Texas’ True Christmas Wonderland — Don’t Sleep on Century Square in College Station

From Jingle on The Green to Gift Markets, a Gateway to Santa's Wonderland and Much More

Chris Baldwin

December 2021

Santa may call the North Pole home, but College Station might as well be his satellite Texas office. Few places in the Lone Star State embrace the holiday season with the absolute fervor that the Brazos Valley does. In fact, Santa’s Wonderland — the seasonal holiday land — and all the activities at Century Square give the College Station region serious holiday bragging rights.

If you want to truly experience Texas Christmas fun, a trip to College Station should be on the agenda.

Century Square, the innovative mixed-use development from Midway, is certainly all in. From a holiday season kickoff like no other to the ultimate last minute Christmas gift opportunity to hip hotels that provide the perfect base for any trip to Santa’s Wonderland, this sprawling center right across from a decked out Texas A&M University definitely embraces the joy.

The only thing you need to enjoy the season in Century Square is a little planning. Here’s everything you need to know:

Jingle on The Green

Looking for a truly festive kickoff to your holiday season? Jingle on The Green needs to be on your radar. This Sunday, December 5 from 3 to 6 pm, you’ll get the ultimate holiday festival. We’re talking Christmas music, free photos with Santa, special holiday booths, a hot chocolate station, activities put on by Century Square’s impressive array of shops and restaurants — and holiday activations. Whether it’s the reindeer face painting booth with Kendra Scott or holiday cocktails from PORTERS Dining + Butcher restaurant, this fest’s activates surely will get you into the holiday spirit.

Temperatures are also supposed to be in the seventies, giving you the best of the holidays with a temperate Texas twist.

Gingerbread Build-Off

There’s building a gingerbread house — and then there’s next level gingerbread house construction. The AIA Brazos Gingerbread Build-Off pushes the holiday tradition to architectural levels. This one-day design and construction competition pits local architecture, engineering, design and construction professionals against each other in a friendly building competition.

The gingerbread building bonanza runs all day — from 9 am to 5 pm — on Sunday, December 12th.

Teams build their gingerbread creations on-site with the public getting to watch and vote on their favorite in the People’s Choice category. Better yet, kids get to try and build their own gingerbread masterpieces in the Kids Build Area. For free. There also will be cookie decorating and hot chocolate stations.

Gingerbread house building will reach new levels at Century Square.

While everyone is having fun, the professional builders will be raising money for the AIA Brazos Architecture in Schools program, an AIAS Texas A&M University leadership grant and continuing education opportunities for local architecture emerging professionals. Gingerbread can do a lot of good.

Holiday Artisan Market

Finding last minute gifts this season will be more difficult than ever with shipping delays essentially ruling out Amazon and the big box online empires. No worries, Century Square in partnership with Visit College Station will make the task more fun — and local — than ever with its Holiday Artisan Market on Sunday, December 19th.

This is your chance to grab everything from fragrant handmade soap to distinctive ornaments and more. Talk about a true stocking stuffers paradise. The market runs from noon to 4 pm — and you’ll also have the stores and restaurants of Century Square at your beck and call. There will be live Christmas carolers serenading during the shopping fun, and many of the development’s stores and restaurants will be offering special discounts and promotions.

Yes, you can make a real festive day of it before the madness of traveling or relatives arriving sets in. Even Santa Claus himself would love to have the assist of a holiday market like this.

Century Square’s Holiday Artisan Market makes giving local and festive.

Santa’s Hippest Helpers

Santa’s Wonderland is a 130 acre land of holiday delights that you almost need to see to believe. Now, in its 24th year, it continues to draw bigger and bigger crowds every season. It is located a short drive away from Century Square (15 minutes in non-packed times), which is no small perk when it comes to this holiday wonderland. Being able to easily get to Santa’s Wonderland makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of the Texas-sized gingerbread village, hay rides, Christmas lights maze, horse and carriage rides and the walkable trail of lights.

While Century Square is not affiliated with Santa’s Wonderland, it does make for an ideal base to explore the premier Christmas attraction. Especially when you consider that The George, College Station’s version of a hip Austin hotel, is a place where a trip becomes a true escape.

Century Square is the place to be for the holidays.

It is also a very convenient holiday haven with The George located in the heart of Century Square, placing it within easy walking distance of so many options.

You can stroll 10 feet to the best steakhouse in the Bryan-College Station region — PORTERS. Request a seat on the patio and you can eat and drink well while taking in the live music scene that unfolds at The Front Porch every weekend. (College kids and families alike dance and sit in the grass as everything from Country classics to Christian rock is performed on the small stage.)

There is also easy access to walk over and catch a movie (Star Cinema Grill), hit an Irish pub (Mo’s), buy some distinctive Texas boots at Lucchese or just hang out in the whisky lobby bar (1791).

Both The George and Cavalry Court, a reimagined motor inn with luxe touches and outdoor areas galore, make making a weekend out of it at Century Square an easy, fun option.

Noon Years Eve

Of course, the holidays do not end on December 25th. There is still much to celebrate — and Century Square is all about getting the whole family involved. This is a true community gathering space for the entire Brazos Valley, and often beyond.

With that in mind, this mixed-use center hosts a Noon Years Eve on December 31 from 11 am to 1 pm. There will be dancing (with a DJ spinning tunes), lawn games, face painting and a talented balloon artist. It all crescendos with the countdown to noon, which kicks off a bubble party.

And who couldn’t use a bubble party after the events of the last few years? This may not just be a kids dream. Grandparents will love it too

And who couldn’t use a bubble party after the events of the last few years?

And you didn’t think Texas had a holiday headquarters? Visiting Century Square during December will show you otherwise.