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10 November . 2021

Our holiday events guide for Lakeway, Lake Travis and Austin festivities near Sweetwater

Get ready for the holidays with our guide to festive events all around Sweetwater. One of the best things about our location, where Austin meets the Hill Country, is that we’re only a short sleigh ride from holiday events in Austin and the Hill Country, not to mention in Lakeway, Bee Cave and Spicewood.

Holiday at The Oaks at Lakeway

On Nov. 17, the Holiday at The Oaks at Lakeway is this retail and entertainment center’s third annual free celebration, featuring Santa, live music, food and beverage tastings, giveaways and much more. 

Holiday Sip & Shop at Iron Wolf Ranch

Many of the wineries and distilleries near Sweetwater host holiday events. One is the Holiday Sip & Shop at Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery on Sat., Nov. 20. Shop more than 20 unique vendors showing arts, crafts and handmade goods, and enjoy live music and games. All ages and leashed dogs are welcome. Admission is free, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Light Up the Plaza at Hill Country Galleria

On Sat., Nov. 27 the Hill County Galleria invites you to its Light Up the Plaza festivities, featuring holiday performances, face painting, selfies with Santa, and live music by American Authors. There’s also a holiday market with local artisans and craft vendors. The fun begins at 12 noon and lasts until 8 p.m. Don’t miss the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa’s Arrival at 6:30 p.m.

Holiday Market at Hill Country Galleria

From Nov. 26 through Dec. 24, the Hill Country Galleria transforms its Central Plaza into a festive Holiday Market with artisan vendors of art, jewelry, home goods and holiday fare, all in addition to its more than 100 year-round shops and restaurants. Live performances and glittering holiday lights make this market a must, especially since it’s just a few miles from Sweetwater.

Lights On! in Lakeway

On Dec. 4, Lakeway’s Lights On! celebration marks the beginning of this city’s holiday season, with the first lighting of the Trail of Lights behind City Hall. The fun happens in the City Hall parking lot, at the corner of Sailmaster and Lohman's. Have fun decorating cookies, roasting marshmallows at the fire pit, and listening to Christmas music from a live band. They will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items to benefit Lake Travis Crisis Ministries.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be nearby to 'plug in' the Trail of Lights display and speak to the kids. 

Trail of Lights in Lakeway

One of Lakeway’s most cherished traditions, the Trail of Lights kicks off Dec. 4 with the aforementioned Lights On! event and continues nightly from 6 p.m. ‘til midnight through Jan. 2. Stroll through thousands of twinkling lights along the glimmering trail, beginning across from the Lakeway Activity Center. 

Lake Travis Lighted Boat Parade

On Dec. 4, the Lake Travis Lighted Boat Parade celebrates the holidays in a way that’s unique to our beautiful Hill Country community. There are public viewing areas, including Dink Pearson Park on the north shore, and Lakeway Resort and Spa on the south shore. Check the website to determine any costs associated with watch parties at private marinas and other venues along the lake. 

Hill Country

Sweetwater’s location makes the Hill County an easy day (or night) trip to enjoy the many small-town holiday traditions in cities like Marble Falls and Johnson City. Here are a few of our Hill Country favorites.

In Marble Falls, stroll through 2 million twinkling lights in Lakeside Park in the Walkway of Lights from Nov. 19 through Jan. 1. Free to the public, this festive attraction also features more than 350 lighted sculptures. The lights reflecting off Lake Marble Falls offer a truly magical experience for these 44 nights.

The Lights Spectacular in Johnson City is billed as one of the largest light displays in the nation, with more than one million twinkling lights around the historic courthouse and this quaint town along the Pedernales River. Hayrides and carriage rides are available, and lamplight tours of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Boyhood Home are offered on Saturday evenings. Now in its 31st year, this spectacular takes place from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2.

In Dripping Springs, Christmas on Mercer happens on Dec. 4. This all-day holiday celebration features arts and crafts vendors, food live music, photos with Santa and kids’ activities. Starting at dusk, evening events include the annual Lighting on the Tree ceremony, caroling and more. 

Greater Austin

The Trail of Lights, Austin’s brightest holiday tradition, takes place in Zilker Park from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31. Now in its 57th 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.

Luminations is a festive outdoor event at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. From Dec. 2 through Jan. 30, you can stroll through a winter wonderland with thousands of luminarias, seasonal food and drink, and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia.

From Dec. 17-19, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar will introduce a new rendition of an Austin tradition, with the event taking place outside of the Palmer Events Center downtown. This Austin

holiday shopping staple features 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.

Holiday events at The Long Center include a traditional ballet performance of “The Nutcracker,” and “Graham Reynolds Ruins the Holidays” showcases this Austin composer and bandleader wreaking musical havoc with an explosive set of holiday favorites. Other holiday highlights include “The Precious Present – In Love & Light” by the Tapestry Dance. Check out the calendar for dates and ticket information.

And at Sweetwater, our residents will be enjoying their own holiday traditions and celebrations!