Trail of Lights: Plan your trip!

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s favorite holiday tradition is here! The 2016 edition of the Trail of Lights boasts more than 2 million lights, the return of the Ferris wheel and carousel and a new tunnel and an updated Groovy Grove.

The Basics at-a-glance

  • Trail of Lights runs December 10-23 at Zilker Park
  • The Trail is open 7 – 10 p.m. every night
  • The festival is open rain or shine barring extreme conditions


    • December 10-16: Free
    • December 17-23: $3  (Children 11 and under are free)

Upgrade Your Trail Experience

  • Purchase your tickets in advance
  • Get a ZiP Fast Pass or a Platinum pass to get early entry and VIP access to the park. Pass holders can enter as early as 6 p.m.
    • ZiP Fast Pass varies from $50-$20 depending on the night
    • Platinum Passes start at $80. Packages of two and four available. Platinum passes include valet parking, early entry, heated restrooms, cocoa, cookies, drink and ride tickets. Passes also include front-of-line access to the Ferris wheel and carousel

Parking and Transportation

Road Closures

The outer lanes of Barton Springs Road will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on December 12 – 15. Car traffic will continue East and West on internal lanes.

All lanes of Barton Springs Road will be CLOSED on December 3, 10-11, 17-18, 21-23 from 4 PM – 11 PM, and December 16, 19 and 20 from 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.


Limited Trail of Lights parking is available in Zilker Park with a pre-paid parking pass. All parking must be purchased online in advance. Purchase parking for $15 hereDirections to the lots are available on the Trail of Lights website, here.


Avoid the traffic and be shuttled right to the front gate! Shuttle tickets are $5 per rider and include your general admission ticket to the Trail of Lights. Lap children (infants and toddlers) ride free. The shuttle picks up at two convenient locations:


  1. Burger Center (3200 Jones Rd, Austin, TX 78745)
  2. Republic Square Park (422 Guadalupe St., Austin 78701)

The first shuttle departs Burger Center and Republic Square Park at 5:30 p.m., the last shuttles depart stops at 8:30 p.m. Shuttles returning from Zilker will run until 10:30 p.m.


Trail of Lights Schedule and Events

Pick a date below to buy tickets, see parking options and plan your trip!