‘Tis The Season To Enjoy These Great Austin Activities
By Chandler Myers
Finally, the holiday season is here! Austin is home to many different holiday activities, each giving the city its own unique feel. With so many festivities to celebrate the holidays, we have you covered with our top 5 things to do in Austin during the holiday season.
1. Journey through the Trail of lights
Austin Trail of Lights has been a staple in Austin for 52 years and is the second largest event in the city. This event is great for a date with a loved one, an outing with the family, or simply a trip with a group of friends. Enjoy live performances, warm hot chocolate, and a beautiful arrangement of lights at Zilker Park before it ends on December 23! It is free some days, including December 9-14 and December 18 and 19. While you’re already at Zilker Park, don’t miss the Zilker Holiday Tree! Standing under this 155 feet-tall tree will even give the Grinch a reason to smile during the holiday season. It’s tradition to spin under the tree for some holiday-induced nausea. Whether you want to spin to your heart’s content or simply want to enjoy the largest Christmas tree in Austin, this event is a must-see. The tree will be on display until December 31.
2. Spread some holiday spirit to the less fortunate
The Austin Police Department’s Operation Blue Santa Campaign is growing each and every year thanks to the generous donations of Austinites throughout the city. With the help of Austin Fire Department, Austin Energy, Austin Water, the Texas National Guard, and a large variety of local business, APD provides meals and presents to families who otherwise would not be able to afford them. If this sounds like something for you, you can drop off toys at these locations or become a sponsor and adopt a family. Operation Blue Santa does its annual deliveries on December 16, but you can always donate to other Austin charities after that date.
3. Take in Austin’s weird vibe with the 37th street lights
Every year, the 37th street light show is a different pattern of wacky lights. If the Trail of Lights is too traditional for you, let your weird side out and stop by the 37th street lights. No one knows what they will look like, as they completely differ from year to year. These residents take great pride in their outrageous lights and would love to increase the amount of spectators. Add some spontaneity to your holidays and see what the 37th street lights have to offer this year!
4. Enjoy a variety of classic plays
Every year, Austin adds its own theatrical spin to the holidays with live performances of classic films such as A Christmas Carol, Elf, The Nutcracker, and others. Complete with music that spans genres and generations, these performances add another layer of holiday spirit and are great for fun and exciting family outings. Costs may vary. These events take place at the Zach Theatre and most run until December 31.
5. Skate on the Whole Foods Plaza
The Whole Foods ice skating rink has grown to be one of Austin’s top holiday traditions. If you are looking for an affordable way to ice skate in scenic downtown Austin, this is the place for you. Stop by the flagship Whole Foods in downtown Austin any time before January 15th and see why this has become such an anticipated event!
There you have it! Between now and the end of the holiday season, it is safe to say Austinites have their hands full with all of these festive events. Whether you want to gaze at the amazing Trail of Lights and take in the grandeur of the Zilker Park Christmas tree, feel like a kid again and ice skate on the Whole Foods plaza, or see firsthand how Austin makes the holidays weird, we have you covered. Austin has many more activities than this top 5 list, so if you can’t get enough there is always something new to explore this holiday season. Happy holidays!