Holiday Happenings in Austin

Light Shows, Activities, Events


Photo by Ava Caldwell

There are many activities to do around the holidays in Austin. Home to traditions over 55 years old, there is something for anyone and everyone.

Ava Caldwell, Reporter

With the holidays drawing near it’s important to save a little money while still spending time with the people that you love. Austin and Cedar Park offer many free light shows and fun performances hosted by local Austinites. Below you can find a list of the city’s most popular holiday happenings.

Christmas Towne in Round Rock

A wonderful and free way to experience amazing light shows. Drive the light trail located in Old Settlers Association with a carnival at the end. The carnival includes multiple rides and food vendors, tickets sold separately. 

  • Dates(light show): Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 19-29
  • Dates(carnival): Dec. 12-15, Dec. 18-22 and Dec. 25- Jan. 4
  • Single ticket for carnival costs $1
  • Carnival located at the Dell Diamond
  • Light entrance at 3300 E. Palm Valley Boulevard
  • Hours: 5p.m-9p.m (Sunday- Thursday) (Friday and Saturday)
  • More information at

Trail of Lights in Austin

An Austin family tradition for 55 consecutive years. Come walk through the stunning light displays and spin under the Christmas tree. Enjoy food vendors and live music for five dollars, or free on certain dates.

ZACH Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol”

Another city tradition, ZACH Theatre puts on “A Christmas Carol.” Following the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey on Christmas Eve, actors bring the story to life in an unforgettable experience. Although this may cost a little extra, the show will not disappoint. 

  • Dates: Nov. 20- Dec. 29
  • Cost: $45-$102 (dependent on age and seat location)
  • Location: The Topfer at ZACH Theatre
  • Times: 7:30 p.m on weekdays
  • Saturday and Sunday- 2:30p.m or 7:30p.m
  • More information and seat reservations at

Austin Ballet: “The Nutcracker”

With beautiful dancers, costumes and colorful sets, Austin Ballet presents the classic story of “The Nutcracker.” Get into the Christmas spirit while enjoying a gorgeous annual production. 

  • Dates: Dec. 7-23 (dates do not include the entire week)
  • Times range by the day
  • Cost: $39-$99 (dependent on seat location)
  • Location: The Long Center
  • More information, calendar and ticket purchases at

Ice Skating at Whole Foods Market

Enjoy gorgeous views and smooth skating at the rooftop skating rink at Whole Foods Market. After you skate, enjoy a nice coffee and some cookies downstairs in the store!

Rhodes Family Christmas 

Walk up to the grass or sit in your car to tune in and watch the dancing trees. The Rhodes Family Christmas is an annual front yard lights display open and free to the public. This display is also a donation site for the Cedar Park Area Food Bank. 

Chinati Court

In this small cul-de-sac, each house displays a different part of the Night Before Christmas story and incorporates fun themes all around the front yards. Drive the cul-de-sac in your car or even get out and walk around the sidewalk to enjoy the sights and sounds. This event also is a location for cash and toy donations for Brown Santa.