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iGnite Leaders Share Their JOYful Traditions, Old & New

Christmas in Austin

Mozart's Holiday Light Show

Enjoy an amazing display of Christmas lights synched to fun holiday tunes, while sipping gourmet coffee or cocoa on the deck of this quaint coffee shop overlooking the lake.

Locals-tip: Get there early to enjoy sunset over the lake; it's as beautiful as the Christmas light show.

Ice Skating at Whole Foods

Yes, you can ice skate outdoors in Austin! Whole Foods at 6th & Lamar creates a winter wonderland on their mezzanine overlooking downtown. And of course, hot cocoa and coffee are available rink-side.

Decorate a Tree on 360

Participate in the "Keep Christmas Weird" movement by taking your family to decorate a tree along Capital of Texas Hwy 360. (Don't forget to kindly remove your decorations from the tree after the holidays!)

Trail of Lights & Zilker Tree

Speaking of "Keeping Christmas Weird" in ATX, the Trail of Lights is a must. And the long wait in line for the ginormous ferris wheel is worth it! The view from the top is spectacular. And no evening at the Trail of Lights would be complete without a spin under the Zilker tree.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar & Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Avoid the mall, shop local, and make it a very Austin-y Christmas! Both events showcase art and hand-made items by Austin artists and craft-makers, in a fun setting, with live music as well as food/drink.

Day-Trips from Austin:

Burnet to Bethlehem

Take the short and scenic drive to Burnet and enjoy a walk through "Main Street Bethlehem" into a live nativity. It is breathtaking, and a beautiful reminder of the reason for the season. Bonus: free cookies, hot cocoa and coffee are served at the exit!

Marble Falls Festival of Lights

Another short drive from Austin, the Marble Falls lights are glorious.

Johnson City Lights

Yet another "small-town big-lights" display that is so worth the trip!The entire town is lit up, and the magnificently decorated courthouse serves as the grande finale.

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm Spend an afternoon exploring this gorgeous farm, and leave with the Christmas tree of your choice, cut down by you and your family!

Shopping in Gruene & An Evening at the Gristmill

Shopping in the quaint little town of Gruene, followed by dinner at the historic "Gristmill" is a "true-Texan" must. If you time it right, you can catch the "Holiday Shindig" with Kelly Willis & Bruce Robinson.


Christmas in San Diego

Living Nativity at Horizon Church

Be transported back in time and experience the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After participating in the living nativity, children can ride a camel, sled down a snow-covered hill, and/or get up close to sweet baby farm animals "away in a manger" in a live petting zoo. There are also crafts, food trucks, and more!

Neighborhood Christmas Lights:

Candy Cane Lane (Poway)

Each house in this cul-de-sac is estimated to have over 50,000 lights.

Christmas Card Lane (Rancho Penasquitos)

This neighborhood display is known for larger-than-life illuminated Christmas cards.

Belardo Lights (Tierrasanta)

This elaborate light show was started in 2006 by the Schmika family for the enjoyment of their two autistic sons.

Garrison Street (Point Loma)

Gorgeous homes, gorgeous lights. Insider tip: Walk rather than drive through! It's spectacular.

"Olde Fashioned Christmas" & Ice Skating at the Inn Rancho Santa Fe

Experience a winter wonderland and a step-back in time at this fun event.

Garden of Lights – San Diego Botanic Garden

Explore the light-filled gardens and enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, holiday crafts, visits with Santa, snow for sledding, marshmallow roasting, mulled wine, and so much more.


And... iGnite leaders share their favorite ways to make "staying in" special.

Holiday Game Night

Stay in for an old-fashioned game night, or work a Christmas puzzle, made complete with hot cocoa and popcorn.

Christmas Movie Night

Cuddle up on the couch and watch a classic Christmas movie and enjoy movie-themed-food or snacks. For example, while watching "Elf", you could favor some Italian food (pasta and syrup?!) and then enjoy some pop-tarts for dessert. ;) Another suggestion for a holiday movie night -- Surprise your family with matching Christmas jammies and make it a "Movie Day" and "PJ Day" too!

Holiday Baking

Spend an afternoon baking holiday goodies to share with neighbors and friends. Check out our favorite kid-friendly vegan gingerbread cookie recipe here.

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