Well folks, as it does every year the Christmas season has arrived in our lovely Texas community here in Austin. While it may not be much of a ‘winter wonderland’ in the truest sense of the term, the lack of cold, snow, or even reindeers doesn’t mean that we’re any less enthusiastic about the holiday than more wintery locales to the north of this great country of ours.
There’s a whole lot going in the way of Austin holiday events, and we’re happy to recommend a number of them to those of you who are as full of Christmas cheer and love to bask in it with friends, family, and that special someone in your life.
So without further adieu, let’s get right to discussing what’s going on in Austin during the holidays. There’s plenty of things to do!
1. Zilker Trail of Lights
Zilker Park is a great spot to visit any time of the year, but it’s never as colorful as it is come December each year. The festivities start with the lighting of the 155 foot tall Zilker tree on December 9th. The lighting is accompanied by food, live music, and an invitation to one and all to come down and enjoy yourself to the max!
Following that, for the next two weeks the Zilker Trail of Lights will be open to visitors and feature over 36 stunning, custom displays lighting up the night. If you’ve been before, you’ll know that it’s nearly impossible not to be extra festive when you’re surrounded by all the lights and fellow Austin residents who are just as impressed as you are. To learn more, cruise on over to: austintrailoflights.org
When: December 9 - 23
Where: Zilker Park
2. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
One of the most renowned Austin holiday events is the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at the Palmer Events Center. It runs for 10 days between the 14th and Christmas eve, and it’s both an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. It’s great for those of you who prefer truly unique, distinctive, and locally-produced products as gifts and there’s also plenty in the way of food, drink, and treats.
Many local artists and artisans will be set up with their wares, and a whole host of scheduled live music performances and a positively Xmas vibe in the air ensures a good time will be had by all! For more info, check out: armadillobazaar.com
When: December 17 - 24
Where: Palmer Events Center
3. Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Same goes for the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, showcasing the best Austin-based artists and ones from nearby communities as well. Find the work of more than 200 artists here, covering a wide variety of imaginative and beautiful gifts: paintings, photography, prints, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, accessories, glassworks, ceramics, and more. It runs from Black Friday to Christmas Eve every year at 6100 Airport Blvd. To learn more, check out: bluegenieartbazaar.com
When: November 24 - December 24, Hours: 10am - 10pm (10am - 6pm on Dec. 24)
Where: 6100 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX
4. Cut Your Own Christmas Tree at Real Texas Christmas Trees
Every living room needs a Christmas Tree, the same way every mantle above the fireplace should have stockings hanging from it. Surely you agree! There’s no experience that’s as authentically Christmas as cutting your own Christmas tree and taking it home. You can do that right here in Austin at Real Texas Christmas Trees. This wonderful opportunity is made possible by the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association, and anyone can stop by a location and choose their tree, cut it down, and take it home before decorating it for the holiday season.
5. Ice Skating on The Roof of Whole Foods Market
Just because the temperature never dips below zero here in Austin doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ice skating! Head on down to Whole Foods Market at 525 N Lamar Blvd. and bring your own skates or rent them on site. Admission is $10, including skate rentals if needed, and hours are 11am to 9pm daily until January 11, 2018. Hockey sticks and pucks are not permitted, but they’ll be happy to see as many Dallas Stars jerseys as possible!
When: Until January 11, 2018, Hours: 11am - 9pm
When: Whole Foods Market, 525 N Lamar Blvd
6. A Christmas Carol at Zachary Scott Theatre & Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker
Those of you who love the pageantry and classic spirit of Christmas should attend one or all of these 2 theatrical performances that are such an integral part of Austin in the holidays and the local arts scene in particular.
ZACH’s inspired adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a very fresh and charming take on the classic, with new songs and reimagined carols paired with the classic characters and storyline to create a unique experience that you and your family will surely enjoy. Find ticket at: zachtheatre.org.
When: November 22 - December 31
Where:Zachary Scott Theatre
Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker is the longest-running production of the seasonal classic here in Texas. Come and enjoy this take on this timeless tale, featuring a cast of hundreds of dancers that includes the charming and talented students from the prestigious Ballet Austin Academy. They deliver a spirited and enchanting performance every time, so come down to the ZACH theatre and be sure to take this one in as well! Find tickets at: balletaustin.org.
When: December 3 - 23
Where: The Long Center
Best of the Holiday Season to you all, and do be sure to get out there and enjoy it to the max!