Holiday Events in Austin
‘Tis the season! Don’t miss these spectacular events happening this holiday season in Austin!
The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park has been one of the top 3 largest Austin events since 2012. The holiday event boasts 2 million dazzling holiday lights featured in over 40 different displays. The park is broken up into sections, each offering a host of different delights! In Candy Cane Lane feast on tasty treats from local food trucks, try a plum & sage gin fizz at Kringle’s Kantina, bust a move at Groovy Grove, and don’t forget to leave your letter for Santa! You’ll find Santa’s house and workshop, a ferris wheel and carousel, and even more delicious food at the North Pole. At the end of the trail in Zilker Village you can warm up by the Yule Log, enjoy entertainment at the Zilker Stage, or get your fix on all the sweets in Candyland! The trail’s grand opening is Saturday, December 9th and admission is free for the first 6 nights the park is open! Prior to the grand opening there will also be a Fun Run on the December 2nd and a Preview Party on December 8th. Visit the Trail of Lights website for more information!
It might not snow and the lakes might not freeze over here in Austin, but you can still enjoy the same wonderful winter traditions as your friends to the North! Until January 15th, the Lamar Boulevard Whole Foods Market rooftop plaza will be transformed into a glistening ice rink! The rink is open daily from 10am – 9pm. Admission is $10 per person and includes a skate rental. Enjoy drinks, snacks, and beautiful downtown views as you glide across the ice with friends and family. Check in with the Lamar Guest Services team (512.476.1206) before heading to the rink on a weekday, as sometimes private party reservations can cause the rink to close to the public Mondays – Thursdays.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a production of “The Nutcracker” and no one does it quite like Ballet Austin! From December 8th through December 23rd the 55th Annual Production of the play will be presented by the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund. Performing at the Long Center, hundreds of dancers decked out in gorgeous costumes will be accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. As is tradition, this year the coveted Role of Mother Ginger will be played by local celebs including First Lady of Austin Diane T. Land, Steve Sunshine of the Steve and Amy Morning Show on SPiRiT 105.9, and the 2017 Texas Teacher of the Year Allison Ashley Friedlander. Tickets start at $12 and can be purchased through the Ballet Austin website.
On December 2nd head to the Capitol for some Christmas shopping you can actually enjoy! The event will take place on Congress Street between 9th and 11th Streets from 5pm – 9pm. There will be a special night market with some great presents and many of the shops and restaurants will be open late to accommodate shoppers as well. In addition to the shopping there will be live music to keep you entertained. Kids are welcome and there will be plenty of fun activities to keep them preoccupied while you shop for their gifts. Kid friend include face painting, balloon artists, ornament making, gingerbread decorating, holiday card making, and carnival games, and a petting zoo. Don’t miss the tree lighting at the Capitol or the photo booth with Santa! The event is free, but don’t forget to bring some nonperishable food items to donate to the Central Texas Food Bank!
Circuit of the Americas’ first annual Winter Wonderland promises to be your new favorite holiday event in Austin! On December 1st – 2nd and the 8th – 30th, the race track will be transformed with millions of twinkling holiday lights. There will be fun for the whole family with a skating rink, carnival rides, a petting zoo, and even camel rides! Oooh and ahhh at the glowing light displays as you make your way along the track. Then pass underneath the tunnel of lights to get to Santa’s Haus and the North Pole, where live music will be playing all night long. Visit Vendor Village for some tasty treats and shopping or head further into the magical wonderland and visit the petting zoo, camels, or singing trees or check out the human snowglobe! If that sounds like too much walking, you can always hop on the COTA Express Train! Tickets are $16 per person (kids under 5 are free), but certain activities require a Magic Money wristband that can be purchased inside the park! The track will be open to the public from 6pm – 10pm Sunday – Thursday and 6pm – 11pm on Fridays & Saturdays.