Plan Your Visit

Your Trip to the Austin Trail of Lights is Around the Corner!

We’re thrilled to have you joining us at the Trail this year! Below you’ll find a guide to help you plan your 2019 visit from admission & ticket types, to getting to the Trail, get all the details below.

ADMISSION

The Trail offers a variety of admission options to accommodate the experience you’re looking for whether that’s GA, ZIP, or premium options like Platinum admission.

+ General Admission - regular admission starting at 7pm

General Admission access to the Trail is FREE for all ages December 10-12 and 15-18, from 7:00-10:00 pm nightly.

General admission is $5* per person ages 12+ December 13-14 and 19-23 from 7:00-10:00 pm nightly. (Shuttle tickets include general admission on participating nights - no separate GA gate ticket purchase is necessary for shuttle ticket holders.)

Purchase a General Admission pass in advance online to enter through the Prepaid lanes beginning at 7pm.

General admission passes will also be sold day-of onsite at the box office beginning at 7pm. Tickets may sell out closer to the close of the event, so plan your trip now and purchase today!

On paid GA nights (Dec 13-14 and 19-23), a General Admission ticket is required for ages 12 and over; children 11 and under are free with a paid general admission adult.

+ ZIP Admission - early admission starting at 6pm

ZIP 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 passes are $20*.

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 tickets are required for ages 6 and over; children 5 and under are free with a ticketed ZIP adult.

+ Platinum Admission - early admission starting at 6pm

Experience the Trail in luxury with a Platinum pass! Platinum pricing starts at $80* and is available December 10, 12-15, 17 and 19-23.

Platinum tickets offer:

  • One valet parking pass for one vehicle. Valet parking opens at 5:30 pm.

  • Platinum experience concierge planning before the event and our Platinum team to guide you at the event.

  • Early access to the park at 6pm, an hour before the public, through a private, dedicated Platinum entrance.

  • Golf cart shuttle access to the Platinum Lounge and Trailhead.

  • Access to a private, heated Platinum Lounge with comfortable seating and exclusive bar.

  • Access to the Zilker Lounge in Zilker Village – where you'll find complimentary cookies and cocoa, comfortable seating, and heated executive washrooms.

  • One drink ticket valid at bars throughout the park per Platinum Pass. Additional drink tickets available for purchase in advance or onsite.

  • One ride pass for exclusive entry to Ferris wheel or carousel per Platinum Pass. Additional ride tickets available for purchase in advance or onsite.

Platinum admission passes are available individually, as a 2-Pack, or a 4-Pack. One valet parking pass included with 2-Pack and 4-Pack purchases. Limited Platinum admission pass quantities are available.

Platinum purchase is required for ages 6 and up; 5 and under are complimentary with a paid Platinum adult. Drink & ride tickets only issued to paid ticket holders, and are not issued to complimentary Platinum children, however you may share your coupons with other guests in your party as you wish.

ADA ADMISSION

+ Access

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.

+ 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 13-14 and 19-23). 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 at Lou Neff and Barton Springs to unload your guests before heading to the ADA Parking area.

+ 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.

+ 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.

+ 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.

GETTING THERE

  • Whether you’re planning on driving, taking a shuttle, rideshare, or using another method of transport, the Trail has you covered.

+ Parking

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.

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.

2019 Event Parking-01.jpg

+ 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

+ Shuttles

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 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2019 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Shuttle passes are $7 for all riders over 2 years old. Shuttle tickets include your General Admission event entry - look for a dedicated Shuttle lane at the gate. Babies and infants 2 and under ride free on lap.

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.

+ Rideshare & Taxis

RIDE SHARE COMPANIES

The ride share drop off will be located just west of the Zilker Holiday Tree in the Zilker Field.

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.

MAP

+ Event Map

View the event map below.

2019 Event Map

Still have questions?

View the full list of event FAQs here.