Austin Holiday Events 2020 Style: In Person and Virtual Options
We have been around Austin for a long time. This time of the year is always a favorite because Austin really loves a good celebration. However, we are aware things will look a little differently as we work as a community to maintain our health and safety for ourselves and others.
So, we rounded up over 20 days of holiday events to help chase off the “ba-humbugs” of 2020. Some of these have been traditional family favorites with a new spin, virtual versus in person. One may wonder why bother? Well, as you may be aware, many of these events are put on and help support small local businesses and local non-profits that bring so much inspiration to our community and makes Austin, well Austin! So, we hope this list will help to get in to the spirit and do our part to help lift others up.
Mozart’s 2020 COVID Cautious Christmas Light Show (In-Person)
Mozart’s is a great local spot with a wonderful Lady Bird Lake view to go with good coffee. Mozart’s goes all out with a spectacular light show sure to wow the most skeptical of us. It’s an outdoor show with social distanced tables available by reservation only. Upside is that unlike that past, you will be guaranteed a table and not be packed in, shoulder-to-shoulder, scrambling for a view. Most available parking is up the hill across the street so be sure to consider time to walk over and get settled. Multiple dates and times through-out December.
Long Winter’s Night in Texas Musical by the Scottish Rite Theater (Virtual)
For a small fee, you can access this from the comfort of your own couch and indulge in a uniquely Austin original musical with a dash of Dickens presented from one of Austin’s oldest theaters. Available all December.
Community First! Village Holiday Market (In-Person)
Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit like shopping for gifts. Even better is when the purchase of a gift benefits others. Community First! Village artists and makers use their talents to create one-of-a-kind items. Purchase of these items will help provide a dignified income for Village neighbors who work through our Community Works programs. Reservations are required. Dec 3 – Dec 5, 10 AM – 8 PM.
Austin Trail of Lights (In-Person)
If you are new to Austin, you may not know this, but we used to be able to drive through the Austin Trail of Lights. Well, thanks to “rona”, the 56th annual Austin Trail of Lights is returning to Zilker as a drive-thru event. For more details and tickets, visit their website. Be sure to read about the “enclosed, street-legal vehicle” requirements – we were fantasizing about taking the jeep with the top off, NOPE. That’s cool though, just happy they have figured out a safe way to implement this annual magical tradition.
Holiday Craft Crawl by Austin Public Library
Virtual Holiday Craft crawl tix 7:00 PM by Austin Public Library (Virtual)
Join in the holiday fun with live stream crafting tutorials by library staff and professional crafters. December 4. Adults 18+ only. Visit their website for details and registration. There is a limited supply of crafting kits.
Armadillo Art Concierge (Virtual)
With over four decades in Austin, this is about as Austin traditional as it gets. Usually a 10-day fine art, shopping destination featuring national and local award-winning with live music, this show is virtual this year. Support our local artists and small businesses.
Peppermint Parkway Magical Drive-thru Holiday Experience (In-Person)
Journey with “Pepper” and “Mint”, the COTA Peppermint Parkway Mascots as they make their way to deliver letters to Santa. Packed full of entertainment along the way, this experience also features “charity” nights, by which a portion of proceeds will benefit charity partners. Visit their site for more details. And be sure to tell Pepper and Mint hello for us!
Go for a hill country stroll and take in the sparkling lights illuminate the gardens and the forts of Fortlandia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center through January 3. For information and tickets, visit their website.
A Rockin Holiday Concert (In-Person)
Us Austinites cannot get enough of live, outdoor concerts, that’s one of the reasons we live here, ikr? This unprecedented year has seen us having to do without many of our favorites. Happily, Zach Theatre to the rescue! Join Zach’s talented singers (from Zach’s A Christmas Carol) as they perform holiday classics and favorites.
“All I Want for Christmas is You” Holiday Dance Workshop (In-Person or VIRTUALLY)
Dancing is one of the best ways to relieve stress and cheer oneself up, they say! Join Ballet Austin’s Jenny Alperin as she shows you how to rock your moves to the iconic holiday song by Mariah Carey, “Al I Want for Christmas is You.” Grab your Santa hat and visit their website to get more details on this December 19th class.
A Christmas Carols Central Texas Theatre Academy (In-Person)
Off to the hill country! This children’s theatre production will be the first to be staged at the new space for CTTA. A new interactive spin on a classic will be sure to inspire and spark joy in young audience members.
Austin Jingle Bell Virtual Run (Virtual)
Run one, run all! It’s the 25th Annual Austin Jingle Bell 5K. Get your jingle bells on and run between 12/6-1/6 and shake off those “rona” blues help benefit MADD and yourself with some fresh air and exercise. Visit here for more details.
Touch-A-Truck benefiting SAFE (Virtual)
Do you have a child who is fascinated by all kinds of vehicles? SAFE has truck videos that will allow you to virtually explore trucks from fire truck to bulldozers… along with a challenge to share and encourage donations on behalf of SAFE which supports hundreds of children survivors of abuse with support, shelter and much more.
Downtown Holiday Stroll (In-Person)
The Downtown Holiday Stroll is on, in its 26th year presented by Downtown Austin Alliance, with Covid Conscience Holiday inspired activities. The event has been extended through the DecThrow on your scarf and mask, get some fresh air and support our Austin local businesses. Visit their website for more information.
Teddy Bear Tea (Virtual)
A favorite family tradition now available to take home. Bring an unwrapped teddy bear as a donation to children’s charities in Austin to give to Santa and Santa will send you home with your Teddy Bear Tea To-Go. Advanced reservations, fees and info can be found on their website.
Bring the Nutcracker Home for the Holidays benefiting Ballet Austin (Virtual)
Another family holiday custom of ours. This year, we will be streaming it at home and feeling good that our participation will go towards helping this awesome Austin non-profit which like many has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar (Virtual and In-Person)
Since 2001, shoppers have been able to enjoy and access curated unique works by over 200 artists. For in-person shopping, reservations are needed. Additionally, there is an online store for virtual browsing and shopping. To learn more about the the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, check their website.
A Virtual Christmas Vacation w/ Griswolds An Evening with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo
Virtually hang out with Chevy and Beverly as they share personal anecdotes and the making of Christmas Vacation. Hosted by the Long Center through December 19. Tickets required.
Thinkery Gingerbread Workshop Take Home Edition (Virtual)
Where art meets engineering! Support the Thinkery and take home a Gingerbread House or Gingerbread People kit. Kits and information can be found on their website.
Blue Santa and Mrs Claus Benefiting Austin Police Operation Blue Santa (In-Person)
Meet Santa & Mrs Clause at various Schlotzky’s and Austin Police Operation (which benefits those in need with toys and food) will benefit from store proceeds from that day.
Winter Ice Skating at Marble Falls (In-Person)
Want to see another part of the Hill Country, how about the Highland Lake area? Get a great workout in on ice skates and then grab a hot cocoa and stroll the Walkway of Lights at Lakeside Park. Explore your options here.
Twinkliest Town in Texas Lights Spectacular in Johnson City (In-Person)
Tree lights, huh? The show must go on! Though many of the usual festivities that occur with this even have been scaled back, it appears that the tours are available through January 3. You can walk or drive it. Visit their site to learn more.
Please know that we have tried to do our best to research and provide the most updated information. However, this is an unprecedented time so be sure to visit the information sites in case, well, you know: “rona”.
Regardless, being at home with your family and loved ones with your health is the best gift at this time of the year. If you have questions about a home purchase or evaluating the best home finance strategy for a future move, connect with us today start the conversation. We wish you the spirit of the season and many blessings regardless of how you may celebrate.