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GOT AUSTIN: Our Guide to the Holidays in Austin

The holiday spirit is in full swing, bringing with it festive activities, tempting treats, and numerous chances to make a difference. Dive in below for a wealth of local ideas on how to fully embrace the holiday season this year.


Holidays in Austin:
Holiday Happenings

Mark your calendars! Here are a few events happening in Austin this holiday season.

Now – December 28

Miracle on 5th is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in the most festive and nostalgic setting in the city. Featuring wall-to-wall Christmas decor, multiple bars, cheery social experiences, and a whole lot of Christmas spirits.

Now – December 30

Peppermint Parkway is a magical experience at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas. Enjoy a mile of immersive holiday displays, millions of lights, live dancing elves, a walking plaza full of food and activities, and more.

Now – January 6

At Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, sip on a steaming cup of hot chocolate while watching the shop’s dazzling lights display choreographed to lively music nightly from now through January.

December 2

Downtown Holiday Stroll is a free event on Congress Avenue between 9th and 11th streets. Featuring artisan vendors, food trucks, photos with Santa, and more. The Holiday Stroll is the perfect way to kick off your holiday season!

December 2 – 23

Ballet Austin will again host its beloved holiday tradition with the 61st annual performance of The Nutcracker at the Long Center. The ballet production also includes music by the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

December 8 – 23

As one of the most beloved, and longest-running holiday traditions of its kind, the 59th Annual Trail of Lights is an essential Austin holiday experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories, and fun.

Holidays in Austin:
Get into the Holiday Spirit

From wreath making to holiday barhopping, celebrate the holidays in Austin with some seasonal activities.

From holiday wreath-making kits at The Flower Social to festive DIY cookie decorating kits from Hayley Cakes & Cookies or a floral mailbox kit from Gracious Garlands, enjoy one (or all three!) of these local holiday kits.

Get all the holiday feels at ZACH Theatre’s most popular show, A Christmas Carol, along with Ventana Ballet’s “The Watchmaker’s Song”, an immersive dance-theatre production based on The Nutcracker.

From a mixology class with Here Nor There and Margot Blair to building a gingerbread house at the Thinkery to holiday baking classes at Mindy’s Bakeshop, sign up for one of Austin’s fabulous local workshops this holiday season.

Light up the season with The Trail of Lights, returning for its 59th year. For more festive light displays, 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.

Enjoy some open-air ice skating while overlooking Lady Bird Lake at Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s Ice Rodeo and in the hill country at the Hill Country Galleria. Or take it indoors at Chaparral Ice in north Austin.

From the holiday pop-up bar Miracle on 5th Street to Lala’s Little Nugget where Christmas is celebrated all year long to Gibson Street Bar’s Winter Wonderland, cheers the season by visiting a few of Austin’s holiday-themed bars.

Holidays in Austin:
Prepared Dishes

Below are a few of our favorite local restaurants offering to make the holiday season less stressful with to-go meals and dishes.

Elevate your holiday spread with Antonelli’s Cheese Shop! This Hyde Park artisanal cheese and snack shop has put together cheesy holiday boxes featuring various cheeses, meats, nuts, spreads, and more.

4220 Duval Street | 512.531.9610

Dai Due, a Cherrywood butcher shop, carries a cornucopia of meats to be cooked this holiday season, including brined turkeys, smoked wild boar ham, turducken sausages, brined quails, and more.

2406 Manor Road | 512.524.0688

Get everything in one stop at Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon! A roasted turkey with gravy, chorizo stuffing, spicy citrus-serrano cranberry sauce, and choice of sides. Make sure to also order a pozole kit for any turkey leftovers.

1703 S 1st Street | 512.992.2946

Along with pies, Garbo’s is offering DIY lobster roll kits and DIY oyster kits, along with chowder, lobster bisque, and lobster pot pie.

626 N Lamar Boulevard | 512.291.6541

From turkey to pineapple-sage-glazed ham to brisket, this local favorite barbecue joint is selling its smoked meats for the holidays, along with an array of sides.

12233 Ranch Road 620 North | 512.382.6248

Order a holiday gift box from Lee’s Meat Market that can be picked up in-store or delivered. Boxes range from a prime filet box to a twice-baked potato box to even a build-your-own box option.

1601 W 38th Street #12 | 512.467.6700

It’s tamale season! From chicken to pork to vegetarian, Tamale House East has tamale kits which include six large handmade tamales, and one of their signature homemade salsas.

1707 E 6th Street | 512.495.9504

Small pies, big taste – Tiny Pies is doing what it does best for the holidays! Grab an assortment of these individually-sized pies, baked fresh daily with ingredients sourced from local farms.

Multiple Locations

Let Uchi take care of the holiday spread on the table this year with their 8‑course Japanese omakase takeout for two.

801 S Lamar Boulevard | 512.916.4808

Holidays in Austin:
Giving Back

Below are just a few of the hundreds of wonderful organizations working hard to improve the lives of our neighbors. The holiday season is a great opportunity to take a minute and find a way to give back that is personally meaningful.

The mission of Art From the Streets is to provide an encouraging environment for those experiencing homelessness by providing them with art supplies, art classes, and a chance to generate income by selling their art. Explore their 2023 holiday gift collection and available art pieces for everyone on your list.

Austin Pets Alive! transforms the lives of animals through life-saving programs that find animals homes, serve animals in times of crisis, and community involvement. Join them on December 2 for their annual Pawliday Photos where they offer photo sessions for you and your pets. Spots are limited – register today!

This master-planned community provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for those coming out of chronic homelessness. We’ve proudly supported the Gottesman Residential Cluster at Community First! Village since 2021. Be sure to join their annual Village of Lights and Holiday Market on December 1-2 and December 8-9 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm.

Family Eldercare thoughtfully partners with older adults and people with disabilities to create stability, dignity, and well-being. Through their Holiday Giving Drive, explore the stories and holiday requests of some of the resilient and inspiring individuals Family Eldercare currently serves.

Foster Angels of Central Texas’s mission is to improve the lives of children in foster care by ensuring each child has their basic needs met and providing life-enhancing, life-enriching opportunities whenever possible. Make their holidays a little brighter this year by sponsoring a teen in foster care with their annual Toys for Teens gift drive.

The SAFE Alliance exists to stop abuse for everyone by serving the survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence. From Thanksgiving meal kit donations to sponsoring a SAFE family, help create joy and magic this holiday season through their SAFE Holiday programs!

Holidays in Austin:
Agent's Favorite Tradition

We asked a few of our agents what their favorite holiday tradition is. See what they had to say below.

“I love going with my family to the Bob Schneider Holiday Spectacular at the ACL Moody Theater. It gets you the holiday spirit!”

“My favorite holiday tradition is setting up the tree with my family and decorating our house the weekend after Thanksgiving.”

“Some of my favorite Christmas traditions are driving around looking at lights with Christmas music playing in the car, and making Christmas cookies with my kids.”

“I always look forward to our company holiday party this time of year. It is always fun and festive!”

“We love going to the Austin Trail of Lights every year. My husband and I had one of our first dates there and even celebrated our engagement with our families there, as well as our children love the tree and lights.”

“During the holidays, I like playing White Elephant with my family and watching The Santa Tracker with my nephews and niece.”