cow, and drop off a letter or wish list in the North Pole Mail Box.
Aware Central Texas will host its Christmas on the Farm event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121, Belton. This family-friendly event will feature over 40 fun activities, including a petting zoo, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, live entertainment, and more. Admission is 50 cents per person or $2 per family.
Apache Arts and Crafts Center, 2337 761st Tank Battalion Ave. on Fort Hood, is hosting a Holiday Card Making event from 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 3. There will be kits and examples to make holiday cards for all ages. Cost is $20 to make three cards. There will also be a Make-Your-Own Tree of Life Ornament event form 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 3. Cost is $30 per person and refreshments will be served.
Killeen Recreation Services will accept letters to Santa now through Dec. 12. Kids can bring their letters to deposit in the magical mailbox at the Family Recreation Center, 1700 E. Stan Schlueter Loop. Return addresses are required.
Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation will host its Letters to Santa event now through Dec. 12. Children can bring their letters during this time to drop off at the magical mailbox at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, 1206 W. Avenue B. Participants are encouraged to provide a return name and address on their letter if they would like to receive a response from Santa.
The Killeen Mall, 2100 South W. S. Young Drive, is hosting Pictures with Santa now through Dec. 24. Go to https://www.killeenmall.com/santa/ to make a reservation and to view available hours.
Slice of Heaven Educational Farm, 17851 Farm-to-Market 1123 in Holland, will host its Christmas on the Farm event from 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3. There will be horse drawn carriage rides, visits from Santa and the Grinch, crafts, food trucks, letter writing to Santa, photo opportunities, and more. Admission is $15 per person. Go to https://bit.ly/3Oy4XxZ to purchase tickets in advance.
The Robinson Family Farm, 2651 Bob White Road in Temple, will be selling their Christmas trees and wreaths until all trees are sold out. The farm will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, 4 to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Black Friday.
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors, 1103 W. Stan Schlueter Loop in Killeen, will host the free, in-person Warriors at Ease Yoga Class from 10:45 a.m. to noon every Thursday in December. This event is for veterans, military families, and community partners. Go to https://bit.ly/3OzvM4L to register.
Explore, Learning, and Play occurs every Wednesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Bronco Youth Center, 6602 Tank Destroyer Blvd., Fort Hood. Parents with children ages 3 years and younger will engage in playgroups that focus on age-appropriate activities and exercises that help build interpersonal skills together. No registration is required. Participants must have a military ID to participate. Call 254-287-2286 for more information.
The Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, will host Happy Holidays Preschool Music Time at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 for children ages 6 and younger. The library also hosts a variety of virtual and in-person livestreams, children’s programs, story times, crafts, and other activities with details posted throughout the weekon the library’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/harkerheightspubliclibrary/.
The Killeen Public Library hosts its Game Days for Adults every Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Main Library, 205 E. Church Ave. The library also hosts a variety of other in-person events for children, teens, and adults every week at the Main Library and the Copper Mountain Branch Library. Go to https://www.killeentexas.gov/171/Libraries for a full schedule.
Barrow Brewing Company, 108 Royal St. in Salado, will host free live music by Wes Perryman at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and Eley Buckat 4 p.m. Dec. 4.
Bo’s Barn Dance Hall and Club is hosting live music by Last Call from 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 2. Cover: $10. Marcus Lindsay will perform from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 3. Cover: $10. The dance hall is at 4984 W. Farm-to-Market 93, Temple. Catch karaoke from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Thursday. Happy Hour is from 5 to 10 p.m. every Thursday, and 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. For more information, go to www.bosbarndancehall.com, or call 254-939-7131.
Fire Street Pizza, 10310 Farm-to-Market 439 in Belton, is hosting free live music by
Sarah Burton from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2, Jazz Daddies from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3, and Martian Folk from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 4.
The VFW Post 3892, 201 VFW Drive in Harker Heights, hosts karaoke with a DJ from 8 p.m. to midnight every Friday and a Tejano DJ the first and third Saturday of the month. Call 254-213-3350 for more information.
The 3 Texans Winery and Vineyard, 7536 Farm-to-Market 2409 in Temple, will host live music by Megan Brucker from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2.
Barrow Brewing Company, 108 Royal St. in Salado, will host a Christmas Market from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10. There will be handmade gifts, goods, live music, and more at this free event.
Bold Republic Brewing Company, 7070 Stone Hollow Drive in Temple, will host its Old World Holiday Market from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10. There will be local small business vendors, gifts, cocoa, craft beer, wine, and more at this event.
The Central Texas Farmers Market happens every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kempner Farm, 4616 Farm-to-Market 2808, Kempner. There are local growers, artisans, vendors, food trucks, and more available. Interested vendors can go to http://www.kempnerfarm.com to find more information and an application.
Lampasas Trade Days will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every first Saturday of the month at 2646 E. Highway 190. There will be vendors, antique dealers, craftsmen, artists, and more available. Call 512-734-1294 for more information.
The Gatesville Chamber Market Days will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every second Saturday of the month through December at the Historic Cotton Belt Depot, 2307 S. Highway 36, Gatesville. There will be local vendors will fresh produce, plants, homemade crafts, furniture, décor, and more.
Museums and Exhibits
The Lampasas County Museum, 303 S. Western Ave., will host the Christmas Tree Display/Contest and Gingerbread House Contest, as well as a bake sale, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 as part of the Carol of Lights. There will also be a Tour of Homes from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets are $10 each. The museum is normally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Call 512-556-2224 for more information.
The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, 315 W. Avenue B, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Every first Saturday of the month, the museum hosts a free, themed Family Day. The museum is hosting its Season’s Greetings: Holiday Cards special exhibit now through Dec. 31. Go towww.templerrhm.org for more information. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for kids ages 5 to 12, and free for children under 5.
The Bell County Museum, 201 N. Main St. in Belton, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Mayborn Museum at Baylor University, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Christmas Lights in the Village is open from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9- 11 and 16- 18 at the museum’s Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village. Admission for the lights event is $10 per person. General museum admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $8 for kids 12 and under.
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, 100 Texas Ranger Trail in Waco, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and military, $4 for kids 6 to 12, and kids under 6 are free. Go towww.texasranger.org for more information.
The Salado Museum and College Park, 423 S. Main St.,is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.Go towww.saladomuseum.org for more information.