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Dec 18, 2011 09:18 PM

Christmas Eve Downtown. Is it crazy busy or worth the risk?

We were going to go to San Antonio for the weekend, but decided to stay home and now at the last minute need something to do on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day I suppose. Any recommendations for Christmas Eve? Is it packed downtown? Should we just stay home a grill something (YAY the lifting of the burn ban). Since we live in NORTH NORTH Austin I also wouldn't mind suggestions in the Round Rock area either.

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  1. I don't think downtown gets all that busy. Most people are traveling or staying put at home. In fact, if there was a particular place you're looking to go, I would check first to make sure they're even open.

    Considering your location, my suggestion would be to go to for Chinese food (Ho Ho, Din Ho, Asia Cafe, or First Chinese BBQ), followed by a nightcap at the Draught House. Those will all be open on Christmas Eve/Day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jwynne2000

      What is the deal with Ho Ho? Just went there for the first time, and I didn't get the big whoop. The service was slow and it seemed like we were troubling the waiter and the food was, well, meh. The Egg drop soup was good, but nothing all that great. The way people describe I thought that my mouth would explode with deliciousness, but alas, all I got was a bunch o' noodles and a few cheap chewy pieces of meat. But I like the Draught House idea. May need to swing over there.

      1. re: tdombrow

        What did you order at Ho Ho (besides egg drop soup)?

    2. Back to the original topic: Downtown is pretty quiet Christmas Eve, but don't despair: Just across the River is The Armadillo Christmas Bazarr, with live music, food, and lots of arts and crafts booths. This is a 35-year tradition in Austin, and not-to-be-missed. Like taking a step back into the 70's Austin we loved so much. There are bands playing all day, with the last band taking the stage at 8PM. It closes at 11PM. The food is excellent, mostly hot sandwiches and the like. It is held in the Palmer Events Center, just west of the Long Center.

      1 Reply
      1. re: travisleroy

        Thanks Travisleroy. I had heard about the Christmas Bazaar, but never got around to visiting it. We've decided to do the Alamo drafthouse at the Ritz and see Sherlock Holmes and Die Hard. But maybe we'll stop by the bazaar and see what's there.