The Weekenders: Events for Austin Families, December 21-23, 2012

Mueller Solstice Lights- Even though it is the longest night the traditional Luminaries will light up the Mueller Park. Participants are welcome to bring their families and enjoy some hot chocolate, cookies and beautiful light installations in our Mueller Neighborhood. FREE!! Friday, December 21, 2012 6-9 pm. Mueller Browning Hangar/Surrounding Park, 4600 Mueller Blvd.

 Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at The Domain I and II – Complimentary horse drawn carriage rides (tips accepted) on Fridays and Saturdays through the holiday season. Go to Macy’s or Dillard’s for pickup. FREE!! The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin.

Austin Trail of Lights-The Austin Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B is making the season bright with a celebration rich in tradition, shared stories and community. Each night the trail opens at 6:30 pm and offers a complete holiday outing with performances, fun activities and dining opportunities. Nightly celebrations will feature a special theme and highlight numerous performers, dancers, singers, musicians and carolers on the Trail of Lights Entertainment Stage, presented by EZCORP. The gate closes promptly at 10 pm, so visitors arriving after 9 pm won’t be able to make it through the trail. Through December 23rd. FREE!! Zilker Park.

Rock ‘N Lights Holiday Light Tour- Rock’N Lights is a brand new drive-thru light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park from Dec. 3 to Dec. 31. The 2 million lights, 1 ½ mile path is a must see event of the season! Rock’N Lights Village is a full-scale carnival with rides and refreshment at the end of the display in the Dell Diamond parking lot. Rock’N Lights Village will be open to the public during regular operating evenings (weather permitting). Open nightly: Sunday- Thursday, 6:00- 9:00pm and Friday and Saturday, 6:00- 10:00pm. Admission: $15 per family car.  Old Settlers Park, Round Rock.

Minor Mishap Marching Band Solstice Lantern Parade - A booty shakin’ parade of light! Gather at the Gazebo at Auditorium Shores, 800 West Riverside Drive.  FREE!! Friday, 6:00pm with doors opening at 5:30pm.

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar- Shop and listen to live music! There’s even a full bar! There are over 160 artists displaying their wares. Admission is $5 weekdays before 7:00pm and $8 on nights and weekends. Kids 12 and under are free. Daily until December 24th from  11:00am to 11:00pm. The bazaar is located in the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar- Running daily from 10:00am- 10:00pm until December 24th, this bazaar offers items from over 130 artists and craftspeople. There are plenty of items available: paintings, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, accessories, glassworks, ceramics, prints, photography, and plenty of miscellany and surprises that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s FREE and there is plenty of parking as well. They are located at The Marchesa Hall and Theatre on 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd., just across the street from the Highland Mall Macy’s.

Whole Foods Ice Skating on the Plaza- Join us for ice skating on the Plaza from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm daily at the Lamar store location on the Plaza. The cost per person is $10. Listen to music, sip cocoa, or buy a cup of soup. Enjoy the season with us. Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.

Central Market North Lamar– Live music and dancing, oh my!  This is a great spot for parents to enjoy music while letting their kids burn some energy on the playground.  There are also ducks to feed in the nearby pond.  Here is the lineup of FREE entertainment.

  • Friday,  6:30 – 9:00pm- Warren Hood will perform a special holiday blend of jazz, blues, newgrass Americana.
  • Saturday, 6:30pm -9:00pm- The Tea Merchants will perform a special Celtic Christmas show.

Zilker Tree- December 3-31, 6 pm – 12 midnight, tree on display nightly.  REMINDER – December 15-23 the area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights.   If you are planning to visit the Holiday Tree itself, make sure to plan around those nights! Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells- Follow sassy first- grader Junie B. Jones and her classmates as they embark on a hilarious adventure this holiday season! This heart-warming, family-friendly story is a sure reminder of what the holidays are all about–the joy of giving! Director Susan Gayle Todd returns with a slew of talented actors to bring this story to life, based on the wildly popular book series by Barbara Park. Enjoyed by ages 5 and up. Tickets: $10 for all ages over 12, $8 ages 3-12. Friday, 7:00pm and Saturday, 11:00am and 1:00pm. Scottish Rite Theater, 18th and Lavaca.

The Elf on the Shelf Storytime- Join us for a special Elf on the Shelf Storytime. FREE!! Saturday, 11:00am.  Barnes and Noble, Sunset Valley Village, 5601 Brodie Lane Suite 300 and Lakeline Crossing, 14010 US Hwy. 183.

3rd Annual Holiday Lights and Ice- Get in the spirit with skating, s’mores, games, twinkling lights and more! This year, Austin’s largest outdoor ice rink is getting even better. Our new 4,100 square foot ice rink will be located next to our lighted tennis courts, and will be accompanied by a display of 200,000 lights! The ice rink will be open from Wednesday, November 21 through Sunday, January 6*, offering local residents, club members and resort guests the opportunity to lace up their skates and enjoy festive holiday cheer and seasonal treats. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central & South Texas, benefiting local children in need. Find out how much it will cost here. And the hours of operation here. Barton Creek Resort and Spa, 8212 Baton Club Drive.

Holiday Music in the Park- Take a break from holiday shopping to enjoy  holiday music in the restaurant courtyard of the Arboretum near Blue Baker. FREE!! Friday, The Arboretum, 10000 Research Blvd.

Food-Free Family Storytime-The Round Rock Public Library presents Food-Free Family Storytime, a reading activity that welcomes families with children of all ages to a fun environment that’s safe for individuals affected by food allergies.This interactive program includes a variety of activities such as books, fingerplays, music, movies, and puppets. FREE!! Saturday, 10:30. The Round Rock Public Library, 216 E. Main Street, Round Rock.

Craft Time for Kids: Wintertime Napkin Ring- Children make a nifty napkin holder, perfect for special holiday dinners.  FREE!! Saturday, 11:00am- 3:00pm. Lakeshore Learning Center, 9828 Great Hills Trail.

Domain Holiday Movie Series- The Domain invites families to watch their favorite holiday movies on the plaza! Saturday, 12/22 Polar Express. FREE!! Saturdays, 6:00 p.m. The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace. (Plaza in Domain II, Near The Range Golf Club & Sports Bar)

What’s the Story Steve?– Move Your Tale and ColdTowne Theater collaborate to present this fully improvised theatrical journey through a story of the audience’s making. Featuring Steve the improvising poodle, a portion of the show follows Steve through an original tale. Pay what you wish. Appropriate for audiences of all ages. A return to MYT’s classic event structure, kids will join us on the stage for the entire event, providing sound effects, characters and settings for for every story. This is a chance to create original tales, and to perform them right away! Saturday at 10 a.m. ColdTowne Theater, 4803 Airport Blvd.

Monster Families-Sundays at the Hideout, Flying Theater Machine presents kid-oriented improv right here in Austin. The audience will help us with suggestions and sound effects, and a few lucky kids will even get to join us on stage. Watch the Baby monster and its monster family learn that humans can be fun.  Tickets: $8. Sunday, 2:00pm. The Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave.

Cherrywood Kid’s Show- Bring the kids out to see a FREE show by Boone Graham and Friends.  Sunday, 10:30am. Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E. 381/2 Street.

Whole Foods Kids’ Club - Hey kids, stop by and check out what’s going on at Kid’s Club. Each week we have an exciting activity that will let you play with your food plus learn a couple things along the way. FREE!! Sunday, 1:00pm. Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar.