Santa Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX


    Join us for our last Garden Party of the year! We will have so much going on:
    🤶🎅 will be here for photos!
    🎀Jeanette Dyer & Melodie Yargeau will be here to decorate wreaths – bring your own items or use ours!
    🐕 Austin Animal Center 🐈 will be here with a friendly pup and free pet tag engravings!
    🌰DIY Decoration Stand – with all the glitter and glue your heart could desire!
    🎶 Live music!
    And who could forget!?🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

    Saturday 8 December, 11am – 4/5pm

    This event is free and open to the public!

      Indulge in a hot-chocolate bar, decorate sugar cookies and create a one-of-a-kind ornament for your tree. Then, let the kiddos prance off some holiday wiggles in the indoor bouncy houses.

      PLUS, get a professional photo with the real Santa for your mantel! This photo-op will be FREE of charge and STRESS FREE because we’ll not only text you when it’s time to take your photo with Santa, but we’ll also email the digital photo to you! No 2-hour lines, just fun!

      Best of all, we’ll have our elves stationed every step of the way to help you have an enjoyable kickoff to the most wonderful time of the year!

      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.

      Strolling Carolers

      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.

      Live Music

      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

      Domain I: Fridays, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM // Saturdays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM & 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM // Sundays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

      Domain II: Saturdays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM // Sundays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

      For more information, check the Domain’s website or follow them on Facebook.

      The Domain

      11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin

      Thanks to The Domain for sponsoring this year’s 2016 Austin Holiday Event Guide. There are so many special things to do and see in the Austin area over the holidays, and it helps to have a handy list of what all is going on. Be sure to stop in at The Domain this holiday season to enjoy shopping, carolers, carriage rides, a visit with Santa and more!

      Holiday Fun at The Domain

      When: November 25, 2016 – January 1, 2017, various times

      Where: The Domain, 3220 Amy Donovan Plaza, Austin

      Shopping has never been more fun during the holidays than it is this year at The Domain. Enjoy carolers, Santa, holiday music and more throughout the 2016 holiday season.

      • Holiday Light Shows – Stand in awe as more than 200,000 lights and strobes dance in snychronization to holiday music! Lights shows available throughout Domain II (between Dick’s Sporting Goods & Dillard’s) at 6PM, 7PM and 8PM. Shows Friday, November 25 through Sunday, January 1.
      • Santa Photo Experience – Visit the all new 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. Click here for complete hours and to make an appointment.
      • Complimentary Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride under the holiday lights each Friday and Saturday night from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Pick-up locations near California Pizza Kitchen and The Brass Tap. Available Friday, November 25 through Friday, December 23.
      • Strolling Carolers – The sounds of the season come alive with performances by Austin Carolers in Domain I each Saturday night from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Carolers offered Saturday, November 26 through Saturday, December 17.
      • Elf Academy – Put the little ones in elf training at The Domain’s Elf Academy on Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Click here for additional details.

      A Christmas Carol

      When: November 23 – December 31, 2016, various times

      Where: ZACH Theater, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin

      Austin’s newest and most rockin’ holiday tradition! Each year, ZACH’s A Christmas Carol features new hit songs and reimagined carols that create an infectious spirit that will have everyone dancing in the aisles. ZACH’s fresh and inspired adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic juxtaposes the traditional Victorian setting and costumes with a modern musical score that spans all genres. Come celebrate the season with three soulful ghosts, the Cratchit family’s boundless love, and Ebenezer Scrooge’s miraculous and joyous transformation. Recommended for ages six and up.

      Lights Spectacular + Bling Bar

      When: Friday and Saturday, November 25 & 26

      Where: Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City

      Join us at the Science Mill to check out our own light-spectacular exhibits, including the Fractalarium, the Cell Phone Disco, the Silo of McKays and much more. Make your own LED jewelry, presents for parents or teachers, White Elephant gifts or more at our LED Bling Bar. Enjoy full access to the museum’s hands-on exhibits, build a personalized avatar, see a 3D science film and more. The cost of this optional activity is $5 per person (materials fee for two gifts) plus regular admission fees.

      Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Holiday Lights Display

      When: November 25 – January 8, 6 p.m. nightly

      Where: Mozart’s, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.

      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.

      Santa on the Terrace

      When: Friday, November 25, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

      Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

      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 entertainment. Activities will be planned for the whole family, so bring everyone.

      Santa’s Arrival at Hill Country Galleria

      When: Friday, November 25, 2016, 6 p.m.

      Where: Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave

      Children’s activities include face painting & flash tattoos, with dance performances by the Lake Travis High School Cavalettes and Red Rubies, and a holiday performance by Madison McWilliams starting at 7pm. Then, see Santa, watch fireworks and enjoy live music by Andy Grammer!

      4th Annual Holiday Model Train Show (Round Rock)

      When: November 25, 2016 – January 6, 2017

      Where: ArtSpace, 231 East Main Suite 160, Round Rock

      Bring the kids to marvel at the miniature trains riding through villages, across the countryside and more at this FREE show.

      Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade

      When: Saturday, November 26, 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 inflarable balloons, festive holiday floars, 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.

      The North Pole Flyer

      When: Saturday & Sunday, November 26 – December 18, 2016, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

      Where: 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park

      Holiday joy is in store on the North Pole Flyer train ride, a 2.5 hour excursion (no layover) on a real train featuring 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! Our professional 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 $38.

      Teddy Bear Teas

      When: Saturdays and Sundays, November 26 – December 18, Noon and 3 p.m. seatings available

      Where: Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin

      A beloved holiday tradition, Teddy Bear Tea includes afternoon tea service, holiday caroling and a fireside reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Santa himself! Children are asked to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear as a donation to Dell Children’s Hospital. Cost: Adults $45 and children aged 11 and under $30.

      Ice Skating on the Plaza

      When: Sunday, November 27 – January 7, 2017, daily from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

      Where: Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin

      A must-do for locals and visitors alike, Ice Skating on the Plaza at our Flagship store (located in Downtown) has become one of Austin’s most anticipated events of the holiday season! Cost is $10 per person and includes use of skates.

      Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony

      When: Sunday, November 27, 6 p.m.

      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 28  – 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.

      Breakfast with Santa at Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa

      When: Sunday, November 27, 9 a.m. – noon

      Where: Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd., Cedar Creek

      Among the tempting offerings are breakfast fixings such as French toast with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, assorted fresh and seasonal fruits, muffins, assorted bagels, croissants, mini gingerbread men, butterscotch tarts, mini pumpkin cheesecake, and more. The Breakfast with Santa buffet is $32 for adults, $15 for ages 6-12 and complimentary for ages 5 and under. This event is open to guests as well as the public; reservations are required. For reservations, call 512-308-4950. After indulging in a wonderful breakfast spread, all will join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a meet-and-greet as well as photographs. While folks wait to visit with jolly old St. Nick, they can enjoy holiday-themed activities and arts and crafts, a jump house and much more!

      Round Rock’s Rock ‘N Lights

      Nov. 28-Dec. 15: Sunday-Thursday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
      Dec. 16-24: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m
      Dec. 25-26: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m

      Where: The entrance to Rock’N Lights Holiday Light Tour is located at Old Settlers Park. Enter the park at the NORTH entrance off Old Settlers Boulevard. Entrance address is 4111 E. Old Settlers Blvd. Participants will exit at Hwy. 79 into Christmas Towne.

      Rock’N Lights is a drive-through light show that features thousands of sparkling lights through Old Settlers Park. With 2 million lights, the 1.5-mile path is the must-see event of the season! After the light show, visit Christmas Towne at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot. Christmas Towne features light displays, full-scale carnival rides, light maze, pedal go kart rides, holiday food, entertainment and more. Christmas Towne will be open the following days: Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, from 6.  p.m. to 15 minutes after the last car exits Rock’n Lights

      Holiday Open House at the Four Seasons

      When: Monday and Tuesday, November 28 & 29, 5-6 p.m.

      Where: Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin

      Once upon a time, in a hotel not too far away, there stood a majestic Gingerbread Village… The fairy tale is set to become reality with this year’s theme, revealing several whimsical – and completely edible – scenes from classic children’s stories and nursery rhymes. Join us for two Holiday Open Houses featuring hot apple cider, cookies, photos with Santa and the opportunity to meet the talented pastry chefs behind the village. The Holiday Open Houses take place in the lobby and are complimentary for locals and visitors.

      Tree Lighting at the Driskill

      When: Tuesday, November 29, 6 p.m.

      Where: The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos Street

      Enjoy choral performances and seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Quartet in celebration of the annual Lighting of The Driskill Tree.

      Lights of Love

      When: Friday, December 2, 6-9 p.m.

      Where: Mueller Browning Hangar, 4550 Mueller Drive, Austin

      Join us for an evening of holiday festivities! Friends, family and even four-legged companions will enjoy an evening of traditional holiday fun including a walk around Mueller Lake adorned with holiday lights, a visit with Santa Claus, a snow slide, gingerbread house decorating, kids’ crafts, hot chocolate, photo booth, holiday music and much more under the Hangar!

      Lakeway’s Lights On! – A Holiday Celebration

      When: Friday, December 2, 6-8 p.m.

      Where: Lakeway City Hall, 1102 Lohman’s Crossing Road

      The Lights On! event marks the beginning of the holiday season in Lakeway with the first lighting of the Trail of Lights behind City Hall. Enjoy some hot chocolate (for purchase) and complimentary marshmallow roasting! Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph will be nearby to “plug in” the Trail of Lights display and to speak to all of the good little boys and girls of Lakeway. Parking is available at the Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek. The Trail of Lights may be accessed by the stairway at the bottom of the parking lot. Parking is also available at Village Plaza, 100 Lakeway Drive (near Café Lago). Take the walkway between the buildings. Bring non-perishable food items to benefit Lake Travis Crisis Ministries.

      Hancock Candle Stroll

      When: Friday, December 2, 6:30 p.m.

      Where: Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st Street, Austin

      Come out for a fun family walk around the trails of thousands of luminaries on and around Hancock. Enjoy hot chocolate, holiday carols, and a visit from a special guest.

      The Nutcrakcer Suite Dreams

      When: December 2, 7:30 p.m.; December 3, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; December 4, 2 :30 p.m.

      Where: Boyd Vance Theater at George W. Carver Museum Theater, 1165 Angelina Street, Austin

      Back by popular demand, this season will begin with an original ballet based on the timeless classic, The Nutcracker. Each time we perform this story something new is revealed, and this year is no different. Keeping in the spirit of AMDE tradition, the audience will enjoy many genres of dance as Clara’s story is told. Featuring the masterfully trained artists of AMDE, The Nutcracker: Suite Dreams is a must-see for the entire family. Cost: $20/ ticket pre-sale, $25 at the door.

      36th Annual Georgetown Christmas Stroll

      When: Friday (5-9 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.), December 2-3, 2016

      Where: Downtown Georgetown

      The Magic of the Stroll is real and will bring memories on this 36th Annual Celebration. The Georgetown Square will be transformed into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of a multitude of trees outlined with twinkling white lights, old fashioned lamp poles, Santa in the Christmas tree farm waiting to hear from both naughty & nice. It’s the place to journey back in time as you wonder through Bethlehem Village. You can also find the Grinch and his characters in Whoo-Village. FREE!

      Breakfast with Santa at Dittmar Recreation Center

      When: Saturday, December 3, 9-11 a.m.

      Where: Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road, Austin

      The weather may be chilly outside, but the weather is always warm & welcoming at Dittmar Recreation Center!
      Come Hang out with us for a light breakfast, sing-a-long songs, crafts and don’t forget to bring your cameras for pictures with Santa!

      DeSTEMberfest with Girlstart

      When: Saturday, December 3, 9:30 a.m. – noon

      Where: Girlstart STEM Center, 1400 W. Anderson Lane, Austin

      Join Girlstart for a free, frosty DeSTEMber Fest Extravaganza at the Girlstart STEM Center on Saturday, December 3rd! Enjoy star shows in our mini planetarium, design avalanche rescue equipment to attach to a robot, and make a solar oven to roast your own s’mores at home. The whole family will discover the science behind this magical time of year with marshmallow slingshots, reindeer antlers, fluffy snow and more hands-on fun! FREE!

      Santa in the Garden

      When: Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

      Where: Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin

      Skip the lines at the mall and bring the family to meet Santa & Mrs. Claus. There will be tasty treats & fun crafts, shopping in the Chrysalis Gift Shop with 20% off the entire store during the event, and take-your-own photo opportunities. Free with paid museum admission.

      Holiday Celebration at Montopolis Recreation Center

      When: Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

      Where: Montopolis Recreation Center, 1200 Montopolis Drive, Austin

      Enjoy a free performance by the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

      Elf Academy

      When: Saturday, December 3, 3-5 p.m.

      Where: Domain II, between Dick’s Sporting Goods & Dillard’s

      Don’t miss a fun-filled afternoon of elf training including games, prizes, an elf ID station, entertainment, an afternoon snack and more.

      It’s That Time of Year Holiday Film Series

      When: Saturday, December 3, 1pm

      Where: Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Avenue, Austin

      Join the Bullock Museum for a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol as part of the Bullock’s It’s That Time of Year holiday film series. $5 non-member, $3 members.

      Pfestival of Lights & Christmas Parade (Pflugerville)

      When: Saturday, December 3, 5-8 p.m.

      Where: Railroad Avenue to Main Street, downtown Pflugerville

      Don’t miss this annual parade with lighted floats, live music, the lighting of the trees and more. FREE!

      Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll

      When: Saturday, December 3, 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.

      Gingerbread House Workshops at the Thinkery

      When: December 3–4: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
      December 10–11: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
      December 17–18: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
      December 19–23: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:45 pm + 4 pm
      December 24: 9:30 am, 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11 am + 12 pm

      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).

      Violet Crown Arts Festival

      When: Saturday & Sunday, December 3-4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

      Where: Brentwood Elementary School, 6700 Arroyo Seco

      The Violet Crown Arts Festival is a free art show, music fest and neighborhood block party, all rolled into one fun weekend. Join us Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, outside Brentwood Elementary for relaxed holiday shopping, family-friendly activities, delicious food and even some dancing!

      Tex-Arts Holiday Extravaganza 2016

      When: Saturday & Sunday, December 3-4, 2 & 6 p.m.

      Where:  TexARTS, Kam & James Morris Theatre, 2300 Lohman’s Spur

      The TexARTS Broadway Company stars in this holiday revue that features irresistible Rockette-style numbers, your favorite holiday hits, and a special appearance by Santa Claus! This perfectly wonderful family favorite is sure to put the SPARKLE in your holidays!

      SNOW QUEEN 2: Riddle of Eternity

      When: December 3-17, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

      Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin

      Gabby ventures into the virtual world of a video game called “Snow Queen 2: Riddle of Eternity” determined to reclaim her best friend Kyle who has fallen under its gaming spell. Austin composer/musician Laura Freeman returns with this all new musical for young audiences just in time for the holidays. This modern-day take on the classic Snow Queen fairy tale deals with themes of friendship, climate change, and gaming. And who knows? It might even snow again at Scottish Rite as it did last year!

      Ballet Austin’s The Nutcraker

      When: December 3-23; shows at 2 & 7:30 p.m.

      Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

      The holiday season officially begins with the return of Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker, now celebrating its 54th year. Stephen Mills’ seasonal classic, based on a version of the 200-year-old story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, follows Clara’s wintry adventures, from her battle with rowdy rodents to her triumphs at the Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Enjoy enchanting sets and costumes, animated choreography, and a cast of hundreds, including Ballet Austin’s professional company of dancers and the accomplished students of the Ballet Austin Academy. Share this heart-warming tradition with your family and friends! Featuring live accompaniment by Austin Symphony Orchestra.

      Conspirare Christmas Concert

      When: Monday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.

      Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

      Conspirare Christmas is a luxurious musical fabric of pop, folk, classical and season favorites, meticulously woven together by arranger/composer Craig Hella Johnson in collaboration with Conspirare singers and the Special Guest Artist. This year the program will feature the hugely popular West Coast singer/songwriter Matt Alber. Also with Thomas Burritt, percussion.

      11th Annual Mueller Tower Lighting 

      When: Tuesday, December 6, 5:30 p.m.

      Where: Mueller Control Tower, Berkman Drive

      Join the Mueller community for the 11th Annual Tower Lighting Ceremony! The Reagan High School Drumline and the Nash Hernandez Orchestra will move the crowd into the holiday spirit and provide entertainment for the entire family. 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. Austin City Council Member, Greg Casar, will be counting down the moments until the Noel sign is lit across the Control Tower, honoring a tradition that dates back to the 1960s. FREE!

      Handel’s “Messiah”

      When: Tuesday, December 6, 8 p.m.

      Where: Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway

      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!

      Of Mice and Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcrakcer

      When: December 8-18, various times

      Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

      Celebrate the holidays with the whole family and join Tapestry Dance Company with this Austin-tatious rhythm tap and jazz spin on the beloved yuletide story, The Nutcracker. Of Mice and Music, which premiered to rave reviews and standing ovations last season, unites the company’s professional dancers with the rising stars of its pre-apprentice youth company Visions in Rhythm. This company and the children, youth and adults who study with its dance academy share a love for rhythm and movement that only Tapestry Dance Company can bring to the stage! Tickets start at $23.

      Cedar Park’s Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop

      When: Friday, December 9, 6:30-9 p.m.

      Where: Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park

      Enjoy the lighting of the tree, live music, carriage rides, games & prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts & crafts projects. Admission is FREE!

      2016 Holiday Film Series


      A Christmas Story: Friday, December 9, 7 p.m.

      Love Actually: Sunday, December 11, 5 p.m.

      It’s a Wonderful Life: Tuesday, December 13, 7 p.m.

      White Christmas: Thursday, December 15, 7 p.m.

      Where: The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Avenue, Austin

      This December, join us at the Paramount Theatre as we celebrate the holiday season with four heartwarming seasonal classics. Beloved films White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story will be featured on glorious 35mm, and modern favorite Love Actually will grace the Paramount’s brand-new screen in a shimmering digital presentation. So turn off the TV, skip the commercials and distractions, and bring all your friends and family to enjoy these wonderful movies in the festively decorated Paramount Theatre! General Admission: $12.

      Ebeneezer’s Journey, A PRAIRIE CAROL: Charles Dickens’ Christmas Tale

      When: Friday & Saturday, December 9-10 & 16-17, 7-11 p.m.

      Where: Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin

      A new interactive event based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, will recreate 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.

      Christmas Dreams and Snowy Things

      When: Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

      Where: Chasco Family YMCA, 1812 N. Mays Street, Round Rock

      This FREE event will feature real snow activities, giant slides, train rides, interactive holiday booths, a Blue Santa donation station, live music, inflatables, food and drinks and an appearance by Santa!

      German Christmas Market

      When: Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

      Where: German-Texan Heritage Scoiety, 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. Lunch served by Frank-Purveyors of Artisan Sausage. All purchases are Sales Tax Free on this special day.

      Holiday Family Day

      When: Saturday, December 10, 11a.m. – 3p.m.

      Where: The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd., Austin

      Celebrate the holidays at the Blanton. Explore Warhol By the Book and Xu Bing: Book from the Sky while engaging in fun conversation. Search for creative inspiration to make festive art in our WorkLAB Studio, and take your masterpiece or present them to loved ones as a gift. Free museum admissions for children ages 12 and under; program included with admission.

      Austin Trail of Lights

      When: December 10-23, 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 from December 10-16, and only $3 for ages 12+ from December 17-23. Parking pass is $15.

      Cherrywood Art Fair

      When: December 10 & 11, 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! Visit LiveMom on Saturday, December 10, in the art corner where kids can decorate their own ornament! FREE!

      Cookies for Caring and an Afternoon with Santa

      When: Sunday, December 11, 1-3 p.m. for Cookies for Caring, 2:30-5:30 p.m. for Afternoon with Santa

      Where: The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos Street, Austin

      Create your own holiday cookie collection. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Austin American-Statesman’s Season for Caring charity drive with music provided by The Austin Carolers. Cost: $35 per cookie tin. Click here to register and purchase your tin! Starting at 2:30pm, meet Santa & capture photos at this family event while
      enjoying cookie decorating, crafts and hors d’ourvres. Reservations required. To make a reservation, please call 512-439-1234. Cost: $30 per person plus tax.

      Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

      When: December 14-24, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

      Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin

      Shop for Christmas presents at this annual event featuring products national and local award-winning artists, with live music and two full bars in a festive, lively atmosphere. Find an exciting variety of upscale art, handmade gifts, heirloom pieces and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list from over 160 carefully curated artists. Enjoy at least three bands per day on the Armadillo stage with set times for any lifestyle at 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Featured musicians include emerging stars, local legends and Grammy winners.

      Omni Barton Creek Lights & Ice

      When: December 16 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; December 17 – December 31, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.; 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; January 1, 2017, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
      Where: Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, 8212 Barton Club Drive, Austin

      Skate into the holiday spirit on our indoor ice rink overlooking the scenic Hill Country and enjoy a display of twinkling lights and festive activities for the whole family. With a portion of proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas, the Holiday Lights & Ice event features a 4,000 square foot ice rink and a special “Light the Night” kick-off production on Dec. 16 with a festive holiday laser light show. Local Austinites, resort guests and Barton Creek Country Club members are invited to skate on the resort’s indoor ice rink. Holiday-inspired treats and hot beverages will be served along with ornament and gingerbread cookie decorating in Santa’s Workshop. The grand opening performance begins Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at The Pavilion and the first skating session begins at 7:00 p.m. Cost: $30 adults, $25 children.

      When: Saturday, December 17, 9-11 a.m.
      Where: Top Golf, 2700 Esperanza Crossing
      Santa Claus is coming to town, and this time he’s bringing his own cookies … and cocoa. Bring the little ones to get a complimentary photo taken with Santa, and receive a FREE holiday-themed gift and, of course, cookies and cocoa.

      Wassail 2016: A Solstice Christmas Celebration

      When: Sunday, December 18, 2:30 p.m. (a short version for children), 5:30 p.m. (children and families)

      Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin

      Join us for revelry and merriment for all the family with this fast-paced variety show celebrating the approach of Christmas and the Solstice. Magic and dance, poetry, drama and music (with a French flavor this year) will take over the stage of Austin’s oldest theater, raising spirits, and also raising funds for Kids for Kids, a worthy charity helping children in the Darfur region of the Sudan. (All artists and technicians donate their time for this event.)

      Winter Solstice Lantern Parade

      When: Wednesday, December 21, 6-7 p.m.

      Where: Seaholm Power Plant, 214 West Avenue, Austin

      Please join us for a celebration of light, music and community, on the longest night of the year! Let’s all make lanterns (flashlight-based, no flames, please!) and gather together out in nature, under the dark sky, to celebrate music and community and being alive. Won’t that be beautiful? Minor Mishap Marching Band will play music from 6-7 pm. The “parade” route is extremely short to make it easy for small children, and people of all ages, to attend! This is a free, family-friendly event. All are welcome. The beauty of this event depends on YOU! Make lanterns! It’s easy and fun! Please, flashlight and flameless lanterns only. No flames allowed, ok?

      Tuba Christmas

      When: Friday, December 23, noon

      Where: Texas State Capitol Building, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin

      2016 is the 43rd anniversary for TUBACHRISTMAS concerts/events, which are presented throughout the world. Watch a special tuba concert on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol Building.

      Creek Show 2016

      When: Friday & Saturday, November 18-19, 6-10 p.m.

      Where: Waller Creek between 5th and 8th Streets, Austin

      See the amazing art and light installations downtown along Waller Creek. This year’s Creek Show 2016 will offer an expanded children’s program with kid-focused programming from partners like The Thinkery and Austin Bat Cave on a number of nights. Download the map here.

      Santa’s Arrival (Round Rock)

      When: Friday, November 18, 2016, 5pm

      Where: Round Rock Premium Outlet Mall, near the Nike Store at Just Train Fun, 4401 IH-35, Round Rock

      Join Santa for a train ride and sing along from 5pm – 6pm or for pictures before and after the event. Seating for train rides is limited, so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

      Springfree Trampoline’s 1 Year Anniversary & Holiday Party

      When: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 12-5pm

      Where: Springfree Trampoline in the Domain, 3220 Amy Donovan Plaza

      Springfree Austin is turning ONE! Jump by for tons of fun including an appearance from Elsa from Frozen (1-3pm), Austin Spurs and Texas Stars ticket giveaway, arts and crafts, snacks and refreshments. Plus, enter to win a Springfree Trampoline just in time for Christmas. FREE! Enter here for another chance to win a Springfree Trampoline.

      School of Rock Austin Presents “Texas Fest 2016”

      When: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 12-6pm

      Where: Sidewinder , 715 Red River Street, Austin and Beerland, 711 Red River Street, Austin

      A showcase afternoon of all things School of Rock Texas here in Austin! Featuring: Preview sets of each of the shows in our current Fall Performance Program season, house band sets from School of Rock Katy, Frisco, Southlake, Ssan Antonio, Clearlake and The Woodlands, Austin’s “B Team” set, Austin’s Adult program “The Bad Neighbours” set.
      Performing on 3 stages across 2 venues! Cost: $5 – All ages.

      20th Annual Austin Empty Bowl Project

      When: Sunday, November 20, 2016, 11am – 3 pm

      Where: Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin

      Choose from hundreds of ceramic bowls, select from several gourmet soups, grab a roll and enjoy lunch while listening to live music. Bid on silent auction items such as celebrity signed bowls and special artists’ pieces. Try your luck at winning this year’s beautiful quilt. Take your bowl home with you to remind you that others have empty bowls. All proceeds go to the children’s programs at Central Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Central Texas.

      This Black Friday, come out to the Long Center for a day of holiday cheer to welcome Santa Claus back to the City Terrace for the FREE holiday event of the year! On November 25, 2016, the entire family is invited out to Santa on the Terrace to kick off the holidays on the busiest shopping day of the year.

      The festive activities will include:

      • A FREE family picture with Santa Claus overlooking the best view in Austin
      • Coloring station
      • Post a letter to Santa
      • Live music
      • Food and drinks
      • Raffles and prize giveaways

      The Long Center will also be on hand offering holiday deals for you and your loved ones that you won’t want to miss. Can’t wait for opening night of the Broadway musical, ANNIE, that evening in Dell Hall? Stop by to get your tickets while enjoying family-friendly activities.

      Santa on the Terrace is weather permitting—check our website and social channels for updates. Pictures will take place from 10am – 1pm on a first-come first-serve basis—being in line is no guarantee of getting your picture taken, so plan to arrive early to be sure you get that favorite picture of Santa with the kids!

      What: Santa on the Terrace

      Where: The Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin

      When: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

      Cost: FREE