Holiday Fun in Austin

There is lots of fun in Austin during the Holiday season. Here are some of our personal favorites!  From light shows, to adult pop-up bars to shopping, this list is full of festive fun things to do and see!

If you’re looking for lights:

  • Trail of lights in Zilker Park - This place is magical with over 2 million lights illuminating the park, 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels.  Be sure and buy tickets online. VIP gets you in before the crowd. Be sure and buy parking too!
  • Peppermint Parkway at COTA- Featuring a drivethrough holiday spectacular at the Circuit of Americas! A mile of holiday displays, millions of lights, dancing characters and fun and food for all ages.
  • Lights Spectacular in Johnson City- Walk Johnson City’s historic downtown. Enjoy local food, beer, wine and local festivities. The town square and courthouse are lit up with over 2 million lights. Walk through the park and enjoy the decorated Christmas trees. Walk around the corner to PEC’s lit up trees. 
  • Lakeway Trail of Lights- Enjoy the open tour at Lakeway’s Christmas Trail of lights at the Lakeway activity center!
  • Mozarts Light Show- Mozart’s light show is one of Austin’s most famous holiday traditions. Reserve a table as early in the season as possible. You can sit and watch the light show while enjoying some holiday treats and drinks. We’ve gone to this event by boat too! Mozart’s is right on Lake Austin. 
  • Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls- One of the biggest events in the Highland Lakes! Fun for the whole family. Two million lights on more than 130 sculptures illuminate Lakeside Park beginning each year in November. 

Fun for the Whole Family:

  • Ice Skating on the Whole Foods Roof- Ice skate in the heart of downtown Austin! Make sure there is not a private event but ice skating should be available to the public from 11 AM to 9 PM. Here is their Facebook page-  Whole Foods Ice Skating 
  • North Pole Flyer-  A special 2-hour excursion on a real train features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa, and a locally baked holiday cookie. Reserve your tickets online.
  • The Nutcracker - Ballet Austin -Ballet Austin’s annual production of THE NUTCRACKER is one of Austin’s favorite holiday tradition, with the amazing sets and costumes and the colorful characters everyone adores! Hundreds of dancers perform Stephen Mills’ enchanting choreography to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s with live accompaniment from Austin Symphony Orchestra. Share this event with your favorite people and celebrate the season.

Where to Shop:

  • Armadillo Christmas Bazaar- Dec.  17 - 23. Know for their curated collection of art, gifts and live music in a festive, family friendly, entertaining atmosphere. Find Christmas gifts that come from the heart, new art for your personal collection, have a cocktail and tap your toes at this iconic Austin event.  It’s the best way to enjoy Christmas in Austin!
  • Elgin Christmas Tree Farm- Go to this farm and find and cut down your very own Christmas tree! A hayride will take you to the fields so you can begin your search. 

Fun for Adults:

  • Miracle on 5th Street- Austin's favorite Christmas cocktail pop-up bar. What a cool place. Be sure and look at the calendar and buy tickets in advance.
  • South Pole at Hotel Van Zandt- Enjoy cocktails and food in an igloo by the pool! This pool deck is transformed into a winter wonderland!
  • Tinseltown at Wanderlust Wine Co-This Christmas-themed pop-up will be fulfilling all your festive wishes. The event is overflowing with holly jolly Christmas spirit! Tinseltown is all about celebrating Christmas so you can expect Santa, elves, presents, tinsel, festive tunes and lots of winter warmer drinks, including a fabulous Christmas cocktail menu! The halls are decked with baubles, bows, hanging trees, wreaths and just about tons of festive cheer!

Ways to Give Back: 

  • Blue Santa - Blue Santa is sponsored by the Travis County Police’s. Over the past 50 years, Blue Santa has served thousands of families and children during the Holiday season with food for the families and toys for the children.One can make a financial donation, donate new and unused toys as well as volunteer their time. 
  • Safe Alliance Austin - Safe is a program that is aiding in stopping abuse and helping provide shelter for those in need. Safe helps provide joy and magic to those in need. One can help sponsor a family, make financial donations and help supply the shelves. 
  • Brown Santa- Travis County Sheriff's Brown Santa program is a non-profit organization that provides assistance with gifts and food during the holiday season to families and elderly citizens in Travis County primarily living outside the geographic city limits of Austin. All of this is possible with donations and support from local merchants and community members. This community event is supported by the community, for the community. One can make a financial donation or give new and unwrapped toys.

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