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Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

Hartford...
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Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

I booked our flights to Austin for the week before Christmas for my husband and myself to go visit with our daughter and her husband. They live just outside the army base in Killeen and aren't able to come east for the holidays.

We'll be doing short day trips the first few days (as our sil will have to work), but hope to spend the last couple of days & nights with them in downtown Austin before flying home the day before Christmas Eve. So I'll be checking out this forum for ideas off what to see and do and in finding a good hotel room.

I've always gotten great advice from these travel boards and look forward to 'chatting' with you all.

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Pearland, Texas
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1. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

The iconic attraction during Christmas are the lights at Zilker Park.

All the hotels downtown are good. It just depends on your taste and budget.

San Antonio, TX
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2. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

Two Great art shopping events:

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar http://www.armadillobazaar.com/ “Help us celebrate over a quarter century of great live music and arts and crafts at the 30th Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Check out our map to plan your trip to this year's Bazaar. With over two dozen musical acts booked and over 130 artists and merchants invited to display their wares, the Dillo will be offering its special blend of fine handcrafted gifts available for Christmas shoppers and an exciting lineup of live music for your entertainment again this holiday season.”

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar www.bluegenieart.com/art_bazaar_event.html features the work of over 80 local and regional artists and artisans. An alternative venue for artists each December to show and sell their work. From ceramics, original paintings, photographs, sculpture, accessories, and so much more, the annual Art Bazaar is a one-of-a-kind event for Austin.

Cherrywood Art Fair

www.cherrywoodartfair.org/ is an art filled two-day event showcasing local artists, live music and great food, as well as activities for children in a FREE, family-friendly environment.

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

The Trail of Lights at Zilker Park has been really trimmed down. The City didn't have the money for it, so it has been handed over to sponsors for this year. It is only running from Dec. 9 - 18, so it looks like the OP may miss it. The tree will still be up and lit - http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/zilker/zhttree.htm

The Christmas Bazaars mentioned by Octoboy are really the highlight of the season and great fun.

Congress Avenue up to the Capitol will be all lit up, and the tree should be in front of the Capitol.

Let us know your budget and we can recommend some places to stay downtown.

austin, TX
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4. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

Lights on 35th St at Guadelupe are really a must. The neighborhood goes ape & they are very creative. We like to get a paper cup full of brandy & take our time walking through the neighborhood. They are doing their part to keep Austin weird.

DoubleTree on Lavaca is close to downtown, yet pretty reasonable.

For bargain shopping, I rec Nordstrom Rack (Arboretum area), Vantage Shoe Warehouse (Arborwalk Center, near MOPAC & Steck), SteinMart (several around town).

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The Arboretum
The Arboretum
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Austin, TX
Hartford...
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5. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

Thanks for the comments....keep 'em coming.

MrTed: The Trail of Lights will only be on thru Dec 18? Who stops their holiday lights a full week BEFORE Christmas?? Bah humbug!

Longhornmom54: Guadelupe lights sound neat. And this was the 2nd time I heard a 'Keep Austin weird' reference...so I just googled it...cool.

Pearland, Texas
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6. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

I wasn't aware of that either

http://www.trailoflightsaustin.com/

djr
Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

Since you'll be Killeen, there's nice lights displays in the Hill Country. I have family who've been ot Main Street Bethlehem in Burnet, but that is only the first two weeks in December. If you drive a little further, Marble Falls has their "walk way of lights" and Johnson City has their "Lights Spectacular". Both are really nice displays and an easy drive from each other. I also just searched for hill country light info and found this - http://www.hillcountrychristmaslights.com -- I've never been there, but if you're driving around in the area it sounds good.

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Austin, Texas
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8. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

GalViolet - It does seem silly, but with massive budget cuts by the City and the economy affecting fundraising efforts, I don't think they can afford to keep it up for long. There will be plenty to see and do during your time here. The Johnson City lights, mentioned by djr, are really nice.

The 35th Street lights, mentioned above, are actually on 37th Street - http://texaslesstraveled.com/37thstreet.htm . There could be others on 35th Street, but the 37th Street lights are the really popular ones, as you can see from the link. Be careful parking in that neighborhood. It gets very crowded.

9. Re: Coming the week before Christmas...YIPPEE

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