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Need last-minute holiday cheer? 8 Austin Christmas traditions you can still go to

American-Statesman staff

It's not Christmas yet. Here are a few cherished Austin holiday traditions that you still have time to enjoy.

37th Street

An eclectic showcase of Austin pride and holiday cheer, neighbors and supporters of the tradition unite every year to string multi-colored lights and bold decorations from almost every tree, roof and fence on this residential strip of 37th Street. Walk through this two-decade local tradition starting at Guadalupe and 37th streets.

More information: Free, runs through Jan. 1.

— Aisling Ayers

More:A 2021 guide to holiday lights in and around Central Texas

Armadillo Bazaar Outdoors at Palmer Events Center

The holiday music and shopping event with 45 years of history in Austin moves outside this year to create "a safe, family friendly fine-art scene." Over 100 artists will be onsite. With its run compressed to three days, the musical portion of the events will feature two acts each day who will play two sets each. On Friday, Latin Grammy-nominated pop artist Gina Chavez and blues sensation Jackie Venson perform. On Saturday, Grammy-nominated blues and Americana artist Ruthie Foster and soul dynamos Tomar and the FCs provide your shopping serenade. And on Sunday, powerhouse singers Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King and country soul kingpins Shinyribs close out the event. 

More information: $10, open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily Dec. 17-19, armadillobazaar.com.

— Deborah Sengupta Stith

Merry and bright or a bitter Christmas:A roundup of Austin holiday concerts for everyone

Austin Trail of Lights

This iconic holiday staple returns for its 57th year and second year as a drive-thru event to light up Zilker Park with over two million lights. Stay warm in your car and cruise through light displays of every shape and size. Open nightly through Dec. 31 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), with a few fun theme nights. You must reserve a timed vehicle pass online in order to go.

More information: $30-$40 for general admission, open through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 24 and 25, closed to the public Dec. 28 and 29), austintrailoflights.org.

— A.A.

More:Here's what the drive-thru Austin Trail of Lights is like

Ballet Austin's 'The Nutcracker'

Ballet Austin stages an opulent rendering of the classic Christmas show at the Long Center, attended each year by tens of thousands of guests, many of them quite young. More than 20 full-time dancers are joined onstage by dozens of Ballet Austin Academy members and a few celebrated local guests.

More information: $20-$99, runs on select dates through Dec. 23, balletaustin.org.

— Michael Barnes

More:12 Austin shows you've got to see this Christmas, including 2 'Nutcrackers' and a Scrooge

Christmas movies

As usual, Austin's movies theaters are screening holiday classics. At the Paramount Theatre, you can still catch "White Christmas" (Dec. 19) and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (Dec. 19). AFS Cinemas has holiday deep cuts like "Remember the Night" (Dec. 20 and 23), "The Thin Man" (Dec. 21 and 25) and "Fanny and Alexander" (Dec. 22 and 26), as well as regular-depth-cut "It's a Wonderful Life" (Dec. 24 and 25).

More information: Ticket prices vary, austintheatre.org and austinfilm.org.

— Eric Webb

More:Where to see Christmas movies in Austin, from 'Elf' to 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Mozart’s Christmas Lights Show

On the edge of Lake Austin, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is known for its musical and illuminated nightly holiday shows. Grab a coffee and dessert and enjoy the reflection of the lights on the water and a Bavarian marketplace. Parking is limited, so plan accordingly. Mozart's is bringing back the reserved table option created for pandemic safety reasons in 2020, along with a general admission "standing room only" option.

More information: General admission tickets are free and reserved tables start at $20, runs through Jan. 6, mozartscoffee.com/pages/annual-christmas-light-show.

— A.A.

Zach Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol'

Charles Dickens' novella about the miserly Scrooge and the loving Cratchit family has been adapted in thousands of ways. None of them resemble director Dave Steakley's multi-splendored, ethnically diverse theatrical reworking. He has added songs from a wide range of heritages and attracted top talent, while ignoring some staid theatrical casting customs. 

More information: $25-$95, runs on select dates through Jan. 2, zachtheatre.org

— M.B.

More:What we know about the traditional lighting of Austin's Zilker Holiday Tree this year

Zilker Holiday Tree

The Zilker Tree is one of Austin's few remaining moonlight towers, originally purchased from the city of Detroit in 1894 to illuminate Austin streets using bright carbon-arc bulbs. Every year, the city installs a garland of electric lights on the 155-foot-tall Zilker moonlight tower to create the familiar conical form of a pine tree. Work crews put up a total of 3,309 lights, including 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt LED bulbs.

More information: Free, open until New Year's Day, austintexas.gov/department/zilker-holiday-tree.

— Roberto Villalpando

Hannah Contreras, left, and Charles Dye spin under the Zilker Holiday Tree at its first lighting at Zilker Park on Nov. 27.