If you’re looking for an Austin family staycation with a whole lot of Holiday fun, look no further than Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. Get ready for Santa, Mrs. Claus, even Comet and Cupid dancing on the lawn while eating cookies by the fire and listening to Christmas cheer!
When driving onto the property, you’ll notice the beautiful decorations right away. The lobby is decked out with a large Christmas tree, a mailbox and letters for Santa, a menorah for Hanukkah, and other glittery decor throughout the space. The activities vary depending on the day and time you’re visiting.
Here’s all the holiday fun Omni Barton Creek has to offer:
- Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus
- Snowglobe Photo Experience
- Fauxball Fight
- Santa’s Workshop (fee – more info below)
- Elf on the Shelf Hunt
- Letters to Santa
- Storytime with Mrs. Claus (more info below)
- Complimentary S’mores (there are three fire pits that can accommodate a few families at a time)
- Reindeer Meet and Greet (more info below)
- Snowdown (more info below)
- Trail of Lights (more info below)
- Holiday in the Hills Bounce House (more info below)
- Holiday Miniature Glow Golf (fee)
- Cocktails and Caroling
- Sunset Swing
- Christmas Brunch (fee)
- New Year’s Eve Experience (fee)
Holiday Fun for the Whole Family at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin
Santa’s Workshop is full of affordable holiday related crafts for the kids. Ranging from $5 to $25 per activity, you can choose from painting Nutcrackers, to making snowmen, decorating Gingerbread Houses, and even building your own stuffed animal.
Storytime with Mrs. Claus is in the main lobby near the Christmas tree and by the enclosed fire for an hour and a half. There are Santa cookies, chocolate ginger snaps, and milk. Fun fact: Mrs. Claus heard that one of the kids had an allergy so she had her Elf bring another option from the kitchen.
Meet the Reindeer with Comet and Cupid on Lady Bird Lawn. The deer happily eat their supper while posing for pictures in a fenced enclosure. Mrs. Claus and her Elf may wander by for photo ops too.
Snowdown is a lot of fun for the whole family. Christmas music plays on the speakers and snow falls on and off for about 20 minutes while families dance and play.
Trail of Lights is longer than it looks! Make sure to walk down to the lighted snowflake on the path. It’s a great spot for photos! Along the trail you’ll see light designs of Santa and his reindeer, Mrs. Claus, Snowmen, Penguins, Gingerbread people and a house, and more.
Holiday In the Hills Bounce House The resort has a bounce house up year round, but this one is special for the holidays in red and green colors. There is a candy cane obstacle course, a pathway to run through, and a slide. This is a huge hit with kids of all ages.
The Omni Barton Creek really has a lot going on for the holidays! To maximize your time there, stay on a Friday night so you can catch Santa in the morning (he’s gone by 11 a.m. and not there on Sundays). There’s also a Snowglobe photo experience that we missed since Sundays only have the trail of lights and miniature glow golf for a fee. The events and decor are Christmas heavy, although there are winter themes present. If you decide not to spend the night, you can still visit the resort, eat at the restaurants, and experience the Snowdown then walk the trail of lights on Thursday through Saturday evenings. Check online or with the front desk for the most up to date schedule.
Here are some year round activities at Omni Barton Creek:
- Game room: old school video games, foosball, air hockey, and more
- Miniature golf: free during the day with a fee at night for glow golf
- Nature Trail: Scavenger Hunt List available at the front desk
- Multiple Family Friendly Pools and Splash Pad
- Adult Only Pool
- Fitness Center with Group Classes (fee)
- Driving Range (and full golf course)
While there are several dining options onsite, the best for kids is Crenshaw. (Nopales was closed during our stay.) There is patio seating with gorgeous views of the rolling hills plus heat lamps if needed. There are indoor options as well but it is loud inside. Pro tip: for the kids menu, read the miniscule writing at the bottom! Drinks are included in the kids meals, so if you get charged for that separately, point it out. Also, double check the prices on the menu with your receipt because there were a few discrepancies on the kid’s paper menu. We let the server know and he said the printed menus must be outdated and adjusted the price.
Special Holiday Deal for 2023!
Choose the Ticket to Wonder package going on through January 20, 2024. You’ll have a chance to win a five night stay at any Omni destination – if you find a periwinkle ticket in your Kate Weiser artisanal chocolate bar, that is. And even if you don’t win, the chocolate is divine! With this package, you’ll also get 20% savings and a $10 beverage credit.
Although less than 20 minutes from downtown Austin, you feel like you’re a million miles away at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. My kids cannot wait to go back. Mostly for the bounce house, but truly for the entire experience. And while the snow may not be real, the magic of the holidays definitely is!
This article was contributed by Michele Schmidt. Though she has lived in California and New York while working in film production and the world of ballet simultaneously, Michele is proud to call Austin home. She has taught dance all over the country and currently works with cast members from Broadway National Tours setting up Master Classes in every city stop. When she’s not running her two children around to activities and events around town, she loves to attend film festivals, concerts, and other So Austin events, which she documents for Austin.com and various other media outlets.