As the holiday season approaches, it can be tempting to stay in the warmth of your home watching movies and drinking hot chocolate. However, there are tons of events in the surrounding area that can be even more fun, from large ones in downtown Austin to smaller ones right in Cedar Park and Leander.
1. Austin Trail of Lights
A popular yearly event taking place in Zilker Park, the Trail of Lights is always a fun event for family or friends. Open this year from Dec. 10 to 23, visitors can walk the trail and experience the elaborate Christmas light displays as well as local food trucks. More information here.
2. A Christmas Carol at Zach Theatre
Another popular Austin event, Zach Theatre’s yearly production of A Christmas Carol is currently playing, with shows until Dec. 29. The show follows the classic Dickens novel. Buy tickets here.
3. Band of the Hills Christmas Concert
Band of the Hills is putting on their Christmas Concert at Hill Country Nazarene Church on Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. The concert is free to the public. More information can be found here.
4. Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop
A free community event, visitors can take pictures with Santa, participate in craft activities and games, and experience live music. The police department will also take new, unwrapped gifts for Blue Santa. The event is on Dec. 6 from 6:00-9:30 p.m. and visitors of all ages are welcome. Find out more here.
5. North Pole Flyer
Perfect for fans of The Polar Express, this two-hour train ride includes hot chocolate, a visit from Santa Claus and more, all on a real train. With various rides until Dec. 7, tickets are selling out quickly and can be found here.
6. Live Holiday Music and Strolling Carolers at the Domain
On Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, visitors to the Domain can enjoy carolers walking the streets as well as music performances in Century Oaks Park and on the lawn across from the iPic Theatres. Find more information here.
7. 53rd Annual Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony
With plenty of live music, food, and Austin attractions, visitors can watch the lighting of the 155-foot tall tree on Dec. 1. Make sure to check the parking schedule and be careful of the high traffic. More information here.
8. Lights on Lake Austin Holiday Boat Parade
On Dec. 7 from 5-9 p.m., visitors can register a boat and join the parade that starts under the 360 Bridge and ends at Mozart’s for a light show. Buy tickets and find out more here.
9. Blue Belles Christmas Dance Clinic
Open to students from pre-K to 12th grade, participants work with the Blue Belles before performing later in the afternoon. Participants are also invited to dance in the Blue Belles Christmas Show. The clinic is on Dec. 14, and more information and registration can be found here.
10. Pancakes and PJ’s
Open to all families, this event at the Leander Public Library features a visit from Santa and hot breakfasts. Pre-registration is encouraged for the Dec. 14 event. Find more information here.