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

Waller Creek Show

Waller Creek Show
Wandering thru the lighted art that is the annual holiday Waller Creek Show. Photo: Will Taylor

Creek Show is nine nights of free light-based, site-specific art installations along Waller Creek, creating new opportunities for designers and opportunity for audiences to engage with neighboring businesses in the Red River Cultural District. Stroll along the creek, between 9th & 11th Streets, while taking in six new illuminating works of light-based art. The 2018 “Creek Show Lounge” will be located at a a newly renovated Symphony Square and offers attendees a place to relax, enjoy interactive activities, live music, and exciting opportunities to learn about the Waller Creek parks project.

Presented by Waller Creek Conservancy

When: November 9-17, 2018
Where: Waller Creek between 9th and 11th Streets
Web: creekshow.com

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 21 to December 30, 2018
Where: Zachary Scott Theatre
Web: zachtheatre.org

Mozart's Coffee Holiday Light Show

Mozart's Coffee Holiday Lights
Carolers croon at Mozart's Coffee's annual Holiday Light Show. Photo: Will Taylor

An Austin tradition, don’t miss this incredible, well orchestrated light show at Mozart’s Coffee ! This free show is each evening, every hour on the hour.

When: November 30 to December 30, 2018
Where: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
Web: Mozart's Coffee Roasters

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll

Austin Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll
Countdown to the tree lighting. Photo: Will Taylor

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 1, 2018
Where: State Capitol

Santaland Diaries

Martin Burke as the ever-irreverent elf Crumpet

David Sedaris’ ever-irreverent and cynical Crumpet is baaaack! The outlandish tale of a Macy’s elf merrily jingles to life in the intimate Whisenhunt at ZACH Theatre. In this holiday cult-classic, Crumpet sarcastically expounds on the talent it takes to juggle tinsel, tearful tots, and not-so-sober Santas during what is hailed as the most wonderful time of the year. 75 minutes of rollicking (and not so politically-correct) fun, this laugh-‘til-you-spill-your-cocktail evening will delight adult elves who like it more naughty than nice!

When: December 5–30, 2018
Where: Zach Theatre
Web: ZACH Theatre

Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Fuel stop before the Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. Photo: Will Taylor

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 1st, 2018
Start: Emerald Point Marina
Time: 5:30 pm
Finish: Emerald Point Marina

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 8–23, 2018
Where: The Long Center
Web: balletaustin.org

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 10–23, 2018
Where: Zilker Park
Web: austintrailoflights.org

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Live entertainment at The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Photo w/ approval Anne Johnson
Associate Producer | GM

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 a wide array 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 (lots of bands) each day during te show—range from new and emerging stars to local legends.

When: December 13–24, 2018
Where: Palmer Events Center
Web: armadillobazaar.com

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