Guests Visiting For Christmas In Austin? Here’s Where To Take Them

Option 5: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

We love our craft beer, we love our craft drinks, and we love to drink local! There are so many local breweries that have taproom tastings and tours. These are just a few of our faves: Hops and Grain, Zilker Brewing Company, Marble Falls’ Save the World Brewing Company (who donate their net profits to charities), the all new Austin Eastciders Tasting Room (located at 979 Springdale Road, Suite 130), and Jester King in Dripping Springs. And, speaking of Dripping Springs, you don’t have to go all the way  to Fredericksburg for wine tasting. Just about 30 miles from downtown you can choose from a variety of wineries in Dripping Springs and Driftwood, including Bell Springs, Solaro Estate, Driftwood Estate, and Duchman Family Winery. Distilleries from Treaty Oak, Deep Eddy and Dripping Springs Vodka are out that way as well so there’s definitely something for everyone, no matter what your family’s favorite spirit. And of course, Austin’s food has become world class in the past decade. We’ve got plenty of James Beard Award winners, barbecue to die for, and really, a little bit of something for everyone.

 

Option 6: Dust Off Those Dancing Shoes

When visitors think of a trip to Texas, a tried and true honky-tonk surely comes to mind. And lucky for them, the Broken Spoke is still alive and kicking! Nestled in between new construction, the Spoke retains its old Austin charm, from its chicken fried steak to its dance floor filled with two-steppers to its “museum” stocked with photos of the owner, James White, with classic country music stars. Get there around 8 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday for free two-step and swing dancing lessons. Situated closer to the downtown scene, Donn’s Depot is another awesome option. There’s always a cover, but it’s definitely worth it for this lesser mentioned, just as authentically Austin joint.

 

Option 7: Light it Up

Starting November 16 at 6 p.m., Mozart’s annual lights display takes place every hour on the hour until midnight (except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). The show lasts fifteen minutes, but there’s plenty of time before and afterwards to enjoy a hot chocolate or seasonal coffee drink. The Zilker Tree will be lit up in all its glory from November 25 – December 31, starting at 6 p.m. nightly. And, of course, Austin’s biggest light spectacle is the Trail of Lights, which runs December 10-23.

 

Option 8: Shop Local

 The 2nd Street District is where Texas warmth meets Austin cool. Shop the many local luxury boutiques (mixed with a few that aren’t based as close to home), eat cuisine from around the globe, and stop at Willie Nelson Boulevard to snap a pic with the statue of Texas’ favorite country legend. If your phone needs a boost, stop in to charge up at the Google Fiber Space and take advantage of their high speed gigabit internet, unless it’s Sunday (they’re closed). Pop in to the historic building that houses Lamberts, and grab some BBQ while you’re there. End the day with a drink at Trace at The W Austin or catch a movie at Violet Crown Cinema.

Option 9: Do the Domain

Are your guests hoping to hit some of the big stores they may not have access to back home? Head up to The Domain for some open air holiday shopping. From the main mall areas to the newer Rock Rose addition, you can find a gift for just about anyone all in one place. Pictures with Santa aren’t the only holiday activity happening at this shopping and entertainment destination. You can also see a free light show, take a horse drawn carriage ride, and sing along with carolers. Get details on all the holiday activities here. And make sure you stop by the Restoration Hardware. Their amazingly beautiful rooftop patio is one of the hidden gems of the Domain area.

Option 10: Take a Celebtastic Tour

Whether you want to stop at foodie spots owned by local celebs or filming sites are more your thing, there are plenty of Hollywood-esque spots to choose from in the ATX. Try “Duck Dynasty” brother Jep Robertson’s food truck. Grab a drink at Sixth Street’s San Jac Saloon (“Supernatural” star Jared Padalecki is an owner) or at Family Business Brewing in Dripping Springs, owned by that other “Supernatural” star, Jensen Ackles. Or stop by Sandra Bullock’s Walton’s Fancy and Staple.
Want to see the house from Hope Floats or where Eric and Tammy Taylor called home on “Friday Night Lights”? heck out our road trip guide to the best Central Texas filming locations. Looking for a guided tour? Choose from three themed options from Austin Film Tours, a local company partially owned by actress Sean Young!


Looking for more specific holiday events and activities? You’re in luck! We’ve got a list of over 100 parades, light displays, festivals, fair and more ways to celebrate in Austin right here. Happy holidays, y’all!

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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.
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