Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing? Are the sugar plum fairies dancing in your head? The holiday season is here, and Austin is packed with holiday cheer! Check out all the fun that awaits your family this December.

Best Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Austin:

— Spin under the Zilker Holiday Tree.

— Sip cocoa as you watch the Holiday Light Show at Mozarts Coffee Roasters.

— Enjoy the twinkly glow at the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park.

trail-of-lights— See a holiday show such as A Christmas Carol or Holiday Heroes at ZACH Theatre, Snow Queen 2: Riddle of Eternity at Austin Scottish Rite Theater, and Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker at the Long Center.

— Share the joy of giving by donating a toy to Operation Blue Santa.

— Take a free Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride at The Domain.

— Take a train ride with Santa on the Austin Steam Train’s North Pole Flyer or check out the annual Holiday Model Train Show in Round Rock.


North Pole Flyer photo from Austin Steam Train’s Facebook page

— Get fancy at a Teddy Bear Tea Party at the Four Seasons.

— Stroll through the 2nd Street District to check out the annual Window Walk and vote for your favorite holiday window design.

— Build a Gingerbread House at the Thinkery.


Photo from the Thinkery Facebook page

— Hear the sounds of the Austin Symphony Orchestra as they present Christmas in the Community, a series of free concerts throughout the city.

— See a classic holiday film at The Paramount, and enjoy one of this month’s special movie parties from the Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow.

— Stop into the Driskill Hotel to see the Christmas tree as you enjoy treats from the 1886 Café & Bakery


Photo from the Driskill Facebook page

— Shop for locally-made gifts at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Cherrywood Art Fair, or Blue Genie Art Bazaar.

— Visit the Mexic-Arte Museum to see their annual Nacimientos exhibit featuring traditional nativity scenes from Mexico.

— See the Texas State Capitol dressed up for the holidays and snap a photo in front of the big holiday tree.


photo credit: Bob Daemmrich Photography Inc 2015; from the Downtown Austin Facebook page

MORE: Check out these lists below for even more ideas for holiday fun.

What’s your favorite thing to do with the family during the holidays?
Share in the comments below!