Austin Holiday Planning Guide for December 8 – January 11

I know some people who have already gotten all the dates down in their calendars from now until the New Year. I only wish I were that organized! If you are like me and struggling to keep up, here are all the events happening from now until after January 11th! First, we have the Holiday Happenings, then the list of Santa sightings, then where to find snow and ice and gingerbread house workshops.


Holiday Happenings

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.

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. 

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 BazaarNovember 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.

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.

Zilker Trail of LightsDecember 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.

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.

Holiday Music Wednesdays and Thursdays: December 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.

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

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.


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.

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.

Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker December 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ebenezer’s Journey: A Dickens’ Christmas Story – December 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.

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.

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 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

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 or by calling (512) 401-5500. Community Rooms in the Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main St.


Christmas Parade & Pfestival of LightsSaturday, 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.


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!

Santa sightings crying

Santa Sightings

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Meet Santa at the Hill Country Galleria and tell him what you want for the holidays! Kids of all ages are welcome, pets are welcome, too! Bring your own camera and take fun holiday photos! There is no charge for this event as you will be taking your own photos with your phone or camera (no professional photographer onsite).

Meet Santa Cover Photo

Santa will be available various dates and times beginning November 20- December 24, 2014. For the complete schedule, check

Hill Country Galleria
12700 Hill Country Blvd.
Bee Cave


Make a Date with Santa at the Domain – Friday, November 14 – Wednesday, December 24

Visit Santa in his new workshop, located in Domain II across from iPic Theaters. Enjoy holiday crafts and lounge seating while you wait to see the big guy. You can schedule your Santa photos here.

The Domain
11410 Century Oaks Plaza
Make a Date with Santa at Barton Creek Mall – Thursday, November 6 – Wednesday, December 24

Make an appointment to visit the big man in red at Barton Creek Mall online here.

3rd Annual Santa’s Workshop – Saturday, December 6 – Sunday, December 21 (weekends); Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 23rdSanta is coming from the North Pole to Millie & Mox from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on the weekends from Saturday, December 6 – Sunday, December 21 and on Monday December 22nd and Tuesday, December 23rd. Cost: Tickets are $10 per photo and sold at Millie & Mox. One photo per ticket, please. No outside cameras.

Trail of Lights – Sunday, December 7 – Sunday, December 21Visit the North Pole at the Trail of Lights to share your holiday wish list with Santa at Santa’s House, pick up a free book from the H-E-B Read 3 Book Train and stop in Santa’s Workshop for a photo and a variety of interactive experiences. Cost: Entry to the Trail of Lights is free from Mondays to Thursdays; on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays tickets are $3 each online or at H-E-B stores. Parking passes and shuttle tickets are also available online.

Santa Claus is Coming to Toybrary – Tuesday, December 9, 10 a.m. – noon

Come by with your little elves to get their pictures taken with Santa. There won’t be a long line this year — each parent will receive a number when they pay ($10 per child). You and your kids can play in the play area until your number comes up.

Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 13, 9 a.m. – noonAdvertisement
Enjoy breakfast, live music, character appearances, holiday games (with prizes), letters to Santa, face painting, balloon twisting and more.

Santa in the Garden Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Austin Area Garden Center presents Santa In The Garden 2014 at the Zilker Botanical Garden. There will be yummy treats, Christmas storytelling, and crafts for all to enjoy. Be sure to bring your own camera and Christmas list for your visit with Santa. Mom and Dads can get their last minute shopping done in the Chrysalis gift shop which will be offering a 15% discount on the entire store.

Cookies with St. Nick Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Frost invites families to avoid the “busy sidewalks” this holiday season and jingle on into four Frost Bank branches for photos with Santa. The lights will brightly shine on the Christmas tree to make guests feel right at home. Guests can enjoy holiday cookies and drinks as they await their chance to cozy up next to jolly St. Nick. Naughty or nice, Santa will present children with candy canes and complimentary framed photos to capture the moment. For locations, check out our post here. FREE.

Santa Claus is Coming to Precision Camera Saturday, December 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Both young and old are invited to come early to be the first in line for a photo opp with the jolly old fellow. Take home a free 5×7 print with the man himself, Santa! FREE.

Photos with Santa at Petco – Saturday, December 13

Spread holiday joy and help animals in need by participating in Petco’s annual Photos with Santa event, held two Saturdays in December from 1-4pm. Pose with or without your pet next to Santa and bring home at 4”x6” photo in a keepsake frame. The Petco Foundation will receive 100% of your $9.95 donation to benefit homeless pets. Contact your nearest Petco location for more information.

Tex-Arts Holiday ExtravaganzaSaturday, 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.

Santa Skate and Ugly Sweater Party – Sunday, December 14

Want to get in the Christmas spirit? Look no further! Head to Chaparral Ice from 1-4 p.m. for ice skating, Santa, and ugly sweaters! This event features FREE photos with Santa (bring your own camera), Christmas-themed skating exhibitions, a hot cocoa bar and festive treats from Spice Girls Kitchen (Ice Girls Cafe), and holiday tunes! Regular admission for ice skate rental applies.

Donn’s Depot Honky-Tonk Christmas Bazaar! Sunday, December 14, 1-6 p.m.

Come join the fun at the first-ever Donn’s Depot Honky-Tonk Christmas Bazaar! Enjoy live music, holiday cocktails and seasonal beers while you shop for one-of-a-kind items for friends and family! Come see why everyone is talking about the most festive bar in town! Free admission, free on-site parking, Santa from 2-4, dozens of vendors, kids allowed! Avoid the holiday stress and spend your Sunday with us!!! See you there! FREE.

Story Time with Santa at Northwest Recreation Center Friday, December 19, 10:30 a.m. – noon

Wear your favorite pajamas and enjoy a snack of mils and cookies while listening to a winter classic. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures with Santa. This event is designed for walking toddlers to children 5 years of age. $2.50 per child.

Santa on Horseback at Texas National Outfitters – Friday, December 19, 4-7 p.m.

Take photos with Santa on horseback. FREE.

Santa Special at the Carver Museum & Cultural Center – Saturday, December 20, 1-3 p.m.

Come take pictures with Santa. Call (512) 974-4926 for reservations by Monday, December 15th at 6pm.

Farmer Santa at the HOPE Farmers Market – Sunday, December 21, 11a.m.-3 p.m.

Hoe! Hoe! Hoe! Farmer Santa and Mrs. Claus will be handing out local veggies to all of the good girls & boys (of every age)!
Visit Plaza Saltillo and have your photo taken with them and, while you’re here, spend some time playing with toys at the Toybrary Austin tent!

Cedar Park

Make a Date with Santa at Lakeline Mall – Thursday, November 6 – Wednesday, December 24Make an appointment to visit the big man in red at Lakeline Mall online here.

Afternoon with Santa – Sunday, December 14

From 2-5 p.m., meet Santa and capture photos at this family event at the Driskill Hotel downtown. A photographer is available for personal photos are permitted. Reservations are required and can be made at (512) 439-1234. $25 per person, plus tax.


Visit Santa at Wolf Ranch Town Center – Saturday, November 29; Saturday, December 6, 20; Sunday, December 7, 14, 21

Wolf Ranch Town Center will be partnering with Operation Brown Santa and will have Santa available to the public on December 6th (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), 7th (1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.), 14th (1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.), 20th (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) and 21st (1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Wolf Ranch will also have a special event to welcome Santa on November 29th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. near the fireplace.

Santa Pictures at All Things Kids – December 13, 14, 20, 21; times vary

Santa’s elves have transformed the Play Zone into Santa’s Workshop and there are lots of holiday projects for the children to work on. Santa (with a real beard) will be by the fireplace ready to meet children in between North Pole flights. Walk-ins are welcome but you can use online registration to skip the lines. A professional photographer will be on site (packages start at $15).


Photos with Cowboy Kringle – November 15-December 21, times vary

Create a Christmas memory with photos with Cowboy Kringle, Gruene’s own brand of Santa! Pictures will be taken in the breezeway between The Grapevine and Gruene General Store. Packages are available.


Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 13

Enjoy breakfast with Santa at the Old Hutto Middle School across from Fritz Park. Breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. and last until approximately 10 a.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Adults are $5, children are $10 (includes craft).


Storytime with Mrs. Claus – Friday, December 12

From 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mrs. Claus arrives to spend an evening at Kaleidoscope Toys to read some of your favorite Christmas stories. The North Pole Bakery has also sent along some treats to share. Don’t forget your camera to capture this special event! Reserve the total number of children and adults attending through Eventbrite. Admission is one non-perishable food item per person for the Round Rock Serving Center. Donations will also be accepted.

Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 13

Breakfast, story time, cookie decorating and visit with Santa at the Hawaiian Falls Aloha Banquet & Event Center from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on two consecutive Saturdays. Bring your camera to capture your special photo. Reservations required.

Christmas Parade and Festival of Lights – Saturday, December 13

The city of Pflugerville’s Parks and 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 bring 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. For information, call 512-990-6113.

Round Rock

Meet and Take Photos with Santa – Friday, November 21 – Wednesday, December 24 (Closed on Thanksgiving Day)

Santa is located inside the Food Court at the Premium Outlets. Photos available for purchase.

Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 13

Gattis School hosts a Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 13th from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Enjoy seeing Santa, crafts, activities, a silent auction, breakfast tacos, donuts, coffee, milk, juice and more.

Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 13

Children are invited to have breakfast with Santa from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. at the Premium Outlets and create cards for kids spending the holidays in the hospital. Santa is located inside the Food Court. Photo packages available for purchase. Sponsored by Seton Medical Center Williamson. RSVP here. FREE.

Santa Parade – Saturday, December 13 and 20

Santa, merrily waving and tossing candy to young and old, will be riding a firetruck through Brushy Creek community on Saturday mornings this month, starting at 10 a.m. Santa will ride through Brushy Creek South, Fern Bluff, Oakbrook and the Village of Brushy Creek on December 13. Santa’s entourage will visit Cat Hollow and the Meadows of Brushy Creek on Dec. 20.

Santa and Spike (Round Rock Express Mascot) Visit Elfvis & the Kringles Saturday, December 13, between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

This house gets all decked out for the season, including an animatronic Olaf (from Frozen) who performs songs including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” The Round Rock House is hosting a donation drive for Brown and Blue Santa programs from 6-10 p.m. Hot chocolate and candy canes will be provided while they last.

Santa Skate and Ugly Sweater Party – Sunday, December 14

Chaparral Ice is hosting this event, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. With paid entry, you get free photos with Santa, holiday-themed skating exhibitions, skate to a holiday playlist and hot cocoa and treats from the Ice Girls Cafe.

Pet Photos with Santa – Sunday, December 14

Make it a family affair with Fido during the Premium Outlets’ pet photo night from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Fluffy is sure to appreciate our real bearded Santa. Santa is located inside the Food Court. Photo packages available for purchase.

San Marcos

Pancakes with SantaDecember 13, 9-11 a.m.

The San Marcos Citizens Fire Academy Alumni invites residents to a pancake breakfast with Santa and fire trucks. The cost is $5 for breakfast. Attendees can bring a camera for photos with Santa. Proceeds will go toward public education materials. San Marcos Fire Department Station No. 5, 100 Carlson Circle.

Snow Ice

Where to Find Snow and Ice

Featured Event


Hill Country Galleria Snow Days (Bee Cave) – Sunday, December 14; and Saturday, December 20 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Real snow will be delivered to the Hill Country Galleria! Toss a snowball, build a snowman, make a snow angel, and take fun family photos. Enjoy live holiday music, holiday carolers, and more every day that it snows. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, located right outside the Bee Cave Library, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave.

Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things (Round Rock) – Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be real snow activities as part of the fanfare for the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things event. This event will feature snow-filled activities (truckloads of snow are being delivered on-site) as well as giant slides, paintball, tango tower & zip line, horse-drawn wagon rides, Blue Santa donation station, train rides, interactive holiday booths (including decorating your own stockings, Santa hats and cookies, writing letters to Santa), inflatables and rides, concessions, live music (with choirs from eight area elementary schools) and appearances by Santa himself. FREE! Boles Family Sports Complex, 1605 N Mays St, Round Rock.

Ice Skating Options:

Chaparral Ice – Public skating times are available year-round but Chaparral hosts four special events throughout the holiday season:

  • Santa Skate and Ugly Sweater Party – Sunday, December 14 from 1-4:00 p.m. This event features free photos with Santa (bring your own camera), Christmas-themed skating exhibitions, holiday tunes, a hot cocoa bar, and festive treats.

Cost: Admission is $6 and skate rental is $4 for children and adults. Kids 5 years of age and under skate for only $5 on Saturday and Sunday, including skate rental. Kids 5 and under skate for FREE Monday-Friday with paid adult admission. Chaparral Ice, located inside Northcross Mall, 2525 W Anderson Ln, Austin.

Eisbahn Fredericksburg (Fredericksburg) – Friday, November 28 – Sunday, January 4. Hours vary. Eisbahn (“ice rink” in German) returns to Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg for its tenth consecutive year. Open daily (except for Christmas), you and your family can enjoy outdoor ice-skating on real ice in the Texas Hill Country. Special refrigeration units keep the ice frozen even when the weather is warm outside. Cost: Enjoy a come-and-go all-day pass for only $10, including skates. Marktplatz, Downtown Fredericksburg.

Whole Foods Downtown – Saturday, November 29 – Sunday, January 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Skate on top of the world…well, at least on top of Whole Foods downtown. Cost: $10 per person, includes skate rental. 525 N Lamar, Austin.

Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink (Bastrop) – Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14. Hours vary. Feel the holiday spirit as you visit with Santa Claus and whirl around on the rink! Brought to you by Frontier Bank, a synthetic ice skating rink will be set up in the Marketplace for all to enjoy. Cost: Individual Skater $8/20 minutes; Family of Three $20/20 minutes; Family of Four $25/20 minutes. Main Street Marketplace, 921 Main St, Bastrop.

Holiday Lights and Ice at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa – Friday, December 19 – Sunday, January 4. Hours vary. Get in the holiday spirit with s’mores, games, twinkling lights, and so much more. This year, Austin’s largest outdoor ice rink is twinkling even brighter. The 4,100 square foot ice rink will be accompanied by a display of over 200,000 twinkling lights and festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central & South Texas, benefiting local children in need. Guests can enjoy the skating rink with individual skate session tickets or season passes. Open to the public. Cost: $25 adult, $20 child; Season Pass, $150 adult/child. Barton Creek Resort and Spa, 8212 Barton Club Dr, Austin.


Gingerbread House Workshops

Featured Events

Baked-logo-colorBaked by Amy’s is offering Gingerbread Person decorating classes! Cost: $20 per person and includes all supplies. Call (512) 918-2253 or email to reserve a spot.



Second Saturdays Are for Families: Gingerbread Villas December 13, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Be the ART-chitect of your very own candy home! Your child can whip up edible houses like you’ve never seen before, inspired by the architecture of the Driscoll Villa at Laguna Gloria. Second Saturdays are recommended for ages 2-11. Admission is $10 per family ($5 for member families). Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th Street, Austin.


Local Favorites

Candy Land Gingerbread Village at Four Seasons Hotel – November 25 – December 31

This annual tradition at the Four Seasons Hotel takes its inspiration from the popular children’s board game of the same name. The theme will take shape in 10 unique houses, including such whimsical landmarks as the Candy Castle, Licorice Forest and Gumdrop Mountains. Several smaller scenes and accessories — such as the iconic Candy Land sign, Rainbow Bridges and Queen Frostine — will also dot the fantasy Village landscape. The Village is on display 24 hours a day until December 31. The hotel will host Holiday Open Houses on December 2 and 3 from 5-6pm in the lobby, which are free, open to the public and feature complimentary hot apple cider, Candy Land-themed treats, photos with Santa and the opportunity to meet the pastry chefs behind the village.

Gingerbread Workshops at The Thinkery – December 12-14, December 20-24

Gingerbread Workshops at The Thinkery celebrate creative families in a fun and festive atmosphere. These hour-long workshops provide everything needed to build and decorate a gingerbread house to take home and enjoy. Workshop participants are welcome to explore the Thinkery and play with friends afterward. Non-member adults are $8 and members are $4. The price for a non-member child plus gingerbread house is $28. The price for a member child plus gingerbread house is $24. Other non-participating guests are subject to a fee. Register online for children 6 and up here. Gingerbread Tot workshops are available for families with children ages 5 and under. These hour-long workshops feature pre-built houses and candy decorations sized for little makers. Register for Tot Workshops here.

Georgetown Public Library Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza 2014 – Entries accepted December 5-8, public voting December 9-14Break out your culinary and decorating skills – It’s time for Georgetown Public Library’s annual Gingerbread Extravaganza! You can build your masterpiece all by yourself or you can build it with friends or your whole family. You can build from scratch or you can buy a kit and add your own creative embellishments. All entries must be received between December 5th and 8th. All building materials must be edible and all entries should not exceed 18″ x 18″. Public voting takes place December 9-14th. Winners will be announced December 15th in the following categories: original design made by two or more persons; design made from kits (or enhanced) and original design made by one person age 8 or younger, age 9-12, age 13-17 and ages 18 and older.

Frozen Magic Snow Castle Gingerbread House Decorating – December 13, 20 and 23Do you want to build a snow castle? Attendees will embellish freshly made gingerbread houses at Foodie Kids and turn them into Frozen® Snow Castles with royal icing and all sorts of Snow Princess candies and decorations. Kids will enjoy Snow Queen Punch and Tiny Snowball Cookies. Recipes included. This event is all ages, and registration is $35 with or without an adult. Register online.

Family Gingerbread Workshop at South Austin Recreation Center – December 13Bring the family from 10am until noon for the 2014 Family Gingerbread Workshop at the South Austin Recreation Center! Decorate gingerbread men cookies, make holiday crafts, and enjoy light refreshments with your family and friends.

For other ideas on how to celebrate the holidays with your family, check out:

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".