Guide to December Events in the RGV

Hooray! The temperature is finally dropping, Christmas is around the corner, and the family-friendly events are just getting started. 

Have anything to add? Comment below or submit your event to our community calendar here.

December 1 - 4, 2016

Holiday Village Brownsville

Open through Jan. 1, 2017

Dean Porter Park

Come stroll through the Holiday Village and be magically transported to the North Pole. Admission is FREE and the memories are priceless.


Sunday – Thursday: 8am-10pm

Friday & Saturday: 8am-11pm

Gingerbread House Workshops

Dec. 1 – 22, 2016

6- 7 pm (Thur.); 11- 12 pm (Sat.); 2- 3 pm (Sun.)

IMAS • 1900 W Nolana Ave, McAllen, TX 78504

McAllen, TX- Our annual and very popular Gingerbread Workshops are back at the International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS)! Enjoy special family time and get into the holiday spirit by decorating your own miniature gingerbread houses with IMAS’s fun collection of craft supplies and candy. At the end of the day, the mess will stay at IMAS and you can take home your child’s yummy creation!

IMAS will offer the workshop in varied dates and timeslots starting on December 1. Limit 25 people per session. Thursday, December 1, 6-7 pm; Saturday, December 3, 11 am – 12 pm, 2-3 pm; Sunday, December 4, 2-3 pm; Thursday, December 8, 6-7 pm; Saturday, December 10, 11 am – 12 pm, 2-3 pm; Sunday, December 11, 2-3 pm; Saturday, December 17, 11 am – 12 pm, 2-3 pm; Sunday, December 18, 2-3 pm; Thursday, December 22, 6-7 pm.

The Gingerbread Workshop is $3 plus general admission. All supplies are included with the workshop registration fees. Pre-registration is now open and highly recommended due to limited space. For more information or to register, please contact IMAS at (956) 682-0123,, or visit the IMAS front desk.

70th Anniversary Christmas Parade (Harlingen)

Friday, December 2nd

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Downtown Jackson Street • Harlingen, TX

Lighting ceremony, Mr. And Mrs. Claus, Parade, Vendors, and more!

FREE for the community

Merry Citrus at the Bryan House

Saturday, December 3rd

9:00  am – 7:00 pm 

Bryan House • 1113 E. Mile 2, Mission, Texas 78574

The whole community is invited to enjoy a traditional vintage Christmas at the historical William Jennings Bryan House. There will be carolers, crafters, antique vendors, artists, and holiday food presentations. Owner, Ariel King will be giving tours throughout the day – you can’t miss seeing one of our valley’s gems in person. Children will learn about Christmas traditions from yester year, what a treat. One of our local guests will also be reading “The Night Before Christmas”……tis the season!


Zoo Nights and Lights

December 2 – 4, 2016

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m

Gladys Porter Zoo • 500 Ringgold St, Brownsville, Texas 78520

Join us December 2nd, 3rd or 4th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for a night full of holiday cheer. From carolers and gingerbread-cookies to magical walkways decorated with more than 800 luminaria bags and 135 lighted animal fixtures, this event is sure to be fun for adults and children alike.

Tickets for Zoo Nights and Lights are now on sale here at the Gladys Porter Zoo. Tickets are only $2.50 or you can donate a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots on the day of the event.

December 5 - 11, 2016

IMAS Young Adventurer Days


Thursday, Dec. 8th • 6 pm – 7 pm

[New Location] McAllen Performing Arts Center

Wells Fargo invites you to swing into the holiday season with a BIG BAND Holiday Concert which has been MOVED to the McAllen PERFORMING ARTS CENTER.  The Dean Canty BIG BAND consists of 18 swinging musicians and one lovely female vocalist. The band performs music reminiscent of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and the Dorsey Brothers.

Thr new state-of-the art Performing Arts Center will open at 5 p.m. so come early, enjoy the concession stand and take a photo with Santa. Bring friends, share the event and enjoy an amazing concert experience! The concert tickets are available in advance at Quinta Mazatlan or at the door for $5.00.

Winter Blast Members Party


Friday, Dec. 9th • 6 pm – 8 pm

IMAS • 1900 Nolana Ave W, McAllen, Texas 78504

Join IMAS for Our Second Winter Blast Members Party!

McAllen, TX- Have you experienced the magic of IMAS at night? Get ready for some winter fun at the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS). IMAS invites you to join us for our second annual Winter Blast Members Party, a family friendly event, which will take place at IMAS on December 9th, 2016 from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. It is the season to enjoy the museum because we’ve decked the halls and galleries just for you!

Christmas Tree Extravaganza Reception

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum

The opening reception event for our annual Christmas Tree Extravaganza. Bring your whole family to enjoy the food, fun, and festivities!

2425 Boxwood St, Harlingen, Texas 78550

Harmony Science Academy STEM Festival


Saturday, December 10, 2016
Doors open at 10:30 am
1124 Central Blvd., Brownsville, Texas 78520

Free Admission & Open to the Public!

We will have Engineering Projects, Robotics, Science Demonstrations, Math Projects, & Games!


Polar Express Day at Children's Museum of Brownsville

December 10-11, 2016

Children’s Museum of Brownsville
501 Ringgold St. #5, Dean Porter Park, Brownsville

Join us on Dec. 10th for Polar Express Day. Ride the train and take a beautiful picture by photographer James Hord. See you at the Children’s Museum!

A Very McStuffins Christmas!

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Brownsville Public Library
4320 Southmost Blvd., Brownsville

Commissioner Longoria will be reading A Very McStuffins Christmas to children and parents in attendance for the 10th consecutive year. The first fifty children will receive a free book. Activity to follow.

Elf: The Broadway Musical

December 10th • 8:00 pm

9:00 am – 12:00  pm

ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.

Fiesta de Noche Buena

Sunday, December 11, 2016  

1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Museum of South Texas History • 200 N. Closner Blvd. Edinburg, TX
Celebrate holiday traditions that reflect South Texas culture during Fiesta de Noche Buena.

Fiesta de Noche Buena is a Spanish phrase translated as “festive night” and refers to a traditional Christmas Eve feast after a religious mass that is observed in Mexico. Among the holiday foods and decorations are poinsettias, also known as noche buenas, which are indigenous to Mexico. The legend associated with the poinsettia, or noche buena, is that of a poor Mexican girl who presents weeds to the infant Jesus and miraculously turn into beautiful, red rich flowers – noche buenas.

The Fiesta de Noche Buena event is included in regular museum admission: $7 adults (ages 18+); $5 seniors with ID (ages 62+) and students with ID (ages 13+); $4 for children (ages 4 to 12); free for children ages 3 and younger. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship. 

December 12 - 18

Winter Wonderland

Friday, December 16, 2016  
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Leo Pena Placita Park • Mission, TX

Enjoy a night of music, art, handmade crafts, and local food! Shop local entrepreneurs, artists, and artisans work from ceramics, crocheting, jewelry, and much more. We will have holiday activities throughout the night!

LIVE music * FOOD vendors * Artists * Artisan vendors * Activities for children * Games & prizes

Noche de Paz [San Juan]

Saturday, December 17, 2016  
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

San Juan Municipal Park • San Juan, TX

The City of San Juan, San Juan EDC, and Hermes Music will be hosting Noche de Paz. Admission and parking will be FREE for everyone! Musical performances by Tejano Music Awards Christmas Shelly Lares, Sunny Sauceda, David Farias DF, Lucky Joe, Adrian Acosta, Beatriz Gonzalez, Maria D’Luz. The event will be hosted by Johnny y Nora Canales (El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales). There will be a clown show, blue Santa, snow, carnival, and a lighted parade!

Alice in Wonderland

Friday, Dec. 16, 2016

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance •118 Paseo del Prado Ave, Edinburg, Texas 

Professional Ballet Performance for the entire family starting Dec 16 to the 18th.

Breakfast with Santa at IMAS

Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016

8:00 am – 10:00 am

IMAS • 1900 Nolana Ave W, McAllen, Texas 78504

McAllen, TX – What would the holiday season be without a visit with Santa? Santa’s making a special trip to the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) to eat breakfast with you and your family on Saturday, December 17th from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. Join us for a scrumptious buffet style meal and a visit by the jolly guy himself – Santa Claus! In addition to food, guests will have the opportunity to take a photo with Santa, make holiday crafts, play holiday games, and much more!

Gather your family and friends for a memorable morning at IMAS. Kids, don’t forget your wish list for Santa. Parents, bring your cameras. All participants will require an admission ticket. Members price is $8/Adult; $5/Child. Non-member price is $15/Adult; $12/Child. You may purchase your tickets either in person or over the phone (additional fee of $2.50 will apply). Xtreme Bugs exhibition is not included. Not a member, becoming a member is easy! To purchase your membership or upgrade your membership today call IMAS at (956) 682-0123 or visit our website Santa is waiting.

Santa's Enchanted Holiday Forest

Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Quinta Mazatlan • 600 Sunset Dr, McAllen, Texas 78503

Delight your tots with an enchanted forest holiday adventure at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen on Saturday, December 17th, 10 am to Noon. Enjoy a stroller-friendly trail with holiday character inflatables and scavenger hunt activities for young children. Take pictures with Santa and the kids will go crazy with the snow flurry machines. Families will be treated to a show from the McHi Performing Choir singing holiday carols, while enjoying snacks and creating craft projects.

Tickets for the Santa’s Enchanted Holiday Forest for Tots are available in advance or at the gate for $5.00 per person at Quinta Mazatlan; please dress for the weather. For more information call (956) 681-3370 or

December 19 - 25

Big Red's Christmas Family Day

Saturday, December 17, 2016  
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Big Red’s Ranch • 34179 FM 1577, San Benito, Texas 78586

Join us as we celebrate the Christmas season for Big Red’s Christmas Family Day! Spend an afternoon at the ranch with your family. Kids can decorate cookies, make a craft, make a s’mores, go on a canoe ride, play some games, and pet the animals! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Santa at the Library

Wednesday, December 21, 2016  
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Brownsville Main Branch Library, 2600 Center Blvd • Brownsville, TX

Come out the the library for some time with Santa and Minions.

December 26 - 31

Watercolor Wednesday

Wednesday, December 28, 2016  
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center • McAllen, TX

Spend some family time in nature during the holidays in a fun-filled hour of nature learning, science, games and crafts the whole family can enjoy. No matter what artistic level you are at, learn a unique stencil technique for creating a watercolor painting you can frame.

AGES: Designed for families with school age children
FEE: $3 (children 3 and up) Adults: included with admission

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

Friday, December 30, 2016

7:00 pm – 10 pm 

McAllen Performing Arts Center • 801 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen, Texas 78501

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
McAllen Performing Arts Center
Friday, December 30, 2016

*Special gift + Meet-and-Greet for Platinum Ticket Holders

Tickets available at all Ticketmaster locations & the McAllen Convention Center Box Office, open Monday-Friday 10AM-5PM.


* Plus Fees

Gold Circle Tickets buyers will receive a Nutcracker doll and the official Moscow Ballet Book with each ticket purchased. Visit merchandise table.

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