Once the Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed and the cranberry sauce nobody ate has been disposed of properly (it’s tradition) it’s officially time to look towards all the festivities that December brings. Whether you’re hoping to check off some names on your to-gift list, take the perfect holiday photo or just get away for a weekend, we have you covered!

Young couple shopping downtown

Gift Shopping in San Marcos

We recommend beginning at the San Marcos Outlet Center early in the day to avoid crowds. One of the largest outlets in the country can be a little daunting, so maybe go through store listings and make a note of which shops you’d like to prioritize. Also, you might want to limber up and wear comfy shoes because as with all things a-la Texas, this place is BIG so you’ll also work off that turkey while scoring on major deals – truly a win-win situation.


And of course, you never know what treasures you’ll find shopping at San Marcos’ boutiques and shops around town. Jewelry, vintage, unique knickknacks, and everything in between, you’ll have a fun time finding just the right gift for the loved ones in your life, or for yourself!


Pro tip: Plan your trip for November 25 or December 9 to shop the local art market, Art Squared.

Dog on carnival ride at holiday festival

Holiday Events

There's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by attending a holiday event! Kick off the season by lighting up the Hays County Historic Courthouse. Get into the holiday spirit at Sights & Sounds - San Marcos' largest holiday celebration. Pick up the perfect gift at one of the many seasonal markets. And, of course, so much more! 

Holiday Photo Ops

Picture this: you and your loved one(s) are strolling around Downtown San Marcos, warm beverage in hand, shopping and eating to your heart’s desire while lights twinkle overhead and garland decks “The Square.” Head over to the Mobility Hub where, oh yes, there’s décor set up for your card (or Instagram) worthy shot. There's a photo op "framed" up and ready for you on the Historic Hays County Courthouse lawn. While the lights are currently under repair, we expect Kissing Alley to be lit and picture-ready any day now! And if that isn’t enough, San Marcos has tons of vibrant murals just waiting for you to strike a pose.


Also, you’ll find a truly gigantic Christmas tree at the San Marcos Outlet Shopping Center. You may have sensed a theme there… The tree makes for a great backdrop for your family photo!

Seasonal Flavors

One of our personal favorite ways to add a little seasonal flavor to our days is by indulging in a festive cup of coffee from a local coffee shop. Of course, you’re sure to find holiday specials and festive flavors at local restaurants, breweries, and nightlife spots in a myriad of ways. Looking to indulge in some warm and cozy comfort food? Here are a few of our staff favorites:


Sarah: Chicken tikka masala taco with a side of curry queso from North Street

Rebecca: Burger and fries from Café on the Square

Charlotte: Pad Thai with chicken, spicy set on 4, and extra limes from Shai Yo Thai  

Steve: Chancer Plate at Herbert’s Taco Hut

Denise: Bacon-wrapped meatloaf from Palmer’s

Jared: Quick Chicken Fried Rice from Quick Fix Cuisine (Red Bus Food Truck Park)