It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas – Here are all the Austin Holiday Lights, Photo Ops, Events and More

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Austin, it’s not cold outside but the despite the weather the Christmas festivities have already begun! 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
Mozart’s holiday lights are a Austin tradition that we look forward to every year! The awesome light displays along with the warm treats make this holiday stop a must-stop. Due to this year’s reservation system, make sure you reserve your tickets sooner rather than later!

Lakeway Trail of Lights
November 20 through January 3 | Starting at 6 P.M. | Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek

Although there will be no in-person event marking opening weekend this year, the trail will be shining brightly each night with thousands of twinkling lights for all to enjoy! They request that you please follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask when appropriate. Friendly reminder, please limit your groups to less than 10 people.

Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls)
November 20 through January 2 | From 6 to 10 P.M. | Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Drive

Join in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Walkway of Lights! Gaze in awe at over 2 million Christmas Lights reflecting off of our beautiful Lake Marble Falls for 44 nights in a row. Scheduled theme nights will be happening throughout the duration of this event so be sure to keep an eye out on their Christmas Page for more information! Don’t forget to try out the ice skating rink!

Maywald Christmas Light Display
November 21 through January 3 | 6 to 10 p.m. Nightly | 10505 Twilight Vista

It’s the most wonderful time of the year–the Maywald Christmas Light Display! The lights turn on November 21 and run nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through January 3 (weather permitting). Donations received at the light show benefit Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas. Last year, the Maywalds raised over $45,000 totaling over $76,000 in four years!

Peppermint Parkway
Friday, November 27 through January 3 | 6 to 10:30 p.m. | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard
Introducing Peppermint Parkway, an all-new drive-thru experience with millions of lights, dazzling scenes and dancing elves at Circuit of The Americas.

Trail of Lights
November 28 through January 3 | Various Times | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road
The 56th 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.

Trail of Lights 2019.

Holidays in Hutto
Saturday, November 28 | Starting at 5 P.M. | Brushy Creek Amphitheater, 1001 County Road 137

Holidays in Hutto will feature ample family friendly activities, food trucks, and live music! Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a live stream of the City of Hutto’s annual Downtown Tree Lighting, performances by Hutto ISD dance team, carolers, snow sledding, hay and train rides, photos with Santa and his other holiday friends, face painting, balloon artists, caricatures, live music performances, and more!

Bastrop River of Lights
November 28 through January 1 | 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. 

Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
November 27 through January 3 | From 6 to 9 P.M. | Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue
Here to light up your nights, our Luminations tradition is going to keep on glowing in 2020! Experience the calm of winter at the Center with the shimmer of thousands of luminarias lighting the way. This year, for the first time ever, stroll through our naturally beautiful Texas Arboretum among the illuminated oaks and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia.

Photo via Wildflower Center on Instagram.

A Very Happy Holiday Blue Star Lite Show Drive-in Expereince
December 1 through 23 | Various times | Blue Starlite Drive-in, 2103 East M. Franklin Avenue

The Blue Starlite team wanted to create a hybrid of a typical night at the Blue Starlite Drive-in with the vibe of a Holiday light walk. So for 1 hour you will drive-in to a sparkling festive space with photo ops, Movie themed decorative scenes, and yet still our super safe and comfortable blue Starlite Drive-in Covid rules in place.

Light Up the Lake (Round Rock)
December 4 and 5 | Starting at 6:30 P.M. | Old Settlers Park, 3300 East Palm Valley Boulevard
Join us for Light Up the Lake, a FREE NEW 2-day holiday festival around the lake and festival area at Old Settlers Park. The event will feature spectacular holiday cold and hot air balloons hovering over Bright Lake, LIVE music, holiday displays, holiday food and refreshments, yule log and more! Old Settlers Park offers ample event space featuring 24 acres and a mile-long trail around bright lake, perfect for social distancing.

Natural Bridge Caverns Christmas (San Antonio)
Various dates| Various times |26496 Natural Bridge Caverns Road
At Natural Bridge Caverns, we celebrate Christmas unlike anywhere else in the world! Nestled in the scenic Texas Hill Country, they kick our holiday festivities up a notch. Hear your favorite carols echo through Texas’ largest underground cavern. Visit with Santa “Spelunker” Claus, then round up his reindeer in our 5000 square foot outdoor maze. As the sun sets behind their 30-foot Christmas tree, take a stroll through their 1/3 mile trail of lights. Don’t forget to roast s’mores, enjoy live music, and shop for your holiday gifts!

Photo Ops:

Lights! Camera! Santa!
November 27 through December 24 | Various Times | Barton Creek Square Mall, 2901 South Capital of Texas Highway | The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace (Located next to Zumiez, near Dick’s Sporting Goods)
| Round Rock Premium Outlets Food Court, 4401 North IH-35, Suite 275
Things to know before you go, A reservation is required. For everyone’s safety this will be a socially-distanced experience for our guests. Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks throughout the duration of your visit. Guests are required to wear masks where mandated by local health authorities and government agencies.

Domain Northside display 2019.

Round Rock Christmas Tree
Now! | Prete Plaza 221 East Main, Downtown Round Rock
Get a jump start on those holiday photos with this perfect photo-op location! Prete Main Street Plaza right across from the Round Rock Public Library is perfect spot.

Holiday Walk-Thru Photo Experience
Starting Friday, November 13 | Various Locations | Domain Northside
Visit the Domain Northside for a Holiday Walk-Thru Photo Experience, sponsored by Capital One Café! Starting Friday, November 13, safely get into the holiday spirit with our new holiday decorations, located at various spots around the center. AND: when you post your photos to Instagram, you’ll be entered-to-win sweets and treats from Sprinkles and Starbucks. Masks are required for all guests at NORTHSIDE. Embrace social distancing. Happy Holidays and stay safe y’all!

Experience Santa’s Wonderland and Get a Photo with Santa
Select days November 27 through December 24 | Various Times | Hill Country Galleria
, 12700 Hill Country Boulevard
This holiday season, Hill Country Galleria is introducing Santa’s Wonderland, a magical experience that allows families to safely visit with Santa while exploring a colorful candyland. Santa’s Wonderland will be located next to James Avery, across from Athleta, and adjacent to the Central Plaza Lawn. Appointments for this experience are highly recommended. While visits with Santa are always free, there will be a professional photo team on-site to capture the visit with photo package options for purchase that range from $40-$50 so guests can leave with a timeless keepsake in hand. No personal photos with Santa will be allowed. Guests are welcome to visit and enjoy Santa’s Wonderland as many times as they wish this season, however, appointments are recommended.

A Curious Christmas
Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5 | Various Times | 200 East 6th Street

Free, snowglobe experience of a Toy Drive, where families, friends, and even fur babies can come together to take photos with Santa! This charitable holiday party is all about giving back to the community and in a safe, fun, and socially distanced environment! The lobby on world famous 6th Street will be open. for families and they’re fur babies to take FREE instagram worthy photos with Santa. Photos will be sent digitally, so you’ll receive them right away. And to keep the holiday spirit flowing, we will be accepting wrapped toys for donation to a partnered non-profit organization, so children in need can receive presents on Christmas morning. After guests take a photo with Santa, they can place their donated gift under the Christmas tree.

Kendra Scott Holiday Mural
Throughout the Holidays | Various Times | 701 South Congress Avenue
Kendra Scott unveiled a new mural at their flagship store on South Congress and it’s perfect for your Christmas pictures. The mural on the northern facing side of the store now features a pink house with a western themed snowman out front and Santa flying through the sky. The greeting: Happy holidays, y’all. You can stop by to snap pics at any time. Of course, if you stop in during business hours you may want to pop into the store and do some Christmas shopping. Just be sure to social distance and respect other shoppers and others posing with the mural.

Stagger Lee
Throughout the Holidays | During Regular Business Hours | 87 Rainey Street
Enjoy a festive holiday photo-op on Rainey Street with their oversized Christmas decorations. Grab a picture on the oversized chair or with the nutcracker. Make sure to look up when you’re inside to catch a look at the upside down Christmas tree!

Lucille’s Holiday Patio
Throughout the Holidays | During Regular Business Hours| 77 Rainey Street
Lucille’s is sleighing the holiday decor this year, literally. Head to Lucilles for a holiday cocktail and a picture inside their life-size outdoor light up sleigh. They’ve decked their patio to the max to get you all in the holiday spirit! Don’t miss these instagrammable moments.

Shopping and Events:

Santa’s Wonderland
November 7 through December 24 | Various Times | Bass Pro Shop
, 200 Bass Pro Drive, Round Rock & 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.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
November 13 through December 24 |From 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. | 6100 Airport Boulevard
This year the Blue Genie Art Bazaar might look a little different but they’re still providing the same amazing products. It’s a great spot to pickup gifts for your loved ones (or yourself). This year you can shop in-store, shop online and have it shipped or pick it up, shop via personal shopper, or even book a private shopping experience.

Miracle on 5th Street
Friday, November 20 through Sunday, December 27 | Regular Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Thursday through Saturday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. | Extended Hours on Thursday, December 17 through Sunday, December 27: Monday through Sunday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. | The Eleanor, 307 West 5th Street
Jingle all the way over to Miracle on 5th Street! Santa’s got a safely distanced holiday haven planned for all elves looking to get boozy and bright this year. Miracle on 5th Street will don a different, but still as equally decadent look as a seated dine-in service in a socially-distanced, safe, and sanitary venue. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are strongly encouraged and the maximum party size is 10 people. For parties over 10 people and longer than 2 hours, an event form must be filled out through the Miracle on 5th Street website.

A Taste of Koko Holiday Pop-Up
Starting November 24 | From 11:30 A.M. to 8 P.M. | 101 by Tea Haus,  6929 Airport Boulevard

The Koko Holiday Pop-Up: a limited time pop up featuring fun, festive menu items including themed boba drinks, bubbles waffles featuring Amy’s Ice Cream, and new asian Hot Pots including Korean Army Stew, Japanese Sukiyaki, and Taiwanese Beef Noodles, with a full at-home hot pot setup for takeout orders.

Wonderbar Holiday
Starting November 24 | 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!

Photo courtesy of Wonderbar’s Instagram

Lone Star Holiday Market
November 27 through December 20 | Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from 2 to 8 p.m.| Hill Country Galleria, Suite D1-115

Guests are invited to step into the holiday spirit at the Lone Star Holiday Market, located at the west end of the property near Dillard’s, next to milk + honey spa. Open for holiday shoppers on weekends through the season, the Holiday Market will feature local artisans and vendors like Seek Adventure Co Leather Goods and Julia Mann Art. Admission is free to this one-stop-shop where guests can also enjoy holiday libations from local wineries and breweries like Hamilton Pool Vineyards, sounds of the season from solo artists, and a gift-wrapping station where different local non-profits, such as Cheyanna’s Champions 4 Children (CC4C.org), will wrap gifts for guests in exchange for donations.

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. The SoCo Stroll kicks off on Black Friday, November 27 and runs through Thursday, December 31.

Snow Much Fun on Congress
Starting Friday, November 27 | JW Marriott Edge Rooftop Bar, 110 E 2nd Street

The Edge Rooftop bar at the JW Marriott is all decked out for Christmas. Reservations required.

Sippin’ Santa
Friday, November 27 through Wednesday, December 30 | Monday through Saturday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. through 2 a.m. | Nickel City
, 1133 East 11th Street
Sippin’ Santa will return to Austin for the seventh 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. No reservations.

Aldrich Street Tower Lighting + Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 28
| From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Aldrich Street, Mueller
Due to the pandemic, they are unable to host our Tower Lighting event, but they still plan to kick off the holiday season with a festive day at Mueller on Small Business Saturday! Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 28 and head out for a day of shopping on Aldrich Street. Enjoy holiday music and festive specials at our local businesses. Each business will have limited edition tote bags with the Control Tower printed on them to give away to shoppers while supplies last. Stay until dusk and drive by to see the Tower lit for the holiday season.

Holiday Sip & Shop Pop Up Shopping
Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29 | From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Anderson Mill Farmers & Crafters Market, 11505 Anderson Mill Road

Get a head start on your Holiday shopping. Support local businesses and vendors, all while shopping for one-of-a-kind goods and products, whether it be vintage clothing, handmade candles, locally made dog treats, or even a little something for yourself. Complimentary wine! BRING AN UNWRAPPED NEW TOY FOR A CHILD IN NEED.

Lost Pines Christmas Drive-in Movie (Bastrop)
Saturday, November 28 | From 6 to 8 P.M.| Bastrop Conventions & Exhibit Center, 1408 Chestnut Street
Join the Whos of Whoville in helping make Christmas bigger and brighter by heading to the Bastrop Convention Center for an old-fashioned drive-in showing of The Grinch. But first, feel the Christmas Spirt come alive with the City of Bastrop Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

Trail of Lights Fun Run
Saturday, November 28 through January 3 | Various times | All over ATX
Run, jog or stroll 3 miles anywhere between November 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021. Participants can choose to run around our city’s most celebrated landmarks, or a route of your choice. Whatever option you choose, keep it merry & bright!

Photo via @ATXlights on Instagram.

Holiday Market
Sunday, November 29 | From 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. | Brentwood Social House, 1601 West Koenig Lane

Head to Brentwood Social House for an outdoor Holiday Market in their parking lot and backyard. They’ll have over 15 local artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs selling their wares. Find one-of-a-kind gifts including textiles, pottery, jewelry, food, clothing, flowers, soaps, paper goods, candles, and art. All booths will be socially distanced from one another and all vendors will be wearing masks. For the safety of all, they ask that shoppers wear masks as well.

Zilker Tree Lighting (Virtual)
Sunday, November 29 | Starting at 6 P.M. | Virtual Event
There are no on-site viewing options for the 2020 lighting ceremony. Gatherings and on site viewing under the tree will not be available this year to ensure the health of our community over the holiday period. Holiday tree video footage will be available online to enjoy safely from home with music by the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble.

Elf The Musical (Bastrop)
Various Dates starting December 4 | Starting at 7:30 P.M.| Bastrop Opera House, 711 Spring Street
Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Geraldine’s Presents: The South Pole
Various Days Starting December 4 | From 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. | Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, 605 Davis Street
The South Pole is presented by Geraldine’s, this year however, the event is being held in our 5000 square foot & high ceiling ballroom, featuring industrial grade air filtration, allowing guests to spread far apart and safely enjoy the company they came with. To ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff we are limiting the number of tickets sold each night to ensure socially-distanced, private tables, and requiring all guests to wear masks when not seated. Enjoy a continuous cocktail parade, a roving s’mores station, and all your favorite holiday tunes in your very own seating pod!

German Christmas Market
Saturday, December 5 | From 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.|The German Free School, Building 507 East 10th Street
Go for the Food and Entertainment. Stay for a unique shopping experience. They will have authentic German, handcrafted Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, Schwiebogen, smokers and decor. Enjoy some Gluehwein (hot spiced wine), Christmas Stollen made by The New World Bakery. Up for some German cookies? Try out Silke’s German Gourmet Cookies.

The Holiday Breakfast
Saturday, December 12 (Barton Square only) & Saturday, December 19 | 9 a.m. | Nordstrom Barton Creek Square Cafe Bistro, 2901 South Capital of Texas Highway & Nordstrom Domain NORTHSIDE Bazille, 3111 Palm Way

Holiday mornings are magical at Nordstrom Domain NORTHSIDE. This year, they’re making them extra warm and fuzzy with a delicious holiday-inspired breakfast, kids’ activities and merry music.
Prices:

  • Kids 2 & under: free
  • Kids 3–17: $15
  • Adults 18 & up: $25.

100% of proceeds support Operation Warm up to $20,000 with a minimum of $10,000. COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place.

Lala’s Little Nugget
All Year Round | Weekdays from 4 P.M. to 2 A.M. and Weekends from 11 to 2 A.M. | 2207 Justin Lane
Lala’s Little Nugget it is Christmas ALL YEAR ROUND. Yes, you read that right, this holiday-themed bar keeps their decorations up 365 days a year (366 on a leap year). Featured drinks include Peppermint Hot Cocoa, Hot Toddy, Grandma’s Boozy Egg Nog, and several more.

Looking for more events? Check out our list of FREE activities happening in the area!