Holly Jolly Holiday Festivities in Austin

It’s the holiday season, and Austin has no shortage of activities for friends and family to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Whether it be viewing Christmas lights, decorating gingerbread houses, or holiday shopping, Austin has something for everyone to love.  

For those looking for the most festive ways to spend their winter, the Alcalde has put together a list of some of the best holiday activities in and around Austin. 

Austin Trail of Lights

An Austin staple, the Austin Trail of Lights transforms Zilker Park into a vibrant celebration of the spirit and people of the city. The Trail is illuminated by more than 2 million lights and 70 holiday themed displays, including a special visit from Santa at the North Pole. Plus, the Trail returns to its traditional in-person format for visitors to enjoy a new layout with new displays, interactive spaces, and plenty of holiday treats.  

Mozart’s Holiday Light Show

The Holiday Light Show at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is back and bringing holiday cheer to guests with a love for holiday treats, lights, and music. The Mozart’s patio is transformed into a winter wonderland with live music, silent discos, and plenty of dancing. Be sure to reserve a table to enjoy the show and get access to the special holiday menu or purchase a General Admission ticket and enjoy the show from the Bavarian marketplace.  

Alamo Drafthouse Movie Parties 

If you just cannot get enough of holiday movies, Alamo Drafthouse is the place for you. This December, Alamo is rolling out special menus and movie parties for holiday classics like ELF, The Polar Express, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and many more. With special props, games, and themed treats, a holiday experience at Alamo Drafthouse is sure to turn your favorite movie into a favorite memory.  

Peppermint Parkway

Back for a third straight year, Circuit of the America’s Peppermint Parkway drive-thru pulls out all the stops to create a spectacular holiday experience. With a mile of holiday displays and rides, a plaza full of food and shops, and a Christmas tree lot, Peppermint Parkway is sure to please everyone. Select packages even include unlimited rides and a lap around the COTA racetrack.  

Santa’s Ranch

Located just outside Austin in New Braunfels, Santa’s Ranch features more than 1.5 million lights, animated displays, and plenty of holiday treats. If you are looking for a unique holiday experience, Santa’s Ranch has a 50-foot Christmas tree and winding country roads adorned with lights that make it unlike any other light show. Single and season passes are now available through December.  

Gingerbread Workshops at Thinkery

Want to put your decorating skills to the test? Thinkery has teamed up with Quack’s Bakery to provide a gingerbread workshop where friends and family can build and decorate their own gingerbread houses. Kits are available for purchase at Thinkery with the option to build them at home or make reservations to build yours in the Thinkery’s Candy Wonderland Workshop.  

The Nutcracker Ballet Austin

For the past 60 years, Ballet Austin has created magical memories for thousands of viewers through its production of The Nutcracker. This year, the famous show returns with its magical sets, costumes, and music performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. This Diamond Anniversary is sure not to disappoint.  

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a celebration of Austin holiday shopping and provides visitors with everything from hand-crafted gifts to curated art pieces. Created in 1980, the Bazaar exists to support local artists and the identity of Austin. This year, hundreds of artists and companies will gather at the Bazaar to display their art, food, drinks, and music in a warm, family-friendly atmosphere.  

Lala’s Little Nugget

Since 1972, it has always been Christmas time at this local bar that features holiday décor year-round. With cold beer, tasty cocktails, and some of the friendliest staff in town, Lala’s is a great destination for anyone searching for a taste of the North Pole in the heart of Austin. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Santa and his reindeer on the roof this winter.  

Happy Holidays, y’all. Hook ‘em! 


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