From Longhorn-themed Christmas lights to sing-along parties, New Year's Eve toasts and more, here are seven local events to check out through January.


Longhorn Lights

Officials of The University of Texas put together a nightly Longhorn-themed holiday light display that will be open to the public through the end of the year. The stars of the show are 24 Heritage Oak trees decorated with burnt orange and white lights synchronized to music by the Longhorn Band. Visitors are welcome to drive by the display, or park nearby and walk through the lights.Pop

A nightly holiday sing-along party at Zach Theatre called Pop will offer a mixture of classic holiday music and popular hit songs by artists such as NSYNC, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and more. Guests are encouraged to wear holiday attire and ugly sweaters.
  • Through Dec. 31, times vary
  • $25 and up
  • ZACH360 in The Kleberg at Zach Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
Free Day at Zilker Botanical Garden

Sitting on the banks of the Colorado River, officials of the 28-acre botanical garden will open the gates to the public for free. Those attending are encouraged to reserve their ticket online ahead of time to ensure their spot and should note new entries will end at 4:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Free (monetary donations accepted)
  • 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin
New Year’s Eve Aerial Spectacular

The New Year’s Eve Aerial Spectacular show and dance party will feature performances from two dozen aerial artists from around the globe, with a midnight countdown to 2024 and DJ dance party until 1:30 a.m. The New Year’s Eve Aerial Spectacular is limited to ages 21 and older, and those attending are encouraged to wear cocktail attire.January

Free Week

Nonprofit Red River Cultural District—which works to protect the interest of local musicians and venues—will offer its 20th annual all-local, multigenre music festival. This year brings more than 60 musicians to nearly 20 downtown venues, restaurants, retail shops and more.'Welcome To Night Vale'

Characters from the fiction podcast will take to the stage with stories, live music, slideshows and more. Based in a small desert town, 'Welcome to Night Vale' is hosted by Cecil Baldwin, who gives community updates from the secret police and dark hooded figures, along with local weather announcements and events. Officials said fans and first-timers will both enjoy the show.
  • Jan. 9, 7 p.m. (doors), 8 p.m. (show)
  • Prices vary
  • Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin
MLK Day March, Festival and Food Drive

The annual event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. will begin at The University of Texas’s MLK statue with a short program before the community is invited to rally at the south steps of the Capitol. From there, the march will head to Huston-Tillotson University for an afternoon of listening to live music and browsing local vendors. Organizers encourage attendees to bring nonperishable food that will be donated to the Central Texas Food Bank.
  • Jan. 15, 11:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Free (nonperishable food donations accepted)
  • Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., Austin