Revving up for Winter

A drive-thru twist on an Austin classic


Monica Martinez, Staff Writer

Since its start as “Yule Fest” in 1965, the Trail of Lights has grown to become a staple winter activity for Texans of any age. But for a multitude of reasons, The Trail of Lights can’t operate the way it has in years past, so for 2020, the organizers have found a new way to keep the holiday spirit alive during such an unpredictable time.

This year, guests wanting to see the famed trail will be able to drive through the event located in Zilker Park starting November 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021. For general admission, prices range from $25-$35 per vehicle and timed access starting at 7 pm with the last time slot at 9 (9:45 on select nights).

Want to beat the crowds? For $60 per vehicle, you can enjoy the fun before the trail opens to general admission from 5:45-7 pm. With the dash pass, you will receive a box of holiday cookies and the ATX lights savings card for discounts off participating businesses. To purchase tickets this year, head to to take part in some socially distanced fun. 

For Elaine Martinez, an Austin resident for 31 years; the Trail of Light’s option to stay open means a lot to her. “I love the idea, it’s a safe option,” Martinez said, “I won’t have to miss a family tradition we’ve had since we first came to Austin.”  

Many Austinites feel the same way, in a time where almost everything has been canceled, the Trail of Lights has a holiday spirit that shines brighter than the more than 2 million lights on display.