Got the holiday spirit ? It’s about time to check out the best holiday events in Austin. Post Halloween, the first week of November really kicks of the holiday season in Austin. Down come the spiders and cobwebs and up go the wreaths and Christmas balls. Austin takes it’s winter holidays pretty seriously despite the mild climate. Here are some of Austin’s timeless holiday Events !

Waller Creek Show

Waller Creek Show
Wandering thru the lighted art that is the annual holiday Waller Creek Show. Photo: Will Taylor

Creek Show is nine nights of free light-based, site-specific art installations along Waller Creek, creating new opportunities for designers and opportunity for audiences to engage with neighboring businesses in the Red River Cultural District. Stroll along the creek, between 9th & 11th Streets, while taking in six new illuminating works of light-based art. The 2018 “Creek Show Lounge” will be located at a newly renovated Symphony Square and offers attendees a place to relax, enjoy interactive activities, live music, and exciting opportunities to learn about the Waller Creek parks project. Presented by Waller Creek Conservancy

When: November 7-17, 2019
Where: Waller Creek

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol at Zach Scott Theatre.

Austin’s newest and most rockin’ holiday tradition! Each year, ZACH’s A Christmas Carol features new hit songs and reimagined carols that create an infectious spirit that will have everyone dancing in the aisles. ZACH’s fresh and inspired adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic juxtaposes the traditional Victorian setting and costumes with a modern musical score that spans all genres. Come celebrate the season with three soulful ghosts, the Cratchit family’s boundless love, and Ebenezer Scrooge’s miraculous and joyous transformation.

When: November 20 to December 29, 2019
Where: Zachary Scott Theatre

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Mozart’s Coffee Holiday Light Show

Mozart's Coffee Holiday Lights
Carolers croon at Mozart’s Coffee’s annual Holiday Light Show. Photo: Will Taylor

It’s time again for Mozart’s Free Annual Holiday Light Show. Want to Feel the Joy of a million dazzling lights? Be part of the music as local Austin musicians entertain you on Mozart’s Piano – a blue Steinway Grand covered in thousands of luminescent lights. Mozart’s German-themed tent will serve warm homemade baked goods and tasty treats, as well as, Mozart’s acclaimed coffee blends and hot chocolate. It’s a free, family event in Austin – open from November 21 till January 5 closed on Christmas day open Christmas Eve till 10 o’clock and all other days from six till 11 PM where there are four shows per night including live music by McKenna Michaels.

When: November 21, 2019 to January 5, 2020
Where: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
Web: Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

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Santaland Diaries

Martin Burke as the ever-irreverent elf Crumpet

David Sedaris’ ever-irreverent and cynical Crumpet is baaaack! The outlandish tale of a Macy’s elf merrily jingles to life in the intimate Whisenhunt at ZACH Theatre. In this holiday cult-classic, Crumpet sarcastically expounds on the talent it takes to juggle tinsel, tearful tots, and not-so-sober Santas during what is hailed as the most wonderful time of the year. 75 minutes of rollicking (and not so politically-correct) fun, this laugh-‘til-you-spill-your-cocktail evening will delight adult elves who like it more naughty than nice!

When: November 29 – December 29, 2019
Where: Zach Theatre
Web: ZACH Theatre

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Chuy’s Christmas Parade

Austin's annual Chuy's Christmas parade makes its way South down Congress Ave from the Capitol.
Austin’s annual Chuy’s Christmas parade makes its way South down Congress Ave from the Capitol.

An Austin tradition, Chuy’s holiday parade marches down Congress with giant balloons, marching bands, vintage cars, celebrities and floats to usher in the season of giving.

The parade benefits Operation Blue Santa so bring new, unwrapped toys to donate. At a designated time during the Parade Procession, all units will stop to collect the toys. Santa’s Helpers will line the parade route and help spectators give their toy. All toys will be distributed by the Operation Blue Santa Program to another child just in time for the holidays.

Parade start time is 11 AM in front of the Texas State Capitol at 11th and Congress, moving south on Congress all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge. Click here for a parade map.

When: Saturday, November 30, 2019
Where: State Capitol
Web: Chuy’s Christmas Parade

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Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll

Austin Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll
Countdown to the tree lighting. Photo: Will Taylor

Join hundreds caroling in front of the Capitol as the tree is lit before heading down Congress Avenue for live music, shopping, art and much more at the Holiday Singalong & Downtown Stroll – Austin Holiday caroling.

Start your holidays downtown during the annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll! All events are free and open to the public. The evening starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree begins, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers.

When: Saturday, December 7, 2019
Where: State Capitol

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Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Fuel stop before the Lake Travis Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. Photo: Will Taylor

The Annual Lake Travis Holiday Boat Parade is sponsored each year by a large group of on-lake businesses and is the highlight of the holiday season on the lake. Start you illumination plans for the annual Lake Travis lighted in-the-water boat parade. Boat owners are invited to sign-up, decorate their boats and participate in this great annual event. Line-up begins each year at 5:30 pm and the parade begins at 6:00 pm sharp. Each year there is a post-parade party and awards are given out to the best boat participants.

When: December 7, 2019
Start: Emerald Point Marina
Time: 5:30 pm
Finish: Emerald Point Marina

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Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker

Austin Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Laurel Austin Studio, LLC.

From the scrumptious sets and costumes to all of the colorful characters and Divertissements you love, Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker is the longest-running production of the seasonal classic in Texas. Stephen Mills’ take on this timeless tale features a cast of hundreds of dancers, including the charming and talented students from the prestigious Ballet Austin Academy who share the spotlight with our professional company of artists. Celebrate the magic of the holidays by experiencing this sweet treat with your family and friends. Featuring live accompaniment by Austin Symphony Orchestra.

When: December 7–23, 2019
Where: The Long Center

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Holiday Trail of Lights at Zilker Park

Photo by Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman

Each year, in December, Zilker Park sets up the Zilker Holiday Tree, which stands 155 feet tall. The park holds a tree lighting ceremony consisting of food, local entertainment and live music. Along with the Zilker Park Holiday Tree, the park hosts the Austin Trail of Lights. The trail consists of beautiful light decorations, holiday scenes, events and more.

The Trail of Lights winds through 1.25 miles of Zilker Park, the crown jewel of Austin’s public green spaces. For two magical weeks in December, over 36 stunning custom displays light up the night, bringing Austinites together to celebrate the season. Come make memories with the ones you love and uniquely Austin eats, fun for the kiddos, and performers including musicians, dancers, and carolers.

When: December 10–23, 2019
Where: Zilker Park

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Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Love entertainment at The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Photo w/ approval Anne Johnson
Associate Producer | GM

Hot music, fine art and cold beer make the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place where Austin shops in the giving season. The show is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from a wide array artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar. It all adds up to a fun authentic Austin experience.

On exhibit will be everything from statement-making collectible pieces to modestly priced stocking stuffers. While local artists predominate, there are a select few carefully chosen from around the country.

The Armadillo stage showcases some of Austin’s most popular musical talent, with live, intimate performances throughout the afternoon and evening. Featured musicians (lots of bands) each day during te show—range from new and emerging stars to local legends.

When: December 13–24, 2019
Where: Palmer Events Center

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Austin New Years

Fireworks over Town Lake. Austin New Year's celebration at Auditorium Shores.  Photo: Justin Snider - Rock Studios.
Fireworks over Town Lake. Austin New Year’s celebration at Auditorium Shores. Photo: Justin Snider – Rock Studios.

Grab your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues and clients to send off 2019 with a night of music and one of Austin’s largest fireworks display. Find a spot center stage for your blanket or chair while you take in the bands and have a bite to eat from one of the local food trucks.

When: December 31, 2019
Where: Auditorium Shores
Web: Austin New Years

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