The holidays are upon us, and there’s no better way than spending the season celebrating at the most beautiful venues and events the city has to offer. From long-time traditions to new holiday pop-ups, these events are perfect for ringing in the holiday cheer with the ones you love. Check out our curated list of Christmas events taking place in Austin throughout the month of December—these are some you won’t want to miss!
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Holiday Lights Display:
Mozart’s, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin, Texas
November 17 – January 1
Mozart’s is an Austin staple. Located on Lake Austin, Mozart’s breathtaking view combined with their spirit-filled Christmas light show is truly one-of-a-kind. The show starts every hour on the hour until midnight and lasts 15 minutes. Mozart’s gets extremely crowded during the holidays, so plan on getting there about 30 minutes in advance. Consider carpooling or dropping off as parking is limited, but there is additional parking across the street.
Zilker Holiday Tree:
Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road
November 27 – December 31, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
The Zilker Holiday Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs, totaling 3,309 lights. The tree is lit nightly, but on the nights of the Trail of Lights, the surrounding roads will be blocked off as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. If you plan on visiting the tree itself, it would be best to plan around the Trail of Lights.
Holiday Sing-A-Long and Downtown Stroll:
Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue and 11th
Saturday, December 2, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Grab the family and head to the Capitol! Gather with other locals, sing holiday carols on the front lawn of the Capitol, and then take a stroll down Congress Avenue. Downtown Austin is decked with Christmas lights and the Productexpert shops along Congress Avenue are in full Christmas swing. This truly makes for a beautiful sight to see and is a perfect holiday outing for the family.
Lights of Love:
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin
Sunday, December 3, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
This Sunday evening is made for families and children to come together and celebrate the fun and beauty of the holiday season. The big event takes place when thousands of lights suddenly illuminate the Ronald McDonald house and its larger-than-life Christmas tree. There will be a plethora of activities for the kids including cookie decorating, crafts, snow slides, pictures with Santa Claus and much more! Suggested donations: 5$ per person, $20 per family.
Holiday Open House at The Four Seasons:
Four Seasons Hotel, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin
Monday and Tuesday, December 4 and 5, 5:00 PM
Sip hot apple cider, nibble on yummy Christmas cookies, and explore the holiday wonderland that is the Four Seasons’ Hotel Lobby. The main attraction in the Lobby is the Gingerbread Village, and, of course, Santa Claus himself! Photos with Santa and the pastry chefs behind the crafting of the Gingerbread Village will be available, along with a question and answer about the gingerbread houses. Although the open house is on December 4 and 5, the Gingerbread Village will be on display from November 21 – December 25.
Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker”:
Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
December 8 – 23; Shows at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM
The traditional holiday show returns to Austin for the 55th year in a row. Ballet Austin’s performance of the world’s best-known ballet features incredible sets, elegant costumes, amazing dancers, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Gather the family and ring in the Christmas holiday with this classic show!
Austin Trail of Lights:
Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road, Austin
December 9 – 23, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Every year, the famous Zilker Park is transformed into a Christmas wonderland light show that you don’t want to miss if you haven’t been yet. There is a kid’s area for the little ones, Photo opportunities with beautiful light sets and Santa Claus, delightful food you don’t want to miss out on, and much more. To attend, a parking pass is required for $15-$20, admission is $3 for ages 12+ from December 15-17 and December 20-23, and general admission is free on selected nights.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar:
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin
December 14-24, 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Shop the finest art from local and national award-winning artists during the 11-day Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. There will be live music, two full bars, and delicious food and drinks.
The North Pole Flyer:
401 East Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park
Saturday and Sunday, November 25 – December 17, 8:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM
A real train with holiday-theme decorated cars will take you and your family on a two-hour adventure that features a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa, and locally baked holiday cookies. Passengers will enjoy a reading of the North Pole Flyer book—the railroads very own Christmas story. Each child receives a personal visit from Santa so he can “check your list twice,” and then will receive a gift. Tickets for the North Pole excursion start at $45 per person.
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells:
Austin Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin
Saturday and Sunday, December 2-16, 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM
This one is for the kids! The popular Junie B. Jones books bring a holiday tale to the Austin Scottish Rite Theatre. Junie B. takes on “tattle tale” May on stage in a heartfelt, inspiring way during the holiday season.
Miracle on 5th Street:
The Eleanor, 307 W. 5th Street, Austin
November 24 – December 24
Now this one is for the adults… Holiday pop-up bar, Miracle, is expanding to 50 cities and transforming bars into winter wonderlands full of holiday cheer and specialty cocktails. The Roosevelt Room’s next-door event space, The Eleanor, will be transformed into Austin’s very own Miracle on 5th Street. Miracle’s holiday cocktail menu will include crafted cocktails such as the Christmopolitan, Muletide, Bad Santa, How The Gimlet Stole Christmas, Snowball Old Fashioned, and many more.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!