It’s that time of the year, Austin! The pies are baking, presents are being wrapped, and Trail of Lights is back in town. Well, almost. Starting Dec. 10, 2018, Zilker Park will be transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland.
We’ve got all the details on this year’s Trail of Lights festivities. Read on to get ready for your visit this year!
Trail of Lights Highlights for 2018
Over its 54 years, Trail of Lights has grown and added many new attractions. You can still expect to see the tunnel of lights greeting you as you first enter the grounds. Two million lights and over 65 displays will be spreading holiday cheer all over the park.
The 2018 Trail of Lights will feature a new 13-foot lighted carriage, a display of a dozen lit guitars as a nod to Austin’s music scene, and a 25-foot spiral Christmas tree.
Stop for plenty of interactive experiences along the trail, like Santa’s House and stage performances. And if you get hungry along the way, many of Austin’s favorite food trucks will have you covered.
Holiday Tree Lighting – Nov. 25
Watching the Zilker Tree light up for the first time is, in my opinion, the most magical part of the Zilker Park festivities. The 155-foot tree blazes in full glory after sunset on Nov. 25. Get there early to grab a good spot and warm up with some hot cocoa.
Annual Fun Run – Dec. 1
This year’s Fun Run has a bit extra in store. On Dec. 1, Trail of Lights will host its annual Fun Run, a 2.1-mile jog, skip, or walk through the trail. A free beer or hot cocoa, plenty of food vendors, dance-off glory, and post-race yoga await runners at the finish line.
What makes it a true party is a DJ belting fresh tunes for the dance-off you’re about to win. We hear there are more surprises in the works, but we can’t give it all away!
Night Lights – Dec. 5
If you’re eager to get an early look at Trail of Lights 2018, then Night Lights is for you! This fundraising event features tastings from local restaurants, live music and entertainment, and activities exclusive to the Night Lights event. The paid preview is open to ticket holders.
Heroes Night – Dec. 11.
The Trail of Lights’ annual tradition of honoring veterans and first responders continues this year. Special entertainment and programs, along with complimentary ZIP passes with ID, make it an excellent way for our national heroes to enjoy the VIP treatment they’ve earned through their service.
Movie Night – Dec. 13
What better way to get in the holiday spirit than watching a classic movie amidst Christmas lights! Head over to Trail of Lights with a blanket and grab a spot under the stars to enjoy a movie, with friends and family. The movie hasn’t been announced quite yet.
Parking and Tickets
Here’s some quick information to get you prepared for attending Trail of Lights this year:
- Trail of Lights is open from Dec. 10-23, from 7-10 p.m.
- Free Days: Monday, Dec. 10 to Thursday, Dec. 13, and Monday, Dec. 17 to Wednesday, Dec. 19.
- General Admission is $3. Children under 12 get to go for free!
- Platinum Pass prices range from $80 to $260. These passes include valet parking, early access to the trail, access to a private lounge, and more.
- ZIP Fast Pass allows you to enter the park at 6 p.m., an hour before the general public. Prices varies from $15-$20.
- Parking can be purchased ahead of time by visiting the calendar here. No parking will be sold on site.
- Shuttles are available to take you to the park. Tickets cost $6 and include General Admission.
Happy holidays, everyone!
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