The City of New Braunfels is one of Texas’ top tourist destinations; home to the number one water park in the country, Schlitterbahn, offering 65 acres of family fun along the banks of the Comal River. State-of-the-art water roller coasters, inland surfing, giant hot tubs and sky coaster are all wrapped up in one park. You can even bring your own picnic and in true small town style parking is free! Keeping with the theme of one of a kind water recreation, the Texas Ski Ranch presents wake boarding without a boat on Texas’ only cabled lake system. Wonderful varieties of recreation are afforded by the waterways in and around New Braunfels and are popular for tubing, swimming, rafting, canoeing, kayaking and fly fishing. Not one, but two lovely rivers wind through this delightful city. Canyon Lake rounds out the complement of water recreations with sailing, boating, water skiing and fishing.
Most visitors come to New Braunfels packing a swimsuit, a rod and reel, or a snorkel and fins. But New Braunfels isn’t just a water paradise. Once on shore, you’ll find a whole range of family-friendly activities and attractions in town. Throughout the year, visitors can also choose to tee off at the area’s premiere golf courses or jump into unique adventures, the best in Texas country music, and traditional German heritage.
For such a small town we pack a whole lot of culture and art into your experience. Search for lost relatives or fill out your family tree at the Sophienberg Museum and Archives. Experience a turn of the century village at Conservation Plaza and soak up craftsmanship at Heritage Village. Keeping little ones engaged is what the McKenna Children’s Museum is all about. Drop in and let the little ones explore and experience the unique interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. If you like trains we serve up a precious little depot downtown that houses the New Braunfels Railroad Museum that is a great stop for young and old alike.
While you’re in downtown take a stroll through the New Braunfels Art Gallery featuring local talent that is one of our best kept secrets. Live music abounds in New Braunfels at Texas’ oldest dance hall, Gruene Hall, and we have our very own Symphony, the Mid Texas Symphony. So from classical music to Americana artists, keep up with our calendar of events for all the live music venues in our area, be it riverside, at a festival, in a dance hall, or while you are dining, toe-tappin’ fun awaits you. Theatrical groups and performances date back to the 1880’s in New Braunfels and we love to put on a good show for you. Check out the Circle Arts Theatre, S.T.A.G.E, and the Brauntex Theatre on your next visit.
Showcasing our heritage in unique special events sets New Braunfels apart from most other communities. Usually communities have one festival each year. Here you can enjoy well over 100, so on any given weekend there is a “fest” of some kind entertaining the entire family. The largest festival in New Braunfels is the annual Wurstfest.
Since 1961 families have come from near and far to sample tasty sausage, potato pancakes, and other German/Texas treats served up by fun-loving folks. Some come to polka and waltz to non-stop oompah music performed by more than forty entertainers from around the world. Others come to visit with friendly Texans donning lederhosen and dirndls as a tribute to the rich German heritage of the community. Don’t miss one of the largest and oldest Oktoberfest type celebrations in the country.
A variety of special events present opportunities to soak up pottery, metal arts, market days, Americana Music, Wine tasting, Country Music, and Texas German Heritage… mark your calendars and let New Braunfels do the entertaining. There really is so much to see and do in New Braunfels! If you come for a weekend or a lifetime, make it your New Braunfels, because we are sure glad you came.
There’s something unmistakably charming about a small town during the holidays. New Braunfels is a tightly knit community with a rich history and a large heart – and it shows in the pride we take in our festive decorations and joyful celebrations. While there may be a nip in the air, your hearts will be warmed by the merriment and sense of community which makes this city so special. Norman Rockwell may not have lived in New Braunfels, but we’d like to think that if he visited, he’d see in us a reflection of the spirit for which he is famous.
Here is a listing of some of our great down-home holiday events:
DOWNTOWN LIGHTING & SANTA’S ARRIVAL – Friday, November 18 from 6-9p.m. The annual Downtown Holiday Lighting and Santa’s Arrival is a free event celebrating the spirit of the season in Historic Downtown New Braunfels.
HOLIDAYS IN GRUENE – Hang your hat in Historic Gruene and enjoy six full weeks of holiday fun! Including Gruene’s original Cowboy Kringle, Christmas Market Days, holiday-themed runs and concerts, the annual town lighting, the Pony Express Ride, a Gospel Brunch & more!
CHRISTMAS AT THE CAVERNS – December 10,11 and 17-23! Tickets on sale beginning Thanksgiving Day, Natural Bridge Caverns becomes Christmas at the Caverns. The park will be illuminated by thousands of lights and feature more holiday attractions than you can shake a candy cane at.
SANTA’S RANCH – Celebrate the holidays with with homemade hot cocoa, kettle corn, and a leisurely drive through Santa’s Ranch with over One Million dazzling lights, displays & holiday settings! November 6th – January 2nd, 2016.
TEXAS SKI RANCH “SNOW” – The TSR Snow Park is the newest edition to the Texas Ski Ranch 70-acre action sports complex. With tubing, snowboarding and a terrain park there is truly something for everyone to try.
FISHING ON THE GUADALUPE – Trout have recently been stocked in the Guadalupe River, near the Canyon Lake Release. Don’t be a fish out of water. Jump In to all the fishing spots you only thought were hidden, in New Braunfels.
WASSAILFEST – Thursday, December 1st in beautiful and historic downtown New Braunfels! Join us at 6 p.m. for the official toast to kick off this cherished, annual event. It’s an evening of music, fun food, great shopping, thousands of twinkling holiday lights and, of course – lots of free wassail for you to sample!
HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL – Christmas Wine Affair December 2-18, 2016 The most coveted wine trail of the year is here!
ANNUAL TOUR OF HOMES – The tour features six homes in New Braunfels and the Faust Hotel will be the refreshment stop. The self guided tour will be Saturday, December 3rd from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
CAROLING ON THE PLAZA – Come for a beautiful and harmonious night of singing traditional Christmas Carols in English, German and Spanish. Special music from young people in our Comal County Schools and local musicians. Don’t miss it! December 9th starting at 6:30pm at the gazebo downtown NB. Bring a lawnchair and we’ll See you there!
HOMETOWN HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS PARADE – The Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade will take place in the heart of New Braunfels Saturday, December 17 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
WEIHNACHSTMARKT – This New Braunfels’ tradition offers the charm of open-air Christmas markets of Germany, except indoors. Shop over 60 merchants and artisans with unique German collectibles and ornaments, decorations, specialty items, apparel, jewelry & gifts.