Almost any neighborhood in Austin is worth a meandering drive through during the holiday season. Oversized Santas, lush garland and millions of Christmas lights bring the neighborhoods to life unlike any other time of year.
And often, with the right holiday music and spirit, the neighborhood you live in, or live next to, are just as fun to cruise through in the evening with your family as some of the more popular areas that have developed a reputation for impressive displays.
But if you want to see a few of the best of the best — those places where decorating for Christmas has reached Disney proportions — here are a few options.
Trail of Lights – Sure, it’s obvious. Without question, it’s the most popular display of holiday lights in Austin. Thousands of people take their families to Zilker Park stroll through the wonderland of creative light displays, get a quick photo with Santa Claus and indulge in some hot coco or an ice cream sundae. The Trail of Lights is open to the public Dec. 7-21st from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with special needs visits starting at 6:15 p.m. It’s free Monday through Thursday. Buy $3 tickets for people older than 12 for weekend visits. Plan on where to park ahead of time or consider taking a shuttle bus to the Zilker neighborhood.
Frozen – OK, this one is online only because the homeowner asked that their address not be publicized. That request kind of makes sense considering their home’s light show, which is choreographed to a song from the hit movie “Frozen,” was featured on “The Today Show.” But, we’ve got a hint: It’s in Cedar Park. The Austin American-Statesman reports that John Storms has been doing the expansive displays since 2010, but has recently scaled it back for traffic concerns. Watch it from your device here. And Nightlight broadcast their old home’s Taylor Swift theme and their new home’s “Frozen” theme.
Mozart’s – Tucked away just outside downtown, Mozart’s has always been popular for its beautiful ambiance and tasty coffee. But when the holidays arrive, they treat their customers to a spirited display of lights and music just a stone’s throw from the banks of Town Lake. Make a night of it by exploring the lights and catching a bite or drink at nearby Abel’s on The Lake or Hula Hut.
Anna Court, Cedar Park – Just a few minutes north of Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park, Anna Court features several magnificently lit-up houses. To cut down on congestion, it’s recommended that you walk the relatively small area to see the dancing, colorful holiday wattage.
The Rockin’ Lights in Round Rock – The city helps set up a magnificent drive-through Christmas light park at Old Settler’s Park each year. And, the 1.5 mile path is supposed to be even more exciting this year. It’s $15 per vehicle.