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Trying to find that holiday spirit? Here are some activities to check out in Austin.

People visit a Harry Potter-themed home in Austin's Circle neighborhood in December. Each year, Joel Pace decorates his home based on the series.
Gabriel C. Pérez
People visit a Harry Potter-themed home in Austin's Circle neighborhood last December.

There are many ways to celebrate the winter holidays in Austin this December. From light shows and Christmas markets to hot cocoa and ice skating, here are some events to enjoy with friends or family.

Trail of Lights, Dec. 8-23

The 58th annual Trail of Lights is returning this month. People can stroll through Zilker Park to view the two million lights covering 90 decorated trees and 70 displays and tunnels. U.S. News & World Report named Austin’s Trail of Lights one of the best Christmas lights displays in the nation. Local restaurants and food trucks will be set up at the park so visitors can grab a quick bite. Tickets are $20.

Mozart’s Christmas Light Show, Dec. 10 - Jan. 6

Warm cookies, creamy hot chocolate and a light show. There's all that and more at Mozart's annual light show. Visitors can grab a table on the coffee shop's deck and watch a colorful light display synced to holiday tracks. You can reserve a table online. Tickets are also available for a BYOB cruise with bottomless hot chocolate, where guests can watch the display from Lake Austin. This year at Mozart's, there's also a silent disco complete with an LED dance floor (tickets are separate from the show).

COTA’s Peppermint Parkway, Nov. 25 - Dec. 30

Peppermint Parkway is a mile-long setup of more than 6 million lights and immersive holiday displays at Circuit of the Americas' racetrack. People can see the displays from their cars or get out and visit the rides and attractions on The Plaza, enjoy some holiday treats and buy a Christmas tree. COTA will also be giving away trees to some families in need. Tickets start at $40.

Field of Light at the Wildflower Center, Sept. 9 - Dec. 30

If you’re looking to take a walk with great scenery, check out the 16 acres of lights at the Arboretum at the Wildflower Center. The "flowers" on display are actually created using solar-powered fiber optics. The walking trail aims to highlight the “intersection of art, technology and nature.” Tickets are $20.

A Christmas Carolat ZACH Theatre, Nov. 16 - Dec. 31

The ZACH Theatre will be showing an adaptation of A Christmas Carol with all new music. The family-friendly two-hour production brings a modern take on the traditional story. Tickets start at $25.

37th Street Lights, Dec. 9 - Jan. 1

On 37th Street between Guadalupe and Home Street in Central Austin, a neighborhood comes together to decorate their homes for the holiday season. You can drive or walk (highly encouraged) through the weird, unique light displays, including a stuffed animal petting zoo. Residents put on this wholesome display with both donations and their own money. The experience is free and open to the public, but residents do appreciate donations.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Dec. 17–23

If you need to get presents for friends and family, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar offers an array of art and handmade gifts from 100 local and national artists. While you’re looking around, you can enjoy some live music and a full bar.

Diagon Alley Austin, Dec. 7 - Jan. 2

Each year, an Austin family in the Circle C neighborhood transforms their home into a mini, yet magical, Hogwarts. You can drop by to enjoy the fake snow and Butterbeer from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night. This is free to view, but donations are encouraged.

Ice rink at The Long Center, Dec. 1 - Jan. 1

For the first time, The Long Center has opened a temporary ice rink with a view of the Austin skyline. A $15 ticket will get you skates and an hour on the rink. After your skating skills are put to the test, you can grab a cup of hot cocoa, some buttery popcorn and Christmas cookies.

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