If you’re looking for a festive holiday experience, head to The Domain for twinkling lights, carolers, complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides, and a Santa experience that will delight kids of all ages. Don’t miss out on the holiday fun happening all season long at The Domain!
Visit with Santa
Visit the “Beneath the Tree” Santa Photo Experience, where children sit inside a 10-foot tall drum situated under a 34-foot tall tree. Enjoy a story, share your wishlist and capture a picture to save the memory. For complete hours and to make an appointment, click here.
Complimentary Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride under the holiday lights each Friday and Saturday night from 5:30-9:30pm through December 23, 2017. Pick-up locations near California Pizza Kitchen and The Brass Tap.
Holiday Light Shows
Stand in awe as more than 200,000 lights and strobes dance in synchronization to holiday music! Lights shows area available nightly throughout Domain II (between Dick’s Sporting Goods & Dillard’s) each Friday evening at 6, 7 and 8pm through January 1, 2018.
The sounds of the season come alive with performances by Austin Carolers in Domain I each Saturday night from 6:30-8:30pm. Carolers offered Saturdays through December 23, 2017.
The Domain’s year-round live music program is updated to feature holiday music throughout the season! Don’t miss these special performances on the lawn in Domain II and on the stage near North Italia in Domain I through December 23
There are many benefits of being an Amazon Prime member, one of which is the chance to purchase exclusive tickets to an early showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, one of the most anticipated holiday movies!
In the brand-new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the game has changed as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they decide to play and are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, in the bodies of the avatar characters they chose (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan). What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – Jumanji plays you. To win, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever…
Prime members can buy tickets for the early showing that will take place at AMC Barton Creek at 7 p.m. on December 8 – a full 12 days before the film is released on December 20, 2017. Members can purchase up to 10 tickets per showing. To learn more and purchase tickets for the special advance showing for Prime members, visit www.amazon.com/Jumanji.
Amazon Prime offers unlimited fast, free Two-Day Shipping, a variety of entertainment benefits including Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, Twitch Prime and more. New customers who are not Prime members but would like to take advantage of this special event can sign up for a 30-day free trial by visiting www.amazon.com/prime
What: Exclusive Viewing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for Amazon Prime Members
AMC Lakeline 9, 11200 Lakeline Mall Blvd., Cedar Park
AMC Barton Creek Square 14, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin
Regal Westgate Stadium 11, 4477 South Lamar Boulevard Austin
Regal Metropolitan Stadium 14, 901 Little Texas Lane, Austin
Note: The AMC Barton Creek Square location is rolling out the Prime ‘blue carpet’! Arrive early (5 p.m.) for an opportunity to get some of the most popular Amazon devices using Prime Now, Amazon’s one and two-hour delivery service. Members will also be able to enjoy a Jumanji themed photo booth courtesy of Prime Photos, gift bags, giveaways and more.
Cost: $11.36 adults, $8.11 children (includes fees)
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, a hilarious and heartwarming holiday tale for all ages, opens this weekend at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater! Based on the popular chapter book, watch Junie B on stage as she struggles to take revenge on her nemesis “tattle-tale” May.
Junie B. Jones, First-Grader, is super-excited about the upcoming Holiday Sing-Along and Secret Santa gift exchange at her school. Too bad tattletale May keeps ruining all of Junie B.’s fun. So when Junie B. draws May’s name for Secret Santa, she comes up with the perfect plan to teach her nemesis a lesson! But will the Christmas spirit of peace and goodwill interfere before she can give you-know-who what she deserves? A hilarious and endearing tale written by Allison Gregory and based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park.
This one-hour show is the perfect holiday treat for the whole family. Kids may sit on carpets close to the action while grown-ups enjoy comfy new seating and beautiful ambiance in Austin’s Oldest and Dearest Theater.
Be sure to catch one of the shows, playing for the first three weekends in December only!
Giveaway: Enter here for a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to see Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater. The winner picks which performance to attend. All you have to do is leave a comment or fill out the form below by 5:00 p.m. CST on Friday, December 1, 2017.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Groundwork Music Project is hosting their 7th Annual Fall Family FUNraiser on Sunday, October 22, 2017! Join this fabulous organization for an afternoon of music and fun at Cherrywood Coffeehouse.
This perennial favorite is back with the usual variety show of live music by Groundwork Music Orchestra (with students), Tameca Jones, Jon Dee Graham, and Walker Lukens. Bring the kids for face painting, balloon animals, and more.
What: Groundwork Music Project’s Fall Family FUNraiser When: Sunday, October 22, 2017 Time: 3-6 p.m. Where: Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E. 381/2 Street, Austin Cost: Tickets are $5 a person at the door and include entry in a raffle. RSVP:Facebook Event Page
In honor of national Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, November 18th, bring your family to Austin Families Give Back, an event hosted by Generation SERVE (formerly Little Helping Hands)! Your family will learn about giving back to the community while sampling hands-on service activities to benefit nonprofits across Austin. This event will be free and open to the public and all
ages are welcome to attend!
Please pre-register to attend with your family. Shifts are available between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
What: Austin Families Give Back: Family Volunteer Day 2017
When: Saturday, November 18th: shifts available between 10:30am and 4:30pm
Where: Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St.
Koo Koo Kanga Roo to perform at Hush Hush Music Bash.
Kids and adults of all ages will be movin’ and groovin’ at the Hush Hush Music Bash, a FREE family-friendly event that will take place at The Domain. For those who can’t make it to ACL Music Festival and have FOMO (fear of missing out), Hush Hush is the perfect way to get your live music fix while preparing your kids to be future festival-goers in a smaller, more intimate setting.
From babes in strollers to teens, kids of all ages are welcome!
What: Hush Hush Music Bash Where: The Domain, Amy Donovan Plaza, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin (in front of iPic Theater) When: Sunday, October 15, 2017 Time: 3-6 p.m. Cost: Free! RSVP:Facebook Event Page
Presented by: LiveMom, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, The Domain, with music sponsored by The Austin Diagnostic Clinic and Springfree Trampoline Austin.
Back by popular demand, Rosita y Conchita is an imaginative adaptation of Erich Haeger and Eric González’s award-winning children’s book about two sisters who try to reunite on the Day of the Dead. Along the way Rosita keeps getting lost, but she miraculously finds her way to Conchita through familiar sounds and images. This touching story comes to life with live son jarocho music by Son Armado, professional actors, and puppetry. All ages will delight in the rhyming bilingual dialogue and stunning images.
Children love to gather around on the rugs in front of the stage to watch the action in the historic Austin Scottish Rite Theater, Austin’s oldest and theater. Going through a recent renovation, parents can relax in the newly re-upholstered seating under a historically restored starlit ceiling. It’s magical!
What: Rosita y Conchita: A Dia de los Muertos Play in English and Spanish
Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin
When: Saturdays and Sundays, September 30 – October 29, 2017, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Cost: $12 adults, $8 children 2-12, under 2 are free
Giveaway: Enter here for a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to see Rosita y Conchita at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater. The winner picks which performance to attend. All you have to do is leave a comment or fill out the form below by 9:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.
A brand new KinderCare is opening in Round Rock on August 21, 2017! KinderCare Education is the nation’s largest provider of early childhood education, and local families are invited to tour their newest child-care center during the Family Party and Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, August 19th. Guests will enjoy refreshments and fun activities that will include educational games and giveaways.
KinderCare Education makes it their passion to nurture a sense of discovery, joy, and wonder in every child, every day, at every one of its nearly 1400 centers across America. KinderCare is the most accredited early childhood education provider and focuses on creating a world of learning, joy and adventure for children ages six months to twelve years. To bring these learning concepts to life, children and their parents will enjoy the following activities during the grand opening party:
Color a pre-printed wall mural
Visit a (temporary) tattoo bar
Showcase creativity in the chalk corner
Try out the all new playground
Cozy up with a book at the Book Nook
Take a guided tour with KinderCare staff
—>Visit KinderCare online or on Facebook to learn more. Join KinderCare for their Grand Opening celebration. Click here to RSVP for free. <—
What: KinderCare Family Party and Grand Opening Celebration
When: Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Round Rock KinderCare Learning Center, 1900 S. AW Grimes Blvd., Round Rock
The Austin Summer Musical for Children’s 2017 performance of The Jungle Book is coming to the BOyd Vance Theater August 12-27, 2017. The non-profit organization provides live musical theatre productions for the children of Central Texas as a way of fostering community, building interest and enriching the lives of children through music and theatre.
The fully costumed and choreographed production is presented FREE of charge. It is written, planned and performed by a board of community volunteers who share their free time to ensure that the children of Austin and Central Texas will be treated to a quality show. There are 17 free public performances, produced for children ages 2-12.
The Jungle Book
Banished by the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan, a human boy named Mowgli and his panther friend, Bagheera, are on the run in the deepest parts of the jungle. On their journey, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants and a giant bear named Baloo, who teaches them the swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle. After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie, Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. When Shere Khan returns, our heroes must rally their fellow animals into battle and restore peace throughout the jungle.
While the show is free, you do still need to have a ticket for entry to the theatre. Tickets are available 30 minutes prior to the show with online tickets available for select performances.
When: Saturday and Sundays, August 12-27, 2017 Time: Saturdays at 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. Where: Boyd Vance Theater, inside Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St., Austin
Tip: Arrive early to make sure you get a place in line to get tickets! Lines can be long and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Only six tickets allowed per family. Tickets are released 30 minutes before show time.