Wondering where to see Christmas light displays to put you in the holiday spirit? This list of some of the best places for Christmas lights in and around Austin can certainly help get you started.
Realty Austin’s Guide to Austin Christmas Lights 2013
37th Street in Hyde Park | Central Austin
West 37th Street, Austin, TX 78705
Every holiday season, things get a little…weird…over on 37th Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Unlike your typical trail of lights tour, this little annex of Austin show their holiday spirit with wacky and creative Christmas lights displays. What originally started as an art project among neighbors, the 37th Street lights display became a popular seasonal attraction in the 1980s. Back then, the neighborhood had lights strung across the telephone and light poles year-round. In 1993, the City of Austin removed the display to keep the neighborhood in code, so now, the residents of 37th Street go all out for the holidays. You can walk or drive (we recommend walking) and enjoy the sites with the whole family. You can also read about the 37th Street Christmas Lights display in our AToX List of Things to Do for Austinites.
Trail of Lights at Zilker Park | Downtown
Zilker Park, December 8 – 22, austintrailoflights.org
photo via austintrailoflights.org
The Zilker Park lights display, complete with the trail of lights and the Zilker Christmas Tree is Austin’s largest and most vibrant Christmas attraction. Each year, the display kicks off with the lighting of the Zilker Tree, a huge 155-foot tall tree of lights draped from a Moontower in the Park. Excluding a breif hiatus in 2009, the Trail of Lights has been an Austin holiday tradition since 1967. You can visit their site for FAQs, upcoming events, and photos.
The Domain | North Austin
11410 Centruy Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX 78758
Photo via tribeza.com
What is Christmas without shopping? Each year the Domain, an upscale, mixed-use outdoor shopping center, puts up a giant Christmas tree and holds a lighting ceremony before the holidays begin in late November. Going strong since 2006, The Domain also provides live musical accompaniment and a Santa Claus. The 40-foot tree boasts over 6,000 lights, 400 ornaments, and a 5 foot tall star on the top of the tree.
The Driskill Hotel Christmas Tree | Downtown
604 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701
photo via atmtxphotos.com
Each year, Austin’s most historic downtown hotel, The Driskill puts on a fantastic Christmas display complete with a tree lighting in early December. The towering tree in the Driskill’s main lobby is donned with lights, ornaments, and plenty of trimmings. The Driskill’s classy and old-timey feel makes it a fantastic place to enjoy a little holiday spirit. With the 1886 Cafe and the Driskill Bar right there, it’s not hard to make an evening out of it. Additionally, the Driskill Hotel puts on Christmas events throughout the holiday season, including holiday music in the evenings, Santa Claus for the kids, and a Christmas dinner on the 25th.
Donn’s Depot | Old West Austin
1600 W. 5th Street, Austin, TX 78703
photo via austinfoodandwinefestival.com
Donn’s Depot is a piano bar on West 5th street owned and operated by Donn Adelman, a former musician and performer on the Las Vegas nightclub scene. Throughout the year, the bar’s decor and aesthetic screams ecelcticism (part of the bar is in an old train car), but during the holiday season, Donn’s lights up with one of the most amazing interior Christmas displays in town.
Project Xmas | Wells Branch
1912 Crystal Shore Drive, Austin, TX 78728 projectxmas.info
Project Xmas is a holiday lights display of legend. Every year the residents at 1912 Crystal Shore Drive put up over 25,000 lights (upwards of 5,700 watts) syncronized to music. Your best bet is to drive by with your car and tune into the radio station to get the full effect. Visit their Facebook page for updates on light times and more.
Lala’s Christmas Bar | Central Austin
2207 Justin Lane, Austin, TX 78757, 512-453-2521
photo via austinmusicmap.com
How does Christmas year-round sound to you? To Francis Lala, owner of Lala’s Christmas Bar, it sounded like a good plan. Though you can find cheeky Christmas decor at this Central Austin institution all year long, it’s only appropriate that you visit during the holiday season. The story goes that Lala left the lights up after Christmas in 1972 because she thought the bar looked too bare without them. You have to go see if for yourself!
Oak Hill Neighborhood | Southwest Austin
photo via gonecoastalinaustin blog
Oak Hill is a cozy subdivision in Southwest Austin and each year the Christmas lights go up. Some neighbors go bigger than others, but if you’re looking for a nice holiday drive to check out some Christmas lights, Oak Hill is a safe bet, especially 8304 Roan Lane. Every year, the homeowners put up thousands of lights and time it all to music.
Rock N’ Lights Holiday Tour | Round Rock
Old Settler’s Park, 3300 Palm valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78665
Every year the City of Round Rock puts on a huge display of lights at Old Settlers Park. Featuring over 2 million lights and a 1.5 mile Christmas Light tunnel, this lights display is sure to fill you with the holiday spirit. After the tour, you can take the family to Christmas Towne where you can enjoy holdiay displays, food, a petting zoo, and more!
Lights Spectacular | Johnson City
Blanco County Courthouse, E. Pecan Ave., Johnson City, TX 78636
photo via newyorkpanorama.com
Since the late 70s, Johnson City has been offering a lights display worthy of the Texas Hill Country. In fact, it is the largest lights display in Texas! The whole event kicks off every year with a lighting ceremony for the Blanco County Courthouse. Entry to the display is free and you can also take a quick tour of the courthouse lobby.
Other Great Places to See Christmas Lights
- Heritage Park Neighborhood in Cedar Park
- Anna Court in Cedar Park
- Collingwood Drive in Round Rock
- Circle C Neighborhood in Southwest Austin