Austin Christmas Guide 2016

Here is a guide I made of Austin happenings during the holidays. If you are coming into Austin around Christmas, I hope this guide helps you out. Austin has a good amount of stuff to do during the holidays. I recommend the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park and the Blue Genie Art Bazaar the most. Some of the more unique Christmas events in Austin are the Fun Run through the Trail of Lights, the Zilker "tree" and ice skating on Whole Foods roof. (Ice skating? It's like 70 degrees?) I hope you find some good events to do in Austin during the holidays. Email me if you'd like to add anything to the list of Austin Christmas events, festivals and other activities.

Trail of Lights


The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park (near downtown) is a beautiful, festive mile walk through dazzling light displays. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and gather the whole family for a night of lights and fun for all ages!

Zilker Tree Lighting


When the Zilker Tree bursts to life against the Austin night sky, it's hard to not feel the Christmas spirit! This awe-inspiring tree consists of over 3,300 Christmas lights and stands more than 150 tall. What a brilliant way to ring in the season! The tree-lighting ceremony is open to the public.

Austin-Area Christmas Lights and Events

See my guide to Austin area Christmas and Holiday lights and lightings!  

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll


Enjoy carols, live entertainment, and free food as you meander down Austin's Congress Avenue where the galleries, stores, and restaurants spill into the street in celebration. Afterward, leave a much-appreciated donation for the Capitol Area Food Bank under the glowing Capitol Tree.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar


Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a shopping experience like no other in Austin! Enjoy great live music, aisles spaced wide for dancing, and the finest work of more than 100 artists, craftsmen, and merchants who bring their best to this holiday spectacular each season. You won't want to miss this beloved Austin tradition!

Austin Events Wall Calendar 2016


Operation Blue Santa


Join Austin's Operation Blue Santa and the Austin Police Department in spreading Christmas cheer to thousands of Austin children in need by donating a new, unwrapped toy for a child ages 12 and under. Collection sites are located throughout the Austin area.

Junior League's A Christmas Affair


A Christmas Affair brings together more than 200 national merchants and over 30,000 holiday shoppers for one unforgettable holiday event. Shoppers may also enjoy fine dining Noel de Paris-style in the upstairs tearoom. One- or two-day passes are available.

Cherrywood Art Fair


The Cherrywood Art Fair has exploded onto the Austin art scene. Highly regarded for its selection and variety of artists, the show features all original art of phenomenal quality in a family-friendly atmosphere. Enjoy live Austin music, great food, and special art projects just for the kids at this acclaimed event!

Real Texas Christmas Trees


Start a new holiday tradition with a live Texas Christmas tree! Skip the tree lots and bring the whole family to an Austin-area tree farm instead. Create warm memories by selecting and cutting your own tree, then enjoy the sights and sounds of the farm during the holiday season.

Ice Skating on Whole Foods Roof


Hit the roof for a unique holiday skating event! Skating on the Plaza takes place on the roof of the Whole Foods Market on South Lamar. Lots of fun for the whole family! Admission includes skate rental.

Trail of Lights Fun Run


Check out the Trail of Lights before it opens to the general public during this family-friendly 2-mile run. It starts at the Zilker Tree and meanders through the Trail of Lights. Costumes are highly encouraged.

Gift Local!

Santa's Ranch


Enjoy a sensational light show from the comfort of your car at Santa's Ranch. One hundred displays and animations, comprised of more than one million lights, fill the mile-long route. Excitement and fun for the whole family for one great price!

Blue Genie Art Bazaar


The spectacular Blue Genie Art Bazaar showcases more than 100 of the best artists from Austin and the surrounding region. This free event offers incredible indoor shopping throughout much of December, with the best in art, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, and more. Great Christmas fun for the whole family!

German Christmas Market


The German Christmas Market is a special holiday destination you won't want to miss! Traditional German Christmas music fills the air, while authentic German wares, handcrafted in the Erzgebirge region of Germany, fill the tables. Kids will love a visit with St. Nikolaus himself! An extraordinary shopping experience!

Wildflower Center's Wild Ideas


The Wildflower Center offers eco-friendly shopping opportunities and works from some of the area's premier artists at this holiday shopping event. Enjoy free admission and special discounts on paintings, jewelry, apparel, wood products, and more.

Violet Crown Arts Festival


The Violet Crown Arts Festival includes more than 50 artists and craftsmen with original work on display. Pick up a one-of-a-kind gift, or enjoy the live music and incredible food at this holiday event destination. Great fun and entertainment for the whole family!

See more events on the Austin 2016 Calendar here...