Holiday Activities Are Underway In Austin


Prima Changwatchai

The Austin community celebrates the holiday season with light displays among other attractions and activities this winter break.

With winter break underway, light displays, ice skating, and many other holiday and winter attractions are in full swing.

Austin Trail of Lights

The annual Austin Trail of Lights, hosted by the Trail of Lights Foundation, will take place through Dec. 23 in Zilker Park.

A local tradition that began in 1965, the Trail of Lights celebrates the uniqueness of the Austin community by featuring lighted tunnels and decorated holiday displays. Hundreds of thousands of guests attend every year to take photos with Santa at Santa’s House, enjoy views of Austin from atop a Ferris wheel, eat and shop at Zilker Square, or participate in other interactive areas  along the trail.

Rooftop Ice Skating at Whole Foods

Festive holiday songs play loudly over the speakers, the sound of skates chip away methodically at the ice on the rink, and people pause to savor the cool winter air and gaze at the Austin skyline. Every year, the Whole Foods location downtown hosts ice skating on their rooftop during the winter season which is a beloved activity for many Austinite families and Westwood students. If skaters prefer to step off the ice for a while, there is a stand to buy hot chocolate from and a playground for kids to play on.

The Domain

Holiday music fills the ears of shoppers gathering around the lawn at the Domain as families line up to take pictures with Santa Claus and people await horse-drawn carriage rides on weekends. 

To top off the festivities, a holiday tree light show brightens the area around the lawn every hour until Dec. 25 with joyous music and colorful lights. 

Neighborhood Light Displays

Most residential streets have lights strung to rooftops and wreaths on doorways, but some outdo the rest with holiday decorations. Areas like 37th Street, known for demonstrating Austin’s uniqueness in their decorations, and Chinati Court, which takes donations for Brown Santa, go all out with their decorations this time of year. Some houses even sync their lights with holiday music on certain radio stations, making for a festive drive through lit up neighborhoods.