Family-Friendly Events in Austin: November 2014

Mark your calendars for all of these family-friendly events in the Austin area during the month of November.

With Halloween now behind us (even though we can still eke out a few more weeks of sneaking our kids’ candy), it’s time to look ahead to the holiday season and all the fun happenings in our area during the month of November. Whether it’s your first Thanksgiving with family in town, the first year you will be in Austin for winter break or whether you are on a mission to make it to more events, we’ll have you covered the last two months of the year with a special events post at the start of each month. So, grab your calendar, select your favorites, and buckle your seat belts, because it’s going to be a fun, wild ride!

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade happening on Saturday, November 29, 2014

WurstFest (New Braunfels) – Friday, November 7 – Sunday, November 16

WurstFest is a unique celebration rich in German culture and full of Texas fun. During the 10-day festival, you’ll find a variety of entertainment, food and fun on the Wurstfest Grounds in Landa Park and many special events throughout New Braunfels and Comal County. Your admission charge includes access to all entertainment and access to public areas. Children 12 and under are always admitted free. Admission is free on opening day, November 7, until 7:00 p.m. and you can download a buy one, get one free coupon online for the first weekend.

Mueller Fall Fest – Saturday, November 8

Bring the kids for games, prizes, treats and much more. All are welcome. This free event includes a petting zoo, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin decorating, a cake walk, a temporary tattoo booth, and more and runs from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Free.

Walk with a Scott & White Doctor- Saturday, November 8

Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, elevate your mood and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes. Walk With A Doc is stepping out with the American Diabetes Association to observe National Diabetes Awareness Month with a historical/interactive walk at Camp Mabry, part of the ADA’s Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes.  If you join us for this FREE event you will receive: Blood pressure screening,  pedometer, T-shirt, Refreshments, Healthy fun for the entire family! Starts at 9 a.m.  Location: Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th Street, Austin.

Mueller Fall Fest – Saturday, November 8

Bring the kids for games, prizes, treats and much more. All are welcome. This free event includes a petting zoo, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin decorating, a cake walk, a temporary tattoo booth, and more and runs from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Veterans Day Parade – Tuesday, November 11The 61st Annual Veterans Day Parade to honor our nation’s members of the armed services will begin at the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at 9:30 a.m., after a flyover, and continue to the Capitol building. The Del Valle High School Band will perform, and the Memorial Ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol. This year, we will honor the sacrifice and service of our Veterans of the Gulf Wars with a tribute to all World War II Veterans, on this 70th anniversary of D-Day. Free.

Follow the Elves – Wednesday, November 12 – Saturday, December 13

Experience Shoemaker & the Elves like you’ve never seen it before! Watch online and follow the elves to libraries around Austin library branches this winter for a four-part series of video episodes, along with related stories and crafts! Enjoy a new multimedia experience each week as the story unfolds. Attend the grand finale to watch the entire movie and craft your heart out. This show is recommended for children ages 4 and up. Free.

Movies in the Park: The Dark Knight – Thursday, November 13

Movies in the Park is a series of free films brought to you by the Austin Parks Foundation (APF), and presented by the #1 movie theater in America, the Alamo Drafthouse. Each year, APF and the Drafthouse bring you totally free movies right in downtown Austin at Republic Square Park. Austin residents and visitors bring their blanket or lawn chairs (and often a picnic dinner!) for a fun and relaxing evening under the beautiful Austin night sky. The Dark Knight will begin at 6:30 p.m. Free.

Kidgits Club Holiday Celebration (Cedar Park) – Saturday, November 15

From 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m., enjoy family-friendly holiday crafts and a special story read by Father Christmas at Lakeline Mall. After meeting everyone on the nice list, Santa will return to his throne in Winter Wonderland, where he will continue to pose for photos and listen to holiday wishes through Christmas Eve. Free for Kidgits Club members, only $5 to become a member.

24th Annual Fossil Fest (Round Rock) – Saturday, November 15 – Sunday, November 16

Have the opportunity to interact one on one with a UT scientist, science educators and Paleontology Society of America members through hands-on learning and demos, question and answer sessions and fossil identification at the Old Settler’s Heritage Association. Attend mini-workshops to learn how plants and animals fossilize and to create a make and take craft. Fully explore exhibits, displays and activities with a “Paleo Passport”, hear a guest speaker and learn more about Ice Age Texas. Show runs from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days. $3/adult, $2/child (6-12 years old) and children under 6 are free.

East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) – Saturday, November 15 – Sunday, November 16 and Saturday, November 22 – Sunday, November 23

EAST is a free, annual, self-guided art event occurring over two weekends in November, providing the public with an opportunity to meet the makers: the local artists and artisans who leave a lasting imprint on Austin’s vibrant, dynamic culture. Tour-goers are invited to discover new artistic talent, see working studios, learn about artists’ tools, techniques, and inspirations, and explore unique exhibition spaces and local businesses. Happenings are also free, occurring on the weekends of the tour with varying hours. Select Events happen on both of the tour weekends, as well as during the weekdays/nights in between and may cost money to attend.

A Christmas Affair – Wednesday, November 19 – Sunday, November 23

The Junior League puts on this holiday market each year at the Palmer Events Center with many vendors. This year’s theme is Christmas in the City, to bring New York City to Austin. Parking is available at Barton Creek Square with a complimentary shuttle. Several events connected to ACA are already sold out, but tickets remain for Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, a special event just for tweens and teens, taking place on Saturday, November 22 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

8th Annual Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival (Bee Cave) – Thursday, November 20

The Hill Country Galleria’s 8th Annual Tree Lighting kicks off at 6:00 p.m. in the amphitheater. Enjoy a free holiday concert by The Vintage 15, face painting and holiday carolers. Santa will arrive at 7:00 p.m. escorted by the Lake Travis High School Cavalettes. The lighting of the holiday tree will take place afterwards, followed by a fireworks show. Annaka Chesnut from the CW will be on hand to help welcome Santa. Free.

Thanksgiving Community Dinner at Givens Recreation Center – Thursday, November 20

Receive a free Thanksgiving meal, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Walk-ins accepted.

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.

The Domain’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting – Sunday, 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 five-foot star topper, during the 8th 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 6:00 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.

4th Annual Holiday Window Walk - Sunday, November 23 – Saturday, December 6

Local businesses in the 2ND Street District (2SD) are spreading holiday cheer throughout the district by transforming 15 storefront windows into elaborate art installations, created by local students, for the 4th Annual Holiday Window Walk. The 2SD Holiday Window Walk is an annual competition open to theatrical design students from St. Edward’s University and Texas State University, where 2SD businesses let their storefront windows become the students’ canvases for an opportunity to win collegiate scholarships. With this year’s theme taken from lyrics of holiday songs and Christmas carols and lines from classic holiday stories and films, shoppers will have the opportunity to see various creative and innovative window designs.

Austin Empty Bowl Project – Sunday, November 23

Potters from all over Central Texas donate bowls of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, friends and families come together from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. to purchase a bowl for $20, have it filled with soup, and enjoy the music. The bowl is yours to keep, as a reminder of those whose bowls are empty. The proceeds go to Meals on Wheels and More’s Meals for Kids, and the Capital Area Food Bank to help sponsor the Kids Cafe Program. Kids Cafe provides a safe, nurturing place where children receive a hot, nutritious dinner, as well as help with homework. T-shirts are available for purchase and you can also bid on bowls made or signed by celebrities. The event is quite popular so you’ll need to arrive early if you’d like to participate.
AdvertisementH-E-B Feast of Sharing – Tuesday, November 25

The annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing holiday dinner, takes place from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Palmer Events Center. In addition to a holiday meal you can enjoy music, arts and crafts, and kids activities – even an appearance by Santa himself. Free.

Gingerbread House Decorating Workshops – Wednesday, November 26 – Tuesday, December 23

Kids will embellish freshly made, fragrant (and totally edible) Gingerbread Houses with candies, cereals, marshmallows and Royal Icing at Foodie Kids. Gingerbread Men, Hot Chocolate and Warm Cider will be served. Recipes included.

A Christmas Carol – Wednesday, November 26 – Sunday, December 28

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, taking place at ZACH, 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.

Turkey Trot – Thursday, November 27

ThunderCloud Subs, held its first Turkey Trot in 1991. The ThunderCloud Sub Turkey Trot has since become a favorite Thanksgiving tradition for many Austin families and individuals who want to do something healthy and helpful before the big meal. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to Caritas of Austin—a nonprofit organization that provides housing, employment, education, and food services to more than 20,000 homeless, working poor, and documented refugees in Travis County. The Turkey Trot, which takes place at the Long Center, features a five-mile run, one-mile walk and a Kids K. Registration starts at $8.

Santa on the Terrace – Friday, November 28

Sip delicious hot chocolate, enjoy some of Austin’s most delicious food trucks, and kick off the holiday season in the greatest winter wonderland in town. Taking place at the Long Center from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., kids can get a free photo with Santa overlooking the best view in town, and you can take advantage of the lowest discounts in town for future Long Center programming.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar – Friday, November 28 – Wednesday, December 24

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday shopping season. It will be open again for its 14th year at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre. The Bazaar features unique work from over 200 local and regional artists, with a portion of proceeds going to Make-A-Wish®. Parking and admission are always free.

25th Annual Lights Spectacular Hill Country Style (Johnson City) – Friday, November 28

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Lights Spectacular, Hill Country Style. Proclaimed as “the Centerpiece of one of the biggest shows on the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail” by Southern Living magazine with a courthouse that “shines brighter than the star of Bethlehem”. The entire town is bathed in lights with 100,000 lights twinkling on the Blanco County Courthouse while Pedernales Electric Coop’s Headquarters on Ave F boasts a lighted forest of over 1 million lights. The official lighting of the Blanco County Courthouse will begin at 6:30 p.m. Don’t miss the Chuck Wagon Food Court next to the Johnson City Bank. Fireworks will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the official lighting of the Blanco County Courthouse. Live band music will continue throughout the evening festivities. Free hayrides, sponsored by the Antique Tractor Club, will operate until approximately 10 p.m. (loading in front of Texas 290 Diner – weather permitting). Carriage rides will be available. Free.

Elf: The Musical – Friday, November 28 – Sunday, November 30

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. $5 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students.

Decorate a Gingerbread House – Friday, November 28 – Saturday, November 29

These miniature works of art are as tasty as they are captivating, and so much fun to make! Central Market will provide an authentic Swiss Lebkuchen gingerbread house, lots of royal icing and mountains of candy. Just bring your 5-17-year-old, your creativity and imagination. Boxes will be provided to transport your masterpiece home. Please note: one gingerbread house for each parent/child team.

It’s a Wonderful Life – Friday, November 28 – Sunday, December 28

In a tour-de-force performance, award-winning actor Martin Burke is back by popular demand, playing all 37 characters from the beloved holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life, including George Bailey, Mary, Clarence the Angel and Old Man Potter. This comical romp underscored by tenderness is a joyous gift for ZACH audiences of all ages.

The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights (Wimberley) – Saturday, November 29 – Wednesday, December 31

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 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Free.

Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, November 29

Kids can have breakfast with Santa at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa from 9:00 a.m. until noon. 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. The cost is $32 for adults, $15 for ages 6-12 and complimentary for ages 5 and 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).

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade – Saturday, November 29

This parade starts at 11:00 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.

Ice Skating Rink at Lamar – Saturday, November 29 – Sunday, Jauuary 11

Ice skate on the plaza this holiday season at Whole Foods downtown! The rink is open from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. daily. $10 per person.

Teddy Bear Teas – November 29 & 30, December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21

Guests of all ages are invited to get all gussied up for this Four Seasons Austin tradition, featuring tea service, holiday caroling and a fireside reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Santa himself! Those attending are asked to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear, which will be donated to the Dell Children’s Hospital. Reservations are required and may be made by calling TRIO at (512) 685-8300. $42 for adults and $30 for children 11 and under.

Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting – Sunday, November 30

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 city-wide tree coloring contest. The ceremony begins at 6:00 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.

Reindeer Run (Round Rock) - Sunday, November 30

Join the 4th Annual Reindeer Run 5k and Family Fun Run through the Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour in Old Settlers Park. This is the only opportunity to walk or run through this amazing holiday lights display!  The Reindeer Run benefits Round Rock’s Play for All Abilities Park. Registration is free (with parent or guardian) for children age 9 and under. Adults may register for $25-$30 and their registration includes a t-shirt. Register online.

Be sure to check back each Sunday for our popular What’s Up Weekly post and each Thursday for our roundup of weekend events in the Weekenders. Do you follow LiveMom on Facebook? We post many fun events on our Facebook page so be sure to like us today!

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".

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