Prepare to delight yourself as you enjoy the spectacular light displays provided to you here in Johnson City. This year marks the 23nd anniversary of Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style. The Lights Spectacular is proclaimed as "the Centerpiece of one of the biggest shows on the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail" by Southern Living magazine with a courthouse that "shines brighter than the star of Bethlehem." The entire town is bathed in lights with 100,000 lights twinkling on the Blanco County Courthouse, while Pedernales Electric Coop’s Headquarters on Ave F boasts a lighted forest of over 1 million lights. Hayrides are available during opening weekend and carriage rides continue throughout the season. The light show is free to the public.
Looking for a new holiday ornament or special gift? The Courthouse lobby will be open during the holiday on weekends, and the Johnson City Garden Club will be selling Christmas ornaments, crafts, post cards, bird houses, bumper stickers, and local cook books. The ornaments are handmade each Monday morning throughout the year at our nursing home by the residents, and they are excellent decorations for a very modest cost. Proceeds support local non-profit organizations. Shopping will be available opening weekend 5-9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays thereafter 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. through December 23rd.
Be sure to visit the Christmases Past that will be celebrated at the National Historical Park on three consecutive Saturdays. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park invites everyone to experience "Lamplight Tours of the LBJ Boyhood Home" on December 1st, 8th, and 15th. National Park Rangers will provide an open house of this historic home, all decked out for a Christmas celebration in the 1920s from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. each evening. On these three Saturdays, the LBJ Boyhood Home will be lamp-lit, giving visitors an opportunity to experience family life at the Johnsons' house as it was more than eighty years ago. National Park Rangers and volunteers team up to portray a 1920s Christmas, complete with Christmas caroling, a cedar tree in the parlor adorned with handmade ornaments and a toy display beneath, and authentic decorations and seasonal goodies throughout the home. The Western National Parks Association bookstore in the park Visitor Center at 100 Ladybird Lane will also be open each Saturday evening. The bookstore has a variety of books for all ages and other products from children’s toys to note cards and calendars. Proceeds from the sales in the bookstore directly support education and research programs in the park. These park events are free of charge. The turn for the LBJ Boyhood Home is just three blocks (turn left onto Avenue G) west of the intersection of Highways 281 and 290 in Johnson City. Parking is available in the Visitor Center lot at Avenue G and Ladybird Lane. For detailed directions or additional information, please call (830) 868-7128, extension 244.
Friday & Saturday, December 7th & 8th, you’re invited to enjoy the 1st United Methodist Church Living Story of Christmas. Johnson City First United Methodist Church will put on its annual (over 26 years!) Christmas program. It is a show for all ages and a great part of anyone's Christmas. There will be five free shows per night, starting at 6:00 p.m. and run on the hour and half hour; the last show is at 8:30 p.m. Each show lasts about 10 minutes. Bleacher seating is available and children are welcome to pet the animals after each show. In the Church Activity Center, there will be a large display of nativity scenes and free refreshments (cookies, hot chocolate, and coffee).
Be sure to visit the Hill Country Science Mill Store located at 101 Ladybird Lane. The Science Mill itself is a project that has just begun and will open to the public sometime in 2014. The vision of the Science Mill is to encourage youth by making science fun and relevant with hands on science, interactive exhibit, and summer programs that create an environment of wonder and discovery where children may consider science as a career. When you visit the store, you will be treated to a 3D model of what the Science Mill will look like upon completion. Meanwhile, you can bring your little people to visit the store, which is full of science related, fun, unique, and exciting toys. The items are priced to suit everyone’s budget from a few dollars on up. There will be ongoing demonstrations, and a very exciting custom laser light show will be available for viewing outside the store during business hours! The business hours are 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 23rd.
Looking for somewhere to stay while you’re here? No problem, we have a Best Western as well as the Hill Country Inn. Thinking more of a Bed & Breakfast? We have many to select from including the Chantilly Lace Country Inn, Country Cabins Bed & Breakfast, Lighthouse Hill Ranch, The Sandy Road Guest Haus, Songbird Meadows B & B, Hillside Acres, and our newest facility - Stanton Ranch vacation rental home on a 2500 acre working cattle/goat ranch in the Texas Hill Country, located minutes south of Johnson City. We also offer several conveniently located RV Parks and Resorts, including Miller Creek RV Resort, Road Runner RV Park, and Pedernales Falls State Park. Looking for something unique? We have that too - check out the Exotic Resort Zoo where you can choose from one of 5 cabins, all of which have covered porches overlooking the large lake with over 80 species of wild animals roaming the ranch, as well as phenomenal hill country views. If you choose to stay here, you will also receive a free tour of the zoo as well as other amenities.
There is something for everyone in Johnson City! We are home to many fabulous contemporary artists and several extremely high quality Fine Art Galleries. Many nationally and internationally recognized artists show in our galleries. You can also visit The Benini Sculpture Ranch, Bunkhouse Gallery, the galleries on Nugent Avenue which include Taste Wine + Art (Kirchman Gallery), Western Art & Artifacts, A. Smith Gallery, and LMC Murals and Fine Art.
While enjoying all the activities available, you’re sure to work up an appetite, and there are several places for you to fill up including Ronnie’s BBQ, Hill Country Cupboard, Pecan Street Brewing, Texas 290 Diner, Dairy Queen, Big Daddy’s Dixie Fried Chicken, Stripes Convenience Store, Subway, El Charro, and El Agave.
Located in Johnson City is the Texas Hills Vineyard, providing a tasting room to sample their award winning wines, a gift shop, and an event facility, along with a delightful setting in the Hill Country just a few miles from town. They also have great weekend promotions planned, so be sure to check their website for details. They’ve also stocked up on fabulous gift items!
Johnson City is located at the crossroads of the Texas Hill Country, 48 miles west of Austin, 60 miles north of San Antonio, and 30 miles east of Fredericksburg. Johnson City provides the perfect getaway where you can visit our historic areas, enjoy our art galleries, visit our local vineyards, the famous Whittington’s Jerky General Store, Black Spur Emporium and Coffee Shop, Kara’s, The Treasure Chest, Pieces of the Past, The Old Lumberyard, DeLeon’s Outpost, The Historic Pearl, Hop To It Home Brew, Taste Wine + Art, Western Art & Artifacts, A. Smith Gallery, and more!
Go to our website at johnsoncitytexaschamber.com for details and event calendar.