Your Guide to the Best Christmas Lights in Central Texas

One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is driving around looking at Christmas lights. I’ve compiled a list of some of the more extravagant displays around Central Texas from Fort Hood all the way down to San Marcos.

Be sure to check the links below before heading out, in case any of the schedules change.

North

Fort Hood

Nature in Lights, a Holiday Tradition

Enjoy the drive through over five and a half miles of holiday-inspired scenes. Like magic, BLORA is once again transformed into a winter wonderland for all to enjoy: kids and kids at heart

  • When: Until January 4, from 5:30-11 p.m.
  • Where: Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area
  • Cost: $7 per car

 

 

Georgetown

Christmas Stroll

Bring the family and walk through the many wonders of Whoo-Village, enjoy live entertainment, a special kids activity area, treats in the food court and browse more than 250 arts and crafts booths. Children will love the various FREE activities and rides and visiting with Santa. There’s even a parade on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If you can’t visit during the stroll, stop by any evening to see the Downtown Square lit up for the season.

  • When: Friday, December 5, from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 6, from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Where: Georgetown Square
  • Cost: Free

Spindler’s Family Light Show

Tune your car radio to 88.5 FM to listen to the music.

  • When: 6pm to 10:30pm
  • Where: 2441 Candle Ridge Trail
  • Cost: Free, but please bring an unwrapped gift for Brown Santa.

Harlien Family Christmas

Tune in to 94.1 while viewing 40,000 lights synchronized to 48 channels of animation. Multiple lit trees, arches, Christmas features, and Santa!!! This year will be the 20th year the Harlien Family has decorated their home to bring joy to neighborhood kids and families. Inspired by a wish granted to their dear friend’s son, this year the Harlien Family has chosen to raise $5,000 to adopt a family wish.

  • When: 6-10 p.m. on weekdays and 6-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
  • Where: 400 Liscio Cove. (For safety reasons, all guests are asked to enter Liscio Loop from Lancaster Drive & exit Liscio Loop at Champions.)
  • Cost: Free, but a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation is encouraged.

Shady Oak Christmas Display

The show lasts about an hour if you watch the whole thing, but each song averages around 6 minutes.

  • When: Visit the Facebook page for updates.
  • Where: 107 Shady Oak Drive
  • Cost: Free

 

 

Leander

Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade

Pictures with Santa, Holiday Hayrides, Yule Fire, Choral Performances, Christmas Parade, and Tree Lighting.

  • When: Saturday, December 6 at 5 p.m.
  • Where: City Hall, 200 West Willis St.
  • Cost: Free

 

 

Cedar Park

Anna Court Light Display

This Cedar Park cul-de-sac is decked out with thousands and thousands of festive lights. Tune your radio to 89.1 to listen to the music.

  • When: Nightly until December 31st from 5:30-11:30pm
  • Where: 1321-1333 Anna Court
  • Cost: Free, but please bring a toy to donate to Blue Santa.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop

Over 60,000 lights will illuminate the largest Live Oak Tree in Cedar Park. Santa’s Workshop will kick off immediately following the tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, free carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa, and arts & crafts projects. Bring the whole family for what promises to be a festive evening.

  • When: December 5, from 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Where: Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway.
  • Cost: Free

Chinati Court

  • When: See the Facebook page for updates.
  • Where: Just off Sun Chase Blvd in the Ranch at Cypress Creek. Park on Sun Chase and walk, if you can. (Map)
  • Cost: Free but the neighborhood is a collection point for Brown Santa.

 

 

Round Rock

Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour

Come and experience the Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour at Old Settler’s Park, from the comfort of your car. With 2 million lights, the 1.5-mile path is the must-see event of the season.

  • When: December 1 to 30, starting at 6 p.m. (closing times vary)
  • Where: 4111 E. Old Settlers Blvd
  • Cost: $15 per family vehicle

Christmas Family Night

Watch as Main Street is illuminated and Santa arrives in his sleigh

  • When: Friday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Historic Downtown, Main Street.
  • Cost: Free

 

 

Pflugerville

Christmas Parade and Pfestival of Lights

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department joins forces with the Knights of Columbus this year and adds activities to the annual Christmas Parade. Blending the two events makes a larger, more fun holiday celebration for the community. The city will bring a stage with live performances from local elementary schools and dancers on the stage at 200 W. Main Street. There will be FREE arts and crafts activities for children, a bonfire, the traditional tree lighting, and photos with Santa Claus at the end of the parade.

  • When: Saturday, December 13, starting at 5:30 p.m. Activities until 8 p.m.
  • Where: The parade travels down Railroad Avenue to Main Street. (Parade route map.)
  • Cost: Donations for the Blue Santa program welcome.

 

 

North Austin

Holiday Light Shows at The Domain

Watch the holidays come to life with hourly lights show in Domain II. More than 82,000 lights and 2,200 strobes will dance to holiday music for the first 15 minutes of each hour.

  • When: Until December 31, hourly between 5 and 9 p.m.
  • Where: Domain II (mall map).
  • Cost: Free

Frozen Medley Christmas Light Show

Viewers can hear the songs from the house’s speakers or from their car radio by tuning in to 106.9 FM.

  • When: Nightly until New Year’s, from 5:30-9:45 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and from 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
  • Where: 16412 Rockgate Dr., Austin (near Avery Ranch in Round Rock).
  • Cost: Free

Lanicek Family in Wells Branch

10,000+ lights programmed to 20 minutes of music.

  • When: Until January 3, from 6 – 10 p.m., weather permitting.
  • Where: 2207 Klattenhoff Drive
  • Cost: Free, but the house is a collection point for non-perishable food items for Saint Louis Catholic Church food pantry.

 

 

Central Austin

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

15-minute light show at the top of each hour. Come drink some hot chocolate while you and your family enjoy the fun decorations and show, including the song “What Does the Fox Say” for the kids.

  • When: Every night from 6 p.m. to midnight
  • Where: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
  • Cost: Free

Zilker Holiday Tree

The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs, totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians. At its circumference, the tree measures 380 feet. The diameter is 120 feet. The base of the tree is made up of 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moonlight Tower. Go take a spin under the tree and buy some kettle corn from one of the onsite vendors. REMINDER: December 7-21 the area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. If you are planning to visit the Holiday Tree itself, make sure to plan around those nights!

  • When: Until December 31, from 6 p.m. to midnight.
  • Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
  • Cost: Free

Lighting of the Capitol Tree

The fun starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season with John Aielli, host of the long-running show “Eklektikos” on KUTX 98.9. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the crowd begins the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers.

  • When: Saturday, December 6 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue & 11th Street.
  • Cost: Free

Trail of Lights

To get a sneak peek of the Trail, join the two-mile Fun Run on Saturday, December 6, 7-10 p.m., rain or shine ($20 for adults; $10 for kids).

  • When: December 7-21, from 7-10 p.m.
  • Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
  • Cost: Admission to the Trail of Lights is FREE on Opening Night (December 7) and on Monday to Thursday nights. Admission is also FREE for kids under 12 every night. Admission for adults (age 12+) is $3 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (excluding Opening Night). With the purchase of a ZiP Pass for $15, trail-goers can enter the Trail early, starting at 6:15 p.m. on most nights. Shuttle tickets cost $5/person on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights ($4 on weeknights) and provide admission into the Trail of Lights (no additional gate admission ticket is required). Lap children ride free. Zilker Parking Passes are $15. All passes can be purchased online in advance.

Luminations at Wildflower Center

Enjoy Luminations, a Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center holiday tradition. Make plans to visit the lighted gardens, filled with thousands of luminarias and twinkle lights. In addition to the beautiful holiday lighting, there will be hot chocolate and food for sale, plus children’s activities and musical acts throughout both evenings. Kids can get a hug from Frosty the Snowman and make crafts in the Visitors Gallery.

  • When: Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, from 6-9 p.m.
  • Where: 4801 La Crosse Avenue
  • Cost: Admission is FREE with two canned food items for the Capital Area Food Bank.

 

 

South

Buda

Trail of Lights

Get in the holiday mood by strolling through the park and enjoying the lights! FREE shuttle parking is available at Cabela’s. No parking is permitted in the park. Walk in visitors are welcome and may bring leashed pets. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long. No pets are allowed on shuttle buses. Hot beverages and concessions will be available for purchase.

  • When: December 12 -13 and 18 – 21, from 6 – 10 p.m
  • Where: Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main Street, Buda.
  • Cost: Free

 

 

San Marcos

Sights & Sounds of Christmas

Come out for free Santa photos, holiday performances, ice skating, enjoy festival foods, holiday gift shops, laser light show, free petting zoo, pony rides, carnival, town of Bethlehem, 5K Run, Kids 1K Run. Want to volunteer and get free entry? You can do that too!

  • When: December 3 to 6, from 5 – 11 p.m.
  • Where: San Marcos Plaza Park.
  • Cost: –13 and up is $5; kids 12 and under are FREE.

East

Bastrop

River of Lights

The River of Lights features 120 lighted displays and music. The trail continues all the way down the Lower Colorado River to Ferry Park, about a half mile.

  • When: December 6-31, from 6-9 p.m.
  • Where: Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow St.
  • Cost: Free

 

 

West

Dripping Springs

Christmas on Mercer Street

The public is invited to attend the day-long festival on Mercer Street, hosted by the City of Dripping Springs and the Dripping Springs Lions Club. The charming downtown setting of Mercer Street will be transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with lights, holiday decorations, festive music, fire pits for warmth and plenty of holiday cheer. Photos with Santa, train rides, pony rides and a variety of arts, crafts and specialty food and drink booths will be in full swing. The highlight of the evening will be the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree at the Triangle, located at Hwy. 290 and RR 12. At sunset, attendees are invited to gather for the illumination of the tree, showing off its twinkling lights, and joining in festive songs. This year features a special High Steppers performance, in addition to multiple choirs from local Dripping Springs churches and schools. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available for all to enjoy.

  • When: Saturday, December 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Where: Mercer Street, Downtown Dripping Springs
  • Cost: Free

 

 

Wimberley

The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights

Stroll a walking path with more than 100 lighted exhibits created by local businesses, churches, organizations and families. Roast a marshmallow at the yule log and listen to live entertainment on most nights. See the schedule of when Santa will be in his house.

  • When: Until December 31, from 6–9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and from 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  • Where: EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325
  • Cost: Free

 

 

Gruene

Town Lighting

Watch as Cowboy Kringle rides into town on horseback and lights Gruene for the holidays. Celebrating with live musical performances with festival food and wine available for purchase. Afterwards, get some holiday shopping done at Gruene’s 30+ stores and cozy up to a fireplace for dinner at the Gristmill.

  • When: Saturday, December 6, from 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Gruene
  • Cost: Free

 

 

Johnson City

Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style

This holiday season, bring your family to enjoy the magic and beauty of over two million LED lights spread over a mile-long drive through light display. To book a hayride through the lights for your family or group this Christmas season, or if you have any questions, call 512-955-1706.

  • When: Until January 1, from 6-11 p.m
  • Where: 1 mile outside of Johnson City, on Hwy 281.
  • Cost: Free but donations are accepted to help keep the display burning bright!

Toungate Klub Kringle

Come out to see a brand new show, with more lights and new songs!

  • When: Starting December 6 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Where: 2305 Arroyo Grande
  • Cost: Free
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