Austin is a fun and energetic city. There is always something to do and see. Whether it be art, music or any of the many outdoor activities and local scenery. Christmas and this year specifically is no different. Year after year Austin shows up in all it’s beautiful glory. The way we view the city and it’s displays are on the safer side, but what we choose to do and how we celebrate will be just as exciting and fun!! I am sharing some tried and true activities and some that may be different. If you have any to share that are not included please comment and I will share it with everyone and add it to the list for years to come. Happy Holidays! Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Weird!!
Austin Light Displays
Domain NORTHSIDE will be covered in lights for the holidays including a 27’ fully animated Christmas tree displayed next to The Lawn. In addition, guests are invited to get in the holiday spirit by participating in the socially-distanced and safe Holiday Walk-Thru Photo Experience, featuring decorative installations located at various spots around the property.
The annual Downtown Holiday Stroll is returning for its 26th year! Instead of just one night, this year’s Stroll will be a month-long, COVID-conscious celebration with free activities and holiday happenings, reimagined to make it fun and easy for the whole family to explore downtown while staying safe.
I couldn’t leave off our quintessential holiday activity that Austin does oh so well! The Zilker tree so bold and vibrant is also available to view, from your car and online. There is a perimeter around the tree to prevent gathering underneath. If you’d prefer to stay away from the traffic and look at the tree and all its glory from home you can do so here and while listening to Austin Civic Wind Ensemble. The Trail of Lights is also spicing things up a bit this year and taking it back to their roots and offering as a drive through. You can expect beautiful lights and displays just from a safe distance and safe space. There are 2 different ticket options for this Austin experience as well.
In years past COTA has had a Winter Wonderland for you to walk and enjoy. This year they have made it just as magical, but you can drive through. Tickets start at $35 per vehicle. You can enjoy this display until 1/3/2021.
Mozart’s always has a beautiful and interactive Christmas display. To enjoy their display this year be sure to make a reservation so you can watch from a not so crowded table of your very own.
Austin Motel Presents: Winter Wanderland (Photo from Austintexas.org)
Go wander through their courtyard and enjoy their beautiful lights and holiday displays. You can enjoy seasonal beverages & snacks as well. This event is free, but be sure to reserve your spot so you can be safe and socially distanced.
Experience the calm of winter at the Center with the shimmer of thousands of luminarias lighting the way. This year, for the first time ever, stroll through our naturally beautiful Texas Arboretum among the illuminated oaks and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia. Tickets are on sale direct from their website. Be sure to check their available dates and get your tickets before heading out there.
If getting pictures with Santa is a beloved family tradition during the holidays fear not, I’ve got some options for you! Reservations are required so be sure to do that here. In addition to reservations, Santa and his elves will all be wearing masks as well.
– Lakeline Mall Nov 3 thru Dec 24
– Barton Creek Mall Nov 3 thru Dec 24
– The Domain Nov 3 thru Dec 24
– Round Rock Premium Outlets Nov 3 thru Dec 24
Residential Light Displays
This extensive and fun light display is located South West of Austin off of HWY 290. The display is free, but they ask you make a donation to Make-A-Wish when you enter or online by clicking the link above. Their display shines bright from 11/21/2020-1/3/2021. It does close when it rains. Be sure to park when you arrive as the display is a park & walk event.
*Photo from Kids Out & About Austin
If you are North or headed that way for an evening check out this list of light displays for your viewing pleasure.