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05 November . 2019

Our guide to Austin and Hill Country holiday events near Sweetwater

From festive tree lighting ceremonies to twinkling trails of lights, here’s our list of holiday highlights in Austin and Texas Hill Country. The fun starts in mid November, so read on and start enjoying!

November 17 – The U.S. Capital Christmas Tree makes its only stop in the Austin area at Georgetown’s Town Square, called the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. At 2 p.m., Santa and his reindeer arrive in an antique sleigh. The 60-foot-tree will arrive via a specially decorated 18-wheeler at 4 p.m. Visitors can take photos, and official U.S. Capitol Tree merchandise will be available. After it leaves Central Texas, this majestic tree from New Mexico’s Carson National Forest will make other stops across the U.S. as it makes its way to Washington, D.C.

November 20 – December 1 – The Thanksgiving Celebration at Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls features hay rides, the Berry Bounce, trips through the Texas Maze and the kid-sized Candy Corn Maze, sand art, hayrides, yard games, and photo opportunities galore. Kids also get food to feed the goats at this family owned farm. At the Snack Shack, visitors can purchase hot apple cider, pumpkins, homemade ice cream and more.

November 22 – Lakeway’s Lights On! event celebrates the official lighting of the city’s Trail of Lights display, which will be on view through the holiday season. Visitors can meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, decorate cookies, and roast marshmallows at the firepit. Live music will add to this festive evening. The city requests that visitors bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food pantry.

November 23-December 1 – The Hill Country Holiday Village tranforms the Hill Country Galleria’s Central Plaza into a one-of-a-kind destination for unique holiday shopping. Visitors will lose themselves in decorated walkways featuring local artisan vendors of art, jewelry, home goods, and holiday fare. Holiday performances and glittering holiday lights add to the merriment, and Santa’s Workshop is a magical experience offering photos with jolly old St. Nick. 

November 29 – Georgetown celebrates the Annual Lighting of the Square, with festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m. Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross will help Santa countdown and flip the switch to turn on thousands of twinkling lights. Downtown shops will be open late for some unique holiday shopping.

November 29-January 5 – Now celebrating 30 years, Johnson City’s Lights Spectacular features more than 1 million twinkling lights. This season-long celebration is family and pet friendly, with no admission charge to see the lights. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available for a small charge. Check the website for details on special events, especially during Thanksgiving weekend.

December 6 – The Tree Lighting Ceremony in Cedar Park will light up the city’s 400-year-old Heritage Oak with more than 30,000 lights. Santa’s Workshop will feature a snow hill, playing areas, live music performances, games and prizes, and photos with Santa. There will also a Yule fire, inflatables, and arts and crafts projects. The Cedar Park Police Department will be accepting new, unwrapped gifts for Blue Santa. Admission is free, with food concessions available for purchase.

December 6-7 – The 39th Annual Christmas Stroll takes place around Georgetown’s square. The festivities begin on Friday with Bethlehem Village, featuring shopping with more than 150 vendors and live entertainment on two stages. Dessert with the Grinch is at 5 p.m., followed by an outdoor screening of the classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 6 p.m. On Saturday, there’s even more fun, with a parade at 10 a.m., followed by shopping, dining and live entertainment. Attractions include Bethlehem Village, Santa’s Village, and a Winter Wonderland with ice skating, a swing carousel and a Candyland obstacle course.

December 7 – Dripping Springs’ Annual Christmas on Mercer Street is a holiday festival filled with arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, local food vendors, and Santa. Children’s activities include a petting zoo, pony rides and a trackless train. Santa makes his grand appearance at 10 a.m., and the annual Lighting of the Tree takes place at 6:15 p.m.

December 7 – Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at the Lakeway Activity Center. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will greet each child, and admission includes breakfast, a toy, and a photo with Santa. Tickets are $20 each, and advance purchase is encouraged as this event is usually filled each year.  

December 7 – Leander’s Old Town Christmas Festival is an all-day event featuring the Rudolph Run, a 5K chip-timed fun run through the streets of Old Town Leander. The Christmas Marketplace features holiday vendors, children’s activities and live music and theater productions. A hometown parade and tree lighting ceremony provides a festive finale.

December 10-23 – The Trail of Lights, Austin’s brightest holiday tradition, returns to Zilker Park to delight visitors of all ages. Now in its 55th year, this event features 2 million twinkling lights and 40 unique light displays, including the famous light tunnel. There’s also live music, community performances, food and festivities on every evening.

December 13-24 – The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an Austin holiday shopping staple featuring nearly 200 curated local and touring artists and makers, live music and local food. Attendees will find gifts in all price ranges as well as fine art for their collections. Shoppers can learn stories about the artists and their works, support local and traveling artists and buy exclusive gifts. The 2019 music lineup is filled with 36 bands ranging from breakout musicians, touring singer-songwriters and Austin legends over 12 days at Palmer Events Center.

December 29 – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a favorite family holiday musical, returns to H-E-B Center in Cedar Park on Sunday, Dec. 29. Favorite characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snowman, and of course Rudolph will soar off of the screen and come to life on stage for this new holiday classic.

Learn about more things to do near Sweetwater throughout the year with our Area Guide.