When it comes to the best things to do on the vacation, seeing all the twinkling lights in town is definitely a top contender. Whether you’re looking for a festive family getaway or celebrating the season with your best friends, you can enjoy fun Christmas lights at one of these Austin events.
Community first! Village of lights
Head east towards the Travis County Exposition Center to see more than 200,000 lights choreographed to Christmas music in Community First! Village of lights. The free event will take place on December 1st and 2nd and December 8th and 9th with lights from 6pm to 9pm. You can also buy handmade gifts, watch a Christmas movie, and enjoy hot cocoa and s’mores at the Advent market.
Illumination at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center pulls out all the stops in winter to illuminate their gardens with enchanting luminarias and light displays. Enjoy free maple toffee and hot chocolate as you make your way down the trails, or purchase other tasty snacks from on-site Royal Fig Catering. Tickets are $ 15 for non-members ages 5 and up and $ 10 for members 5 and over. Children under 4 years of age have free entry.
Austin Trail of Lights
A hallmark of the Austin Christmas season is the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park, a community-wide celebration since 1965. Each year around 400,000 people come to enjoy more than 40 displays with more than two million lights. The event will take place from December 9th to 23rd from 7pm to 10pm. Entry options include visits during the selected free entry dates, purchasing a $ 3 general admission ticket online to skip the lines at the event, and receiving a ZIP Fast Pass to win early access or use The added benefits of a Platinum Pass. Limited parking is available with a prepaid pass.
Lakeway Trail of Lights
Did you know there’s more than one place in town to try a Trail of Lights? Lakeway has its own celebration every night through January 1st. And the fun continues until late in the evening from 6 p.m. to midnight. Better still, there are no costs to park or attend. You can access the path either from the lower level of the Lakeway Activity Center parking lot or from behind City Hall.
Winter wonderland on the racetrack
In Winter Wonderland at the Circuit, it’s easy for the whole family to get in the holiday mood. In addition to the spectacular Tunnel of Lights and the Circuit of Lights Track Walk, the converted Grand Plaza of the racetrack features a human snow globe, a petting zoo, Santa’s workshop, an ice rink, a train ride, a traders’ village and many other festive activities. The Winter Wonderland is open in the evenings from December 1st to 2nd and then from December 8th to 30th. Admission is $ 16 (children under 5 are free).
Mozart’s Christmas light show
Mozart’s coffee roasters are a local favorite known for delicious lattes and scenic views of the water. However, during the Christmas season there is a spectacular nightly light show here. You can see the dazzling display, made up of more than a million LED lights, from 6pm to 11pm through January 1st (excluding Christmas Day). It takes place on the outside deck and is completely free to enjoy.
The Domain Holiday Light Shows
Holidays at The Domain are in full swing. In addition to checking out the light shows, which consist of more than 200,000 lights synchronized with music, the free carriage rides, Christmas carols and the photo experience with Santa Claus on the weekends make for a fun old time. And of course, the many different retailers in the mall make it easy for you to do your Christmas shopping in the area.
You have to love a group of neighbors who all come together to put up some over the top Christmas lights. Anna Court’s cul-de-sac in Cedar Park is one such group. These houses are adorned with lights that put them on a playlist of vacation hits. You can swing any night of the week to see the display. Check out is free, but they do accept toys to donate to the Blue Santa program.
Anna Court isn’t the only street in Cedar Park going all-in with the decorations this season. Just a short 5 minute drive away is the Chinati Court, which has a beautiful light display. Park your car in the neighborhood and stroll down the street to enjoy the Christmas cheer. As a special feature, they offer train rides on Friday and Saturday evenings. Chinati Court also accepts donated toys that they give to Brown Santa.
Rhodes family Christmas
For years the Rhodes family has been decorating their home to create fun Christmas lights. In fact, they were featured in ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight a few years ago. You can see the lights for yourself by going to Sharon 2410 Dr. walk in Cedar Park. It doesn’t cost you anything, but you raise funds for the Cedar Park Area Food Bank.