6 Activities to Do with Your Family During the Holiday Season in Austin


Make the most of the winter spirit.

Austin, Texas, offers plenty of family fun throughout the holiday season. The vast assortment of fun events available are sure to get you into the holiday spirit. As the year ends, don’t miss out on these six winter activities to do with your family near Austin real estate.

1. Field of Light

Head to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin for this special exhibition by the highly-acclaimed British artist Bruce Munro. Field of Light is sure to wow, illuminating 16 acres of the Texas Arboretum in a beautiful display of 28,000 vibrant solar-powered, fiber-optic light pods. The installation aims to highlight the intersection of art, technology, and nature.

The display runs through the end of December and a portion of the proceeds will go toward benefiting the Wildflower Center. The immersive experience is perfect for families and the use of solar-powered LEDs produce the lowest light impact possible and follows migratory bird guidelines.

2. Downtown Holiday Stroll

Get your holiday shopping on and hit downtown for a festive experience. Starting Small Business Saturday, sign up for a Holiday 2022 Passport to win exclusive prizes. On December 3rd, embark on the annual Holiday Stroll and Sing-Along, featuring free family friendly events, along with artisan vendors, food trucks, photos with Santa, and more. Later at night, head to the Capitol Stage for live music from local artists.

There will also be a kids zone with free cookie decorating, interactive games, a snow machine, and an igloo! Families can stay for awhile and watch a screening of the movie “Elf” while their little ones have some fun. This day-long event is one of the many cheerful happenings going on downtown during the holiday season, so be sure to check out others like the holiday movie in Republic Square on December 14th.

3. Peppermint Parkway

Photo courtesy of Peppermint Parkway Facebook

Don’t miss the iconic Peppermint Parkway, returning to Circuit of the Americas through December 30th. This drive-thru spectacular is an engaging experience for the whole family. The mile-long stretch is filled with holiday displays, millions of lights, and dancing characters. After taking in the vibrant views, continue the fun at a holiday plaza full of food, rides, activities, and more.

Named the Best Holiday Event by Austin Monthly, Peppermint Parkway offers a range of ticket options, from basic admission to fun add-ons like a lap around the track and fast pass to skip the line. During the week leading up to Christmas, they will also have a Santa meet and greet and an opportunity to meet Miss Texas.

4. Austin Trail of Lights

Located in Zilker Park, The Austin Trail of Lights begins December 8th and lasts through the 23rd. Running for 58 years, this annual event is well-loved by those in the area, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees to its light displays. Those walking through the trail at night can admire over two million lights that illuminate the park in various colors. Food vendors and activities are also available for visitors.

Walk through lighted tunnels for a dreamy wintertime experience or view the 90-wrapped holiday trees alongside +70 holiday displays set up throughout the park. Families can enjoy free photos with Santa, while ZIP tickets provide convenience on busier nights and access to a lounge with complimentary holiday snacks. For an earlier view of the lights, attend the Fun Run on December 3rd in costume, then enjoy the celebration afterward.

5. Ballet in Austin

The holiday season isn’t complete without attending a live dance performance, and Austin has some standout choices. For a classic wintertime show, view The Nutcracker at Ballet Austin from December 3rd to the 23rd. Families and children will love the ornate and glittering costumes, colorful and familiar characters, as well as the beautiful live accompaniment from the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

For an interesting twist on the holiday classic, Ventana Ballet’s The Watchmaker’s Song is a jazzy reimagining of The Nutcracker. Visit this showing from December 2nd through 17th, with a special kids show on the afternoon of the 3rd and 11th. View this stunning and interactive showing the weekend of the second at Ingenhuett on High, then at The Neill Cochran-House Museum for the following weekends.

6. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

For the best fine art near Austin real estate, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an exciting shopping destination featuring several national and local award-winning artists. Taking place between December 17th through the 23rd, this event is open all day every day at the Palmer Events Center. Spend the morning or afternoon strolling through nearly 200 curated artists with your family, find unique gifts for friends, and more.

Those visiting this Bazaar can also enjoy live music from a diverse line up featuring newcomers and nationally renowned singer-songwriters. Families visiting should also try and catch the National String off Competition, as this attraction does its part to keep Austin weird. Parents at this event can enjoy a cocktail as they wander the aisles or sit and listen to the great sets.

Ready to have fun in Austin?

With the holiday season upon us, the range of activities provide plenty of ways to get into the winter spirit with the whole family. When in Austin, be sure to check out these six great events. If you’re interested in living nearer these attractions, contact one of the expert agents at the Umlauf Properties Group to guide you through the process.

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