Things to do During the Holiday Season

A list of indoor and outdoor activities to do this winter

by Payal Mugunda, Reporter

Now that winter’s right around the corner, most outdoor activities aren’t possible anymore. And here in Texas, the weather manages to be just cold enough to keep us inside, but not cold enough for most winter activities. So unless you’re planning on taking a vacation somewhere farther north, you’ll be spending the next few months cooped up inside. To avoid boredom, here’s a list of winter activities, both indoors and outdoors. Let’s start with the indoor options.


Half the fun of a winter holiday is the planning and preparation. And decorating is an important part of that preparation. No matter if you’re stringing up dozens of different lights, struggling to keep inflatables from flying away or just putting up a wreath, decorating your house is an incredibly fun way to spend a few weekends.


A lot of people took up baking over the pandemic. And when it gets too cold to go out frequently, it might be time to dust off that oven. Whether you’re dealing with bread that rises overnight or frozen cookie dough, this is one way to spend your time that guarantees delicious results.


For those of you that have been looking for a chance to set up game nights with family or friends, two weeks of vacation might be what you’re looking for. And no matter what you want to play – board games, solitaire or a new video game – these next few months will be a perfect time for it.


There are lots of long-awaited movies premiering in the winter months. These include Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pinocchio” on Dec. 9, “Avatar: The Way of Water” on Dec. 16, “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” on Dec. 21 and many others. But whether you plan to go to theaters or watch an old favorite, winter is a great time to watch movies.


Everyone has that one series or book that they’ve been wanting to read, but could never find time for. But with most outdoor activities suspended for the next few months, and two weeks of vacation for winter break, a chance to relax with a good book may be in your future. 


Of course, we can’t forget a favorite Texan pastime: staring at the weather forecast and hoping for snow. No matter why you want snow – whether you’re hoping for a day off from school or a chance to play in the snow – staring at a weather forecast is one way to spend your time.


Next, some winter activities for those of you who don’t mind a long drive.

Trail of Lights:

If you don’t want to decorate your own house, but you still want to see decorations, there are many places where you can either drive or walk through elaborate light displays, all of which have concessions on sale. The Zilker Park trail, one that you drive through, will be open from Dec. 8-23, 2022 (closed on Mondays), and tickets are on sale now. Another driving trail is Peppermint Parkway at the Circuit of the Americas. This one will be open from Nov. 25 through Dec. 30, and tickets are also on sale now. But if you want one you can walk through and don’t mind the long drive to get there, the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights is open from Nov. 18 to Dec. 31, with visits with Santa available on weekends and holidays.

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters:

If you want a more low-key lights display, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters in downtown Austin is open from 7 a.m. to midnight and has a tree covered in lights, along with live music and delicious food and drinks. It also happens to be close to many of the other downtown activities, so spending a night roaming between them could be a fun option over break.

Ice Skating:

While you won’t find any frozen lakes in Texas, indoor ice skating is still a possibility. The Crossover’s ice rink in Leander, TX, open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, has hockey and figure skating lessons, along with unorganized ice skating for anyone who buys a public session wristband.