• September 8, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Your Local Guide to the Best Spots to Celebrate Christmas in the Live Music Capital of the World – Austin

As the winter holiday season approaches, Austin, Texas, pulls out all the stops. The city is known for its food scene, live music, and memorable celebrations, and Christmas is no exception. Join us on a journey through Austin’s best spots to celebrate Christmas, offering an eclectic mix of traditional festivities and unique local flair.

Austin Trail of Lights: A Gleaming Yuletide Tradition

Beginning our holiday adventure, first stop is the incredible Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. An integral part of the city’s holiday scene for over five decades, the trail illuminates over 1.25 miles of beautiful Austin parkland.

  • Glowing Displays: The trail is adorned with over two million lights in mesmerising arrangements that include 90 lighted holiday trees, and over 70 other holiday displays.
  • Festive Treats: Enjoy Austin’s favorite food trucks serving up everything from hot cocoa to savory snacks and toasty s’mores.
  • Interactive Experiences: Engage in a multitude of fun interactions, including an exciting tunnel of lights, a grove of interactive candy canes, and a winterscape lighted skyline display.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar: An Artistic Austin Holiday Affair

An essential piece of Austin’s Christmas celebrations is the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Think of it as a Christmas market with an Austin-themed twist, blending local artistry, live music, and food into one iconic gathering.

  • Handmade Handicrafts: Discover Austin’s best artisans who exhibit and sell one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade artworks and crafts.
  • Live Music: Get entertained by a broad mix of local music classics, playing genres as diverse as the city itself.
  • Food and Drinks: Enjoy a variety of amazing local food options alongside Texas-distilled spirits, artisanal cocktails, and, of course, everyone’s favourite – ice-cold beer.

Caroling at the Capitol: A Melodious Holiday Celebration

At the heart of Austin’s Downtown is the State Capitol. Every Christmas, the steps of the Texas State Capitol turn into a platform for holiday cheer with its annual caroling fest.

  • Outdoor Concerts: Sway along with the music amidst striking Texas-themed Christmas lighting.
  • Hot Beverages: Keep warm with complimentary hot beverages served while you enjoy the merry tunes.
  • Capitol Christmas Tree: Don’t forget to click a selfie or two with the towering Texas State Capitol Christmas Tree, painstakingly decorated every year for this joyous occasion.

Ice Skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods: A Frosty Fantasy

When talking about the best spots in Austin for festive fun, we can’t forget the Whole Foods flagship store. It transforms its rooftop plaza into a remarkable ice rink open to the public.

  • Pictorial setting: Enjoy the quintessential winter experience of open-air ice-skating in a picturesque environment.
  • Holiday Eats: Refuel with Whole Foods’ wide range of organic and specialist offerings. From vegan to gluten-free, there’s something for every preference.
  • Themed Evenings: From “Happy Hour Skate” to “Disco Night”, don’t miss their series of themed skate nights for some extra festive spirit.

Austin’s New Year (ANY): A Grand Festive Finale

Round off your holiday season at Austin’s New Year event, a must-visit holiday extravaganza.

  • Live Music: Indulge in Austin’s renowned live music scene with performances spanning a variety of genres across multiple stages.
  • Fireworks Display: Ring in the new year under the radiant Austin skyline reflecting off the magnificent fireworks display.
  • Food Trucks: No Austin event is complete without offering the city’s famous food trucks.

Local Christmas Flavors: Austin’s Perfect Holiday Palate-Pleasers

Austin is a culinary paradise. So, let’s talk about some of the locally loved culinary delights that fill the Austin holiday air with irresistible aromas.

  • Tiny Pies: Savor the festive flavors of pecan and cherry pies from Tiny Pies, a locally cherished bakery. Their miniature pies make for the perfect holiday treat.
  • Upper Crust Bakery: The richness of cinnamon rolls from Upper Crust Bakery is a hit among locals.
  • Houndstooth Coffee: Get into the holiday spirit with a warming seasonal beverage from Houndstooth Coffee.

Exploring Neighborhoods: A True Local’s Austin Christmas Experience

Austin’s neighborhoods, each vibrant and filled with unique character, don dazzling decorations during the holiday season.

  • Circle C Ranch: A merrier drive-through experience is hard to find. Be surprised by the residents’ creativity as the houses light up in holiday lights and Yuletide cheer.
  • Tarrytown: Stroll through the wide, tree-lined avenues of this neighborhood to enjoy beautifully decorated houses and captivating Christmas charm under the clear Texas skies.

This expansive guide to the best Austin spots to celebrate Christmas gives you a taste of the city’s most charming holiday offerings. Whether you’re a local seeking new holiday experiences or a visitor wanting to explore Austin’s festive spirit, there’s something magical for everyone here during this joyous season. Enjoy the enchanting Christmas period in the heart of Austin’s warm festivities, feisty food scene, and stirring live music. Christmas in Austin is an unforgettable celebration, brimming with joy, camaraderie and, above all, heaps of vibrant local character.

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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