It’s that time of year again! The lights are twinkling the music is jingling and the smell of cinnamon is wafting through the air. Oh, Christmas Time how I love you.  And what better way to bring in the holiday than a trip to Whistle Stop?! Just a short jaunt from the hub of DFW is a brilliant little city in the great state of Texas called Cleburne. For the past 20 years Cleburne has hosted Whistle Stop. This fabulous holiday tradition consists of 3.5 million lights decorating Hulen Park every evening from November 21st through Dec. 31st.

This year Whistle Stop will officially begin on Monday November 21st at 6:30pm. The Texas Tradition Chorus will open followed by the lighting of the park at 7pm. The 2nd of December Cleburne will be hosting the Whistle Stop Christmas Parade in downtown around 6:30 p.m. After the parade, bring your kiddos to Hulen Park to have their pictures made with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, enjoy the children train rides, food and gift vendors, horse drawn carriage rides, and more. (I personally am totally in love with carriage rides.) On December 3rd enjoy a Candlewalk Tour of Homes in downtown Cleburne. The local historic homes are a beautiful site all year long but have been specially decorated for this holiday season. You can purchase tickets for the Candlewalk here =>

If you do come to visit outside of the holidays you can explore these gorgeous houses and mansions from the Civil War era on a self-guided downloadable tour. Included in the almost 100 buildings listed in this tour are a local church built in 1871, several bungalow and Victorian houses, and the city hall.

If you’re looking for some great ideas outside of the holiday festivities Cleburne is rich in historical culture. They have a multitude of museums including: the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum and the Big Bear Native American Museum, the Layland Museum, and the Gone with the Wind Remembered Museum. Cleburne also has two live theater companies and a golf course. Lake Pat Cleburne is a great spot for a family picnic or in the warmer season fishing and water sports.

Stop into Hero’s Café for lunch. It’s conveniently nestled in the center of several adorable boutiques so that you can shop while you eat.  Boiling Shrimp and La Cima Mexican Cuisine are a couple of other good options.

Finish up your trip with a gander at some of the great murals around historic downtown. They are definitely worth a stop. This was my favorite one. I like that its a little quirky like me 🙂

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P.S. – Apologies for the rather dark photos. It was extremely overcast the day I was out here.