The holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means — it's time to take holiday card photos.
But if you're looking for an alternative to traditional photo shoots brimming with tulle and patent leather, Austin has plenty. Here are five places for unconventional holiday photo shoots in Central Texas.
The Art of Ice Cream Experience
Want to show off your family's sweeter side this holiday season? Head to the Art of Ice Cream Experience, an Instagrammer's paradise that features everything from sprinkle-covered wallpaper to an ice cream cone mural to shelves adorned with pastel-hued milkshake-makers. This museum-meets-photo-shoot mash-up is sure to delight all ages; even furry friends can join in the fun on Monday evenings. Whether you pop into Popsicle paradise or lounge beside Neapolitan beach, you're sure to find some fun, and delicious, photo-ops.
Information: Open Thursday-Monday (hours vary, check website). Tickets are $20 on Thursday and Monday and $25 Friday-Sunday for adults, $15 for children 3-12 and free for ages 2 and younger. 3208 S. Congress Ave. 512-775-5772, artoficecreamexperience.com
Similar to the Art of Ice Cream Experience but with a broader theme, the FOMO Factory encourages visitors to "escape to childhood" with rooms that tap into the bright colors and nostalgic toys of youth. Expect to find everything from a wall decorated with pastel cassette tapes to a giant birthday cake to a playground complete with real swings.
Information: Open Thursday-Sunday. Tickets are $23 for adults, $15 for children 4-12 and free for ages 3 and younger. 720 Red River St. 512-675-0087, thefomofactory.com
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
With its winding trails, towering trees and delightful family garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is always a good bet in winter. But this winter it's especially primed for photo ops thanks to Fortlandia, which features 10 unique forts designed and built by local architects, designers, artists and students from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture that will be on display through February. Bonus points for timing your visit with the wildflower center's popular Luminations event, which is Dec. 6-9 and includes thousands of luminarias that light up the gardens.
Information: Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children. 4801 La Crosse Ave. 512-232-0100, wildflower.org
HOPE Outdoor Gallery
The HOPE Outdoor Gallery will move to a new location at Carson Creek Ranch in 2019, but for now you can still view, and snap photos at, its colorful and inspiring Baylor Street location. Launched in 2011 with the help of artist Shepard Fairey, the gallery has become a place where muralists and street artists can offer inspirational, positive messaging.
Information: Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free. 11th and Baylor streets. hopecampaign.org/hopeprojects/hope-outdoor-gallery
Georgetown Town Square
Georgetown, located just 30 minutes from downtown Austin, is picturesque any time, but during the holidays the Town Square in particular glitters and glows with twinkling lights and festive decor. Snap your family photos, then stroll the downtown area, dipping in and out of local boutiques as you soak in the spirit of the season. For an extra dose of holiday magic, visit on Nov. 23 for the annual Lighting of the Square, which will include free craft making at the Williamson Museum and photos inside the courthouse with Santa.