2016 Austin Holiday Event Guide

Thanks to The Domain for sponsoring this year’s 2016 Austin Holiday Event Guide. There are so many special things to do and see in the Austin area over the holidays, and it helps to have a handy list of what all is going on. Be sure to stop in at The Domain this holiday season to enjoy shopping, carolers, carriage rides, a visit with Santa and more!

Holiday Fun at The Domain

When: November 25, 2016 – January 1, 2017, various times

Where: The Domain, 3220 Amy Donovan Plaza, Austin

Shopping has never been more fun during the holidays than it is this year at The Domain. Enjoy carolers, Santa, holiday music and more throughout the 2016 holiday season.

  • Holiday Light Shows – Stand in awe as more than 200,000 lights and strobes dance in snychronization to holiday music! Lights shows available throughout Domain II (between Dick’s Sporting Goods & Dillard’s) at 6PM, 7PM and 8PM. Shows Friday, November 25 through Sunday, January 1.
  • Santa Photo Experience – Visit the all new Beneath the Tree Santa Photo Experience, where children sit inside a 10-foot tall drum situated under a 34-foot tall tree. Enjoy a story, share your wishlist and capture a picture to save the memory. Click here for complete hours and to make an appointment.
  • Complimentary Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride under the holiday lights each Friday and Saturday night from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Pick-up locations near California Pizza Kitchen and The Brass Tap. Available Friday, November 25 through Friday, December 23.
  • Strolling Carolers – The sounds of the season come alive with performances by Austin Carolers in Domain I each Saturday night from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Carolers offered Saturday, November 26 through Saturday, December 17.
  • Elf Academy – Put the little ones in elf training at The Domain’s Elf Academy on Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Click here for additional details.

A Christmas Carol

When: November 23 – December 31, 2016, various times

Where: ZACH Theater, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin

Austin’s newest and most rockin’ holiday tradition! Each year, ZACH’s A Christmas Carol features new hit songs and reimagined carols that create an infectious spirit that will have everyone dancing in the aisles. ZACH’s fresh and inspired adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic juxtaposes the traditional Victorian setting and costumes with a modern musical score that spans all genres. Come celebrate the season with three soulful ghosts, the Cratchit family’s boundless love, and Ebenezer Scrooge’s miraculous and joyous transformation. Recommended for ages six and up.

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Holiday Lights Display

When: November 25 – January 8, 6 p.m. nightly

Where: Mozart’s, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.

Mozart’s annual light display takes place every hour on the hour until midnight. The show lasts fifteen minutes, but Mozart’s does get crowded, so plan to get there in advance, and consider dropping guests off since the parking lot fills up quickly (there is additional parking across the street). It’s also a lovely, centrally-located spot to enjoy the lakeside view and look for ducks.

Santa on the Terrace

When: Friday, November 25, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

Join us on the City Terrace and take some time out of the busiest holiday of the year to celebrate the season. Bring the kids for a FREE photo with Santa overlooking the best view in Austin! Enjoy some holiday treats with all sorts of entertainment. Activities will be planned for the whole family, so bring everyone.

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade

When: Saturday, November 26, 11 a.m.

Where: Starts at the Capitol at 11th and Congress, moving south on Congress all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge.

Enjoy giant inflarable balloons, festive holiday floars, children’s characters, marching bands, classic cars, Santa, and more at this annual parade the benefits Blue Santa. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.

Teddy Bear Teas

When: Saturdays and Sundays, November 26 – December 18, Noon and 3 p.m. seatings available

Where: Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin

A beloved holiday tradition, Teddy Bear Tea includes afternoon tea service, holiday caroling and a fireside reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Santa himself! Children are asked to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear as a donation to Dell Children’s Hospital. Cost: Adults $45 and children aged 11 and under $30.

Ice Skating on the Plaza

When: Sunday, November 27 – January 7, 2017, daily from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin

A must-do for locals and visitors alike, Ice Skating on the Plaza at our Flagship store (located in Downtown) has become one of Austin’s most anticipated events of the holiday season! Cost is $10 per person and includes use of skates.

Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: Sunday, November 27, 6 p.m.

Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road

Enjoy local entertainment, food, live music and more at the annual lighting of the Zilker Tree, which stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs – totaling 3,309 lights.

November 28 – December 31, 6 pm – 12 midnight, tree on display nightly. REMINDER – on Trail of Lights Nights the area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. If you are planning to visit the Holiday Tree itself, make sure to plan around those nights.

Holiday Open House at the Four Seasons

When: Monday and Tuesday, November 28 & 29, 5-6 p.m.

Where: Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin

Once upon a time, in a hotel not too far away, there stood a majestic Gingerbread Village… The fairy tale is set to become reality with this year’s theme, revealing several whimsical – and completely edible – scenes from classic children’s stories and nursery rhymes. Join us for two Holiday Open Houses featuring hot apple cider, cookies, photos with Santa and the opportunity to meet the talented pastry chefs behind the village. The Holiday Open Houses take place in the lobby and are complimentary for locals and visitors.

Tree Lighting at the Driskill

When: Tuesday, November 29, 6 p.m.

Where: The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos Street

Enjoy choral performances and seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Quartet in celebration of the annual Lighting of The Driskill Tree.

Lights of Love

When: Friday, December 2, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Mueller Browning Hangar, 4550 Mueller Drive, Austin

Join us for an evening of holiday festivities! Friends, family and even four-legged companions will enjoy an evening of traditional holiday fun including a walk around Mueller Lake adorned with holiday lights, a visit with Santa Claus, a snow slide, gingerbread house decorating, kids’ crafts, hot chocolate, photo booth, holiday music and much more under the Hangar!

Hancock Candle Stroll

When: Friday, December 2, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st Street, Austin

Come out for a fun family walk around the trails of thousands of luminaries on and around Hancock. Enjoy hot chocolate, holiday carols, and a visit from a special guest.

The Nutcrakcer Suite Dreams

When: December 2, 7:30 p.m.; December 3, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; December 4, 2 :30 p.m.

Where: Boyd Vance Theater at George W. Carver Museum Theater, 1165 Angelina Street, Austin

Back by popular demand, this season will begin with an original ballet based on the timeless classic, The Nutcracker. Each time we perform this story something new is revealed, and this year is no different. Keeping in the spirit of AMDE tradition, the audience will enjoy many genres of dance as Clara’s story is told. Featuring the masterfully trained artists of AMDE, The Nutcracker: Suite Dreams is a must-see for the entire family. Cost: $20/ ticket pre-sale, $25 at the door.

Breakfast with Santa at Dittmar Recreation Center

When: Saturday, December 3, 9-11 a.m.

Where: Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road, Austin

The weather may be chilly outside, but the weather is always warm & welcoming at Dittmar Recreation Center!
Come Hang out with us for a light breakfast, sing-a-long songs, crafts and don’t forget to bring your cameras for pictures with Santa!

DeSTEMberfest with Girlstart

When: Saturday, December 3, 9:30 a.m. – noon

Where: Girlstart STEM Center, 1400 W. Anderson Lane, Austin

Join Girlstart for a free, frosty DeSTEMber Fest Extravaganza at the Girlstart STEM Center on Saturday, December 3rd! Enjoy star shows in our mini planetarium, design avalanche rescue equipment to attach to a robot, and make a solar oven to roast your own s’mores at home. The whole family will discover the science behind this magical time of year with marshmallow slingshots, reindeer antlers, fluffy snow and more hands-on fun! FREE!

Santa in the Garden

When: Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin

Skip the lines at the mall and bring the family to meet Santa & Mrs. Claus. There will be tasty treats & fun crafts, shopping in the Chrysalis Gift Shop with 20% off the entire store during the event, and take-your-own photo opportunities. Free with paid museum admission.

German Christmas Market

When: Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: German-Texan Heritage Scoiety, 507 E. 10th Street, Austin

The German-Texan Heritage Society offers shoppers hand-made, imported crafts including plenty of Christmas themed decorations such as nutcrackers and ornaments. It is a festival atmosphere with traditional German Christmas music, tables full of handcrafted items direct from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, a visit by both our historic American Santa Claus and the traditional German Sankt Nikolas with gifts for the children, a hospitality serving of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), coffee, apple cider/juice and gingerbread cookies and plenty of German style baked goodies for purchase. Lunch served by Frank-Purveyors of Artisan Sausage. All purchases are Sales Tax Free on this special day.

Holiday Celebration at Montopolis Recreation Center

When: Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Montopolis Recreation Center, 1200 Montopolis Drive, Austin

Enjoy a free performance by the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Elf Academy

When: Saturday, December 3, 3-5 p.m.

Where: Domain II, between Dick’s Sporting Goods & Dillard’s

Don’t miss a fun-filled afternoon of elf training including games, prizes, an elf ID station, entertainment, an afternoon snack and more.

It’s That Time of Year Holiday Film Series

When: Saturday, December 3, 1pm

Where: Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Avenue, Austin

Join the Bullock Museum for a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol as part of the Bullock’s It’s That Time of Year holiday film series. $5 non-member, $3 members.

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll

When: Saturday, December 3, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Austin at the Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue and 11th

Sing holiday songs on the lawn of the Capitol and then stroll along Congress Avenue.

Violet Crown Arts Festival

When: Saturday & Sunday, December 3-4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where: Brentwood Elementary School, 6700 Arroyo Seco, Austin

The Violet Crown Arts Festival is a free art show, music fest and neighborhood block party, all rolled into one fun weekend. Join us Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, outside Brentwood Elementary for relaxed holiday shopping, family-friendly activities, delicious food and even some dancing!

Tex-Arts Holiday Extravaganza 2016

When: Saturday & Sunday, December 3-4, 2 & 6 p.m.

Where: TexARTS, Kam & James Morris Theatre, 2300 Lohman’s Spur

The TexARTS Broadway Company stars in this holiday revue that features irresistible Rockette-style numbers, your favorite holiday hits, and a special appearance by Santa Claus! This perfectly wonderful family favorite is sure to put the SPARKLE in your holidays!

Gingerbread House Workshops at the Thinkery

When: December 3–4: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
December 10–11: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
December 17–18: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
December 19–23: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
December 24: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am + 12 pm

Where: The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Avenue, Austin

These hour-long, educator-led workshops are appropriate for all ages and offer everything needed to build and decorate a charming gingerbread house. Each attendee must reserve a seat in the workshop and we recommend purchasing one Gingerbread House Kit for every 2-3 people. Cost: $5 Member Adult or Child Seat | $12 Non-Member Adult or Child Seat | $20 per Gingerbread House Kit (Every group must purchase at least one house).

SNOW QUEEN 2: Riddle of Eternity

When: December 3-17, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin

Gabby ventures into the virtual world of a video game called “Snow Queen 2: Riddle of Eternity” determined to reclaim her best friend Kyle who has fallen under its gaming spell. Austin composer/musician Laura Freeman returns with this all new musical for young audiences just in time for the holidays. This modern-day take on the classic Snow Queen fairy tale deals with themes of friendship, climate change, and gaming. And who knows? It might even snow again at Scottish Rite as it did last year!

Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker

When: December 3-23; shows at 2 & 7:30 p.m.

Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

The holiday season officially begins with the return of Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker, now celebrating its 54th year. Stephen Mills’ seasonal classic, based on a version of the 200-year-old story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, follows Clara’s wintry adventures, from her battle with rowdy rodents to her triumphs at the Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Enjoy enchanting sets and costumes, animated choreography, and a cast of hundreds, including Ballet Austin’s professional company of dancers and the accomplished students of the Ballet Austin Academy. Share this heart-warming tradition with your family and friends! Featuring live accompaniment by Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Conspirare Christmas Concert

When: Monday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.
AdvertisementWhere: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

Conspirare Christmas is a luxurious musical fabric of pop, folk, classical and season favorites, meticulously woven together by arranger/composer Craig Hella Johnson in collaboration with Conspirare singers and the Special Guest Artist. This year the program will feature the hugely popular West Coast singer/songwriter Matt Alber. Also with Thomas Burritt, percussion.

11th Annual Mueller Tower Lighting

When: Tuesday, December 6, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Mueller Control Tower, Berkman Drive

Join the Mueller community for the 11th Annual Tower Lighting Ceremony! 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. Free hot chocolate, hot cider 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. FREE!

Handel’s “Messiah”

When: Tuesday, December 6, 8 p.m.

Where: Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin

The Austin Symphony once again presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Chorus Austin for you and your family at Hyde Park Baptist Church. This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Let us begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing!

Of Mice and Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcrakcer

When: December 8-18, various times

Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

Celebrate the holidays with the whole family and join Tapestry Dance Company with this Austin-tatious rhythm tap and jazz spin on the beloved yuletide story, The Nutcracker. Of Mice and Music, which premiered to rave reviews and standing ovations last season, unites the company’s professional dancers with the rising stars of its pre-apprentice youth company Visions in Rhythm. This company and the children, youth and adults who study with its dance academy share a love for rhythm and movement that only Tapestry Dance Company can bring to the stage! Tickets start at $23.

2016 Holiday Film Series


A Christmas Story: Friday, December 9, 7 p.m.

Love Actually: Sunday, December 11, 5 p.m.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Tuesday, December 13, 7 p.m.

White Christmas: Thursday, December 15, 7 p.m.

Where: The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Avenue, Austin

This December, join us at the Paramount Theatre as we celebrate the holiday season with four heartwarming seasonal classics. Beloved films White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story will be featured on glorious 35mm, and modern favorite Love Actually will grace the Paramount’s brand-new screen in a shimmering digital presentation. So turn off the TV, skip the commercials and distractions, and bring all your friends and family to enjoy these wonderful movies in the festively decorated Paramount Theatre! General Admission: $12.

Ebeneezer’s Journey, A PRAIRIE CAROL: Charles Dickens’ Christmas Tale

When: Friday & Saturday, December 9-10 & 16-17, 7-11 p.m.

Where: Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin

A new interactive event based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, will recreate various scenes of Dickens’ classic tale in 1800s Texas on four nights in December. Bring the family to Pioneer Farms this holiday season for a most unusual event. Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history, not in England but in the Lone Star State. Then experience the classic Dickens tale like never before, as our actors take you into the story with an interactive theatrical presentation staged in the historic old buildings at Pioneer Farms.

Holiday Family Day

When: Saturday, December 10, 11a.m. – 3p.m.

Where: The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd., Austin

Celebrate the holidays at the Blanton. Explore Warhol By the Book and Xu Bing: Book from the Sky while engaging in fun conversation. Search for creative inspiration to make festive art in our WorkLAB Studio, and take your masterpiece or present them to loved ones as a gift. Free museum admissions for children ages 12 and under; program included with admission.

Austin Trail of Lights

When: December 10-23, 7-10 p.m.

Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road, Austin

Visit the Trail of Lights and take a spin under the Zilker Tree! Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. General admission is FREE from December 10-16, and only $3 for ages 12+ from December 17-23. Parking pass is $15.

Cherrywood Art Fair

When: December 10 & 11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where: Maplewood Elementary School, 381/2 St. & Maplewood

Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts ranging from jewelry to ceramics and more. There’s live music, an art corner for the kids, food and drinks and more! Visit LiveMom on Saturday, December 10, in the art corner where kids can decorate their own ornament! FREE!

Cookies for Caring and an Afternoon with Santa

When: Sunday, December 11, 1-3 p.m. for Cookies for Caring, 2:30-5:30 p.m. for Afternoon with Santa

Where: The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos Street, Austin

Create your own holiday cookie collection. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Austin American-Statesman’s Season for Caring charity drive with music provided by The Austin Carolers. Cost: $35 per cookie tin. Click here to register and purchase your tin! Starting at 2:30pm, meet Santa & capture photos at this family event while
enjoying cookie decorating, crafts and hors d’ourvres. Reservations required. To make a reservation, please call 512-439-1234. Cost: $30 per person plus tax.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

When: December 14-24, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin

Shop for Christmas presents at this annual event featuring products national and local award-winning artists, with live music and two full bars in a festive, lively atmosphere. Find an exciting variety of upscale art, handmade gifts, heirloom pieces and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list from over 160 carefully curated artists. Enjoy at least three bands per day on the Armadillo stage with set times for any lifestyle at 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Featured musicians include emerging stars, local legends and Grammy winners.

Omni Barton Creek Lights & Ice

December 16 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
December 17 – December 31, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.; 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
January 1, 2017, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, 8212 Barton Club Drive, Austin

Skate into the holiday spirit on our indoor ice rink overlooking the scenic Hill Country and enjoy a display of twinkling lights and festive activities for the whole family. With a portion of proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas, the Holiday Lights & Ice event features a 4,000 square foot ice rink and a special “Light the Night” kick-off production on Dec. 16 with a festive holiday laser light show. Local Austinites, resort guests and Barton Creek Country Club members are invited to skate on the resort’s indoor ice rink. Holiday-inspired treats and hot beverages will be served along with ornament and gingerbread cookie decorating in Santa’s Workshop. The grand opening performance begins Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at The Pavilion and the first skating session begins at 7:00 p.m. Cost: $30 adults, $25 children.

Wassail 2016: A Solstice Christmas Celebration

When: Sunday, December 18, 2:30 p.m. (a short version for children), 5:30 p.m. (children and families)

Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin

Join us for revelry and merriment for all the family with this fast-paced variety show celebrating the approach of Christmas and the Solstice. Magic and dance, poetry, drama and music (with a French flavor this year) will take over the stage of Austin’s oldest theater, raising spirits, and also raising funds for Kids for Kids, a worthy charity helping children in the Darfur region of the Sudan. (All artists and technicians donate their time for this event.)

Winter Solstice Lantern Parade

When: Wednesday, December 21, 6-7 p.m.

Where: Seaholm Power Plant, 214 West Avenue, Austin

Please join us for a celebration of light, music and community, on the longest night of the year! Let’s all make lanterns (flashlight-based, no flames, please!) and gather together out in nature, under the dark sky, to celebrate music and community and being alive. Won’t that be beautiful? Minor Mishap Marching Band will play music from 6-7 pm. The “parade” route is extremely short to make it easy for small children, and people of all ages, to attend! This is a free, family-friendly event. All are welcome. The beauty of this event depends on YOU! Make lanterns! It’s easy and fun! Please, flashlight and flameless lanterns only. No flames allowed, ok?

Tuba Christmas

When: Friday, December 23, noon

Where: Texas State Capitol Building, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin

2016 is the 43rd anniversary for TUBACHRISTMAS concerts/events, which are presented throughout the world. Watch a special tuba concert on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol Building.


Santa’s Arrival at Hill Country Galleria

When: Friday, November 25, 2016, 6 p.m.

Where: Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave

Children’s activities include face painting & flash tattoos, with dance performances by the Lake Travis High School Cavalettes and Red Rubies, and a holiday performance by Madison McWilliams starting at 7pm. Then, see Santa, watch fireworks and enjoy live music by Andy Grammer!


Breakfast with Santa at Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa

When: Sunday, November 27, 9 a.m. – noon

Where: Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd., Cedar Creek

Among the tempting offerings are breakfast fixings such as French toast with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, assorted fresh and seasonal fruits, muffins, assorted bagels, croissants, mini gingerbread men, butterscotch tarts, mini pumpkin cheesecake, and more. The Breakfast with Santa buffet is $32 for adults, $15 for ages 6-12 and complimentary for ages 5 and under. This event is open to guests as well as the public; reservations are required. For reservations, call 512-308-4950. After indulging in a wonderful breakfast spread, all will join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a meet-and-greet as well as photographs. While folks wait to visit with jolly old St. Nick, they can enjoy holiday-themed activities and arts and crafts, a jump house and much more!



The North Pole Flyer

When: Saturday & Sunday, November 26 – December 18, 2016, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Where: 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park

Holiday joy is in store on the North Pole Flyer train ride, a 2.5 hour excursion (no layover) on a real train featuring a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa and a locally baked holiday cookie. Each car is decorated for the season where passengers enjoy a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book-our railroad’s own Christmas Story! Our professional Santa will spend time in each car to “check your list twice”, and pose for photographs before handing out a gift to each child to remember this special ride! Tickets start at $38.

Cedar Park’s Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop

When: Friday, December 9, 6:30-9 p.m.

Where: Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park

Enjoy the lighting of the tree, live music, carriage rides, games & prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts & crafts projects. Admission is FREE!


36th Annual Georgetown Christmas Stroll

When: Friday (5-9 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.), December 2-3, 2016

Where: Downtown Georgetown

The Magic of the Stroll is real and will bring memories on this 36th 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, Santa in the Christmas tree farm waiting to hear from both naughty & nice. It’s the place to journey back in time as you wonder through Bethlehem Village. You can also find the Grinch and his characters in Whoo-Village. FREE!


Lights Spectacular + Bling Bar

When: Friday and Saturday, November 25 & 26

Where: Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City

Join us at the Science Mill to check out our own light-spectacular exhibits, including the Fractalarium, the Cell Phone Disco, the Silo of McKays and much more. Make your own LED jewelry, presents for parents or teachers, White Elephant gifts or more at our LED Bling Bar. Enjoy full access to the museum’s hands-on exhibits, build a personalized avatar, see a 3D science film and more. The cost of this optional activity is $5 per person (materials fee for two gifts) plus regular admission fees.


Lakeway’s Lights On! – A Holiday Celebration

When: Friday, December 2, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Lakeway City Hall, 1102 Lohman’s Crossing Road

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 (for purchase) and complimentary marshmallow roasting! 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. Parking is available at the Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek. The Trail of Lights may be accessed by the stairway at the bottom of the parking lot. Parking is also available at Village Plaza, 100 Lakeway Drive (near Café Lago). Take the walkway between the buildings. Bring non-perishable food items to benefit Lake Travis Crisis Ministries.


Pfestival of Lights & Christmas Parade (Pflugerville)

When: Saturday, December 3, 5-8 p.m.

Where: Railroad Avenue to Main Street, downtown Pflugerville

Don’t miss this annual parade with lighted floats, live music, the lighting of the trees and more. FREE!


4th Annual Holiday Model Train Show (Round Rock)

When: November 25, 2016 – January 6, 2017

Where: ArtSpace, 231 East Main Suite 160, Round Rock

Bring the kids to marvel at the miniature trains riding through villages, across the countryside and more at this FREE show.

Round Rock’s Rock ‘N Lights

Nov. 28-Dec. 15: Sunday-Thursday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec. 16-24: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m
Dec. 25-26: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m

Where: The entrance to Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour is located at Old Settlers Park. Enter the park at the NORTH entrance off Old Settlers Boulevard. Entrance address is 4111 E. Old Settlers Blvd. Participants will exit at Hwy. 79 into Christmas Towne.

Rock’N Lights is a drive-through light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park. With 2 million lights, the 1.5-mile path is the must-see event of the season! After the light show, visit Christmas Towne at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot. Christmas Towne features light displays, full-scale carnival rides, light maze, pedal go kart rides, holiday food, entertainment and more. Christmas Towne will be open the following days: Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, from 6. p.m. to 15 minutes after the last car exits Rock’n Lights

Christmas Dreams and Snowy Things

When: Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Chasco Family YMCA, 1812 N. Mays Street, Round Rock

This FREE event will feature real snow activities, giant slides, train rides, interactive holiday booths, a Blue Santa donation station, live music, inflatables, food and drinks and an appearance by Santa!

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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