Event FAQs

Dates, Time, Gate Ticket Information & Location

The Trail runs December 9th – 23rd, 2017, open from 7:00pm to 10:00pm nightly.

ZIP Fast Passes and Platinum Passes may enter as early as 6:00 pm. The Trail of Lights is rain or shine barring extreme weather conditions.

General admission access to the Trail is FREE for all ages December 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19.

General admission is $3 per person ages 12+ December 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23. Purchase tickets in advance to avoid long admission lines at the gate. ($5* Shuttle tickets include general admission on participating nights - no separate GA gate ticket purchase is necessary for shuttle ticket holders.)

ZIP Fast Pass admission is available December 10-23 and allows priority entry to the Trail at 6:00pm nightly, one hour before the public. ZIP pricing varies from $15-$20*. ZIP passes also include access to the Zilker Lounge for complimentary cookies and cocoa. ZIP amenities are available even on the “free general admission” nights, and carry a lot of value, especially on busier nights at the Trail.

Experience the Trail in luxury with a Platinum Pass! Platinum tickets offer priority entry before the public at 6pm, a private Platinum Lounge, golf cart shuttle, rides on the Ferris wheel or carousel. Private restrooms, refreshments, and more! Platinum pricing starts at $80* and is available December 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

Advance Parking at Zilker Park is available online only for $15* per vehicle. No parking will be sold onsite.

*additional service charges and tax may apply

Location: Zilker Park - Austin, Texas

ADA Access

View ADA Access Information Here

The Trail of Lights invites all holiday enthusiasts to celebrate the season, including guests with disabilities. The Trail's access program includes: accessible routes, ADA parking, dedicated ADA entrance gate and time, and accessible restrooms. Here are more details as you plan your trip to the Trail:

  • Expedited Entry: Guests with disabilities (plus up to 3 companions) will be permitted to enter the Trail as early as 6 pm on December 9-23 to enjoy the Trail prior to general admission entry. The ADA entrance is located between Lou Neff Road and the Trail of Lights entrance on Barton Springs Road. This area allows extra space and paved terrain for entry. Look for the wheelchair signs above the entrance lanes or ask a volunteer to direct you to the appropriate area.

  • ADA Parking, along with all parking, must be purchased in advance online and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. In order to access ADA parking, purchase a regular parking pass online. Vehicles must display a state-issued handicapped plate or placard and the person to whom the placard or plate is issued must be present in the vehicle. Follow map on parking pass to the traffic check point, then follow staff instruction and signs to designated ADA parking area.
  • The Trail of Lights shuttles are ADA accessible, they run from Burger Center and Republic Square Park on select nights. See which nights the shuttles will run here.
  • Accessible Routes: The majority of the Trail of Lights is defined by Lou Neff Road, a paved pathway surrounding Zilker Park. Some areas of the Trail are located on natural terrain, so if it rains, there may be mud in some places. Please be prepared for weather and long distances.
  • Accessible Restrooms: ADA portalets are placed in each restroom location.
  • ·Visit a Trail Information booth for questions related to accessibility.

  • Disabled Veterans will receive free parking and free gate entry at any time with display of state or federal issued credentials.
  • Please note the Trail does not provide wheelchairs for rent or loan. We also do not provide personal care, golf cart rides, or push service. Please plan ahead and bring attendants if needed. Please make arrangements in advance if a wheelchair is needed. Wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and three or four-wheeled scooters are allowed for use by Patrons with mobility disabilities. For safety reasons, requests to use other power-driven mobility devices will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

TRAIL OF LIGHTS DOES NOT PROVIDE PERSONAL ASSISTANCE OR MOBILITY DEVICE RENTALS. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

For more information about the ADA Access Program, contact info@austintrailoflights.org.

Pets

No pets are permitted at the Trail of Lights. Only service animals who are trained to provide a service for a guest with a disability will be allowed on the Trail.

Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Other examples for education purposes include:

  • providing non-violent protection or rescue work
  • pulling a wheelchair
  • alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
  • retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone
  • providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
  • helping individuals with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors

As of September 2010, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has redefined a "service animal" for the purposes of the ADA as "any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.” This revised definition excludes all comfort animals, which are pets that owners keep with them for emotional reasons, including anxiety disorders.

Allowed and Prohibited Items

ALLOWED ITEMS

  • Blankets
  • Umbrellas (small hand-held style)
  • Baby Strollers
  • Small Wagons
  • Binoculars
  • Personal Handheld Walkie Talkies
  • Personal cameras, including digital cameras, DSLR's with stock lenses, point-and-shoot cameras and traditional film cameras.

PROHIBITED ITEMS

  • Weapons of any kind (including but not limited to guns, knives, pocket knives, razors, scissors, needles, etc.)
  • Large bags (frame backpacks, suitcases, rolling bags) - all bags are subject to search
  • Remote controlled aircrafts and drones
  • Coolers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Costumes covering the face
  • Glass containers
  • Smoking is prohibited in Austin’s public parks
  • Skateboards, scooters or personal motorized vehicles
  • Bicycles inside Trail grounds (bike racks are available near the entrance)
  • Fireworks and all explosives
  • Illegal substances of any kind
  • Pets and animals (except service dogs)
  • Unauthorized/unlicensed vendors are prohibited

Zilker Parking / Driving Instructions

Close-in parking at Zilker Park / Trail of Lights is available only with a pre-paid parking pass. There are a limited number available each night and all parking must be purchased in advance, online. Purchase parking for $15 per vehicle (plus service charges). Parking will not be sold onsite. Parking lots open at 5:30pm nightly. Display printed parking pass on your dashboard.

NOTE: Parking is prohibited in surrounding neighborhoods. Please respect the residents of the Zilker Park area and Rollingwood. Public safety personnel will enforce parking regulations.

With a prepaid parking pass, you will be able to access our event parking with your pass anytime between 5:30pm and when the event concludes at 10pm. Please follow the driving directions indicated on your parking pass as street closures will be in effect. Present your pass to parking/traffic attendants upon arrival, and then follow their guidance from there to access the actual lot. Please display your parking pass on our dashboard once parked. One parking pass per vehicle.

Please leave plenty of time to arrive at Zilker Park. This is a very popular event in the center of the city; expect traffic delays approaching Zilker Park.

From the north:

Travel south on Mopac to the Barton Skyway exit

Turn left onto Barton Skyway and then left (northbound) onto the Mopac frontage road

Continue on the MOPAC frontage road towards Bee Caves Road

Head straight through the light at Bee Caves Road and look for parking personnel to direct you to the parking lot

From the south:

Travel north on Mopac to the Barton Skyway exit

Continue on the MOPAC frontage road towards Bee Caves Road

Head straight through the light at Bee Caves Road and look for parking personnel to direct you to the parking lot

From downtown Austin:

Take West 5th or Cesar Chavez to MOPAC

Enter MOPAC southbound

Travel south on Mopac to the Barton Skyway exit

Turn left onto Barton Skyway and then left (northbound) onto the Mopac frontage road

Continue on the MOPAC frontage road towards Bee Caves Road

Head straight through the light at Bee Caves Road and look for parking personnel to direct you to the parking lot

From east or west:

Identify the easiest route to MOPAC from your location and take the directions above based on whether you are south or north of Zilker Park

Parking Passes

Parking Passes will be sent via PDF attachment and/or link along with your order confirmation and receipt from our ticketing partner, Ticketbud. Each type of ticket will be included in ONE ticket attachment/link. Each page represents a separate event ticket or transportation pass, depending on your items purchased – be sure to scroll thru the entire document to view all pages / tickets. Parking passes MUST BE PRINTED AND DISPLAYED ON DASH for access to the parking area.

With a prepaid parking pass, you will be able to access our event parking with your pass anytime between 5:30pm and when the event concludes at 10pm. Please follow the driving directions indicated on your parking pass as street closures will be in effect. Present your pass to parking/traffic attendants upon arrival, and then follow their guidance from there to access the actual lot. Please display your parking pass on our dashboard once parked. One parking pass per vehicle.

Trail of Lights Shuttles

The Shuttle will operate from two locations on select nights ~ Republic Square downtown Austin, and Toney Burger Event Center in south Austin. Free and ample parking is available at the Tony Burger Activity Center for south Austin shuttle riders. However additional parking fees may apply per posted lots/garages/street meters at areas surrounding the Republic Square Park shuttle location in downtown Austin.

Shuttles will operate on December 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2017

Tickets are $5 per rider. Shuttle Tickets include your Trail of Lights general admission gate ticket on the paid nights. Lap children ride free (infant/toddler).

Shuttle tickets can be purchased in advance online, or in person upon arrival at each shuttle location.

Avoid the traffic and take a shuttle to the front gate from multiple convenient locations around Austin:

1. Burger Center (3200 Jones Rd, Austin, TX 78745)

2. Republic Square Park (422 Guadalupe St., Austin 78701)

First shuttle departs Burger Center and Republic Square Park at 5:30 pm. Last shuttle departs shuttle stops at 8:30pm. Return shuttles from Zilker will run until 10:30 pm.

Shuttles are ADA accessible and have room for wheelchair storage.

Foldable strollers are permitted on shuttles.

If guests just want to ride the shuttle and enjoy general admission Trail entry for the night, shuttle guests can enter thru the “prepaid” admission lines at the Trail and do not need to pay for a separate GA ticket – the shuttle pass allows a ride and GA entry. However, if a guest wants to participate in the shuttle program and ZIP early entry, then both a separate shuttle and ZIP pass are needed.

Street Closures

BARTON SPRINGS ROAD CLOSURES:

ALL LANES of Barton Springs Road will be OPEN November 26 – December 1; December 3 – 8; December 24 – 31. Stratford Drive will be closed December 8.

The OUTER LANES of Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will be CLOSED on December 11 - 14 (4:30 PM to 11 PM). Car traffic will continue East and West on internal lanes.

ALL LANES on Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will be CLOSED on December 2; December 9 -10; December 15 – 23 (4:30 PM to 11 PM).

LOU NEFF ROAD will be closed from November 3 through January 8.

Taxis & Rideshare Drop Off Location

TAXIS

There is a taxi drop-off and pick-up location across Barton Springs Road from the main entrance to the Trail of Lights, next to the Zilker Playground. Cabs are unable to drop off closer to the entrance due to street closures. There will not always be a queue of taxis to pick up Trail guests, so we recommend calling a cab once you reach the end of the Trail and return to the taxi drop-off zone near Zilker Playground.

RIDESHARE/ TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

We encourage Austin Trail of Lights attendees to use our preferred rideshare partner, Lyft. Lyft drivers will drop off riders either at the shuttle location near the Zilker Tree or at Austin High School. For all other rideshare services, the rideshare drop-off will be located by Austin High School. Attendees dropped off at Austin High will need to take the pedestrian bridge under MOPAC to Stratford Drive and walk to the main entrance of the Trail of Lights (to the left). Ride share pick up will be at the same location where riders were dropped-off. Lyft drivers are aware of the street closures surrounding Zilker Park and will be instructed to use this designated drop-off and pick-up location.

Use the code TRAIL17 for $5 off your first 3 rides with Lyft.

Lost & Found

Report your lost and found items here:

Metro Bus or Rail

CapMetro can get you close. Take the #3, #4, #30 or #338 bus lines or hop on the rail, which runs until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights

#3: Burnet / Manchaca

#4: Montopolis

#30: Barton Creek Square

#338: Lamar / 45th

MetroRail : Route Details

Back

Bike or Walk

Live close by? Then take a stroll or a quick bike ride down to the park to enjoy the night and the lights.

Bike racks will be provided across Barton Springs Road from the entrance. An Austin B Cycle station is located across the street from the entrance, as well.

Ticket Delivery

Event tickets will be sent via PDF attachment and/or link along with your order confirmation and receipt from our ticketing partner, Ticketbud. Each type of ticket will be included in ONE ticket attachment/link. Each page represents a separate event ticket or transportation pass, depending on your items purchased – be sure to scroll thru the entire document to view all pages / tickets. Please present each of the attachment pages / tickets on your mobile device or print them for proper scanning and validation from Trail of Lights staff upon arrival. If you cannot locate your purchase confirmation email and tickets, please visit ticketbud.com, login to your account, and print/view/download your tickets directly.

Mobile VS Printed Tickets

Event & Shuttle tickets can either be printed and presented to Austin Trail of Lights gate staff, or you can go green and display them on your smart phone to staff upon arrival. Both printed + mobile tickets will be scanned to validate event entry. Parking passes must be printed and shown to Trail Traffic and Parking attendants for access to the parking area, and then displayed on the vehicle's dashboard while parked.

Advance Ticket Sales

All tickets are available for purchase on our website at austintrailoflights.org through our ticketing partner, Ticketbud. We encourage you to purchase tickets in advance as opposed to at the event to be sure you don’t miss and to avoid long admission. Purchase today at austintrailoflights.org/calendar.

Can I Purchase Tickets at the Door?

Yes, ZIP and General Admission Gate tickets will be sold onsite each night. ZIP Tickets are $15-$20 (plus fees) and available at the ZIP Box Office starting at 5:30pm Dec 10-23rd.

General Admission Gate tickets are $3 (plus fees) and available in person at the GA Box Office on December 15-17 and 20-23. General Admission is complimentary for all guests on Dec 9-14 and 18-19.

ZIP Fast Pass - Early Entry Time

ZIP Fast Pass guests (and ZIP Gold) guests are welcome to enjoy the Austin Trail of Lights at any time, however to maximize your experience, we recommend taking advantage of the expedited exclusive entry time at 6pm, one hour before gates open to the general public.

Parking lots open at 5:30 pm each night. You are certainly welcome to come and hop in line to enter our ZIP Lobby area which will have refreshments while you wait to queue for access to the Trail opening at 6:00 pm, one hour before the general public enters at 7:00pm. To enter, follow the event signs to the “ZIP Fast Pass” lanes just right of the Trail of Lights - Barton Springs Road pedestrian entrance starting at 6pm.

Upon arrival at the ZIP Entrance, please present each of your tickets on your mobile device or print them for proper scanning and validation from Trail of Lights staff upon arrival. ZIP purchase required for ages 6 and over; children 5 and under are free with a ticketed ZIP adult

No matter when you arrive, you will still be able to enjoy other ZIP Fast Pass amenities such as:

  • Entry to the Trail through an exclusive ZIP gate and experience our special ZIP Lobby.
  • Access to the Zilker Lounge where you'll find heated and comfortable seating, and heated washrooms.
  • Complimentary cookies and cocoa.

ZIP amenities are available even on the “free general admission” nights, and carry a lot of value, especially on busier nights at the Trail. ZIP admission hours are 6-10pm, nightly, on December 10th-23rd.

How do I purchase a 4-pack or 10-pack of Night Lights Preview Party Tickets?

Each individual Night Lights ticket is $75, so a 4-pack is $300 total and a 10-pack is $750 total (plus applicable service charges and taxes). You will select “4” from the drop-down menu next to the 4-pack option – which is for one-4pack - 4 tickets and totaling $300 (plus fees). If you wanted 2 4-packs for example, you would select “8” from the drop down since 2 4-packs would be 8 tickets at $75 each. Please note that one (1) parking pass come with each 4-pack purchase and will be emailed to you separately. If you'd like a 10-pack, select “10” from the drop-down menu next to the 10-pack option – which is for one-10pack - 10 tickets and totaling $750 (plus fees). If you wanted 2 10-packs for example, you would select “10” from the drop down since 2 10-packs would be 20 tickets at $75 each. Please note that two (2) parking passes come with each 10-pack purchase and will be emailed to you separately. Otherwise, there is no paid parking for an individual Night Lights ticket, and no general paid parking. There will be limited free parking around Zilker Park. We suggest you either arrive early for limited first-come-first-served parking, or ease you mind and utilize a Lyft rideshare. Night Lights Preview Party tickets are required for children 6 and up – ages 5 and under are complimentary with a ticketed adult. Night Lights hours are 7-10pm on December 8th.

How do I purchase a 2-pack or 4-pack of Platinum tickets?

Platinum 2-packs and 4-packs are available, in addition to individual Platinum tickets. To purchase, you will select a "2" from the drop-down menu next to the 2-pack option – which is for one-2pack - 2 tickets and totaling $150 (plus fees). If you wanted 2 2-packs for example, you would select “4” from the drop down since 2 2-packs would be 4 tickets. If you'd like a Platinum 4-pack, select “4” from the drop-down menu next to the 4-pack option – which is for one-4pack - 4 tickets and totaling $260 (plus fees). If you wanted 2 4-packs for example, you would select “8” from the drop down since 2 4-packs would be 8 tickets. Please note that one (1) Platinum Valet parking pass come with each 2-pack and 4-pack purchase and will be emailed to you separately. Platinum tickets are required for children 6 and up – ages 5 and under are complimentary with a ticketed adult.

Group Outings / Discounts

We are delighted you and your group would like to spend a night at the Trail, however please note no group discount pricing is available in general. We do however have a special ZIP GOLD experience available if you're looking for an elevated night at the Trail, and may have some hospitality party space still available as well. For more information on our ZIP Gold program and parties, please visit https://austintrailoflights.org/group-celebrations.

Military and Student Pricing

While we thank you for your service and are grateful, the Trail does not offer a discount Military admission in general. We do have a special Heroes Night planned for Tuesday, December 12th where we'll honor and recognize active military, veterans, and first responders with complimentary ZIP Fast Pass admission starting at 6:00pm for them and their families. An advance ticket is not necessary. Simply wear your uniform, or present your military ID or badge to Trail staff at the ZIP Entrance for proper complimentary ZIP admission.

Disabled Veterans and family members can receive free general admission gate entry starting at 6:00 pm, by presenting their state or federal issued credentials. Free ADA parking is also available for one vehicle with accompanying state or federal issued credentials or an ADA plate or placard. Family members will still need to purchase a parking pass for additional vehicles as needed.

Current enrolled UT Students can take advantage of special ZIP Fast Pass discount pricing on Sunday, December 10th for UT Night. Just enter the special promotional code and your UT Student ID # during the purchase process. Otherwise, there is no special student pricing.

Do I have to register all my guests to their own tickets?

While we encourage the main ticket buyer to enter each individual attending guest’s information, it is not required and okay if you only enter your information for all tickets in the order. Other guests will be able to enter with "your" tickets okay, even though your name is on them.

Map

2017TOLSiteMap_4x3.jpg

Entrances

Once you arrive to Trail, enter the lane according to your ticket type. Options are:

  • SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ENTRANCE: Spirit of Christmas general admission ticket holders will enter through the Main Entrance located on Barton Springs Road, starting at 6:00pm on Tuesday, December 5th only.
  • NIGHT LIGHTS PREVIEW PARTY: Night Lights Preview Party ticket holders will enter through the ZIP Fast Pass Entrance located on Barton Springs Road, starting at 7:00pm on Friday, December 8th only.
  • ZIP FAST PASS ENTRANCE: ZIP wristband holders can enter at 6:00pm nightly December 10-23 at the ZIP entrance is located on Barton Springs Road, just right of the Trail of Lights main entrance.
  • HEORES NIGHT ENTRANCE: For our Heroes Night on Tuesday, December 12th, simply wear your uniform, or present your military ID or badge to Trail staff at the ZIP Entrance for proper complimentary ZIP admission for Heroes and their families. The ZIP entrance is located on Barton Springs Road, just right of the Trail of Lights main entrance.
  • MAIN / PREPAID ENTRANCE: Entrance nightly for all prepaid General Admission and Shuttle guests located on Barton Springs Road, starting at 7:00pm December 9-23.
  • GATE ADMISSION ENTRANCE: Entrance for $3 paid gate fee starting at 7:00pm on paid nights ~ Dec 15-17 and 20-23, located on Barton Springs Road.
  • ADA ENTRANCE: The ADA entrance is located between Lou Neff Road and the Trail of Lights entrance on Barton Springs Road. This area allows extra space and paved terrain for entry. Guests with disabilities will be permitted to enter the Trail as early as 6:00pm on December 9-23 to enjoy the Trail prior to general admission entry. Look for the wheelchair signs above the entrance lanes or ask a volunteer to direct you to the appropriate area.
  • PLATINUM ENTRANCE: Platinum Entrance is located at Stratford Drive and Lou Neff Road. Platinum guests use this entrance beginning at 6:00pm nightly.
  • HOSPITALITY ENTRANCE: Hospitality Entrance is located at Stratford Drive and Lou Neff Road. Hospitality guests, Executive Pass holders, Media, and special FFN/TOL guests use this entrance beginning at 6:00pm nightly.

Security & Safety

The Trail of Lights Foundation and producers work at the direction of the Austin Police Department and city officials to create safety and security plans that will provide all patrons high quality and safe experiences. The Austin Police Department maintains a command center within the Trail of Lights and provides police officers in Zilker Park throughout the event. The Trail of Lights Foundation also provides supplemental security personnel to work with the Police Department and assist patrons. Emergency medical staff will be available on site. If you need any assistance, look for a Trail Information booth, a police officer, or Trail of Lights staff member or volunteer.

All bags are subject to search. Consider helping to expedite the entry process by leaving your bag at home.

Medical Services

Emergency medical staff will be available on site. If you need any assistance, look for a guest services help kiosk, a police officer, or Trail of Lights staff member or volunteer.

Disabled Veterans - Any Night

Disabled Veterans and family members can receive free general admission gate entry starting at 6:00 pm, by presenting their state or federal issued credentials. Free ADA parking is also available for one vehicle with accompanying state or federal issued credentials or an ADA plate or placard. Family members will still need to purchase a parking pass for additional vehicles as needed.

How long will Zilker Park be closed to the public?

The Trail of Lights is making a special effort to keep Zilker Park available for the community to enjoy as long as possible. Zilker’s Great Lawn will be fully open until November 15.

November 2 - November 15: Full park accessible for recreational use. Lou Neff Road closed to vehicular traffic from Barton Springs Road to volleyball courts; pedestrian traffic permitted.

November 16 - December 23: Trail of Lights fence line moves to middle of the Great Lawn; public access for recreational use of Great Lawn is available south of Rock Island. Lou Neff Road closed to vehicular traffic.

December 24 - January 8: Trail of Lights disassembles event and conducts park maintenance.

January 8: Full park and Lou Neff Road open

Plan Ahead

Austin Trail of Lights works closely with the City of Austin and surrounding neighborhoods to minimize the event’s impact on the community while maximizing the guest experience. However, we encourage you to give yourself extra time to arrive to the Austin Trail of Lights as downtown Austin traffic may be congested or delayed, and road closures may be in effect.

Whether walking, biking, or in need of a ride, there are many ways to get to the Trail and join Austin’s iconic holiday celebration. We have extended your transportation and parking options so that you can find the right one for your friends and family in advance of your evening at the Trail. So, plan ahead, relax and enjoy the lights.

Age Policy

All ages are welcome at the Trail of Lights. Preview Party, ZIP, and Platinum purchases are required for ages 6 and over; children 5 and under are free with a ticketed adult. On paid GA nights (Dec 15-17 and 20-23), a General Admission ticket is required for ages 12 and over; children 11 and under are free with a paid general admission adult. General Admission guests of all ages are free on Dec 9-14 and 18-19. Shuttle tickets are $5 for all riders except lap children and small infants.

Food & Drink

Food at the Trail includes something for everyone! See the vendors who are participating in the Trail of Lights here: https://austintrailoflights.org/food-at-the-trail

Food and Drink Payment

Throughout the Trail, you’ll find several areas offering a variety of Austin flavors from your favorite restaurants, food trucks, and local partners. Vendors accept cash and credit. Water is available at the various information booths around the Trail at a suggested donation of $2 which benefits our Trail of Lights Foundation STARS at the Trail Program. Help bring up to 2,000 deserving children, families, first responders and veterans to the Trail on 3 exclusive nights dedicated just to them.

Activities at the Trail

The Trail offers something for everyone. You'll find the following activities in each zone at the Trail. Candy Cane Lane includes food trucks, restrooms, Groovy Grove, Letters to Santa and Kringles Kantina. Arctic Point offers a beautiful view of the 360 Bridge, a forest of Trim-A-Trees and more beverage options. The North Pole is where you'll find Santa's House, Santa's Workshop, the Ferris wheel, carousel, food and restrooms. Visit Zilker Village to warm up by the Yule Log, check out the entertainment on the Zilker Stage, or satisfy your sweet tooth in Candyland. Zilker Village is also where you'll find the ZIP, Platinum and Hospitality lounges.

Ferris Wheel and Carousel

This year we are happy to announce that the Trail of Lights Ferris wheel and Carousel are back! The price for the Ferris wheel is $6 per rider and $4 per rider for the Carousel. They are cash-only, however, we have ATMs placed adjacent to each ride.

How do I get my Platinum Drink + Ride Tickets?

Each Platinum ticket purchase includes one drink ticket good for a beverage of your choice at official bars around the Trail of Lights. A ride ticket good for one ride on either the Ferris wheel or carousel is also included with each Platinum ticket. Both the drink and ride coupons will be issued upon initial arrival at the Platinum Entrance - located at Lou Neff Road and Stratford Drive. Upon staff scanning and validating your Platinum ticket, a Platinum wristband will be issued that permits access into the Platinum Lounge, golf cart shuttles, and Zilker Lounge. Your Platinum wristband also has detachable tabs for your drink and ride coupons. You can use these coupons in your party as you see fit. The original Platinum wristband holder / purchaser does not have to be the person to use the drink/ride tickets. Please note Platinum wristbands and subsequent drink + ride tickets will not be issued to complimentary Platinum children ages 5 and below. However, you are welcome to pass along your detachable drink and/or ride tickets to the little ones or other guests as you see fit. Of course, only non-alcoholic beverages will be available with a drink ticket for those under 21 years of age.

Entertainment Schedule

View the schedule and performer here.

Spirit of Christmas - December 5th

The Spirit of Christmas is a private night hosted by Spirit Radio 105.9. Learn more about the event at www.austintrailoflights.org/spirit.

UT Night - December 10th

We’re painting Austin’s favorite holiday event burnt orange at the fourth annual UT Night at the Trail of Lights on Sunday, December 10th with a special evening dedicated to the vibrant community of The University of Texas at Austin. UT Night is a great way to ring in the holiday season together with students, faculty, alumni, family and friends! The Trail will be colorful and shining bright as usual with dedicated UT elements and a variety of special programming and performances to showcase Longhorn pride. Current enrolled UT Students can receive a discounted ZIP ticket at $10 (plus fees) by entering the special passcode and their student ID.

Heroes Night - December 12th

On Tuesday, December 12th, we invite our active military, veterans, and first responders to join us for a special Heroes Night presented by Texas Lottery. An advance ticket is not necessary. Simply wear your uniform, or present your military ID or badge to Trail staff at the ZIP Entrance for proper complimentary ZIP admission for Heroes and their families starting at 6:00pm. A wristband will be issued to our Heroes upon arrival at the ZIP entry to not only allow ZIP access and amenities, but to also recognition these brave men and women for their service. Heroes may access the Trail through an exclusive ZIP entrance and experience our special ZIP Lobby, and also receive access to the Zilker Lounge where you'll find cookies, cocoa, comfortable seating, and heated washrooms. Accompanying family members can also receive complimentary ZIP admission on this night only.

Cap City Music Night - December 14th

Join us on Thursday, December 14 to celebrate the organizations and artists who maintain Austin’s title as “Live Music Capital of the World.” Austin Trail of Lights invites the many nonprofit organizations who are dedicated to providing services for Austin’s professional musicians and musicians in training to the Trail for one special night. The stages will be fully booked, showcasing a fantastic local musical lineup for all to enjoy.

Movie Night - December 19th

Movie Night at the Trail of Lights, brought to you by Austin Parks Foundation, will take place December 19 in Zilker Park. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chair or blanket to enjoy the films at the Community Performance Stage in the Trail’s Zilker Village. There’s no admission fee for general admission guests. GA gates open at 7 pm.

What if it rains?

The Trail of Lights events are RAIN or SHINE. Tickets for outdoor events are purchased at risk of inclement weather. Some areas of the Trail are located on natural terrain, so if it rains, there may be mud in some places. Please be prepared for weather and long distances.

Is Santa at the Trail?

Santa will be visiting the Trail in between preparation for The Big Day! He will appear nightly in “Santa’s Workshop” from 6:00pm – 9:30pm. You must be in line by 9:30pm, as Santa’s Workshop closes promptly at 10pm so he can return North.

Walking the Trail + Distance

The Austin Trail of Lights is an outdoor walking trail throughout beautiful Zilker Park. No vehicles, carriages, or other motorized options are permitted to drive through. The Trail itself is 1.25 miles, but with all of the other fun activities, the average trail-goer will walk about 2.5 miles during their visit, including the walk to/ from the parking areas. The Trail site terrain is a mix of grass, cement, and asphalt. Grounds could get muddy with weather. Please take considerations when choosing footwear for the evening.

How Else Can I Help?

Help the Trail feed the hungry by bringing a can of food with you to the Trail of Lights. With your support, we can collect more than 25,000 MEALS for the Central Texas Food Bank. ’Tis the season for giving, after all!

Or consider a monetary donation to the Trail of Lights Foundation STARS at the Trail Program. Help bring up to 2,000 deserving children, families, first responders and veterans to the Trail on 3 exclusive nights dedicated just to them.

Volunteer Opportunities

Help the Trail of Lights Foundation present Austin’s favorite holiday event to the City of Austin. Opportunities for groups and individuals, along with more information about volunteer roles, can be found here, or contact volunteer@austintrailoflights.org.

REFUND POLICY

All tickets to the Austin Trail of Lights (General Admission, ZIP Fast Pass, Platinum, Parking, Shuttles) are nonrefundable. The event is held rain or shine. Your event ticket is a revocable license for the event date/time listed on the front. Management reserves the right without the refund of any portion of the ticket purchase price, to refuse admission or to eject any person who fails to comply with the rules of the venue, local, state or federal law or whose conduct is deemed illegal, disorderly, or offensive by management. Persons entering the facility are subject to search for contraband, alcohol, controlled substances, weapons, firearms, fireworks, video equipment, or professional recording devices, all of which are expressly forbidden, and subject to confiscation. No refunds/exchanges. Ticket user assumes all risks of personal injury incidental to the event, whether occurring before, during, or after the event. Ticket purchaser/user bears all risks, including cancellation of the event, of inclement weather. Tickets lost or stolen cannot be replaced. The resale or attempted resale of this ticket at a price higher than that appearing on the ticket is prohibited and if discovered will result in the ticket being voided without refund. This ticket may not be used for advertising, promotion (including contests and sweepstakes) or other trade purposes without the express written consent of Management. Ticket user consents to the Management’s use of the ticket user’s image or likeness incidental to any video display, transmission or recording of the event. Pets will not be permitted.

Stay Informed

Sign up today to get important announcements about the 2017 Trail of Lights schedule, entertainment, and events, as well as advance access to special opportunities! For real-time updates and to connect to thousands of other Trail of Lights fans, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Contact Us

We're happy to answer any questions you may have about the Trail of Lights! For ticket questions or general event inquiries not addressed here, please email info@austintrailoflights.org and we'll get back with you as soon as we can.

Night Lights preview party – December 8th

Join us on Friday, December 8th for a special Preview Party and Fundraising event for the Trail of Lights Foundation. Enjoy exclusive access to the Trail of Lights before the event kicks off to the general season while enjoying complimentary bites and tastings from Austin restaurants and beverages, complimentary rides on the Ferris Wheel and Carousel, a music concert performance with Whiskey Shivers and Mother Falcon String Trio, followed by a dance party with DJ Mel, and much more! Night Lights Preview Party tickets are $75 each and hours are from 7-10pm. Preview Party tickets are required for children 6 and up – ages 5 and under are complimentary with a ticketed adult. Otherwise, there is no parking for sale on December 8th. Limited free parking will be available at the Zilker Tree and around Zilker Park on a first-come-first-served basis. Consider taking a rideshare with Lyft to ease your mind regarding parking. Use the code TRAIL17 to get $5 off your first 3 rides with Lyft. You can redeem this promotion thru the app or at https://www.lyft.com/invite/TRAIL17

Preview Party Parking

One parking pass is included with a 4-pack of Night Lights tickets, and two parking passes are included with a 10-pack of tickets. Otherwise, there is no parking for sale on December 8th. Limited free parking will be available at the Zilker Tree and around Zilker Park on a first-come-first-served basis. Consider taking a rideshare with Lyft to ease your mind regarding parking. Use the code TRAIL17 to get $5 off your first 3 rides with Lyft. You can redeem this promotion thru the app or at https://www.lyft.com/invite/TRAIL17

AUSTIN TRAIL OF LIGHTS

Thank you Austin! 2017 Austin Trail of Lights was filled with smiling faces, amazing performances from our community and of course millions of twinkling lights! From spinning under the Zilker Tree, around the carousel and Ferris Wheel to visits with Santa - check out a few highlights!

  • trail of lights
  • Zilker ParkDecember 9-23, 2017
  • trail of lights
  • trail of lights foundation
  • 3can events
  • city of austin
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