Gingerbread houses, gifts that give back, and festive fun… bring on the holiday cheer! Whether you need a gift idea or plans for the day, we’ve got you covered with our Merry and Bright Guide.
The Merry and Bright Guide: Holiday Happenings
Mark your calendars! Here are a few events happening in Austin this holiday season.
Now – December 26
Peppermint Parkway is a magical experience at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas. This year, the holiday spectacular will be transformed into a one-mile driving attraction that immerses visitors in millions of holiday lights synchronized to joyful holiday classics.
Four Seasons Hotel | Gingerbread Village
Now – December 28
Inspired by the magic of the North Pole, this year’s Gingerbread Village features 11 edible “houses,” from Santa’s Workshop and an Elf Dormitory to a bustling Town Square, complete with a live countdown to Christmas.
Austin Trail of Lights
Now – December 27
The 57th 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.
Now – January 30
At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, stroll through an outdoor botanical oasis decked out in sparkling lights during the nightly Luminations, with plenty of space to explore.
The Merry and Bright Guide: Festive Activites
From creating gingerbread houses to holiday barhopping, celebrate the holidays in Austin with some seasonal activities.
Build A Gingerbread House
Explore your creative side by building a gingerbread house at home. The Thinkery offers three different kits to choose from this season, perfect for creative little builders of all ages. Or skip to the fun part of decorating with one of Central Market’s preassembled gingerbread houses.
See The Lights
Light up the season with The Trail of Lights, returning as a drive-thru event again this year. For a festive light display, enjoy Johnson City’s Lights Spectular where over a million twinkling lights cover the town square, or head to Mozart’s Coffee Roster’s for hot chocolate and their annual light show.
The Merry and Bright Guide: Gifts That Give Back
Gifts that give back are basically twofers: a gift and a donation in one, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorites below.
Give the gift of art with a one-of-a-kind piece from Art From the Streets, a non-profit offering Austin homeless or at-risk a nurturing and safe place to create art and generate income through sales.
Socks, gloves, beanies, and more! For each piece purchased, this Austin-based company sends an equal piece to someone in need locally. They are also providing work opportunities to those transitioning from homelessness.
The Noonday Collection includes jewelry, accessories, and handbags created by over 4,000 artisans in 12 countries. By purchasing part of this collection you are helping artisan entrepreneurs in vulnerable areas throughout the developing world.
Warm and cozy through lazy mornings, movie nights, and post-holiday party lounging. TOMS invests ⅓ of its profits in grassroots efforts, organizations creating change at the local level, and driving progress from the ground up.
Jazz up their eyewear with a pair of stylish, modern-designed, and durable sunglasses! With their Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program, Warby Parker has distributed over eight million pairs of glasses to those in need.