Monday, December 10, 2012


5 Reasons Why You Should See the Trail of Lights ~ Austin, TX 2012

Austinites!!! It's BACK!!!  Austin's Trail of Lights in Zilker Park is back on for 2012, starting December 16th and lasting through the 23rd.   
 This free light display was brought back to life this year by a bevy of sponsors, mainly HEB, Seton Health, Dell, Samsung, and Vista Equity Partners.  The Trail of Lights is a half-mile walk through some amazing light displays at Zilker Park. Having been around for many years, it became one of Austin's best loved traditions.

Unfortunately, many I talk to are not planning on going.  They think it's too crowded and that parking is a mess.  Yes, it may be a well-attended event - it hasn't been on the last 2 years, so people are going to be excited to see it.  And parking?  I can do my best to guide you to where to park, but all I can say is take a deep breath and go with the flow.  It's the Holidays - don't get in a rush and know that there will be traffic.
That said, I want to encourage you to see the Trail of Lights this year.  Here are my Top 5 Reasons why you should go:

1. Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Ok, maybe not exactly wintery, but it is a sparkling, glittery wonderland of lights that elicit lots of ohhs and ahhs.  
2. Cause nothing says Christmas like Bart Simpson: Where else can you find all your kids favorite cartoon characters greeting you for the Holidays?  My kids love to see who is popping up to greet them along the walk.  Although they had know idea who Fat Albert was (is that even politically correct to call him that?).

3. Please them ALL!: Huh?  Well, my sons like the train ride, my daughter loves to watch all the dancers perform (see performance schedule here), my hubby digs the hot cocoa and the kettle korn (look at the food they are having this year!), and truth be told, I love it all.  I love that the city of Austin comes together with smiles on their faces, excited to celebrate the holidays together in such a fun way.  Seriously, there is something for everyone here.

4. Get sick from all the Zilker Tree Spinning: One of our favorite parts of the display is the Zilker Tree.  The Zilker Tree Stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25 watt bulbs, totaling 3,309 lights. We love to stand under it and spin til we are dizzy.  But I don't recommend doing this when you are pregnant......
5. Create Wonderful Holiday Memories: Cause that's what Christmas is all about, isn't it?  Make some wonderful memories with your family.

Honestly, the Trail of Lights is just fun.  It is worth the time it takes to park and the large crowds.  I promise.

And for our adventurous families, take in the Trail of Lights with a 5K run the night before the trail opens to the public (December 15, 2012).   This family event starts with a Kids 1K run before the official 5K begins.  More details here.

Trail of Lights
Zilker Park
3300 East Palm Valley Blvd, Austin, TX
Hours: Nightly Dec 16 -23, 2012 - 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm 
Cost: Free
Parking: $10 onsite parking - enter from Mopac
               $2 shuttle fee/person - various locations
               (more info)


MiMi said...

Oh that's awesome!

Anonymous said...


nopinkhere said...

We are SO going! I love TOL and have missed it. We find it less stressful to use the shuttle buses rather than try to park at Zilker or nearby.

B said...

I've actually never been - can you believe it? We're certainly going this year!!!

StarTraci said...

Okay, I'm sold. This will be our first year to make it. When we first moved to Austin, we didn't realize that it didn't run through Christmas so we missed it. Then it was gone and now it's back so we are excited to go. You had my son at Bart Simpson, however.

Angela said...

This looks awesome! We go to the Nature-In-Lights in Belton every year, but maybe we should head out to Austin for a new tradition. Thanks!