Baby, it’s cold outside! As cooler temperatures settle in and the nights become longer, Wichita Falls embraces the holiday spirit in a Texas-sized way. A star marks the spot of the Depot Square Historic District, a six-block reminder from the boom of oil discovery and railroad development. The brick inlay at the intersection of 8th and Ohio serves as the central point to an abundance of shopping, entertainment, urban wineries, breweries, and restaurants—all within walking distance.
While it does not take long to arrive at any destination on foot, ample free parking is conveniently located throughout Downtown Wichita Falls. The Downtown Farmer’s Market is an excellent place to start your adventure. The contemporary adaptation of the Union Passenger Station not only houses the year-round market, the market facility is the center of festivals and special events throughout the year.
Don’t miss the City Lights Festival and Parade where historic Downtown Wichita Falls is transformed into a winter wonderland. Each year brings a new theme, each more spectacular than the last. This year’s theme will make your heart grow two sizes as Wichita Falls Downtown Development brings to life the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss.
Festivities will kick off in Santa Land. Holiday revelers are invited to explore Santa Land in Park Central with family-friendly games, activities, and live music. As no holiday experience is complete without a visit with Santa! The big man himself will be onsite for pictures and, of course, to receive any last-minute lists before heading back to the North Pole to prepare for the Big Night.
After a visit with Santa, explore the realm of everyone’s favorite curmudgeon the Grinch at Mt. Crumpit Market for holiday shopping, hot cocoa, and food trucks. Making a return this year are the popular S’mores Station where guests can indulge in the classic sugary perfection of gooey marshmallow and chocolate guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
When the clock strikes seven, the magic truly happens as 100 breathtaking floats and decorated vehicles descend upon Downtown in the City Lights Parade. Put on your favorite winter coat and bundle up your little ones in matching scarves, hats, and gloves to watch as their eyes light up as Whoville comes to life during this eccentric procession of their favorite characters and fantastical displays.
Don’t forget to visit the Downtown Wichita Falls businesses during the festival to see what Seussical creations they have concocted for the event. These tempting themed treats and beverages are only around for a limited time and, then, like magic, they’ll disappear.
With the winter chill driving people indoors, Wichita Falls has plenty of entertainment for the whole family in our walkable Downtown with convenient free parking at each location. Venturing into Maniac’s Mansion for the first time is like walking into a museum where you can touch the exhibits. The arcade and cereal bar evoke both childlike wonder and a wave of nostalgia for patrons. The unique venue offers something for the child in everyone. Every kid has dreamed of being in an arcade with no need for quarters or tokens, and in the mansion all of the classic arcade games are set to free play.
Let your children embrace their creative genius at Crashworks STEAM Studio and Makerspace. Offering an eclectic mash-up of classic art mediums, engineering “bits,” and a lot of recycled materials, Crashworks makes learning fun with hands-on, creative exploration. Get messy in an imaginative playground and watch as your child starts to see the potential in the world around them.
Wichita Falls has playgrounds for adults, too. At The Depot Axe-Throwing Lounge visitors are invited to unleash their inner lumberjack. Test your aim in one of 14 axe-throwing lanes alongside pool, darts, and shuffleboard. In between rounds, sip on old-world prohibition-era cocktails from the full-service bar. Then venture onto the patio for a round of corn hole.
Colder weather is no reason to let your golf game go rusty. In Wichita Falls, we have not one but two indoor golf facilities! Golfers of all skill levels will delight in a state-of-the-art indoor facility at The Golf Factory’s or Next Level Golf. Play a round of golf in an hour or nine holes in just 30 minutes. Enjoy the freedom of golf on your schedule. Explore countless options at your leisure, from PGA courses to help lower your score to game simulations for beginners.
The changing of the seasons offers even more reasons to fall in love with the Falls. Your time is precious. With bountiful shopping, entertainment, and restaurants all within walking distance, make Downtown Wichita Falls part of your winter traditions!