Austin is a great place to celebrate the holidays. There’s no reason to be a scrooge when there are so many Austin events and festivities to take apart of during the month of December. Below are just a few of the many ATX holiday festivities happening this month:
Zilker Trial of Lights – Dec. 1-31
The Trail of Lights is one of Austin’s most anticipated events and it is now back this year with an even longer run! Millions of holiday lights and displays line the trail, creating a fun experience for the whole family. Each night will feature performances from local dance companies, bands, and singers. And new this year, purchase special “ZIP” passes online to get in a full 45 minutes earlier than everyone else.
The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs—totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians. Long story short, it’s A LOT of lights.
It all started back on December 10, 1967, when the first tree was lit by Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Emma Long. So the tradition was set, and for many years to follow this honor has been awarded to the young winner of a city-wide tree coloring contest.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – Dec. 17-24
If you’re looking for hot music, fine art, and cold beer, make the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place to be this season. The show is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar.
On exhibit will be everything from statement-making collectible pieces to modestly priced stocking stuffers. While local artists predominate, there are a select few carefully chosen from around the country.
The Armadillo stage will be showcasing some of Austin’s most popular musical talent, with live, intimate performances throughout the afternoon and evening. 25 bands will perfrom over the eight-day show—ranging from new and emerging stars to local legends.
The Bazaar will be open from 11am to 11pm daily. Food and drinks will be served from open to close.
Location: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas 78704. Parking is available in the Palmer Events Center/Long Center garage. Admission is $7 for a single day pass; kids 12 and under free.
Austin’s New Year – Dec. 31
Austin’s New Year (ANY) is an annual free event at Auditorium Shores(South 1st Street & Riverside Drive) where Austin families can come together to welcome in the New Year! ANY is an alcohol-free celebration showcasing Austin’s diverse and talented creative community through art, films, and live music.
Food and Drink: Enjoy a delightful assortment of delicious food from Austin eateries – Chi’Lantro Korean BBQ, Boomerang’s Veggie and Meat Pies, Thomas’s Gourmet Hot Dogs, Hero’s Gyros, Marco’s Tacos, Tiff’s Treats, & more!
Main Stage (5:00-10:00 p.m.): Great music for all ages from 5 Austin bands – Performances by Groundwork Music Orchestra, Peterson Brothers, Gina Chavez, and Official State Musician of Texas Sara Hickman.
Parks and Recreation Department Performing Arts Stage (5:00-10:00 p.m.): Culturally-diverse music and dance performances from Austin’s best – Performances by April Rain, Shaili Mehta, The Flying Balalaika Brothers, Clickety Cloggers, Wino Vino, Irish Dance Center, 1001 Nights Orchestra, & a special performance by Kupira Marimba.
Austin Film Buffet (6:00-9:00 p.m.): Short selections from Austin film organizations, including Faces of Austin, Cine Las Americas, Austin Jewish Film Festival, Capital City Black Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and SXSW.
Fun for ANYone (5:00-10:00 p.m.): Interactive art installations, performances, and creative activities throughout the night, from Sky Candy, Austin Bike Zoo, & more!
The night will end with a wonderful and spectacular fireworks finale at 10 p.m.
So if you’re going to be in Austin this holiday season, you should definitely try to make it to one of these great local events. Grab a coat, and some hot chocolate and you’re set to experience what the Austin holidays have to offer.