Fun Fall & Winter Activities Around Austin
This list contains a selection of the most important activities around Austin, during October and November. You can search the events calendar for a complete list of daily happenings.
October 2021 Austin Events & Festivals
1. Annual Dia de Los Muertos Exhibition
The MexicArte Museum hosts the annual Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), an exhibition that pays tribute to the tradition of celebrating the return of the dead by their families and friends.
2. MotoGP Redbull Grand Prix
Circuit of The Americas
Austin hosts the fastest motorcycle racing event on two wheels. Three days of thrilling motorcycle racing action awaits with some of the best riders in the world. The only North American stop of the world’s premier motorcycle racing series, the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix, comes to COTA this October.
3. Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/1/21- 10/3/21, and 10/8/21- 10/10/21
This six-day festival is one of the largest music festivals in the country. It brings together the magic of Austin City Limits, the widespread public TV series, outside the studio. The festival takes place in Austin’s most-loved park. There are more than 140 performers on eight stages.
4. Concacaf FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match: USMNT vs. Jamaica
The U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup Qualifying Match against Jamaica will be held at Q2 Stadium in Austin. This October 7th event will mark the first time that the U.S. Men’s National Team has played a World Cup Qualifier in the state of Texas.
German Free School and Mohawk
This festival is held annually by the German-Texan Heritage Society. It features kid-friendly activities throughout the day, live music, and authentic German food. This event is limited to outdoor attendees. It’ll be the biggest little Oktoberfest around!
6. UTOPiAfest Down In The Oaks
The festival began as a gathering of music lovers on a ranch and included camping and live music with 35+ bands. Festival-goers can enjoy a carefully curated culinary experience, a Texas craft beer garden, and workshops. There will also be a kid zone with art installations for children.
7. Ranch Rider Migas Fest
Butler Pitch & Putt
Five of Austin’s most renowned purveyors offer complimentary versions of the traditional Tex Mex dish (Discada, Ciscos, La Tunica, Cuantos, and Nixta). Attendees will do voting to determine who is the best. The winner will receive the Migas trophy and boasting rights. You can expect a stellar music lineup, cool merch, and plenty of Ranch Rider cans.
8. Old Settler’s Music Festival
Central Texas’s signature music festival features Grammy-winning Americana, arts and crafts, camping and food, as well as libations. All three genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz are performed by local legends and award-winning international musicians.
9. Austin Film Festival
10/21/2/21 to 10/28/21
This festival is a national landmark that spotlights both indie films and top-billed films.
10. Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix
Circuit of The Americas
The pinnacle of motorsports is returning to Texas for a three-day celebration of speed and sound. Formula 1 USGP is an action-packed event that combines world-class racing and major championship implications. The Super Stage is filled with global stars Twenty One Pilots and Billy Joel, who will perform a post-race show.
11. O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships
The 43rd Annual O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships includes two competitions: Punsligners and Punniest Of Show. The public votes on these.
12. Texas Hemp Harvest Festival
Carson Creek Ranch
Texas producers, manufacturers, and retailers will join you to celebrate this year’s harvest of hemp. This family-friendly festival features live music, food trucks, and great vendors.
13. Texas Book Festival
Online, Symphony Square & Austin Central Library
Texas Book Festival is one of the most prestigious literary events in the nation. It hosts approximately 250 authors every year. You can tune in to the festival online from October 23-31 for readings, panel discussions, and signings. There will also be cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, local food, YA authors, kids’ activities, and live music. You can also join the celebration in person with a children’s reading on Oct 30 and more adult programming on October 31.
14. Texas Teen Book Festival
The festival is free and celebrates the teen experience. It invites fans to interact with some of the best young adult authors in America. The schedule is packed with panels and readings by some of the most acclaimed YA authors around the globe.
15. Austin Symphony Orchestra presents: Halloween Children’s Concert
This concert is a fantastic opportunity for your children to experience live orchestral music. It’s also an excellent chance to wear costumes and have lots of fun. To enhance the concert experience for your child, the concert hall will have everything you need.
10/28/21 to 10/31/21
The festival is independent and has grown from an informal event with few attendees to an internationally acclaimed weekend event that draws bands from all over the globe. Keep checking for the complete lineup, individual tickets, and day passes.
17. Field Guide Festival
Field Guide Festival is a food system festival that brings farmers to you. Fresh ingredients will be available, harvested from local farmers, and prepared by local chefs. This festival expands the farm-to-table movement. Communities are built around food. Enjoy a weekend filled with innovative conversation, connection, and cookouts among those who make Austin’s food economy unique.
18. Boo at Zoo
Boo at the Zoo is a great place to bring your kids, in costume, on Friday and Saturday nights in October. Here they can enjoy the Austin Zoo in a new way: in the darkness. The fun includes unlimited Haunted House visits, music, and train rides—Call 512-288-1490 for reservations.
Elisabet Ney Museum
Annual POLKAPOCALYPSE at the Elisabet Ney Museum This is a celebration of Oktoberfest and Dia de Los Muertos. Enjoy amazing Polka bands, family-friendly activities, and many other things.
20. Austin Oktoberfest
The Austin Saengerrunde will host the Austin Oktoberfest at Scholz Garten, which is the oldest continuously operated tavern in Texas. This festival celebrates Texas’ German heritage with beer, sausages, live music, and bowling!
November 2021 Austin Events & Festivals
1. Austin Food + Wine Festival
Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park
The Austin Food + Wine Festival will delight your taste buds in one of the most exciting cities in the nation. Enjoy a three-day culinary adventure that will include top chefs, sommeliers, and winemakers from all over the country, as well as Austin’s acclaimed gourmet scene.
11/14/21 – 11/5/21
New Braunfels, Texas
You’ll find delicious food, music, and dancing at Wurstfest. Wurstfest is the place to be!
3. Austin Studio Tour
11/6/21 – 11/21/21
Studios Across Austin
The Austin Studio Tour, a self-guided event offering free art experiences, combines the West Austin Studio Tour with the East Austin Studio Tour. It provides opportunities for artists from Austin to meet one another and allows the public to experience art both in person and virtually safely.
4. Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar marks the Austin holiday season. Shoppers can shop thousands of original pieces online and in person. This is a great way to shop for holiday gifts without any hassle and support local artists.
5. Christmas Affair
11/17/21 to 11/21/21
Palmer Event Center & Online
A Christmas Affair is an annual holiday market that lasts five days and benefits The Junior League of Austin. Annually, the event attracts more than 25,000 patrons. It hosts 200+ retail vendors. As a new tradition started in 2020, The Junior League of Austin has also launched A Christmas Affair Virtual Marketplace.
6. Austin Area Jazz Festival
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center
Austin Area Jazz Fest is a celebration and celebration of music, cultural diversity, and the arts. Enjoy top-notch local and national jazz musicians and be amazed by talented visual artists. This is an unforgettable weekend of live music, fun, and entertainment.
7. ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot
Downtown Austin & Virtual
ThunderCloud Subs’ annual 5-mile run/1-mile walk is a great way to work up a Thanksgiving-sized appetite. You can compete against the best in Austin, or you can go outside with your kids for a more casual holiday jog.
8. Austin Celtic Festival
Postponed to: 11/5/22- 11/6/22
Pioneer Farms will host this annual festival in November along with the 2021 Scottish Highland Games World Championships. For more information, including a complete schedule and music lineup, visit the website.
9. Austin Powwow
Travis County Expo Center
The Austin Powwow has been the largest Texas powwow for over 25 years. It features American Indian dancing, singing, and arts & crafts, as well as food.
10. Chuy’s Christmas Parade
This festive holiday parade features giant balloons, marching bands, and vintage cars. In addition, celebrities and floats will be there to welcome in the season of gift-giving.
11. Fossil Fest
Old Settler’s Heritage Association
Fossil Fest is a family-friendly event that invites children to meet scientists, explore fossils, and view specimens from all over the globe.
This list contains a selection of the most significant Austin events during December and January. You can search the events calendar for a complete list of daily happenings.
December 2021 Austin Events & Festivals
1. Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar marks the Austin holiday season. Shoppers can shop thousands of original pieces online and in person. This is a great way to shop for holiday gifts without any hassle and to support local artists.
2. Austin Fashion Week
Fashion by Texas hosts the annual Austin Fashion Week in December. This year, there will be outdoor runway shows and an in-person event. Further details will be revealed later in the year.
3. Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.”
Long Center for the Performing Arts
Ballet Austin will host its beloved holiday tradition, the 59th annual performance Of The Nutcracker. The ballet production includes music from the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
4. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Palmer Events Center
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a destination for fine art shopping featuring live music and award-winning artists. It has been open for 45+ seasons. The Armadillo will increase the fine-art scene by adding 25,000 square feet. This will allow for more live music, local art, and local food than ever.
5. Austin’s New Years
This family-friendly, alcohol-free event celebrates the creativity and diversity of the city through visual art installations, storytellers, fire dancers, and other festive performances.
6. Art From the Streets Show & Sale
Austin Convention Center
The Art From the Streets Show & Sale is a great way to discover original work and support AFTS’ efforts to create a safe and creative environment for local homeless artists. All profits go to artists.
7. Austin Trail of Lights
The 57th Annual Trail of Lights, part of the Austin experience, lights up the season with memories, community, and fun. The spectacular trail will be available as a drive-thru attraction in 2020. You can either arrive early and get a Dash Pass or cruise the night with General Access.
8. Capital City Black Film Festival(CCBFF)
CCBFF was created to allow emerging Black filmmakers to present their work in Austin, one of the most renowned cities in America for independent filmmakers. CCBFF offers a world-class experience that includes thought-provoking programming, virtual networking opportunities, and films and music videos from talented filmmakers around the globe.
9. Cherrywood Art Fair
The eastside arts scene benefits from this neighborhood fundraiser. The annual market features handcrafted goods by 200+ artisans, food trucks from local communities, live music, and other activities for children.
10. Downtown Holiday Stroll
Congress Avenue between Ninth Street and 11th Street
The Stroll, a celebration that lasted a month and included family-friendly activities in downtown Austin, was held in 2020. Celebrate the holiday season in Austin with festive events such as the holiday shopping passport, pop-ups, appearances of Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and holiday window and light displays.
11, Driskill Grand Lobby Lighting
The Driskill Hotel
Gather at The Driskill hotel and watch as the Grand Lobby tree is lit, followed by caroling and holiday music. The famous Driskill hosts holiday events during the season, including Victorian holiday teas.
12. German-Texan Heritage Society Christmas Market
German Free School of Austin
German-Texan Heritage Society’s annual marketplace offers its customers handmade and imported decorations, ornaments, and other items. Listen to traditional German Christmas music, browse the market, and take Christmas Stollen from the New World Bakery or German cookies from Silke’s German Gourmet Cookies.
13. Ice Skating on The Plaza at Whole Foods
Whole Foods Lamar
Spend an afternoon at the North Lamar Whole Foods flagship store skating rink. You can then head inside for a cup of cider and live music on weekends. Daily 10 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
You can stroll through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s outdoor botanical oasis, lit up at night by the Nightly Luminations. There is plenty of space for exploration.
15. Miracle at 5th Street
The miracle is a festive pop-up bar serving holiday cocktails in a nostalgic and festive setting. This bar features Christmas decorations from wall to wall, multiple bars, cheerful social experiences, and lots of Christmas spirit.
16. Mozart’s Light Show
Mozart’s Espresso Roasters
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters offers a hot cup of coffee and a spectacular light display that is choreographed to live music every night from November through January.
17. Peppermint Parkway
Circuit of The Americas
Peppermint Parkway at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas is a magical experience. The holiday spectacle was transformed into a driving attraction of one mile that immersed visitors with millions upon millions of holiday lights, synchronized to joyous holiday classics.
January 2022 Austin Events & Festivals
1. 3M Half Marathon
3M Half is home to one of the quickest half marathon courses in the United States. You will enjoy a mostly downhill course, which takes you past some of Austin’s most beautiful locations and ends downtown near the Texas State Capitol.
2. Free Week
Austin’s first week in January is a great time to visit if you are a music lover. Here’s why. This annual Austin event attracts hundreds of bands from all walks of Austin.
3. MLK Day Celebration
This year, participate in the Austin-area MLK Day celebrations with The Austin Area Heritage Council. Enjoy a rally and walk starting from the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on the University of Texas campus.