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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 holiday light displays in Central Texas in 2019. Here are some of the best free (and not free – be sure to follow the links for pricing and tickets) lights spectaculars in and around Austin.
The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Free Fun in Austin calendar is only for live digital events at this time.
Before you head out, please check links for updated information due to weather or schedule changes.
Ongoing Austin Area Holiday Lights Displays
Mozart’s Annual Light Show
November 21 through January 5| from 6 to 11 p.m. | Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Boulevard
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!
Rhodes Family Christmas (Cedar Park)
November 28 through December 31 | 2410 Sharon Drive, 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.
Georgetown Square (Georgetown)
November 29 through December 31 | at 5:30 p.m. | Georgetown Square, 710 South Main Street, Georgetown
Though the lighting of the square has passed, lights remain on in the square through December 31, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Bastrop River of Lights (Bastrop)
November 30 through December 28 | from dusk to 10 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 30 through December 28 | from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday | 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! Check the nightly schedule to know when Santa and some other fun friends will be visiting.
December 1 through January 1 | from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road
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 December 1 through the end of the year, but note that area roads will be closed for the Trail of Lights most of that time. FREE!
Shady Oak Christmas Display (Georgetown)
December 1 through 31 | times vary | 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 through 11 p.m. Check Facebook for updates.
Austin Trail of Lights
December 10 through 23 | from 7 to 10 p.m. | Zilker Park, Austin
Austin’s largest holiday tradition and the 2nd largest event in the city, the Austin Trail of Lights, in the heart of Zilker Park, celebrates the unique spirit and people that make Austin, Austin. Showcasing everything that we love about Austin for the 55th year in a row, the Austin Trail of Lights transforms Zilker Park with over 65 displays, 30 food trucks, two entertainment stages, 2 million lights and family-friendly holiday activities that run throughout December. The Austin Trail of lights hosts fun activities for people of all ages and the entry is free for half of the nights to ensure that everyone can enjoy it. Every event is sure to make long-lasting memories with friends, family and neighbors from near and far. Check website for hours and cost: https://austintrailoflights.org/
Austin Area Holiday Lights Events
Christmas Stroll (Georgetown)
Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7 | from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday | Downtown Georgetown
Kick off your holiday season with some jolly, family-friendly fun at the 39th annual Christmas Stroll held in historic downtown Georgetown, Texas. Check the weather and wear a comfortable pair of shoes! And be sure to set your alarm for everyone’s annual favorite, the Christmas Stroll Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. Christmas Stroll has something for everyone! The young and young at heart will all enjoy the variety of live entertainment, shopping, dining, and activities.
Christmas Family Night 2019 (Round Rock)
Friday, December 6 | at 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)
Friday, December 6 | from 6:30 to 9 p.m. | Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park
The Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop will feature a snow hill, snow playing areas, live music performances, games & prizes, yule fire, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera) and arts and crafts projects. Food concessions will also be available. The Cedar Park Police Department will be accepting new and unwrapped gifts for Blue Santa. Admission is free.
Christmas Tree Lighting (Hutto)
Friday, December 6 | from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. | Downtown Hutto, 401 West Front Street, Hutto
Gather on East Street for holiday crafts hosted by local churches and civic organizations, as well as other festive holiday entertainment for all to enjoy! Count down the Tree Lighting with friends and family and a surprise guest dressed in red (ho, ho, ho!).
Community First Village of Lights
December 6, 7, 13, and 14 |from 5:30 to 9 p.m. | Mobile Loaves & Fishes Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd, Austin
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 will help our Community First! Village neighbors earn a dignified income.
Trail of Lights (Buda)
December 6 through 8, 13 through 15, and 20 through 22| from 6 to 10 p.m. | Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main Street, Buda
Trail of Lights at Stagecoach Park opens to the public on Friday, December 6. Trail of Lights is a free holiday event that features lighted and decorated displays that are provided by local businesses and organizations. Visitors are able to walk the lighted trail in the park to view the dazzling exhibits, sip hot chocolate, and meet Santa himself.
Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
Saturday, December 7 | at 6 p.m. | Congress Avenue, from 9th through 11th Streets, Downtown Austin
Kick off your holiday season with KUT and KUTX at our annual Sing-Along and Tree Lighting, followed by the Downtown Austin Alliance’s Holiday Stroll. The carols begin at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing songs of the season, led by KUTX 98.9 music hosts John Aielli and Elizabeth McQueen. Rusty on the lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”? We’ve got you covered with complimentary keepsake songbooks. At 7 p.m., we’ll countdown to the lighting of the downtown holiday tree at 11th St. and Congress Ave. After the tree lighting, stroll Congress Avenue between 9th and 11th streets for shopping, and free live music and entertainment for all ages. The Downtown Austin Alliance’s Holiday Stroll has something for everyone including photos with Santa, a petting zoo, live ice sculpture, holiday arts and crafts, local food trucks, artisan vendors and more. Plus, enjoy a full night of live music performances. Visit the Downtown Austin Alliance for announcements and additional details on the 25th Anniversary of Holiday Stroll. Be sure to stop by the Central Texas Food Bank tent to donate, pick up T-shirts and holiday cards, and learn more about getting involved in the fight against hunger.
Pfestival of Lights and Christmas Parade (Pflugerville)
Saturday, December 7 | from 4 to 7 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)
Saturday, December 7 | from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. | City Hall, 200 West Willis Street, Leander
Every first Saturday of December: Old Town Leander comes alive to spread Christmas joy throughout the community. This event includes the Old Town Rudolph Run 5k, Leander in Lights Parade, the HEB Snow Globe, activities for the kids, pictures with Santa, local school performances and entertainment, food court, local vendors, and more. Full schedule.
Lighted Christmas Parade (Bastrop)
December 14 | from 6 to 8 p.m. | Historic Main Street, Bastrop
Bastrop’s fanciful, fantastic, fun—and even famous—annual Lost Pines Christmas Parade will light up the night skies as it makes its way down Main Street on Saturday, December 14th. If you were in on the fun last year, you know first-hand it’s an experience not to be missed…or—if you were a participant—it’s not too early to gear up for this year’s fun. If you missed last year, we’ve got an experience that you, your family and your friends will remember for a lifetime. It’s Bastrop’s famous Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 14th, 2019, an absolute highpoint of the Lost Pines Christmas season. 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 and the City of Bastrop. With festive lights blazing and music in the air, this year’s parade taps your vision—celebrating the message, magic and memory of Christmas through your eyes: what Christmas means to you. Sugarplums and sparkles, sights and sounds, cherished moments of Christmas past, or bright hopes for the future, it’s yours to express.
Christmas Towne (Round Rock)
Dates and Times Vary | 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock
Bring your family to the FREE Christmas Towne at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot. Christmas Towne features amazing light displays including a walking tunnel of lights, full-scale carnival rides, holiday refreshments and more. Christmas Towne is located at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot. Entrance address is 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd. Christmas Towne 2019 will be open the following days: Christmas Towne (on the Old Settlers Association side) will be operating on the following dates from 5to 9 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and 5 to 10 p.m. (Friday to Saturday). December 13 through 15, and December 19 through 29. Thomas Carnival will be operating the Carnival in the Dell Diamond parking lot on the following dates. December 12 through 15, December 18 through 22, and December 25 through January 4. Christmas Towne is adjacent to the exciting Thomas Carnival featuring full-scale carnival rides. for all ages!
More Central Texas Holiday Lights Displays and Events
Gruene Town Lighting (Gruene)
Saturday, December 7 | 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. We’ll be celebrating with live music, festival food and beer/wine available for purchase. While you’re here, get some holiday shopping done at Gruene’s 30+ stores, cozy up to a fireplace for dinner at the Gristmill, head over to Mozie’s for a warming cocktail, or stop by the Hall for the evening show.
Christmas on Mercer Street (Dripping Springs)
Saturday, December 7 | from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Mercer Street, Dripping Springs
The sights and sounds of Dripping Springs’ 15th Annual Christmas on Mercer Street will come alive on Saturday, December 7 from 10 am to 5 pm as Mercer Street and the downtown area transform into a hometown holiday festival featuring holiday shopping, arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, a petting zoo, trackless train, pony rides, children’s activities and more. Hosted by the Dripping Springs Lions Club and the City of Dripping Springs, the festival admission is FREE to the public. Santa Claus will make a grand appearance at 10 am and there will be opportunities for parents to take photos of their children with him at Santa’s Workshop on Mercer Street. The annual Lighting of the Tree will be held at the Triangle (also known as Veterans Memorial Park at E. Mercer Street, Ranch Road 12, and Hwy 290) at dusk.
Santa’s Ranch (New Braunfels)
November 8 through January 4 | from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday | 9561 I-35 North, New Braunfels
Bring your friends and family and enjoy one of the best holiday light exhibits in the state! You’ll take a drive through over a mile of winding country roads while taking in the beautiful lights, animated Christmas displays, and enjoying homemade hot cocoa, kettle corn, and snacks.
Santa’s Wonderland (College Station)
November 8 through December 30 | 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 15 through January 5 | from 5:30 to 11 p.m. | Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area
Enjoy the drive through over 110 holiday lights displays, Santa’s Village, holiday treats, photos with Santa, etc.
Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls)
November 22 through January 1 | from 6 to 10 p.m. | Lakeside Park, Buena Vista, Marble Falls
Y’all! The time has come, Walkway is upon us! Beginning November 22nd, and going through January 1st, Walkway of Lights will be open nightly from 6pm-10pm, weather permitting. Join us in Lakeside Park as we celebrate the holidays with over two million lights, photos with Santa, and so much more! Make the Walkway of Lights your new family tradition, and experience the magic year after year! Admission is always free, yet donations are much appreciated! Don’t forget, concessions and Santa photos are fundraisers for local non-profit organizations. Santa will only make appearances on the weekend. Note! Due to safety hazards, Walkway will not be open if it is raining. FOR WEATHER UPDATES, PLEASE CALL 844-MF-LIGHT.
Zoo Lights (San Antonio)
November 22 through December 31 | from Noon to 9 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays | San Antonio Zoo, 3903 North St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio
Whataburger Zoo Lights is open Now – December 31. When the animals tuck in for the evening, San Antonio Zoo transforms into a wild, winter wonderland filled with a jaw-dropping array of twinkling lights. Bigger and brighter than before, Zoo Lights is a must-see for families that is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit! Guests can see life-sized animals from the savanna, including a 15-foot tall illuminated giraffe in Starry Safari. While sipping hot cocoa, guests can stroll under a unique display of lights, roast s’mores, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, and visit Santa. Then, dance to our new Latin-inspired Lakeside Light Show! Featuring pixel technology combined with a custom soundtrack that is composed of Latin Music, this high-energy show will get guests dancing to their favorite Christmas tunes!
Holiday in the Park (San Antonio)
November 23 through January 5 | Park Times Vary | Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio
Holiday in the Park: Presented by H-E-B – The Season’s Brightest Thrills – is back for select days from November 23 through January 5 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. Our breathtaking winter wonderland features a variety of delightful and interactive activities to help capture the holiday spirit.
Lights of Tejas (Giddings)
November 29 through December 29 (days and times vary) | Tejas, 1038 Private Road 2191, Giddings
Running for 15 magical nights between November 29th and December 29th, Lights of Tejas is the place to be this Christmas! With over a million Christmas lights, fireworks, food, music, and activities for all ages, it is the perfect night out for everyone seeking a fun-filled, wholesome Christmas celebration for all. We hope to see you at Tejas this Christmas season!
Lights Spectacular (Johnson City)
November 29 through January 5 | Times Vary | Johnson City
The twinkliest town in the hill country celebrates its 30th annual Lights Spectacular. For the last 30 years, 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. Free Family Fun & Pet-Friendly. The season-long celebration is family & pet-friendly with no admission and lasts until January 5, 2020.
PEC Holiday Lights
November 29 through January 5 | from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday | Pedernales Electric Co-op, 201 South Avenue F, Johnson City
In a tradition more than 30 years old, PEC’s headquarters will be illuminated throughout the holiday season as part of the annual Johnson City Lights Spectacular event. More than 1.3 million lights will brighten PEC’s corporate campus and surrounding oak trees. Members and guests are invited to come and enjoy the beautiful light display and help the cooperative spread holiday cheer! PEC’s annual lights display is a free, family-friendly event with ample parking, and is located within walking distance to Johnson City’s main Lights Spectacular display. Holiday lights photo contest: Members and guests are encouraged to share their best photo of PEC’s holiday lights on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #PECHolidayLights. If you choose to participate, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card to help brighten the holidays! Visit https://www.pec.coop/holiday-lights for details. The lights will turn on Friday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. and will shine from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Mon. – Thurs. and until midnight, Fri. – Sun., through Jan. 5.
Starry Starry Nights Lighted Christmas Park (Llano)
November 29 through 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)
Friday, December 6 | at 7 p.m. | Downtown Square, Lockhart
On the first Saturday of December each year the town of Lockhart, Texas is transformed into a Dickens’ style Christmas. A fun time is always had by all who attend this grand annual event at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library and around the Downtown Square. On Friday night, December 6, the annual “Lighted Christmas Parade” kicks off this weekend and 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 5pm, judging at 6pm and the parade steps off at 7:00pm.
Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias (San Antonio)
December 6 through 8, 13 through 18, 22 through 22| 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 2,000 Luminarias at night. This century’s old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday and Sunday only for three weekends in December. Luminarias are a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a small bag. Our River Walk Luminarias are a little different in that the flame doesn’t go out. Enjoy the Holiday lights overhead, the luminarias along the banks of the river, and the Ford Holiday Boat Caroling floating by while you stroll or as you enjoy a frothy hot beverage or an exquisite meal along the River Walk.
Looking for more holiday fun?
Check out these posts:
- Holiday Markets, Art Bazaars, And Fairs In Austin 2019
- Ring In The Season With These Austin Area Holiday Parades
- Ways to Give Back in Austin This Holiday Season