Got the holiday spirit ? Tis the season to check out the best holiday events in Austin.

Holiday Trail of Lights at Zilker Park

Photo by Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman

Each year, in December, Zilker Park sets up the Zilker Holiday Tree, which stands 155 feet tall. The park holds a tree lighting ceremony consisting of food, local entertainment and live music. Along with the Zilker Park Holiday Tree, the park hosts the Austin Trail of Lights. The trail consists of beautiful light decorations, holiday scenes, events and more.

The Trail of Lights winds through 1.25 miles of Zilker Park, the crown jewel of Austin’s public green spaces. For two magical weeks in December, over 36 stunning custom displays light up the night, bringing Austinites together to celebrate the season. Come make memories with the ones you love and uniquely Austin eats, fun for the kiddos, and performers including musicians, dancers, and carolers.

When: December 9–23, 2017
Where: Zilker Park
Web: austintrailoflights.org

A Tuna Christmas

“So funny it could make a raccoon laugh affectionately at Davy Crockett…It’s far too good for just Christmas.” – The New York Post

It’s Yuletide season in itty bitty Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies! Between the holiday yard display contest and the Little Theatre’s A Christmas Carol on the brink of cancellation, it’s a miracle anyone gets tinsel on a tree. Two actors play all 22 colorful citizens of Tuna, including OKKK Radio hosts Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie who report on the small-town festivities. This satirical ode to the season is spiked with enough sass and shenanigans to make for one Texas-sized jolly holiday.

When: November 1 – December 3, 2017
Where: Zach Scott Theatre
Web: zachtheatre.org

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Photo: Ralph Barrera / Austin American Statesman

Hot music, fine art and cold beer make the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place where Austin shops in the giving season. The show is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar. It all adds up to a fun authentic Austin experience.

On exhibit will be everything from statement-making collectible pieces to modestly priced stocking stuffers. While local artists predominate, there are a select few carefully chosen from around the country.

The Armadillo stage showcases some of Austin’s most popular musical talent, with live, intimate performances throughout the afternoon and evening. Featured musicians—28 bands over the nine-day show—range from new and emerging stars to local legends.

When: December 14–24, 2017
Where: Palmer Events Center
Web: armadillobazaar.com

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll

Caroling at the Austin Holiday Singalong & Downtown Stroll

Join hundreds caroling in front of the Capitol as the tree is lit before heading down Congress Avenue for live music, shopping, art and much more at the Holiday Singalong & Downtown Stroll – Austin Holiday caroling.

Start your holidays downtown during the annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll! All events are free and open to the public. The evening starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree begins, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers.

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Where: State Capitol

Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker

blog_austin_holiday_ballet_Austin_nutcracker
Austin Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Laurel Austin Studio, LLC.

From the scrumptious sets and costumes to all of the colorful characters and Divertissements you love, Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker is the longest-running production of the seasonal classic in Texas. Stephen Mills’ take on this timeless tale features a cast of hundreds of dancers, including the charming and talented students from the prestigious Ballet Austin Academy who share the spotlight with our professional company of artists. Celebrate the magic of the holidays by experiencing this sweet treat with your family and friends. Featuring live accompaniment by Austin Symphony Orchestra.

When: December 3–23, 2017
Where: The Long Center
Web: balletaustin.org

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol at Zach Scott Theatre.

Austin’s newest and most rockin’ holiday tradition! Each year, ZACH’s A Christmas Carol features new hit songs and reimagined carols that create an infectious spirit that will have everyone dancing in the aisles. ZACH’s fresh and inspired adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic juxtaposes the traditional Victorian setting and costumes with a modern musical score that spans all genres. Come celebrate the season with three soulful ghosts, the Cratchit family’s boundless love, and Ebenezer Scrooge’s miraculous and joyous transformation.

When: November 22 to December 31, 2017
Where: Zachary Scott Theatre
Web: zachtheatre.org

Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Lake Travis Holiday Boat Parade
One of the creative entries in the Lake Travis Holiday Boat Parade.

The Annual Lake Travis Holiday Boat Parade is sponsored each year by a large group of on-lake businesses and is the highlight of the holiday season on the lake. Start you illumination plans for the annual Lake Travis lighted in-the-water boat parade. Boat owners are invited to sign-up, decorate their boats and participate in this great annual event. Line-up begins each year at 5:30 pm and the parade begins at 6:00 pm sharp. Each year there is a post-parade party and awards are given out to the best boat participants.

When: December 2nd, 2017
Start: Sail & Ski Yacht Club
Time: 5:30 pm
Finish: Rusty Rudder Lake Travis

Leave a Reply