Drive-thru lights, Santa's Wonderland and more holiday events in the Lake Travis-Westlake area

San Antonio's Natural Bridge Caverns will host a variety of holiday activities Dec. 12-13 and 19-20. (Courtesy Natural Bridge Caverns)
San Antonio's Natural Bridge Caverns will host a variety of holiday activities Dec. 12-13 and 19-20. (Courtesy Natural Bridge Caverns)

San Antonio's Natural Bridge Caverns will host a variety of holiday activities Dec. 12-13 and 19-20. (Courtesy Natural Bridge Caverns)

Read on for your guide for events in the Lake Travis-Westlake area and beyond during the 2020-21 holiday season.

Dec. 12-13, 19-23: Christmas in the Caverns

San Antonio’s Natural Bridge Caverns will host several holiday festivities on weekends in December. Guests can hear Christmas carolers sing within Texas’ largest underground cavern, visit a 5,000-square-foot outdoor maze, watch an outdoor movie, stroll through the trail of lights, shop for holiday gifts and more. Prices vary by event, and tickets can be purchased online. 4:30-6:30 p.m. (caroling event), 5:30-9 p.m. (other activities). 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, San Antonio. 210-651-6101.

Dec. 12-13: Pfall Pfest craft show

Pflugerville’s annual Pfall Pfest Craft Show will be double the fun in 2020 with a two-day craft fair Dec. 12-13. Get a head start on some holiday shopping with handcrafted items, including jewelry, decor, paintings, candles and more. Free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Dec. 12), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Dec. 13). Stone Hill Town Center, 8700 Limestone Commercial Drive, Ste. 600, Pflugerville.

Dec. 17-19: Buzzfest

The Bee Caves Arts Foundation will host the first annual Buzzfest, an outdoor art festival that will incorporate light, design, sound and technology. The inaugural theme is "Ocean of Bioluminescence," which was inspired by the glowing creatures at the depths of the ocean. The event is suitable for all ages and will feature interactive light installations, augmented reality and nightly performances. 6-10 p.m. Free. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-522-9467.

Through Dec. 19: Luminations at Wildflower Center

This holiday season, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Texas Arboretum’s oak trees will be decorated with thousands of festive lights. The open-air, one-way stroll will feature audio and visual art installations from Collide Arts, a nonprofit art organization. To limit crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic, the center will offer timed admission through Dec. 19. Tickets range in price and can be purchased online. 6-9 p.m. Free-$18. 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin. 512-232-0100.

Through Dec. 20: Lone Star Holiday Market

The Hill Country Galleria kicked off the Lone Star Holiday Market in November. The holiday market is located on the west end of the shopping center. In addition to the galleria’s 100 storefronts, the Lone Star Holiday Market features gifts, holiday drinks, gift-wrapping services and holiday music. The collection of pop-up shops will be located next to the Milk + Honey Spa. 2-8 p.m. Free. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-263-0001.

Through Dec. 24: Santa’s Wonderland at the Hill Country Galleria

Guests can explore a decorated Santa’s Wonderland display and meet Santa Claus for a photo opportunity. The event will be located next to the James Avery storefront. Times vary from Nov. 27-Dec. 24. Free (reservations required at; $40-$50 (professional photography). 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-263-0001.

Through Jan. 1: Armadillo Art Concierge

The annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is going virtual due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s event features hundreds of local artists, craftspeople and vendors accessible through an online shopping guide.

Through Jan. 1: Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting

Held virtually this year, the annual lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree will be streamed on the Austin Parks and Recreation YouTube page, Facebook and Channel 6. The event will include speakers and entertainment by the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble and Barton Hills Choir. The tree itself will be lit at Zilker Park each night Nov. 29-Jan. 1 and can be seen at the Trail of Lights or from afar. 6 p.m. Free.

Through Jan. 3: Lakeway’s Trail of Lights

The city of Lakeway will bring back its annual Trail of Lights on Nov. 20. Though there will be no event to mark this year’s opening weekend, every night, guests can view the trail, which is decorated with thousands of holiday lights. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, attendees are asked to practice social distancing and wear masks when appropriate. Groups should be no more than 10 individuals. Access to the trail can be found on the lower level of the Lakeway Activity Center’s parking lot or behind Lakeway City Hall. 6 p.m.-midnight. Free. Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek, Lakeway. 512-314-7532.

Through Jan. 3: Peppermint Parkway

Circuit of The Americas is providing a new drive-thru experience along a mile of its course. The Peppermint Parkway will include light sculptures, a Santa Claus display, elves, and a drive-up concession stand with holiday drinks and snacks. 6-10 p.m. (weekdays), 6-11 p.m. (weekends, all of Christmas week). Price TBD. 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd., Austin. 512-301-6600.

Through Jan. 3: Zilker Trail of Lights

In 2020, Austin’s annual holiday light display has taken the form of a drive-thru with more than 2 million holiday lights, 90 decorated trees and 70 other displays located throughout Zilker Park. The trail is open nightly, but it will be closed for private events Dec. 2, 6 and 29-30 and will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan 1. 7 p.m. $25-$35 (general admission); other packages available. Zilker Park, 2207 Lou Neff Road, Austin.

Through Jan. 3: Pop A Rockin’ Holiday Concert

The Zach Theatre will present performances of holiday songs and pop hits. The theater will have social distancing guidelines in place. Performance times vary by date. $25 and up. 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin. 512-476-0594.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Reports surfaced Feb. 22 of dogs falling ill after swimming in Lake Travis. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Blue-green algae toxic to animals found in Hudson Bend area of Lake Travis

Solid organic material was taken for testing from the edge of Travis Landing located on the east side of Hudson Bend. Those samples indicated the presence of algae and decaying algae containing cyanotoxin, which is fatal to dogs and other animals.

A new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could help expand vaccination availability in Travis County, according to local health officials. (Courtesy Pexels)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine could mean additional supply, easier distribution rollout in Travis County

If approved, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be a valuable weapon against the ongoing pandemic, according to local health officials.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

A tree's branches fell on a car in North Austin in the midst of Winter Storm Uri in February. With downed tree limbs and burst water lines causing property damage across Austin, the city has directed additional funds into programs to help some homeowners with emergency home repairs. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Still in crisis mode, Austin City Council initiates recovery following winter storm

With 200 to 400 apartment and condo complexes in Austin still without water, City Council is aiming to direct aid and relieve some of the financial burden felt by residents following the devastating winter storms.

Pet owners are advised to keep their dogs out of Lake Travis. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATE: Lake Travis water samples show no signs of toxic algae; dog owners still urged to keep pets out of water

An initial test of water samples from Lake Travis showed no signs of cyanotoxin or blue-green algae, a bacteria that is poisonous when consumed by dogs.

Rollingwood City Council met Feb. 24 to discuss how Winter Storm Uri impacted the city's water system. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rollingwood officials evaluate wastewater contractor following historic winter storm

“We were on the cusp of making a decision as to whether or not to cut off water service to our entire city or, alternatively, overflow our lift stations and flow raw sewage into direct channels into Lady Bird Lake,” Mayor Michael Dyson said during a Feb. 24 City Council meeting.

Jo's Coffee opened a North Austin location in January. (Courtesy Chad Wadsworth)
Jo's Coffee opens in Central Austin; new restaurant coming to Georgetown Square and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Photo of a snowy residential street
'Bad data is worse than no data': Austin health officials unsure how storm affected coronavirus spread

Weekly testing and hospitalization averages will not be updated by Austin Public Health until Feb. 27.

Buff City Soap will open March 4. (Courtesy Buff City Soap)
Buff City Soap is set to open in West Lake Hills

A new shop selling soaps and skin care is coming soon to West Lake Hills.