By Stacey Leasca
December 01, 2019

Austin may be most well-known for hosting yearly tech events, being the hipster hub of Texas, and for generally “keeping it weird,” but it turns out it’s also a Christmas paradise that needs to be seen to be believed.

Each year, the town puts on the Austin Trail of Lights, completely transforming the city’s iconic Zilker Park into a winter wonderland.

Credit: Courtesy of Austin Trail of Lights
Credit: Courtesy of Austin Trail of Lights

The event features more than 2 million lights illuminating the park just after dusk, along with 90 lighted holiday trees, and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels for guests to explore.

The family-friendly festival also hosts a roster of stellar area restaurants at the event and will have plenty of entertainment to enjoy thanks to live music, holiday market shopping, and a brand new wine at the Trail section for all those 21 years old and up. That boozy section, presented by Coravin, will offer guests a variety of wine flights to try from brands like Napa Valley’s Italics Winemakers, HALL Winery, Calmére Estate Winery, and Peju Family Provence.

Credit: Courtesy of Austin Trail of Lights
Credit: Courtesy of Austin Trail of Lights

Truly, the team has this entire thing down pat as this year’s festival marks the 55th anniversary of the light show.

This year’s Live at the Trail will also feature music from Emily Gimble, Alesia Lani, Croy Baum, and many more. And, thanks to partnerships with Mother Falcon Music Lab, Band-Aid School of Music, and other music education programs, the Austin Trail of Lights supports young performers by offering opportunities for emerging student musicians to come on stage and open for some of the acts.

This year’s Austin Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B, will be open from Dec. 10 - 23 with gates open nightly from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Access to the event is free for the public on seven out of the 14 nights and admission for children 11 and under is always free.