If you’re like us, we love to see all the Christmas lights. Here are the best Christmas light displays we’ve seen. If some of these locations aren’t near you or your home, consider a day trip. Visit a new area, go to a new restaurant, and then view lights in this new area. It’s bound to start a new Christmas tradition for families and friends. These are listed in no particular order or ranking. Promise!
#1. Santa’s Ranch – New Braunfels, TX
New Braunfels is a short drive south of Austin. Santa’s Ranch open now through December 30th from 6 pm to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and 6 pm to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. At Santa’s Ranch you drive through this light display. No walking allowed. However, you can bundle up in the car with family and friends and slowly drive through the lights. This would be perfect on those cold, rainy evenings when you don’t want to walk. And yes, they are open when it rains!
Address: 9561 I35 North, New Braunfels, TX
Price: $28 + tax per vehicle or $56 + tax for a season pass per vehicle
For more details, visit the Santa’s Ranch website.
#2. BLORA Nature in Lights – Belton
Normally this is a 5-mile drive along Belton Lake. However, there has been some serious flooding up here and the waters are still receding. The good news is that there is still a light show although it is not as long as it normally is. The price is normally $15 per car to drive through this light show. As the water recedes they are adding more lights. What does that mean for you? They are charging about $10 per car and as they add more displays throughout the season the price will return to the normal $15. It’s still a fabulous show.
Santa will be onsite on specific dates if you’d like to visit with him.
Santa’s Village hours:
5:30 – 11 p.m.
Thurs – Sun (Nov 22 – Dec 9)
Nightly (Dec 13 – Dec 24)
Located in Live Oak Pavilion, part way through the park. Stop in to enjoy Hot Coco, Holiday treats, novelties, pictures with Santa and more!
Check out the BLORA Nature in Lights Facebook page for details and directions.
#3. Austin’s Trail of Lights
This is the biggie in the Austin area. For those that like to brave the crowds and enjoy a city tradition, this is the place to be.
Dates: Dec. 10th – 23rd, 7-10 pm nightly
Price: Some nights are free, other nights general admission is $3 + tax, and you may need to pay for parking. There are various prices as well if you want a zip pass. Plan ahead to park elsewhere and shuttle in. Trust me. It’ll save you stress.
You must have a ticket to enter the park. Tickets sell out so book early.
For more details, prices, etc. check out the Austin Trail of Lights website.
#4. Zilker Christmas Tree
If you don’t want to walk the Austin Trail of Lights, you can certainly go check out the Zilker Christmas tree. It’s separate from the Trail of Lights. It’s free to see the tree and is lit up from 6 pm – midnight through the end of the year.
This is probably one of my fondest memories growing up – twirling under the massive 155 feet tall Christmas tree, composed of over 3300 lights. Sweet memories indeed!
You can learn more about the schedule for the Zilker Christmas Tree here and find out the best nights to go.
#5. Marble Falls Walkway of Lights
Situated on Lake Marble Falls, the Walkway of Lights is a mini version of the Austin Trail of Lights. It takes about 30 minutes to walk through and is a much calmer, more pleasant experience if you prefer smaller venues and small towns. We visited this several years ago and it was such a pleasant experience. Santa is there on the weekends. Check the website below for specific times. Plus, this is right on the lake so the setting is just beautiful.
Dates: November 16th through December 26
#6. Other Hill Country Light Displays
If you’re in Marble Falls and you want to check out other displays in the area, consider Johnson City, Burnet County Courthouse (on the square in Burnet), or even head a little farther west and check out Fredericksburg.
#7. The Square in Georgetown
One of the prettiest local light displays is the Georgetown square. The courthouse is lit up as well as the surrounding streets. It’s a great chance to check out a few local shops, eat a leisurely dinner, and stroll downtown Georgetown among all the lights. It’s a truly beautiful display…and it’s free!