Holiday Light Displays In And Around Austin
One of my favorite holiday traditions is piling the kids in the car and heading out to look at Christmas lights. We’ve had some fruitless nights with aimless wandering, and we’ve had some amazing successes. However, it is SO much easier to map out your route in advance and hit a handful of amazing displays, or to go to a drive through Christmas park or festival. We’ve rounded up the best light displays in and around Austin for 2018, so get some hot cocoa to go and hop in the car! You’ve got some lights to see!
*Be sure to check websites first to make sure hours haven’t changed.
Trails, neighborhood events, festivals, and businesses in Austin
2100 Barton Trail Road, Austin TX
The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park runs each year beginning December 10th and going through the 23rd. Guests are invited to walk the trail beginning at 7 pm and lasting until 10pm. General Admission is FREE for 7 out of the 14 nights at the Austin Trail of Lights. Refer to the calendar to see which nights offer free entry and which nights carry a $3 entry fee for attendees 12 and over. For extra convenience, you can purchase a Platinum or ZIP pass. There are limited parking passes available for $15, or you can take a shuttle.
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617
This is the second year for the Winter Wonderland, which includes a skating rink, a human snow globe, a petting zoo, carnival (and camel!) rides, food, movies, Santa’s Workshop, and much more. Winter Wonderland will be open nightly from December 13th to 30th, from 6-11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 6-10 pm on Sundays through Thursdays. Tickets are $16 for admission, ages 6 and up. There is complimentary parking with shuttle service, or upgraded parking is available for $10.
W 12th Austin, TX 78703
The Clarksville Historic District, just west of downtown, is full of holiday wonder this time of year. It sports a mix of Christmas decorations and old-timey shops and homes. The home of longtime resident decorator Willis Littlefield is a must-see.
11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX 78758
Each year the Domain, an upscale mixed-use outdoor shopping center, showcases a Christmas lighting tree show and provides a live musical accompaniment and Santa Claus. The 40-foot tree boasts over 200,000 lights, 400 ornaments, and a 5-foot tall star on the top of the tree. You can take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, dance in synchronization to holiday music, enjoy the strolling carolers, and catch daily light shows that take place at 6,7, and 8 pm between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillards.
1600 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703
Donn’s Depot is a piano bar on West 5th street which offers interior Christmas lights throughout the entire year! Donn’s has a legendary seasonal (limited time) drink menu, you can listen to world-class musicians singing your holiday favorites live every night, and get all warm and fuzzy for the holidays! So get ready for hundreds of snowflakes, thousands of lights, and seasonal cocktails galore.
604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
The historic, ornate downtown hotel displays a beautiful tree and offers Christmas events and holiday music throughout the evenings. Join them for holiday teas, a bake sale, a pop up champagne bar, or listen to a string trio from The Arundel Ensemble perform every Thursday from November 29-December 20, from 5-7 pm.
2207 Justin Ln, Austin, TX 78757
It’s Christmas all year round at Lala’s Little Nugget. Lala’s displays holiday decorations all year, and hosts several parties. You can even hold a work party or event there! This year Lala’s will also have a vintage Christmas tree painting day. Every Saturday and Sunday, they open at 11 am for bloody mary’s and mimosas. This year’s Christmas Bash will be December 20, from 6pm-2 am, and will feature an Ugly Sweater contest and white elephant gift exchange.
3825 Lake Austin Blvd. Austin, TX
At the top of the hour each night, Mozart’s displays over one million Christmas Lights set to music on their deck. The shows start at 6 pm and goes until midnight. The event is free, and there is ample parking. Mozart’s is a hugely popular tradition with Austinites, so you may want to go on a weeknight instead of the weekend.
1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX
The lawn of the Capitol offers a Music & Light show every half hour featuring local musicians from now until January 6th, and a huge tree that can’t be missed.
W 37th St, Austin, TX
Residents of West 37th Street between Guadalupe Street and Home Lane began creating unique and weird light displays in the mid-1980s. Over time, festive residents left the area and the tradition faltered. This year, the neighborhood has banded together to bring back the displays, bigger and better than ever. It’s best to walk as cars get very clogged, and a lot of the cooler elements (stuffed animal petting zoo?!) are best appreciated up close.
2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
While it’s located close to the Austin Trail of Lights, the Zilker Park Holiday Tree—the only one in the entire United States made from decorating a moon tower—is not officially part of that event. The 2018 Zilker Tree lighting took place November 25, and the tree will be on display every night from 6 p.m. to midnight until the end of the year.
Trails, neighborhood events, festivals, and businesses around Austin
Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow St. Bastrop, Texas
The River of Lights is a free half-mile walking trail in Fisherman’s Park and is illuminated each night from 6PM -9PM from Nov 23 – Dec 31.
880 Main Street, Buda, Texas
This free walking trail of lights is located in the historic Stagecoach Park in Buda. It is open on December 14-16,and 21-23 from 6 pm -10 pm nightly. Hot cocoa will be available and Santa will be there. Free parking & shuttle at Cabela’s.
875 Quest Pkwy, Cedar Park, TX 78613
Come check out the Heritage Park Neighborhood to see the largest Live Oak Tree in Cedar Park lit with over 65,000 lights! The tree stays lit through the holidays, and the whole neighborhood is festive and bright.
1102 Lohmans Crossing, Lakeway, Texas
From Dec 6 – Jan 1, the City of Lakeway invites you to view their annual free Trail of Lights from 6:30 pm – midnight.
1038 Private Road 2191, Giddings, TX 78942
This amazing Christian based Christmas display features several walking light trails, an indoor light show with a multi-media telling of the Christmas Story, a hayride, bounce houses, birthday party for Jesus, refreshments and more. Your $9 general admission will include access to many free activities, with the option to upgrade or pay individually for other activities. You can also upgrade to the $30 Activity Package to get 10 Lights Credits, a hot meal in the dining hall, and a s’mores kit with admission. Hours are 5:30-10 pm, Dec. 14-15, Dec. 20-23, and Dec. 26- 29.
100 East Main Street Johnson City, Texas
Johnson City’s Lights Spectacular is worth the drive to see one of the largest lights displays in Texas. The Blanco County Courthouse is a huge attraction to see. The display features more than a million lights across three city blocks, and is free. Horse drawn carriage rides and tractor pulled hayrides are available, as well as various food and gift options.
4111 E Old Settlers Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665
Christmas Towne is an event during December at the Old Settlers Association and Dell Diamond parking lot. Admission is free, and Christmas Towne features amazing light displays including a walking tunnel of lights, full-scale carnival rides, holiday refreshments for purchase and more. Tickets available for purchase to ride carnival rides. Check website for hours.
9561 I-35 North, New Braunfels, TX 78130
Santa’s Ranch is a drive-thru Christmas Light Park located just 30 minutes south of Austin on I-35. With over 1 million lights a 50’ tall Christmas tree, and 100 displays & animations, the one mile drive thru park can’t be missed! Daily 6 pm – 10 pm (11 pm on Fri & Sat) til Jan 2 ($24 per car).
305 Buena Vista Dr, Marble Falls, TX 78654
Walkway of Lights is a free walk thru trail in Lakeside Park. It boasts over two million lights, 400 beautiful sculptures, weekend photos with Santa, concessions (cash only!) and more. While admission is always free, donations are much appreciated! Don’t forget, concessions and Santa photos are fundraisers for local non-profit organizations.
Private family homes
1329 Anna Court Dr, Cedar Park, TX
This neighborhood gets together for a fantastic light display that also serves as a Blue Santa drop-off location. The best way to experience the cul de sac is to walk through it. Santa will be visiting on the weekends. Daily 5-10 pm.
Chinati Court, Cedar Park, Texas
This cul-de-sac lights up each night and is a collection for cash & toy donations for Brown Santa. Santa visits are on Friday and Saturday evenings, weekends offer Santa visits, a fire, and hot cocoa. They accept new, unwrapped toys for children of Williamson County.
30 Meandering Way, Round Rock, Texas
A beautiful home light display running nightly.
16412 Rockgate Dr., Austin, TX
A Frozen themed light show that runs from 5:30-9:45 weekly, with the show extended to 10:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
400 Liscio Cove Georgetown , Texas 78628
40,000 synchronized lights go on each evening, with Santa visits on December 15th and 21st. The Harlien family is accepting donations for the Make a Wish Foundation. Lights are on 6 -10 pm weekdays and 6 – 11 pm weekends.
10505 Twilight Vista, Austin, TX 78736
The Maywald Christmas Display has about 120,000 lights, large wooden structures, and many vintage decorations. The display is on 2.5 acres of land and the Maywald Family invites you to come and park in their parking lot and walk through their holiday lights display for free. They are accepting donations for Make-A-Wish to grant children’s wishes. The display runs every night from 6-10 pm.
2410 Sharon Drive Cedar Park, TX
This home was featured on ABC’s ‘Great Christmas Light Fight’. They are collecting canned goods for the Cedar Park Area Food Bank.
107 Shady Oak Drive Georgetown, TX
This home has a light show with 25,000 lights synced to 95.3 FM. Light show from 5:45-11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 5:45-10 pm Sunday through Thursday.
2441 Candle Ridge Trail, Georgetown, TX 78626
The Spindler Family light show runs from 6pm to 10pm Monday through Thursday, and 6pm to 11pm Friday through Sunday. As you drive by tune your car radio to 88.5 FM to listen and enjoy the show. They are accepting unwrapped toys for Brown Santa.
2305 Arroyo Grande, Leander
The Toungate Family has over 50,000 lights that twinkle to over 14 different songs – including one for the Troops! They also feature an 18-foot tree that lights up to the music. Visitors can tune their radios to 88.3 to listen to accompanying music. Free. 6-10 p.m. (weekdays), 6-11 p.m. (weekends).