Updated: May 2, 2018
When is the best time to visit Austin?
- Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time to walk around the city, enjoying the sights and beautiful parks like 351-acre Zilker Park, is in the spring and autumn when the weather is often ideal. These seasons also bring the biggest crowds, so if you’d rather enjoy the city during a more peaceful time, you might want to consider visiting in November or February. Temperatures are often rather pleasant then, although you may need a rain jacket for the occasional wet day. The worst time for sightseeing is during the peak of summer, July and August, when temperatures are scorching and just a short stroll down the street can be rather miserable.
- Best Time for Barton Springs Pool: No matter what the weather brings, the spring-fed waters of Barton Springs Pool, one of Austin’s most popular attractions, stays at a steady 20°C year round. This is the place to be in the summer, when everyone is seeking relief from the heat. Summer weekends are the busiest, so if you come during this time, arrive before 8am (it opens at 5am) or be prepared to wait in a long line, and know that parking is at a premium. Another option for avoiding crowds (and the fees), is to go during the hour of free swimming, every night from 9pm to 10pm. While you can go at other times of the year, many feel the water is too chilly to brave unless it’s at least 32°C outside, which can happen outside the summer months, usually in May, September and October.
- Best Time to Visit the State Capitol: The Texas State Capitol building sits atop a hill with a picturesque view of downtown Austin and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the city’s most rewarding attractions, free guided tours are available daily throughout the year with the exception of major holidays, Monday through Saturday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. To avoid waiting in line, secure a reservation and plan to come on a weekday as early in the morning as possible. Even if you have a reservation, due to security and screening, you’ll need arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled time.
- Best Time to See the Bats: Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, with 1.5 million bats. Every March, the bats return to give birth and raise their pups, sticking around through October. The best time to come and see them is in late August and early September when the babies join their mothers in flight. Each evening, just before the sun sets, visitors gather on the bridge to watch the bats emerge. While it usually happens at sunset, it can happen up to 30 minutes before or after, so you’ll want to arrive early to ensure that you don’t miss it.
Austin Travel Seasons
- High Season (March through May, September and October): Austin’s high season comes twice each year, mainly during spring and fall, when the weather is generally mild and the city hosts a number of festivals, concerts parades and festivals. This is when you’ll experience the biggest crowds and usually the highest rates, though compared to many other cities, Austin is relatively affordable even during the busiest times of year. You’ll get the best rates by planning ahead, especially if you go during major festivals such as South by Southwest in March, and in late September/early October when the Austin City Limits Music Festival arrives. If you’re looking for a cheap room at the last minute during high season, you may need to raise your budget a bit, or stick to bare bones, economy accommodation.
- Shoulder Season (November through February, June): Once November rolls around, you’ll have a much greater choice of affordably priced rooms. Booking at the last minute is likely to be easier, and temperatures remain fairly pleasant, even throughout much of the winter, typically ranging from 13° to 18°C. It’s a perfect time for enjoying the areas outdoor activities, and sometimes, you’ll even be able to enjoy the numerous biking, hiking and horse riding trails all to yourself.
- Low Season (July and August): The peak of summer in Austin means scorching temperatures that keep many tourists away, but if you can stand the heat, you’ll be able to take advantage of a significant drop in hotel prices as well as thinner crowds.
Austin Weather by Month
- Austin Weather in January: January may be the coldest month of the year in Austin, but it’s actually quite pleasant compared to many other parts of the country. Afternoon highs of 18°C mean that you can enjoy many of the area’s outdoor activities comfortably, even in the middle of winter. Overnight lows average around 5°C, so you will need a warm jacket in the evening, but snow or freezing temperatures are rare. Bringing some wet-weather gear, like waterproof shoes or boots, an umbrella and rain coat, is probably a good idea, as Austin averages 50mm of precipitation in January, spread out over 14 days. In between those rainy days, you’ll still have an abundance of sunshine, so you may need your sunglasses and sunscreen too. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Austin Weather in February: While the weather can be unpredictable in February, with some years bringing generally warm, sunny days and others bringing cooler, rainy ones, temperatures are increasing, with the average high rising two degrees to a pleasant 20°C. Typically by the middle of the month, you’ll experience chilly mornings and evenings but plenty of warm sunshine during the day. Snow and freezing temperatures are very unlikely with lows at 6°C, though precipitation increases a bit to 60mm over 12 days. This means that if you plan to visit in February, you’ll want to bring a range of clothing – in fact, it may even be warm enough to wear shorts. By packing both long- and short-sleeved shirts, long pants and shorts or dresses, along with rain gear, you’ll be prepared for whatever the weather might bring. Don’t forget those sunglasses and sunscreen, as odds are, you’ll need them. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
- Austin Weather in March: Average highs creep up several degrees to 23°C in March, and winter is over, really even before it began. More and more Austinites can now be seen enjoying the outdoors and the often beautiful spring weather, and with that an increasing number of people come into town, particularly during the second half of the month with the arrival of the South by Southwest Festival. Although there is still likely to be some rain, with 60mm falling over seven days in March, it generally comes in short-lived showers. Temperatures can dip as low as 11°C at night, so if you plan to be out and about after dark or up early in the morning, you’ll need a sweater or a light jacket. Layers are essential this time of year, as you might start off with a long-sleeved shirt and jacket, but as the day progresses, the typically constant sunshine will leave you wanting something lighter and cooler. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
- Austin Weather in April: April in Austin is usually very pleasant, with average temperatures around 21°C and afternoon highs reaching about 26°C. It’s a good time to take advantage of the warm days and cool nights to enjoy some camping, with overnight lows now a fairly comfortable 15°C. You’ll also have plenty of daylight to enjoy, with sunset just after 8pm by April 30th. Precipitation tends to vary with the year, though on average, April is not a very rainy month – about half the time, it will bring 20 to 70mm of precipitation, while one in four years will be much drier, and another one in four, wetter. When it comes to packing, focus on warmer weather attire, while bringing a few items for cooler days and evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 53mm.)
- Austin Weather in May: While summer may not officially arrive in May, here in Austin, it will feel like it has, with the mercury now rising as high as 29°C in the afternoon. This is the city’s rainiest month, with 140mm of precipitation on average over 13 days, which means you’re likely to experience not only some sizzling heat, but quite a bit of moisture as well. The good news is that warmth, sun and rain results in gorgeous blooming flowers that can be seen throughout the region. In between the rain, there is still quite a bit of sunshine with an average of 11 hours a day. For a trip in May, bring your summer wear, including lots of sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, as well as quick-dry, lightweight clothing, a portable umbrella and shoes you don’t mind getting wet. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 140mm.)
- Austin Weather in June: June ushers summer in, and some of the hottest weather of the year, though the worst of the extreme heat doesn’t arrive until next month. Average highs increase several degrees to 32°C, and it will even feel pretty warm at night, with temperatures generally only dropping to 22°C – and for one or two days this month, the temperature exceeds 38°C. A visit in June also means that you’ll experience some of the longest days of the year, when during much of the second half of the month, there is more than 14 hours between sunrise and sunset. An average of 110mm of precipitation is seen in June, and combined with the heat, it can make for some pretty incredible lightning storms. This is definitely the time to bring shorts, short-sleeved shirts, tanks and/or skirts and dresses, as well as a bathing suit so that you can cool off in one of the area’s swimming holes. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are all highly advisable for protection from the intense rays of the sun. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 110mm)
- August Weather in July: July is rather predictable when it comes to the weather: hot or sizzling hot. This is the year’s hottest, driest and sunniest month, with high temperatures averaging 35°C, and some days it can get as hot as 38°C or even higher. Overnight lows aren’t very low at 24°C, so you’ll learn the true meaning of the phrase, Warm Texas Nights. There isn’t much rain either, with 50mm of precipitation over six days in July. Pack as you would for June, with lots of loose, lightweight clothing, a bathing suit and sun protection. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Austin Weather in August: August brings more of the same: heat, heat and more heat, with very little precipitation. The weather rarely varies from hot and sunny this time of year, and you may even notice the meteorologist start to get bored, announcing the same thing day after day. The average high remains 35°C, and nights only cool to around 24°C. An average of just 40mm of precipitation is seen this month, and when it does rain, it’s usually warm and the moisture doesn’t do much in the way of cooling things off. The good news is that there are lots of swimming holes, pools and lakes where you can find relief, and if you can lengthen your stay into September, you’ll enjoy gradually cooling temperatures. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
- Austin Weather in September: With September, comes autumn, and the light at the end of the tunnel. While much of this month is still quite warm, the average high dips back down to 32°C, and temperatures generally hover around 27°C to 29°C. During the first half of the month, it’s not uncommon for the mercury to rise as high as 35°C, but just knowing the cooler weather is around the corner makes it a bit easier to deal with the heat. The evenings are a bit cooler too, with overnight lows now falling to 21°C, and rainfall increases slightly as well. September brings an average of 70mm of precipitation over eight days, and it often comes in the form of thunderstorms, with large amounts of rain falling within short periods of time. The storms quickly dissipate giving way to an abundance of sunshine once again, though rainfall amounts do occasionally exceed 125mm in just a few hours, causing flash floods. When it comes to packing, you’ll still want to focus on that summer attire, but you may want to bring rain gear too. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average precipitation: 70mm.)
- Austin Weather in October: Now that autumn is officially here, everyone seems to breathe a sigh of relief after the hot, sweaty summer. It’s months like this that remind locals why they live here and you’ll enjoy your holiday during some of the most pleasant weather of the year, averaging in the low to mid-20s, with afternoon highs generally only reaching around 27°C, and lows now dipping down to 16°C. This is perfect weather for outdoor adventures, although rain may occasionally get in the way with 90mm of precipitation over nine days this month. Most days are warm, yet not scorching hot, which means summer clothing is still appropriate, along with rain gear for wet days. If you’re the type of person that chills easily, you may need a light jacket or sweater for mornings and evenings, but many people still feel comfortable going without. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 90mm.)
- Austin Weather in November: November is typically a wonderful time to be in Austin, with mild temperatures and fewer storms as compared to the previous two months. Highs reach 21°C, with average temperatures ranging in the mid- to upper-teens. Early in the month, you’ll probably still see quite a few Austinites wearing shorts and summery dresses, but by the time November ends, the cooler temperatures are more consistent, and evenings can get as cool as 10°C. This is a time when you’ll want to bring clothing that can be layered, like short-sleeved shirts with light sweaters that can be easily removed if the afternoon sun gets to be too much. Jeans and long-sleeved shirts are generally worn in the evening, and you may or may not need a jacket. It’s always a good idea to bring one anyway this time of year. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
- Austin Weather in December: While winter arrives in December, to most people, it won’t feel like it in Austin. It can get rather cool, but rarely cold, with high temperatures averaging 19°C, and most days ranging between 13°C and 16°C this month. You will need a warm jacket at night, and during the early morning hours, as overnight lows are now a relatively chilly 6°C. December usually brings the first frosts of the season, but on most days, the city basks in mild weather. One thing that is likely to be different, is that this month sees a lot more grey, cloudy days. Still, it tends to be about 50/50, with just as many sunny days as there are dreary. A warm jacket will be needed after dark and in the morning, but in between, long pants and long-sleeved shirts often suffice. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average precipitation: 70mm.)
Austin Special Events by Month
Austin in January
- Free Week – “Free Week,” meaning the first week of January, is a great time to be in Austin, as hundreds of local bands participate in this annual event held at multiple venues across the city – and, the best part is that every show is (you guessed it) free.
- Martin Luther King March and Festival – Martin Luther King’s legacy is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year, with an annual community march, kicking off with a short program at the civil rights leader’s statue on the University of Texas campus. The event is followed by a festival that features local musicians and a variety of vendors.
Austin in February
- Austin Marathon and Half Marathon – This mid-February event that will take place on February 19 in 2017, brings over 20,000 runners and thousands more spectators as one of the largest combined marathons and half marathons in the country. Both courses run through some of the city’s most scenic and historic areas, including Lady Bird Johnson Lake, the Allandale and Hyde Park neighborhoods, Congress Avenue, the University of Texas campus, and the State Capital complex.
- Valentine’s Day – Austin offers special events for just about everyone on Valentine’s Day, whether you’re looking to share the love or celebrate singledom. One of the most popular restaurants for romance is Green Pastures, set within a magnificent Victorian home serving gourmet fare, fine wine and Southern hospitality. Area wineries and hotels typically offer a variety of special romance packages for the holiday as well. One of the favorite “Anti-Valentine’s Day” events is the Home Wreckers & Heartbreakers Ball, hosted at Gibson Bar, where everyone celebrates being single, dancing the night away with old and new friends to a DJ that spins tunes all night long. Alamo Drafthouse presents “Love Bites” sing-along shows, where crowds of people gather holding lighters in the air and defying traditions by belting out anti-love power ballads.
- No Idea Festival – The No Idea Festival is hosted over four days in late February and is focused on improvised music and performance art. It brings together musicians and sound artists from across the globe collaborating in multiple gradations of free improvisation, composition, noise, and sonic interventions.
- Texas Union Film Festival – The annual Texas Union Film Festival held in late February, AKA TUFF, is a night that highlights the cinematic talents of the students at UT Austin.
Austin in March
- Zilker Kite Festival – This fun, free event held in early March features a kite competition, using only homemade, single-line kites, and is open to anyone who wants to compete. A variety of contests are held, including kids only competitions, contests for the smallest and largest kites, oldest and youngest kite-fliers, and more. A VIP breakfast, as well as food and exhibitor booths are also hosted.
- South by Southwest (SXSW) – One of Austin’s biggest events of the year, the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals offer the latest and greatest in the music, film and interactive industries, along with performances by more than 2,000 bands from around the world. It takes place over 10 days in mid-March, March 10-19, 2017, at numerous venues across more than100 stages throughout central Austin, including the Austin Convention Center.
- St. Patrick’s Day – St. Patrick’s Day in Austin brings a family-friendly event celebrating Irish culture, taking place annually on March 17th at Pioneer Farms. Festivities include two stages of local and international Celtic musicians as well as performances by Irish dancers and bagpipe bands. Of course, there will also be plenty of authentic Irish cuisine and Irish brews, including Guinness.
- Rodeo Austin – This two-week long event in mid-March, March 11-25 in 2017, features a Top 10 ProRodeo, daily concerts, a livestock show and more.
Austin in April
- Austin Urban Music Festival – A two-day festival held in early April, this event features a variety of family-friendly entertainment showcasing soul, R&B, hip hop, gospel and neo-soul, as a platform for talented local African-American artists to reach a diverse audience.
- Zilker Garden Festival – Also held over two days in early April, the Zilker Garden Festival includes a flower show that showcases flowers across the state of Texas, a food court, beer garden, live entertainment, kids’ corner with activities that include building a birdhouse and making butterfly wings, and a host of vendors selling plants, pottery, garden-themed accessories, jewelry and herbal products.
- Texas Community Music Festival – This festival held over 15 days during the second half of April at Central Market North, features free performances across a wide variety of music genres, including everything from solo acts to 70-piece ensembles.
- Austin Reggae Festival – Featuring three days of reggae in mid-April, April 14-16, 2017, this festival takes place at Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin.
- Texas Burlesque Festival – This three-day showdown in late April celebrates the revival of burlesque, vaudeville and cabaret through a variety of parties, a brunch/roundtable, workshops and performances.
Austin in May
- Cinco de Mayo – Celebrating the day in 1862 when Mexican troops beat the French during the Battle of Puebla, winning their independence, Cinco de Mayo festivities are held at Fiesta Gardens Park on the weekend closest to the holiday. It includes food, fun and a host of live Tejano and Mexican music throughout the weekend,
- Lone Star Jam – The Lone Star Jam is held over a weekend in early May, May 7-8, 2016, and showcases a diverse lineup of regional and national country music artists along with some of Austin’s best food trucks.
- Pecan Street Festival – If you aren’t into country, the Pecan Street Festival is typically held the same weekend in May as the Lone Star Jam and is one of the longest-running and largest arts, crafts and music festivals. It takes place in the historic Sixth Street District and features an extensive lineup of music performances, street magicians, dance performers, a petting zoo, all sorts of foo options and a classic carnival.
- Renegade Craft Fair – Every year over a weekend in mid-May, May 14-15, 2016, this fair held at Fair Market showcases some of the very best in modern craft and design with over 125 makers selling everything from jewelry, clothing and accessories to modern home décor.
- Deutschen Pfest – Held annually on the third weekend of May, this festival in Pflugerville, 17 miles north of Austin, features a parade, live music and a carnival, include lots of rides, food and drink and vendors selling all sorts of wares.
Austin in June
- X Games Austin – The X Games come to Austin in early June, June 2-5, 2016, featuring world-class action sports competitions, live music, interactive festivals and more.
- Soul to Sole Festival – One of the oldest festivals of its kind, this annual celebration brings dancers and instructors from across the globe for five days in June, June 7-12, 2016, hosting tap jams, master classes, choreography classes, panel discussions and a variety of performances.
- ATX Television Festival – Held over four days in June, June 9-12, 2016, this unique festival celebrates television through screenings, panels, Q&As and other industry events featuring people who work in all aspects of TV. It spotlights classic shows, shows that were cancelled too soon, cult hits, never-aired pilots and more.
- Blanco Lavender Fest – Located in Texas Hill Country, less than an hour’s drive west of Austin, this festival held over three days in mid-June, is all about lavender. Admission to the area lavender farms is free and many offer special entertainment and activities, while some allow visitors to pick their own lavender. In Blanco, the whole town participates with restaurants serving lavender-flavored dishes and merchants offering all sorts of lavender merchandise. Speakers also provide lavender-related educational programs at the courthouse.
- Keep Austin Weird Festival – This festival in late June, June 25 in 2016, is aimed at “keeping the weird tradition going strong.” It starts with a 5k fun run and is followed by a variety of local food vendors with delicious offerings, live music, games and entertainment. Costumes are encouraged, and the weirder the better.
Austin in July
- Fourth of July Symphony & Fireworks – One of the largest Independence Day celebrations in Texas, this event is hosted annually on 4th of July each year at Circuit of the Americas. It features games and contests in the afternoon followed by a massive fireworks display accompanied by the sounds of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
- Chamber Music Festival – For over two weeks in July, July 9-24 in 2016, this festival showcases classical music through free community concerts, workshops, master classes and behind-the-scenes lecture performances given by classical musicians.
- Pachanga Presents – Formerly known as the Pachanga Latino Music Festival, this event in mid-July, July 16, 2016, takes place at the Moody Theater and features Latin music, culture and cuisine. There are also special events for the kids, including a piñata party, folk arts and crafts, and music workshops.
- Float Fest – Held over a weekend in mid-July, July 16-17, 2016, at Cool River Ranch in San Marcos, about a 30-minute drive south of Austin, this outdoor music festival hosts a lineup of nationally acclaimed acts. Many attendees camp on the grounds and tubing companies offer inner tubes for floating down the San Marcos River as well.
- Body Mind Spirit Expo – This two-day event is held around the third weekend of July, July 23-24, 2016 at the Palmer Events Center. It showcases alternative health products, psychics and mediums as well as wellness, health and fitness industry experts.
Austin in August
- Austin Ice Cream Festival – A celebration of ice cream, this event takes place in mid-August, August 13, 2016, at Fiesta Gardens by Festival Beach. Attendees can enjoy lots of local and national ice creams as well as live music, contests, kids’ activities and more.
- Austin Hot Sauce Festival – Also held in mid-August, August 13, 2016, at Fiesta Gardens, is the annual Hot Sauce Festival which attracts over 15,000 participants who sample as many different types of hot sauce as they can. There are over 350 varieties of hot sauce as well as lots of food, live music and entertainment.
- Bat Fest – Another one of Austin’s most popular festivals, Bat Fest celebrates the one-and-a-half million Mexican free-tailed bats that emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown at dusk. Typically held on the third Saturday of August, it features three stages with live music, over 75 arts and crafts vendors, food and drink, children’s activities, a bat costume contest and other bat-related activities.
- Pride Festival – Held on the last Saturday of August, August 27, 2016, this festival held in Fiesta Gardens on the shores of Lady Bird Lake celebrates gay pride with a variety of live performers followed by an evening parade with all types of grand floats that begins at the State Capitol.
- Capital City Black Film Festival – Taking place over four days in late August, August 25-28, 2016, this festival brings together talented African Americans involved in media and the film industry, featuring films, acting seminars, panel discussions, weekend parties and more.
Austin in September
- Austin Triathlon – Taking place annually on Labor Day, this event in the heart of downtown Austin begins with a swim in Lady Bird Lake, followed by a bike course with scenic views over Congress Street Bridge, and finishes with a run along the path at Auditorium Shores.
- Eastside Kings Festival – This mid-September festival features a weekend of blues, gospel and jazz acts to celebrate some of the greatest living musicians. In 2016, it will be held over the weekend of September 10-11.
- Austin Music Video Festival – This four-day festival celebrates music videos produced by local artists and provides a platform to connect with professionals in music, film, gaming and technology industries. Held in early September, September 7-10, 2016, it features an award show, screenings, interactive video technology, a live VJ battle, panels, workshops, live concerts and parties.
- Texas Craft Brewers Festival – Held on the third Saturday of September, this is the state’s largest craft beer event focused exclusively on beers brewed in Texas. Taking place at Fiesta Gardens, beer enthusiasts can enjoy unlimited tastings from more than 60 breweries across the state.
- Fantastic Fest – This cinematic celebration takes place around the last week of September, September 22-29, 2016, showcasing the best films in fantasy, sci-fi, horror and action. A movie marathon is hosted at Alamo Drafthouse, featuring more than 50 independent feature-length and short works. It also hosts Q&A sessions with actors and directors, film discussions with nationally recognized critics, movie-themed karaoke parties, live podcast recordings, geek pub trivia and award ceremonies.
Austin in October
- Austin City Limits Music Festival – Generally held over two weekends in early October, with 2016’s festival taking place on September 30-October 2 and again October 7-9, this massive event at Zilker Park draws people from all over the world to enjoy multiple stages that host over 130 bands with a diverse range of genres and styles. It also includes a wide variety of fantastic local eats, a children’s area and family-friendly activities.
- MondoCon – This celebration of art, comics, movies, music, toys and food is typically held over the first weekend in October and features artists and creators from across the globe as well as screenings, panels, food trucks and interactive events.
- Austin Film Festival – Running for just over a week in mid-October, October 13-20, 2016, the Austin Film Festival (also known as the Writers Festival) is dedicated to the screenwriters of the film industry. It hosts some of the most acclaimed filmmakers for round table discussions, panels, and the judging of a famous screenwriting contest. It also screens more than 100 films, including feature films, documentaries, shorts and more.
- Texas Trucklandia Fest – Celebrating Austin’s food truck culture, this six-day event in mid-October features the diverse cuisine from some of the city’s most popular food trucks which serve up their signature dishes and compete for cash prizes.
- Austin Days of the Dead – Beginning in mid-October and running through early November, this cross-cultural celebration blends Halloween-themed festivities with the traditions of the Days of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). It features a variety of events held across the city, including parades, live music and cultural performances, exhibitions, workshops and more. Costumes are encouraged.
Austin in November
- Austin Celtic Festival – Celebrating all things Celtic on the first weekend of November at Fiesta Gardens, the festivities include regional and international Celtic musicians, Celtic dance performers, Celtic sporting events, workshops and more.
- Austin Powwow and Native American Heritage Festival – This event celebrating the culture and tradition of American Indians is held on the first Saturday of November at the Travis County Expo Center and features competition dancing, an authentic Indian market and educational and heritage programs.
- East Austin Studio Tour – This event held over two weekends in the second half of November is a self-guided tour that features galleries, commercial studios, installations and art-themed parties. The opening party is a special culinary event highlighting local chefs, educational programs and competitions.
Austin in December
- Austin Trail of Lights – Starting around the 1st of December and running throughout the month, the Trail of Lights held in Zilker Park is a festive mile-long walk through spectacular light displays.
- German Christmas Market – This annual market held on the first Saturday of December at the German Free School, features traditional German Christmas music, authentic German items handcrafted in the country’s Erzgebirge region, German cuisine, St. Nikolaus and more.
- Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – This 10-day event held at the Palmer Events Center in mid-December is an art fair and music festival featuring handcrafted items from more than 160 artists, live local music, and a full bar.
- New Year’s Eve Festival – On December 31st each year, Austin hosts a free New Year’s Eve festival at Auditorium Shores & Vic Mathias Shores. It includes live music, local artists and exhibitors, entertainment such as aerialists and live painting, art installations, children’s activities and food trucks. It culminates with a spectacular fireworks finale at 10pm.