AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – With the arrival of the holiday season, the Amarillo area is welcoming a bustling last few months of 2023 with events and activities for the community. Parades, seasonal celebrations, live music, and other special events will be open to the public to offer festive fun through the end of the year.
Here’s a look at a few upcoming events around Amarillo over the holiday season, and other tried-and-true ways to spend a day on the High Plains.
Running from Nov. 14 – Dec. 23 on Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Maxwell’s Pumpkin Farm will be hosting its Maxwell’s Magical Christmas event, featuring a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree, a 50-foot-tall pixel tree, a walking trail of lights, a walk-through Christmas ornament, and appearances by Santa Claus.
The Amarillo Art Institute will host its Holiday Open House on Nov. 16 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., featuring refreshments, artists, and holiday shopping opportunities.
On Nov. 16 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will host its Tidings of the Trees event, featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction to bid on one-of-a-kind Christmas trees. Tickets are $100 per person.
The Amarillo Police Department will host its annual COPS for CASA toy and gift card drive from Nov. 16 – Nov. 18, with donations accepted at multiple designated locations around Amarillo.
On both Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, the Amarillo Symphony will host its Brahms and Bluegrass concert at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., featuring Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and renowned soprano Sara Hershkowitz.
Mix 94.1 announced it will join other local radio stations on Nov. 18 at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens to celebrate its Christmas Music Kick-Off Festival from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
On Nov. 23 – Nov. 26, the Starlight Ranch Event Center will host the Tangled Lights Productions Light Up Thanksgiving Weekend event from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. each night, featuring an interactive show with more than 20,000 dancing lights and appearances by Santa Claus.
On Nov. 29, WT will host the Festival of Lights for the official lighting of the WTAMU campus in Canyon, after the annual Christmas reception from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Legacy Hall.
On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, the WT Opera will perform “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 7:30 p.m. in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall. Tickets will be $10.
On Friday, Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Center City Amarillo will host its Hawaiian Christmas Electric Light Parade, expected to begin at 11th and Polk Street and continue north to 4th Avenue.
On Dec. 1, the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts will host the Aaron Watson Family Christmas Tour beginning at 8 p.m., featuring Christmas classics and songs from Watson’s critically acclaimed Christmas album.
The Starlight Ranch Event Center will host the Cirque Italia ‘Aquatic Spectacular’ Water Circus from Dec. 1 – Dec. 3, with shows recurring at different times daily through the weekend and featuring an exhilarating expedition in search of a pirate’s treasure.
On Dec. 2, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will host its Christmas Open House from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday crafts, Christmas stories, and other events and activities for attendees.
On Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. until after sunset, the Canyon Chamber of Commerce will host its “Christmas in Canyon” event with multiple activities and attractions, including:
- WTAMU pre-vent club Santa Paws – 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
- Photos with Santa in the Downtown Square – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Performances by Canyon ISD school choirs – 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- Light parade down 4th Avenue and around the Downtown Square – 6:30 p.m.
- Tree lighting and fireworks – After the light parade
On Dec. 2 in the Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m., the WT Chamber Singers will perform their Christmas concert, presented free for audiences to attend.
On Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., WT’s Symphony Orchestra will host its annual holiday concert, “I Heard the Bells! Music of the Christmas Season” in Mary Moody Northern Recital Hall. Admission will be free, but tickets are required.
Betenbough Homes announced that it will host its Cozy Christmas Celebration on Dec. 8 from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Betenbough Homes New Home Center, featuring free refreshments as well as photo opportunities with Santa Claus.
Running from Dec. 8 – Dec. 10, the Lone Star Ballet will present The Nutcracker Ballet at the Amarillo Civic Center Auditorium, with shows daily through the weekend.
On Dec. 15, the Northside Toy Drive will host its annual black tie event at the Amarillo Civic Center Heritage Ballroom, featuring dinner, dancing, cocktails and casino games. Admission to the event is an unwrapped toy for a child aged 2-12 years old.
The Amarillo Symphony and the Amarillo Master Chorale will present the Happy Holiday Pops! show on Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at both 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
On Dec. 21 at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, audiences will have the chance to see “Murray & Peter Present: A Drag Queen Christmas” beginning at 8 p.m. The longest-running drag tour in America will feature Miz Cracker as host, as well as other queens and guests. Ticket packages and further information can be found here.
Other things to do in Amarillo
Attractions around Amarillo
- The Big Texan Steak Ranch
- Wonderland Amusement Park
- The 6th Street Historic District on Route 66
- Downtown Amarillo
- The Harrington House
- Lake Meredith
- Amarillo Civic Center Complex
- Amarillo Little Theatre, Inc.
- Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts
- Hodgetown Stadium
Iconic Amarillo Art, Tours and Landmarks
- 2nd Amendment Cowboy
- Cadillac Ranch
- Ozymandias on the Plains
- Palo Duro Canyon
- Caprock Canyons State Park
- The Helium Monument
- The Floating Mesa
- ‘Collect’ a Herd of High Plains Horses
- Dynamite Museum Road Signs
- Amarillo Mural Series
Museums and Educational Entertainment
- Amarillo Botanical Gardens
- Amarillo Museum of Art
- Amarillo Art Institute
- Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
- Amarillo Railroad Museum
- American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum
- The Amarillo Zoo
- Bill’s Backyard Classics
- The Don Harrington Discovery Center
- Jack Sisemore RV Museum
- Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian
- Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
- Texas Air & Space Museum
- Texas Panhandle War Memorial
- Wildcat Bluff Nature Center