A Little Christmas Spirit

Some of Austin’s Highest-Rated Christmas Attractions


Aahana Mulchandani

Walking down the street and looking at the lights have always been a fun tradition during the Holiday seasons. However, traditions have evolved into Christmas-themed amusement parks, drive-through light shows and even cafes that get in the spirit. There are various places to consider going to this holiday season, and that can range from walking through your local neighborhood or traveling further to a drive-through light show, blasting Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate.

Aahana Mulchandani, Reporter

A main Christmas hobby that reoccurs to me every winter season is the need and the wish to see peoples’ creative Christmas displays. Everything from the lights, to the music and even the hot cocoa on occasions makes walking down the sidewalks so much more interesting and fun to do. However, holiday lights aren’t just limited to your local streets or housing, but can be a huge annual tradition filled with food, music, lights, and holiday spirit. Ever since moving here a year ago, I’ve done my research as well as investigating some of the lights for myself and have finally compiled a list of five  interesting places to consider checking out this holiday season.


#1 – Austin’s Trail of Lights

This impressive display of lights will be taking place from November 27th through December 31st, transforming Zilker Park into a drive-through light show. In addition to the colorful displays, you can tune into the radio for some cheerful holiday music to get you into the mood. According to the official website, over 300,000 people per year attend, however you will need to purchase tickets, which can range from $30-$40 starting at 7pm. Early access from 5-7pm as well as a box of holiday cookies can be purchased at $65. There is a limited amount of vehicles allowed during timeslots, which can be found on their website. In general, I’d highly recommend this as it’s socially distanced as well as allowing you staying in the comfort of your car.


#2 – Marble Falls

These lights are already open to the public, starting from November 19th and will run until January 4th. This event is absolutely free but it’s a very fun set of lights. My family and I went during 2018 and all of us had such a fun time, as the lights were gorgeous, making it the prime place to take family photos. I’d highly recommend it, as it’s a free and quite beautiful place to see lights. However, the walk was actually pretty long, so if you don’t mind walking, then this place will be perfect. For more information about this walkway, you can visit their website. Make sure to bring hot chocolate as well for the added effect.


#3 – Twisted Christmas

Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park turned into a frightening winter wonderland, hence the name “Twisted Christmas”. It’s filled with horror-themed decorations and some jump scares, so it’s recommended for people 12 years and older. So unless you want your younger sibling or siblings to get scared, maybe don’t bring them. Filled with Haunted lore and the darker side of Christmas tales, this is a bone-chilling place to get into the spookier and scarier side of Christmas Tales. Personally, I have never been there but it is definitely worth checking out as it’s directed towards high school students. However, due to the pandemic, the park isn’t really well kept so be sure to check reviews about the park before you make your decision. You’ll also need to purchase tickets in order to enter the park, and prices along with dates can be found on their website.


#4 – Mozart’s Annual Christmas Light Show

This is one of Texas’ most famous holiday traditions, taking place at a bakery with a beautiful patio decorated with lights. You’ll need a ticket to be seated, however, it is so worth it. I’ve actually eaten there once, although it was not during the winter season, but their food is delicious (a tad sweeter than what I usually like but I don’t really like sweets either) and the view on the patio is nothing short of beautiful. Mozart’s Café is definitely a must-see this holiday season, so make sure to reserve your table. I’d recommend tables by the water, as the view is beautiful, especially at night when the moon is illuminating the water.


#5 – Santa’s Ranch

One mile of driving through custom-made light displays is definitely worth checking out this year. It is already open, starting from November 3rd and ending on January 2nd. It’s in New Braunfels, and their website also has some instructions on how to get there. In addition to the lights, hot cocoa and some tasty Christmas treats are served at the concession stand. The tickets vary in cost, whether you want to go all season long starting at $70 or one time for $35. In general, it’s an amazing sight based on reviews and videos. Be sure to watch out for traffic, as it’s a major factor that could make or break your experience.

There are many light shows and wonderful festivities this holiday season, and they’re not limited to any on this list. In general, whether it’s your local neighborhood or whether you travel further to see more of a “set up” display, it’s an enjoyable experience nonetheless. Be sure to check all of their homepages for more information about these events. These events are definitely worth going to, as each is very unique and has different things to offer. However, keep in mind that some of these locations require spending money on tickets and entry fees, and some dates might not work out considering pre-existing plans. Also, considering the factor of distance and traffic, it can be hard to determine when to go in order to get the best experience. Check reviews as well as the dates they’re open so you can schedule when you’d like to go as well as the one you’d be interested in the most. In general, definitely check out these places if you have not already.