Be a Part of THE Austin Holiday Tradition

THE MOST FESTIVE THINGS TO DO IN AUSTIN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

November 21, 2017

Article by: Emily Beyda, thrillist.com

Sometimes, the season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can feel like a chore. Sure, you get a good chunk of holidays to enjoy, but two of the three involve eating dinner at 3pm and listening to your racist uncle complain about the quality of this year's dinner rolls. Don't lose hope, though: whether you’re looking to distract Grandma with an afternoon stroll through a holiday light display, or just escape family time in true Austin fashion (with plenty of live music and beer) our handy holiday event’s calendar is here to help. Here's everything you need to do between now and New Year's Eve.

NOVEMBER

AUSTIN TRAIL OF LIGHTS

WEDNESDAY - SUNDAY

NOV 22-DEC 31

WATCH 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' AT THE ZACH THEATRE

ZACH THEATRE

Almost every town in America has A Christmas Carol tradition; ours just happens to be a rock 'n' roll adaptation rumored to be inspired by Moulin Rouge, now in its fourth year running. Doesn't get more Austin than that, does it? You'll wanna jump on these tickets, as they sell out pretty quickly.

Cost: $53-$88

THURSDAY

NOV 23

DITCH THE KITCHEN AND GET THANKSGIVING DINNER AT THE 24 DINER

24 DINER

Not going home for the holidays this year? Not a problem, as downtown Austin mainstay 24 Diner hosts an annual, all-day meal of Thanksgiving classics, from 10:30am on. The place doesn’t accept reservations, so you’ll have to line up early to get in before the pumpkin pie runs out.

Cost: $29

FRIDAY - SUNDAY

NOV 24-DEC 24

GET OUTSIDE-THE-BOTTLE GIFTS AT THE BLUE GENIE ART BAZAAR

6100 AIRPORT BOULEVARD

With handmade jewelry, textiles, paintings, and other fine art objects of all kinds from over two hundred local Austin artists, this is the perfect place to find a one of a kind holiday gift and support our arts community.

Cost: Free admission and parking

SATURDAY

NOV 25

DO THE TURKEY TROT AT ANTONE'S SECOND ANNUAL POST-THANKSGIVING BASH

ANTONE’S

Work off some of those leftover sandwich calories with an evening of funk, soul, and blues at this old school Eastside standby. Live performers include The Peterson Brothers, Tomar & The FCs, and Eve & The Exiles.

Cost: $10-$12

SUNDAY

NOV 26

GET FESTIVELY LIT AT THE 51ST ANNUAL ZILKER PARK TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

ZILKER PARK

Accept the inevitable coming of Christmas with a visit to the 155-foot-tall Zilker Christmas "tree" (it's not actually a real tree) as it gets lit up to kick off the season. There'll also be live music, food, and a number of local vendors in case your childlike wonderment loses its luster.

Cost: Free

DECEMBER

DEAR WESLEYANN

FRIDAY - SATURDAY

DEC 1-2

GO BIG WITH WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE CIRCUIT

CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

Holiday spirit doesn’t get more bombastic than a professional-grade racetrack decked out with fairy lights -- unless that racetrack also features live music, a camel intensive petting zoo, a giant ice skating rink, and something called singing trees (?!). This is Christmas dialed up to 11.

Cost: $16, but children under 6 get in for free

SATURDAY

DEC 2

DECK THE HALLS AT THE ANNUAL DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY SINGALONG

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

With live music from local bands, a night market run by the Sustainable Food Center, and city hall all decked out for the season, this caroling event is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit -- provided you're not sick of hearing Christmas carols over the loudspeakers at The Domain.

Cost: Free

SATURDAY - SATURDAY

DEC 2-23

GET FESTIVE WITH THE AUSTIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Throughout the month of December, the Austin Symphony Orchestra celebrates the season with free performances of holiday classics from all genres of music, in a variety of festive locations like the State Capitol rotunda and Symphony Square.

Cost: Free

SUNDAY - SATURDAY

DEC 3-23

CRACK SOME NUTS AT BALLET AUSTIN

LONG CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Aside from scoring you some serious brownie points with your ballet-obsessed niece, Ballet Austin’s version of the Nutcracker holiday classic just happens to be the longest-running production of its kind in all of Texas at 54 years straight.

Cost: $27-$98

MONDAY - TUESDAY

DEC 4-5

PASS 'GO' AT THE MONOPOLY GINGERBREAD VILLAGE

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

For the whole month of December, the Four Seasons will have an enormous, nostalgia-inducing gingerbread village set up in the lobby, but on the 4th and 5th there will be complimentary cider and cookies for all visitors, which should help distract you from wanting to break off and eat a frosted chimney.

Cost: Free

FRIDAY

DEC 8

GET NAUGHTY AT THE SANTAPALOOZA BAR CRAWL

WEST SIXTH STREET (OF COURSE)

SantaCons are a holiday tradition across America, and at the Austin iteration you can relive your misspent youth on West Sixth Street, dressed in a sweater so ugly that all tipsy mishaps will disappear into the acrylic fibers. The cover's free at each bar on the crawl, anyone who completes the crawl gets a free Santapalooza T-shirt, and there's a contest for the best costume (with prizes).

Cost: $20-$30

SATURDAY - SATURDAY

DEC 9-23

SPARKLE AT THE AUSTIN TRAIL OF LIGHTS

ZILKER PARK

Every year, thousands of people descend on Zilker Park to stroll through the enormous holiday light displays set up by the city. With over a mile of spectacular sparkling displays, the appeal is obvious.

Cost: Free or $3, depending on when you visit

FRIDAY - FRIDAY

DEC 22-29

GO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH THE AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY

AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY

Celebrate the nostalgic white Christmas you’ll never have in Austin with this series of Golden Age screenings from the Austin Film Society, including It's a Wonderful Life, The Thin Man, and of course, White Christmas.

Cost: $11.25

SUNDAY

DEC 24

GRAB FREE HOT DOGS AND WATCH 'DIE HARD'

KITTY COHEN’S

It might be too cold to dip your feet in the wading pool of this hip Eastside lounge, but you can still enjoy the classic cocktails and famous flamingo bathroom, watching Scrooged and Die Hard as you sip. Nothing says Christmas like free hot dogs!

Cost: Free

SUNDAY

DEC 31

KEEP IT FAMILY-FRIENDLY AT AUSTIN'S NEW YEAR

VIC MATHIAS SHORES

For those of us who don’t drink, New Year’s Eve can be a challenging time. Fortunately, this great, booze-free, all-ages event offers a less soused but still celebratory alternative to adults-only celebrations, with live music, art, and food trucks.

Cost: Free

SUNDAY

DEC 31

RING IN THE NEW YEAR BOLLYWOOD-STYLE WITH DESI DHAMAKA

THE DOMAIN

"Austin's biggest Bollywood dance party" is also the oldest celebration of its kind in the city. Get your carbo-load on with some Indian-style pizza, butter chicken, and spicy paneer, then do your best to keep up with the high-energy dancing that follows, all backed by tunes from live DJs including "Austin's Desiest DJ."

Cost: $30

SUNDAY

DEC 31

PUT ON THE RITZ AT THE OMNI HOTEL

OMNI HOTEL, AUSTIN

Countdown to 2018 in (very expensive) style at this hyper-luxe event, with party favors, a four-hour open bar, and EDM beats until the early morning hours (read: 2am). Higher-end tickets include a room upstairs at the Omni Hotel, and might just be worth springing for depending on how crazy you intend to get.

Cost: $99-$777

MONDAY

JAN 1

ICE OUT THE OLD YEAR AT THE POLAR BEAR PLUNGE

BARTON SPRINGS

For years, brave Austinites have shaken off their hangovers and gathered at Barton Springs to take a bracing New Year’s Day dip into the icy water. Those brave enough to take the plunge will be rewarded with free donuts and hot, hot coffee.

Cost: Free

Original Link: https://www.thrillist.com/events/austin/austin-christmas-events-2017-holiday-calendar

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 2018
  • trail of lights
  • trail of lights foundation
  • 3can events
  • city of austin
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