The holiday season is upon us, so get ready to celebrate with carols, snacks and light shows galore. Austin is full of holiday festivities spanning throughout all of December so get out and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts.
Don't miss these nine holiday-themed light shows.
Austin's most famous annual light show and a Readers Choice of USA Today's 10 Best Public Displays of Holiday Lights, the Trail of Lights will be drive-thru again this year Nov. 27-Dec. 31. For 57 years in a row, the Trail of Lights has lit up Zilker Park with games, food, local vendors and more than two million lights gleaming for the holidays. The event, as always, is free to the public and you can reserve slots here. The Zilker Tree is already up, so you can already see it if the holiday cheer is too much to bear.
Coming back for the second year in a row, Peppermint Parkway will transport you to COTALAND, where six million lights gleam and Christmas is just a one-mile drive away. The hybrid event will have you drive through the display of lights, dancing elves and unique little villages before you hit the walking plaza, where you can grab a bite to eat and meet Santa. Tickets range from $40-$95, some including a lap around the COTA track, running from Nov. 26-Dec. 26.
Dreamland Dripping Springs has been transformed into a winter wonderland—running throughout the month of December, the venue's first-ever holiday display is taking over with activities for the whole family. Plus, running from Nov. 20-Jan. 4, a pop-up ice skating rink will really bring the holiday cheer for $10 or $5 Monday specials. The lights display will feature half a million lights and warm, festive sips from the taproom.
With events galore for the holiday season, winter is really when the Hill Country Galleria thrives. Starting with its Light Up The Plaza event on Saturday from 6-8 p.m., where visitors can see Santa, gaze at the official lighting of the holiday tree and hear some live tunes from rock band American Authors. The Galleria will also hold a holiday market every Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to Christmas Eve and periodic photos with Santa at Buenos Aires Cafe.
Deck the Halls at the Driskill Hotel
(Courtesy of the Driskill Hotel)
This holiday season, the Driskill will deck out every nook and cranny of the historic hotel from the grand staircase to the 16-foot Christmas tree in the lobby to be lit on a Dec. 1 ceremony that will be open to the public. Touches of Driskill festivities can also be seen at Dell Children's Hospital with a gingerbread village for its annual "Cookies for Caring" event.
Kicking off the lighting of the tree on Saturday, Dec. 4, Austinites will gather on the steps of the Texas Capitol at 6 p.m. to sing the 45-foot tree to life. Afterward, local band Los Coast will close out the night with a free concert. The fun doesn't stop there though as the Downtown Austin Alliance will host the Downtown Holiday Stroll, with "holiday passports" and stamps to collect for local restaurants and stores, and a Frida Friday Holiday Market at Republic Square.
Combining festive holiday lights and the beautiful native plants of Central Texas, Luminations at the Wildflower Center is back with thousands of lights, luminarias and a lit-up look at Fortlandia. This year will also feature an interactive light maze called "silvana" by Ben Busche of architecture firm Brut Deluxe, which will be the maze's first appearance in North America. The event will run Thursdays-Sundays from Dec. 2-Jan. 30 for $10-$25 per person.
Reserved tables are back for Mozart's Coffee Roasters annual Christmas Lights Show for $20 four-person tables and $30 six-person tables—so get your tickets early because these tables are likely to sell out. The light show will also feature a festival-style Bavarian marketplace for those last-minute gifts. If you're too late to reserve a table, don't worry, there will be standing room available for free so come one, come all, and come early for parking.
From Dec. 2-4, Old Settlers Park will light up with holiday displays, family activities, festive refreshments and live music. Watch the balloons hover above the lake as you sip on a hot chocolate or give to those in need, with stands for Round Rock Operation Blue Santa, which is taking toys for kids in need, the Play For All Foundation, which is accepting cash donations for disabled children, and the People & Parks Foundation, accepting cash donations for green space in the community. Admission to the event is free, along with most of the activities in the park.
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Tesla’s Austin presence is becoming even greater as the automaker plans for a nearly 52,000-square-foot showroom in northeast Austin.
A filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation reveals Tesla will have the dealership at 2323 Ridgepoint Drive, near the intersection of 290 and 183. It’ll serve as Tesla’s fourth Austin showroom once it reaches its expected completion in February next year.
Boyd Watterson Asset Management is listed as the owner of the one story building that will undergo renovations and alterations totaling $1.5 million. Illinois-based Chipman Design Architecture is listed as the design firm.
Tesla’s other Austin showrooms include one at the Domain, another off of Research Boulevard in northwest Austin and at The Yard in South Austin. The site on St. Elmo Road was built just last year with an estimated $2.5 million price tag.
News of the showroom comes shortly after Tesla applied for expansions at its headquarters in southeast Travis County. According to filings, Tesla may build a 500,000-square-foot building for two general assembly lines at Giga Texas.
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Now’s your chance to see a Spurs game without a trip to San Antonio.
The 2022-23 NBA schedule has been released and it includes the “I-35 Series,” with two games at The Moody Center April 6 and April 8. For the first game, the Spurs will be playing the Portland Trail Blazers and the next will be against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Season ticket holders can secure their seats on Sept. 21 and all other tickets will go on sale Sept. 28.
It's here y'all! Our #Spurs50 anniversary season is set 🗓
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 17, 2022
The Spurs already have a significant Austin presence both through their minor league affiliate, the G-League Austin Spurs, and its ownership, which announced Austin billionaire Michael Dell as a new “strategic partner" in June 2021. You'll also see a new logo on this season's jersey: Austin-based fin-tech company Self Financial.
During a May Bexar County commissioner's meeting, The San Antonio Spurs were approved in a 3-2 vote to move some of its games out of San Antonio and its current home stadium, the AT&T Center. The plan came as a way to boost revenue and cater to its far-reaching fan base.
By the 2023-2024 season, two games will be allowed within 100 miles of AT&T Center as part of the two-year "pilot program.” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said those games could take place in the Alamodome or San Marcos but that Austin would likely be the top contender.
The multi-purpose stadium in San Antonio has a 65,000 capacity, which the team says could allow them to break an attendance record for an NBA regular season game.
While some have taken their coming Austin games as a sign of a future move for the Spurs, the team was quick to shut down those rumors.
The team, which is celebrating 50 years in San Antonio after relocating from Dallas, said it is not looking for an exit but made the plans for games in other cities after stumbling sales amid the pandemic.
While average home attendance plummeted to 27th among the 30 NBA teams this season, the team has a pricey non-relocation agreement through the 2031-2032 season and has recently embarked on a $500 million mixed-use facility in San Antonio's La Cantera area.
The Spurs will also have a game in Mexico City on Dec. 17 and a Jan. 13 game at the Alamodome. Tickets for those go on sale Sept. 10 and Sept. 1, respectively.