Massive List Of All Austin Holiday Lights, Photo Ops, Festivals, and More


It’s officially the holiday season and Christmas festivities are in full swing! So get ready to get into the spirit with our massive list of Austin holiday festivities happening around the area.

Austin Holiday Experiences & Lights Displays:

Light Up the Lake (Round Rock)
December 2 and 3
BIG & GLOWING holiday cheer coming back to Round Rock for 2 amazing nights in December! Join us for the annual Light Up the Lake, a two-day holiday festival around the lake and festival area at Old Settlers Park on Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3 starting nightly from 6 through 9:30 p.m. (Lighting of the lake lights will occur at 6:30 p.m.) The event will feature SPECTACULAR giant balloons hovering over Bright Lake, amazing light show, LIVE music, holiday displays, holiday food and refreshments, crafts, family activities, yule log and more!

Texas State Capitol Tree Lighting and Holiday Stroll
December 3

Each year the Downtown Austin Alliance kicks off the holiday season bu hosting a Downtown Holiday Stroll. The stroll is accompanied by live music, carol singing, and much more—including the downtown tree lighting. The carols begin at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south lawn of the Capitol grounds to sing songs of the season. At 7 p.m., they’ll countdown to the lighting of the downtown holiday tree at 11th Street and Congress Avenue. After the tree lighting, stroll Congress Avenue between 9th and 11th streets for shopping, and free live music and entertainment for all ages.

Trail of Lights
Through December 23
The most beloved, and longest running holiday tradition of its kind in Texas’ capital city, Austin Trail of Lights powered by H-E-B, welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests from Central Texas and around the world each year for its jubilant displays of lights. Complimentary General Admission is available for ALL Austin Trail of Lights on select nights with Zip and Platinum tickets packages available for purchase. 

Trail of Lights (Wimberley)
3, 4, 7 through 11, 14 through 23, and 26 (walking trail only on 24 & 25)
The trail runs most days in December and is a walking trail through approximately eight acres of lighted exhibits. Most nights feature live entertainment on the stage next to our yule log where guests can enjoy complimentary marshmallows and hot chocolate. Santa Claus flies in most nights from the North Pole and will be in his house to greet everyone! There will also be several special event nights throughout the run of the trail. During the 4th Annual Chocolate Night on December 10, guests can purchase a ticket to taste samples of delectable chocolate from various vendors. The EmilyAnn’s Trail of Lights is free to attend; however, donations are graciously accepted at several donation stations at the entrance and throughout the grounds.

37th Street Lights
December 9 Through January 1

From sunset through 10 p.m. nightly, meander through the lights of 37th Street. To find it, use 507 W. 37th Street on your GPS.

Maywald Christmas Lights
Through December 28

This Christmas display started about 13 years ago with just a few lights. Now, they have thousands! The person in charge of the whole operation is 23-year-old Jordan who attends Texas A&M University in College Station. Every year he makes the display bigger and better than the year before! They have over 200,000 lights this year! While the experience is free, attendees are encouraged to make a donation to Make-A-Wish. In the past the family has raised over $80,000 totaling almost $200,000 in seven years! Each time a wish is granted they add a reindeer above the lake. A wish on average is $7500.

Peppermint Parkway
Through December 30
Peppermint Parkway is a drive-thru experience with millions of lights, dazzling scenes and dancing elves at Circuit of The Americas. Admission price starts at $40.

The Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls)
Through December 31

The Walkway of Lights, hosted by The Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce, returns for its 32nd year. Open nightly, the Walkway of Lights displays two million lights in Lakeside Park and over 350+ lighted sculptures. It is FREE to the public, and is entirely funded by donations. 

Nature in Lights
Through January 1

Open to all, Fort Hood’s Holiday Drive-thru Tradition will be open through January 1, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There’s also a Santa’s Village with vendor booths, crafts, concessions, and photos with Santa. Hours and pricing here.

Georgetown Lights
Through January 1

The lights around the square and Williamson County Courthouse will remain in place through January 1, 2022. Come see the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” light up with tens of thousands of lights.

Zilker Holiday Tree
Through January 1
A beloved Austin tradition, the Zilker holiday tree is a 155 foot Christmas tree made from lights draped from a moonlight tower located in Zilker Park. During the Christmas season the tree is lit by 3000 colored lights. The lighting of the tree has been an annual tradition in Austin since 1967.

Santa’s Ranch (New Braunfels)
Through January 1
Take your friends and family to enjoy one of the best holiday light exhibits in the state! You’ll drive through over a mile of winding country roads while taking in the beautiful lights, animated Christmas displays, and enjoying homemade hot cocoa, kettle corn, and snacks.

Lakeway Trail of Lights
December 2 through January 2

One of Lakeway’s most cherished traditions is the Trail of Lights! Trail of Lights will be open each night from 6 p.m. until Midnight through January 2, 2023.

Bastrop River of Lights
Through January 2
Take in the River of Lights, numerous lighted displays in a variety of seasonal themes lining Bastrop’s scenic June Hill Pape River Walk. To access this one-half mile promenade, come down the stairs west of the intersection of Main and Pine Streets or select the fully accessible entrance at Fisherman’s Park on Farm Street. The River of Lights opens the day after Thanksgiving and continues every night until January 2 from dusk until 10 p.m.

Mozart’s Coffee Christmas Lights Show
Through January 6
You are invited to join for the annual Light Show 2022! You reserve a table by selecting your day, time, and table location to enjoy ATX’s most famous holiday tradition. As this format sells out (because it will) they have made the best of both worlds with the return of our festival-style Bavarian marketplace. This standing-room only format will accommodate their “come one, come all… anytime” guests through General Admission tickets which can also be reserved in advance or at the show. New for 2022, they are featuring a brand new dance floor and silent disco to get you off your feet and dance!

Fredericksburg’s Christmas Nights of Lights (Fredericksburg)
Through January 6

All are invited to experience a 10-minute audio presentation, featuring the story of the town’s German heritage, holiday carols and concluding with a countdown to the lighting of Marktplatz. Fredericksburg’s Christmas Nights of Lights continues nightly through Friday, January 6. Each evening will feature holiday music starting at 5 p.m., and the 6 p.m. audio presentation and lighting countdown. After the countdown, the music will conclude at 6:30 p.m.

Lights Spectacular in Johnson City
Through January 8
Imagine a light display with over a million lights. And it’s so big, NASA reported seeing it from the International Space Station! Yes, that would be the Johnson City Texas Lights Spectacular. Through January 8, you and your family can see this incredible lights display for free. Some quick tips: Get to Johnson City Texas early – before sundown. Park against the courthouse or around downtown streets in areas that allow parking. Visit the Johnson City Visitor’s Center early (during regular business hours) to get free maps, guides and info on the area.

Photo Ops:

Selfies with Santa
Through December 24

Selfies With Santa is back this holiday season at Hill Country Galleria! Enjoy a magical experience that allows families to visit Santa inside his winter workshop cabin and take their own photos for FREE. There will be no professional photographer on site, but families are welcome to use their cameras or use their beloved HALO Selfie light. Open select days from November 25 through December 24, Santa’s Workshop will be located indoors, next door to Buenos Aires Café.

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm
Weekends through December 24

Santa is at Sweet Eats on weekends through Christmas. They will have a Santa every weekend and REAL LIFE reindeer every single day! You can take your own photos with Santa just by having a General Admission ticket which also grants you FULL ACCESS to over 30 different activities that are included. Apple Cannons, Pig races, pony rides, giant petting zoo, hay maze, jump pads, treasure mountain, pipe races, and so much more!

Kitty Cohens
Through December 26
Kitty Cohen is back with its annual Hanukkah pop-up. In addition to drink specials, this year’s celebrations feature baked goods, including Hanukkah cookies during the holidays and rugelach, a cocktail served with a star of David chai shortbread with a citrus glaze.

Miracle on 5th Street
Through December 27

Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in the most festive and nostalgic setting in the city. Featuring wall-to-wall Christmas decor that makes for great photo ops!

austin holiday

Sippin’ Santa
Through December 30

Sippin’ Santa returns to Nickel City to toast the season with a festive menu of signature cocktails and over the top holiday décor, from classic to contemporary and everything in between.

Through December 30

Wanderlust Wine Co. is hosting Christmas-themed pop-up Tinseltown that’s overflowing with holly jolly Christmas spirit!. Tickets include entry to the themed bar and a drink for $22.

Gibson Wonderland
Through December 31
Truly a complete Wonderland take over! ALL December long, Gibson will have fun holiday cocktails, the best boozy hot drinks in town, and all the holiday fun!

Little Drinks Lounge
Through December 31 | Little Drinks Lounge, 3801 South Congress Avenue
Yipee Ki Yay! Little Drinks Lounge has officially transformed into Nakatomi! For those who think Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie needs to take a trip out to Little Drinks Lounge Their Die Hard holiday cocktails will get you in the spirit! 

Lala’s Little Nugget
All Year Round

At Lala’s it’s Christmas 365 days a year. Seriously! So if you ever need a little Christmas spirit no matter what time of year, head to Lala’s!

Shopping and Other Events:

Vintage Market Days of Austin (Dripping Springs)
December 2 through 4

Vintage Market Days is an upscale vintage-inspired market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, consumable yummies, seasonal plantings and a little more.

Holiday Mini Market
December 4

The Holiday Mini Market is happening on Sunday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Distribution Hall. In addition to 58 women-owned vendors, guests can enjoy complimentary drinks, tunes from local DJ, free gift bags for the first guests, food trucks on site, brand activations and more! Mini Market is always free to attend and open to the public.

Art in ATX: Holiday Market
December 4

Taking over Batch Craft Beer and Kolache’s patio with 20+ vendors offering hand crafted goods, art, food, and one of a kind unique gifts! Musical performances by JerEmy, Cortney Hesse, and DJ Provenance.

Merry & Bright Holiday Event
December 9

Ready for some festive fun? Celebrate the holiday season with a free event on Aldrich Street! Join on Friday, December 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the Merry & Bright holiday event. The event includes:
Candy Cane Crawl (beginning at 6:30 p.m.), live music, holiday photo ops, cotton candy, lights display, ALPACAS and more! You can also enjoy holiday specials at some of your favorite Aldrich Street businesses!

Hyde Park Holiday Art Fair
December 10

As the holidays approach, join for the Hyde Park Holiday Art Fair on Saturday December 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.! Wander through the market stalls set up next to Fresh Plus Grocery on East 43rd Street, right across from Quack’s Bakery. This collection of creators offer a wide selection of hand-crafted and professional artistic pieces. Support local artists and local art!

Christmas Festival 2022
December 11

Bring the whole family out to celebrate Christmas at the annual Christmas Festival! This free event has something for everybody, including: bounce houses, petting zoo, baby/toddler play zone, Christmas crafts, face painting, and a visit from Santa himself! There will also be a chance to enter a raffle to win a bike and two other hot new rides for your kids this year.

Santa’s Pajama Party
December 17
Celebrate the holidays in your pajamas at Santa’s Pajama Party at the Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta on December 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Children and adults are invited to wear their favorite holiday pajamas, enjoy story time with Santa, and visit with Mrs. Claus and Santa’s Elf. Sip only the best house-made hot chocolate, delectable bottomless mimosas, and enjoy delicious brunch while decorating your holiday cookies. The Stephen F. Austin Royal Soneta will also be hosting a toy drive at the event benefiting Toys for Tots AustinTickets are available for purchase HERE.

Armadillo Bazaar ($12 adults / free for kids 12 and under)
December 17 through 23
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a fine art, shopping destination featuring national and local award-winning artists, live music, and a full bar in a festive, lively atmosphere. It has also been an Austin staple for almost 50 years!

Santa’s Wonderland
Through December 24

Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland at your local Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s! Get a free photo with Santa. Store hours vary. Available at all locations.

Holiday Arts Market
Fridays and Saturdays through December 24

Hill Country Galleria has transformed the Central Plaza into a holiday market open to the public Fridays and Saturdays through December 24! Located within one of the most beautiful places for holiday shopping, visitors will experience shopping at local artisan vendors of jewelry, home goods, art, and holiday fare. Experience the outdoor ambiance filled with holiday cheer, holiday performances, glittering holiday lights, and an abundance of family fun. Admission and parking are FREE.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Through December 24
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday season! We have thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun, kitschy items. Shopping at the Bazaar is a great way to buy holiday gifts in a hassle-free environment, all while supporting local artists.

Bookmark this page because we will be updating all season long! And you can find our list of all the FREE activities happening in the area HERE!