Family friendly events in Austin, Texas are an ongoing occurrence. There are always great family friendly places and events to attend!
This may come as a big surprise to you, but today there is a 100 percent chance of a wintry mix! That’s because the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City is having its second annual Snow Day. The outdoor Science & Art Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland with 20 tons of snow.
This is the perfect activity to get the whole family out of the house today. Go for a lovely drive and give the littlest Texans the kind of winter fun they rarely get to have.
Highlights include a live action ice sculpture, ice piano, snowball catapult launches, mini snowman building contest, snowball radar throws, and more.
When: Today, January 14th
Time: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the event or online here. Members get in free.
Hill Country Science Mill
101 S Lady Bird Ln.
Johnson City, Texas 78636
*Visitors are encouraged to bring mittens or gloves to keep their hands warm while playing in the snow.
Tonight is the night! If you don’t have plans for NYE and you aren’t in the mood for total debauchery, the city’s giant celebration at Auditorium Shores is a great bet. Bring in the New Year with a free, fun, and family friendly celebration.
Austin’s New Year will have have three stages, 15 local and regional bands, food trucks, kid’s activities, and multiple art installations.
Check out the full music schedule here.
Capping off the festive evening, the traditional fireworks finale will start at 10 p.m.!
When: Today, December 31st
Time: 3:00-10:30 p.m.
900 W Riverside Dr,
Austin, TX 78704
Mozart’s is one of the best coffee shops in Austin, mostly because they have a phenomenal location on Lake Austin and a great outdoor deck. It’s one of the best places in town to see some spectacular holiday lights.
Each year they take Christmas lights to the extreme with an extravagant display. They have a light show at the top of each hour starting at 6 p.m. One of the songs is Wizards in Winter by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I love it and of course, the Texas Fight song!
Time: Top of every hour, starting at 6 p.m.
When: now – New Years
3826 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703
Photo: Mozart’s Coffee
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Live Oak Brewing Company are proud to present you with an outdoor screening of Home Alone at The Live Oak Brewery. Bring your fold-out chairs, blankets, and grab a slice of Stony’s Pizza to enjoy a fun night of entertainment. Beer and food available for purchase.
When: Tonight, December 16th
Time: 6:30 pm
Live Oak Brewing Company
1615 Crozier Lane
Austin, TX 78617
It’s gonna be a little chilly tonight, but let’s all cozy up and enjoy the Christmas-y weather while we can. Join Austin Parks Foundation for Movie Night at the Trail! They’re screening two versions of The Grinch on the very last free night at Austin Trail of Lights.
7:30 p.m. – How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 animated)
Run time: 26 min
8:15 p.m. – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000 Jim Carrey)
Run time: 1 hr 44 min
When: Today, December 16th
Austin’s Trail of Lights
2400 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, Texas 78746
Barely just one-year-old, the Hotel Van Zandt in the Rainey Street District has become a fixture of Downtown Austin, winning all sorts of awards and offering gorgeous interiors and jaw-dropping sunset views of Lady Bird Lake. Now they are getting in on the holiday happenings in the city by starting their very own tradition: 12 Days of Christmas. From December 12-23, there will be all kinds of free events happening at the hotel, in what they call, “The Living Room.” It’s basically every great holiday activity packed into one place. Plus, each night there will be a roaring fire, vinyl holiday records playing in the background, a hot toddy bar, and light snacks for purchase. Yep, that sounds like a winter wonderland to us.
Throughout the 12 days, families, friends, couples, and pets are invited to come out and get into the spirit. Here’s a complete list of what’s happening each day. (Look at December 18th—that’s our favorite by far!):
December 12: Tree lighting and live music by Kate Priestley Holiday Trio (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 13: Movie night – It’s A Wonderful Life (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 14: Christmas classics on vinyl (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 15: Holiday Trivia with Austin’s favorite host: Taylor Ellison from We Are Austin (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 16: Live holiday music by Drew Davis & Ray Prim (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 17: Christmas classics on vinyl (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 18: Santa Paws – In partnership with Austin Pets Alive!, if you adopt a pet, you receive a two-night staycation for guest and pet at Hotel Van Zandt. Professional photos, $10 donation; iPhone photos, $1 donation (12:00-3:00 p.m.)
December 19: Cookie decoration (5:00-8:00 p.m.) -There will be a contest for a two-night stay on property
December 20: Movie night – Love Actually (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 21: Photos with Santa – Professional photos are available for purchase and proceeds will go to charity (5:00-8:00 p.m.)
December 22: Ugly sweater party – There will be a contest for a two-night stay at the hotel (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
December 23: Winter Wonderland on the Pool Deck with Snuggies and Motown Christmas music by The Argyles at Geraldine’s (5:00-10:30 p.m.).
For Austinites, tonight is the night the magic of Christmas officially begins! It’s the grand opening of the city’s much-beloved Trail of Lights. In the 52 years since the first Yule Log was lit, the event has expanded to more than 40 displays, 2 million lights, and holiday activities that create countless memories. The Trail of Lights is one of the three largest events in Austin and receives national accolades while remaining a deeply cherished local tradition.
Parking and shuttle information is here. But the best way to go is the ZiP Fast Pass! They allow access to the Trail of Lights at 6:00 p.m., one hour before the Trail opens to the general public. ZiP guests also receive access to the Lounge in Zilker Village where you’ll find restrooms, cookies, cocoa, and seating. Purchase required for ages 6 and over; children under 6 are free with a ticketed ZiP adult.
Cost: ZiP Fast Passes are $15-$20
When: Tonight, December 10th
2100 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78746
This December, The Paramount is celebrating the holidays with heartwarming seasonal movies. Tonight, the classic family comedy A Christmas Story will be featured on glorious 35mm. So turn off the TV, skip the commercials and distractions, and bring all your friends and family to watch Ralphie try and shoot his eye out in the festively decorated Paramount Theatre!
When: Today, December 9th
Time: 7-10 p.m.
The Paramount Theatre
713 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Hello winter in Austin. This is prime ice skating at Whole Foods weather (minus the rain). While the rink is not exactly huge, the entire experience is still pretty enchanting.
***Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are always open to the public, but please contact the Lamar Guest Services team at (512) 476-1206 for updated information on public skate hours during weekdays, as they offer private party reservations on Monday – Thursday during the ice rink season. Information on private party closures during rink operating hours will also be listed on the link below updated weekly.
Admission: $10 (per session /includes skate rental)
When: today, now – January 7th
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Whole Foods Downtown
525 North Lamar
Austin, Texas 78703
Attention Hello Kitty fans: The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is here in Austin! The truck will be parked right by Men’s Warehouse at Barton Creek Square Mall all day today. If you are Christmas shopping, or just hankering for a sweet treat, make sure to stop by. The yummy menu will include a three-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaron box set with a surprise Sanrio character design, a 4-pack of mini cakes, and bow-shaped bottles of water.
When: Today, December 3rd
Time: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Barton Creek Square
2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy.
Austin, Texas 78746
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