Bring on the over-the-top light extravaganzas! There are so many holiday lights for your viewing enjoyment in the Austin area. Here are some highlights of the twinkliest light displays not to miss, presented by Hat Creek Burger Company.
Be sure to save the date for the Holiday BIG Bash at Hat Creek’s Georgetown location on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 4-7 p.m. The whole family is invited to come out and enjoy a free petting zoo, bounce house, balloons and special visit with Santa!
— Mozarts Coffee Roasters Christmas Light Show
Through January 2, 2016
Shows start at 6 p.m. and are every hour on the hour until midnight. The choreographed show pairs lights and popular music and lasts fifteen minutes. Free!
— Zilker Holiday Tree
Through Dec. 31, daily from 6 p.m. – 12 midnight
Munch on warm kettle corn, enjoy music and get dizzy under those fabulous lights. The Zilker Holiday Tree is an Austin favorite. Free, but bring cash if you wish to purchase treats from food vendors on site.
— Lighting of the Capitol Tree & Downtown Stroll
Saturday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.
Join the community on the steps of the Texas State Capitol at 6 p.m. for a holiday sing-along hosted by KUTX’s John Aielli. The tree will be light and there will be a light show at the top and bottom of every hour. From 7-9 p.m. you take a Downtown Stroll on Congress Ave. where restaurants and shops will be open late with special offers. Free.
— Trail of Lights
Preview Party on Dec. 4, Fun Run on Dec. 5
Trail of Lights is open Dec. 8-22, 7-10 p.m.
Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. With the purchase of a ZiP Fast Pass, presented by Homeaway, trail-goers can enter the Trail starting at 6:15 p.m. Zilker Tree on display nightly. Click here for all the details about parking, free nights vs ticketed nights and to enter to win a ZiP Pass.
— Lights of Love 5K
Friday, Dec. 4, 6-9 p.m.
Set against a backdrop of twinkling lights, the 8th Annual Lights of Love 5K & Family Fun Run kicks off the holiday season. The fun begins in the Mueller Hangar with holiday festivities for everyone – family, friends, organizations, schools and even four-legged friends. Proceeds from the event benefit families with hospitalized children that rely on Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. Registration for the Family Fun run is $27.50, which you can do online here.
— Candle Light Trail
Friday, Dec. 4 & Saturday, Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m.
Take a lovely stroll around the Hancock Golf Course in Hyde Park and enjoy the glow from Candle Light Trail. You can stop into the Hancock Recreation Center to take pictures with Santa and enjoy holiday refreshments and entertainment. Free.
– Luminations at the Wildflower Center
December 12 & 13, 6–9 p.m.
Thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights turn the center into a holiday wonderland during Luminations, an Austin holiday tradition. Activities include live music, children’s activities, visit with Frosty the Snowman and more! Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for ages 5-17 and free for members and kids 4 & under.
— Holiday Light Shows at The Domain
Through December; starting at 6, 7, and 8 p.m.
Watch the holidays come to life with hourly lights show in Domain II. More than 82,000 lights and 2,200 strobes will dance to holiday music for the first 15 minutes of each hour.
— Winter Solstice Lantern Parade
December 21, 5-8 p.m.
Minor Mishap Marching Band invites you under the dark Solstice sky for a kid-friendly parade of light! Gather together on the shortest day of the year to celebrate light, darkness, music, community, nature and other things of general awesomeness. Please make a lantern to carry in the parade! The beauty of this event is created by you! Free.
More Lights in the Austin Area:
– The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights in Wimberley
Through December 29 at 6 p.m.
Stroll a walking path with more than 100 lighted exhibits created by local businesses, churches, organizations and families. Roast a marshmallow at the yule log and listen to live entertainment on most nights. The trail will be open from 6-9 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday and 6-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Free!
– Bastrop River of Lights
Through Jan. 1, 2016
Take in the River of Lights, 120 lighted displays in a variety of seasonal themes lining Bastrop’s scenic Colorado River Walk and enhanced by music. To access this one-half mile promenade, come down the stairs west of the intersection of Main and Pine Streets or select the fully accessible entrance at Fisherman’s Park on Farm Street. The Bastrop Chamber of Commerce and community organizations and individuals generously provide this traditional treat enjoyed by all ages and by visitors and locals alike.
– Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop in Cedar Park
Friday, Dec. 4, 6:30–9 p.m.
The Parks & Recreation Department in Cedar Park hosts an annual coloring contest for kindergartners and first graders. At 6:30 p.m., the winner will flip the switch to light more than 60,000 lights on the largest live oak tree at Heritage Oak Park. Santa’s Workshop will open immediately following the tree-lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts and crafts projects. Bring the whole family for what promises to be a festive evening. Free.
– 35th Annual Christmas Stroll in Georgetown
Friday, Dec. 4, 5–9 p.m. & Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Visit Georgetown’s picturesque downtown square when it transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of a multitude of trees outlined with twinkling white lights, old fashioned lamp poles, wandering minstrels and carolers, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings.
– Rock ‘N Lights in Round Rock
Through December 26
Rock’N Lights is a drive-thru light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park. With 2 million lights, the 1.5-mile path is the must-see event of the season. The entrance to Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour is located at Old Settlers Park. Enter the park at the NORTH entrance off Old Settlers Boulevard. Participants will exit at Hwy. 79 into Christmas Towne. $15 per car. Schedule: Nov. 30- Dec. 16: Sunday through Thursday 6- 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 6 -10 p.m., Dec. 17-24: 6-10 p.m.; Dec. 25-26: 6- 9 p.m.
– Lakeway Lights On!
Friday, Dec. 4 through Dec. 31, 6 p.m. – midnight, nightly
Thousands of lights illuminate the walking trails next to the Lakeway City Hall, 1102 Lohmans Crossing in the month of December. Visitors can see amusing tableaus with everything from candy canes to Christmas trees. Access the trail from the lower level of the parking lot at the Lakeway Activity Center (105 Cross Creek) or by parking behind City Hall (1102 Lohmans Crossing at the corner of Lohmans and Sailmaster). Handicapped access is available from City Hall by following the sidewalk nearest the dumpster cage, around the building to the back. Free. For more details, click here.
Want more lights? Be sure to check out our full list of Christmas Lights in Austin.