What To Do in Austin, TX During Winter?

Dad and Daughter Celebrating the HolidaysWinter season in Austin, TX can be a lot of fun. It's one of the most amazing times of the year to enjoy the best things to do in the city during the winter months. This includes fun activities for families, exciting things to do with your loved ones, and attractions you can enjoy alone or with your friends.

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Things To Do and Places to Visit in Austin During Winter

Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker

This annual production of Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker is Austin’s favorite holiday tradition. The scrumptious sets and colorful costumes and characters with hundreds of dancers performing Stephen Mills’ choreography to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s magical score with live accompaniment from the Austin Symphony Orchestra. The Nutcracker performances begin every December and the run time is two 50-minute acts with a 20-minute intermission. 

Austin Marathon

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the country with a rich history going back to 1992. In 2023, the Austin Marathon will be held in Downtown Austin on February 19, 2023.

This weekend-long event begins with over 75,000 visitors followed by 17,000 runners on race morning. Runners will race along with the popular landmarks in Downtown Austin and enjoy running the miles of different neighborhoods in Austin.

Ice Skating

There are different places in Austin where you can skate during winter. One of the popular places to glide over a smooth surface of ice is located in Whole Foods Market's Rooftop Rink in their Downtown Austin store. Dreamland’s Lights and Delights transforms into a festive winter wonderland where guests can enjoy skating at the synthetic ice skating rink. The outdoor entertainment and arts venue also features several games to play including a miniature golf course, musical performances, and light displays.

Hiking Trails

Despite the chilly weather, there are days when it’s nice to take a walk or hike at Austin’s hiking trails. Near downtown, you can find The Barton Creek Greenbelt with 7 access points located throughout South Central Austin.

McKinney Falls State Park is the only park within the borders of Austin with three different trails for you to choose from. Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve become a magical attraction for hikers where they can witness peafowls start fanning their tails to court females.

Visit Breweries in Austin

Taste seasonal beer selections or classic favorites from some of the best breweries and wineries in Austin, TX. Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery provides daily specials and a rotating selection of house and guest drafts.

Jester King has a brewery, kitchen, farm, and an event hall with beautiful views of the Texas Hill Country. Don’t miss Hell Yes Helles from the Austin Beer Garden Brewing, a Munich Helles Lager-style beer.


Explore Entertainment Districts in Downtown Austin

Get to know more of Downtown Austin’s lively nightlife, arts scene, and entertainment district during the winter season. A relief from the hot temperatures during summer, winter is one of the best times to enjoy a cocktail in the spacious patios at bars and outdoor dining restaurants located in Downtown Austin’s Entertainment Districts.

Discover the best boutiques and dine at award-winning restaurants two blocks away from Lady Bird Lake. 2nd Street District is a mix of Austin’s best local retail, restaurants, and entertainment. Savor 2nd Street by visiting Cru Wine Bar, Jo’s Coffee, and TRACE. Shop haircare and novelty at Luxe Apothetique and Austin Rocks for rocker-inspired apparel and ACL merch and gifts.

New and upcoming skyscraper residences can be found in the historical Rainey Street District. Condos near and within the area include 70 Rainey, Milago, Natiivo, and Shore Condos while upcoming residences include The Vesper, Modern Austin, and 44 East

Residents living in the area enjoy the top-notch outdoor amenities, food, and drinks from local restaurants and bars nearby.

Sixth Street’s vibrant nightlife is a one-of-a-kind experience for both locals and guests visiting Austin, TX. This party town is lined with bars, dining options including food trucks, and plenty of live music. It’s loud and packed with people that the road on 6th Street is closed from Thursday to Sunday.


Holiday Lights in Austin

Stroll or drive through the sea of glowing lights in Austin, Texas. From tree-lighting events to driving trails, witness thousands of lights displayed along the road, parks, and gardens. Holiday light displays are one of the oldest traditions in Austin that you should never miss, here are some places with the best light displays during wintertime.

Austin Trail of Lights

Austin Trail of Lights is the largest, most beloved, and longest-running holiday tradition that celebrates the unique spirit and people that makes Austin. The annual Trail of Lights is held at Ziker Park and features over two million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees, 70 holiday displays, and lighted tunnels.

Bastrop River of Lights

An illuminated walking trail filled with a variety of light displays for an exploratory walking experience. The trail runs about half a mile from Fisherman’s Park to the scenic Colorado River and Ferry Park. River of Lights opens the day after Thanksgiving and continues until New Year's Eve.

Lakeway Trail of Lights

Starting the first week of December through January, Lakeway’s Trail of Lights is the most cherished tradition in the area. This self-guided trail features thousands of lights that illuminate the walking trails located right next to the city hall. You can find a variety of events including some live music, cookie decorating, and gift ideas for kids.

Mozart’s Light Show

Grab a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate plus delicious warm treats while listening to holiday tunes and admiring the light displays at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. This is one of the popular winter events in Austin.

Marble Falls Walkway of Lights

Two million lights and more than 130 sculptures illuminate Lakeside Park in Marble Falls. The luminous trail can take about 30 minutes to complete. There are shops on Main Street near the Walkway of Lights for some gift ideas for your loved ones.

Round Rock Christmas Towne

Round Rock Christmas Towne features amazing light displays with a walking tunnel of lights and fun full-scale carnival rides to enhance your winter experience in Austin. Bring your friends and family for some holiday fun, refreshments, and food at the Old Settlers Association and Dell Diamond Parking.


Film Festivals During Winter

Austin Under the Stars

Austin’s only outdoor festival that aims to make festival fun and includes a lot of things to do including live music, networking, and seeing the best indie films. The amazing showcase of films ranges from narratives, comedies, horror films sci-fi, documentary, and more.

Capital City Black Film Festival

Capital City Black Film Festival attracts an audience of multicultural filmmakers, artists, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts all over the world. CCBFF is dedicated to providing emerging and established filmmakers from around the world an opportunity to showcase their work in “one of the best places to live and work as a moviemaker”.

Other Worlds Austin

The premier SciFi film festival in the US with over eight years running of sold-out screenings and over a dozen world and North American premieres from filmmakers all around the world.

Animalis Fabula Film Festival

Animalis Fabula Film Festival is a production of WA2S Films, World Animal Awareness Society, and World Animal Rescue Network. A finely curated festival of the best-filmed stories about or including animals by filmmakers all over the globe. 


Visit Art Bazaars and Markets in Austin

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

A fixture of the Austin holiday season. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar features the unique handmade work of over 200 artists selected from a talented pool of more than 400 applicants each year that is believed to meet the demands of the Bazaar in terms of style, volume, and affordability.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a 3-day fine art, shopping bazaar featuring national and local award-winning artists, live music, and a full bar in a festive atmosphere. Search for your last Christmas gifts in all price ranges, support your local artists by purchasing art for your home or collection, or have a cocktail and dance with your friends in this iconic Austin bazaar.

Lone Star Holiday Farmers Market

Enjoy more than 40 booths that overflow with Austin’s finest local produce and artisan foods at the Lone Star Holiday Farmers Market. Find unique, handcrafted goods exclusively in this holiday market at the Hill Country Galleria.

Holiday Bazaar Arts and Crafts Show

The Holiday Bazaar Arts and Crafts Show is an opportunity for local and surrounding city exhibitors and craftsmen to showcase their handcrafted creative merchandise.

There is never a dull moment in Austin, TX with plenty of things to do in the city and the surrounding areas, you escape the cool temperature during winter. Get out there and have some fun with the various activities during winter in!

Austin, TX is a great place to live and visit. If you're considering calling Austin, TX your new home, speak to a real estate consultant!



Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on
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