Austin is no stranger to bustling nightlife. And this time of year, it’s the soft shine of twinkling Christmas lights that really steals the show. From the local neighborhoods to the decked-out storefronts and massive Christmas trees, these displays help celebrate the holiday season like nothing else. Here are the 10 light displays around Austin you won’t want to miss this year:
1. Downtown Holiday Stroll
For anyone who loves the idea of caroling, now’s your chance for a holiday sing-a-long with the entire city of Austin. This weekend event takes place in the heart of downtown just outside of the iconic capital building. The Holiday Stroll also features the Christmas Tree Lighting, an event you won’t want to miss.
Event details: December 3rd at 1100 Congress Ave.
2. The Driskill Hotel Tree
You'll find this magnificent Christmas tree in the lobby of the Driskill, Austin's grand hotel. The tree lighting takes place early in December, and you'll want to keep your eyes out for other holiday events happening here throughout the season.
Event details: December 6th at 604 Brazos St.
3. Lake Austin's Boat Trail of Lights
Beautiful all year-round, Lake Austin truly transforms during the holiday season. During a special event known as Lake Austin’s Boat Trail, residents of Lake Austin come together with their decorated boats to create nothing short of a spectacle. Whether you’re participating in the actual boat decorating or simply watching from afar, the event will make for an enchanting evening.
Details: December 17th at the 360 Bridge.
4. 37th Street
Located in Hyde Park, 37th Street has become rather famous for its incredible display of Christmas lights. If you’ve yet to experience Austin’s “weirdness” in the best possible way, this is a great place to start. Tacky light displays, props, and holiday scenes make for one of the best pedestrian walks in town.
5. Austin Trail of Lights
Anyone who’s been in the Austin area for the past few years has come to know and love the Austin Trail of Lights. Zilker Park opens from 6:00 - 10:00 PM every evening to allow visitors to walk through this winter wonderland. And the best part? The event is free! If you can’t walk, be prepared to pay $10 cash for parking.
6. Cedar Park
Another great pedestrian attraction, Cedar Park dons hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights each holiday season. Anna Park, which is the nearby neighborhood cul-de-sac, groups together each year to put on this magnificent display that ends up benefiting the whole city.
7. The Domain
Who needs the Rockefeller Christmas Tree when we've got one right here in Austin? The Domain's Christmas display is equally impressive and also features Santa Claus himself, at the ready for a photo op.
Address: 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX 78758.
8. Lala's Christmas Bar
Just as the slogan says, "it's always Christmas at Lala's!" This year-round Christmas themed bar is all the more fitting this time of year. From the rooftop reindeer to the indoor lights, Lala's is an off-the-beaten-track spot that'll put you in the spirit.
Address: 2207 Justin Ln.
9. Rock N' Lights Holiday Light Tour
For one of the biggest volumes of Christmas lights in town, be sure to check out the Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour. No less than 2 million lights will dazzle a 1.5-mile driving path. Get a group of family and friends together for this most memorable night out.
Details: the entrance can be found at Old Settlers Park from now until December 26th.
Have you been to any of these events or spectacles in Austin? Did any of your favorites miss the list? We’d love to hear from you! For more holiday celebration, be sure to check out the
12 Best Christmas Light Displays in Texas.