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Image of Candlelit Walkway - Texas Tech National Ranching Heritage Center

Candlelight at the Ranch

Lubbock, Dec. 9–10

Texas Tech University’s National Ranching Heritage Center extends its interpretation of bygone Texas ranch life to the holiday season with Candlelight at the Ranch. On the nights of December 9–10, about 4,000 glowing luminarias will light the center’s historical park, where 15 vintage structures, including the 1909 Barton House, will offer visitors a glimpse of holidays past with period decora­tions and hosts dressed in period clothing. In the 6666 Barn, which was originally built in 1908, sip hot chocolate and apple cider as the band Brazos West plays cowboy Christmas songs. Santa Claus and a Christmas choir will also be on hand.

Photo: Kevin Stillman

Image of Pelicans Gathering

National Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count

Statewide, Dec. 14–Jan. 5

The holiday season includes a multitude of traditional activities, but one that some people may not be familiar with is the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Richard Gibbons, conservation director for the Houston Audubon Society, says the bird count relies on “citizen science”—using citizens to gather data to answer scientific questions. The count detects change over time, and the information gathered identifies if there is a species in trouble that needs the attention of wildlife management agencies and policy makers. To pre-register or find out more about Texas bird counts, visit the Houston Audubon Society.

Photo: © Will van Overbeek

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Published monthly by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Travel Information Division, Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, encourages travel to and within the Lone Star State and tells the Texas story to readers around the world.


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