Sing carols, twirl on ice, enjoy spectacular festive displays and get into the spirit of the season. We have the top tips for things to do with kids in Austin this winter. 

Image of a large group of people walking under the tunnel of lights.
Courtesy of Trail of Lights.

See Holiday Lights

The Austin Trail of Lights is truly an Austin tradition celebrating its 59th year in 2023. The event takes place December 8-23, 2023 and is closed every Monday.  Head east to Peppermint Parkway,  a bright holiday festival featuring a 1-mile driving circuit of lights, musical stages and more. This festive experience is open from November 24th to December 30th with a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy.  At Mozart’s Coffee Roasters on Lake Austin, sip on a steaming cup of hot chocolate while watching the dazzling lights display, which is choreographed to lively music. The light show is on display November 6th through January 6th.

Find more holiday light shows here.

Image of two kids skating on the ice at the Hill Country Galleria.Hill Country Galleria. Credit @austinadventurekids.

Go Ice Skating

Yes, you can ice skate in Texas! While the temps don't often drop below freezing, Texans also like to get in on the ice skating fun. Make a trip to Ice Rodeo at Four Seasons Hotel and skate around the festive outdoor lights and holiday decor. Get in some last minute shopping while your kids skate around at the Hill Country Galleria from November 10th to January 15th. Grab a gift for your loved ones at their Holiday Arts Market—open to the public Fridays and Saturdays in December.

Find more places to ice skate here.

Give Back

Want to teach your kids about the importance of helping those less fortunate? Local Tex Mex joint Chuy's makes it part of their mission to support families with children each holiday season. Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Toy Drive helps provide toys and meals to serve over 8,000 families each holiday season. Want to volunteer for a charity as a family? Mobile Loaves and Fishes, an organization that provides food, clothing and resources for the homeless, has volunteer opportunities available.

Find even more give back ideas on the annual Austin Chronicle Wishlist.

Armadillo Christmas BazaarArmadillo Christmas Bazaar. Credit Jennifer Ramos.

Go Shopping

Austin and the surrounding area are filled with holiday markets and bazaars. Make sure to check out Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (December 15-23, 2023), Blue Genie Art Bazaar (Nov. 17 - Dec. 24, 2023), and for Austin gifts, visit our Visitor Center (which also has a shop online!).

View our full Holiday Shopping Guide for more ideas.

Ballet Austins The Nutcracker on stageThe Nutcracker, Ballet Austin. Credit to Tony Spielberg.

See a Show

Experience a holiday performance with your family. ZACH revives the classic A Christmas Carol and gives it a modern twist, with various performances from November 17th to December 31st. The Long Center for the Performing Arts hosts Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker (Dec. 2-23), the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s Home Alone in Concert (Dec. 14) and more.

Find more holiday events and shows on our events calendar.

Looking for more ideas? Explore for more events, deals and hotel booking!