By James Waterson
Christmas lights shining on chilly nights, the aromas of hot cocoa and fresh-baked cookies, and the sights of oversized candy canes and hanging wreaths. It must be the holiday season; also known as the time of year you need to visit Cedar Park. Located just north of Austin, this inviting town is fully of the kind of festive cheer that’ll make your holidays memorable. There’s a full stocking’s worth of Christmas joy to be had here for folks of all ages. Check out just a few ways to celebrate the season in Cedar Park below.
Ride the Rails to a Winter Wonderland
Savor hot cocoa and a locally baked cookie and get into the Christmas spirit as you go on a one-of-a-kind journey with Santa Claus. It’s all part of the festive merriment on the Austin Steam Train Association’s North Pole Flyer. Climb aboard and you’ll be whisked away on a magical journey to a winter wonderland, all the while listening to a live reading of the railroad’s own Christmas story. Along the way, Santa and Mrs. Claus will stop by for photographs and to hand out presents to all the good little boys and girls. The North Pole Flyer runs from mid-November to early December and is a must-experience for families and anyone looking to get the most out of their holiday season.
Kick Off the Holiday Season with a Festive Tree Lighting Ceremony
It doesn’t feel like Christmas until the tree is lit, but the folks in Cedar Park take this to the next level. Cedar Park has created the perfect holiday photo opportunity with Santa’s Sleigh Selfies at Heritage Oak Park. From December 4 to January 3, the giant Heritage Oak tree will be aglow with more than 30,000 lights for the holiday season. Santa’s sleigh will also be there - making the perfect prop for your holiday photos.
Get Your Christmas Shopping Done in Style
Whether you’re an early shopper or a procrastinator, you’ll find all you need to check off your Christmas gift list in Cedar Park. You name it, you’ll find it at The Parke, a sprawling outdoor shopping center with stores like DSW, Nordstrom Rack, Ulta, Old Navy, and more. If you’re in the market for something unique for that one-of-a-kind person in your life, check out Cedar Park’s boutiques. Beau Kisses, Grit & Grace Boutique, Ruby Keys Boutique, and Honey and Hay stock their own collections of fashionable and upscale women’s clothing, jewelry, and home décor, so visiting each is a must.
Cozy Up in a Coffee Shop
When it starts to get chilly outside, there’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee. If you’re going to indulge in a cup of Joe, do so at one of Cedar Park’s local cafes. Beyond its charming rustic ambiance, Black Sugar Caffe is where you can try something of an Austin-area obsession: the Cloud Puff Latte. A sweet latte base provides the platform for a large mound of cotton candy, an unusual sight that’d be right at home on your Instagram page. There are other inventive coffees as well, such as The Wicked latte with espresso, mocha, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, or the Crème Brulee latte that comes with caramelized marshmallow cream. They also serve beer and tea if you want to change it up.
Of course, Black Sugar Caffe isn’t the only spot for coffee lovers in Cedar Park. Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co. also has house-brewed coffee and its own craft beer, as well as a selection of other craft brews from around the state on tap. Order your drink of choice and a locally baked scone, then settle in for a few rounds of your favorite board game. Whether you’re with friends or your kids, this is the kind of place you’ll want to hang out for a while.
These are just a few of the ways you’ll enjoy the holiday season in Cedar Park. Discover more here and create your own Christmas memories.
About the Author: James Waterson is the head writer and content specialist for Tour Texas. When he isn’t writing about the many great places in the state of Texas, he’s planning his next epic adventure in the Lone Star State.