If you just can’t wait to light it up this holiday season, this one’s for you! We’re shining a spotlight on all the best light displays in Central Texas in 2017!
Before you head out, please check links for updated information due to weather or schedule changes.
Austin Area Holiday Lights Displays
Rhodes Family Christmas (Cedar Park)
November 23 – January 1 | 2410 Sharon Dr, Cedar Park
Enjoy the Christmas spirit at this house in Cedar Park, starting on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. It is also a collection site for the Cedar Park Area Food Bank, so please bring a donation of food for the food bank. Check Facebook for updates.
Anna Court Light Display (Cedar Park)
November 23 – December 31 | from 5 to 10:30 p.m. | 1323-1331 Anna Court, Cedar Park
This Cedar Park cul-de-sac is decked out with thousands and thousands of festive lights. FREE to see the display, with donations accepted. Bring a toy to donate to Blue Santa. Monetary donations will go to SafePlace. Check Facebook for updates.
Mozart’s Annual Light Show
November 17 – January 1 | Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
Starting at 6 p.m. each evening, and replaying at the top of every hour until closing, enjoy dazzling lights set to music! The lights show will happen every night, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Don’t miss out on all the FREE holiday fun!
Shady Oak Christmas Display (Georgetown)
Start date TBD | 107 Shady Oak Drive, Georgetown
FREE neighborhood lights display. Tune to FM 95.9 to enjoy music along with this house’s lights. Sunday to Thursday: 5:45-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 5:45-11 p.m. Check Facebook for updates.
Annual Lighting of the Square (Georgetown)
November 24 | at 5:30 p.m. | Georgetown Square, 710 S. Main Street, Georgetown
Kick off the holiday season with Georgetown’s annual Lighting of the Square! Sing along with The Austin Carolers and warm your tummy with hot chocolate and cookies. Stay for pictures with Santa. Plan to get in some shopping, too, as merchants will stay open late. FREE!
Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival
November 24 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Austin
Head to Hill Country Galleria for the annual Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival event on Black Friday, November 24th! The fun starts at 6 p.m. in the Hill Country Galleria’s outdoor Central Plaza with children’s activities like face painting and flash tattoos. The program will begin at 7 p.m. where you can see Santa, watch fireworks and enjoy live music by All Time Low! Emceed by Mix 94.7. FREE!
Bastrop River of Lights (Bastrop)
November 24 – December 31 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow St., Bastrop
Take in the FREE 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.
The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights (Wimberley)
November 25 – December 28 | Emily Ann Theatre and Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley
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 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is FREE!
November 26 – December 31 | from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin
Each year, the Austin community eagerly awaits the lighting of the 155-foot tall Zilker Tree as a symbol of the upcoming holiday season. The tree will be lit nightly from November 26 through the end of the year, but note that area roads will be closed for the Trail of Lights December 8-23. FREE!
Driskill Hotel Tree Lighting
November 29 | at 6 p.m. | The Driskill, 604 Brazos Street, Austin
Enjoy seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Trio in celebration of the annual lighting of The Driskill Tree. FREE!
The Magic of the Stroll is real and will bring memories on this 37th Annual Celebration. The Georgetown Square will be transformed 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. It’s the place to journey back in time as you wonder through Bethlehem Village. Have dessert with the Grinch Friday night only. Santa is waiting to hear from both naughty and nice Saturday after the parade. See the full schedule for the two day event here.
Christmas Family Night 2017 (Round Rock)
December 1 | 6:30 p.m. | Downtown Main St., Round Rock
During Christmas Family Night, Main Street is decorated with small wooden houses which host various games and activities. The event kicks off with a welcome from Mayor Alan McGraw, followed by the illumination of holiday lights. Then Santa makes his grand entrance. This FREE event includes activities for the entire family including live music, dancers, candle making, game booths, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus and more. Children should bring their “wish lists” for Santa Claus and parents are encouraged to bring their own cameras for pictures with Santa. Plus, enjoy free hot dogs, popcorn, hot chocolate, and other refreshments, activities and snacks.
Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop (Cedar Park)
December 1 | from 6:30 to 9 p.m. | Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park
On this magical night, join in the tradition of lighting the tree. Over 65,000 lights illuminate the largest Live Oak Tree in Cedar Park. Santa’s Workshop will kickoff immediately following the tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables, FREE photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts & crafts projects. Bring the whole family for what promises to be a festive evening. FREE admission.
Community First Village of Lights
December 1 & 2, 8 & 9 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | Mobile Loaves & Fishes Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd, Austin
Start a new family tradition and head to the second annual Mobile Loaves & Fishes Community First! Village of Lights. With more than 200,000 lights choreographed to holiday music, the Community First! Village of Lights is one of the biggest Christmas light displays in Central Texas! Be sure to include a stop at the Advent Market to shop for unique, handcrafted gifts made by formerly homeless craftsmen and artisans who live at the Village. Your purchase of gifts and concessions during the event helps our Community First! neighbors earn a dignified income. See the schedule of events.
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
Millions of lights will illuminate a magical world of holiday amusement at Circuit of The Americas this December. There will be something for everyone to experience and enjoy including a skating rink, human snow globe, singing trees, petting zoo, camel rides, Santa’s workshop, carnival rides, hot air balloon float, merry movies on the lawn, delectable food, shopping galore and the soon to be world famous Tunnel of Lights and much more. Who knows, it may even end up snowing in Austin! Admission: $16 (children 5 and under FREE).
Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
December 2 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | Congress Ave., from 9th – 11th, Downtown Austin
The annual Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll is a FREE, family-friendly event that celebrates the arrival of the holiday season and the joy it brings. The evening starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season during KUTX 98.9 “Eklektikos” host John Aielli’s Holiday Sing-Along. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree begins, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m., Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers. Additional Stroll activities include classic holiday cartoons, photos with Santa, live music, a special holiday Farmers’ Market with Sustainable Food Center, and much more. Support fellow members of the community by bringing non-perishable food or cash donations to the Capitol Christmas tree for the Capital Area Food Bank. The Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll attracts more than 20,000 attendees each year, so guests are encouraged to bike or use public transportation. FREE!
Pfestival of Lights and Christmas Parade (Pflugerville)
December 2 | from 5 to 8 p.m. | Railroad Avenue and Main Street, Pflugerville
Pfree holiday concert, parade, refreshments and pfamily pfun on Main Street. Check out the schedule of events here.
Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Leander)
December 2 | at 5 p.m. | City Hall, 200 West Willis Street, Leander
Celebrate the season with The City of Leander! The Christmas Parade will begin at 5 p.m. with the Tree Lighting to follow. Pictures with Santa, s’mores, skating rink, choral performances, and more. 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!
Gruene Town Lighting (Gruene)
December 2 | from 5 to 6:30 p.m. | Check here for directions
Watch as Cowboy Kringle rides into town on horseback and lights Gruene for the Holidays. Live musical performances with festival food and wine available for purchase. Afterwards, get some holiday shopping done at Gruene’s 30+ stores. FREE! Call (830) 629-5077 for information.
Christmas Tree Lighting (Hutto)
December 2 | from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. | Downtown Hutto, 401 W. Front St., Hutto
Holiday crafts hosted by local churches and civic organizations, as well as other festive holiday entertainment for all to enjoy. FREE!
Christmas on Mercer Street (Dripping Springs)
December 2 | from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Mercer Street, Dripping Springs
Hosted by the City of Dripping Springs and Dripping Springs Lions Club, the Christmas on Mercer Street festivities will feature an old-fashioned holiday celebration on Mercer Street with live music and entertainment, arts and crafts booths, kid’s games and activities, a trackless train and pony rides, photos with Santa Claus, and a festive selection of food and drinks. Admission is FREE to the public. The annual Lighting of the Tree will be held at the Triangle at 6 p.m. Christmas carolers representing local churches and schools will serenade with heart-warming, traditional Christmas Carols at the tree lighting ceremony.
Elfvis & the Kringles (Round Rock)
Starts December 2 | 3448 Tourmaline Trail, Round Rock
Stop by this house for a unique Christmas light display featuring Elfvis, the Kringles, the Grinch, and Olaf from Frozen. Animated Christmas light display with handmade animatronics. Tune into 107.5 FM and enjoy the animated light show to music which features singing, dancing, and performing animatronics. FREE!
Lights of Love
December 3 | from 4 to 7 p.m. | Ronald McDonald House, 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin
Kick off the holiday season at Lights of Love! Drawing on the original vision that began 27 years ago, Lights of Love will be held once again at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. Lights of Love is a festive event for children and families to experience holiday fun and the magical moment when hundreds of sparkling lights suddenly illuminate the Ronald McDonald House and its big, bright holiday tree. Many activities are planned including cookie decorating, kids’ crafts, snow slide, music, photos with Santa Claus and much more! You can find all the details here. $5 suggested donation per person or $20 donation per family.
Mueller Tower Lighting
December 5 | from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. | John Gaines Park, 2708 Sorin St., Austin
The FREE, family-friendly event will feature Mueller’s most beloved traditions, the 12th Annual Tower Lighting. The Reagan High School Drumline and the Nash Hernandez Orchestra will move the crowd into the holiday spirit and provide entertainment for the entire family. S’mores, hot chocolate, cider, seasonal bread and cookies will be served while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. Austin City Council Member, Greg Casar, will be counting down the moments until the Noel sign is lit across the Control Tower, honoring a tradition that dates back to the 1960s.
Trail of Lights (Buda)
December 8 & 9 and 14 – 17 | from 6 to 10 p.m. | Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main Street, Buda
A FREE holiday event filled with dazzling lights, entertainment, hot beverages, and more. No pets allowed on the trail.
Lighted Christmas Parade (Bastrop)
December 9 | from 8 to 10 p.m. | Historic Main Street, Bastrop
Bastrop’s famous Lighted Christmas Parade is on Saturday, December 10, 2016. More than 100 entries—from fanciful floats to fire trucks, from Honey Bears to longhorns, from Santa’s helpers to the man himself—will light up the Main Street night for this joyful Bastrop tradition, produced by the Bastrop Downtown Business Alliance. With festive lights blazing, this year’s parade celebrates “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays…”— recalling the warmth and cherished memories of Christmases spent with friends and family and expressing bright hopes for Christmases to come.
Austin Trail of Lights
December 8 – 23 | from 7 to 10 p.m. | Zilker Park, Austin
Visit the North Pole at the Trail of Lights to share your holiday wish list with Santa at Santa’s House, stop in Santa’s Workshop for a photo and a variety of interactive experiences and more! Free from December 9-14, 18, and 19. From December 15-17 and 20-23, 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.
Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour & Christmas Towne (Round Rock)
December 14 – 23 | 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock
Experience the fourth annual Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour featuring all new displays and a bigger and brighter Christmas Towne. Dates and times vary. Check the website for details. With 2 million lights, the 1.5-mile path is the must-see event of the season. Christmas Towne features light displays including a walking tunnel of lights, full-scale carnival rides, holiday food and more. Admission to Christmas Towne is FREE (tickets for carnival available for purchase). The entrance to Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour is located at Old Settlers Park. Enter the park at Old Settlers Boulevard and Harrell Parkway. Participants will exit at Hwy. 79 into Christmas Towne. Lights Tour entrance address is 4111 E. Old Settlers Blvd. Christmas Towne is located at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot, at the exit of the Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour. Christmas Towne entrance address is at 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd.
Central Texas Holiday Lights Displays
Santa’s Ranch (New Braunfels)
November 3 – December 31 | 6 to 10 p.m. | 9561 I-35 North, New Braunfels
Santa’s Ranch has been a Texas tradition for over a decade! Take a drive through over a mile of winding country road and take in the beautiful lights, animated displays, and enjoy delicious homemade hot cocoa, kettle corn and snacks. $28 + tax/ car.
Santa’s Wonderland (College Station)
November 10 – January 7 | times vary | 18898 State Highway 6 S, College Station
Hay ride, live music, shopping, horse and carriage tours, food, campfires, a train ride, petting zoo, pony rides, a giant movie screen, snow, a synchronized light show, and the big man himself- Santa! Children ages 2 and under admitted free. 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
Enjoy the drive through over 110 holiday lights displays, Santa’s Village, holiday treats, photos with Santa, etc. $15/car.
Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls)
November 17 – January 1 | 6 to 10 p.m. | Lakeside Park, Buena Vista, Marble Falls
Over 2 million lights transform Lakeside Park. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, get a photo with Santa, and take a stroll through the breathtaking winter wonderland that is Walkway of Lights. Open nightly, weather permitting, 6 to 10 p.m. Please note! This is an outdoor event. If the ground is wet, they are unable to open Walkway as it creates a safety hazard for visitors. For updates regarding Walkway, please call 844-635-4448. FREE!
Zoo Lights (San Antonio)
November 18 – December 31 | Noon to 9 p.m. | San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Mary’s St., San Antonio
Open daily November 18 – December 31 from 12 to 9 p.m. (except on Sunday, November 19 when it will be open from 6 to 9 p.m.), Zoo Lights is a nighttime holiday tradition for the whole family! Stroll under an array of twinkling lights while you sip hot cocoa, roast s’mores, ride camels and enjoy our Lakeside Lightshow. Visit Santa and tell him what’s on your Christmas wish list. Plus, a new dining experience is coming to town! Book in advance to have a catered dinner with Mrs. Claus and her helpers, the elves! See ticket prices here.
Holiday in the Park (San Antonio)
November 18 – January 7 | Park times vary | Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio
Holiday in the Park – The Season’s Brightest Thrills – is back for select days from November 18 – January 7 at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It’s the most magical time of the year filled with enchanting experiences that will help create those special family fun outings again and again. Their breathtaking winter wonderland features a variety of delightful and interactive activities to help capture the holiday spirit. Tickets and more info here.
Sea World’s Christmas Celebration (San Antonio)
November 18 – January 2 | Park times vary | Sea World, 10500 SeaWorld Drive. San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio is decking out the halls for its annual Christmas Celebration, an extraordinary holiday event November 18 – January 2. This wintery, watery wonderland features Christmas shows, holiday lights, festive foods, Santa Claus and more! The park is covered with 8 million lights, the largest Christmas light display in Texas, and guests can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends. ‘Tis the season to create family memories, only found at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Save $35 when you visit between November 18 – 26. More ticket info here.
Lights of Tejas (Giddings)
November 24 – December 29 (days and times vary) | Tejas, 1038 Private Road 2191, Giddings
Every year during the holiday season, Tejas transforms its campus into one of the best light festivals in the state. Located near Austin, Houston, College Station, and San Antonio, Lights of Tejas in Giddings, Texas is something you will not want to miss. Come and enjoy more than one million dazzling Christmas lights and have some family-friendly fun at our midway-style games, the exciting activities, and indoor light show. $9 (kids 2 and under are free).
Lights Spectacular (Johnson City)
November 24 – January 2 | times vary | Johnson City
The twinkliest town in the hill country celebrates its annual Lights Spectacular! Johnson City transforms itself from a slow-paced, presidential hometown nestled on the banks of the Pedernales River, into a bright beacon of light like a guiding star, welcoming visitors with good old fashioned Christmas cheer. The spectacular courthouse lighting ceremony and fireworks on Friday, November 25 kicks off the festival with more than a million lights which fill three city blocks including the Courthouse, City Park, and Pedernales Electric Co-op headquarters. See the schedule of events. The season-long celebration is family and pet-friendly, and lasts until January 2. 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.
Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony (San Antonio)
November 24 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | River Walk, San Antonio
The Annual Ford Holiday River Parade is a San Antonio tradition. It offers a spectacular one-hour parade on the San Antonio River Walk featuring illuminated floats, celebrities, music and festive-costumed participants. Tickets are available online.
Starry Starry Nights Lighted Christmas Park (Llano)
November 24 – December 31 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | Badu Park, Llano
Christmas lights strung along the Llano River glow each night for families to enjoy. Llano reflects upon the season with thousands of beautiful, colorful Christmas lights along the river. Walk through the lighted archway that begins with hot chocolate and ends with Santa on the weekends! FREE! Call the Llano Chamber at 325-247-5354 for more information.
Lighted Christmas Parade (Lockhart)
December 1 | 7 p.m. | Downtown Square, Lockhart
The annual Lighted Christmas Parade is sponsored by the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce. The parade is a fantastic display of lights that travels around the Courthouse Square. Line-up begins at 5 p.m., judging at 6 p.m. and the parade steps off at 7 p.m. For information about the parade route, call the Lockhart Chamber at 512-398-2818. FREE!
Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias (San Antonio)
December 1 – 3, 8 – 10 & 15 – 17 | at dusk | River Walk, San Antonio
Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 Luminarias. Warmly glowing candles in sand-filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the “lighting of the way” for the Holy Family. This century’s old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday & Sunday only December 1-17. FREE!
Looking for more holiday options? You may also be interested in 100+ Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Central Texas.