The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Activities in Austin

Christmas activities in Austin.

Whether you enjoy shopping, the art scene, seeing millions of Christmas lights, or Santa himself, there are numerous fun holiday activities in Austin to enjoy. We’ve put together a list to keep your holiday season jam-packed with festive Christmas fun. Check out a few local favorites at the end!

Ice Skating On The Plaza

Lace up your skates and enjoy some festive rooftop ice skating with the whole family at the Whole Foods Lamar location. Open daily throughout the holiday season, the ice skating rink is an excellent way for the kids to soak up some traditional winter fun! Ice skate rentals are available on location and are included within the admission price. 

Austin Trail of Lights 

Experience an evening surrounded by more than 2 million Christmas lights! Held at Zilker Park, Austin’s 57th annual Trail of Lights is a celebrated staple to the holiday season. The festive drive-thru event takes roughly an hour, and tickets are available online for purchase with numerous date and time options that suit your holiday schedule best. 


Each year the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center holds an outdoor winter exhibit displaying the trails and gardens illuminated in vibrant colors. The joyous event is open throughout the entire holiday season and has recently added some additional dates in early January. Snacks, refreshments, and even a s’mores bar are available! Warm up while you stroll through the grounds with a hot chocolate or festive cocktail. 

Austin Ballet

Watch the story of Clara, The Sugar Plum Fairy, and of course Hans-Peter in the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” Performances start December 4th and run until the 23rd, just shy of Christmas Day. So enjoy a date night, or bring the family and soak in a fun night of festive storytelling at the Austin Ballet. Tickets can be purchased online and will also give you access to Ballet-O-Mania, an interactive discovery museum located on the second floor at the Kodosky Lounge. 

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Stroll the aisles and find the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one at Blue Genie Art Bazaar. Each year, over 200 local artists participate in the event and showcase their handcrafted artwork, home goods, and unique designs. The Art Bazaar is free for the public to attend and is a great way to support the local Austin artists and community. 

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm

With no time to waste, starting the day after Thanksgiving, Elgin Christmas Tree Farm will be open to the public for those eagerly waiting to pick out a cherished Christmas tree. The Elgin Tree Farm offers hayrides into the fields full of Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress trees, so you can find the perfect holiday centerpiece for your whole family to gather around.

Peppermint Parkway

From amusement rides to mistletoe, dancing elves, and even Santa himself at the North Pole Palooza, the Peppermint Parkway is truly a holiday celebration extravaganza. Tailor your holiday experience by choosing one of the four Peppermint Parkway ticket packages. Simply drive the decorated mile-long parkway filled with lights and holiday decor or if you’re feeling adventurous, or add on a 25 MPH lap on the F1 racetrack with the Candy Cane Cruise package!  

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Start your holiday season off right by laughing along with the humourous misfortunes of the Griswold family. At the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, watch treasured Christmas movies such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, Scrooged, Gremlins, and many more. It’s bound to be a fun night out with the kids and visiting grandparents.

Local Favorites

  • 37th Street

    • An often unexplored area during the Christmas season is 37th Street in Austin. This street and surrounding neighborhood blocks have historically participated in decking out their homes with Christmas lights. Take a stroll or drive through the neighborhood and check out this hidden holiday gem. 
  • Mozart’s Coffee

    • Sip some hot chocolate while watching the choreographed light displays at Mozart’s Coffee. A favorite among locals, Mozart’s offers quite the quaint Christmas experience. 
  • Downtown Holiday Stroll

    • A Christmas Sing-Along and a Capitol Building tree lighting, what more could you want? Head downtown on December 4th to partake in the cheerful annual Downtown Holiday Stroll. 

With so many holiday activities in Austin, it’s going to be hard to choose which ones to enjoy! After a festive night out, you can look forward to cozying up with the family this holiday season in one of our beautiful custom homes at Lakeside at Tessera. Reach out to our office to book a tour and celebrate the start of a new year in a new Lake Travis home. 

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