Top 20 Holiday Events in Austin 2012

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Happy November everyone! It’s hard to believe, but the Holidays are here!  There are so many fun & unique events happening in Austin and surrounding cities over the next two months, that I couldn’t wait to tell you all about.  Plus, many of these events sell out, so we wanted to give you an early heads-up!

Here are 25 Fun Holiday Events for you and your family to enjoy this year:

Santa’s Ranch
San Marcos, Texas
November 2 – December 30, 2012
A drive-thru Christmas Light Park is located just 30 minutes south of Austin on I-35.  With over 1 million lights and 100 displays & animations, the one mile drive thru park is seen from the comfort of your own vehicle.

The Domain Christmas Tree Lighting
The Domain
November 10, 2012 6 pm – 10 pm
Kick off the Holiday Season with this fun event, featuring Jack Ingram, Lex Land, and Outside Voices.    Food, light show and an appearance by Santa.  And of course, the lighting of the 40 foot Great Tree!

The Twelve Days of Christmas 
A Christmas Affair 2012 ~ Palmer Events Center
The Junior League of Austin
November 14-18, 2012
A shopping event like no other, this 5 day event puts everyone in the Holiday mood! The event consists of 4 full market days with over 200 local and national vendors.  There are some really fun children’s events too – Enjoy breakfast or brunch with Santa, a family movie night, and photos with Santa all weekend long!

Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail
Hill Country of Texas (various cities)
November 16 – December 30, 2012
11 different communities in the Hill Country are participating on the trail this year and have events planned every weekend from Thanksgiving until Christmas.  Some of our favorites include the Christmas Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls and Main Street Bethlehem in Burnet.  Visit the website to see specifics.

4th Annual Gingerbread House Raising
Neill-Cochran House & Museum, Austin, TX
November 17, 2012
Ages 6-11 will have the opportunity to decorate their very own gingerbread house while learning Greek Revival architecture and the history of the Neill-Cochran house.  Space is limited, so make sure you reserve yours.

Rooftop Ice Skating
Downtown Whole Foods, Austin
November 24 – January 6, 2013
The rooftop of this Austin landmark transforms into an ice skating rink over the holidays!  Ages 6 and up are invited to skate daily from 11 am – 8 pm.

32nd Annual Georgetown Christmas Stroll
Georgetown, TX
November 30 & December 1, 2012
Downtown Georgetown Square transforms into a Norman Rockwell-picturesque scene with window displays, carolers, yummy goodies and local vendors.  Visit the live nativity at the Bethlehem Village, tease the Grinch at the Whoo-Village and Santa makes an appearance at the parade on Saturday.

Chuy’s Giving to Children Christmas Parade
Downtown Austin
December 1, 2012
Starting at 11 am and marching down Congress Ave, the Chuy’s Giving to Children Christmas Parade collects toys for Operation Blue Santa.  Bring a toy to give to the marchers in the parade and enjoy big inflatable balloons, holiday floats and children’s characters.

The Holiday Sing-Aong and Downtown Stroll
Downtown Austin, TX
December 1, 2012
A free, family-fun event that starts with a group sing-along at the Capitol in Downtown Austin.  As that is wrapping up, the Capitol Holiday tree is lite and Congress Ave becomes alive with music, art, shopping, & more.

Austin Children’s Museum Gingerbread House Workshops
Austin Children’s Museum
December 1-23, 2012 (various times)
Come make & decorate your very own gingerbread house and leave the mess somewhere other than your house!  These workshops fill up fast, so make your reservation today!

North Pole Flyer
Austin Steam Train Association, Cedar Park, TX
December 1 – 22, 2012
The 2 hour, round trip train ride on the historic Bertram Flyer includes story-time, cookies, and a visit from both Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus!

Zilker Holiday Tree & Lighting Ceremony
December 2, 2012 (all month)
This 155-foot tall “tree” is composed of over 3300 lights and stands light the entire month of December.  Come out on December 2 for the lighting ceremony with local entertainment, food, novelties, and live music.  Or swing by any other night to revel in it’s wonder.  Just make sure you join in the tradition of standing under it and spinning….


Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
ZACH Theatre, Austin, TX
December 5 – 30, 2012
While we may not ever get a White Christmas here in Austin, we can certain dream of one with this classic performance based on the popular Christmas movie.

Christmas Family Night
Downtown Round Rock, TX
December 7, 2012
Celebrate the Christmas lighting of downtown Round Rock and the historic water tower when Santa rides into town on his sleigh.  Tiny homes all over downtown feature free crafts, face-painting, puppet shows, and more. Enjoy free refreshments and live entertainment.

Luminations
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, TX
December 7 & 8, 2012
Enjoy the gardens lite with thousands of luminaries and twinkly lights.  There will be holiday music, puppet acts, crafts, and photo opportunities.  Admission is free with 2 canned goods, benefiting the Capitol Area Food Bank.

Ebenezer’s Journey – A Dickens’ Christmas Story
Pioneer Farms, Austin, TX
December 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 2012
An interactive tour of Pioneer Farms, based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with parts of the classic tale acted out at various sites across the farm.

Miracle on 34th Street 
The Georgetown Palace Theater, Georgetown, TX
December 7 – 30, 2012
A great family show that warms the heart and puts you in the holiday mood.

The Nutcracker at the Ballet Austin
The Long Center, Austin, TX
December 8 – 23, 2012
The Austin Ballet produces the longest-running production of The Nutcracker in Texas.  Celebrating it’s Golden Anniversary this year, I can’t think of a sweeter Christmas performance to take your children to.

Christmas Sing-Along
Austin Symphony ~ Riverbend Centre
December 11, 2012
A fun family sing-along with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with favorites songs that will make every age smile.  Tickets are free and will be available beginning December 3.

Austin Trail of Lights
Zilker Park 
December 16 – 23, 2012
One of Austin’s most anticipated events is back this year!  Millions of holiday lights and displays line the trail, creating a fun experience for the whole family.  Each night will feature performances from local dance companies, bands, and singers.

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Comments

  1. says

    Don’t forget that the Four Seasons always has a holiday open house in the lobby for their tree lighting, sometime after Thanksgiving and before the first weekend of December. Free! Cocktails and cookies provided.

  2. says

    What an incredible list of events! Are you going to make it to them all? :) I love anything that involves Christmas lights or sing-alongs. We saw a performance of White Christmas a few years ago in Toronto – it’s a wonderful show if you get the chance to see it!