Event FAQs

GENERAL Event Questions

2018 Dates, Time, Gate Ticket Information and Location

The Trail of Lights runs December 10th – 23rd, 2018. The trail will be open from 7:00pm to 10:00 pm nightly.

ZIP Fast Passes and Platinum passes may enter as early as 6:00 pm on December 11 - 23.

General Admission access to the Trail is FREE for all ages December 10-13 and 17-19, from 7:00-10:00 pm nightly.

General admission is $3* per person ages 12+ December 14-16 and 20-23 from 7:00-10:00 pm nightly. Purchase tickets in advance to avoid long admission lines at the gate.

(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 11-23 and allows priority entry to the Trail at 6:00 pm 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 6:00 pm, 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 10, 13-16, and 19-23.

Advance Parking at Zilker Park is available online. No parking will be sold onsite.

*additional service charges and tax may apply

Location: Zilker Park - Austin, Texas

The Trail of Lights is rain or shine barring extreme weather conditions or city park closures.

Entrances

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

-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 6:00 pm on Friday, December 8th only.

-ZiP FAST PASS ENTRANCE: ZIP wristband holders can enter at 6:00 pm nightly December 11-23 at the ZiP entrance is located on Barton Springs Road, just right of the Trail of Lights main entrance.

-HEROES NIGHT ENTRANCE: For our Heroes Night on Tuesday, December 11th, 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 beginning at 6:00 pm. 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 7:00 pm December 10-23.

-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 6:00 pm on December 10-23 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 6:00 pm 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 6:00 pm nightly.

Allowed and Prohibited Items

ALLOWED

  • 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

  • Weapons of any kind
  • 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 dogs trained to provide a service for someone attending who has a disability)
  • Unauthorized/unlicensed vendors are prohibited.

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 ZiP or Platinum adult. On paid GA nights (Dec 14-16 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 10-13 and 17-19. Shuttle tickets are $6 for all riders except lap children and small infants.

Contact Us

We're happy to answer any questions you may have about the Trail of Lights! For ticket questions please email ticketing@austintrailoflights.org. Send all other inquiries to info@austintrailoflights.org and we'll get back with you as soon as we can.

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.

Activities

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. You'll also find the Zilker Stage in Zilker Village, where live performances will be featured each night.

Ferris wheel and Carousel

This year we are happy to announce that the Trail of Lights Ferris wheel and Carousel are back!

Entertainment Schedule & List of Performances

Coming soon

I want my group to perform!

Thank you for your interest, however all performers have been selected for 2018.

Volunteers

The Trail of Lights is built by the community for the community. Support the longevity of Austin's favorite holiday event by volunteering as a group or individual for the Trail of Lights Foundation. Information about the roles can be found at https://austintrailoflights.org/volunteer, or contact volunteer@austintrailoflights.org.

How do I participate in the Food Drive?

With 400,000 visitors on average every year, the Austin Trail of Lights offers a perfect opportunity to make an enormous impact on the Central Texas community. This year, the Trail of Lights Foundation is again partnering with the Central Texas Food Bank in asking all attendees to bring a canned food to the Trail on any public night of the Trail. With the support of Trail-goers, we can reach our goal to collect 5,000 MEALS for the Central Texas Food Bank!

Bring a can. Feed a family. We’ll have drop off bins nightly at the Trail of Lights entrance. So, help us feed our hungry neighbors by bringing a can of food with you to Zilker Park on any night that you attend.

MOST REQUESTED ITEMS:

  • peanut butter
  • canned chicken breast or tuna
  • canned low sodium vegetables
  • canned fruit in its own juice (no sugar added)
  • dry pinto beans
  • brown rice
  • 100% whole grain cereal

’Tis the season for giving, after all!

How do I become a Vendor?

Thank you for your interest in becoming a vendor for the 2018 Austin Trail of Lights. If you have not yet done so, please complete our online vendor interest form so we can gain a better understanding of the type of services you provide, as well as the level of involvement that you have in mind. You can complete the form here: https://austintrailoflights.org/become-a-vendor

You’ll also find other help information, instruction, and contact details here as well. After form completion, a team member will follow up as appropriate.

Vendor List

Food at the Trail includes something for everyone! See the vendors who are participating in the near future.

Food & Drink Payment Info

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 info booths around the Trail at a suggested donation of $2 which benifits 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.

UT Night Info - Sunday, Dec 16th

We’re painting Austin’s favorite holiday event burnt orange at the fifth annual UT Night at the Trail of Lights on Sunday, December 16th 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 our longhorn pride. Current enrolled UT Students can receive a discounted ZIP or General Admission ticket by entering the special passcode and their student ID.

Movie Night Info - Thursday, Dec 13th

Movie Night at the Trail of Lights, brought to you by Austin Parks Foundation, will take place Thursday, December 13 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 7:00 pm. The exact movie is to be announced, but it will be a family-friendly holiday classic!

Heroes Night Info - Tuesday, Dec 11th

Join us as we honor veterans, active military, and first responders (police, fire, EMS) at our annual Heroes Night, presented by Texas Lottery, on Tuesday, December 11 from 7:00-10:00 pm at the Austin Trail of Lights. Heroes Night provides an extra special opportunity to recognize, honor and thank the hundreds and thousands of military, first responders, and veterans for their countless hours and dedication to our communities and nation. Guests will have the opportunity to write “letters to heroes” and join other activities to pay tribute to first responders’ service.

Wear your uniform or bring an ID showing military, veteran status, or first responder verification for you and your family to receive complimentary ZIP Fast Pass perks on December 11th beginning at 6:00 pm.

Regarding entry on our Heroes Night - Tuesday, December 11th, active military, veterans or first responders (police, fire, EMS) can simply wear a uniform, or present a military/veteran ID or badge to Trail staff at the ZIP Entrance for proper complimentary ZIP admission for them and accompanying family members beginning at 6:00 pm. An advance ticket is not required. The ZIP entrance is located on Barton Springs Road, just right of the Trail of Lights main entrance.

In order to honor the complimentary ZIP benefits, the Hero needs to be present and able to show a uniform or identification card or badge on Tuesday, December 11th. Please know that General Admission to the Trail is free this evening if your family would still like to attend and celebrate with us. Or perhaps you can enjoy the Trail with them on another free GA night (Dec 10-13, 17-19) if you are unable to attend on Heroes Night specifically, or we have ZIP tickets available for purchase Dec 12-23 nightly as well.

ZIP entry begins at 6:00 pm for our Heroes and family, and allows exclusive entry before the general public who being entering at 7:00 pm. If you cannot arrive by 6:00 pm, that is totally okay! ZIP entry goes until 10:00 pm and you can still take advantage of the ZIP Lounge with heated and comfortable seating, and complimentary cookies and cocoa for Heroes and their group.

Free ADA parking for our disabled Veterans on Heroes Night 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. We encourage you to purchase a parking pass in advance online as parking typically sells out and will not be sold onsite. Parking lots open at 5:30pm and the free Veteran parking is limited and first-come-first-served.

Grand Opening - Monday, Dec 10th

Join us for our Grand Opening celebration as H-E-B helps us kick off the 54th annual Austin Trail of Lights holiday season on Monday, December 11th. The official first night at the Trail begins with a ceremonial flipping of the switch by AISD students lead by our H-E-B partners. One lucky student winner of our Austin Trail of Lights Holiday Writing Contest will be invited to flip the switch, turning on the front entry lights and opening the Austin Trail of Lights to the public for the first time of the season.

General Admission is FREE for all guests on Monday, December 10, 2018 from 7:00-10:00 pm and will include a variety of special entertainment and programming to ring in the holiday season! Platinum admission passes are also available for Grand Opening and permit entry beginning at 6:00 pm, one hour before the general public, plus other ammenities. Start your holiday season in style!

Security & Safety

The Austin Trail of Lights 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 and provides police officers around Zilker Park throughout the event. The Trail also provides supplemental security personnel to work with the Police Department to assist patrons.

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.

Walking

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. In addition, the Trail does not permit pets or animals (unless properly credentialed service animals). 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.

Night Lights Preview Party

Join us on Saturday, December 8th for a special Night Lights 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, complimentary beer, wine and holiday cocktails, complimentary rides on the Ferris Wheel and Carousel all night long, musical performances by celebrated Austin artists, and much more! Night Lights Preview Party tickets are $85 each and hours are from 6:00-10:00 pm. Night Lights tickets are required for guests 6 and older. Children ages 5 and under are complimentary with a ticketing Night Lights adult. *must be 21 to consume alcohol

I want to become a Sponsor

Thank you for your interest in becoming a sponsor for the 2018 Austin Trail of Lights. If you have not yet done so, please complete our online vendor interest form so we can gain a better understanding of the type of services you provide, as well as the level of involvement that you have in mind. You can complete the form here: https://austintrailoflights.org/why-sponsor

You’ll also find other help information, instruction, and contact details here as well. After form completion, a team member will follow up as appropriate.

Media Inquiry / Photo Policy

Cameras are welcome to capture the fun of you and your friends & family at Austin Trail of Lights! An official event photographer will be documenting the festival as well, and your image may be used in future promotional materials. Smile for the camera!

For other media inquiries, please contact please contact the team at Juice Consulting:

Heather Wagner Reed / heather@juiceconsulting.com

Madison Snelling / madison@juiceconsulting.com

I'm interested in a Group Celebration / Large Bulk Ticket Order

Thank you for expressing interest in sharing your group celebration with us at the Trail of Lights. If you have not yet done so, please complete our online group so we can gain a better understanding of the type of group size, date, and other details that you have in mind. You can complete the form here: https://austintrailoflights.org/group-celebrations

Upon form completion, a team member will be in touch with your shortly to review availability, pricing, and more details. We hope to see you in December!

I'm interested in a Holiday Party!

Thank you for expressing interest in sharing your holiday party with us at the Trail of Lights. If you have not yet done so, please complete our online party form so we can gain a better understanding of the type of event, group size, date, and other details that you have in mind. You can complete the form here: https://austintrailoflights.org/holiday-parties

Upon completing the form, a team member will be in touch with your shortly to review availability, pricing, and more details. We hope to see you in December!

Zilker Tree

Austin's annual Zilker Holiday Tree lighting kicks off the season of festivities in Zilker Park on Sunday, November 25th, and is complimentary and open to anyone to enjoy! Now in it’s 52nd year, the Zilker Holiday Tree is the largest man-made holiday tree, built upon one of Austin's 17 historic moontowers. Access to the Zilker Tree is totally independent from Trail of Lights admission, but we encourage you to come down to Zilker Park and enjoy both! The tree will be shining tall and bright above Austin nightly thru December 31st. Food vendors and other merchants will also operate at the tree throughout the month of December. Find out more info here: https://austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree

What if it rains?

The Trail of Lights events are RAIN or SHINE barring any extreme weather causing city park closures. 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.

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 5,000 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.

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 House” from 6:00-9:30 pm. You must be in line by 9:30 pm, as Santa’s House closes promptly at 10pm so he can return North.

Stay informed ~ newsletter/mailing list/more Info

Sign up today to get important announcements about the Austin 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 othe Trail goers, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Pet Policy

The Trail of Lights welcomes the use of service animals in compliance with applicable laws. Individuals using service animals shall be solely responsible for such animals, including for any and all claims or losses to third parties arising from or relating to such animals.

"Comfort," "Therapy," or "Emotional Support" animals do not meet the federal definition of a service animal and shall not be permitted on festival grounds.

All service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or unless the individual's disability prevents them from using these devices. Individuals who cannot use such devices must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. The Trail of Lights shall at all times, have the right to deny the use of service animals if (i) the animal is not in control by the user and (ii) the handler cannot or does not regain control of the service animal. The Austin Trail of Lights shall not be responsible for any such service animal. At all times, the service animal must be under the care or supervision of the individual. Failure to comply may result in removal from the Trail at the sole discretion of staff. No refunds or remedies shall be given to attendees ejected from the Trail and/or denied entry due to their service animal's behavior, or for lost or stolen service animals. Pets and/or animals are prohibited in all other circumstances and will not be allowed in the Trail.

How long will Zilker Park be closed to the public?

The Trail of Lights makes 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 14 with the exception of areas under park renovation from the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

November 6 - 14: Zilker Park will be accessible for recreational use from; Lou Neff Road closed to vehicular traffic from Barton Springs Road to volleyball courts; pedestrian traffic permitted.

November 15 - 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.

Outside Food & Beverage

Each person is allowed to bring one (1) factory sealed bottle of water per person; otherwise, food, beverages (including alcohol) and more are for sale inside. No glass bottles are permitted on the festival grounds.

Restrooms

Portable restrooms (including accessible portables) will be available throughout the park. ZIP Fast Pass & Platinum ticket holders also have access to a heated executive washrooms.

Recycling

Austin Trail of Lights will have measures in place to keep Zilker Park green and clean. We are committed to preserving the environment through waste prevention and recycling. Look for recycling bins and help us keep Austin clean for future generations to enjoy.

Ticketing Questions

Do I need a ticket on “FREE” nights?

The Trail is happy to offer FREE general admission to all guests on December 10-13, and 17-19 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. No advance ticket is required for GA entry, simply come on down, enter, and enjoy!

When are tickets onsale?

All ticket types are on sale now!

Please refer to the website for additional onsale details, an event calendar, and general event information: http://austintrailoflights.org/calendar Feel free to sign up to receive our e-newsletter for updates.

How do I buy tickets?

Visit our calendar page here: https://austintrailoflights.org/calendar to view the various event nights and offerings. Click on the day you’d like to attend for more information and to purchase tickets thru our ticketing partner, Ticketbud.

What is the difference between General Admission and ZIP?

The Trail requires a gate fee for General Admission entry on December 14-16 and 20-23. General Admission passes simply offer entrance to the Trail of Lights with no additional Lounge access or amenities. You are still welcome to enjoy all the lights, rides (addt’l fee applies), and attractions like Santa at The North Pole, Letters to Santa, Candy Land and more with standard GA event entry. You can purchase a GA ticket in advance online now to skip the long admission lines and entry fee process onsite and enter via a separate “prepaid” entrance with your ticket on your desired night. General Admission entry is from 7:00 – 10:00 pm, nightly. General Admission is free for guests ages 11 and under on Dec 14-16 and 20-23. And free for ALL guests on Dec 10-13 and 17-19.

If you wish to take advantage of our ZIP Fast Pass ticket offer that permits entry starting at 6:00 pm - one hour before the general public to beat the crowd, free holiday cookies and cocoa, special entry gates, access to our Zilker Lounge toward the end of the Trail that offers heated and comfortable seating near the Community Performance Stage, and more. We encourage purchasing a ZIP ticket online in advance, as quantities are limited and often sell out due to their early entry and limited crowd appeal, as well as other benefits. ZIP admission is complimentary for children age 5 and under, and no ticket is required for them with an accompanying ticketed adult.

If you plan to drive and park at Zilker Park (even on "free nights"), you must purchase a parking pass online in advance. No parking will be sold onsite.

And if you plan to utilize our Shuttle transportation program from Toney Burger Activity Center in South Austin, or from Republic Square Park downtown, a shuttle pass is required per person. Shuttle passes can be purchased online in advance or at the respective shuttle location. Reminder shuttle passes include general admission on the "paid" nights that a gate fee is required. Shuttle passes are complimentary for infants and lap children, and no Shuttle pass is required for them with an accompanying ticketed adult.

Admission & Parking passes are onsale for all dates via our website: https://austintrailoflights.org/calendar

Simply click on the day you’d like to come from the calendar, and you’ll be redirected to our ticket purchase page through our partner, Ticketbud.

We look forward to seeing you in December!

Advance Ticket Sales

All tickets are available for purchase on our website at www.austintrailoflights.org/calendar 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 or ticketbud.com

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 11-23rd.

General Admission Gate tickets are $3 (plus fees) and available in person at the GA Box Office on December 14-16 and 20-23. General Admission is complimentary for all guests on Dec 10-13 and 17-19.

Does a Shuttle ticket include admission?

Shuttle includes General Admission Trail access ~ wheter it's a free GA or paid GA night. On the paid GA nights (Dec 14-16, 20-23), shuttle guests can enter thru the “prepaid” admission lines at the Trail with their shuttle wristband and do not need to pay for a separate $3 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 or the Platinum progoram, then both a separate shuttle and ZIP or Platinum pass are needed. Shuttle tickets can be purchased online in advance, or in person upon arrival at each shuttle location.

Group Outings / Group 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 informaiton on our ZIP Gold program and parties, please visit https://austintrailoflights.org/group-celebrations.

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.

I can't find my tickets?

Thank you for your recent ticket purchase to the 2018 Austin Trail of Lights. Your order confirmation and tickets will be delivered via email by our ticketing partner, Ticketbud. Perhaps check your junk mail? If it was still not received, you can visit ticketbud.com, login to your account, and print/view/download your tickets directly. You can also check out your account information here and make sure your email address is correct for any future event communication. We look forward to seeing you in December!

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 6:00pm, 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 6:00pm, one hour before the general public enters at 7:00 pm. 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 6:00 pm.

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 executive 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 6:00-10:00pm, nightly, on December 11th-23rd.

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

Platinum 2-packs and 4-packs are avialable, 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.

How do I purchaseNight Lights Preview Party tickets.

All Night Lights tickets are sold individually through out ticketing partner, Ticketbud, at $85 each plus applicable fees. 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 Night Lights adult. Night Lights hours are 6:00-10:00 pm on Saturday, December 8th.

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

While we encourage the main ticket buyer to enter each individual attending guest 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, even though your name is on them.

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. Event parking with your pass anytime between 5:30 pm and when the event concludes at 10:00 pm. Please follow the driving directions indicated on your parking pass as street closures will be in effect.

Parking passes must be printed and shown to Trail Traffic and Parking attendants for access to the parking area. Attendants will direct you to the appropriate Trail of Lights parking lot area based upon availability when you arrive. Please follow their guidance and event signage, and drive slowly and carefully. Display your parking pass on our dashboard once parked.

Military & Student Pricing Promotional Discounts?

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 11th 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 student discount pricing on Sunday, December 16th for UT Night. Just enter the special promotional code and your UT Student ID # during the purchase process.

Otherwise, there is no special student, discount, or promotional pricing.

Credit Card Statement?

Trail of Lights ticket purchases will most likely appear on your credit card statement referencing "Ticketbud", our online ticketing partner. The way the charge appears on your statement can vary if the purchase was made online or on-site at an event. If the ticket purchase was made online through our website or onsite at the Box Office, the charge on your statement typically includes one or more of the following references: "WEPAY", "TICKETBUD", "TRAIL OF LIGHTS" or "AUSTIN, TX."

I have a Promo Code...what do I do?

If you have a special promotional access code or password, enter it in the "promotional code" box on the right, and click apply. Once the code is accepted and the box turns green, the page will refresh and reveal your special offer. Then enter the desired amount of tickets next to the special offer, and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.

Did my order go thru?

Not sure if your order went through? All you have to do is log into your Ticketbud account or enter the email address you used to register here. You can check to see that your order went through successfully on the Tickets page when logged in. Or search for a confirmation email from "Ticketbud" or "WePay".

Can I change my order?

All sales are final and there are no changes, exchanges, order cancellations, or refunds issued.

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.

Ticket 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 and refunds will not be provided for guests that are denied entry due to an animal in tow.

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.

Getting There Questions

Map

View the 2018 map of the Trail of Lights here: https://austintrailoflights.org/event-map

Shuttle Info

The Shuttle will operate from two locations on select nights ~ Republic Square downtown Austin, and Toney Burger Event Center in south Austin.

Shuttles will operate on December 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2018

Pricing and tickets will be available late October. 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.

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.

Preview Party Parking

Parking is not for sale on Saturday, December 8th for the Night Lights Preview Party. 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. Based upon availability, you will be able to access our event parking with your pass anytime between 5:30 pm and when the event concludes at 10:00 pm.

Parking at Trail of Lights / Zilker Park

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.

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.

See map to paid parking below. Again, ALL PARKING MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR VISIT TO THE TRAIL. This is the only route to paid parking so make sure to pay attention to avoid road closures.You should also plan to give yourself plenty of time to arrive to the Austin Trail of Lights as downtown Austin traffic may be congested or delayed, and road closures could be in effect.

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, and then follow their guidance from there to access the actual lot. Please display your parking pass on our dashboard once parked.

Parking at Shuttle Locations

Free and ample parking is available at the Toney 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.

Driving Directions

Please leave plenty of time to arrive at Zilker Park. This is a very popular event in the center of the city and you should still 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 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 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
  • Download Metropia to find the best route to the Trail of Lights.

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 - Route Details

#4: Montopolis - Route Details

#30: Barton Creek Square - Route Details

#338: Lamar / 45th - Route Details

MetroRail : Route Details

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.

Taxi & Ride Share Info

RIDE SHARE/ TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

The ride share pick up / drop off will be located near the Zilker Tree, adjacent to event parking. Drivers are aware of the street closures surrounding Zilker Park and will be instructed to use this designated drop off and pick up location.

Head to the Trail with our preferred rideshare partner Lyft! New users can get $5 off their first ride by applying code: TRAIL2018

Street Closures

STREET CLOSURES:

November 25 – 30; December 2–6; December 24 – 31: ALL LANES of Barton Springs Road will be OPEN.

December 7 – 8: Stratford Drive will be closed.

December 1: ALL LANES on Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will be CLOSED (4 PM - 11 PM)

December 10-23: ALL LANES on Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will be CLOSED (5:30 PM to 11 PM).

November 3 - January 8: LOU NEFF ROAD will be closed.

ADA Questions

ADA Access - General

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, accessible restrooms, and an access center/info booth.

ADA Access - Service Animals

The Trail of Lights permits the use of service animals in compliance with applicable laws. Individuals using service animals shall be solely responsible for such animals, including for any and all claims or losses to thrird parties arising from or relating to such animals.

"Comfort," "Therapy," or "Emotional Support" animals do not meet the definition of a service animal and shall not be permitted on festival grounds.

All service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or unless the individual's disability prevents them from using these devices. Individuals who cannot use such devices must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. The Trail of Lights shall at all times, have the right to deny the use of service animals if (i) the animal is out of control and (ii) the handler cannot or does not regain control of the service animal. The Austin Trail of Lights shall not be responsible for any such service animal. At all times, the service animal must be under the care ofsupervision of the individual. Failure to comply may result in removal from the Trail at the sole discretion of staff. No refunds or remedies shall be given to attendees ejected from the Trail and/or denied entry due to their service animal's behavior, or for lost or stolen service animals. Pets and/or animals are prohibited in all other circumstances and will not be allowed in the Trail.

ADA Access - Routes

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.

ADA Access - Parking

ADA Parking: 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, please purchase a regular parking pass online for the night you wish to attend. When you arrive at the Trail, follow the map and driving directions on parking pass to the traffic check point, present your placard or plates along with your purchased parking pass to the traffic/parking attendant, then follow staff instruction and signs to designated ADA parking area. 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. Disabled Veterans receive FREE parking on any night with their credentials. ADA parking is limited and first-come-first-served. Parking lots open at 5:30 pm nightly.

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. Depending on the road closures and access, you may be able to temporarily stop at Lou Neff and Barton Springs to unload your guests before heading to the ADA Parking area.

ADA Access - Entry Gate

ADA Entry Gate & Time: Guests with disabilities (plus up to 3 companions) will be permitted to enter the Trail as early as 6:00 pm on December 10-23 to enjoy the Trail prior to general admission entry (GA ticket required Dec 14-16 and 20-23). However, should your party wish to enjoy the ZIP Fast Pass amenities such as access to the Zilker Lounge where you'll find cookies, cocoa, comfortable seating, and heated washrooms, a separate ZIP Fast Pass ticket purchase is required. For the smallest crowds, we recommend coming on a week day during the week of 12/11.

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. Depending on the road closures and access, you may be able to temporarily stop near the Zilker Tree to unload your guests before heading to the ADA Parking area.

ADA Access - Restrooms

Accessible Restrooms: ADA portalets are placed in each restroom location.

ADA Access - Info

Access Center: Visit a Trail Information booth for questions related to the Access Program.

ADA Access - Wheelchairs

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.

ADA Access - Autism / Special Needs / Sensory Considerations

We encourage Trailgoers with autism, special needs, or other sensory considerations to take advantage of the access program for people with disabilities, which allows guests to enter an hour earlier than GA so you can enjoy the Trail without the large crowds. The ADA entrance is located at Lou Neff Road and Barton Springs Road. Please see attached information. For the least hassle and smallest crowds, we recommend coming on a week day during the week of 12/11.