- November 30, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Trail of Lights 2023


The most beloved and longest running Austin holiday tradition is back! The 59th annual Austin Trail of Lights is open to the general public on select dates from December 8 through December 23, 2023.

Named one of the Best Christmas Lights Displays by U.S. News & World Report, and voted 10Best Public Display of Holiday Lights for five consecutive years by USA Today, the event has grown to be a not-to-be-missed tradition and community-wide event that celebrates the spirit and the people that make Austin unique. Starting as a small community gathering around a yule log in 1965, the Austin Trail of Lights now features more than two million lights illuminating the park, 90 lighted holiday trees, and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Trail of Lights 2023

Trail of Lights Tickets and Pricing

  • This year, there are a number of General Admission Nights with prices ranging from $0 to $8 depending on the night. These nights include access to the Trail of Lights, free photos with Santa, and more! Children 11 and under are always free to enter with a ticketed adult.

  • On December 8, the trail hosts the FREE 59th Annual Grand Opening, powered by H-E-B. The Trail of Lights Foundation and H-E-B will take the stage with winners from the A.I.S.D. essay writing contest to flip on the lights for 2023!  On the Zilker Stage, The Texas Music Scene TV Show will be doing live artist tapings starting at 7p.m. 

  • ZIP passes, presented by Perry Homes are $25 and are a favorite of families and small groups, especially on busier nights at the Trail. Children 5 and under receive free ZIP access with a ticketed ZIP adult. ZIP guests will have 6 p.m. early access plus an exclusive entrance. They will also receive access to the ZIP Lounge Area in Candy Cane Lane near the beginning of the Trail. At the Lounge you will find complimentary holiday cookies, cocoa, comfortable seating, heated washrooms, a bar, and ideal proximity to the first group of food trucks.

  • Platinum Passes range from $95 – $435 depending on your group size. These VIP guests will receive valet parking for one vehicle, Platinum concierge customer service onsite, 6 p.m. early access, golf cart shuttle access to Trailhead, access to a private, heated Platinum Lounge with comfortable seating and exclusive bar, one drink ticket, and one ride ticker for expedited entry to the Ferris wheel or carousel per Platinum Pass. Children 5 and under receive free Platinum access with a ticketed Platinum adult.

Parking Passes and Shuttle Info

A limited number of parking passes are available every night and must be purchased online in advance. Parking passes are $25.

The Shuttle will operate from two locations on select nights. Shuttle Passes are $8 and include your General Admission entry fee. Catch a ride from Burger Center and Republic Square; get tickets online, in advance.  Shuttle access available December 2, 8 through 10, 15 through 17, and 19 through 23.

More Events and Fun Facts

  • Kendra Scott will be at the Trail December 9 through 16 with a festive shopping experience in their new Yellow Rose themed tiny house. 
  • A new lighted replica of the UT Tower will be on display this year. Check it out any night, including on UT Night, presented by The University of Texas at Austin, on Sunday, December 10.
  • Holiday Market at the Zilker Tree open December 8 through 10 from 6 to 10 p.m. Local vendors, merchandise, and live performances will be under the Zilker Tree for your holiday gifting needs.
  • “Lights at the Square” at Republic Square, a collaboration between the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Trail of Lights Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis and Favor to create a festive experience for Austin Trail of Lights patrons riding a shuttle from Republic Square to Zilker Park.
  • 2023 Food Trucks at the Trail: Amy’s Ice Cream, As Good As It Gets, Burro Cheese 
  • Kitchen, Cocoa Eats & Sweets, Crepe Crazy, Downtown’s Burger, Espadas De Brazil, Greek Grill, Happy Chicks, I Panini, JP’s Pancake Company, Pelon’s Tex Mex, Paige’s Bakehouse, Pop It Like It’s Hot, Rodriguez Concessions,  Shirley’s Trini Cuisine, Takavron, Tiff’s Treats, T-Loc’s, Vaughn’s Concessions, Wetzel Pretzel, and Yapa Artisan Empanadas.

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