PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)

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Several tunnels of light are spread throughout the trail. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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One holiday display runs through the 12 days of Christmas. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The trail is dotted with a variety of themed holiday displays. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
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A replica Pennybacker Bridge is surrounded by lights. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The University of Texas display features a lighted globe. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The trail ends with a drive through a tunnel of lights. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The 57th Austin Trail of Lights kicks off its month-long run at Zilker Metropolitan Park this week.

Running from Nov. 28-Dec. 31, the drive-thru event will see Zilker blanketed with millions of lights and dozens of holiday displays and lighted trees. This marks the second straight year that the seasonal showcase hosted by the Trail of Lights Foundation will operate in a drive-thru format.

The festive trail will be open to the public most nights over the coming month. Scheduled tickets are required for entry and must be purchased in advance, with timed entries available between 5:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. daily. Guests are advised to arrive no earlier than a half-hour before and no later than one hour after their designated entry time. Outside of extreme weather, the trail will operate rain or shine.

In addition to the trail itself, visitors can also purchase tickets for a virtual Fun Run through downtown Austin to complete on their own time.

The event's only entrance this year is located on Stratford Drive on the park's north side. Visitors will proceed from an arrival queue into Zilker Park and along the lighted trail, which winds around Lou Neff Road and exits onto Barton Springs Road. Including entry, the experience is expected to last around 1 hour.




Visitors may bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks for the drive, and concessions will also be offered at the trail's entry queue. While the event will not feature live music, the Trail of Lights Radio will broadcast music for the event.

More information on the 2021 Austin Trail of Lights is available on the event's website.

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
By Ben Thompson

Austin City Hall Reporter

Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. After spending more than two years covering in The Woodlands area, he moved to Austin in 2021 to cover City Hall and other news throughout the city.



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