December 21, 2012

Day Trip - Zilker Park Trail of Lights

by B, UnexpectedlyExpecting

This past Thursday, we braved the crowds, the traffic and the potential parking nightmare and headed down to our very own Zilker Park for the return of the Trail of Lights. For the past two years, the famous light show has been suspended due to a budget shortfall with the city, but after much petitioning (and I suspect a few very generous donors), this year the Trail of Lights returned, and the three of us all decided to pay it our very first visit! 

Austin's been running a bit warm these days, but on that particular night, temperatures were in the high 30's and low 40's, making it feel very wintry indeed! Not being the most prepared family for that type of weather, Ava bundled up in David's scarf for most of the night, and nestled into his jacket with him! Awww...

This trail, unlike the RoundRock Rock'N Lights display, was one that you walked (brrr!), and was much longer than I had expected. I am definitely glad we went, though, especially considering we found decent, free parking, and admission to the actual trail is FREE! It seems sure to become a family tradition for us!

Check out what you're missing if you've yet to go, and keep in mind that Dec. 23rd the last night:
 
The gorgeous landscape, against the backdrop of the city.
 
The famed entryway.
 
The pictures don't do this justice, but it's a Christmas light recreation of the water cycle!! Awesome!

As David called him, "The Green Scrooge?" Ha!
 
What would a Christmas display be without a Santa?

Ava loved the dinosaur draped over the tree. I loved the tree :)
 
Everyone's favorite cartoon characters made an apperance...
 
Charlie Brown and Snoopy!
 
...including Dora! Ava spent the rest of the night worried about Boots' absence.

Me: "Look! It's the baby Jesus!" Ava: "But where is Boots?"
 
Candyland! Definitely a highlight!
 
For my mom...
 
The honey tree.
 
A blurry pic of Ava and daddy, all bundled up.

Happy holidays! Again, tonight is the final night for this year's Zilker Park Trail of Lights, so if you can brave the cold and the crowds, I highly recommend it. There are also free children's books at the end, courtesy of HEB, and they're worth the trip alone! Food trucks dominate this year, with the smell of Kebabalicious and Hero's Gyros still making my mouth water! The trail is free, though parking on site is $10. Since that's nearly impossible, you can park for $5 at the Austin High lot, or find street parking for free, if you're lucky! I've seen lots of people advise to take strollers, but not only were they a humongous pain to navigate through, the kids sitting in them could see virtually nothing. We were happy to be stroller-less!

Enjoy! 
 
B writes regularly at UnexpectedlyExpecting, where she muses on everything from the trials and tribulations of parenthood to family-friendly happenings in the Austin area.

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