When you think of holiday lights, do you prefer simple and tasteful or a Griswold-style over-the-top light extravaganza? No matter your personal preference, there’s something for every style out there displayed during the Christmas season, and we love it! Getting the kids in the car after dinner to drive around and “oooh and ahhha” at twinkly lights is so much fun!

There are so many holiday lights for your viewing enjoyment in the Austin area. We have an epic list of Christmas Lights in Austin for you to check out, but we’re also happy to highlight some that we think you shouldn’t miss!


Mozarts Coffee Roasters Christmas Light Show
Now through Sunday, January 4, 2015
Shows start at 6:00 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
Tree Lighting Ceremony, Sunday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m.
Dec. 1-31, daily from 6 pm – 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. 6, 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. 5, Fun Run on Dec. 6
Trail of Lights open Dec. 7-21, 7-10 p.m.
It’s the 50th year of this awesome Austin tradition, and all of the stops have been pulled. Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. With the purchase of a ZiP Pass, trail-goers can enter the Trail starting at 6:15 p.m. Zilker Tree on display nightly. Be sure to check the Insider’s Guide for tips on getting there and parking. Cost: Free Monday–Thursday; $3 Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Tree Lighting at the Driskill
Tuesday, December 2, 6 p.m.
Enjoy choral performances and seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Quartet in celebration of the annual Lighting of The Driskill Tree honoring Ben Breedlove.

– Mueller Tower Lighting
Tuesday, December 2, 6–8 p.m.
Join Mueller for the ninth annual Tower Lighting. Attendees will enjoy live music from the Reagan High School band drumline, crafts, delicious holiday treats and activities for the entire family. Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes will help usher in the holiday season by turning on the NOEL lights atop the historic control tower. FREE!

– Luminations at the Wildflower Center
December 13 & 14, 6–9 p.m.
Thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights turn the center into a holiday wonderland during Luminations, an Austin holiday tradition. Admission is FREE with two canned food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. (Find their most requested items here.) Activities include live music, children’s activities, visit with Frosty the Snowman and more!

More Lights in the Austin Area:

– The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights in Wimberley
November 28 – December 31, times vary
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. Sunday – Thursday, and 6–10 p.m. Friday & Saturday. FREE!

– Bastrop Lighted Parade
Saturday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m.
A festival of lights, music and cheer, including decorated floats, fire engines, marching bands, horses and riders, and, of course, Santa Claus and his helpers. Produced by the Downtown Business Alliance, the parade makes its way down Main Street about 6 p.m. FREE!

– Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop in Cedar Park
Friday, Dec. 5, 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!

– 34th Annual Christmas Stroll in Georgetown
Friday, Dec. 5, 5–9 p.m. & Saturday, Dec. 6, 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
December 1–30, times vary
Experience the second annual Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour and the new Pioneer Christmas Village at the Old Settlers Association. Rock’N Lights is a drive-thru light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park. Christmas Towne opens Saturday, Dec. 6. Times: Dec. 1–17: 6–9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, and 6–10 p.m. Friday & Saturday; Dec. 18–24: 6–10 p.m.; Dec. 25–30: 6–9 p.m. $15 per car.

– Lakeway Lights On
Friday, Dec. 5, 6–8 p.m.
The Lights On! event marks the beginning of the holiday season in Lakeway with the first lighting of the Trail of Lights behind City Hall. Enjoy some hot chocolate from the IceCream2U truck for purchase and complimentary marshmallow roasting! Donations of non-perishable food items will be collected to benefit Lake Travis Crisis Ministries. Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph will be nearby to “plug in” the Trail of Lights display and to speak to all of the good little boys and girls of Lakeway. (No dogs, please. No bicycles, scooters, skateboards or motorized vehicles on the trail, please.) For more information, please call (512) 314-7532.

Want more lights? Be sure to check out our full list of Christmas Lights in Austin.