Top Places to Celebrate with Santa in Lubbock
As the popular song goes: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Our homes are filled with the scent of baking gingerbread cookies and holiday movies are on seemingly every channel. Children create handprint reindeer and write letters in anticipation of Christmas Eve, when hopefully Jolly Saint Nick himself will deliver that cherished gift they’ve dreamed of all year long. But the chance to meet him in person, to feel his soft red and white suit, to tug his beard and whisper Christmas wishes in his ear is something that even the Grinch wouldn’t pass up. There are several opportunities to meet Santa in Lubbock this holiday season, so plan your trip now before he heads back to the North Pole!
Your first opportunity to meet Kris Kringle will be at the Junior League of Lubbock’s Holiday Happening, November 16-20 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. This year’s theme is Beneath the Wreath, and this popular Lubbock event packs in an extended weekend full of amazing holiday shopping and opportunities to take your picture with Santa Claus. You can even reserve your seat for breakfast with Santa on Friday and Saturday mornings. Who could pass that up?
Pricing: $10 (children under 5 are free)
“All aboard!” That’s exactly what you’ll hear when it’s time to board THE POLAR EXPRESS in Lubbock. The train ride, inspired by the popular children’s book, takes you on a journey to the North Pole to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves. Hand the conductor your golden ticket and board the magical train where the characters from the beloved book come to life. Dancing chefs serve up hot chocolate and cookies as the doubting hobo walks through the train. When the train arrives at the North Pole, children will meet Santa and share their Christmas wishes. In return, they receive their own silver bell — one that only true believers can hear. The train runs on select days November 19 – December 23, but book your seat well in advance as this one sells out.
Purchase tickets here.
For a more traditional experience, head on over to the South Plains Mall. Not only is it a magnet for the entire region’s holiday shopping needs, it is also where you can find Santa from the last week of November through Christmas.
Mark your calendars now for December 3, as Santa will be quite busy making many appearances in Lubbock throughout the day. Hang out with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and peruse one-of-a-kind, handmade items at the Christmas Arts & Crafts Show with Santa at Buffalo Springs Lake (open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Buffalo Springs Lake is also a fantastic place to see Christmas lights. Meanwhile, at the National Ranching Heritage Center’s Junior Rough Riders Winter Corral, you can make crafts, learn all about pioneer traditions and, of course, visit with Santa. Be sure to RSVP in advance.
Pricing for Christmas Arts & Crafts Show: $2 (children under 11 are free)
Pricing for Junior Rough Riders Winter Corral: $5 for non-members
You can’t have a great time during the holidays without some delicious food, so a trip to the Winter Wonderland Food Truck Festival on December 3 (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) should be on your menu. Held at the Panhandle South Plains Fair Grounds, you’ll enjoy live Christmas music as you savor mouthwatering treats like loaded brisket baked potatoes and kettle corn served up by the many food trucks. Fully refueled, you can take your sweet time browsing the various on-site vendors to find that perfect gift you’ve been searching for. Although we haven’t mentioned him yet, rest assured that Santa will be there too. After all, the big guy needs to eat, and there are few places better for satisfying appetites than the food truck festival.
If the sound of time traveling during the holidays sounds appealing, then you can’t miss Candlelight at the Ranch, one of the most popular holiday events in Lubbock (December 9-10 from 6:30-9 p.m.). Walk along a path lit by thousands of luminaries as you visit the many historic buildings in the National Ranching Heritage Center, where the ranch hosts recreate what life was like on the prairie during the holidays. Grab a warm cup of cider and visit with Santa while you learn a bit of history along the way.
Pricing: Free ( VIP Tickets here)
Another popular holiday event in Lubbock is Santa Land. From December 10 – 23, Mackenzie Park becomes a winter wonderland full of colorful holiday lights, animated displays and traditional holiday scenes. The most eye-catching feature is the majestic 60-foot-tall lighted Christmas tree that stands over the holiday village. Every evening, a sleigh with tiny reindeer delivers Mr. and Mrs. Claus to Santa Land for a Christmas chat with each child.
Santa also makes an appearance at the annual Miracles Christmas Parade that runs along 34th Street beginning at 6 p.m. on December 10. Find a good spot along the parade route and dance along with the tunes of the marching bands, catch candy, wave at Jolly Old Saint Nick himself and enjoy the festive spirit of the event.
With so many great ways to see Santa in Lubbock, it’s quite possible that this is actually his second home! Plan your trip to Lubbock and enjoy all the festive events the “Hub City” has to offer. Be sure to share your memories with us by using #livelovelubbock.