When I was a kid growing up in Bryan-College Station, the holiday season didn’t officially kick-off until I saw the giant Christmas tree light up the sky over Stephen C. Beachy Central Park on Thanksgiving Day. The long days waiting for Thanksgiving evening to arrive was a time of pleasurable anticipation. We spent the day cooking, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and eating the feast that my mom prepared. After dinner, we piled in to the car to see the beautiful Christmas lights decorating Stephen C. Beachy Central Park.
The excitement would build as we drove down Krenek Tap Road and took in every light pole scene we passed. As we turned onto Central Park Lane, there was something magical about driving under the “Christmas in the Park” arch. My eyes would start to wander to all of the shimmering lights and handcrafted displays, as I would try figure out what was new from the year before.
The office window drapes were open, allowing us to view the beautiful Christmas tree and holiday scenes that were placed throughout windows. We would park the car and I would run from one display to the next and got even more excited as I went. Our last stop was always the giant Christmas tree where I would spin as fast as I could while trying not to fall down. As I would stagger off dizzy, I knew that the holiday season had officially begun and, from that point on, “Mom, can we go see the lights again?” became a frequent question in our household.
Now, with the return of Christmas in the Park, other kids can create their own holiday memories! Guests can view more than a million lights that will decorate the beautiful 47-acre Stephen C. Beachy Central Park from 6-11 p.m. each day starting on Thanksgiving and ending New Year’s Day.
The holiday celebration doesn’t stop there!
Christmas in the Park celebrations will be held on Dec. 4 from 6-10 p.m., Dec. 5 from 12-9 p.m. and Dec. 6 from 6-10 p.m. Daily activities will include a tour of the park on an old-fashioned hayride, free cookies and hot cocoa, and photos with Santa.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, visitors can enjoy dance performances, inflatables, a petting zoo, real snow slide and a Holiday Vendor Village with a variety of arts, crafts, jewelry, candles and more. Guests may bring their own refreshments, but coolers must be 48 quarts or smaller. Alcohol, glass containers and pets are not allowed. Food vendors will be available.
All of us at Christmas in the Park hope you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season and we wish you the best in the coming year!