2014 Holiday Happenings Guide

Holidays at The Domain

The Domain’s Annual Lighting of the Great TreeSunday, November 23

The Domain will kick off the holiday season with the lighting of its 40-foot Christmas tree – featuring 6,000 twinkling lights, 400 ornaments and a 5-foot star topper – during the eighth annual lighting of The Great Tree. The 30-minute tree-lighting show will feature dynamic musical performances, culminating with the lighting of the tree by Santa himself at 6 p.m. Starting at noon in the Domain II, guests can enjoy free holiday entertainment, performances by area schools, special in-store events, craft activities, face painting, caricature drawings, balloon twisting stations and more. FREE!

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides at The Domain – Fridays & Saturday, November 29 – December 24, 5–9 p.m.

Enjoy complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides each Friday and Saturday night between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pickup locations near Santa’s Workshop and at the Macy’s north entrance by California Pizza Kitchen. The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace.

Breakfast with Santa at The Domain – Saturday, December 6, 9 a.m.–noon

Don’t miss The Domain’s annual Breakfast with Santa in its biggest and best year yet! Enjoy breakfast, live music, character appearances, holiday games (with prizes!), letters to Santa, face painting, balloon twisting and more fun! FREE! Domain II, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace.

Featured Events

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Scottish Rite Theater’s Kids of the Magi- December 13 and 20 at 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.; December 21 at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

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Kids of the Magi is a heartwarming Scottish Rite Theater holiday original based on a classic favorite! The Scottish Rite stage is graced with a haunting by William Sydney Porter (a.k.a. O. Henry) who guides the audience through the lesson of the Magi. The play includes a play-within-the-play, a dramatized version of the original Victorian story, “The Gift of the Magi,” which is echoed in the lives of school children Jamie and Dale. The one is an accomplished athlete; the other is an outstanding musician whose prized possessions are a foil and a ukulele. All ages. Tickets available online and at the door one hour before showtime. Cost: $8 kids, $12 adults. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street.


Local Favorites

Christmas in the Community – November 22- December 22, various times

The Austin Symphony is excited to announce a brand new program this holiday season that will bring FREE music to all Austinites. Christmas in the Community is a series of twelve concerts held throughout the city of Austin featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. The program kicks off on November 22nd at the Domain with their annual tree lighting ceremony and concludes December 22nd with a performance at the State Capitol. All twelve dates, times, and locations are listed on the website. Christmas in the Community is proudly sponsored by Macy’s.

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Lights Display – November 22-January 4

Starting on Saturday, November 22st at 6:00pm and running through January 4th, Mozart’s annual lights display takes place every hour on the hour until midnight. The show lasts fifteen minutes, but there is plenty of time before and afterwards to enjoy a hot chocolate or something from the dessert case. Here is a video from last year, although the display changes from year to year. Mozart’s does get crowded, so plan to get there in advance, and consider dropping guests off since the parking lot fills up quickly (there is additional parking across the street). It’s also a lovely, centrally-located spot to enjoy the lakeside view and look for ducks. NOTE: Mozart’s is closed on Thanksgiving Day.

4th Annual Second Street District Window Walk – November 23 – December 6

The 2SD Holiday Window Walk is an annual competition open to local theatrical design students, where 2SD businesses let their storefront windows become the students’ canvases for an opportunity to win collegiate scholarships. On Saturday, December 6, the winning window design, chosen from a theme of lyrics from holiday songs and Christmas carols and lines from classic holiday stories and films, will be announced during the “Deck the District” event from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., where window walkers can stroll the 2ND Street District, enjoy carolers and an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus, and take advantage of the in-store specials at 2ND Street District shops.

A Christmas Carol at ZACH Theatre – November 26 – December 28, various times

Spectacular holiday carols and surprising time-bending classics whisk your family on a captivating ride with the three soulful, rockin’ ghosts in Scrooge’s transformative dream. This inspiring, original adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic features a traditional Victorian setting and gorgeous period costumes, but with a musical score that spans genres and eras, from rousing gospel to rock-n-soul favorites, and from nostalgic harmony classics to contemporary hits. Just like the music in the films Moulin Rouge, Scrooged and The Great Gatsby, ZACH’s A Christmas Carol is infused with a playful, joyous and heartfelt celebration of the season. Tickets start at $50. ZACH Theatre, 1510 Toomey Rd.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar – November 28 – December 24, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday shopping season. The Bazaar features unique work from more than 200 local and regional artists – with a portion of proceeds going to Make-A-Wish®. Parking and admission are always FREE of charge. Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd.

Elf: The MusicalFriday, November 28 – Sunday, November 30, various times

Elf is the tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. The musical takes place at The Long Center. Tickets start at $29 ($5 “eyeGO to the Arts” tickets are available for high school students). Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Dr.

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children ParadeSaturday, November 29, starts at 11 a.m.

This parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Texas Capitol and moves south on Congress, all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge. The hour-long procession features giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, marching bands, cool classic cars and Santa! At a designated time towards the end of the parade, Santa’s Helpers will line the parade route and help spectators donate new, unwrapped toys to Operation Blue Santa, which brings Christmas magic to children under 15 years old that otherwise might not receive any gifts. FREE! Congress Ave.

Zilker Holiday Tree LightingSunday, November 30, 6 p.m.

The Zilker Tree has been lighting the Austin skies during the holiday season since 1967. The tree, which is located in Zilker Park, will be lit for the first time by the winners of a citywide coloring contest. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and features local entertainment, food, novelties and live music. (Please bring cash if you’d like to patronize the vendors.) Performers include the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble and the Barton Hills Choir. FREE! Zilker Park. The Zilker Tree will be lit and on display nightly from December 1-31.

Snow Day – Saturdays & Sundays in December, noon–4 p.m.

It snows every weekend in December before Christmas at the Hill Country Galleria! Join us for a family fun day as we bring real snow to the Hill Country Galleria! Toss a snowball, build a snow man, make a snow angel, and take fun family photos! Enjoy live holiday music, holiday carolers, and more from noon-4 p.m. every day that it snows! Rain or shine. FREE!  Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave.

Tree Lighting at the DriskillTuesday, December 2, 6 p.m.

Enjoy choral performances and seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Quartet in celebration of the annual Lighting of The Driskill Tree honoring Ben Breedlove. The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

Handel’s Messiah – Tuesday, December 2, 8 p.m.

The Austin Symphony once again presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Chorus Austin for you and your family in its NEW location. This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Let us begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing!  Tickets start at $15. Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway.

Four Seasons Gingerbread Open House – Tuesday, December 2 & Wednesday, December 3, 5-6 p.m.

Get a closer look at the amazing gingerbread houses at a FREE open house with complimentary hot apple cider, Candy Land-themed treats, photos with Santa and the opportunity to meet Javier and the other talented pastry chefs behind the Village. Lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel, 98 San Jacinto Blvd.

Mueller Tower Lighting – Tuesday, December 2, 68 p.m.

Join Mueller for the ninth annual Tower Lighting. Attendees will enjoy live music from the Reagan High School band drumline, crafts, delicious holiday treats and activities for the entire family. Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes will help usher in the holiday season by turning on the NOEL lights atop the historic control tower. FREE! Mueller Tower.

Holiday Music Wednesdays and Thursdays: December 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 5-7 p.m.

Ring in the holidays with seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Quartet. The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

Seventh Annual Lights of Love 5K – Friday, December 5, 5:308:30 p.m.

Kick off your holiday season at the Ronald McDonald House Lights of Love 5K. Run, walk or jog the 5K, stroll in the family fun run, take pictures with Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald, and enjoy food, kids’ crafts, music and enough holiday spirit to last through the entire season! Ronald McDonald House, 1315 Barbara Jordan Pkwy.

Ebenezer’s Journey: A Dickens’ Christmas Story – December 5, 6, 13 & 14, 710 p.m.

This special interactive program based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” will recreate various scenes of Dickens’ classic 1843 tale on four nights in December. Bring the family to Pioneer Farms this holiday season for a most unusual event, “Ebenezer’s Journey.” Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history. Then experience the classic Dickens tale like never before, as our actors take you into the story with an interactive theatrical presentation staged in the historic old buildings at Pioneer Farms. Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future will come to life as you witness the joys the sorrows and the chills of the unforgettable experience. Of course, you have an important role to play as well, for you are Ebenezer Scrooge! Cost: Tickets are just $12 per person. Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Dr.

The Nutcracker: Suite Dreams – Friday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 6, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 7, 2:30 p.m. 

Come see what has made this ballet a family favorite, but with a new twist on the story.  Clara will travel through a second dream before returning to reality, and along the way will meet new characters that will dance their way into your hearts. Keeping in the spirit of Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble (AMDE) tradition, the audience will enjoy many genres of dance as they make their way through these dreamscapes. Featuring the masterfully trained artists of AMDE, “The Nutcracker: Suite Dreams” is a must-see for the entire family. The “Suite Dreams” wine reception, sponsored by Whole Foods, will be held prior to the evening production on Saturday, Dec. 6. We invite you to come enjoy delicious food and wine in the lower lobby of the theater from 67 p.m. that evening, and those in attendance will have priority seating for the 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets start at $15. George W. Carver Museum Theater, 1165 Angelina St.

Breakfast with Santa at The Domain – Saturday, December 6, 9 a.m.–noon

Don’t miss The Domain’s annual Breakfast with Santa in its biggest and best year yet! Enjoy breakfast, live music, character appearances, holiday games (with prizes!), letters to Santa, face painting, balloon twisting and more fun! FREE! Domain II, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace.

German Christmas Market – Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The German-Texan Heritage Society offers shoppers handmade, imported crafts including plenty of Christmas-themed decorations such as nutcrackers and ornaments. It is a festival atmosphere with traditional German Christmas music, tables full of handcrafted items direct from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, a visit by both our historic American Santa Claus and the traditional German Sankt Nikolas with gifts for the children, a hospitality serving of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), coffee, apple cider/juice and gingerbread cookies and plenty of German style baked goodies for purchase. All purchases are Sales Tax Free on this special day. FREE admission. German Free School, 507 E. 10th St.

Santa at La Patisserie – Saturday, December 6, 2-4:30 p.m.

All that visit will be treated to complimentary hot chocolate and sweets. Santa will talk to the children and be available for photos.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Music of Vince Guaraldi – Saturday, December 6, 3:30 p.m.

This is the perfect holiday tradition, with all the music from the original TV holiday classic performed LIVE! Featuring Michelle Schumann, piano, Utah Hamrick, bass, and David Sierra, drums, and presented by Austin Chamber Music Center. Tickets starting at $20. The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Event – Saturday, December 6, 4-6 p.m.

Enjoy performances by The Austin Carolers, Tarrytown Dance, the Reilly Elementary School Choir and the Lamar Middle School Jazz Band while you watch the holiday tree lighting at the Triangle. Train rides, balloon twisters, face painting, cookie decorating, photos with Santa and ornament decorating with also be available. FREE.

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Holiday Stroll – Saturday, December 6, 6 p.m.

The annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll is a FREE, family-friendly event that celebrates the arrival of the holiday season and the joy it brings. The evening starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season during KUTX 98.9 “Eklektikos” host John Aielli’s Holiday Sing-Along. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol Christmas tree begins, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m., Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers. Additional Stroll activities include classic holiday cartoons, photos with Santa, live music, a special holiday Farmers’ Market with the Sustainable Food Center, and much more. Support fellow members of the community by bringing non-perishable food or cash donations to the Capitol Christmas tree for the Capital Area Food Bank.

Deck the District – Saturday, December 6, 1–6 p.m.

Window walkers can stroll the Second Street District, enjoy carolers and an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus, and take advantage of the in-store specials at Second Street District shops. The “Deck the District” event will be FREE and fun for all ages. Second Street District.

Tex-Arts The Nutcracker – Saturday, December 6, 2 & 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 7, 2 p.m.

Bring the whole family and be swept off your feet as this holiday favorite comes to life on stage! Come join a festive party, fight off the Mouse King, see the Land of Snow and watch in wonder as the Sugar Plum Fairy hosts a dazzling array of dances! Don’t miss out on this once-a-year opportunity. It’s the perfect holiday treat! Tickets start at $15. St. Michaels Catholic Academy, 3000 Barton Creek Blvd.

Violet Crown Arts Festival – Saturday, December 6 & Sunday, December 7, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Expect to find unique artwork from talented sculptors, potters, and fiber artists, painters, jewelers, glass artists, woodworkers and metal smiths. Shop for handmade gifts and great quality art, and support local cottage businesses. It’s always FREE admission for the whole family! Live music and food vendors will also be onsite. Brentwood Elementary School, 6700 Arroyo Seco.

Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker – December 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. & December  7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23 at 2 p.m.

An army of mischievous mice, a bevy of bon-bons, a sprinkle of sparkling snowflakes, and one jovial Mother Ginger … plus the Austin Symphony Orchestra! With an enchanting new production, featuring the set design by the extraordinary artistry of Holly Highfill and exquisite costumes by internationally renowned designer Judanna Lynn, the 2013 premiere thrilled record audiences with new magical moments. Join us for this 52nd annual production bringing a fresh new experience to Austin’s beloved holiday tradition. Tickets start at $15. Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Dr.

Zilker Trail of Lights – December 7–21, 7-10 p.m.

Visit the Trail of Lights and take a spin under the Zilker Tree! It’s the 50th year and all of the stops have been pulled. Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. With the purchase of a ZiP Pass, trail-goers can enter the Trail starting at 6:15 p.m. Zilker Tree on display nightly. Be sure to check the Insider’s Guide for tips on getting there and parking. (Note: December 6, from 7-10 p.m. 5K Fun Run.) Cost: Free Monday–Thursday; $3 Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Zilker Park.

African Children’s Choir with Sara Hickman – Sunday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The African Children’s Choir returns to Saint John’s for a concert celebrating the release of the group’s new CD collaboration with Austin musician Sara Hickman. The CD, “Love is a Journey”, will be released in December. The African Children’s Choir is composed of children ages 7 to 10. Many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. They represent all the children of the continent and demonstrate the potential of African children to become strong leaders for a better future in their land. Over the past 20 years, the children have appeared in thousands of concerts around the world. St. John’s United Methodist Church, 2140 Allandale Rd.

Delysia Chocolate Event – Sunday, December 7, 2–5 p.m.

Join us for a free holiday event at our chocolate culinary center. Children will have the opportunity to make their own chocolate bar and visit with Santa Claus. We’ll also be screening a children’s holiday classic to commemorate the festive season. This is surely not to be missed! FREE! Delysia Chocolatier, 2000 Windy Terrace, Ste. 2C.

Christmas in Austin Holiday Ice Show – Sunday, December 7, 6:30–8 p.m.

Figure skaters, singers and dancers perform Austin’s unique holiday traditions on ice! General admission (standing room only) FREE with canned good donation. VIP on-ice seating ($20) and assigned barstool seating ($15) available now for purchase. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Ln.

MetroMoms Austin: Holiday Hop – Monday, December 8, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Hop on over to Austin’s newest indoor play center to rock around the tree, do some holiday crafts and have fun. All who register will be interested into raffles and receive a goody bag. $10 per adult/child and $3 for each additional child (kids under one are free). Hop’n’Happy, 10401 Anderson Mill Rd.

14th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker – December 12–14 & 19–21, various timesAdvertisement

Share Clara’s adventures she as she battles a giant Rat King and transforms her Nutcracker doll into a Prince. Together, Clara and the Prince visit the magical Land of Snow and travel to the Kingdom of Sweets in an enchanted sleigh. First-timers and seasoned fans alike will be delighted by the magic of our 13th annual production of this timeless classic. $15 for children 3–11 years old; $25 for ages 12 and up. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd.

3rd Annual Festival of Carols- December 13, from 1-5 p.m.

The holidays are here! Celebrate  at the museum with an afternoon of music, crafts, and activities. Admission is FREE! Some crafts and activities may require the purchase of tickets. Concessions will be available. Bring chairs or blankets and enjoy the holiday festivities! French Legation Museum, 802 San Marcos Street.

Follow the Elves: Grand Finale – Saturday, December 13, 2–4 p.m.

Join us at the grand finale to watch all four episodes of our puppet web series of the “Shoemaker & the Elves” and get ready to craft your heart out! FREE! Austin Public Library, Manchaca Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd.

Recycled Reads Holiday Open House – Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14,  from 12-6 p.m.

Join us for live music all day Saturday, with a special musical storytime at 4:30 PM. On Sunday, we’ll have more live music and a carol sing-along. The open house celebrates diverse holiday traditions including programs with string quartets, ballet folklorico, mariachis, Dreidel-making, Kwanzaa, elves and more. FREE!  Just bring your holiday cheer and we’ll provide the rest! Recycled Reads Bookstore, 5335 Burnet Rd.

Cherrywood Art Fair – Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts ranging from jewelry to ceramics and more. There’s even live music, an art corner for the kids and more! Visit LiveMom on Sunday, December 14, in the art corner! FREE! Maplewood Elementary School, 381/2 St. & Maplewood.

Luminations – Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14, 6–9 p.m.

Thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights turn the center into a holiday wonderland during Luminations, an Austin holiday tradition. Admission is FREE with two canned food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. (Find their most requested items here.) Activities include live music, children’s activities, visit with Frosty the Snowman and more! Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Tex-Arts Holiday Extravaganza – Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14, starts at 2 & 6 p.m.

The Fourth Annual TexARTS Holiday Extravaganza will put the sparkle in your holiday season! Bring the whole family to experience this holiday spectacular starring the TexARTS Broadway Company. This holiday revue features Rockette-style numbers, classic and current holiday hits, and a special appearance by Santa Claus! This perfectly wonderful showcase is sure to put the happy in your holidays! Tickets start at $15. TexARTS, Kam & James Morris Theatre, 2300 Lohman’s Spur.

Holiday Heroes – Saturday, December 13 & Saturday, December 20, starts at 10 a.m.

Now in its 15th year due to popular demand! In this hilariously fun holiday sing-along, students get into the holiday spirit with Ernie and Rufus. Celebrate the season with singing, laughter and holiday cheer for all. Tickets start at $20. ZACH Theatre, Topfer, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.

Chanukah in the Hood – Sunday, December 14, 12-3:30 p.m.

Celebrate Chanukah at Central Market North with a dreidel spinning contest, arts and crafts, face painting and more. The Yiddish Cowboys will play festive music from noon until 2:00 p.m., and performances by the Temple Beth Shalom Kids’ Choir, Dell Tones, Austin Jewish Academy and the JCC DanStarz will take place from 2:00 until 3:30 p.m. Latkes with all the fixings and sufganiot (jelly donuts), a traditional Chanukah treat in Israel, will be available for purchase.

Wassail 2014  Sunday, December 14, 5:30 p.m.

A Christmas Solstice Celebration with magic, mummers, poetry, song and Bollywood dance at the Scottish Rite Theater. Featured guests include Monsoon Dance, Juliana Murphy and Eliana Salinas. All funds raised go to the charity Kids for Kids, helping children in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

Austin Children’s Choir Concert – Tuesday, December 16, starts at 6:30 p.m

The performance, entitled “Postcards: Stories of the Season”, will feature holiday and winter music from around the world in five different languages. The suggested donation is $10, and door prizes will be raffled ($2/ticket, 3 tickets/$5) to help fund scholarships and operating costs for the spring. First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Dr.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Thursday, December 18, starts at 7:30 p.m.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) will wrap up the year by performing their rock opera, “The Christmas Attic”, live for the first time in arenas across the nation on their Winter Tour 2014. Stone City Attractions is proud to welcome TSO when they return to Austin! This year will be TSO’s 12th consecutive year to perform in Austin. As in all previous years, TSO and Stone City Attractions will donate a portion of all ticket sales to a local charity. Contributions to date are more than $11 million. Tickets start at $42. The Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St.

Fifth Annual Holiday Lights & Ice – December 19 – January 5, 9 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily

Get in the holiday spirit with ice skating, s’mores, twinkling lights and more. Lace up your skates, our rink is just steps away with a breathtaking Hill Country backdrop. Tickets and passes are sold in the lobby Coffee Market Shop. Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, 8212 Barton Club Dr.

Austin Roller Rink Winter Lock In – Friday, December 19, 11:30 p.m.–8 a.m.

Drop the kids off for skating, movies, games and much more! Early purchase $25/child; $30 at the door. Pizza, drinks and breakfast included. Austin Roller Rink, 11600 Manchaca Rd., Ste. 101.

Dreidel Tournament Sunday, December 21, 1:00 p.m.

Head to Recycled Reads for the second annual Dreidel tournament! Players of all ages are welcome to participate. We will also have a craft station available where you can make your own repurposed dreidel out of an egg carton.

Tuba Christmas – Monday, December 22, starts at noon

2014 is the 41st anniversary for TUBACHRISTMAS concerts/events, which are presented throughout the world. Watch a special tuba concert on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol Building. FREE!

Austin’s New Year December 31, 5-10 p.m.

Austin’s New Year (ANY) is an annual free event where Austin families can come together downtown to welcome in the New Year! ANY is an alcohol-free celebration showcasing Austin’s diverse and talented creative community through art, films, and live music. And kids and adults alike won’t want to miss the exciting fireworks finale!

Bastrop

Breakfast with SantaSaturday, November 29, 9 a.m.–noon

Kids can have breakfast with Santa at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa! After indulging in a wonderful breakfast spread, all will join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a meet-and-greet as well as photographs. While folks visit with jolly ole St. Nick, they can enjoy holiday-themed activities and arts and crafts, a jump house and more – including a holiday sing-a-long with the K.R. Wood Camp Cookie Duo. $32 for adults; $15 for ages 6–12; complimentary for ages 5 & under. The event is open to guests as well as the general public; reservations are required (and can be made by calling (512) 308-4860). Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa.

Bastrop Lighted Parade – Saturday, December 13, starts at 6 p.m.

Join us for the Bastrop “Winter Wonderland” Lighted Christmas Parade! Of course, Christmas needs a Dragon and a merry band of Sherwood marketers! A festival of lights, music and cheer, including decorated floats, fire engines, marching bands, horses and riders, and, of course, Santa Claus and his helpers. Produced by the Downtown Business Alliance, the parade makes its way down Main Street about 6 p.m. FREE!

Cedar Park

Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop Friday, December 5, 6:30–9 p.m.

The Parks & Recreation Department in Cedar Park hosts an annual coloring contest for kindergartners and first graders. At 6:30 p.m., the winner will flip the switch to light more than 60,000 lights on the largest live oak tree at Heritage Oak Park. Santa’s Workshop will open immediately following the tree-lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts and crafts projects. Bring the whole family for what promises to be a festive evening. FREE!

Snow Spectacular – Saturday, December 6, 4–8 p.m.

We are having 30,000 pounds of REAL SNOW blown over a 1,230-square-foot area for the kids to play in! We are also offering light hors d’oeuvres, a hot chocolate/coffee bar, a visit from Santa, a hay ride, a silent auction and so much more! $10 per child; $20 per adult. This event is benefiting children fighting cancer and their families. Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Dr.

Little Elves Craft Day – Friday, December 19, 3–5 p.m.

Get some holiday shopping done without the kids! Drop your child off to join us for a fun afternoon full of holiday themed crafts, games, story time and snacks/drinks. $25 per child, ages 3–10 (must be potty trained). Register at www.cpparks.net or by calling (512) 401-5500. Community Rooms in the Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main St.

Georgetown

34th Annual Christmas Stroll – Friday, December 5, 5–9 p.m. &  Saturday, December 6, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

Re-capture the magic of memories at the 34th annual Christmas Stroll. Visit Georgetown’s picturesque downtown square when it transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of a multitude of trees outlined with twinkling white lights, old fashioned lamp poles, wandering minstrels and carolers, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings. Your journey begins Friday night with the sounds of children serenading with sweet Christmas songs. Saturday we will welcome Santa to the square, listen to classic holiday carolers, stroll along magical main street with sparkling lights and jolly window displays, munch on wonderful holiday treats at the bakery and candy store, tease the Grinch in Whoo-Village, lunch on some festival foods, and enjoy shopping in every nook and cranny with our 125-plus vendors. In addition, visit the square’s diverse shops and delectable restaurants. Click the link above for a complete schedule, including parade start time.

Lakeway

Lakeway Lights On – Friday, December 5, 6–8 p.m.

The Lights On! event marks the beginning of the holiday season in Lakeway with the first lighting of the Trail of Lights behind City Hall. We invite you to join us for fun in the parking lot at City Hall (at the corner of Sailmaster and Lohmans). Enjoy some hot chocolate from the IceCream2U truck for purchase and complimentary marshmallow roasting! We will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items to benefit Lake Travis Crisis Ministries. Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph will be nearby to “plug in” the Trail of Lights display and to speak to all of the good little boys and girls of Lakeway. (No dogs, please. No bicycles, scooters, skateboards or motorized vehicles on the trail, please.) Parking is available at the Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek, and at Village Plaza (near Café Lago). Take the sidewalk at the bottom of the lot to the City Hall parking lot. For more information, please call (512) 314-7532.

Leander

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 6, starts at 5 p.m.

We will have pictures with Santa, holiday hayrides, a yule fire, choral performances, a Christmas parade, and the annual Christmas tree lighting. City Hall, 200 West Willis St.

New Braunfels

Weihnachtsmarkt 2014 – November 21-23

Treat yourself to a shopping extravaganza with unique decorations, specialty items, fabulous gifts and antiques. Select from a wide array of retail merchants, artisans and authors. Pictures with Santa will be offered throughout the weekend. Tickets are $10 per day and $15 for multi-day. Strollers are extra. A Preview Party takes place on Thursday, November 20 from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and tickets are $50 per person. Breakfast with Santa takes place on Saturday, November 22 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Reservations required for the Preview Party and Breakfast with Santa, and can be made by calling (830) 629-1572. New Braunfels Civic Center, 380 South Seguin Ave.

Pflugerville

Daddy/Daughter Holiday Dance – December 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Dress your best, grab your dad and head to this popular event. Dads and daughters will dance the night away, play games and enjoy a yummy dessert table. Don’t be surprised if a jolly special guest makes an appearance. You can also order a corsage to be waiting at the dance. Tickets are $25 for dads and $5 for daughters. Hawaiian Falls, 18500 N SH130 SVRD SB.

Drive-thru Luminary- December 6 & 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Drive-thru Luminary with live scenes depicting the Christmas story. FREE! Immanuel Lutheran Church Pflugerville, 500 Immanuel Dr.

Christmas Parade & Pfestival of Lights – Saturday, December 13, 5:30–8 p.m.

The city of Pflugerville’s Parks & Recreation Department will be merging its annual Holidays at Heritage Park event with the annual Knights of Columbus Christmas Parade. Blending the two events will make a larger, more fun holiday celebration for the community. The city will have a stage with live performances from local elementary schools and dancers from the Recreation Center. There will be arts and crafts activities for children, a bonfire for roasting marshmallows, the traditional tree lighting, and photos with Santa Claus at the end of the parade. FREE! For information, call (512) 990-6113.

Round Rock

Rock ‘N Lights – December 1–30, times vary

Come and experience the second annual Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour and the new Pioneer Christmas Village at the Old Settlers Association. Rock’N Lights is a drive-thru light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park. Christmas Towne opens Saturday, Dec. 6. Times: Dec. 1–17: 6–9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, and 6–10 p.m. Friday & Saturday; Dec. 18–24: 6–10 p.m.; Dec. 25–30: 6–9 p.m. $15 per car. Old Settlers Park, 3300 Palm Valley Blvd.

A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast – December 4-27, times vary

The players at the fictional KPNF radio station return to put their stamp on a brand-new holiday classic – Miracle on 34th Street. As they bring to life the entire story through dozens of character voices and life foley sound effects, you’ll be re-introduced to Kris Kringle, the charming Macy’s mascot put on trial for claiming to be the real Santa Claus. For ages 5 and up. Running time: 90 minutes. Tickets are $25 regular, $23 students and $23 seniors (60+). Old Settler’s Hall, 3300 East Palm Valley Blvd.

Christmas Family Night – Friday, December 5, starts at 6:30 p.m.

The event kicks off with a welcome from Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, followed by the illumination of the street and water tower with holiday lights, and then Santa makes his grand entrance. During Christmas Family Night, downtown historic Round Rock is decorated with small wooden houses that each host various games and activities. This FREE event includes activities for the entire family including live music, dancers, candle making, carriage rides, game booths, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus and more. Main Street, Downtown Round Rock.

San Marcos

Sights and Sounds of Christmas – December 3–6, 5–11 p.m.

Enjoy live performances, pony rides, a carnival, delicious food, an ice skating rink, FREE photos with Santa, a gift shop, arts and crafts for the kids, a petting zoo and more! Nightly admission: $5; pre-sale four-day wristband: $7 (available for purchase at the San Marcos Activity Center or the Parks and Rec Center office), online purchase four-day wristband: $10; kids 12 & under: FREE. San Marcos Plaza Park, 401 E. Hopkins St.

Wimberley

The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of LightsNovember 29 – December 31, times vary

Stroll a walking path with more than 100 lighted exhibits created by local businesses, churches, organizations and families. Roast a marshmallow at the yule log and listen to live entertainment on most nights.The trail will be open from 6–9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, and 6–10 p.m. Friday & Saturday. FREE!

Looking for more holiday fun? Check out our other popular holiday features:

 

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2155 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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