Austin Christmas Activities: 17 Events For Your Checklist

Looking for holiday activities in Austin Texas? Visit SoMuchLife.com to create your own Austin Texas Christmas check list!

‘Tis the holiday season in Austin, and there are tons of fun (and often FREE) Austin Christmas activities for everyone. Eeeks! I’m so excited! I was sitting down to make my own holiday checklist for my family, and I decided to share it with you in case you’re looking for some Austin Christmas inspiration! 


Things to do in Austin during Christmas season - here's the ultimate checklist!

1. Gingerbread Workshops at the Thinkery

Austin’s favorite children’s museum, The Thinkery, is hosting hour-long, tot-friendly workshops where you’ll learn how to build and decorate an adorable gingerbread house. How cute would this be for a mommy/child outing during the holidays? Cost: $5 + Thinkery admission | WEBSITE

2. Chuys Children Giving To Children Christmas Parade – Downtown Austin 

For decades, Chuys Tex-Mex restaurant has been sponsoring this awesome parade that glides through Downtown Austin for the purpose of benefiting the Operation Blue Santa Program. It starts at the State Capitol and works down Congress Ave to the bridge. Cost: Free (but bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate!) | WEBSITE

Looking for holiday activities in Austin Texas? Visit SoMuchLife.com to create your own Austin Texas Christmas check list!

3. Trail of Lights – An Austin Christmas Classic 

Austin’s largest holiday tradition, and it’s oh so classic! This is one of my favorite Austin Christmas activities. Bundle up, buy some hot cocoa and spiced nuts, and enjoy walking through Zilker Park’s festive display of 2 million lights. There are a few events associated with Trail of Lights, like a fun run, a VIP preview party, and a movie night. Check out the website for all the details. Cost: Free – $85, depending on event | WEBSITE

Things to do in Austin during Christmas season - here's the ultimate checklist!

4. Gingerbread Village at The Four Seasons Austin 

This stunning downtown hotel has a beautiful displays of immaculately decorated gingerbread houses that are open to the public! Stop in for a slow meander by the charming little houses; every year has a different theme. Cost: Free | WEBSITE

5. Santa on the Terrace for Austin Christmas Photos

The Long Center has one of the best views of the Austin skyline, making it a killer spot to get a photo with Santa. Pictures are first-come, first-served, so show up early if you want to make sure to get your shot. Cost: FREE | WEBSITE

6. The Nutcracker

While we’re talking about the Long Center, here’s another classic Austin Christmas tradition: watching a performance of The Nutcracker by Ballet Austin. I have a confession: I’ve never watched the entire ballet from the audience! I’ve played violin in the pit orchestra for this performance, so I can catch little bits and pieces of the ballet, but one of these years I just need to sit in the audience and enjoy the entire thing.  Cost: $45-100 | WEBSITE

7. Cherrywood Art Fair For Christmas Shopping in Austin

This is the place to go for unique, handcrafted holiday gifts. The Cherrywood Art fair is a free event packed with with artisans, live music, food, and more! Cost: Free | WEBSITE

8. Christmas Light Show at Mozart’s Coffee on Lake Austin

The lights at Mozart’s Coffee has become one of the most popular holiday events in Austin. Now, this coffee shop already has one of the most beautiful views in Austin: it’s overlooking Lake Austin and it’s just such a stunning place to enjoy a peaceful moment by the water with a slow cup of coffee. But during the holidays, they decorate the deck with 1 million Christmas lights and folks show up every single day to watch the light show. Seriously – it’s packed! But it’s definitely a fun event to add to your Austin holiday checklist. Cost: Free | WEBSITE

Looking for holiday activities in Austin Texas? Visit SoMuchLife.com to create your own Austin Texas Christmas check list!

9. The Driskill Christmas Tree Lighting – Downtown Austin

The Driskill is the most iconic hotel in Austin, and their annual Christmas tree lighting is a must-attend event with caroling, champagne, and the perfect photo opp. (And if you can’t make it one the actual date of the lighting, you can stop by on another night during the holiday season to enjoy a glass of bubbly and a photo in front of the stunning 15′ tree. Cost: Free | WEBSITE

Looking for holiday activities in Austin Texas? Visit SoMuchLife.com to create your own Austin Texas Christmas check list!

10. Ice Skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods

The rooftop ice skating rink is open daily at the flagship location of Whole Foods in Downtown Austin. This is a fun group event, and the rink is open 10 am – 10 pm from Nov – Jan, so you have lots of options for flexible dates. Cost: $12-15, discounts for groups of 25+ | WEBSITE

11. Holiday Heroes at the Zach Theatre

This fun holiday sing-along at the Zach Theatre will be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit! It’s for ages 3 and up, so you can bring your little kiddies along for a fun holiday memory. Cost: $19 – 43 | WEBSITE

12. German Christmas Market

Hot spiced wine, German gourmet cookies, nutcrackers, handcrafted Christmas ornaments, live music, and more! Cost: free | WEBSITE

13. Downtown Holiday Stroll

This fun, festive holiday stroll through downtown Austin ends with the downtown tree lighting in front of the capitol building. Show up for live performances, Austin food trucks, photos with Santa, a holiday market, and more fun goodies. Cost: free | WEBSITE

14. Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The Wildflower Center is decked for the holidays with luminaries on the paths and gardens, live music, festive food, and more! Thursdays are reserved for members only, but the other days are open to the general public. Children 4 and under are free. Cost: $18 | WEBSITE

15. Blue Genie Art Bazaar – Unique Austin Christmas Presents 

This giant epic art bazaar is a staple in the Austin holiday scene! If you’re looking for totally unique Christmas gifts, this is the place to get them. More than 200 artists are represented, selling all sorts of one-of-a-kind items like jewelry, clothing, ceramics, photography, and more. Cost: free | WEBSITE

16. Nightly Christmas light show at the Domain – North Austin

Planning a day of holiday shopping at the domain? Every night they feature a fun little 10 minute light show that you don’t want to miss! It happens every hour on the hour from 6 pm – 9 pm. Cost: free | WEBSITE

17. Austin Jingle Bell 5k

This fun little race is an easy way to stay active and healthy during the holiday season! There’s a kids fun run and an adult/youth 5k, making the Jingle Bell 5k a perfect event for the entire family. Cost: $15-40 | WEBSITE


Psst: looking for more ideas of things to do in Austin? Click here. And if you’re looking for more Austin holiday ideas, check out my WINTER IN AUSTIN Pinterest board. Its full of holiday inspo!

Looking for holiday activities in Austin Texas? Visit SoMuchLife.com to create your own Austin Texas Christmas check list!

17 festive things to do in Austin Texas this holiday season! - SoMuchLife.com

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