A Christmas Vacation Guide to Austin, Texas
As the year quickly comes to a close, people everywhere begin to gear up for Christmas. This festive time of year finds calendars packed with things needing to be checked off the list. From wrapping presents and planning meals to making sure decorations are just right, Christmas often comes with set of to-do’s that revolve around an abundance of annual traditions.
While there’s undeniable comfort to be found in those yearly activities that bring family and friends together, those who are looking for a refreshing way to mix up the holidays this year will want to consider a Christmas in Austin, Texas. As the capital of the Lone Star State and home to over 900,000 year-round residents, Austin is a vibrant Christmas destination packed with potential for holiday fun! Gather up your loved ones and take to Texas in the name of creating brand new traditions with a side of southern comfort. This vacation guide to Christmas in Austin, Texas is designed to be your starting point in a city that promises to be an amazing holiday stop.
Shop the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Christmas in Austin just isn’t complete without an experience at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. In 2019, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar celebrates its 43rd year of bringing the best of shopping and entertainment to holiday visitors to the Austin area. Children 12 and under enjoy free entrance to this family-fun event while adult tickets for the day are available for $10. The bazaar is open daily between December 13th and December 24th from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm and is located at the Palmer Events Center. Guests are invited to come on in and enjoy a collection of art on display that highlights the work of over 175 local and visiting artists. As you browse the beautiful works, enjoy live music and make the most of picking up those last-minute gifts that are truly one of a kind.
Ride the North Pole Flyer
When you’re looking for a Christmas activity in Austin that’s sure to thrill the little ones, don’t miss a chance to enjoy a ride on the North Pole Flyer when you’re in town. Every year at Christmas the Austin Steam Train Association proudly hosts a holiday event that takes to the tracks. Guests will hop on board a transformed vintage train and enjoy a ride to Bertram complete with hot chocolate, cookies and the company of Santa and Mrs. Clause too! Tickets range from $38-$53 depending on the time of booking. Bring your appetite and holiday spirit with you as this ride includes a reading of the Christmas story that’s sure to inspire.
Browse the Four Seasons Gingerbread House Display
Christmas is a holiday that innately comes with plenty of charm, but there’s something particularly special about a gingerbread house when this time of year rolls around. When you’re ready to witness a truly spectacular display created entirely out of gingerbread, make your way to the Four Seasons Hotel located at 98 San Jacinto Boulevard between November 25th and December 25th for an event that’s equal parts fun and festive. There is no cost to come and enjoy a sprawling display of gingerbread houses that are crafted on the part of local talent. In 2019, the gingerbread village at the hotel will feature the theme of friendship. Guests can expect to encounter an entire Austin-city village crafted out of gingerbread and surrounded by gingerbread depictions of its five sister cities as well. While you can’t taste them, these gingerbread houses are just as delightful to admire.
Make Your Way Along the Austin Trail of Lights
For many people, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without some time immersed in a sparkling arrangement of lights and a Christmas in Austin is no exception to the rule. The Austin Trail of Lights is a must-see for those that can’t get enough of the Christmas glow. This spectacular annual display features over a mile of holiday lights designed to be enjoyed and photographed. As you walk through the many displays, you’ll encounter holiday sculptures too. The Austin Trail of Lights has been hosted every Christmas since 1965 and includes a Ferris wheel and carousel as well as streets dotted with food stands and live music to add to the entertainment and holiday atmosphere. Guests can celebrate the magic between December 10th and December 23rd at Zilker Park and enjoy free entrance on general admission evenings with options to upgrade to platinum packages ranging between $75 and $150 for nights when special events are hosted.
Admire the Austin Christmas Tree
Rising 155 feet into the sky, the Zilker Holiday Tree at Zilker Park is an icon in the city during the holidays and a sight well-worth laying eyes on when you’re visiting this time of year. The tree is hard to miss at Moonlight Tower and stretches over 380 feet wide. The Zilker Holiday Tree is adorned with over 3,300 lights, transforming its branches into an impressive collection of sparkle that’s sure to delight observers. At the top, you’ll want to make sure to catch a glimpse of the giant star acting as a holiday beacon to light your way in the winter night.
About The Author: Caitlyn Knuth is a travel writer whose own adventures have inspired her to write about everything from the most delicious cafés in Paris, France to the breathtaking salmon runs in Juneau, Alaska. Working in association with Austin Vacation Rentals, she enjoys writing and sharing about Austin in the hope others will pack up and head out on Texas-bound adventures of their very own.