Yes, it’s beginning to feel and sound a lot like Christmas in Central Austin. To help you and your family celebrate the season and discover the magic we found several community holiday festivals located throughout the Austin area. Many of these festivals offer great budget-friendly family entertainment.
After all, tis’ the season to be jolly. And, from my perspective, these budget-friendly events and festivals couldn’t make me happier. Especially, when the budget could get a little stretched this time of year. So, this holiday season pack up the car with the kiddos. Then, head toward Main Street in your own hometown or the nearest town to you. What you’ll discover are communities rooted in spirit, time-honored traditions, holiday cheer, friendly people, and delightful family fun.
From Christmas movies, to tree lighting ceremonies, to arts and crafts, to dazzling light displays, to ice rinks and much, much more! To kick off the season here’s a list of festivals you and your family can attend. But, you better hurry. A few of these festivals are happening this weekend. Let the merriment begin!
Festivals close to home
City of Leander – Old Town Christmas Festival Leander – Join the city of Leander as they ring in the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Old Town Leander. Community spirit is alive in Leander all year-round but there seems to be an extra dose of it during Christmas. The festivities start as early as 7:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 8 p.m. Set your phone alarm for the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Other events include the Christmas Marketplace, an ice skating rink, photos with Santa, the Rouse High School choir, a food court, local vendors, Band of the Hills and ice skating. Also, stop by the Leander Public Library’s 30th Anniversary and Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to noon for crafts, treats, Santa, and the Winter Reading Club kick-off.
City of Cedar Park – Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop – This free event on Friday, Dec. 1 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. at Heritage Oak Park features family holiday fun for everyone. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, Santa, games, inflatables, prizes, and arts and crafts. Food concessions will be available.
A short drive away
City of Georgetown – 37th Annual Christmas Stroll – The town square of Georgetown is all aglow during this annual free festival that attracts thousands. Enjoy two-days of magical fun on Friday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This event features live music, over 150 vendors, the Bistro Food Court, strolling carolers, a Winter Wonderland, and Santa’s Village. If you go make sure you walk through the Bethlehem Village. This historical rendition of an actual village at the time of Christ’s birth is a must see. A special highlight on Friday night only is dessert with the Grinch. Munch on cookies and enjoy a special presentation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The parade kicks off on Saturday at 10 a.m.
City of Round Rock – Christmas Family Night – Celebrate the holidays on Main Street in Round Rock’s downtown area on Friday, Dec. 1. The festival begins at 6:30 p.m. but the event doesn’t officially start until 6:35 p.m. That’s when the town’s mayor lights up the city for one spectacular month-long lighting show. The evening features live entertainment such as performers and dancers, candle making, game booths, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus. Admission is free and so are the hot dogs, popcorn and hot chocolate. Enjoy the Main Street lights all month long from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31.
Christmas Towne at Old Settlers Association – This free family fun activity offers amazing holiday light displays, a walk-through tunnel of lights, food, a carnival and more. It’s located in Old Settler’s Park and the Dell Diamond parking lot in Round Rock. Christmas Towne runs from Dec. 14 through Dec. 23. Check the website for times of operation.
Texas Hill Country festivals
Marble Falls – Walkway of Lights – This Texas Hill Country festival started Nov. 17 but it’s not too late to walk through and view over 2 million lights on 400 displays in the town’s Lakeside Park. The event starts every evening at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. through Jan. 1. Admission is free. Concessions, photos with Santa and more.
Fredericksburg – Chamber Light the Night Christmas Parade and AfterGlow 2017 – It’s a month-long celebration of activities and festivities in the old-world German town of Fredericksburg. The kick-off begins on Friday, Dec. 1 with the Chamber of Lights parade on Main Street at 6:30 p.m. Other events during the evening include shopping at the Holiday Sharing Village, food, beverages, children’s activities, and Santa. For a complete list of December holiday events in Fredericksburg click here.