With its breakfast tacos and Airstream trailer boutiques, Austin is one of Rach’s favorite cities and a fun and funky place for holiday cheer. She fell in love with it when she first visited 17 years ago. So we asked her bud Bob Schneider (below), a local singer-songwriter who hosts a holiday show every year with his Moonlight Orchestra at Austin’s Moody Theater, to give us his picks for where to go for a merry Tex-mas.

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bob schneider austin
Photography by Andrew Flieller
| Credit: Photography by Andrew Flieller
lala's little nugget
Credit: Photography by Monica R.F. Payne; Lettering by Erik Marinovich

Deck the Bars at Lala’s Little Nugget 

It's Christmas every day at this iconic dive (above), which has resided at a strip mall since 1972. Ownership changed hands in 2015, but the holiday decor remains: strewn tinsel, mirrored ornaments, and a tricked-out tree. Grab a glass of their popular Bloody Mary (above, left) and raise a toast to St. Nick, who can be found on the rooftop. lalasaustintexas.com

gingerbread village four seasons
Credit: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Go House Hunting at Gingerbread Village at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin 

The annual gingerbread-house extravaganza returns to the Four Seasons lobby this year with a Monopoly twist: Ten houses will be displayed on a table modeled on the game board. Visitors can win a $200 gift certificate from the hotel, so do not pass go! fourseasons.com/austin

Stay On Track at the North Pole Flyer

There's hardly anything my two-year-old likes better than trains. Back for its 10th year, this jolly two-hour ride hosted by the Austin Steam Train Association includes a live reading of a holiday story, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa, and quality time with fellow passengers Mr. and Mrs. Claus. austinsteamtrain.org

armadillo christmas bazaar
Credit: Photography by Jennifer M. Ramos

Have An Arty Holiday at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 

I'm a last-minute shopper, so I love this hybrid art fair and music festival (running from December 14 to 24 at the Palmer Events Center) because you can always find something one of a kind. Buy jewelry, ceramics, and photo prints, then kick back with live performances from local bands. armadillobazaar.com

Get Lit at the Austin Trail of Lights 

Born in 1965 as the low-key Yule Fest, this has grown into one of Austin's largest events. There are more than 2 million lights and umpteen festivities from December 9 to 23. It's a real treat watching your kids' eyes fill with wonder when you're walking around there. Get in on the action early on December 2 with the Fun Run, which culminates in a Finish Line Festival complete with food trucks, free beer, a yoga tent, and a costume contest. austintrailoflights.org