Looking for fun, family-friendly events this weekend? Check out our weekly roundup of activities to keep your family entertained.
Happening All Weekend
A Christmas Carol- Friday, 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. 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 $25. ZACH’s Topher Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.
Candle Light Trail at Hancock Recreation Center – Friday & Saturday – 9:30 p.m. Come walk the Candle Light Trail, meet Santa and enjoy holiday refreshments and entertainment at this fun free family event. FREE. Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st Street.
Ebenezer’s Journey: A Dickens’ Christmas Story- Friday and Saturday, from 7-10 p.m. A special interactive program based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, will recreate various scenes of Dickens’ classic 1843 tale on four nights in December. 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! Come and be transformed and celebrate the true meaning of the season. Tickets are just $12 per person. Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive.
Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday 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 Drive.
Whole Foods Downtown – Daily 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.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Seventh Annual Lights of Love 5K – 5:30–8:30 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.
Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop (Cedar Park) – 6:30-9:00 p.m. On this magical night, join in the tradition of lighting the Heritage Oak tree. Over 60,000 lights illuminate the largest Live Oak Tree in Cedar Park. Santa’s Workshop will kick off immediately following the tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, games & prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts & crafts projects. Bring the whole family for what promises to be a festive evening. FREE! Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Pkwy, Cedar Park.
12 Days of Main Street: Christmas Family Night (Round Rock) - 6:30-9:00 p.m. Watch as Main Street gets illuminated and Santa arrives in his sleigh. 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. Then Santa makes his grand entrance. During Christmas Family Night, downtown is decorated with small wooden houses which 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. Plus, Round Rock Public Library hosts a puppet show and has Christmas ornament crafts, letters to Santa and a craft sale. E Main St, Downtown Round Rock.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Breakfast with Santa – 9:00 a.m. – noon. Enjoy a breakfast of fruit, muffins and juice with Santa himself! Entertainment includes: a juggling stilt walker, ZACH Theater performers, DJ Mixer Rogers, Joe McDermott and special character appearances. Parents can enter a prize giveaway, and kids can enjoy activities writing letters to Santa, face painting, caricature artists, balloon twisters, reindeer games and a cookie walk. FREE! The Domain, located in Domain II between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace.
Annual German Christmas Market 2014 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The German-Texan Heritage Society offers shoppers hand-made, 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.FREE admission. German Free School, 507 E. 10th Street.
Fairly Silly Holiday Tales & Gingerbread Cookie Decorating at Laura’s - 10:30 a.m. Come get in the holiday spirit at Laura’s Library with the Flying Theatre Machine as they perform Fairly Silly Holiday Tales. Gingerbread cookies will be available to decorate after the show. Gluten-free and dairy-free cookies will also be available. FREE! Laura’s Library, 9411 Bee Cave Road.
Latinitas Holiday Chica- 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join us as we ring in the holiday season with fun activities for the whole family. Participants will make all sorts of holiday creations using digital media and arts and crafts. Activities include creating photography ornaments, papel picado, piňatas, and recording your very own short TV Christmas special. Cost: $5 per family. Latinitas Offices, 4926 East Cesar Chavez Street
A Year With Frog and Toad- 11 a.m. Arnold Lobel’s well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in this Tony-nominated musical. Follow two great friends waking from hibernation, planting gardens, raking leaves, sledding and learning life lessons along the way. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A Year With Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons. ZACH Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.
Hill Country Galleria Snow Day (Bee Cave) – 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.
Under the Oaks: Spotlight Concert presents Christmas Classic- 2 p.m. Get in the holiday spirit and enjoy classic Christmas songs performed by professional opera singers including noted Mezzo- soprano, Cindy Sadler. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to this outdoor concert. Warm drinks and concessions will be available. Tickets: $10, suggested donation. French Legation Museum front lawn of the historic house, 802 San Marcos Street.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Music of Vince Guaraldi – 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.
Battle for a Cure Foundation Presents: A Snow Spectacular (Cedar Park) – 4-8:00 p.m. This event is going to be one of a kind with 30,000 pounds of REAL SNOW blown over a 1300 square foot area for the kids to play in! There will be light snacks, a visit from Santa, hayrides, hot chocolate/coffee bar, cash bar for adults, live music, a silent auction and more. Proceeds benefit children fighting cancer and their families. Cost: $20 adult, $10 child. Purchase tickets online here. Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Dr, Cedar Park.
Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Leander)- 5 p.m. Pictures with Santa, Holiday Hayrides, Yule Fire, Choral Performances, Christmas Parade, and Tree Lighting. FREE! City Hall, 200 West Willis Street, Leander.
Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Holiday Stroll – 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.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Afternoon in the Garden: Geology- 1- 2:30 p.m. Come explore amazing rocks and fossils of Texas. See how soils are created from rocks, study the plants that break them down, create and decorate a pet rock to take home, and go on a geological scavenger hunt through the garden! Free with admission: $1 for children (ages 3-12) & seniors (age 62 & over), $2 for adults, Austin resident (ages 13-61), $3 for adults, non-resident (ages 13-61). Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road.
Santa is Coming to Big Frog – 1-4 p.m. Santa is coming to Big Frog of South Austin from 1-4 p.m. to help celebrate the company’s 3rd Anniversary Party. Have your picture taken with Santa in-store and get your photo printed on a free white t-shirt while you enjoy free food and holiday music from a saxophone quartet. Big Frog Custom T-Shirts, 5400 Brodie Lane.
Yes Ma’am Brass Band Campfire Party- 5-8 p.m. The yard party begins at 5 with the live music, face painting, photo booth, screenprinting and dancing! Hot dogs, vegan dogs, s’mores, and keg will all be provided. Kids are welcome. Suggested donation for food, booze, and fun is $5-$10. (While we appreciate donations, we appreciate your presence most of all. Please don’t let $ keep you away!) 1701 E. 28th Street.
Chaparral Ice Christmas in Austin – 6:30-8:00 p.m. Figure skaters, singers, and dancers “Keep Christmas Weird” by performing Austin’s unique holiday traditions on ice. FREE standing-room admission with canned good donation. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane.
Austin Trail of Lights Grand Opening Celebration – 7 p.m. Grand opening night for the 50th celebration! Come join us for a fun-filled night of lights, holiday activities, food trucks and more! FREE general admission gate access for all. Note: For grand opening night, ZiP benefits will not provide early entry privileges due to opening ceremony festivities. ZiP patrons will enter at the front of the line following the grand opening ceremonies. ZiP patrons will also gain access to the ZiP lounge in the hospitality area. Zilker Park.
African Children’s Choir with Sara Hickman – 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 Road.
Plan more fun holiday events in the coming weeks with our comprehensive guides:
And a huge list of Holiday Happenings in Austin!