Round Top is a living Hallmark holiday movie around Christmastime. Special events are scheduled for each weekend in December leading up to Christmas Day and beyond, and the festively decorated year-round shops, restaurants and bars are open beginning Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday every weekend. 

The fun begins on Friday, December 1 from 2- 7 pm with the Zapp Hall Christmas Market, Christmas in the Country. Shop antiques, vintage, home decor, jewelry, clothing and handmade goods at one of Round Top’s oldest antiques venues. Open December 1 from 10 am – 5 pm and December 3 from 10 am to 3 pm.

Rise and shine early on Saturday, December 2 for Breakfast with Santa at Royers Café beginning at 8 am. Santa will be on hand for sharing Christmas wishes and posing for photos following a hearty breakfast of waffles, bacon, sausage and eggs with hot chocolate and coffee. This event sells out fast. Get your tickets, here

After saying your goodbyes to Santa, enjoy a morning of shopping at Round Top’s year-round retail stores beginning at 10 am. All shops, restaurants and bars at The 550 Market, Henkel Square, Round Top Village, The 303, Rolland Square and Minden Square will all be open for business as usual throughout the holiday season. Visit The Guide for the full list of year-round businesses. 

Jamie and JB Royer are welcoming Santa back to Royers Cafe for breakfast on December 2.

History and design lovers won’t want to miss the 26th Annual Round Top Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Homes, which also takes place on Saturday, December 2. The tour runs from 11 am to 5 pm and includes six beautifully decorated residences and historic buildings. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at Round Top Real Estate during business hours, or on the day of the tour at the Round Top Historical Campus at 397 E. Mill Street. You can also buy your home tour tickets online, here.

Also on December 2, music and holiday activities will begin around 3 pm in Round Top’s town square at 102 Main St., followed by the Round Top Lighted Christmas Parade, which begins at 6:45 pm, rain or shine. To be a part of the parade, register with the Round Top Chamber, here.

The day of the parade, Royers Cafe will be serving chicken and dumplings, Frito pie, beer, wine and pies beginning at 3 pm until the parade is concluded. Meanwhile, Merritt Meat Company will be hosting a Smash Burger Night from 5 pm to sell out.

Following the parade, join Duo Modern restaurant and bar at Market Hill for a post-parade celebration with dining, drinks and karaoke. The Christmas Karaoke Party at Duo Modern will take place on December 2 from 7- 10 pm. The Stone Cellar will be hosting local favorite good-time band the Black Cat Choir beginning at 7 pm, so join them for great music, food and drinks at the bar and Jon Perez Lounge.

The following Saturday, December 9, Round Top Festival Institute will present Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker ballet. Student dancers with Ovation Ballet Company will perform the classic holiday ballet for the 14th season at Festival Hill’s concert hall beginning at 4 pm. This is the one and only performance of the season, so be sure to get your tickets early, here.

The Nutcracker at Festival Hill is a holiday tradition. (Photo by Chris Pierre Bachman)

Festival Hill will also host the Blinn College Wind Symphony and Choir for a Sounds Of The Season Concert on Friday, December 15 at 7 pm. Tickets are $10, here

Following dinner in town and the concert, spend the night at any one of Round Top’s world class lodgings (see the full list of dining and lodging options in our Guide) and plan to attend the Round Top Family Library’s Christmas Extravaganza on Saturday morning, December 16, beginning 10 am. The library will be open for pictures with Santa, Christmas treats, game booths and live holiday music by Balleen Keen until 2 pm. This event is free and open to the public. Visit here for more details. 

Duo Modern restaurant at Market Hill will host a Christmas Eve Brunch on December 24 from 10 am to 2 pm. Reservations are recommended (call 979.203.7053 to save your spot) for the holiday meal, which will feature bottomless mimosas, smoked ham, beef tenderloin, sausage, hash browns, egg casserole, cranberry sauce meatballs, eggs Benedict, eggnog French toast, maple bacon pancakes bites, roasted veggies and salads. Top it all off with dark chocolate gingerbread cake.

The 550 Market is the place to ring in the New Year. The venue will host a New Year’s Eve Bash with Black Cat Choir on December 31 from 7 am – 1 pm. Your $75 ticket includes a prime rib meal, drink specials and a front row seat to the Baby New Year Dress Up Competition where contestants will be vying for a $1000 prize.

Start your New Year off right by joining Linda Patterson and Friends for the final event of the holiday season, an organ recital in the Edythe Bates Old Chapel at Festival Hill on New Year’s Day. The performance runs from 3 – 4:30 pm on January 1, 2024. Get tickets here

Break your New Year’s diet resolution by attending the Round Top Family Library’s Chili Cook-Off fundraiser at the Round Top Rifle Hall on Sunday, January 14. Sample multiple chilis, participate in a live auction and enjoy live music by the Black Cat Choir. Tickets $10, children 12 and under are free. To sponsor a team or enter, visit here.  

The Round Top Family Library’s Chili Cookoff is always a good time, especially in warm, stylish blanket coats from Sapana. (Photo by Chris Pierre Bachman)

If you find yourself with Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, we have ideas. Come to the Round Top Winter Antiques Show running January 18 – 21. A mini version of the spring and fall antiques shows, the Winter Antiques Show encompasses more than 20 venues, and year-round stores and restaurants have extended hours. To find out who’s open, grab a copy of the December issue of Round Top Magazine which includes a Winter Show Guide. Copies of Round Top Magazine will be available at local businesses beginning in December, or you can view the digital version, here.

Lastly, a special Aprés Antiques Dinner event by Garden & Gun Magazine will take place during the Winter Antiques & Design Show. The event will be hosted at Los Olivos Farm on Friday, January 19. A multi-course seated dinner prepared by chef Leonard Botello IV of Truth BBQ and Round Top’s own Merritt Meat Co. will follow a festive cocktail hour featuring live music, drinks by High Wire Distilling and Rose Gold Wine, and oysters from Lowcountry Oyster Co. Get tickets, here.