General Admission and Shuttle
Thanks to the Trail of Lights Foundation’s year-round efforts, seven out of the 14 nights of the Austin Trail of Lights are kept free and accessible for all in the community. See the event calendar for days that are free to enter and days that carry a $3 General Admission entry fee.
Paid parking at Zilker Park for the Trail is available only with a pre-paid parking pass. All parking passes must be purchased in advance, online, and will not be sold onsite. A limited quantity of spots are available each night, so guests are advised to purchase parking passes early for their preferred days. Passes are available for $15 per vehicle.
Shuttle services to the Austin Trail of Lights drop off at the front gates and are available from two convenient locations in Austin. Trail-goers are advised to purchase a shuttle pass for $6 in advance to skip the long shuttle admission lines at each pick up location. Guests who purchase a shuttle pass do NOT need to purchase separate General Admission tickets on the nights that require a $3 admission fee – the shuttle pass includes shuttle ride and gate entry. Trail of Lights Shuttles will operate on Dec. 14-16, and 20-23 from: Republic Square in downtown Austin (422 Guadalupe St., Austin, Texas 78701) and Toney Burger Event Center in south Austin (3200 Jones Rd, Austin, Texas 78745).
Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run
Visitors seeking a first look at the Trail can register online for the annual Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Fun Run includes a 2.1-mile course that starts at the iconic Zilker Holiday Tree and takes thousands of festive Fun Runners through the sights of the Austin Trail of Lights, ending with a celebration in the center of Zilker Park – the Finish Line Festival and Expo. The Finish Line Festival and Expo will feature DJ entertainment from DJ Chino Casino, a dance party, food trucks, drinks, fitness expo and more! Wacky holiday costumes are always welcome! Visit www.austintrailoflights.org/2018-fun-run
to register for the Fun Run.
2018 Highlights and New Attractions
Since it began in 1965, the Austin Trail of Lights has grown into one of Austin’s largest events, attracting an average of 400,000 people per year. Every holiday season, Austin’s iconic Zilker Park is transformed into the Trail of Lights with over two million lights, 65+ displays, 30 food trucks, nightly live entertainment, 50 private holiday parties and interactive experiences throughout the park.
The annual tradition continues to grow, celebrating the quirky, independent character that Austin is recognized for across the country. New attractions and enhanced areas will be found throughout the Trail. Some new highlights include a 13-foot illuminated carriage, 12 seven-foot lighted guitars commemorating Austin’s musical roots, a 25-foot spiral holiday tree and Keep Austin Weird presents “Flipped,” an upside down tree grove highlighting local Austin business that we know and love.