The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a vibrant and immersive fine art and music festival that takes place annually during the holiday season. For nearly five decades this cherished Austin tradition has stood the test of time in a constantly evolving city featuring a diverse array of talented artists and musicians from across Texas and beyond, showcasing unique creations and captivating performances.
The Armadillo is widely regarded as a must-visit event for anyone interested in fine art and high quality handmade gifts. Visitors can browse and purchase original artworks and other artisanal delights from over 200 artists specializing in creating one-of-a-kind pieces that are not found anywhere else. Not just an art fair but also a music festival, Armadillo has a reputation for showcasing a variety of talented local musicians as well as established national acts on an intimate stage.
In addition to the bustling shopping and music scene, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar offers a lively and festive atmosphere, complete with food and several bars. Whether you’re a seasoned collector, a casual holiday shopper, a music fan or simply looking to get into the holiday spirit, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an unforgettable experience that celebrates the culture and creativity of Austin and beyond. More information can be found at armadillobazaar.com
Meet the artists and make a connection at the Armadillo. One of the defining characteristics of the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is the high quality of the artwork on display and the opportunity to shop small and support makers as you learn about the artist’s process and inspiration. The personal connection adds a special meaning to the artwork.
The festival attracts a talented and accomplished group of artists who specialize in a wide range of mediums. Many of the artists specialize in creating one-of-a-kind pieces that are not found anywhere else with a range of styles, from traditional to contemporary, and from whimsical to serious. Artists are carefully selected for their exceptional skill, creativity, and originality, and are known for producing some of the most beautiful and unique pieces of art in the country.
The festival provides a platform for artists and artisans to showcase their work and connect with customers who appreciate handmade items. The treasures you discover will deck your halls for a lifetime as you return each year to build your personal collection. The art at Armadillo is diverse, creative, and full of holiday cheer and offers something for everyone, from seasoned art collectors to casual holiday shoppers looking for a unique gift.
Find fantastic music all day and into the night at Armadillo’s infamous intimate music stage! With a reputation for high quality sound, the music at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar creates a lively and festive atmosphere, with many attendees dancing and enjoying the performances.
The festival’s music lineup changes from year to year, ranging from Austin’s original favorites to rising stars. Many national touring bands love to come home for the holidays to the Armadillo Stage, as our audience warmly welcomes musical performances with a mix of genres that appeal to a wide range of tastes.
Limited seating is available, but most folks tend to tap their toes while they shop the aisles. The music adds to the festive atmosphere and creates a sense of community and celebration.
You can’t help but get into the holiday spirit when strolling through the Armadillo! The colorful art displays, upbeat music, festive decor and joyful atmosphere create the vibe that makes the Armadillo a long-time favorite art and music festival in Austin. Armadillo brings together people from all walks of life. It’s an opportunity for locals to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and enjoy an Austin tradition that truly captures the essence of the holiday season.
Awe inspiring pop-up galleries, gift shops, full bars, festive photo ops, and an intimate stage that carries the music throughout the venue make this the place where Austin holiday magic happens.
The Armadillo also hosts the National String Off Knot Throwing Competition each year, doing our best to keep Austin weird. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, hanging out and enjoying days of music and art for a true festival experience or find joy in last minute shopping for handmade gifts, the festival has something for everyone.
Christmas in Austin
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has been a beloved holiday tradition in Austin since 1976, standing the test of time in a constantly evolving city. It all began when Bruce Willenzik, kitchen manager at the Armadillo World Headquarters and now Executive Producer of the Armadillo, had an inspiring conversation with Lucinda Williams. She wished that her artist friends had a dry place to sell their art during Christmas, and from that fateful moment, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar was born.
Over the years, the festival has taken place at several venues, including the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters, Cherry Creek Plaza, the Austin Opry House Ballroom (later named “The Terrace”), Austin Music Hall, the Convention Center, and now the Palmer Events Center on Barton Springs Rd. The festival’s Producers, Bruce Willenzik, Annie Harding, and Anne Johnson, have created an “Armadillo family” and are dedicated to curating an event that stays true to the out-of-the-box thinking and supportive environment for creatives that the Armadillo World Headquarters was known for. The mission: “To enhance the sphere of prosperity for the good of the community” is apparent in the way that the Producers foster art careers, mentor and nurture artists.
The Armadillo family extends to everyone who walks through the door. It’s not uncommon to see people hugging with joy in the aisles as new friendships are forged and old ones rekindled. The festival has never lost touch with its roots, it remains committed to celebrating culture and creativity by combining fine art and high quality live music, in a festive and welcoming atmosphere.