Holiday 2021 Destinations in Austin

August 17, 2021

The winter holiday season will be here before you know it, and many Austin events are back on in-person (with rules and capacity regulations to keep everyone safe, of course).  Whether you’re organizing a night of seeing holiday lights with your local youth group or your assisted living group wants to get some seasonal shopping done, Austin is gearing up for a festive season.

Longhorn Charter Bus can help groups travel safely and comfortably anywhere in Austin during the holiday season. A charter bus rental can make it easier to travel to busy holiday events without the hassle of driving multiple vehicles. With a minibus or charter bus rental from Longhorn, you can plan a festive holiday outing without worrying about transportation. Travel in a thoroughly sanitized, climate-controlled bus rental and store your holiday shopping bounty on board as you travel between holiday markets or light shows. Call 512-827-0540 to chat with a Longhorn Charter Bus rental expert about your holiday transportation needs today!

(And check out our updated Austin holiday guide for 2022 here!)

A child being held by an adult while looking up at holiday lights

Where to See Holiday Lights

Peppermint Parkway

November – January

Hosted at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas every winter, Peppermint Parkway is a fun, family-friendly holiday experience. Peppermint Parkway offers a drive-thru experience with millions of holiday lights, festive foods, a Ferris wheel, go-karts, and special guests like The Grinch and Santa himself! Peppermint Parkway is exceptionally popular and often sells out on busy nights, so it’s highly recommended your group gets tickets in advance online.

Circuit of The Americas Address: 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617

Phone:  512-301-6600

Charter bus rental tip: Peppermint Parkway offers group tickets and private event packages with prior inquiries. Oversized vehicles may not be able to be accommodated during the drive, so you’ll want to inquire ahead of time about options for your charter bus.

Austin Trail of Lights


The Trail of Lights has been held for more than 50 years in beloved Zilker Park. As one of Austin’s biggest holiday events, the Trail of Lights should be a must-do for any Austin visitors or new residents. The 2.1-mile walk includes more than 2 million holiday lights in festive displays, local food trucks, live entertainment, and fun rides like a Ferris wheel that offers views of the Austin skyline. Mr. and Mrs. Claus also make appearances at the Trail of Lights for groups traveling with little ones.

Zilker Park Address: 2207 Lou Neff Rd, Austin, TX 78746

Phone: 512-974-6700

Charter bus rental tip: Last year, the Austin Trail of Lights was exclusively a drive-thru event. Although the Trail of Lights may resume walk-thru options, keep in mind that oversized vehicles over 27 feet will not be able to participate in the drive-thru-only options.

Mozart’s Light Show

Located on Lake Austin, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is one of Austin’s most beloved coffee shops. The coffee shop hosts a seasonal light show on the waterfront patio with live music, festive drinks, and tasty bites like homemade Christmas cookies.  Mozarts’ Light Show is exceptionally popular with locals, so it’s recommended you grab tickets online and in advance if possible.

Address: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

Phone: 512-477-2900

Charter bus rental tip: Mozart’s lot quickly fills up during the holiday season but additional paid street parking can be found right down the road on Lake Austin Boulevard.

A group of friends in holiday attire and masks holding gifts

Places to do Holiday Shopping

Blue Genie Art Bazaar


Blue Genie Art Bazaar hosts a spring art show as well as a show around the winter holiday season. More than 200 talented artists and makers sell work at the bazaar, making it the perfect place to pick up unique holiday gifts. You’ll find things like gourmet candy, fine art, handmade jewelry, candles, and home decor. Along with offering in-person shopping, Blue Genie also offers online shopping, personal shopper services, and virtual group shopping experiences.

Address: 6100 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78752

Phone: (512) 222-7303

Charter bus rental tip: The bazaar has its own parking lot, but this can easily get packed on busy days just before Christmas. Your charter bus driver should be able to find additional street parking along Dillard Circle.


A Christmas Affair


A Christmas Affair is a seasonal holiday market that benefits The Junior League of Austin. The 5-day market brings more than 200 makers and merchants to the Palmer Events Center from around the country. Shop for holiday decorations, handmade jewelry and accessories, home items, clothing, and much more. On top of grabbing unique holiday gifts for friends and family, you’ll also help support over 30 local charitable organizations.

Palmer Events Center Address: 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: 512-467-8982

Charter bus rental tip: Most parking is located in the Palmer Events Center parking garage in Town Lake Metropolitan Park. Your charter bus likely won’t fit in the gaffe but surface parking can be found down the street on W Riverside Drive.


Armadillo Christmas Bazaar


The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a fine arts and performance event held annually for 10 days in December. You’ll find curated exhibitions from a variety of artists, concerts by local musicians, and booths with goods from local makers. Visitors can also participate in mini-workshops and food and drink tastings from local establishments. The bazaar also hosts family-friendly activities like arts and crafts for kids and scavenger hunts.

Palmer Events Center Address: 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: 512-447-1605

Charter bus rental tip: As with A Christmas Affair, oversized parking can be found down the street on W Riverside Drive.

A group of ballet dancers silhouettes on stage

Where to Catch Festive Shows

ZACH Theatre

ZACH Theatre is the oldest continuously operating professional theater company in the state of Texas. The theater’s production of A Christmas Carol has become a holiday staple in Austin. This production is packed with singing, dancing, and fun for the whole family! ZACH Theater offers group discounts and priority seating for 8 or more visitors during qualifying performances. Inquire about group holiday tickets at least 3 weeks in advance.

Address: 202 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: 512-476-0541

Charter bus rental tip: Paid parking lots are available around the theater. When booking group tickets, inquire about parking in one of the theater’s lots. Alternatively, street parking can be found nearby on W Riverside Drive and S Lamar Boulevard.


Ballet Austin

Ballet Austin is one of the largest professional ballet companies in the country and puts on one of the region’s most beloved dance performances. If you’re looking for a beautiful production of holiday classics like The Nutcracker, seeing Ballet Austin at the Long Center is the place to go. Ballet Austin’s production of The Nutcracker also includes a live performance by the historic Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Long Center Address: 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: 512-476-9151

Charter bus rental tip: The Long Center is located right next door to the Palmer Events Center. Oversized parking can be found along the street on W Riverside Drive.


Austin Chamber Music Center

Fans of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas will want to snag tickets to the Austin Chamber Music show at the Stateside Theatre. The live musical performance features popular tunes from the loved Charlie Brown film and is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. Shows are limited and sell out relatively quickly, so be quick when booking your tickets!

Stateside at the Paramount Theatre Address: 719 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-454-0026

Charter bus rental tip: The theatre operates a covered parking garage but vehicles like charter buses will need to organize street parking in Downtown Austin.


Have Holiday Fun with Longhorn Charter Bus

Celebrate the upcoming holiday season with loved ones at local Austin events. The Longhorn Charter Bus team will make sure your group transportation is secured for wherever your Austin holiday itinerary takes you. Rent your Austin charter bus today at 512-827-0540!