Alamo Kids Camp – Monday, December 29 – Wednesday, December 31. Kids age 3 and up can see movies at four area Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. (All ages are welcome on Baby Day, Tuesday.) Choose from Muppet Christmas Carol (Slaughter Lane), Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone (Village), Ernest Saves Christmas (South Lamar), and Arthur Christmas (Lakeline). Your $1 admission will be donated 100% to one of four local nonprofits that provides basic needs like safe shelter and a warm meal.
Holiday Light Shows at The Domain – Monday, December 29 – Wednesday, December 31 hourly from 6-8:00 p.m. More than 82,000 lights and 2,200 strobes will dance to holiday music for the first 15 minutes of each hour. FREE! Get a sneak peek here. Domain II (mall map).
Holidays in the Courtyard – Monday, December 29 – Friday, January 2. Show times will be every night at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 p.m. 15-minute light show accompanied by a holiday playlist around the spacious courtyard illuminated with nearly 10,000 bulbs. FREE! AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at UT, 1900 University Ave, Austin.
Capitol Christmas Tree – Monday, December 29 – Friday, January 2. Lit daily from 10:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. (Mon-Wed); 11:00 p.m. (Thursday); and Midnight (Friday). This 45-foot tree on the South side of the Capitol shines brightly with 137,000 LED lights. 10 choreographed light shows set to local music play at the top and bottom of every hour. FREE! 11th & Congress, Austin.
Mozart’s Light Show – Monday, December 29 – Friday, January 2 from 6:00 p.m. to Midnight. 15-minute light show at the top of each hour. FREE! Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin.
The Making of Gone with the Wind – Monday, December 2 – Friday, January 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Exhibit is open until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.) This is your last chance to go behind the scenes of one of the classic films of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Featuring more than 300 rarely seen and some never-before-exhibited materials, the exhibition is drawn entirely from the Ransom Center’s collections. This insider view reveals why Gone With The Wind remains influential and controversial 75 years after it was released. Exhibit closes Sunday, January 4. FREE! Harry Ransom Center, 300 W 21st St, Austin.
Storytime with Dr. Candra – Monday, December 29 at 11:00 a.m. Dr. Candra will captivate your children with stories, songs, dances, and games. FREE! Brilliant Sky Toys and Books, 701 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste D-480, Austin.
Mario Kart 8 Gaming Tournament – Monday, December 29 at 3:00 p.m. Are you ready to put the virtual pedal to the metal? Compete in the fall/winter Mario Kart 8 for Nintendo Wii U Gaming Tournament. Signups will start in person 30 minutes ahead of the starting time, and the first 32 people to sign up will get a spot to play. Rated E for Everyone. All ages are welcome at this tournament. FREE! APL – Terrazas Branch, 1105 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin.
Sensory Storytime (Cedar Park) (RSVP) – Monday, December 29 at 3:30 p.m. This special story time is geared toward children age 8 and under who are on the autism spectrum, are sensitive to sensory overload, or have difficulty in large groups. This class features stories, songs, and movement activities, along with sensory playtime to enhance cognitive and social development. Space is limited; registration is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 401-5632. FREE! Cedar Park Library, 550 Discovery Blvd, Cedar Park.
Night Crafters – Monday, December 29 from 6-7:30 p.m. Are you a crafter? Do you wish you were a crafter? Then this program is for you. This month, learn how to make hand warmers. Sewing machines will be available (or needle and thread for those of you not willing to venture down that road just yet), as well as plenty of fleece, flannel, and cotton fabric to make hand warmers. You’ll use rice and buckwheat in your hand warmers, so they can also be used as ice packs too. All supplies will be provided. Adults only, please. FREE! APL – Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St, Austin.
Storytime and Crafts – Tuesday, December 30 at 9:30 a.m. Kids ages 2-5 will hear a new story each week. After the book, they’ll do crafts related to the story. Parental supervision is requested. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.
Free Admission to Laguna Gloria – Tuesday, December 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE! The Contemporary Austin, Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th St, Austin.
Wintertime Storytime – Tuesday, December 30 at 10:30 a.m. Oh, to be sledding down hills on trashcan lids into snowy banks. Austin might not get a real snowy blizzard this year, but this story time will be about the loveliest of precipitation, hot cocoa, and all things wintery! Enjoy a reading of The Snowy Day along with other tales as unique as snowflakes. Plus, make your very own snowflake to treasure. Free! Bookpeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.
Mario Kart 8 Gaming Tournament – Tuesday, December 30 at 5:00 p.m. Are you ready to put the virtual pedal to the metal? Compete in the fall/winter Mario Kart 8 for Nintendo Wii U Gaming Tournament. Signups will start in person 30 minutes ahead of the starting time, and the first 32 people to sign up will get a spot to play. Rated E for Everyone. All ages are welcome at this tournament. FREE! APL – Hampton Branch, 5125 Convict Hill Rd, Austin.
Whole Foods Kids Club – Wednesday, December 31 at 9:00 a.m. Join Tina for a great story and crafts for the kids. FREE! Whole Foods Arbor Trails, 4301 W. William Cannon, Austin.
Whole Foods Storytime – Wednesday, December 31 at 9:30 a.m. Enjoy a story reading, an activity, and a snack. All ages are welcome and parents can participate, too. FREE! Whole Foods Mezzanine, 525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
Outside Storytime – Wednesday, December 31 at 11:00 a.m. In this gentle picture book fantasy, a child’s world transforms through his hard work, imagination, and persistence when he opens the door and steps outside into the brave new world of his imagination. FREE! Barnes & Noble Arboretum, 10000 Research Blvd #158, Austin.
Noon Year’s Eve Party at Round Rock Library (Round Rock) – Wednesday, December 31, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Celebrate 2015 without missing your bedtime. The Round Rock Public Library will host a New Year’s party with crafts, dancing, and a countdown to noon. Ages 3 and up are welcome to join the fun. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main Street, Round Rock.
Austin’s New Year – Wednesday, December 31 from 5-10:30 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! Butler Park, 1000 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
The 20th Annual Black Eyed Pea Run – Thursday, January 1 at 9:00 a.m. One year ends and another begins, but the tradition carries on! Kick off 2015 with this annual favorite among the Austin running community. Now in its 20th year, this ritual has taken on many incarnations but the important things remain the same: 13.1 miles, post-run black eyed peas, coffee, mimosas, and a morning shared with runners from all corners of our city. FREE and open to all who are awake! Rogue Running, 410 Pressler St, Austin.
New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim – Thursday, January 1 at 9:00 a.m. Save Our Springs (SOS) Alliance hosts this annual event at Barton Springs Pool. Hot coffee and donuts will be served and 2015 commemorative Polar Bear Splash t-shirts will be available for purchase. Don’t forget your warm clothes for when you get out. FREE! Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Park, Austin.
Pfreeze Pflop (Pflugerville) – Thursday, January 1 at 10:00 a.m. Admission is FREE with donation of a canned food item to benefit local food banks. Scott Mentzer Pool, 901 Old Austin Hutto Rd, Pflugerville.
Polar Bear Plunge in Anderson Mill – Thursday, January 1 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. Bring the family to El Salido Pool for a FREE freezing good time. (El Salido Pool is heated to 82 degrees.) El Salido Pool, 11500 El Salido Pkwy, Austin.
Polar Bear Splash (Kyle) – Thursday, January 1 from 1-2:30 p.m. Light snacks and drinks available for purchase. FREE! Participants can join the Polar Bear Club for $15, which includes a Polar Bear Shirt, your name on Polar Bear Club Plaque for a year, and a door prize ticket. Kyle Pool, Gregg-Clarke Park, 1100 W Center St, Kyle.
FREE Music Together Mixed-Age Demo Classes (RSVP) – Friday, January 2. View times here. Where can you have uninterrupted musical playtime with your child, meet other moms, dads, and families, and be a part of a wonderful musical community while supporting your child’s musical development as she learns important life skills? Heartsong Music! Heartsong Music is proud to celebrate 10 years of family music making in Austin. You’re invited to be a part of their musical community. FREE! RSVP required here. Heartsong Music, 2700 W Anderson Ln, Austin.
Mario Kart 8 Gaming Tournament – Friday, January 2 at 2:00 p.m. Are you ready to put the virtual pedal to the metal? Compete in the fall/winter Mario Kart 8 for Nintendo Wii U Gaming Tournament. Signups will start in person 30 minutes ahead of the starting time, and the first 32 people to sign up will get a spot to play. Rated E for Everyone. All ages are welcome at this tournament. FREE! APL – Howson Branch, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin.
Lego Lab – Friday, January 2 at 4:00 p.m. With LEGO, you can build anything you can imagine and tell any story you can dream up. Come to the Lego Lab to hear, see, make, and create different stories, all while building with LEGOs provided by the Library. Recommended for ages 5 and up. FREE! APL – North Village Branch, 2505 Steck Ave, Austin.
In her life before kids, Emily held jobs as a zookeeper, a middle school teacher, and a tour bus driver in the wilds of Montana–not one of which prepared her for the adventures of motherhood. Now she’s living the good life in Austin with her husband, two sons and a Great Dane. When she’s not off gallivanting with her boys, you might find Emily baking up a mean batch of cupcakes, recalling obscure 80s song lyrics, or dreaming of peace and quiet.