100+ Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Central Texas

We’ve got the mother lode of all holiday events posts right here, so get ready! Here are more than 100 ways for you to celebrate the holidays in Central Texas. Some are free and some are not, so please check each listing for details. So bundle up (or not, depending on the day), grab your favorite elf, and enjoy the holidays in the Austin area.

Holiday Lights Displays

https://www.facebook.com/austintrailoflights/photos/a.395360093864137.90466.287902324609915/1251220081611463/?type=3&theater

Austin Trail of Lights

Santa’s Ranch (New Braunfels)
November 3 – December 31 | 6 to 10 p.m. | 9561 I-35 North, New Braunfels
$28 + tax per car.

Santa’s Wonderland (College Station)
November 10 – January 7 | times vary | 18898 State Highway 6 S, College Station
Buy tickets here.

Nature In Lights (Fort Hood)
November 17 – January 7 | 5:30 to 11 p.m. | Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area; directions here
$15 per car.

Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls)
November 17 – January 1 | 6 to 10 p.m. | Lakeside Park, Buena Vista, Marble Falls
Free!

Mozart’s Annual Light Show
November 17 – January 1 (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) | 6 to 11 p.m. |
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
Free!

https://www.facebook.com/MozartsCoffeeRoasters/photos/a.467620551681.252563.181499436681/10153913517361682/?type=3&theater

Mozart’s Holiday Lights Display

Holiday Tree Lighting
November 18 | 4 to 7 p.m. | The Arboretum at Great Hills, 10000 Research Blvd, Austin
Free!

Lights of Tejas (Giddings)
November 24 – December 29 (days and times vary) | Tejas, 1038 Private Road 2191, Giddings
$9 admission. Kids 2 and under are free.

2017 PEC Holiday Lights
November 24 – December 31 | times vary | Pedernales Electric Co-op, 201 South Avenue F, Johnson City
In a tradition more than 25 years old, the headquarters and surrounding oak trees will be illuminated with more than 1.2 Million LED lights throughout the holiday season.

Lights Spectacular (Johnson City)
November 24 – January 2 | times vary | Johnson City
See the schedule of special events.
Free!

Annual Lighting of the Square (Georgetown)
November 24 | 5:30 p.m. | Georgetown Square, 710 S. Main Street, Georgetown
Free!

Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival
November 24 | from 6 to 9 p.m. |  Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Austin
Free!

Starry Starry Nights Lighted Christmas Park (Llano)
November 24 – December 31 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | Badu Park, Llano
Free!

Bastrop River of Lights (Bastrop)
November 24 – December 31 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow St., Bastrop
Free!

Zilker Tree Lighting
November 26 | 5:30 p.m. |  Zilker Park, Austin
Following lighting the tree will be on display nightly from 6 p.m. Midnight until December 31. Free!

The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights (Wimberley)
November 26 – December 28 | 6 p.m. | Emily Ann Theatre and Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley
Free!

Christmas Towne (Round Rock)
December 14 – 23 | 6 p.m. | 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock
Free! (tickets for carnival available for purchase)

Driskill Hotel Tree Lighting
November 29 | 6 p.m.  | The Driskill, 604 Brazos Street, Austin
Free!

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit
December 1, 2 and 8 – 30 | from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m. all other days | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Austin
Admission: $16 (children 5 and under FREE).

Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias (San Antonio)
December 1 – 3, 8 – 10 & 15 – 17 | at Dusk | River Walk, San Antonio
Free!

Christmas on Mercer Street (Dripping Springs)
December 2 | from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  | Mercer Street, Dripping Springs
Free!

Gruene Town Lighting (Gruene)
December 2 | from 5 to 6:30 p.m. | Check here for directions
Free!

Christmas Tree Lighting (Hutto)
December 2 | from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. | Downtown Hutto, 401 W. Front St., Hutto
Free!

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
December 2 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | Congress Ave., from 9th – 11th, Downtown Austin
Free!

38th Annual BudaFest (Buda)
December 2 | 6:30 to 8 p.m. | Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main Street, Buda
Lighted holiday parade with downtown lighting ceremony and so much more. Click here for all activities. Free!

Lights of Love
December 3 | from 4 to 7 p.m. | Ronald McDonald House, 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin
$5 per person suggested donation, $20 family suggested donation.

Mueller Tower Lighting
December 5 | from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. | John Gaines Park, 2708 Sorin St., Austin
Free!

Austin Trail of Lights
December 8 – 23 | from 7 to 10 p.m. |  Zilker Park, Austin
Free from December 9-14, 18, and 19. From December 15 – 17 and 20 – 263, general admission is $3 for guests age 12 and up. Tickets available here (click the date you want to purchase). Children 11 and under are free every night! It all kicks off with the preview night on December 8. Those tickets can be purchased here.

Holiday Parades

https://www.facebook.com/chuysparade/photos/a.665628046876392.1073741825.665627676876429/665628060209724/?type=3&theater

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade
November 18 | 11 a.m. | State Capitol at 11th and Congress, Austin
Free!

Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony (San Antonio)
November 24 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | River Walk, San Antonio
Tickets are $15-40. Children under 2 are free.

Lighted Christmas Parade (Lockhart)
December 1 | 7 p.m. | Downtown Square, Lockhart
Free!

2017 LT Lighted Water Parade
December 2 | 6 p.m. | Crosswater Yacht Club, 1505 Hurst Creek Rd., Austin
Parade viewing is free but you can bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the Travis County Sheriff’s Brown Santa Program inside the marine center.

Pfestival of Lights and Christmas Parade (Pflugerville)
December 2 | 5 to 8 p.m. | Railroad Avenue and Main Street, Downtown Pflugerville
Free!

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Leander)
December 2 | 5 p.m. | City Hall, 200 West Willis Street, Leander
Free!

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Bastrop)
December 9 | from 8 to 10 p.m. | Historic Main Street, Bastrop
Free!

Santa Sightings

https://www.facebook.com/austintrailoflights/photos/a.395360093864137.90466.287902324609915/1215268358539969/?type=3&theater

Santa and Mrs. Claus at Austin Trail of Lights

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops (Round Rock)
November 11 – December 24 | hours vary | Bass Pro Shops, 200 Bass Pro Drive, Round Rock
Free!

A Christmas Affair
November 15 – 19 | hours vary | Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., Austin
Tickets are $15 per day for children over 5.

Santa on the Terrace
November 24 | 10 a.m. | The Long Center, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin
Free!

Photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus
November 25 – December 23 every Saturday and Sunday | from 1 to 5 p.m. | The Arboretum at Great Hills, 10000 Research Blvd, Austin
Free! Bring your own camera.

Meet & Greet With Santa
November 25 – December 24 | hours | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Austin
Free! Bring your own camera.

Teddy Bear Teas
November 25 – December 17 on Saturday and Sunday | Noon & 3 p.m.| Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin
Those attending are asked to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear, which will be donated to the Dell Children’s Hospital. Reservations are required and may be made by calling TRIO at +1 (512) 685-8300. $45 plus tax and 18% gratuity for adults; $30 plus tax and 18% gratuity for children 11 and under.

Santa Clause and Kid Entrepreneur Markets (Kyle)
November 25 and December 2 & 9 | times vary |  Cross Plants and Produce, 705 N Old Highway 81, Kyle
$5 per family. Bring your own camera. Milk and cookies cost extra.

North Pole Flyer (Cedar Park)
November 25 – December 17 on Saturdays and Sundays | times vary | 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste C-100, Cedar Park
$38-43 per ticket.

Santa Clause and Kid Entrepreneur Markets (Cedar Creek)
November 26 | from 9 a.m. – Noon | Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort, 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd, Cedar Creek
$16-32; children 5 and under are free with a paying adult.

Santa Clause and Kid Entrepreneur Markets
December 4 and 5 | from 5 to 6 p.m. | Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin
Free!

Sights and Sounds of Christmas (San Marcos)
November 29 – December 2 and December 6 – 9 | from 5 to 11 p.m. | 401 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos
Nightly admission is $5; kids 12 and under are free. Photos with Santa are free! Bring your own camera.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop (Cedar Park)
December 1 | from 6:30-9 p.m. | Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park
Free!

Christmas Family Night 2017 (Round Rock)
December 1 | 6:30 p.m. | Downtown Main St., Round Rock
Free!

Christmas Stroll (Georgetown)
December 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. and December 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Downtown Georgetown (map)
Free!

Old Town Christmas Festival (Leander)
December 2 | from Noon to 8 p.m. | 100 N. Brushy Street, Leander
Free!

Breakfast with Santa at Dittmar Recreation Center
December 2 from 9-11 a.m. |  Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Rd, Austin
Free!

Holiday in the Park and Craft Fair  (Round Rock)
December 2 from | 12 to 3 p.m. | Cat Hollow Park, 8600 O’Connor Dr., Round Rock
Free!

Breakfast with Santa at Gus Garcia Recreation Center
December 9 | 10 a.m. | Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Ln., Austin
Free!

Santa in the Garden
December 9  | 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin
Free with garden entry. Bring your own camera.

Christmas Dream and Snowy Things (Round Rock)
December 10 | from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  |  Chasco Family YMCA, 1812 N Mays St., Round Rock
Free!

Ice Skating in Central Texas

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Omni Barton Creek Skating Rink

Chaparral Ice
Open daily | hours vary  |  Northcross Mall, 2525 W Anderson Ln, Austin
Admission is $9 and skate rental is $5 for children and adults. Kids 5 years of age and under skate for only $5 on Saturday and Sunday, including skate rental.  Kids 5 and under skate FREE during Monday-Friday afternoon public sessions with paid admission (excluding holidays).

Eisbahn (Fredericksburg)
November 24 – January 1  |  126 W Main St, Fredericksburg
$15. Includes skates.

Ice Skating on the Whole Foods Plaza
Dates and times TBD | Whole Foods, Plaza Rooftop, 525 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin
$10, includes skates. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are always open to the public, but please check the website or call Lamar Guest Services at (512) 476-1206 during the week to confirm public skating hours on weekdays. They are hosting several private parties throughout the month of December during which the skating rink will be closed.

Sights & Sounds of Christmas Ice Skating Rink (San Marcos)
November 30 – December 3 | from 5 to 11 p.m. | San Marcos Plaza Park, 401 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos
The rink is located across the river at the basketball courts just behind the Town of Bethlehem. Ice skating sessions each run 20 minutes. Cost: $5 per session (5 tokens). This is in addition to nightly admission to Sights and Sounds, which is $5 for adults; free for kids 12 and under.

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit
December 1, 2 and 8-30 from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m. all other days | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Austin
Admission: $16 (children 5 and under FREE).

Snow Fun

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit
December 1, 2 and 8-30 from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 6 – 10 p.m. all other days | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Austin
Admission: $16 (children 5 and under FREE).

Snow Day (Bastrop)
December 2 | from 1 to 7 p.m. | Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow St., Bastrop
Free!

Christmas Dreams and Snowy Things (Round Rock)
December 9 | from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Chasco Family YMCA, 1812 N. Mays Street, Round Rock
Free!

Downtown Christmas Fair (Hutto)
December 9 | from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Downtown Hutto
$5 per child.

https://www.facebook.com/downtownhutto/photos/a.145682772176718.37698.116117458466583/1208611665883818/?type=3&theater

Hutto’s Downtown Christmas Fair

Living Nativity Scenes

Sights and Sounds of Christmas (San Marcos)
November 29 – December 2 and December 6 – 9 | from 5-11 p.m. | 401 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos
Nightly admission is $5; kids 12 and under are free.

Bethlehem Village (Georgetown)
December 1 | from 5 to 9 p.m. and December 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Main Street between 8th and 9th, Georgetown

This event is part of the free Christmas Stroll.

Main Street Bethlehem (Burnet)
December 1 – 3 and 8 – 10 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | t
wo blocks east of the town square, 300 E Washington St., Burnet
Admission is free; donations are accepted.

Follow The Star (Cedar Park)
December 7 – 9  | Good Shepherd Lutheran Church | 700 W Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park
Admission is free, but please bring a donation of nonperishable food items to help those in need.

https://www.facebook.com/FollowTheStarTexas/photos/a.300168746768584.68929.259218654196927/300168803435245/?type=3&theater

Follow the Star Living Nativity

Live Nativity Celebration
December 8 and 9 | from 6 to 8 p.m. | Bethany United Methodist Church, 10010 Anderson Mill Rd, Austin
Free!

A Night in Bethlehem (Kyle)
December 8 – 10 | from 6 to 8:30 p.m. | Fellowship Church at Plum Creek, 160 Grace St, Kyle
Free!

Christmas Luminary (Pflugerville)
December 9 and 10 | from 6:30-8:30 p.m. | 500 Immanuel Rd, Pflugerville
Free!

Holiday Music

Christmas in the Community with Austin Symphony Orchestra
December 22 – 3 | times vary | various Austin locations
Free!

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
December 2 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | Congress Ave., from 9th – 11th, Downtown Austin
Free!

Handel’s “Messiah”
December 12 | 8 p.m. | Austin Symphony at Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin
Tickets are $15-60.

“A Ringing Christmas” Winter Concert with Austin Handbell Ensemble
December 7, 9, 11, 14 times vary by location | times vary | locations vary
Tickets are $5-10.

Holiday Big Sing!
November 28 | 5:30 p.m. | St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 606 15th St., Austin
Free!

WILCO Symphony Concert 
December 9, 15, and 16 | 7:30 p.m. | Fort Hood, Cedar Park, and Round Rock
Free! Click here for directions to each location.

Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Party Ever
December 11 | 8 p.m. | Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin
Tickets $25-50.

Christmas on Congress
December 15 | 6 p.m. | Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin
Tickets $15-76.

Bruce and Kelly’s Holiday Shindig
December 16 | 7 p.m. | Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin
Tickets $30-53.

TUBACHRISTMS
December 22 | Noon  | Texas State Capitol Building (South Steps), 1100 Congress Ave, Austin
Free!

Holiday Theater

A Tuna Christmas
November 1 – December 31 | times vary | Kleberg Stage at Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin
Tickets $30-78.

A Christmas Carol
November 22 – December 31 | times vary | Topfer Theatre at Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin
Tickets $53 – 98.

A John Waters Christmas
December 1 | 8 p.m. | Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin
Tickets $20-48.

People of Color Christmas
December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 | 8 p.m. | Locations vary
Free!

Holiday Heroes
December 2 and 9 | 11 a.m. | Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin
Tickets $24 for adults, $18 for youth.

The Nutcracker
December 3 – 23 | from 6 to 9 p.m. |  The Long Center, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin
Tickets $28.80 and up.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 9 | 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. | Stateside at the Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin
Tickets $22-37.

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Village Open Houses
December 4 and 5 | from 5 to 6 p.m. | Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin
Free!

Gingerbread Workshops
December 9 – 24 | from 1 to 3 p.m. | Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, Austin
$5 Member Adult or Child Workshop Fee, $12 Non-Member Adult or Child Workshop Fee, $20 per Gingerbread House Kit (every group must purchase at least one house).

 

Still looking for more holiday events? Check back, we’ll update this list as more events come our way!

Looking for Holiday Bazaars? Click here for our massive list.


Featured photo via Trail of Lights Facebook.

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About the Author

Dani Dudek
Dani Dudek is an Emmy-winning marketer who has been active professionally in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has mastered the art of celebrity spotting across the country, but does so best in Austin, where she runs the website ATXGossip.com. With a special eye for even the most minor of celebs, she is basically Shazam and IMDB together in human form.