From light shows to shopping pop-ups and the Nutcracker at home, we’ve got you covered for the top events in Austin to help you celebrate the holidays this December:
Austin Trail of Lights: The 55th Annual Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. This year, the spectacular trail will return as a drive-thru event in December. Arrive early with a Dash Pass, or cruise through the night with General Admission starting November 28th through January 3rd. (zilker park)
Peppermint Parkway: Peppermint Parkway is a magical drive-thru experience at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas. The holiday spectacular will be a one-mile driving attraction that will immerse visitors in millions of holiday lights synchronized to joyful holiday classics from November 27th through January 3rd. Tickets can be purchased online. (circuit of the americas)
Luminations: At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, experience the calm of winter with the shimmer of thousands of luminarias lighting the way. This year, for the first time ever, stroll through the naturally beautiful Texas Arboretum among the illuminated oaks and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia. Held from November 27-January 3, with limited capacity and plenty of space to explore. (lady bird johnson wildflower center)
“The Nutcracker: Home for the Holidays”: Ballet Austin is bringing a favorite holiday tradition home for the holidays by transforming its 58th annual production into an interactive, multi-media experience available to dance lovers around the world. The immersive entertainment offering will be available to audience members in the comfort and safety of their homes. (virtual performance)
Downtown Holiday Stroll: Downtown Holiday Stroll is back for 2020! Instead of just one night, this year’s Stroll will be a month-long celebration with free, family-friendly activities taking place throughout downtown. Visit downtown Austin to celebrate the holiday season with safe and socially-distanced festivities like the holiday shopping passport, pop-ups, appearances by Mr. & Mrs. Claus, holiday window and light displays and the signature 45-foot downtown tree. (congress avenue, between 9th street & 11th street)
For those who find themselves a bit overwhelmed with cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner, or want to switch up their normal routine and support local Austin restaurants, here’s a list of Urbanspace’s top 5 restaurants to order takeout from:
Texas Honey Ham: An Austin and Office favorite, Texas Honey Ham has both Honey Glazed Hams and Freshly Roasted Turkey Breast available for purchase by the pound, and delicious side options that include Corn Bread Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Gravy, Chipotle Cranberry Sauce, Baked Potato Casserole, Apple Slaw, Austin Baked Beans, Honey Mustard Potato Salad, and of course Shells and Cheese. (3736 bee cave rd, ste. 6, 78746)
Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon: Fresa’s entire Thanksgiving meal comes with a roasted turkey with gravy, chorizo stuffing, and a spicy citrus-serrano cranberry sauce. Or opt for the turkey breast meal if you don’t feel like dealing with bones. Diners can also pick out three of the available sides for any of the two meals, which include roasted Brussels sprouts, poblano spinach gratin, and mac and cheese. Order a pozole kit for those turkey leftovers, and there are pies too. (1703 s. 1st st., 78704)
Micklethwait Craft Meats: For a smoked meats-filled Thanksgiving, the barbecue trailer is accepting preorders for the holiday. On deck are family-style meals with either whole turkeys or briskets, plus sides such as green bean casserole, lemon poppy slaw, jalapeno cheese grits, and more. Then there are standalone whole turkeys with gravy or pickles, onions, sauces, and bread, or whole brisket with the same pickle addition, plus a la carte green bean casseroles, stuffing, and pies. (1309 rosewood ave., 78702)
Salt & Time: The butcher shop and restaurant has a variety of meats and sides for the holiday, including the enormous John Madden: a 22 to 24-pound turkey with extra drumsticks stuffed with sausage and cornbread dressing and wrapped in lace fat. Meats range from $7.50 to $52 per pound; the John Madden is $200; sides and condiments range from $8 to $16; party platters start at $50; pies are $24. (1912 E. 7th St., 78702)
Austin Convention Center | 500 E Cesar Chavez St. | January 4th – 6th 2019
The Annual Austin Boat and Travel Trailer Show is back at the Austin Convention Center Jan 4-6. This show offers the year’s best prices on boats and travel trailers as well as plenty to do with the whole family. Take in a free seminar, send your kinds to Boater Education Class, catch live fish at the fish tank, or enjoy the live music schedule this year. The show has something for everyone all while saving $1000s on your new boat or RV.
The Continental Club Austin | 1315 S Congress Ave.| January 12th, 2019
BowiElvis Fest officially 10 years old. It is a party thrown by Splice Records which is happens twice a year in two different cities. On January 5th the Houston festival will be held at the legendary Continental Club & Big Top. And for the third year in a row we are taking the show on the road and setting up shop in Austin, Texas which will be the second weekend on January 12th at the other legendary Continental Club on S. Congress.
Austin Convention Center | 500 E Cesar Chavez St. | January 11th – 13th 2019
Solve all your projects in one place in one weekend at the 21st Annual Austin Home & Garden Show! You’ll find the latest products and services for your home and landscape: builders, remodelers, contractors, building materials, decks, pools, spas, entertainment systems, storage solutions, all kinds of plants, landscape displays, kitchenware, home accessories and so much more!
Wingate by Wyndham Round Rock Hotel & Conference Center | 1209 North Interstate 35 Frontage Road | Round Rock, TX | January 18th & January 19th 2019
Migrations is an annual dance festival in Austin, Texas in January 2019, presented by the Austin Tribal Collective. Migrations will host instructors offering workshops in a wide range of dance and musical styles from around the world! Come experience the dances of Spain, India, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and more.
Zilker Park | 2100 Barton Springs Road December 12th – 31st
This year join over 7,000 fellow runners in Austin, Texas to run a personal best at the 3M Half Marathon. 3M Half is a fun and fast stand-alone half marathon boasting one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country. You’ll enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that takes you past some of Austin’s finest locations and finishes downtown near the Texas State Capitol. Cross the finish line, grab your hefty one-of-a-kind “spinner” finisher medal, and celebrate at the energetic finish line festival complete with a beer garden!
March, Festival, and Food Drive. The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 9 a.m.with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. MLK COMMUNITY FESTIVAL The MLK Community Festival kicks off at 11:15am and will last until 3:30 p.m.; it will include all types of vendors and local musical artists to make this year’s celebration the best ever!
Palmer Events Center | 900 Barton Springs Rd. | January 26th, 2019 at 11 am – 6 pm | January 27th, 2019 at 11 am – 5 pm
There’s no searching for the sale rack at this shopping event – every single rack is a sale rack. A legendary shopping experience since 2001 for locals looking for seriously chic deals, at Le Garage Sale you’ll score the biggest bargains of the shopping season from your favorite local boutiques and designers, all in one place – and you might even discover the next up-and-coming label or emerging designer while you’re at it. Those who know arrive early for the best deals. For two fun-filled days, shop deliciously lowered price tags under a rain or shine roof while you sip caffeine and cocktails and listen to high energy music.
Zilker Park | 2100 Barton Springs Road December 1st
Stick Around For The Ultimate After Party – Complete with DJ entertainment and dance party, Ferris Wheel and Carousel rides, food trucks, drinks, fitness expo and more!
Get a !! FREE !! Post-Run Beer or Cocoa for ALL Fun Runners – Cheers! Grab bites from Austin’s famous food trucks – Available for purchase. Dive into the Fitness Expo – Mix and mingle among health and fitness brands. Join The Fun Activities – Stop by for post-race yoga and more while engaging with local brands. Show us your moves in a spontaneous Dance-Off. Show Us Your Threads in our Costume Contest – Strut your stuff on the runway in your wackiest holiday costume! Let loose and kick off the holidays the Austin way
It’s going to be weird, isn’t it? Watching Texas helmets and Oklahoma helmets intermingling somewhere other than the Cotton Bowl? While AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of Saturday’s Big 12 Championship, is only about 22 miles west, the last time the Sooners and Longhorns took each other on in a city other than Dallas was 95 years ago, in 1923. (Texas won, 26-14, in Austin.)
1102 Lohmans Crossing Road | Lakeway December 1st – January 1st
One of Lakeway’s most cherished traditions is the Trail of Lights! Come see thousands of twinkling lights! See amusing tableaus, all accompanied by delightful seasonal music! Skateboards, scooters, bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted. The Trail of Lights will continue nightly through the end of December.
The Austin Symphony once again presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Chorus Austin for you and your family at Hyde Park Baptist Church and at it’s additional location, Emmaus Catholic Church. We hope you will move with us and enjoy this holiday classic and a city favorite. This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Let us begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing!
The Long Center | 701 W Riverside Drive December 7th – December 23rd
Your favorite way to celebrate the season returns for its 56th year! Ballet Austin’s annual production of The Nutcracker never disappoints, with hundreds of dancers, beautiful sets and costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s delicious score performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. From a festive holiday party to an exotic court of sweets, watch as our young heroine, Clara, faces her fears, rescues her prince, and dreams big during the journey of a lifetime! Make memories to last a lifetime when you share this special holiday tradition with family and friends!
Zilker Park | 2100 Barton Springs Road December 12th – 31st
The AUSTIN TRAIL OF LIGHTS is Austin’s largest holiday tradition and 2nd largest event in the city. Run by the Trail of Lights Foundation, the annual event in Zilker Park celebrates the unique spirit and people that make Austin the place we love to call home. The Austin Trail of Lights is a community event that invites 400,000 people every year to come celebrate the holidays in the heart of Austin, Texas during the month of December. The event showcases everything that we love about Austin—from music and food to creativity and family fun. Thanks to the Trail of Lights Foundation, we are able to keep it free for at least ½ of the nights to make sure that anyone who wants to be part of the experience has a way to do so.
Frank Erwin Center | 1701 Red River Street December 20th
America’s hardest-rocking holiday tradition is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in December 2018, and tickets for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s upcoming stop in the “Live Music Capital of the World” are on sale now! Check out the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Austin concert information below to find out how you can experience their special new show, which is inspired by their debut album The Christmas Attic as well as their career-launching TV special The Ghosts of Christmas Eve — but don’t wait. The only way you’re gonna hear your favorite holiday classics rocked the way only this prog symphony can is to score your TSO Austin Tickets right away!
We all have our favorite holiday classics. During the holiday season this year at AFS we are reaching way back into Hollywood’s Golden Age to present some of our favorites, some very well known, some less so, but all great.
Come celebrate the season with AFS, as we present our favorite classic holiday films from December 22nd to the 30th.
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