A List of Austin Holiday Activities Willie Nelson Would Approve

If you’re from Austin, you know snow is a rarity during the winter. In fact, this year the winter has been so warm that paddle boarding and Barton Springs Pool are a weekend norm. Last Thursday, however, at our Austin Tech Happy Hour, we were surprised with snow! And of course, in true Texan fashion, we get a little bit of snow and schools are closed and the roads are packed. 

On that note, the snow made our holiday festivity drive kick in, and we’re ready to enjoy all Austin has to offer during the holidays. We created a little list (we even checked it twice) of fun, local things to do in Austin.

1. Trail of Lights

An Austin Christmas staple since 1965, lights glimmer from Zilker Park along Ladybird Lake with various dazzling themed displays. Take the mile-long walk and make some detours to the Ferris wheel or one of the many local food vendors. Since it’s the season of giving, bring some canned items to donate to the Central Texas Food Bank. We’re givers here in Austin.

A list of events (and free admission days!) can be found here.

2. Mozart’s Coffee Holiday Light Show

Snag a hot cocoa and enjoy the light show on the deck of Mozart’s Coffee shop. By the Lake in Tarrytown, it’s one of the most popular light shows on the west side of town. Playing every hour to Christmas themed music, it’s perfect for the kiddos or date night.

3. Santa’s Ranch

Head south to New Braunfels for one of the best holiday light exhibits in the state.  There are over a hundred displays and animations, making up over a million lights to fill up the mile-long drive. Pack up your car with family and friends and take the stroll for one great price!

4. Whole Foods Rooftop Ice Skating

Get your certified organic hot cider and ice skating on at the North Lamar Whole Foods rooftop plaza. This popular holiday destination is great for some family fun, overlooking some of downtown’s greatest buildings. Admission includes skate rental.

5. North Pole Flyer

Take the holiday filled adventure on the North Pole Flyer train. This two-hour excursion features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus,  bottomless hot cocoa and a cookie! Each car is seasonally decorated where passengers enjoy a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book, with visits from Santa so he can check your list twice.

6. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

In Austin, we are big fans of shopping local. At the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar you get live music, dancing, and shopping–what else could you want? With work from more than 100 craftsmen and merchants, you won’t want to miss this unique and beloved Austin tradition!

7. Gingerbread Workshops at the Thinkery

Build the Gingerbread house of your dreams at the Thinkery! Each Gingerbread House Kit includes all the supplies you need, including fresh gingerbread from La Mexicana Bakery, an assortment of candies and an abundance of icing. The perfect activity to have your gingerbread and eat it too.

A list of workshop dates can be found here.

8. Miracle on 5th Street

The Eleanor is transformed into a holiday-themed pop-up bar on 5th street. Elegantly and festively decorated (the mirrors are even fogged up with snow), delicious themed drinks, a Santa’s chair for the perfect Kodak moment– it’s great for a quick drink or a night out. Come wearing your favorite tacky holiday sweater!

We hope you enjoy some of the activities on this list. Have a Happy Holidays from your ReachForce team!