Holiday Event Guide
The 10 most spectacular holiday happenings in Austin this season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’ve made our list of can’t-miss events — and have checked it twice — to ensure a joyous time is had by all. Check out the 10 best things to do in Austin this holiday season, and let the merrymaking commence. For a full listing of holiday-themed activities and more, visit our events calendar.
The Paramount Theatre presents Holiday Film Series —Weekly through December 17
Holiday cinematic classics are back on the silver screen as part of The Paramount Theatre’s festive film series. Moviegoers can enjoy screenings of blockbuster movies including It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and Home Alone. For a full list of screenings and for tickets, click here.
Wanderlust Wine Co. presents Tinseltown: Where Everyday Is Christmas — Through December 30
Sip and be merry at the newest seasonal cocktail experience by Wanderlust Wine Co. Tinseltown visitors can expect an immersive, Christmas-themed pop-up bar filled with classic holiday tunes, themed drinks, festive decor, Santa and his elves, and more. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Pop-up bar admission is for guests 21 and older. For family-friendly accommodations, go to the ticketing website.
Circuit of The Americas presents Peppermint Parkway — Now through December 30
Cruise through Peppermint Parkway when you celebrate its return to the Circuit of The Americas. Activities include the famous Candy Cane Cruise, as well as games, a holiday characters meet-and-greet, a new Holiday Market, and rides at Peppermint Plaza. Guests can also scale the COTA Candy Cane, COTA’s 251-foot-tall Observation Tower for a view of the Parkway and Austin’s iconic skyline. Real Christmas trees are also available for purchase at the new Wonder Woods farm. For tickets and more information, click here.
Commodore Perry Mansion Lighting Festival — December 1
The festive celebration of Commodore Perry Estate’s rich Texas heritage is back for another year of spirited fun. Locals and visitors alike are invited to witness the estate’s annual lighting tradition and enjoy other activities throughout the grounds. Highlights include holiday music and cocktails, kids' crafts, an illuminated walk through the Estate Garden, s’mores and other seasonal snacks, and more. Tickets are available here.
Santa on 2nd Street — December 3
Get up close and personal with Kris Kringle himself at this special appearance. The 2nd Street District will transform into a holly jolly corridor complete with a craft station, warm seasonal beverages, and Santa’s favorite snack of all: cookies. Adult guests can take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle at the Apres Ski: Holiday Bar at W Austin. Boozy winter cocktails, holiday entertainment, ski lodge-inspired decor, and fun photo opportunities at the W Austin’s Living Room make the perfect case for a quick reprieve from the kid-friendly fun.
Ballet Austin presents The Nutcracker — December 3 through December 23
Get lost in a world of whimsy and wonder when you enjoy The Nutcracker performed by the talented Ballet Austin company. This production at Long Center for the Performing Arts features a cast of hundreds of dancers, choreography by Stephen Mills, and will be accompanied by music from the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Following this opening weekend, showtimes are scheduled through December 23. Get tickets here.
Broadway in Austin: Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical — December 6 through December 11
The beloved story of the lovable green grump comes to life on the stage at Bass Concert Hall. Max the Dog narrates how the Grinch plans to steal Christmas from the town of Whoville’s holiday-devoted residents. Audiences can expect a brilliant production of Dr. Seuss' timeless tale featuring hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated special. Tickets for all showtimes are available.
58th Annual Austin Trail of Lights— December 8 through December 23
Austin’s premier holiday lights activation plugs back in for another illuminating season of in-person, winter-inspired wonder. This year’s Austin Trail of Lights marks its triumphant return to its traditional walk-through format. Visitors can take their time strolling through the numerous light displays and lighted tunnels while eating cookies and listening to holiday music. Secure your tickets here. The Austin Trail of Lights is open at Zilker Park through December 23.
Bee Cave On Ice — Now through January 3, 2023
Hit the ice in the spirit of the season at Hill Country Galleria. Guests can experience the classic winter activity in the heart of the Texas Hill Country at this brand-new ice rink. Each ticket includes skate rental and a 75-minute session on the ice. While walk-up options are available, making a reservation in advance is highly recommended. For rink information, check out the event website.
Four Seasons Hotel Austin presents Ice Rodeo — Now through January 8, 2023
Embark on a journey to a Texas-inspired wonderland in the heart of downtown at the luxe Four Seasons Hotel Austin. Ice Rodeo is an elevated and stylish holiday experience that combines the nostalgia and whimsy of the winter season with modern activations. Highlights include an outdoor ice-skating rink and massive art installations like a 30-foot Christmas tree and a life-size gingerbread Airstream trailer. Guests can also rent cozy and chic “cabins,” stocked with fire pits, seasonal goodies, and beverages. Get more information on tickets here.