December 2020 & January 2021
Check out this list for a selection of the largest annual events in Austin during December and January. For a more extensive list of daily happenings, see the searchable Events Calendar.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Palmer Events Center
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar makes holiday shopping fun with nearly 200 artists and makers, live music daily, interactive activities, local food and two full bars.
Art From the Streets Show & Sale
Austin Convention Center
Visit the Annual Art From the Streets (AFTS) Show & Sale to shop original works and help continue the efforts of AFTS to provide a safe, creative space for homeless and formerly homeless local artists. Profits go to the artists.
Austin Music Video Festival
Now in its fifth year, the Austin Music Video Fest celebrates Austin's longstanding music video heritage with screenings, awards, parties, panels and workshops around town.
Austin's New Year
This alcohol-free, family-friendly event celebrates the diversity and creativity of the city with visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers and other festive performances.
Austin Symphony Orchestra presents Handel's "Messiah"
Hyde Park Baptist Church
This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing.
Austin Trail of Lights
The 55th Annual Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. The annual Tree Lighting ceremony will be held in November, then the 5k fun run will kick off the spectacular season in early December. Plan your visit early and don't forget to take a spin under the Zilker Tree!
Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker"
Long Center for the Performing Arts
Ballet Austin kicks off the season with the 57th annual production of "The Nutcracker." This family-frienldy show brings a fresh experience to the beloved holiday tradition.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday season. Shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. A great way to buy hassle-free holiday gifts and support local artists.
Cherrywood Art Fair
This neighborhood fundraiser benefits the eastside arts scene. Enjoy hand-crafted goods from 200+ artists and makers, local food trucks, live music, kids activities and more at the annual market.
Downtown Holiday Stroll
Congress Avenue, between Ninth Street & 11th Street
Celebrate the start of the holiday season in downtown Austin at the 25th annual Downtown Holiday Stroll. The free festivities include the KUT/ KUTX Holiday Sing-Along and the lighting of the downtown tree. Live music by Max Frost, Mobley, Alesia Lani, and Love & Chaos. Plus, shopping, kids activities, food trucks, and photos with Santa!
German-Texan Heritage Society Christmas Market
German Free School of Austin
The German-Texan Heritage Society's annual market offers shoppers handmade, imported crafts, decorations, ornaments and more. Browse the market, visit Sankt Nikolas, listen to traditional German Christmas music and enjoy a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), gingerbread cookies and other sweet baked treats.
Ice Skating On The Plaza at Whole Foods
Whole Foods Lamar
Spend an afternoon on the rink at the Whole Foods flagship store on North Lamar. Then head inside for a cup of cocoa or cider and live, local music on the weekends! Daily: 10 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
ZACH Theatre Presents: "A Christmas Carol"
"A Christmas Carol" is back to ring in the holidays! This rockin' show provides a modern twist on the classic tale. In fact, this show has proven to be such a hit among locals and visitors that is it the most popular show in the theatre's history.
3M Half Marathon
3M Half boasts one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country. Enjoy a mostly downhill course that takes you past some of Austin’s finest locations and finishes downtown near the Texas State Capitol.
The first week of January might be the best time for a music fan to visit Austin. Why? Hundreds of Austin bands participate in this annual event that encompasses multiple venues all over Austin.
Martin Luther King March and Festival
Join the march from the MLK statue at the University of Texas campus to historic Huston-Tillotson University to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy for Austin and the world.