Best Holiday Events in Austin: 2023

It’s the holiday season, whether we’re ready for it or not, so it’s time to start planning which events you want to go to!

If you live in Austin or are visiting for the holidays, there’s so much to see and do to get in the spirit. Here are the best holiday and Christmas events to attend to start feeling holly jolly.

Holiday Events Around Austin

Trail of Lights

December 8-23. This might be the most well-known holiday event in Austin, taking place right in the heart of the city. Spin under the Zilker tree and walk through 2 million lights throughout Zilker Park. There are several freebies throughout too, like photos with Santa, toys in the elf’s workshop, and books.

Some nights are free general admission (some are up to $8), or you can buy a zip pass to get in an hour early. Buy a parking pass ahead of time if you want the closest parking.

Jackalope at Trail of Lights

Mozart’s Light Show

Through January 6. Hit this coffee shop on the lake for a light show set to music. One wall is covered in lights and they make different pictures to each song. Have hot chocolate and sweet treats while you enjoy the show. You can go to the Bavarian Marketplace for free (reserve your night though!) or pay to reserve a table.

There’s also a light-up dance floor that our kids loved last year. This year, it’s a piece of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stage! And don’t miss the holiday photo ops on the way in or out.

Light-up dance floor at Mozart's

Santa’s Jingle House

This fun Round Rock spot in a historic building hosts several holiday events, including breakfast with Santa, story times, and elf scavenger hunts. We did an elf scavenger hunt last year, and you get to explore the whole property looking for elves — and they’re not easy to find!

Finding elves at Santa's Jingle House

Peppermint Parkway at COTA

Nov. 24-Dec. 30. Head out to Circuit of the Americas to see the razzle dazzle of millions of lights at Peppermint Parkway. Drive your car through the lights on the race track and dancing characters and then enjoy the holiday plaza carnival with rides and treats.

Holidays at Hill Country Galleria

Through January 15. Visit Bee Cave on Ice at the Central Plaza of Hill Country Galleria for an hour of ice skating fun. $15 for a skate rental and an hour of skating. You can also take photos with Santa on select dates, stroll through holiday arts markets or participate in the jingle bell run.

Ice Skating at Hill country galleria

Maywald Light Display

This traditional lights display takes place in west Austin, off 71. Every year it gets bigger and better with thousands of lights. Better yet, the proceeds (it’s donation based) go to Make-A-Wish Foundation!

37th Street Lights

One of my favorite Austin-feeling events! It opens December 8 and runs through New Year’s. This is a free, quirky event with all kinds of light displays in a residential neighborhood. Aliens, stuffed animal petting zoo, yards piled high with decorations. It’s so much fun and you never know what you’ll find!

37th Street Lights

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm Christmas

November 24 – December 24. Sweet Eats in Georgetown always has something fun to do each season. You can see live reindeer, have breakfast or supper with Santa, and go on a candy cane hunt while you’re out there.

I hope this helps get your holiday season off to a great start and brings you lots of Christmas cheer. What are you favorite holiday events around town?

Check out the city’s best fall and Easter events.

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