There's always something going on in Austin, especially during the holidays. Choosing between the many holiday events this time of year is not always easy, so here are five of the best ones you won't want to miss.
This annual event began in 1965 as the Yule Fest and has grown larger and larger. Today, it includes more than 40 light displays in Zilker Park featuring more than two million lights, along with live music, food vendors, and the star of the festival — the Holiday Tree. There will be an official Grand Opening on Saturday, December 9, and the event lasts through December 23. Admission is free, but there are fees for parking, shuttle service and guided tours, with proceeds donated to various local charities.
The Nutcracker is such a classic holiday performance, and you have a chance to see it performed live by the Austin Ballet at The Long Center. Repeat performances will be held between December 8 and 23, with both evening and matinee showtimes. Purchase tickets online starting at just $27 per person, plus taxes and fees.
This 11-day shopping experience brings some of the finest artists and craftsman in Austin together in one space. The event takes place inside the Palmer Events Center, and in addition to vendors, there will be live music and bars serving festive drinks. You can purchase a one-day pass for $8, either at the door or online. Or, purchase a season pass for $60 to attend as often as you wish between December 14 and 24. Find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, and get into the holiday spirit.
If you’ve ever wondered how the holidays were celebrated in the 1800s, head to Pioneer Farms for their Victorian Celebration. Held December 1 – 17, the event features unique, period-appropriate decorations, children’s games and various plays and performances for all ages. You can also partake in Pioneer Farms' regular activities, such as tours of the historic homes and barn. Admission is $8 for adults, with additional fees for some of the special daily performances.
Ring in the holidays with some ice skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods. The rink is open November 24 through January 15 from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, which includes rented skates. Bring along a few friends and snuggle up inside the store with some hot chocolate afterward.
Residents at Springs at Lakelineand Springs at Round Rock, have you attended any of these local holiday events in the past? Are there others you highly recommend attending? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments section below.