The 2018Austin Spring Break & Summer Camp Guide is packed with fun and educational options for children of all ages and interests. From day camps that focus on art, robotics, acting and more, to overnight camps, you are sure to find something that appeals to your child’s interests.
American Academy of Robotics
American Robotics Academy aims to excite, inspire and motivate children about the importance of robotics technology. Our hands-on classes offer an introduction to the fundamentals of engineering design, helping children understand “how things work.”
Held in a friendly, sports-like atmosphere, students work in age-appropriate teams and learn how to design, build and test remote-controlled miniature robots. We use simple, motorized machines – all made from LEGO® bricks! – to demonstrate mechanical movements and other effects. We also offer coding camps using the EV3 Mindstorm Programming (EMP), Robotics Programming for LEGO Mindstorm EV3. Students will learn how to program an EV3 Robot to move, turn, stop, control EV3 sensors (light, distance, touch), change Robot speed and direction, all of this while learning the basics of a real world programming language – RobotC. We supply the software, EV3 Robots, laptops and challenge boards. Students will be instructed with the following topics: Introduction to EV3 Hardware, Introduction to Programming, Movement – EV3 Forward/Backward/Turning. Encoders – Lego Motors, Control Structures (while, for, if, repeat, case), Variables and Functions, Sensing – Touch, Ultrasonic, Light Sensor/Line Tracking, Debugging.
Dates: Weekly June 11 – August 3
Live Oaks Unitarian Church, 3315 El Salido, Cedar Park
Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Dr., Cedar Park
Brentwood Christian School, 11908 N. Lamar, Austin
Highland Park Baptist Church, 5206 Balcones Dr., Austin
Magellan International School, 7938 Great Northern Blvd., Austin
Paragon Prep, 2001 W. Koenig Ln., Austin
First Baptist Church–Oak Hills, 6907 Convict Hill Rd., Austin
Round Rock ISD Schools
Cost: Full day (9–4) $325.00; Half day (9–noon) $175.00
Discount: 10% off with coupon code LM9
The Austin Artery
The primary focus is on the process of making art rather than finished product. Research shows that providing children with open-ended activities promotes creativity. Ultimately, at this camp we focus on developing creativity, collaboration, patience with the process of bringing a vision to life, and a love for learning.
Each child needs a firm foundation in the Elements & Principles of Art as well as basic technical skills. We will spend time each day on an activity that develops these skills so that our students can strengthen their artistic practice. Mindfulness is an important part of a creative practice. We begin each day with quiet reflective moments and journaling activities that promote self-knowledge and emotional well-being.
Dates: Weekly June 11 – August 13
Location: 4001 Adelphi Ln., Austin; 4001 Speedway in Hyde Park; 10801 Old San Antonio in S. Austin; 700 West Whitestone Boulevard, Cedar Park
Camp Fun Brain
Camp Fun Brain is a reading enrichment camp taught by certified teachers. Campers start the morning with a great book and then delight in a day centered around the story. Afternoons are full of hands on projects with components that reinforce reading objectives. Leave the reading minutes (and fun!) to us and make 2018 your smoothest summer yet!
Dates: Summer; differs by location; starting June 4 ending August 17
AHB Community School 4001 Speedway
Whole Life Learning Center, 10801 Old San Antonio Rd.
Good Shepherd Lutheran 700 W Whitestone Blvd
Cost: $250 for regular day 9 – 3 with extended day available from 7:30am – 6pm
Contact: 512 619 0935 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaparral Ice – Camp Avalanche
Camp Avalanche is our general day camp that is offered only during the summer. We offer 11 weeks of fun. Your child can spend their summer going on the most outrageous adventures across Austin. Our campers fill their days swimming, going to the park, going on field trips, doing arts and crafts, and of course ice skating. Field trip options include Typhoon Texas, Dart ‘Em Up, Zipline Adventures at Candlelight Ranch, Quest Wakeboard, Water Adventure Park and more. Our staff are amazing, and our campers return year after year as a testament to the quality programming we provide.
Dates: Spring break and all summer long
Location: Chaparral Ice, 2525 West Anderson Lane, Suite 400, Austin, 78757
Contact: Email email@example.com
The Contemporary Austin – Art School
At The Contemporary Austin Art School, summer is filled with art camps for children ages 4 and up, including classes for teens. Our professional faculty will help budding artists of all interests and levels enhance their perceptual and technical skills while having fun among the beautiful, forested 14-acre Laguna Gloria site. Campers will marvel at young birds and other native species that call Laguna Gloria home and find inspiration from contemporary sculptures by artists from around the world.
With half-day morning and afternoon camps from drawing, painting and ceramics, to sculpture, Claymation and mosaics, many of our faculty take advantage of the nature and art at Laguna Gloria as subject matter and inspiration. We are especially proud to bring back Creativity Camp: New World Kids, an innovative two-week camp where children ages 4-5 playfully learn a new alphabet to expand their creativity and discover a new way of looking at the world.
Teen campers may find inspiration in classes exploring drawing and painting, printmaking and woodworking, wheel throwing and other ceramics, and photography and Photoshop techniques, to name just a few.
Dates: Weekly camps held June 4 – August 17
Location: The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St., Austin, 78703
Cost: Varies per camp. Please visit our website for details
Country Home Learning Center
Country Home’s extremely popular Summer Camp program includes all of our regular activities, our Kids’ Choice Special Interest Clubs, regularly scheduled field trips to swimming, skating, bowling and movies, as well as special field trips to a wide variety of exciting local destinations. Our highly successful, reward-based Reading Program encourages academic exercises throughout the summer, while our wonderful facility affords us the opportunity to explore various themed rooms.
Dates: Spring Break and Summer Camps available Monday–Friday
Location: North & South Austin
Cost: $205 per week, plus registration and activity fees
Contact: North Austin (512) 331-1441; South Austin (512) 288-8220
Creative Action Summer Camps
Creative Action offers fun and engaging summer camps for ages 5–11! With a variety of themes to choose from, our camps are offered at three convenient locations in North Central, East, and South Austin. Our 1-week camps for 5- to 7-year-olds build creativity and confidence through artistic exploration and are designed to be active, inspiring and fun! Our 2-week academies for 8- to 11-year-olds are limited to just 15 students per session to foster the development of this specific age group. Campers work closely with professional artists and go deep to master new art skills.
Dates: Summer Camps, June 4 – August 3
Locations: Creative Action, 2921 E. 17th St., Austin, 78702; Koenig Lane Christian Church, 908 Old Koenig Lane, Austin, 78756; Eden Park Academy, 6215 Manchaca Rd., Austin, 78745
Cost: $295 for 1-week camps and $590 for 2-week camps
Creative Side Jewelry Academy Young Metalsmiths Summer Camps
Creative Side Jewelry Academy, the top jewelry crafting and metalsmithing school in central Texas, offers week-long Summer Camps (ages 10–15). These camps provide a creative environment where kids have the opportunity to learn fundamental metalsmithing techniques using copper, brass and silver. The camps are led by professional artists and educators. Under their guidance, students increase fine motor skills while learning to make sculptural jewelry pieces. They learn sawing, riveting, filing, hammering, drilling, casting and much more. Students create multiple pieces throughout the week and are encouraged to develop their own design skills.
The Creative Side family is excited and honored to open up this world of jewelry making and these ancient techniques to your budding artisan. The gratification the students receive after creating their own design from start to finish is irreplaceable. Creative Side hosts an end of the week art show to be named and set up by the kids. Parents, family and friends will be invited to join us at the end of the day on Friday to meet the instructors and new friends, and view students’ artwork on display.
We have three camps this summer: The Torch, The Torch II and Metal Casting. Take one or all three!
Dates: June 11–15, M–F, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; June 25–29, M–F, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; July 16–July 20, M–F, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Location: Creative Side Jewelry Academy, 321 W. Ben White, #204, Austin, 78704
Cost: $385 all materials included
Discount: Sign up for ALL THREE Summer Camps and receive 5% off total tuition. Use promo code SUMMERCAMP at checkout.
Fantastic Magic Camp
Fantastic Magic Camp – Teaching life skills and confidence through magic, juggling, and puppets to kids ages 5–12 in Austin since 1993. All our camp sessions are held 9 a.m.–3 p.m., with optional Magic Camp Rehearsal Time 3 p.m.–6 p.m. for an additional fee.
Imagine a place where …
Kids discover their unique inner Magic through learning magic tricks. Campers are surrounded by people who recognize and embrace their uniqueness. A shy girl learns to express herself through the actions of a puppet. Both the timid and adventuresome discover that they can master things they never dreamt they could do, like making cards appear out of thin air or balancing on stilts. Or as one parent said: “We love Magic Camp – it turns my kids’ minds on. They come home problem solving and practicing. It’s been a staple of our summer program for multiple years and we expect the kids to attend next year, too.”
Fantastic Magic Camp was given the 2017 “Best Day Camp Award” and the 2016 Best Camp Award for “Favorite Small Local Camp” in Austin. It was also voted “Most Uniquely Austin Business” by the Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2012. Last year, all our summer sessions were sold out ” so register today!
Dates: Spring Break, March 12–16, (one week); Summer Session 1, June 4–15, (two weeks); Summer Session 2, June 18–29, (two weeks); Summer Session 3, July 2–6, (one week); Summer Session 4, July 9–20, (two weeks); Summer Session 5, July 23 – August 3, (two weeks); Summer Session 6, August 6–17, (two weeks)
Location: Central Austin, 7500 Woodrow Ave., Austin, 78757
Cost: $295 for our one-week camps, $590 for two-week camps
Discount: 10% off first camp registration and $60 off additional multiple sessions and/or sibling registrations for two week sessions, ($30 for one week sessions). Use discount code: LiveMom18. Expires: 08/17/2018
Girls Empowerment Network
Girls Empowerment Network’s summer day camp, campGEN, serves girls in entering grades 3–8. campGEN girls participate in fun, interactive workshops during two week-long sessions that are designed to ignite the power in girls and teach them skills to thrive and believe in their ability to be unstoppable. In part 1, “Own My Power,” girls will be owning their power, exploring stress management, identity, self-compassion and body positivity. In part 2, “Use My Power,” girls will explore confident communication, advocacy, healthy friendships and values. Girls who join campGEN will gain new skills, new friendships and a new sense of self!
Dates: June 18–22 and July 16–20
Location: 901 Trinity St., Austin
Groundwork Music Project Ukulele Summer Camp
Kids aged 8-12 embark on a lifetime of musical skills with the Groundwork Music Project. Join us for a unique summer program at which kids learn ukulele, singing and more! Learn to strum, pick and play a variety of melodies. The session ends with campers joining the Groundwork Music Orchestra at a special concert event. Cost includes book and CD. Ukuleles available during class or for purchase.
Dates: June 25–29 from 9 a.m.–noon
Location: Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Ln., Austin, 78757
Cost: Early bird (before April 30) is $275; $325 after May 1st (with scholarships and sliding scale available)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-669-2028
Hello World – Coding Program
Hello World is composed of software engineers from companies like Amazon, Apple and IBM who have joined forces to create a fun, rigorous, project-based learning environment for 2nd- through 12th-grade students centered on mastering programming concepts in cutting-edge technology fields.
This summer’s courses include:
• iOS App Development with Swift: Program and publish iOS apps in the Apple app store.
• Game Engineering: Code games using C# and GML programming languages – includes AR/VR for older students.
• Amazon Alexa & Natural Language Processing: Program Alexa extensions using Python code, such as making Alexa respond to your voice with cat noises.
Sessions take place at innovative tech hubs in downtown Austin, including Capital Factory, Galvanize and Hack Reactor. The full 45-hour experience is divided between direct instruction, team work and group challenges, structured independent work, creativity time, community and culture building, and career readiness. This program is intended for students with an interest in design, creative problem solving and computer science. We are open to all levels and will differentiate based on previous exposure to engineering concepts. We strongly encourage girls to join the program! See pictures from our photo gallery: http://www.helloworldstudio.org/photo-gallery/
Dates: June 4–9; June 25–30; July 9–14; July 23–28
Location: Innovative Tech Hubs in Austin – Capital Factory, Galvanize, Hack Reactor
Cost: $799–$899; scholarships available
Discount: 10% off; use discount: CODERSUMMER10
Imagine a world where superheroes are real. Where pirates are friendly and every little girl is a princess. Imagine life in the farthest reaches of space or becoming a rock star. Imagine a place where children can keep it weird. Camp Jump! offers 1-week half-, full- and extended-day opportunities for children to explore their imaginations through theme-based curriculum featuring gymnastics, art exploration, interactive centers, social integration, dramatic play, yoga, music, dance and now field trips. Voted Austin Family Magazine’s “Most Fun Camp” in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Come find out why!
Dates: Camps are held Monday–Friday, June 4 – August 17
North Central: 2117 West Anderson Ln., Austin
South Central: 2919 Manchaca Rd., #205, Austin
Cost: Half-day, $220/week (9 a.m.–1 p.m.); Full-day, $270/week (9 a.m.–3 p.m.); Extended-day, $350/week (9 a.m.–6 p.m.); Early drop-off, $50/week (8 a.m.)
Contact: 512-593-6226; email@example.com
Discount: Sign up before March 30, 2018 and 10% off one camp per child.
Kidventure Day and Overnight Camps
Welcome to Kidventure. Our mission is to help build the lives of kids, provide them with opportunities to grow strong, and demonstrate that they can make a real difference in the world. For 24 years, we have chosen to do so through the power of camp. Whether you’re playing sports at our summer day camp, zip-lining at our overnight camp, or problem-solving at our after school program, everything we do is purposeful. Alongside the most dedicated and passionate team of counselors, your child will not only enjoy the time of his or her life, but be learning the kind of lessons that will serve them well the rest of their lives.
Dates: June 4 – August 10
Locations: Camp Westlake (West Austin), Camp Rough Life (Lakeway), Camp Sweetwater (71 West), Safari Overnight Camp (Hunt, TX), Echo Overnight Camp (Rocksprings, TX), APEX (Pecos River Expedition)
Cost: Day Camp, $255; Overnight Camp, $1,295–$1,795
Contact: 512-263-8992 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Discount: $100 discount on Overnight Camp 2018
During this exciting camp experience, the team of kids create a startup business, make and sell a real product, and they get to keep the profits! Through the process, they learn about using money wisely. Watch your child develop professional skills in leadership and personal accountability in just a few days.
Dates: Spring Break and every week during summer break
Locations: All over Austin and Round Rock
Cost: $340 (extended day available)
Orpheus Academy of Music
Join us for musical summer fun at Orpheus Academy of Music! Our camps provide an enriching experience for children of all ages and abilities. With experienced, degreed teachers, new activities every 30 minutes and a variety of camp choices, you’ll have the most rewarding adventure of the whole summer!
Piano Orchestra: For the first time at Orpheus, be part of this one-of-a-kind ensemble experience made entirely of electric pianos! Classes in improv, group rehearsals and mini private lessons make up this unique camp.
Guitar Orchestra: Experience the joy of playing guitar surrounded by other passionate guitarists. Fast-moving classes every half hour keep you engaged and learning to maximize your fun!
Composition & Improvisation: Learn through creating our own music! Explore your full potential as a creative musician by working with outstanding composers and jazz improvisers. Bring your compositions to share or let us help you get started with something new!
Chamber Music: Make music with your friends and learn vital musicianship skills in this popular camp. Great for students looking for their first experience in chamber music!
World Music Camp: Learn the songs, instruments and customs of different countries! Learn vocal techniques, rhythm, listening skills, pitch and harmony by making and listening to music from different cultures!
Broadway Musicals Camp: Learn to sing, dance and act using the best scenes from American Broadway. Practice auditioning techniques, perform in small groups, and show off everything you learned at the end of week performance!
Choir Camp: Learn vocal techniques, breathing, movement and rhythm in this unique choral experience! Make music together and express yourself with choral favorites and songs from around the world.
Intro to Piano: Spark your passion for piano by discovering basic techniques and learning to play a few short pieces in just five days! For students who think they might be interested in piano lessons, this camp will help you decide!
Intro to Violin: Spark your passion for violin by learning to play a few short pieces in just five days! Violins for will be provided during the camp so students can try out the instrument without any upfront investment. For students who think they might be interested in violin lessons, this camp will help you decide!
Intro to Guitar: Spark your passion for guitar by learning to play a few short pieces in just five days! Guitars will be provided during the camp so students can try out the instrument without any upfront investment. For students who think they might be interested in guitar lessons, this camp will help you decide!
Music From the Inside Out: Develop your inner artist in this camp that utilizes teaching techniques from music conservatories around the world! Engage with music through improvised movement, singing and group interaction to grow musically and socially!
Dates: World Music: June 18–22 OR July 16–20 from 9 a.m.–noon; Piano Orchestra: June 11–15, 9 a.m.–noon; Guitar Orchestra: June 11–15, 9 a.m.–noon; Composition & Improvisation: June 4–8 OR July 9–13, 1–4 p.m.; Chamber Music: June 4–8 OR July 9–13 9 a.m.–noon; Choir Camp: June 25–29 OR July 23–27 1–4 p.m.; Intro to Piano: July 30 – August 3, 9 a.m.–noon; Intro to Violin: August 6–10, 9 a.m.–noon; Music From the Inside Out: June 18–22, 1–4 p.m.; Intro to Guitar: July 30 – August 3 OR August 6–10, 9 a.m.–noon; Broadway Musicals: June 25–29 OR July 23–27 from 9 a.m.–noon
Location: 3918-C Far West Blvd., Austin
Patricia’s Table Cooking Camp
Expand your child’s mind and taste buds this summer with our deliciously fun week-long cooking camps. Each week, we offer new camps featuring seasonal recipes. Chefs will make two to three recipes – always one savory and one sweet – daily from scratch. Younger chefs will focus on kitchen basics while older chefs will learn more advanced culinary techniques. Games, challenges and crafts will be incorporated to spice up each camp. Our professional team of culinary instructors and assistants will help create a memorable experience for your chef.
Dates: May 21 – August 24
Location: 1510 W. 35th St., Austin, 78731
Round Rock Express Baseball Camps
The Round Rock Express baseball camps offer big league quality instruction on the fundamentals of the game of baseball and softball. Express baseball and softball camps range in ages and offer opportunities for all skill levels. We pride ourselves on providing high-level baseball and softball instruction from knowledgeable and experienced coaches. Express camps aim to develop the complete ballplayer by not only focusing on the physical skill sets, but leadership and mental skills as well.
Dates: Various camps available all summer long
Location: Dell Diamond in Round Rock
Cost: $99 and up
Sherwood Forest Summer Camp
How many of us wonder if we could have been really great at some type of craft or skill, given an earlier start? Sherwood Forest Summer Camp attendees have the opportunity to try their hands at many crafts and skills that are no longer widely taught. Maybe your child is a natural with a bow? Or perhaps they are made for the stage, but never had a chance to be in a play before. It is amazing what a child can learn without the distractions of the modern world.
Campers may choose to sleep in Sherwood Castle (yes, it’s a real castle) or in one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions (with nightly bedtime stories). We offer a healthy, kid-friendly menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Our catering is performed by Brou HaHa, who has a solid history of serving patrons at Sherwood Forest Faire since its inception. All of our hands-on activities take place in our 23-acre medieval village. Campers will be transported back in time to a world of knights, ladies and a simpler way of life, while learning skills essential to daily living in the medieval era. No modern entertainment devices will be available.
New in 2018: Sherwood Forest Family Summer Camp! This is a chance for your family to spend some quality time together, in the midst of the beautiful Nottingham Village. You’ll be exposed to numerous skills and trades of the Medieval era, which means you will be making things with your hands – and that doesn’t mean drawing a picture on your screen with your finger!
Location: Sherwood Forest Faire, 1883 Old Hwy. 20, McDade
Dates: Grown up camp, June 21–24; Family Camp, July 3–7; Youth Camp, July 8–28 (three week-long sessions)
Discount: $25 discount for each of the following: *Paying tuition in full and completing all preliminary paperwork by March 31; each sibling after the first, if attending together; each week after the first, if a camper attends consecutive weeks; each new camper a prior attendee traps … err, gathers into the fold. Discounts are cumulative, so you can qualify for more than one of the above discounts. More details available on our website.
Camps are so much fun with Sportball! Join us for a day or for the whole week. Sportball is designed to teach children the skills and confidence to get in the game of basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, football, hockey, tennis, and golf! Our coaches play a new sport each week or day at camp and break down skills into kid-sized bites of fun that promote the fundamentals and encourage teamwork. Older children also work towards scrimmage play.
Dates: March 12–16 (Spring Break), May 21 – August 31 (Summer Camps)
Locations: WAYA, Hyde Park, Steiner Ranch, Clay Madsen Rec Center, Riverbend Center, more coming!
Discount: 10% off. Must call to apply discount.
Summer Spark day camps are designed to shift your child’s mindset to embrace problem solving and failure through weekly hands-on challenges.
At Summer Spark, your children come alive as they engage in weekly creative problem solving challenges. With packed schedules, powerful media everywhere, and performance pressure in school, a fundamental component of a strong foundation is missing in the lives of many children today.
There just isn’t time anymore for children to experiment, to tinker, to fail, to try again. Summer Spark creates this time. We present children with engaging problems, but no set solutions. We guide them in working with peers and seeking inspiration from what they see around them. We offer them encouragement and stimulate their imaginations with questions instead of answers. We provide simple materials and recycled trash so that the focus is on what they are able to create with their own hands.
Through these experiences, children have the opportunity to develop confidence, collaborate authentically with peers, and work through success and failure. We offer 10 different week-long programs designed specifically for elementary-age children.
Dates: Weekly camps available from June 4 – August 10
Location: Downtown & South Austin
Discount: Flexible Registration and Free Cancellation through May
Synergy Dance Studio – Summer Dance Camps
Synergy Dance Studio offers preschool and school-age camps as well as dance intensives for the more experienced dancer. Themed summer dance camps are limited in size and are grouped by age and ability. An Austin dance studio that offers summer camps to ages 3 and up, Synergy Dance Studio strives to provide children with solid technical training as well as an enjoyable and creative dance experience. We offer all levels of training, beginning through pre-professional. Our focus is promoting self-discipline, self-respect and most importantly self-confidence. Space is limited and camps will fill up, so reserve your space today.
Preschool Camps (age 3-5)
Moana Preschool: May 29-June 1 (Tues-Fri)
Elsa and Friends: June 25-29
My Little Pony: July 16-20
Leap: July 30 – August 3
Day Camps (age 4.5-10)
Leap: June 4-8
Greatest Showman: June 18-22
Kids Bop: June 25-29
Moana: July 16-20
Pop Star Party: July 30-August 3
Beginner to Intermediate Dance Intensives (age 8-14)
All Level Boot Camp/Stretch: May 29-June 1 (age 11-18)
Making the Video: June 11-15 (age 9-12)
Triple Threat: Beg/Int July 23-27 (age 8-14)
Jazz/Hip Hop Intensive: Beg/Int August 6-10 (age 8-14)
Intermediate to Advanced Dance Intensives (age 8-18)
All Level Boot Camp/Stretch: May 29-June 1(age 11-18)
Jazz/Hip Hop Intensive: Int/Adv June 11-15 (age 10-18)
Ballet/Modern Intensive: Beg, Int and Adv June 25-29 (age 8-18)
Drill Team Intensive: Int/Adv July 30-3 Level (11-18)
Extended hours available upon request.
Dates: May 29– August 17
Location: 3425 Bee Caves Rd., Ste. C1, Austin, 78746
YMCA Camp Twin Lakes
Experience Overnight and Day Camp in the heart of Hill Country just minutes from Austin. Camp Twin Lakes is THE camp in Cedar Park. Situated on 55 acres of park land, it features 2 lakes, the Wet Willie Water Slide, canoeing, kayaking, swim beach, Aqua Park, pools, archery range, paintball field, sports complex, covered pavilions and 3 indoor lodges. Our themed camps have the power to change the course of a summer and help kids develop in positive ways. We provide a safe, supportive and fun environment filled with new activities every day — all in the great outdoors.
Dates: March 12–16 (Spring Break); June 6 – July 28 (Summer Overnight Camps), May 30 – August 15 (Summer Day Camps)
Location: 204 E. Little Elm Trl., Cedar Park, 78613
Cost: Day Camp, $188–$284; Overnight, $375–$749
Contact: 512-250-9622 option 6
To list your spring break or summer camp in the 2018 Camp Guide, please contact Catherine@LiveMom.com.
Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us, and Austin-area event calendars are filling up with all things festive. We’ve narrowed down what is typically a very long list of merry making events to the top 25 things to do during the holidays in Austin. Grab those calendars and start your 2017 holiday planning! Many thanks to Springfree Trampoline for sponsoring this post!
Movies in the Park: Muppet Christmas Carol
When: Saturday, November 9, 6:30-10 p.m.
Where: Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale Avenue, Austin
Close out the 25th Annual season with some holiday cheer! Join us at Ramsey park for a very Muppet Christmas tale. Movie begins around 6pm, but get there early to grab your spot!
Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade
When: Saturday, November 18, 11 a.m.
Where: Starts at the Capitol at 11th and Congress, moving south on Congress all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge.
Enjoy giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, children’s characters, marching bands, classic cars, Santa, and more at this annual parade the benefits Blue Santa. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.
Austin Empty Bowl
When: Sunday, November 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin
Potters from all over Central Texas donate bowls of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Thirty restaurants and bakeries donate delicious soups and breads, while musicians donate their time and talent to entertain us. Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, friends and families come together 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 the Central Texas Food Bank to help sponsor the Kids Cafe Program and Meals on Wheels Central Texas’ Meals for Kids. Kids Cafe and Meals for Kids provide a safe, nurturing place where children receive a hot, nutritious dinner, as well as help with homework.
A Christmas Carol
When: November 22 – December 31, 2017, various times
Where: ZACH Theater, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin
Austin’s most rockin’ holiday tradition returns to make merry with a new music to get the party started! ZACH’s inspired adaptation of the Dickens’ classic is a musical sleigh ride through rhythm and time, infusing the traditional Victorian story with a musical score that spans all genres and eras. Motown meets the HoHoHolidays in this family celebration, creating an infectious spirit that has everyone dancing in the aisles, creating an infectious spirit that has everyone dancing in the aisles. Join the loving Cratchit family and three soulful ghosts as they take Ebenezer Scrooge on a joyride to miraculous transformation, as he rediscovers his heart and love for human kindness.
Santa on the Terrace
When: Saturday, November 24, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
This Black Friday, Santa is coming to town and spreading some holiday cheer! Join us on the City Terrace and take some time out of the busiest holiday of the year to celebrate the season. Bring the kids for a FREE photo with Santa overlooking the best view in Austin! Enjoy some holiday treats with all sorts of fun entertainment. Activities will be planned for the whole family, so bring everyone. And, in true Black Friday fashion, we’ll have some of our best deals of the year available!
The North Pole Flyer
When: Saturday & Sunday, November 25 – December 17, 2017, 8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park
Enjoy a special 2 hour excursion on a real train that features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa and a locally baked holiday cookie. Each car is decorated for the season where passengers enjoy a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book-our railroad’s own Christmas Story! Santa will spend time in each car to “check your list twice”, and pose for photographs before handing out a gift to each child to remember this special ride! Tickets start at $45.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Holiday Lights Display
When: November 17 – January 1
Where: Mozart’s, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
Mozart’s annual light display takes place every hour on the hour until midnight. The show lasts fifteen minutes, but 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
Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony
When: Sunday, November 26, 5:30 p.m. pre-event music, 6:00 p.m. lighting
Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road
Enjoy local entertainment, food, live music and more at the annual lighting of the Zilker Tree, which stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs – totaling 3,309 lights.
November 27 – December 31, 6 pm – 12 midnight, tree on display nightly. REMINDER – on Trail of Lights Nights the area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. If you are planning to visit the Holiday Tree itself, make sure to plan around those nights.
A PRAIRIE CAROL: Charles Dickens’ Christmas Tale
When: Friday & Saturday, December 1, 2 & 8, 9, 7-11 p.m.
Where: Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin
Based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, families will enjoy various scenes of Dickens’ classic tale in 1800s Texas on four nights in December. Bring the family to Pioneer Farms this holiday season for a most unusual event. Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history, not in England but in the Lone Star State. 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.
When: Saturday, December 2, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: The Domain, Amy Donovan Plaza, in between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s
Elves in training can enjoy music, face painting, balloon twisting, crafts, games, prizes, giveaways, a Santa snack and fun photo opps!
German Christmas Market
When: Saturday, December 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: German-Texan Heritage Society, 507 E. 10th Street, Austin
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. All purchases are Sales Tax Free on this special day.
Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
When: Saturday, December 2, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Austin at the Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue and 11th
Sing holiday songs on the lawn of the Capitol and then stroll along Congress Avenue.
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells
When: December 2-16 (Saturdays and Sundays), 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin
Based on the popular chapter book, Austin Scottish Rite Theater presents Junie B on stage as she struggles to take revenge on her nemesis “tattle-tale” May. This is a hilarious and heartwarming holiday tale.
Lights of Love
When: Sunday, December 3, 4-7 p.m.
Where: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin
Lights of Love is a festive event for children and families to experience holiday fun and the magical moment when hundreds of sparkling lights suddenly illuminate the Ronald McDonald House and its big, bright holiday tree. Many activities are planned including cookie decorating, kids’ crafts, snow slide, music, photos with Santa Claus and much more! $5 per person suggested donation | $20 per family suggested donation.
Holiday Open House at the Four Seasons
When: Monday and Tuesday, December 4 & 5, 5 p.m.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin
A beloved tradition, our Open Houses invite locals and visitors to ooh and ahh over the Gingerbread Village in the Lobby, all while enjoying complimentary hot apple cider and festive cookies. The talented pastry chefs behind this year’s Monopoly-inspired Village – along with special guest, Santa – will also be on hand for photo opportunities and to answer questions about the houses, which will be on display from November 21 through December 25, 2017.
12th Annual Mueller Tower Lighting
When: Tuesday, December 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Mueller Control Tower, Berkman Drive, Austin
Join the Mueller community for the 12th Annual Tower Lighting Ceremony! The Reagan High School Drumline and Boss Street Band will provide entertainment for the entire family. Free coffee, kettle corn and cookies will be available while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. Free hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be served while supplies last! Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase during the event. FREE!
Domain NORTHSIDE Kids: Frosted
When: Wednesday, December 6, 10 a.m. – noon
Where: Domain NORTHSIDE, 11700 Domain Blvd, Austin
The Boogaloo Crew will guide your littles in activities and crafts that get their bodies and minds engaged. End the morning by taking home a fun photo (and a first come, first served gift bag from select Domain NORTHSIDE and Rock Rose retailers and restaurants). Guided activities begin at 10am. Space is limited. After 10am, we will begin to take walk-ups and registered guests will not be guaranteed admission.
Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker
When: December 8-23; shows at 2 & 7:30 p.m.
Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin
Austin’s favorite holiday tradition returns for its 55th year with all of the colorful characters, pomp and pageantry you adore. Journey with young Clara Silberhaus from her family’s holiday party to the confection-filled Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where sweets of all kinds come to life. Ballet Austin’s annual production of the world’s best-known ballet features hundreds of dancers, gorgeous sets and costumes, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s magical score. It’s the perfect way for family and friends to celebrate the season together!
Gingerbread House Workshops at the Thinkery
When: December 9-24, various times
Where: The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Avenue, Austin
These hour-long, educator-led workshops are appropriate for all ages and offer everything needed to build and decorate a charming gingerbread house. Each attendee must reserve a seat in the workshop and we recommend purchasing one Gingerbread House Kit for every 2-3 people. Cost: $5 Member Adult or Child Seat | $12 Non-Member Adult or Child Seat | $20 per Gingerbread House Kit (Every group must purchase at least one house).
Charlie Brown Christmas
When: Saturday, December 9, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Avenue, Austin
Join the Austin Chamber Music Center for a live music performance featuring all of your favorite tunes from the holiday classic – and more, including Snoopy! Bring your family to this Austin tradition and get in the holiday spirit!General Admission: $22-$37.
Holiday Family Day at The Blanton Museum of Art
When: Saturday, December 9, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd., Austin
Celebrate the holidays with the Blanton Museum of Art! Enjoy exploring the special exhibition and permanent collection galleries while engaging in fun conversation, and searching for creative inspiration to make festive art in our WorkLAB Studio that you can keep for yourself or give to your loved ones as a gift. Free museum admissions for children ages 12 and under; program included with admission.
Austin Trail of Lights
When: December 9-23, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Zilker Park, Barton Springs Road, Austin
Visit the Trail of Lights and take a spin under the Zilker Tree! Kids will enjoy an interactive kids’ area, photo opportunities, visit with Santa, delicious food and more. General admission is FREE on select nights, $3 for ages 12+ from December 15-17 and 20-23. Parking pass is $15-$20.
Cherrywood Art Fair
When: December 9 & 10, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Maplewood Elementary School, 381/2 St. & Maplewood
Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts ranging from jewelry to ceramics and more. There’s live music, an art corner for the kids, food and drinks and more! FREE Admission!
When: Tuesday, December 12, 8 p.m.
Where: Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin
The Austin Symphony once again presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Chorus Austin for you and your family at Hyde Park Baptist Church. This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Let us begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing!
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
When: December 14-24, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an 11 day fine art, shopping destination featuring national and local award-winning artists, with live music and two full bars in a festive, lively atmosphere.
Looking to add a trampoline to your backyard this holiday season? Take a test jump at the Springfree Trampoline showroom, located in The Domain in Austin or at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave . Springfree Trampolines have no springs, no hard edges, and a frame beneath the jumping surface. That’s smart engineering. Their patented safety design and tgoma’s one at a time play feature will give you peace of mind that your kids are having a safe, fun jumping experience.