Mozart’s is one of the best coffee shops in Austin, mostly because they have a phenomenal location on Lake Austin and a great outdoor deck. It’s one of the best places in town to see some spectacular holiday lights.
Visitors to Mozart’s Coffee Roasters’ annual Christmas light extravaganza will get a new immersive, interactive experience surrounded by more than one million LED lights in a show that will run every evening from November 17 through January 1 (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day). Come with eager eyes and ears (there will be music, too). And bring your camera to get photos and videos that will light up your Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook pages.
Thousands of dazzling lights have been sculpted into giant iconic objects, custom-made in Greece, that evoke Austin’s culture and the Christmas season, including a dozen guitars, the State Capitol, and a tree filled with presents. Plus, an audio-activated wall of lights. Thousands of other lights will be imaginatively strung in the trees, facades and rooflines. All will be placed around Mozart’s lakeside deck.
For refreshment, Mozart’s acclaimed coffee and hot chocolate can be purchased inside the coffee house and at kiosks outdoors. Special holiday goodies from Mozart’s bakery will also be available.
NOTE—High Points of the Show/Timing:
The exhilarating highpoints of the free show, super light-ups and live choral singing, will be spaced throughout the entire evening. Families can relax and arrive at any time to get their over-the-top dose of Christmas magic.
More than 20 choirs from local schools and community groups have been tapped this year to sing Christmas songs that range from traditional to “rock-the-deck” tunes.
For more holiday fun this month, check out our Top 25 Things To Do This December!
Time: Top of every hour, starting at 6 p.m – 11 p.m.
When: now – New Years
3826 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703
Photo: Mozart’s Coffee
Tipster, Austin’s first pay-what-you like walking tours, have officially started walking in Austin! These local tours are super fun, affordable, and a great experience for visitors and locals alike.
Tipster is making Austin part of a world-wide movement bringing pay-what-you-like walking tours to everyone from backpackers to local business people.
The tours are nontraditional. There are no prices or set fees, no reservations required, and the guides create the tours they want to give.
Tipster wants everyone, regardless of budget, to experience Austin like an insider. They believe everyone who visits or lives in Austin should be able to connect with the local vibe and culture.
From the Capitol to the Driskill, this tour is great for visitors looking to learn more about this unique city deep in the heart of Texas. Learn all about the history of Austin as you walk through downtown and stop for local drinks and snacks along the way.
Austin Music Tour
As the Live Music Capitol of the World, Austin has more live music venues than any other city in the nation. From jazz to country, hip hop to blues, there is a show for everybody at almost any time of day. On this tour, learn how the Austin music scene came to be and gain some insider knowledge.
Explore one of Austin’s most beautiful natural prized gems. This tour is more of a nature walk and is a great way to explore the city in tranquil scenery. We’ll walk along the beautiful Barton Creek through wooded ravines and canyons right in the heart of Austin. Along the way you will stop at Austin’s beloved Taco Deli mid-walk.
East Side Art Tour
Art is all around us in Austin. On this tour you’ll explore the vibrant world of street art that dominates the East Side. From murals and graffiti to the art of craft cocktails, there’s something on this tour for everyone!
Lady Bird Lake Tour
Beginning at the iconic statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn on Auditorium Shores and ending at Threadgill’s Armadillo World Headquarters, this walking tour reveals the history that has built Austin into the Live Music Capital of the World. Discover Austin’s hike & bike trails, visit some of our most popular landmarks and learn some insightful tidbits about the city’s evolution, all while gaining an insider’s guide to favorite local hotspots.
Beer lovers unite! The craft beer movement is thriving in Austin. The Austin area has over 30 craft breweries and is growing by the day. Get introduced to some of Austin’s East side breweries as we hit some of our favorites and explore this hip part of town.
Want to learn more about Tipster?
Email: Kelly @tipstertours.com
Like TipsterTours on facebook
Photo: Wynn Meyers
The wonderful thing about a city like Austin is that you really don’t have to cook if you don’t want to. Grab the kids and your great aunt, too, and pile into the car. Here’s our list of all the great dining-out options on turkey day. You can still nap like a hero afterward, and there won’t be a dirty dish to speak of.
Full Thanksgiving Dinner includes:
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast
Turkey Leg Confit
Beeler’s House-Cured Ham
Gravy & Cranberries
Choice of Two:
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Bacon-Braised Collard Greens
$29 | No Reservations | No Substitutions | While Supplies Last
Photo: instagram @lonestarlaurenblog
Threadgill’s is open ALL DAY on Thanksgiving. No reservations—seating is first come, first served. A 10 minute text reminder will be sent to your party when your table becomes available!
They proudly host our holiday menu with plenty of vegetarian options available all day long:
ENTREES – Served with a choice of two vegetables
Roast Turkey with Cornbread Dressing
Grilled Pork Chops
Chicken Fried Pork Chop
Chicken Fried Steak
Chicken Fried Chicken
Southern Fried Oysters
3 Vegetable Plate
5 Vegetable Plate
Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole
San Antonio Squash
Chocolate Ice Box Pie
Kid’s Menu available, too!
Come celebrate Thanksgiving with north Austin favorite, The Knotty Deck and Bar, at the Renaissance Austin Hotel!
They will be hosting a Thanksgiving brunch buffet with seatings at 10AM, 12PM, and 2PM. $49 Adults, $25 Children 4-12, and Children under 4 are complimentary.
Menu includes all brunch favorites, carving stations of roasted turkey, prime rib, and house smoked ham, all the traditional fixings, and plenty of pies and desserts.
$8 Bloody Marys and $6 Mimosas also available.
Live music featuring Michael Ingalls | For reservations please call 512-795-6100
Celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends in TRIO, complete with an expansive buffet featuring more than 80 delicious items. Guests may also dine in the elegant Four Seasons Ballroom, where live piano music provides the perfect accompaniment to a delightful holiday dinner.
Seating from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm in TRIO, or in the Ballroom from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. $88 for adults and $35 for children ages 6 to 11, plus tax and gratuity.
If you’re looking for a memorable Thanksgiving feast, look no further. The Hyatt Regency sits right on Town Lake and provides picturesque views of downtown Austin. Don’t forget the camera.
They’ll have a large gourmet buffet with carving stations and desserts for days. They’ll also have mini pumpkin decorating, a family photo booth, and other fun activities.
10:30am – 2:30pm (last seating)
$ 65 (plus gratuity & tax) for adults, $32.50 for children, kids under 3 are free
To make reservation call Laura Weldon 512-480-2035.
The Park will be offering a Thanksgiving buffet from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for $20 per person at both the South Lamar and The Domain locations.
Collegiate and pro football fans will be able to watch Thanksgiving Day games, while enjoying a traditional turkey dinner buffet. The buffet will include turkey and pork tenderloin, along with classic sides such as dressing, jalapeno cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, broccoli rice casserole, sauteed fresh vegetabels, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. Dessert options will include pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie.
After 3 p.m. the regular dinner menu will be served until midnight, along with happy hour drink specials from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
This Thanksgiving, Pinballz Kingdom will be smoking turkeys and doing a buffet-style Thanksgiving dinner for their guests free of charge!
What do you need to do to be a part of it? Just bring two canned goods with you as a food bank donation (or drop them off with us any day between November 1st and November 23rd to get your name on the guest list). They will be open at 3pm (just in time for the Cowboys game at 3:30pm!) and will be smoking turkeys and serving a buffet-style Thanksgiving dinner at halftime (between 4:30 and 5pm).
So come hang with friends, watch some football, play some games, eat some free dinner, donate some food to those in need, and be thankful with us at Pinballz Kingdom!
Photo: Travis Hallmark
Mañana in South Congress Hotel with their annual holiday pies.
Made in three seasonal flavors, these Thanksgiving pies will surely satisfy the whole family with their rich taste and traditional feel. Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman crafted these pies with the “less prep, more pie” idea in mind; families can pick up a pre-made pie for Thanksgiving with none of the hassle and all of the flavor. These pies are once again available for pre-order starting November 1st until November 18th on South Congress Hotel’s newly launched website: shop.southcongresshotel.com. Pies will also be available for purchase in-store November 20th through November 23rd.
Fresa’s Thanksgiving Pre-Order To-Go Dinners
Photo: Wynn Meyers
Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon will once again offer their homemade Thanksgiving dinners, sides and desserts for pre-order starting November 1. All Thanksgiving items come fully cooked with reheating instructions, making Thanksgiving meal prep easy and convenient.
Thanksgiving orders can be placed online at www.fresaschicken.com or by phone at 512.428.5082 through Monday, November 20th. All Fresa’s Thanksgiving items will be avaialable for pick up on Wednesday, November 23rd at Fresa’s South First (1703 S. 1st Street) between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Monger’s Market & Kitchen is doing to-go items & seafood platters for pick up during the holidays.
How To Book: email Julie@mongersaustin.com or call 512-215-8972
Olamaie’s famous off-the-menu biscuits will be available for pick up for the holidays this year. To place an order, there is a 1 week notice for pick up on Thanksgiving, and for the last pickup before Christmas, which will be the 23rd of December. There is a 1 dozen minimum for orders, and they should go through email@example.com (all requests will receive a response within 24 hours). Pick up will be between 10am – 2pm on Thanksgiving Day.
Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us, and Austin-area event calendars are filling up with all things festive. We’ve narrowed down what is typically a very long list of merry making events to the top 25 things to do during the holidays in Austin. Grab those calendars and start your 2017 holiday planning! Many thanks to Springfree Trampoline for sponsoring this post!
Movies in the Park: Muppet Christmas Carol
When: Saturday, November 9, 6:30-10 p.m.
Where: Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale Avenue, Austin
Close out the 25th Annual season with some holiday cheer! Join us at Ramsey park for a very Muppet Christmas tale. Movie begins around 6pm, but get there early to grab your spot!
Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade
When: Saturday, November 18, 11 a.m.
Where: Starts at the Capitol at 11th and Congress, moving south on Congress all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge.
Enjoy giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, children’s characters, marching bands, classic cars, Santa, and more at this annual parade the benefits Blue Santa. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.
Austin Empty Bowl
When: Sunday, November 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin
Potters from all over Central Texas donate bowls of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Thirty restaurants and bakeries donate delicious soups and breads, while musicians donate their time and talent to entertain us. Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, friends and families come together to purchase a bowl for $20, have it filled with soup, and enjoy the music. The bowl is yours to keep, as a reminder of those whose bowls are empty. The proceeds go to the Central Texas Food Bank to help sponsor the Kids Cafe Program and Meals on Wheels Central Texas’ Meals for Kids. Kids Cafe and Meals for Kids provide a safe, nurturing place where children receive a hot, nutritious dinner, as well as help with homework.
A Christmas Carol
When: November 22 – December 31, 2017, various times
Where: ZACH Theater, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin
Austin’s most rockin’ holiday tradition returns to make merry with a new music to get the party started! ZACH’s inspired adaptation of the Dickens’ classic is a musical sleigh ride through rhythm and time, infusing the traditional Victorian story with a musical score that spans all genres and eras. Motown meets the HoHoHolidays in this family celebration, creating an infectious spirit that has everyone dancing in the aisles, creating an infectious spirit that has everyone dancing in the aisles. Join the loving Cratchit family and three soulful ghosts as they take Ebenezer Scrooge on a joyride to miraculous transformation, as he rediscovers his heart and love for human kindness.
Santa on the Terrace
When: Saturday, November 24, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
This Black Friday, Santa is coming to town and spreading some holiday cheer! Join us on the City Terrace and take some time out of the busiest holiday of the year to celebrate the season. Bring the kids for a FREE photo with Santa overlooking the best view in Austin! Enjoy some holiday treats with all sorts of fun entertainment. Activities will be planned for the whole family, so bring everyone. And, in true Black Friday fashion, we’ll have some of our best deals of the year available!
The North Pole Flyer
When: Saturday & Sunday, November 25 – December 17, 2017, 8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park
Enjoy a special 2 hour excursion on a real train that features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa and a locally baked holiday cookie. Each car is decorated for the season where passengers enjoy a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book-our railroad’s own Christmas Story! Santa will spend time in each car to “check your list twice”, and pose for photographs before handing out a gift to each child to remember this special ride! Tickets start at $45.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Holiday Lights Display
When: November 17 – January 1
Where: Mozart’s, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
Mozart’s annual light display takes place every hour on the hour until midnight. The show lasts fifteen minutes, but Mozart’s does get crowded, so plan to get there in advance, and consider dropping guests off since the parking lot fills up quickly (there is additional parking across the street). It’s also a lovely, centrally-located spot to enjoy the lakeside view and look for ducks
Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony
When: Sunday, November 26, 5:30 p.m. pre-event music, 6:00 p.m. lighting
Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road
Enjoy local entertainment, food, live music and more at the annual lighting of the Zilker Tree, which stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs – totaling 3,309 lights.
November 27 – December 31, 6 pm – 12 midnight, tree on display nightly. REMINDER – on Trail of Lights Nights the area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. If you are planning to visit the Holiday Tree itself, make sure to plan around those nights.
A PRAIRIE CAROL: Charles Dickens’ Christmas Tale
When: Friday & Saturday, December 1, 2 & 8, 9, 7-11 p.m.
Where: Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin
Based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, families will enjoy various scenes of Dickens’ classic tale in 1800s Texas on four nights in December. Bring the family to Pioneer Farms this holiday season for a most unusual event. Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history, not in England but in the Lone Star State. Then experience the classic Dickens tale like never before, as our actors take you into the story with an interactive theatrical presentation staged in the historic old buildings at Pioneer Farms.
When: Saturday, December 2, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: The Domain, Amy Donovan Plaza, in between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s
Elves in training can enjoy music, face painting, balloon twisting, crafts, games, prizes, giveaways, a Santa snack and fun photo opps!
German Christmas Market
When: Saturday, December 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: German-Texan Heritage Society, 507 E. 10th Street, Austin
The German-Texan Heritage Society offers shoppers hand-made, imported crafts including plenty of Christmas themed decorations such as nutcrackers and ornaments. It is a festival atmosphere with traditional German Christmas music, tables full of handcrafted items direct from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, a visit by both our historic American Santa Claus and the traditional German Sankt Nikolas with gifts for the children, a hospitality serving of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), coffee, apple cider/juice and gingerbread cookies and plenty of German style baked goodies for purchase. All purchases are Sales Tax Free on this special day.
Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
When: Saturday, December 2, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Austin at the Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue and 11th
Sing holiday songs on the lawn of the Capitol and then stroll along Congress Avenue.
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells
When: December 2-16 (Saturdays and Sundays), 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin
Based on the popular chapter book, Austin Scottish Rite Theater presents Junie B on stage as she struggles to take revenge on her nemesis “tattle-tale” May. This is a hilarious and heartwarming holiday tale.
Lights of Love
When: Sunday, December 3, 4-7 p.m.
Where: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin
Lights of Love is a festive event for children and families to experience holiday fun and the magical moment when hundreds of sparkling lights suddenly illuminate the Ronald McDonald House and its big, bright holiday tree. Many activities are planned including cookie decorating, kids’ crafts, snow slide, music, photos with Santa Claus and much more! $5 per person suggested donation | $20 per family suggested donation.
Holiday Open House at the Four Seasons
When: Monday and Tuesday, December 4 & 5, 5 p.m.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin
A beloved tradition, our Open Houses invite locals and visitors to ooh and ahh over the Gingerbread Village in the Lobby, all while enjoying complimentary hot apple cider and festive cookies. The talented pastry chefs behind this year’s Monopoly-inspired Village – along with special guest, Santa – will also be on hand for photo opportunities and to answer questions about the houses, which will be on display from November 21 through December 25, 2017.
12th Annual Mueller Tower Lighting
When: Tuesday, December 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Mueller Control Tower, Berkman Drive, Austin
Join the Mueller community for the 12th Annual Tower Lighting Ceremony! The Reagan High School Drumline and Boss Street Band will provide entertainment for the entire family. Free coffee, kettle corn and cookies will be available while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. Free hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be served while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. FREE!
Domain NORTHSIDE Kids: Frosted
When: Wednesday, December 6, 10 a.m. – noon
Where: Domain NORTHSIDE, 11700 Domain Blvd, Austin
The Boogaloo Crew will guide your littles in activities and crafts that get their bodies and minds engaged. End the morning by taking home a fun photo (and a first come, first served gift bag from select Domain NORTHSIDE and Rock Rose retailers and restaurants). Guided activities begin at 10am. Space is limited. After 10am, we will begin to take walk-ups and registered guests will not be guaranteed admission.
Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker
When: December 8-23; shows at 2 & 7:30 p.m.
Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
Austin’s favorite holiday tradition returns for its 55th year with all of the colorful characters, pomp and pageantry you adore. Journey with young Clara Silberhaus from her family’s holiday party to the confection-filled Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where sweets of all kinds come to life. Ballet Austin’s annual production of the world’s best-known ballet features hundreds of dancers, gorgeous sets and costumes, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s magical score. It’s the perfect way for family and friends to celebrate the season together!
Gingerbread House Workshops at the Thinkery
When: December 9-24, various times
Where: The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Avenue, Austin
These hour-long, educator-led workshops are appropriate for all ages and offer everything needed to build and decorate a charming gingerbread house. Each attendee must reserve a seat in the workshop and we recommend purchasing one Gingerbread House Kit for every 2-3 people. Cost: $5 Member Adult or Child Seat | $12 Non-Member Adult or Child Seat | $20 per Gingerbread House Kit (Every group must purchase at least one house).
Charlie Brown Christmas
When: Saturday, December 9, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Avenue, Austin
Join the Austin Chamber Music Center for a live music performance featuring all of your favorite tunes from the holiday classic – and more, including Snoopy! Bring your family to this Austin tradition and get in the holiday spirit!General Admission: $22-$37.
Holiday Family Day at The Blanton Museum of Art
When: Saturday, December 9, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd., Austin
Celebrate the holidays with the Blanton Museum of Art! Enjoy exploring the special exhibition and permanent collection galleries while engaging in fun conversation, and searching for creative inspiration to make festive art in our WorkLAB Studio that you can keep for yourself or give to your loved ones as a gift. Free museum admissions for children ages 12 and under; program included with admission.
Austin Trail of Lights
When: December 9-23, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road, Austin
Visit the Trail of Lights and take a spin under the Zilker Tree! Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. General admission is FREE on select nights, $3 for ages 12+ from December 15-17 and 20-23. Parking pass is $15-$20.
Cherrywood Art Fair
When: December 9 & 10, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Maplewood Elementary School, 381/2 St. & Maplewood
Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts ranging from jewelry to ceramics and more. There’s live music, an art corner for the kids, food and drinks and more! FREE Admission!
When: Tuesday, December 12, 8 p.m.
Where: Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin
The Austin Symphony once again presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Chorus Austin for you and your family at Hyde Park Baptist Church. This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Let us begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing!
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
When: December 14-24, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an 11 day fine art, shopping destination featuring national and local award-winning artists, with live music and two full bars in a festive, lively atmosphere.
Looking to add a trampoline to your backyard this holiday season? Take a test jump at the Springfree Trampoline showroom, located in The Domain in Austin or at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave . Springfree Trampolines have no springs, no hard edges, and a frame beneath the jumping surface. That’s smart engineering. Their patented safety design and tgoma’s one at a time play feature will give you peace of mind that your kids are having a safe, fun jumping experience.