Things to do in Austin for a Christmas Staycation!

Hooray! It’s the Friday before Christmas – I’m sure a lot of you are celebrating your last day of work for the year, or at least for a few days. I remember getting SO excited as a kid when Christmas break was approaching. The last day of school, always a Friday, was really only for Christmas parties, festive food, and exchanging gifts with friends you may not see over the break. I loved it!

My mom flew in from Indiana yesterday – this will be her fourth Christmas visiting me in Texas! We kicked off a nice Christmas staycation (sung in the same melody as the “Christmas Vacation” theme) at the Trail of Lights last night – we even had tacos from Redfin and desserts from Candyland (a chocolate dipped cookie and giant s’mores marshmallows).

We always find fun ways to be festive, while also being tourists in the city. Some of our plans are nailed-down, but others are possibilities. Here’s what we’ll be up to:

San Marcos Premium Outlets 

I always drive by the outlet stores on my way to San Antonio or heading to Texas State and I’ve never been! That ends today – we’re heading out to see what they’ve got. Here’s the list of stores if you’re in the area and interested.

Mary Poppins Returns

My mom and I have been waiting for this movie to come out! I honestly think I saw “Mary Poppins” maybe once or twice as a kid, but I cannot pass up Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt.

Austin’s Central Library

Earlier this year, “Time” magazine named Austin’s Central Library as one of the greatest places in the world. And I’ve never been! That ends NOW. The pictures of it look gorgeous and I’m excited to see the inside. The Austin Chronicle put together a nice list of all the library has to offer (including a rooftop garden and a gourmet cafe).

The FOMO Factory 

I’ve been seeing pictures on Instagram from the Fomo Factory, and it looks like too much fun, so I got us tickets! It’s a 2-story art installation that’s meant to be immersive and reminiscent of childhood. I’m all about it! Get tickets here.

Miracle on 5th

This is a pop-up bar downtown, where The Eleanor usually is. We went last year and it’s a festive fun time. They deck the place out in lights and decor (including the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story”) and the drinks are festive – I got mulled wine last year and it came in a Santa mug. Here’s the info if you’re interested. I also caught wind of the Grinch pop-up bar at the W… but it doesn’t quite look as cool as Miracle on 5th.


We’re treating ourselves to mani/pedis at the best nail salon in Austin: Lacquer. What I love about Lacquer – aside from the calming, modern decor and their amazing polish selection – is that they advocate for ethical beauty (fair wages + the best products) and they only provide natural nail care (no acrylic). Believe it or not, that really does affect the atmosphere! If you happen to visit Lacquer, please consider using my referral link 🙂

Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza

My BFF Sheena and I went here when she was in town for ACL last year and it was pretty much my Texas dreams come true – a giant farm, barn, brewery, and pizza all in one. It’s pretty deserted, which just adds to it, and the pizza was delish.

Self-guided Scooter Tour 

There’s loads of Lime and Bird scooters parked near my apartment complex, so I’m thinking we can hop on a few and scoot to some residential areas and see some Christmas lights on Christmas Eve! Got any places we should go? Let me know and we’ll wizzzzzz on by!!

I’ve still got a few more blog posts coming to these parts before Christmas, but I’d love to know what you guys have planned for the holiday break – even if it means an at-home movie marathon!

You can watch all of my festive activities in real-time on Instagram @Orangejulius7 – hope to see you there!

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