No holiday season in Austin is complete without a visit to the Trail of Lights, and if you’re eager to map out this year’s excursion, never fear — we’ve got the scoop on what to expect.
The 53rd annual Austin Trail of Lights will be held Dec. 9-23 in Zilker Park. More than 400,000 guests are expected to visit the trail, which will feature more than 2 million lights, four light tunnels, a 90-foot Ferris wheel, 40 displays, more than 20 food trucks and two stages.
Here are four things to know about this year’s event.
- Music will take center stage. Confirmed performers include the Mother Falcon String Trio, Whiskey Shivers and DJ Mel at the Night Lights Preview Party Dec. 8 and Alan Haynes at the grand opening Dec. 9. The full music schedule will be announced in the coming weeks at austintrailoflights.org.
- There will be various specialty nights. They include the Zilker Tree lighting (Nov. 26); the Trail of Lights Fun Run (Dec. 2); the fifth annual UT night (Dec. 10); the annual HEROES night honoring first responders (Dec. 12); and Movie Night (Dec. 19).
- It’s possible to avoid the crowds. You can access the park early and receive other amenities if you purchase a Platinum Pass or a ZIP Fast Pass.
- Tickets are now on sale at austintrailoflights.org/tickets. General admission is free some nights.
THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND
Creek Show with Waller Creek Conservancy. The Waller Creek Conservancy’s Creek Show features six luminescent, site-specific art installations all created by local talent. Families can stroll along the creek to take in the light-based pieces, illustrating the intersection of natural environment, innovative design and urban life, during the days of the show. There will also be a variety of events, including music, family-friendly activities hosted by the Thinkery, an artist talk introducing the half-dozen artists, and an art ride on the final day. Bike your way through an art-centric tour starting at Laguna Gloria. 6 to 10 p.m. nightly Nov. 10-18. Free. Waller Creek between 5th and 8th streets. creekshow.com.
Pop Austin. The fourth annual international art event continues through Nov. 12 at Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth St. The event showcases works from 43 multimedia artists, including more than 20 new artists and seven Austin locals. Works will include fine art, sculpture, photography, digital art and light-based art. Art talks will be 1-5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday featuring artists and photographers such as Turk Pipkin, Matt Lankes, Nak Armstrong, Bob Schneider and Ysabel LeMay. Tickets are $20 for a one-day pass or $50 for a three-day pass. Find out more at popaustin.com.
First Annual Plein Air Austin Art Show and Sale. Explore original art painted in Zilker Botanical Garden and around Austin by talented local artists. The artwork will be displayed for viewing and purchase in the garden center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 11, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 12. Free. 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.
— American-Statesman staff