- December 23, 2021

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:

Santa’s Ranch (New Braunfels)
November 6 through January 3 | Sunday – Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 6 to 11 p.m. | 9561 I-35 North
Bring your friends and family and enjoy one of the best holiday light exhibits in the state! You’ll take a 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.

Mozart’s Coffee Christmas Lights Show
November 11 through January 6 | Reservations available between 6 and 11 p.m. | Mozart’s Coffee, 3825 Lake Austin
This year’s show is bigger, better and *brighter* than ever! 2020 brought us the COVID Cautious Christmas Light Show where they ensured all guests had appropriate social distancing through securing reserved tables in advance. This was a break from the traditional “festival” format – of: “come one, come all … anytime”. It was a hit! They received great feedback on that format – so, the reserved tables are back for the 2021 Mozart’s Light Show! Reserved tables do include a charge, however, there is a free option to watch the show as well. Get info on that here.

The Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls)
November 19 through January 01 | From 6 to 10 p.m. Nightly | Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Drive,
Marble Falls

The Walkway of Lights, hosted by The Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce, returns for its 31st 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. 

Holiday Tree Lighting
November 20 | 5 to 7 p.m. | The Arboretum, 10000 Research Boulevard

Join for the annual tree lighting celebration with Santa and all his friends! They’ll even have two snow slides and a snow play area for all the kids and big kids to play in! Stick around to the end to help Santa and Mrs.Claus light their 22′ Christmas tree! Generously presented by CleanX Janitorial Services.

Fredericksburg’s Christmas Nights of Lights (Fredericksburg)
November 23 through January 6 | Starting at 6 p.m. Nightly | Marktplatz, 100 West Main Street, Fredericksburg

Beginning on Tuesday, November 23, 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 each evening at 6 p.m. and runs through Thursday, 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.

Dancing Lights of Mill Pond Park (San Saba)
November 25 through January 5 | Dusk until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, Dusk until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday | Mill Pond Park, 110 Thomas Stewart Drive, San Saba

See the Dancing Lights of Mill Pond Park! Set your radio to 88.7 FM and enjoy synced music to over 30 acres of seasonal magic. Enjoy nightly through January 5. Free Admission.

Lights Spectacular in Johnson City
November 26 through January 2 | Nightly at Dusk | Downtown Johnson City
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. From November 26 to January 2, 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.

Lighting of the Square and Georgetown Lights
November 26 through January 1 | 5:30 10 7 p.m. | Downtown Georgetown’s Historic Town Square, 710 S Main Street, Georgetown

The city of Georgetown’s traditional Lighting of the Square event will return to an in-person ceremony this year. The lights around the square and Williamson County Courthouse will be officially lit November 26, and will remain in place through January 1, 2022. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come early, enjoy holiday shopping and dining around the square, and witness the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” light up with tens of thousands of lights.

Peppermint Parkway
November 26 through December 26 | 6 to 10:30 p.m. | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard
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.

Zilker Holiday Tree
November November 26 through December 31 | Various Times | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road
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.

Trail of Lights
November 27 through December 31 | Various Times | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road
The annual Austin Trail of Lights is returning to the city’s iconic Zilker Park as a drive-thru only event. 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. You must purchase a vehicle pass to attend and prices range from $30-$40 per vehicle depending on entry time and night with timed access each hour.

trail of lights

Light Up The Plaza
November 27 | 6 to 8 p.m. | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Boulevard
Be there as they light up the plaza at Hill Country Galleria!  Enjoy holiday performances, face painting, and arrive early to shop The Holiday Market at Hill Country Galleria.  The program will begin at 6 p.m. where you can see Santa and enjoy live music by American Authors!  Hear their hit song “Best Day of My Life” along with holiday tunes.  Emceed by Mix 94.7.  Admission is free.

Bastrop River of Lights
Starting November 27 | Open till 10 p.m. daily | Fisherman’s Park, 1209 Linden Street
Take in the sights at the River of Lights which include numerous displays in a variety of seasonal themes lining Bastrop’s scenic June Hill Pape River Walk. 

Light Up the Lake (Round Rock)
December 2 through 4 | 6 to 9:30 p.m. | Old Settlers Park, 3300 East Palm Valley Boulevard
BIG & GLOWING holiday cheer coming back to Round Rock for three amazing nights in December! Join for the annual Light Up the Lake, a FREE NEW three-day holiday festival around the lake and festival area at Old Settlers Park. 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!

Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
December 2 through January 30 | From 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays | Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue
Enjoy the natural wonder of winter in our beautiful Texas Arboretum. Featuring thousands of luminarias, seasonal food and drink, and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia. Members only on Thursdays and closed on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1. Kids four and under are free. Ages 5 to 17 are $15 and ages 18+ are $25. Members get $5 off.

Texas State Capitol Tree Lighting
December 4 | 5 to 8 p.m. | Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Avenue

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. This year’s Holiday Stroll in Austin will take place on Saturday, December 4 in partnership with KUT and KUTX. The traditional Sing-Along and downtown tree lighting happens from 5 until 8 p.m. The tree will then be on display all season long.

capitol tree lighting

23rd Annual Trail of Lights (Wimberley)
December 4 and 5, 8 through 12, 15 through 23, and 26 (on the 24th and 25th the lights will be on but no services will be operating) | Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m., all other days 6 to 9 p.m. | EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 8011101 FM 2325, Wimberley

The trail 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. 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. Guests can also support the EmilyAnn by purchasing an array of fun light-up toys and yummy concessions. All proceeds from donation stations, concessions, stores, and special events benefit the EmilyAnn.

Lakeway Trail of Lights
December 4 through January 2 | Starting at 6 p.m. | Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek

Kick off the season with Lights On! Saturday December 4, 2021 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the City Hall parking lot located at 1102 Lohmans Crossing Road. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present to turn the trail lights on for the season, and get some gift ideas from our youngest residents. Expect music, cookie decorating and other fun at this family-friendly free event! Trail of Lights will be open each night from 6 p.m. through midnight through January 2, 2022.

Holidays in Hutto
December 11 | Starting at 10 a.m. | Brushy Creek Amphitheater, 1001 County Road 137

Grab your neighbors and your family for a day of holiday fun and shopping! On Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, enjoy FREE outdoor activities including snow sledding, train rides, caricatures, local small-business vendors and artisans, food trucks, and live music. There will even be FREE photos with Santa and his Christmas friends from 11 am to 3 pm! Admission is FREE but advance registration is required. Parking at the amphitheater is first-come, first-served. Shuttles will be provided as needed.

Photo Ops:

Miracle on 5th Street
November 19 through December 28 | Check the calendar HERE for hours | The Eleanor, 307 West 5th Street

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 the best photo ops!

austin holiday

Wonderbar Holiday
Starting November 19 | Various Times | 11500 Rock Rose Avenue

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Wonderbar. They’ll have Christmas decor, plenty of great instagrammable moments, and festive drinks!

Selfies with Santa
Starting November 26 | See Dates and Hours Here | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Galleria Boulevard

Selfies With Santa is a magical experience that allows families to visit Santa inside his Workshop and take their own photos for free. Open select days from November 26 through December 24. Santa’s Workshop will be located indoors, next door to Buenos Aires Café. There will be no professional photographer on-site. Families are welcome to bring their camera phones or try out the HALO selfie camera to text photos to your phone.

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm
November 26 through December 31 | 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Daily | Sweet Eats Fruit Farm, 14400 East State Hwy 29

Santa is at Sweet Eats on weekends starting on BLACK FRIDAY until Christmas. They will have a Santa every weekend & REAL LIFE reindeer every single day! Y’all can take your own photos with Santa and the reindeer at any time (included in GA).

Sippin’ Santa
November 26 through December 30 | 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. | Nickel City
1133 East 11th Street
Sippin’ Santa will return to Austin for the eighth year! Head 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.

Snow Much Fun on Congress
Thursdays through Saturdays, November 26 through December 25 | JW Marriott Edge Rooftop Bar, 110 E 2nd Street

The Edge Rooftop bar at the JW Marriott will be decked out for Christmas. Snowfall on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m. Plus, holiday live music, themed craft cocktails, s’mores, and more! Reservations required.

austin holiday

Pet Photos With Santa
November 27 | 12 to 1 p.m. | The Arboretum, 10000 Research Boulevard
Santa is coming to town and he’ll be taking photos with your pup! Stop by The Arboretum in front of the Christmas tree next to Amy’s Ice Creams and take free photos with Santa (Santa may be socially distanced for photos). They’ll also be collecting pet food and supplies for the Meals on Wheels PALS program which helps seniors living with their pets. Photography will not be provided. Please bring your own phone or camera.

Weekends With Santa
November 27 | 1 to 3 p.m. | The Arboretum, 10000 Research Boulevard

Santa is coming to town and he wants to take photos with you! Stop by The Arboretum to take free photos with Santa*(Santa may be socially distanced for photos). He will be in front of the 22′ Christmas tree with Mrs. Claus! Photography will not be provided. Please bring your own phone or camera.

Kitty Cohens
November 28 through December 30 | Kitty Cohens, 2211 Webberville Road
Kitty Cohen is hosting its annual Hanukkah pop-up (this year’s theme is “Get Lit”). Drink specials include an Oy Fashioned and Latke Punch, made with potato vodka, apple cider, ginger liqueur, and lemon. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Shalom Austin.

Gibson Wonderland
December 1 through 24 | Gibson Street Bar, 1109 South Lamar Boulevard
Gibson has completely transformed into a Christmas wonderland! They have trees, sleighs, fireplaces, and more. Don’t forget the holiday cups of cheer. Their holiday drink menu includes things like hot spiked cider!

Santa’s Workshop
December 1 through 31 | Reservations Required | Stella San Jac, 310 East 5th Street

Enjoy a private dining experience inside Santa’s Workshop with a special holiday food and drink menu from Stella San Jac. Spread holiday cheer to friends, family, and other group gatherings with their family-style meal offerings!

Santa Claus at the Round Rock Premium Outlets
December 3 through 24 | Mall Hours | Round Rock Premium Outlets, 4401 North I-35, Round Rock

It’s time for holiday photos with Santa. Visit him in the food court. Photos available for purchase. Santa is closed every day from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. while he is out feeding the reindeer. The Round Rock Premium Outlets recommend making a reservation to see Santa in a safe environment.

December 3 through 24 | Geraldine’s, 605 Davis Street
Ever wanted to drink cocktails in an igloo? This is your chance! Enjoy delicious holiday cocktails in an igloo overlooking the city.

Photo Wall at Music Lane
Starting on December 4 | Music Lane, 1011 South Congress Avenue

Snap a selfie in front of our festive “Let it Snow” wall.

Little Drinks Lounge
Starting December 4 | 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! 

Yule at Azul
December 4 through 31 | Reservations Required | Azul Rooftop Lounge, 310 East 5th Street
Enjoy a little holiday magic at “Yule at Azul” at The Westin, where you can enjoy your personal winter rooftop igloo, that can hold up to 6 guest. The best part? It’s overlooking best view in the city! Their special holiday cocktails include frozen boozy hot chocolate, hot buttered rum, frozen blue piña colada, and more. 

Lala’s Little Nugget
All Year Round | Lala’s Little Nugget, 2207 Justin Lane

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:

Santa’s Wonderland
November 6 through December 24 | Various Times | Bass Pro Shop
200 Bass Pro Drive, Round Rock and Cabela’s, 15570 S IH 35 Frontage Road, Buda
By popular demand they continues the tradition in a safe and responsible way. Advance reservations are required in all locations and can go quickly. Reserving is easy and free. Families who visit Santa receive a free 4×6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free shareable video when you provide your email address. Additional photo packages are also available for purchase and print instantly at the store. During your visit, families can mail their letter to Santa and bring home free holiday craft activity kits while supplies last. Families can also enjoy the amazing aquariums and wildlife displays found in every Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s store.

The Ginger Festival at Fareground Austin
November 16 through January 3 | Various TImes | Fareground, 111 Congress Avenue

Fareground Food Hall is celebrating the holiday season with its first-annual Ginger Festival, featuring a variety of ginger and turmeric-focused specials and events. The Ginger Festival includes a series of cocktail masterclasses, limited-time dishes from each eatery within Fareground, featured ginger cocktails from Fareground’s two bars DRINK and Ellis, and special gifts from Fareground’s retail cart: Margot Blair Floral. Get full details here.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
November 19 through December 24 | 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Daily | 6100 Airport Boulevard
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.

The Holiday Market at Hill Country Galleria
November 26 through December 24 | 12 to 8 p.m. | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Boulevard
Hill Country Galleria has transformed the Central Plaza into a holiday market open to the public November 26 through December 24. Experience the outdoor ambiance filled with holiday cheer and an abundance of family photo opts. In addition to the Hill Country Galleria’s 100 shops and restaurants, the holiday market is a must-visit holiday destination with unique gifts, holiday performances, glittering holiday lights, and an abundance of family fun.  Admission is free.

Merry Grinchmas: Holiday Kick-Off Event
November 27 | 3 p.m. | Domain Northside, 1700 Domain Boulevard
Kick off the holiday season, Grinch style. Join Domain NORTHSIDE for an afternoon of fun-filled Grinch activities: Photo ops with The Grinch himself, Vannagram and selfie stations, Holiday tunes, and Caricature artists. And finally, at 6 p.m. experience the Official Tree Lighting, with Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) showing immediately after!

Soco Stroll
November 27 through December 31 | Various Times | Music Lane, 1011 South Congress Avenue
Music Lane and Austin’s iconic South Congress Avenue Shopping District are teaming up to bring holiday cheer to the city with The SoCo Stroll – a month-long event of holiday fun and spectacle designed to safely raise the city’s spirits with a self-guided experiential celebration of all things merry and bright. Details on live music and special events here.

Lone Star Holiday Market
Sundays, November 28 through December 19 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.| Hill Country Galleria, Suite D1-115

The Lone Star Farmers Market has gone HOLIDAY!  Don’t worry, all your favorite farmers market vendors will be in the Central Plaza – with the addition of some new holiday-themed vendors.  Visitors can shop local holiday gifts, arts, and fare.  Holiday programming will take place under the Central Plaza Pavilion, and the market is running extended hours just for the holiday season: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

December in the District
All December Long | 2nd Street District, Downtown Austin

It’s the return of “December in the District,” a month-long celebration that welcomes back your favorite activations including the Holiday Window Walk and Santa Lounge at 3TEN Austin. Throughout the month of December, Austinities can head downtown to get in the holiday spirit while doing some holiday shopping and supporting local businesses at 2ND Street District!

Winter Wonderland at Austin Motel
December 2 to 26 | Monday through Thursday 5 to 9 P.M. and Friday through Sunday 2 to 9 P.M. | Austin Motel, 1220 South Congress Avenue

Have a jolly time taking in the twinkly sights and spirit of our courtyard and pool. Wander amongst the trees, grab a drink (or two), and experience Austin Motel’s Winter Wanderland from December 2 to 26. This year, they’ve amped up the cheer with festivities all weekend in addition to the wandering you can do all week long. Details here.

Georgetown Christmas Stroll
December 3 and 4 | Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Georgetown Square

Kick off your holiday season with some jolly, family-friendly fun at the 40th annual Christmas Stroll held in
historic downtown Georgetown. Check the weather and wear a comfortable pair of shoes!
And be sure to set your alarm for everyone’s annual favorite, the Christmas Stroll Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Vintage Market Days of Austin (Dripping Springs)
December 3 through 5 | From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Dripping Springs Ranch Park Indoor Event Center
, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs
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. The market is a three day event held several times a year in varying communities throughout the United States. Get your tickets here.

Armadillo Bazaar ($10 adults / free for kids 12 and under)
December 17 through 19 | From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | The Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a 3-day 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 over 45 years!

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!