AUSTIN (KXAN) — As winter break approaches for many school-age and college students, you might be wondering how to spend the free time or celebrate the holidays close to home.

Here are some day trips from Austin that are less than two hours away, but could still give you a mini-vacation feeling:

Wimberley: 47-minute drive from Austin

Wimberley has celebrated the holidays with its annual Trail of Lights at the EmilyAnn Theatre for 24 years now. Visitors can stroll six acres of trails that are lit up until Dec. 26.

Gruene: 54-minute drive from Austin

The town of Gruene has a slew of holiday events listed on its website, including the 30th Annual Jingle Bell Run taking place Dec. 10. Take photos with Cowboy Kringle, Gruene’s own brand of Santa, on the weekends through Dec. 18. Live holiday-themed music is also being offered at what is called Texas’ oldest dancehall, Gruene Hall.

Round Top: 1 hour, 19-minute drive from Austin

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind antique or vintage Christmas gift, Round Top is the place to look. The small Fayette County town is known for its shopping, arts and culture. There are holiday-themed events in town each weekend of December leading up to Christmas.

San Antonio: 1 hour, 12-minute drive from Austin

The Riverwalk is decked out again this year with holiday lights. The attraction will be around through Jan. 9. You can even take downtown river cruises to experience the lights.

In addition to that event, several holiday shows like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol will be performed. Learn more at

Fredericksburg: 1 hour, 45-minute drive from Austin

Holiday decorations in Fredericksburg, Texas. (KXAN Photo/Heather Irving)

Fredericksburg, a Hill County town known for its German heritage, has plenty of Weihnachtszeit — or Christmastime — charm for visitors to enjoy. There’s a German Christmas pyramid, ice skating and a 30-foot Christmas tree, plus “Christmas Nights of Lights” which takes place every evening until Jan. 6, according to