No matter what you celebrate during the wintertime, it’s fun to watch your child’s eyes light up at the magical sights on display.

We’ve rounded up a fun collection of what our area has to offer for this holiday season. Share this list with your friends and mark your calendars!

(additional links to events will be updated on our Facebook page. Look for the post linking to this article, updates will be in comments! )

Elf Academy!

Saturday, December 2, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The Domain, Amy Donovan Plaza, in between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s

Elves in training can enjoy music, face painting, balloon twisting, crafts, games, prizes, giveaways, a Santa snack and fun photos!

Holiday Stroll and Sing-Along
Saturday, December 2, 6-9 p.m.
Downtown Austin at the Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue and 11th

Sing holiday songs on the lawn of the Capitol and then stroll along Congress Avenue.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells
December 2-16 (Saturdays and Sundays), 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin

Based on the popular chapter book, Austin Scottish Rite Theater presents Junie B. on stage.

Lights of Love
Sunday, December 3, 4-7 p.m.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin

Lights of Love is a festive event for children and families to experience holiday fun and the magical moment when hundreds of sparkling lights suddenly illuminate the Ronald McDonald House and its big, bright holiday tree.

12th Annual Mueller Tower Lighting
Tuesday, December 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Mueller Control Tower, Berkman Drive, Austin

Join the Mueller community for the 12th Annual Tower Lighting Ceremony! The Reagan High School Drumline and Boss Street Band will provide entertainment for the entire family. Free coffee, kettle corn and cookies will be available while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. Free hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be served while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. FREE!

The Nutcracker, Austin Ballet

December 8-23; shows at 2 & 7:30 p.m.
Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

Austin’s favorite holiday tradition returns for its 55th year with all of the colorful characters, pomp and pageantry you adore.

Gingerbread House Workshop @ The Thinkery
December 9-24, various times
The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Avenue, Austin

These hour-long, educator-led workshops are appropriate for all ages and offer everything needed to build and decorate a charming gingerbread house. Each attendee must reserve a seat in the workshop and we recommend purchasing one Gingerbread House Kit for every 2-3 people.

Trail of Lights- Austin
December 9-23, 7-10 p.m.
Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road, Austin

Visit the Trail of Lights and take a spin under the Zilker Tree! Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. General admission is FREE on select nights, $3 for ages 12+ from December 15-17 and 20-23. Parking pass is $15-$20.

2017 Buda Trail of Lights
7 Dates · Dec 7 – Dec 17

Trail of Lights is a free holiday event held at Historic Stagecoach Park. Come out to see the thousands of lights put up by local businesses and organizations. Meet Santa and pictures with him and Mrs. Claus, roast marsh mellows at our camp fire, and sip hot cocoa and eat other festive food to get you in the holiday spirit! The trail runs December 8-9 and December 14-17.

Sights & Sounds of Christmas
November 29 – December 2
San Marcos, TX

The Sights & Sounds of Christmas Festival, presented by the City of San Marcos TX – City Hall, Central Texas Medical Center, San Marcos Toyota and TRACE, returns
on Wednesday, November 29!

–Week 1 will be open nightly from 5-11 PM on Wednesday, November 29-Saturday, December 2.
–Week 2 is open Wednesday, December 6-Saturday, December 9. 

Join us as we celebrate the holiday season with thousands of lights, photos with Santa, ice skating, a petting zoo, carnival rides, shopping, food and much more. One day admission is $5 or an 8 day pass is available for $15. Admission for children 12 and under is always free!

Luminations at the Wildflower Center
Daily, Dec 7 – Dec 10

At the Wildflower Center, winter is naturally magical, but we go all out to bring more sparkle and cheer for the holidays! Walk along the paths and gardens with thousands of luminarias and other beautiful light displays. Enjoy free maple taffy and hot chocolate in our courtyard. Delicious holiday foods and festive beverages, fun activities and live music make this one of Austin’s most memorable holiday traditions!

Christmas Lights @ Chinati Court

Chinati Ct
Cedar Park, TX 78613
 
“What child doesn’t wish they lived on Chinati Court at Christmas?  I’m an adult (in years anyway) and I wish I lived there at Christmas time.  The neighbors in this cul-du-sac of Christmas Merriment have absolutely sunk all of their creativity, skill, ingenuity, and passion into a luminous holiday masterpiece.  Each home offers its own unique Christmas theme(s) but all of them are united thematically by their “T’was The Night Before Christmas” storyboards, and all are physically anchored to a pole at the center of the cul-du-sac that radiates light strings to each rooftop.”

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit
Open to Public: (12/1-12/2) (12/8-12/30)
Sunday through Thursday — 6pm-10pm
Friday and Saturday — 6pm-11pm

Millions of lights will illuminate a magical world of holiday amusement at Circuit of The Americas this December. There will be something for everyone to experience and enjoy including a Skating Rink, Human Snow Globe, Singing Trees, Petting Zoo, Camel Rides, Santa’s Workshop, Carnival Rides, Hot Air Balloon Float, Merry Movies on The Lawn, Delectable Food, Shopping Galore and the soon-to-be world-famous Tunnel of Lights and much more. Who knows, it may even end up snowing in Austin! Admission: $16 (children 5 and under free)

Ice Skating on the Plaza – Whole Foods

Whole Foods, downtown Austin

“A must-do for locals and visitors alike, Ice Skating on the Plaza at our Flagship store (located in Downtown) has become one of Austin’s most anticipated events of the holiday season! The ice rink is open daily from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. beginning Friday, Nov. 24 through Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.* Cost is $10 per person and includes skate rental.”

Mozarts on Lake Austin Blvd.
(The link is from 2014, but it shows the lights!)

This year, there’s an on-going experience all evening long from 6-11 p.m., but not a scheduled show. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by more than one million LED lights. This runs nightly through January 1, 2018 (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day).

Austin Steam Train’s North Pole Flyer!

Saturday & Sunday, November 25 – December 17, 2017
8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park

Enjoy a special 2 hour excursion on a real train that features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

A Prarie Christmas Carol

Friday & Saturday, December 1, 2, 8, 9 – 7-11 p.m.
Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin

A live-theater adaptation of Charles Dickens’ holiday story. Tickets online or $12 at gate. Based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, families will enjoy various scenes of Dickens’ classic tale in 1800s Texas on four nights in December.

Santa’s Wonderland

November 11 – December 24, 2017

Free photos with Santa, crafts for kids, plus games and activities to celebrate the season.

Christmas Family Night

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas Family Night is a free event and includes activities for the entire family including live music, dancers, candle making, carriage rides, game booths, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus and more. Located on Main Street in downtown Round Rock.

Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour & Christmas Towne

Nov. 28 to Dec. 26

Rock’N Lights is a drive-through light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Johnson City Lights!
Johnson City, Texas

Pedernales Electric Co-Op headquarters won’t be outdone. An entire block of magnificent old oak trees strung with 1+ million white lights covering the entire canopy of each tree plus white trunks. The town square is also done up and a sight to behold!

Marble Falls’ Trail of Lights Walk
Marble Falls, Texas

Two million lights on more than 130 sculptures illuminate Lakeside Park each year from November through New Year’s Day. The Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls runs 6-10 p.m. each day — weather permitting — until Jan. 1, 2018. We love this trail as it is low-key but so pretty. A great place to go with kids.