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11 Austin Holiday Traditions You Can't Miss

11 Austin Holiday Traditions You Can't Miss

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and the holiday season is in full swing! If you're staying home for the holidays this year, add a few of these Austin traditions you can't miss to your to-do list. There's nothing like a magical night spent at Trail of Lights or the Mozart's Light Show sipping hot chocolate with loved ones, or attending Ballet Austin's The Nutcracker at The Long Center.

A Christmas Affair: Haute Holiday

November 15 - 19 (Times Vary)

Palmer Events Center | 900 Barton Springs Rd

Hosted by the Junior League of Austin, A Christmas Affair is celebrating its 42nd year in 2017! The four-day holiday market kicks off the holiday season with a dash of glamour. Peruse the wares of 200 merchants from across the country and do some guilt-free Christmas shopping at A Christmas Affair: Haute Holiday! Funds are donated to Coats for Kids, FIT-Food in Tummies and 35 other local non-profits. 

Mozart's Light Show

November 17 - January 8 (Starts at 6pm nightly, lasting 15 minutes and running every hour)

Mozart's Coffee Roasters | 3825 Lake Austin Blvd

The Mozart's Christmas light show is an Austin favorite that can't be missed. Beautifully-displayed Christmas lights dot the outer deck of Mozart's Coffee Roasters, making the space twinkle like the North Pole and providing entertainment for kids from one to ninety-two. We suggest arriving 30-40 minutes before the show to allot ample time for parking and grabbing a hot chocolate!

A Christmas Carol

November 22 - Dec 31

Zachary Scott Theatre | 202 South Lamar

An inspired adaptation of Dickens' classic is one of Austin's most rockin' holiday traditions! Join the Cratchit family, three soulful ghosts and Ebenezer Scrooge on a sleigh ride through rhythm and time at Zach Theater's adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 26 (6 - 7p)

Zilker Park | 2100 Barton Springs Rd

The Zilker tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers totaling 3,309 lights with a 10 ft star at the top. Join the community for a night of local entertainment, food, novelties and live music at the Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Santa’s Ranch

November 3 - December 31  (Sunday - Thursday 6 - 10p, Friday - Saturday 6 - 11p)

New Braunfels | 9561 I-35 N

See one of the greatest holiday light displays in Texas! Santa's Ranch boasts 1.5 million custom made lights as well as food and beverages from different vendors. Pile into your car and head to New Braunfels for this drive-through Christmas light show!

Ice Skating at Whole Foods

November 27 -  January 7 (10a - 9p)

Whole Foods | 525 N Lamar Blvd

Each holiday season, Whole Foods North Lamar hosts Ice Skating on the Plaza, where the upstairs deck is transformed into a beautiful ice rink for friends and families to enjoy. Don't miss "Skate for a Cause" day on December 18th, benefitting Boneshaker, an organization promoting healthy living for children through fun active programs around the Austin area.

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll

December 2 (5 - 9p)

Texas State Capitol Building | 1100 Congress Ave

Spend the evening listening to live music, enjoying dance performances, experiencing Tiny Tails Petting Zoo, and playing carnival games in the heart of Austin at the Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll. This year, enjoy a special night market by the Sustainable Food Center.

Lake Travis Holiday Boat Parade

December 2 (6p)

Sail & Ski Yacht Club | 16406 Stewart Rd

Sponsored by on-lake businesses each year, the Annual Lake Travis Holiday Boat Parade is a family favorite! Participants decorate their boats with lights and line up at Sail & Ski Yacht Club, ending at Rusty Rudder Lake Travis for a "rock your ugly sweater" party. Must bring an unwrapped toy for TCSO Brown Santa to enter the parade!

Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker

December 8 - 23

(Evening Performances at 7:30p, Matinee Performances at 2p)

The Long Center | 701 W Riverside Dr

Presented by the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund, Ballet Austin's annual production of this classic Christmas ballet is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family! The Nutcracker follows Clara's journey from her family's holiday party to the confection-filled Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Trail of Lights

December 9 - 23 (7 - 10p)

Zilker Park | 2100 Barton Springs Rd

Enjoy a walk through Zilker under the cover of over 2 million Christmas lights and 40 light displays at the city's most acclaimed holiday tradition. Ride a ferris wheel, sip some apple cider, and watch community performances at Trail of Lights this year.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

December 14 - 24 (11a - 10p)

Palmer Events Center | 900 Barton Springs Rd

This 11 day fine art bazaar is a shopping destination featuring national and local award-winning artists. The lively atmosphere has live music, two full bars, concession and café style food.

This year, celebrate a new tradition with your loved ones. Spend an evening at the inaugrual year of Winter Wonderland at the Circuit! A new Austin tradition, this extravaganza has enough holiday spirit to entertain people of all ages. Expect a skating rink, human snow globe, access to Santa's workshop, tunnel of lights, and more. Open December 1-2 and 8-30 (Sun - Thurs 6 - 10p, Fri - Sat 6 - 11p) at Circuit of the Americas.

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