Texas State Parks Join the Spirit of the Season

Hill Country State Natural Area Trail 72AUSTIN, (TPWD) – State Park Hosts Christmas Play – Come to Goliad State Park from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 20 to see “Los Pastores,” a shepherd’s play. Created after Spain came to the New World, shepherd’s plays were used to teach Native Americans about Spanish religion and culture. Using song, dance, and colorful costumes, these plays presented the travails of the shepherds as they made their way to see baby Jesus. This Spanish language presentation will give attendees a firsthand perspective of what life was like for the mission Indians of Texas. Call (361) 645-3405 for more information.

Christmas Balloons Glow Brightly at Palo Duro Canyon State Park The park will be hosting its annual Christmas Balloon Glow from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Mack Dick Group Pavilion. Daily park entry fees will be waived during the event. The park will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the High Plains Food Bank. Santa will make an appearance and children can participate in a craft project. Three hot air balloons will inflate in unison for a photo opportunity. For more information, please call (806) 488-2227, ext. 226.

Explore the Trail of Lights at Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Site Enjoy a fantastic quarter-mile walking trail illuminated with thousands of lights that decorate the Monument Hill and Kreische House portions of the park. Walk a trail overlooking La Grange. Experience the more traditionally decorated 1850s-era German home of H.L. Kreische, bedecked in Christmas splendor in Texas-German style. Bring your children to tell secrets to Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and enjoy the seasonal hospitality of the Friends of Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, who sponsor the event. Admission fee is required. No pets or alcohol allowed. For more information, call (979) 968-5658.

Bring the Dog and Family for the Jingle Dog Hike at Franklin Mountains State Park Franklin Mountains State Park will host a Jingle Dog Hike along the Lower Sunset Trail from 9 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 21. Participants must have a reservation to join the hike. Hikers can meet at Tom Mays Unit – Site 39 Restrooms at 9 a.m. to participate. Visitors with dogs on leashes are encouraged to attend in Santa hats and festive attire. The trail is 2.5 miles and will take up to two hours to complete. It is mostly level, with a few steep ascents and descents. Participants are encouraged to bring water, snacks, sturdy hiking shoes or boots, a flashlight or headlamp, a hiking stick, camera, binoculars and a map. For more information and to make a reservation, call (915) 566-6441.