Where can I see Christmas lights around Austin?
December is here, and the countdown to Christmas is on. Here is a list of some of the holiday displays around town that will get you into the spirit of the season:
- Austin Trail of Lights -- One of Austin's most beloved traditions returns for two magical weeks -- Dec. 8 through Dec. 22 -- in Zilker Park. Tour the Trail from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. Click here to see a nightly schedule of performers. Admission is free. Organizers have extended parking options this year. Go here for more information on how to get to the Trail. Go here to visit the Trail of Lights website.
- Barton Creek Holiday Lights & Ice -- Take a spin on Austin’s largest outdoor ice rink and see 200,000 twinkling lights at Holiday Lights & Ice at Barton Creek Resort & Spa. This is the resort’s fourth annual Holiday Lights & Ice event. It lasts from now through Jan. 6. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish of Central & South Texas. For more information on Holiday Lights & Ice, call 1-512-329-4043 or visit bartoncreek.com.
- Buda Trail of Lights -- Get in the holiday mood by strolling through the Historic Stagecoach Park and enjoying the lights in Buda. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long and runs from Dec. 13 through Dec. 22 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. Free shuttle parking is available at Cabela's. No parking is permitted in the park. Walk in visitors are welcomed and may bring leashed pets. Go here for more information.
- Capitol Christmas tree -- Soak in a fantastic view of the annual tree with Texas' Capitol in the background. Brought to you by the Downtown Austin Alliance, the 45-foot tree at 11th and Congress on the south side of the Capitol is lit with 137,000 LED lights. Choreographed light shows set to local music play at the top and bottom of every hour. The tree is lit daily at 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 11 p.m. on Thursdays, and midnight Friday and Saturdays. The tree will be lit through Jan. 6. Go here for more information.
- Cedar Park Acosta Christmas home -- For some holiday fun, families can head to 122 N. Saddle Ridge Dr. in Cedar Park for a light display over 63,000 lights strong! The home also takes monetary donations for children with terminal and chronic diseases. Click here for more information.
- Cedar Park Anna Court neighborhood -- The neighborhood on Anna Court, off Nelson Ranch Rd., boasts approximately 125,000 Christmas lights! Walking, not driving, the cul-de-sac is recommended. In addition to spreading Christmas cheer with their light display, the neighbors are collecting donations for Blue Santa. Click here for more information, or visit the Anna Court Facebook page here.
- Cedar Park Rhodes family -- Central Texans watched the Rhodes family's holiday display on KVUE on Dec. 16th. They were one of several families across the country selected to compete on ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight." If you'd like to see the display in person, their home is located at 2410 Sharon Drive in Cedar Park. It boasts more than 100,000 lights synced to music that is transmitted on 95.9 and 89.9 FM. Some of the main attractions are a 20-foot waterfall, a 40-foot arch and a 16-foot mega tree. The family also collects donations for Hill Country Ministries, which provides food bank services for Cedar Park, Leander and the surrounding area. They accept all non-perishable types of food or monetary donations. Donations can be left in the red bin to the left of the large Christmas Tree. The Rhodes' display runs nightly from 5:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Go here for more information.
- Cedar Park tree lighting -- The Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop took place Friday, Dec. 6 at Heritage Oak Park (875 Quest Parkway) in Cedar Park. More than 60,000 lights illuminate the largest live oak tree in Cedar Park. Santa's Workshop will kicked off immediately following the tree lighting ceremony. Visitors enjoyed live music, carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts projects. Admission was free. Click here for more information.
- Chinati Court in Cedar Park -- This popular neighborhood light display has been entertaining the public since 1998 and does it while supporting a good cause. They are the largest donation center for Williamson County Brown Santa in the county. They collect new toys and take cash donations for Brown Santa as well as give out hot cocoa for Brown Santa donations. The Chinati Court light display includes a live train, the story of Christmas, aerial lights and hundreds of thousands of yard and house lights. Santa Claus will be visiting the street on each Saturday during December from 7-9 p.m. for pictures with kids. The display is open now through New Years. Go here for more information.
- The Domain -- Weave through The Domain’s shopping area in North Austin as you enjoy the lights and the large Macy's Christmas tree. There is also often live music and even opportunities to get photos with Santa himself! Click here for Santa's schedule and more information.
- Georgetown light show – The Schmidt family’s home in Georgetown always gets a lot of attention during the holiday season. They have programmed their Christmas lights to a set of popular songs. Catch the show each night at 6 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The spectacular display will continue through the first weekend of January. Mr. Schmidt tells me that for 2013 they've added some new props that you "have to see to believe" and are "something no other light show has." Click here for more information. The family also takes donations for a local charity. Learn more about it here.
- Georgetown light show 2 -- The Spindler family's light show includes 26,000 LED lights, four inflatables, five dancing trees, and one mega spiral tree all computerized to holiday music. Head to 2441 Candle Ridge Trail, Georgetown, and tune your car radio to 88.5 FM to listen in. The show plays every day from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Go here for more information.
- Georgetown light show 3 -- Georgetown families sure do love their Christmas lights! Here's a third option for you in Georgetown. This one boasts 18,000 lights and 48 computerized channels tuned to 95.9 FM. It runs from 5:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 5:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends with a show that lasts about an hour. Go here for more information.
- Giddings' Lights of Tejas -- Over one million lights tell the story of Christ in a family-friendly environment. Enjoy zip lines, climbing walls, inflatables, hayrides, a light maze, food, cookie decorating, ornament decorating, a Christmas tree forest, choirs, midway games and face painting. The main attraction of the evening is a light show on the lake. The event runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 28. Go here for admission rates and more information.
- Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail -- Central Texas counties add some twinkle to the Hill Country with their holiday lights and events. Go here for participating counties' information.
- Johnson City's Lights Spectacular -- Head into the Hill Country for the 24th Annual Lights Spectacular -- Hill Country style! Starting Nov. 29 enjoy hayrides every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Throughout the holiday season you can also enjoy a parade, lamplight tours of LBJ's boyhood home, a live nativity and more. Click here for dates and more information.
- Lakeway Trail of Lights -- The City of Lakeway will sponsor its annual Lights On! holiday celebration from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Lakeway City Hall parking lot located at 1102 Lohmans Crossing in Lakeway. Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph will plug in the lights together. Families can enjoy the trail the rest of December from 6 p.m. to midnight. Go here for more information.
- Leander LED Christmas tree -- The Toungate family in Leander has a yard display that is not only timed to music, but includes an 18-foot LED custom Christmas tree that will change up to two million colors! This year they tell me they've added some new songs and 70 strobe lights. Tune to radio station 88.3 and visit the display at 2305 Arroyo Grande, Leander, 78641. The lights turn on on Dec. 7 at 8:30 p.m. Toungate Klub Kringle will remain aglow until Jan. 1. If you can't make it out there, you can see part of their light show on the Toungate's Facebook page.
- Marble Falls Walkway of Lights -- According to its website, the Walkway of Lights is a self-guided winter wonderland with more than a million lights on 230 sculptures. The lighted pole-tree boasts over 17,000 multi-colored lights, and the lighted tunnel touts over 12,000 clear bulbs. Spreading holiday cheer since 1991, the Walkway is free to the public. It's open until Dec. 24. Go here for the schedule.
- Mozart’s Coffee Roasters -- The local coffee shop is once again spreading Christmas cheer with its annual holiday lights and music show. The local coffee shop decks out its deck and puts on a 10 minute light show to music. See it every hour at the top of the hour from 6 p.m. to midnight. Click here to see a video of the entire show from 2011. Click here for more information about Mozart's.
- Round Rock's Rock'N Lights Holiday Light Tour and Village -- The Rock'N Lights Holiday Light Tour and Rock'N Lights Village will be lit Dec. 2. The drive-through light show in Old Settlers Park will bring Christmas cheer through Dec. 31. The show features two million lights on a 1.5 mile path. The 2013 show features all new displays and a longer light tunnel. The festival is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. Click here for more information. Click here to see photos of the light tour.
- Round Rock's Elfvis & The Kringles -- Looking for some animatronics to add a little somethin' extra to your holiday lights tour? Look no further than 3526 Citrine Pl in Round Rock. Tune into 107.5 FM and enjoy the animated light show which features singing, dancing and performing animatronics from the North Pole, The Kringles, along with Santa's favorite entertainer, Elfvis. This year a special guest, the Grinch, will make appearances. The organizers will be accepting donations and gifts for a local charity. Go here for more information and here to see a preview of the display.
- Round Rock Jones lights -- Mr. Jones has made it his hobby to create a spectacular home light display, and he used more 25,000 lights to do it! The light show runs week nights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m on the weekends. See the show at 1005 Tom Seaver Place, Round Rock, 78665. Go here for more information.
- Santa's Ranch in San Marcos -- Bring the family to Santa's Ranch and celebrate the holidays from the comfort of your vehicle. Drive through nearly a mile of spectacular holiday scenes with more than one million lights and more than 100 displays and animations. Located on I-35 one mile south of San Marcos between Posey Rd. & York Creek Rd. Go here for admission rates and operating hours.
- Wimberley Trail of Lights -- Wimberley's Trail of Lights at the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens is in its 16th year. The trail features more than 100 displays created by businesses, churches, schools, organizations and families. Visitors can roast marshmallows at the Yule Log and listen to live entertainment on many nights. Admission is free, though donations are accepted. The trail is open through December 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Go here for more information.
- Zilker Park tree – The Christmas tree created out of thousands of lights and a replica moonlight tower was lit on Dec. 1. It will remain lit for spinning contests, admiration, and general holiday cheer until Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. – midnight every night. Click here for more information.
Feel free to email KVUE.com online correspondent Rebekah Hood at email@example.com if you know of other city-wide, free, or large light displays.