It’s Austin’s most wonderful time of year again (ok...besides ACL)! Every December, Austin serves up some of the best free and close-to-free family-friendly annual events in the great state of Texas, and we’re here to give you all the details.

Some of our personal holiday favorites include the Trail of Lights, Mozart’s Christmas light show, and the ever-anticipated Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Without further ado, here’s the what-when-and-where for all three:


Trail of Lights

If you’re an Austin OG, you’ve been looking forward to the Trail of Lights ever since the spring of last year. With its incredible 40-light displays comprised of over two million lights, famous 155-foot lit tree, and live music from local artists, this family-friendly event is not one to miss.

This year, the Trail of Lights will be open Dec 10th - 23rd from 7pm-10pm. General Admission is free for all ages from Dec 10-12th and 15-18th, and $5 per person for those ages 12+ Dec 13-14th and 19-23rd. Not bad for a night of Christmas magic & music!

Live music and events will be served up by local artists in Austin, including Croy & the Boys on Dec 14th, the Kristen Gibbs Band on Dec 16th, and Cilantro Boom Box on Dec 20th. You can view the full event lineup on the Trail of Lights website at

Let’s not forget that delicious local grub Austin does so well! Artisan food trucks including Crepe Crazy, Amy’s Ice Cream, Burro Cheese Kitchen and Austin’s Pizza will be available for your whole family to enjoy throughout the park.

There are a range of parking options depending on the tickets that you purchase. All parking must be purchased in advance online and can be viewed at

Here’s a breakdown of the parking situation:

• Shuttle parking & pass: $7 per person

• General Parking pass: $15 per vehicle

• Valet Parking: available only with a Platinum Pass starting at $80

This year’s Trail of Lights show should be one for the books, so make sure to buy tickets online early!


Mozart’s Light Show

Mozart’s always shows its Lake Austin-dwellers a good time around Christmas, and just for the price of a cup of coffee (although coffee is totally optional). Grab a warm Bottomless Coffee from the cafe, find a seat out on the waterfront patio, and enjoy their free Holiday concert line-ups and light shows.

Throughout December, Mozart’s will have its dazzling light show made up of 1 million LED lights every night through January 5th from 6pm - 11pm.

Free patio entertainment will include artists Nik Parr, Susana Lee, Chloe Youtsey, and acclaimed Steinway pianist Esteban Alvarez. Here is the concert schedule for December:

Parking is available in front of the restaurant (although you must get there early to snag a spot) or in the overflow parking across Lake Austin Blvd.

Mozart’s is sure to deliver that Christmas magic for you and your family, so pick a night this week to enjoy some coffee, lights and free live music!


Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

This bazaar is a one of a kind, highly-anticipated Austin favorite. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar delivers a dazzling 12 days of national and local award-winning artists, shopping from Austin-based artisans, live music, fine art displays, and most importantly, two bars full of holiday booze!

This event will be hosted at the Palmer Event Center and starts December 13-23 from 11am – 10pm and goes until Christmas Eve from 11am – 8pm.

The art display will include featured artist Lisa Morales, and the live music will include local favorites like Dale Watson on Dec 13th, Ray Wylie Hubbard on Dec 17th, and Beat Root Revival on Dec 19th. Check out the full lineup of 36 artists here:

Parking is available at the Palmer Event Center for $8.

Admission into the event is $10 for a one-day pass, or $50 for multiple days. You can snag your tickets here.

There you have it! We hope you and your family will be able to make it out to one of these Austin-inspired holiday events this Christmas season. If you’ve been to one of these or know of other holiday happenings around Austin, sound off below!