Jay Janner/ Statesman
A Very Austin Christmas: Best ATX Holiday Destinations
Even though finals season is overwhelming, Christmas is upon us. To avoid being a Grinch and get in the holiday spirit before finals fully take over, here are the top six Christmas destinations and activities in Austin:
Located in Zilker Park, the 1.25 mile trail is adorned with just about every Christmas scene you can dream up. Along the walk, there’s also carnival rides, yummy snacks, and a meet-and-greet opportunity with Santa! You’ll even be able to get up close and personal with the Zilker Holiday Tree, which is the biggest in town, sizing up at 155 feet tall. My only recommendation is to not spin in a circle staring up at it after too much hot chocolate.
If you’ve got an evening to spare, take a drive down to Mozart’s on the lake to take in their spectacular Christmas light designs. Not only can you enjoy the beautiful lights while sipping on their delicious hot chocolate, but at the top of every hour is a 12 to 15 minute light show extravaganza with both traditional and current pop Christmas songs. It even includes a tribute to the greatest university in the world, also known as UT Austin, at the end.
Located on the roof of Whole Foods off Lamar, this skating rink provides a great view of downtown Austin. Skate along (or hold onto the railings, no judgment) while listening to holiday music, and if you’re truly talented, sipping on some warm apple cider. Just kidding, I don’t think that’s A) allowed or B) very safe. For those afraid of heights, Chaparral Ice and Omni Barton Creek Resort offer indoor skating rinks that will put you in the perfect holiday spirit, safely on ground-level.
This is perfect for students who haven’t quite managed to create a holiday feel in their dorms or apartments but still want to feel part of the decorating process. Bring some ornaments, garland, and a weird item in keeping with the city’s vibe and head to Loop 360 to adorn a cedar tree. Just don’t forget to retrieve your decorations after New Years, or else someone will have to take them down for you!
This event, which takes place on Dec. 3rd manages to roll several Christmas activities into one. It starts off with caroling downtown at 6 p.m., then moves to the lighting of the Capitol Christmas tree, an appearance by Santa, live music, and various events put on at downtown businesses. There will also be a farmer’s market and the opportunity to donate canned food for families in need this holiday season!
It seems that almost every community has its perpetual “Candy Cane Lane”, or a collection of neighbors who enjoy to have ridiculously high electricity bills during the Christmas season. 37th Street is no different, with countless houses going all out on decorations. The better part is the lights change every year, ensuring a memorable experience every season. It’s truly something to see for yourself.