How to December in Austin

There’s extra fun to be had during December in the 512 (and now the 737 too). The fun can be summed up in two words: trees and lights. And we have lots of both.

First things first, your tree. Drive past the Home Depot trees flown in from far, far away on the way out to the Elgin tree farms. Grab a saw and a wagon then when you find the perfect tree, chop ‘er down. You’ll work up an appetite, so on your way back to town, make sure to stop for BBQ. Don’t be fooled by the bright lights of Southside BBQ- Meyer’s Smokehouse up the street is where it’s at. Once you’re done decorating your own tree, be a good little Austin elf and decorate a 360 tree. If you don’t know about this Christmas miracle, every year between Thanksgiving and the new year, the trees along Loop 360 near Spicewood Springs are “mysteriously” decorated. The decorating happens on the down-low and mostly under the cover of darkness to keep the magic a mystery. You’ll find traditional decorated trees, themed trees, trees trimmed with working lights, and I bet you’ll find a tree waiting to be decorated too!If holiday lights get you in the spirit, two of my favorite festively bright spots are Mozart’s and the Trail of Lights.

Mozart’s kicks off their Christmas Light Show at the top of the every hour from 6pm – midnight until January 1st. Grab your friends (the four-legged kind too) and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to take in the show on the lakeside deck.

Then there’s the Trail of Lights and the Zilker Holiday Tree. The 1.25 mile long Trail through 50 holiday light displays is a favorite for kids ages 0-99. If you haven’t gotten the perfect Christmas card picture yet, the photo zones are for you! The Zilker Holiday Tree at the beginning of the Trail is enormous (think 155 feet tall and 120 feet across) and is best enjoyed from underneath, spinning around while you look up at it. Just remember: spin first, egg nog later.

If you still haven’t seen enough lights after those two stops, Mozart’s was nice enough to create a map of the best lights in town.(image from

If I left your favorite Austin holiday to-do off this list, put the comment section to good use!

Fa la la la la, la la la, y’all.

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