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Austin Holiday Roundup
By Annie Doyle
The holidays might not quite be here yet, but that doesn’t mean that the festivities haven’t already begun in ATX. From listening to classic holiday jingles with a cup of hot cocoa to light shows you thought only dreams were made of, discover how our city is spreading cheer this December.
When: December 9, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Horseshoe Bay Resort, 200 Hi Cir N
Walk through Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Winter Wonderland and revel in the Laser Light Show, acapella music, photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more. Be sure to check the event calendar for pricing and updates for the holiday season.
When: December 9, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 2ND Street District
If you’re in the 2ND Street District on December 9, you might just catch sight of Santa! For one day only, Santa will be stopping by some of his favorite local shops and posing for pictures along the way. Click here for the schedule.
When: December 10, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: Caswell House, 1404 West Ave.
Bring the kids out to the historic Caswell House on December 10 for Milk and Cookies with Santa, a part of the annual Christmas at the Caswell House festivities. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be taking pictures with the little ones as they enjoy a sing-a-long, holiday crafts, and milk and cookies during storytime.
When: December 10
Where: The Domain
Prepare for those holiday feasts with the annual Austin Jingle Bell 5K, benefitting nonprofit Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Kicking-off with a Kids’ Fun Run, there will be plenty of holiday spirit as festively-dressed runners vie for the bronze, silver, and gold medal. The first 1,000 to register will receive the newly designed official event shirt.
When: December 10 & 17, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Lady Bird Lake, 208 Barton Springs Rd.
Take a ride on this brunch-time party cruise on Lady Bird Lake as you enjoy music, food, speciality cocktails, and holiday activities. Show off your ugliest sweater for the holiday costume contest while enjoying the Spiked Cider Bar, local food favorites, and much more. The event is for ages 21+ only. Informations and tickets available here.
When: December 10 – 17
Where: Hotel Ella, 1900 Rio Grande St.
Santa is coming to Hotel Ella! This holiday-filled event is a perfect stop for families, with festive kids crafts and pictures with the jolly man himself. The hotel will also be collecting toy donations for Caritas of Austin, a nonprofit aiming to prevent and end homelessness. Call 512-496-1800 to make your brunch reservations!
When: December 16, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Yard Bar, 6700 Burnet Rd.
Don’t let the pups miss out on all the holiday fun! On December 16, Yard Bar will be hosting a number of ugly sweater contests for humans and dogs alike, all benefitting Pug Rescue of Austin. Adoptable pugs will be on location donning adorable sweaters while patrons duke it out for grand prizes.
When: December 2 – 23
Where: Domain NORTHSIDE
The Domain NORTHSIDE has a lot in store for this holiday season. From Christmas carols echoing through Rock Rose to carriage rides bustling down the boulevard, it’s clear that Domain NORTHSIDE is a must for your holiday destination plans. The full calendar is available here.
When: December 9 – 23, 7 – 10 p.m.
Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Rd.
Celebrate the holidays in the heart of Austin with this annual city tradition. Enjoy a light show like no other along with nightly entertainment, Austin food truck favorites, and holiday activities for all. Before heading over to the Trail of Lights, don’t forget to bring a can of food to help the organization reach their goal of collecting 25,000 meals for the Central Texas Food Bank. It’s the season of giving, after all! General admission is free on select nights.
When: December 2 – 23
Where: Various Locations
If music is one of your favorite things about the holidays, we have the perfect event for you! For the entire month of December, the Austin Symphony is bringing a series of holiday concerts all over Austin. Sit back with a glass of cheer as beloved seasonal jingles fill the air. Click here to find the next show near you!
When: December 14 – 24, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.
Make your holiday shopping entertaining and enjoyable with this art and musical festival that features an intimate stage, two full bars and, of course, some mouthwatering bites. This legendary Texas cultural event displays award-winning artists of local and national recognition. Time to get your holiday shopping on!
When: November 24 – December 24
Where: Blue Genie Art Bazaar, 6100 Airport Blvd.
Get into the giving spirit by supporting local artists and knocking out your holiday shopping all in one place. The annual Blue Genie Art Bazaar showcases unique work from over 200 artists and is sure to have a little something for everyone.
When: November 22 – December 31
Where: ZACH Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin’s newest and most rockin’ holiday tradition is here! Every year, ZACH Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” features new songs and reinvented carols to create a musical jam that gets everyone on their feet dancing. Tickets for this unforgettable experience available here. Photo by Kirk Tuck.
When: November 29 – January 1, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Where: Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
Become immersed in Mozart’s interactive light show experience, where you’ll be surrounded by more than one million LED lights while sipping coffee and hot chocolate with friends and family. Some of the beautiful designs feature iconic Austin themes, like the State Capital and a dozen glowing guitars. Be sure to bring your camera!
When: November 24 – January 15
Where: Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.
Whole Foods once again brings the winter fun with their annual ice skating rink on the rooftop plaza. Show off your moves on the ice to holiday beats before warming up with a hot chocolate. Check online for the rink’s hours of operation! $10 per person including skate rental.