Austin’s Best Free Christmas Lights for Kids: How to Start Your Tacky Light Tour Tradition
Article written by Matt Burgess from Tacky Light Tour
As the Christmas approaches, the metropolitan area of Austin, Texas, organically transforms into a weird wonderland of over 1.4 million Christmas lights including animatronic singing Elvis elves. One of Austin’s most anticipated traditions is the Tacky Light Tour, a jaw-dropping journey through the area’s most creatively illuminated neighborhoods. This free DIY tradition brings family and friends together to celebrate Christmas through dazzling displays of lights sequenced to music. In this article, we’ll prepare you to take your kids on a Tacky Light Tour around Austin including Round Rock and Cedar Park, experiencing joy through Christmas displays that shine brightest.
What is Austin’s Tacky Light Tour?
The Tacky Light Tour is the very best Christmas displays around Austin. To be included on the tour displays must have at least 10,000 Christmas lights, which would make Clark Griswold envious. To take a Tacky Light Tour is to pile your family and friends into your car and visit as many displays as you can. Families have made the Tacky Light tour an annual Christmas tradition. Just like the homeowners that overload their homes with Christmas decorations, families go all out on their Tacky Light Tour having the most fun possible with activities described below.
Austin’s Best Free Christmas Lights for Kids: Planning Your Austin Tacky Light Tour
If you’re planning to embark on the Tacky Light Tour in Austin, there are two easy ways to plan your own trip:
Pre-planned Tacky Light Tour
Planning in advance is easy and leads toward the best tour experience.
- Create a quick account at www.tackylighttour.com
- Save your favorite displays from this handy list of the best displays around Austin.
- Do a quick check to be sure each display is still active and when the lights will be on.
- Generate driving directions
- Go on your Tacky Light Tour
On-the-fly Tacky Light Tour
Hey, we know parenting is a full-time job with curve balls every day. Didn’t have time to plan in advance? No problem!
- Pile your family and friends into a car with snacks, drinks and your Christmas playlist.
- Open www.tackylighttour.com on your phone and click “Show Christmas lights nearest me”.
- Drive to the Christmas display shown to you.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for as many displays you’d like to visit.
Ideas for an Extra Special Tacky Light Tour
Whether this is your first Tacky Light Tour or it is already an annual tradition, the best experiences are that go all out. Here are some suggestions to make your Tacky Light Tour memorable.
Treat it Like a Parade
- Christmas Playlist: Create a playlist of Christmas music in advance to sign along on your journey.
- Brighten Up Your Car: Adorn your car with decorations that will not fall off while driving like temporary Christmas lights and window drawings with white chalk markers…just don’t write on the front windshield!
- Tacky Christmas Sweater Contest: Ask everyone in your party to dress up in tacky holiday attire.
- Pajama Party: If tacky Christmas sweaters aren’t your thing, then encourage everyone to snuggle in their jammies. Ask everyone to wear Christmas pajamas and load up your car with warm blankets, because you might want to roll down the windows for a better view of the displays.
Activities for your Short Road Trip
- Pit Stop: Make plans to stop for dinner at a local restaurant along the way or pack a holiday-themed picnic with treats like Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes, red or green Kool-aid, and strawberry/marshmallow kebabs.
- B-I-N-G-O: Download, print and distribute a free Christmas-themed bingo cards to everyone in your group.
- Scavenger Hunt: Download, print and distribute a free Christmas-themed scavenger hunt cards.
- Share Pictures and Videos: Take pictures and videos of the displays you visit to upload to www.tackylighttour.com or social media for others to enjoy, especially others that are not able to visit the displays in person.
Must-See Christmas Displays Near Austin
The Tacky Light Tour in Austin features over a dozen fantastic Christmas light displays with over 1.2 million Christmas lights. Don’t miss these must-see Christmas lights on your Tacky Light Tour:
10505 Twilight Vista, Austin, TX 78736
300,000 lights with 13 years of experience lit from November 23-December 30 6pm-10pm supporting Make-A-Wish.
2410 Sharon Dr, Cedar Park, TX 78613
100,000 lights with 24 years of experience lit from November 23-January 1 5:30pm-10pm supporting Hill Countries Ministries Food Bank.
905 Lone Star Dr, Cedar Park, TX 78613
200,000 lights with 9 years of experience lit from November 24-January 1 6pm-10pm supporting CASA of Williamson County
2405 Berwick Cove, Round Rock, TX 78681
25,000 lights with 15 years of experience lit from December 2-December 30 6pm-9pm.
Goode Family Holiday Lights, Floating Christmas Ornaments at Bonwood Drive, Chiapetta Family Christmas and so many more.
The Tacky Light Tour in Austin, Texas, is more than just a journey through twinkling lights; it’s a celebration of creativity, community, and the magic of the holiday season. As you drive through the illuminated neighborhoods, you’ll witness the city’s unique blend of artistic expression and festive spirit. From the dazzling displays in Zilker Park to the delightfully tacky exhibits on 37th Street, the tour is a testament to the boundless creativity that flourishes in Austin during the most wonderful time of the year. So, gather your loved ones, embark on this luminous adventure, and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Austin’s Tacky Light Tour.