Now that Thanksgiving has officially come and gone, Christmas is right around the corner and that means it’s the perfect time of year to start talking about what’s happening in the Austin area during December 2018.
Open up your calendar now and start adding one or all of the following family-friendly events to your schedule.
A Christmas Carol – November 21- December 30
ZACH Theatre 202 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Austin’s most rockin’ holiday tradition returns to make merry with new music and surprises 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 score that spans all genres and eras. Motown meets the Ho-Ho-Holidays in this family-friendly spectacular, creating an infectious spirit that has everyone dancing in the aisles. Celebrate the season with the loving Cratchit family and three soulful ghosts as they take Ebenezer Scrooge on a joyride to rediscover his heart and love for human kindness!
Blue Genie Art Bazaar – November 23- December 24
Blue Genie Art Bazaar 6100 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78752
Blue Genie Art Bazaar has thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun, kitschy items. Shopping at the Bazaar is a great way to buy holiday gifts in a hassle-free environment, all while supporting local artists. All items are handmade by local and regional artists that are selected through a rigorous jury process. There will be work from more than 200 artists who offer a wide variety of imaginative and beautiful gifts. You can expect to find paintings, photography, prints, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, accessories, glassworks, ceramics, and more gifts you can’t find anywhere else! Whether your budget is large or small, you’ll find something for yourself, for your best friend, or for that impossible-to-shop-for relative!
Winter Wonderland – November 23- December 30
Circuit of the Americas 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617
Winter Wonderland at the Circuit is back and brighter than ever! This year will feature The World Famous Chinese Lantern Festival, a remarkable display of illuminated sculptures, each hand-crafted using a tradition that extends back centuries. The lanterns are created using steel frames surrounded by colorful rayon “skins” and illuminated from within by LED lights. It’s a wondrous cultural experience for people of all ages! Also featured this year will be Texas’ largest outdoor Ice-Skating Rink, the Tunnel of Lights, Trips to the top of the North Pole, Carnival Rides, Camel Rides, Singing Trees, a Petting Zoo, Santa’s Workshop, a Live Music Stage and much more holiday fun for everyone!
Bastrop River of Lights – November 23- December 31
Fisherman’s Park 1200 Willow St, Bastrop, TX 78602
Bastrop River of Lights walking trail is located in Fisherman’s Park and continues all the way down the Lower Colorado River to Ferry Park, about a half mile. It started in 2002 with over 100 sponsors for displays the first year. Many individuals opted to sponsor a memorial or honorarium for a loved one or to cover one of the beautiful trees in the Park with lights. We have about 20 groups that come down and build their own display each year. The River of Lights is open the day after Thanksgiving and every night until New Year’s Eve. Non-profits and civic groups from the area host the trail each night and use the event to spotlight their mission or to sell treats to raise money or to visit with those who come to walk the trail!
Ice Skating on the Plaza – November 24- January 15
Whole Foods Market 525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
A must-do for locals and visitors alike, Ice Skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods Flagship store on Lamar has become one of Austin’s most anticipated events of the holiday season! The ice rink is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm beginning November 24th through January 15th. The cost is $10 per person and includes skate rental. Every Friday throughout the ice rink season, the skating soundtrack is curated by KUTX for the KUTX Music Friday’s series, so don’t miss out!
Holiday Stroll Parade – November 29- December 1
Downtown Seguin, Seguin, TX
This year’s Holiday Stroll festivities kick off November 29th with the Holiday Stroll Parade! The parade will also include food vendors, pictures with Santa, and entertainment from the Seguin High School Band. Stroll through downtown tasting over a dozen varieties of homemade hot chocolate. On November 30th, Seguin’s downtown businesses will keep their doors open late for some shopping and sipping on hot chocolate. Other activities will include live entertainment from the Seguin High School Star Steppers, horse-drawn wagon rides, photos with Santa, a wiggle waggle train ride, and food vendors. North Pole Stroll will be held December 1st and promises to be a family-friendly affair. Nonprofit organizations will be hosting activities for children in Central Park including pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, and much more!
Georgetown Christmas Stroll – December 1
Downtown Georgetown S Church St & E 2nd St, Georgetown, TX 78626
Head out to “the most beautiful town square in Texas” to start off the holidays! After the Parade, be sure to stick around for other fun stuff like Bethlehem Village and Whoo-Village, enjoy Live Entertainment, sample tempting treats in the food court and browse arts and crafts booths! Children will love the various activities! You can also have a chat with Santa, so bring your Christmas lists! The best part, the event is free of admission!
Christmas on Mercer Street – December 1
Downtown Dripping Springs Mercer St, Dripping Springs, TX
The sights and sounds of Dripping Springs’ 14th Annual Christmas on Mercer Street will come alive on December 1st as the downtown area transforms into a hometown holiday festival featuring holiday shopping, arts, and crafts booths, live entertainment, a petting zoo, trackless train, pony rides, children’s activities and more! Hosted by the Dripping Springs Lions Club and the City of Dripping Springs, the festival admission is free to the public. Santa Claus will make a grand appearance, and there will be opportunities for parents to take photos of their children with him at Santa’s Workshop. The annual Lighting of the Tree will be held at the Triangle, so don’t miss out!
The Festival of Texas Fiddling – December 1
Twin Sisters Dance Hall 6720 US-281, Blanco, TX 78606
Texas has the most diverse fiddle traditions of any state in the union! Along with all that fiddling comes some of the best dance traditions anywhere; from polka to the Texas two-step. The Festival of Texas Fiddling is the first and only festival that brings all of the great traditions of fiddling in the state together in a truly historic Texas dance hall. Old Time, Western Swing, Country, Texas Polish, Cajun, Creole, Tejano, Son Huasteco, blues are all the styles of fiddling in the state and will be at the Festival of Texas Fiddling! Come out and enjoy a day full of fiddling and dancing!
Holiday Stroll – December 1
Texas State Capitol 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Kickstart your holiday season at the Downtown Austin Alliance’s Holiday Stroll on December 1st along Congress Avenue between 9th and 11th streets! Join the City of Austin for a night of holiday cheer in downtown, including the annual KUT Austin and KUTX 98.9 Holiday Sing-Along and the lighting of the downtown tree. A free, family-friendly event, Holiday Stroll has something for everyone including photos with Santa, a petting zoo, live ice sculpture, holiday arts & crafts, a live mural painting, local food trucks, artisan vendors, and more! Plus, enjoy a full night of live music with performances by the Austin Children’s Choir, GirlFriend ATX, Shy Beast, and many others yet to be announced.
Christmas Market – December 1
German Free School 507 E 10th St, Austin, TX 78701
Enjoy the German Free School’s German-Texan Annual Christmas Market this December 1st! Come for the food, entertainment and stay for a unique shopping experience. They will have authentic German, handcrafted Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, Schwiebogen, smokers, and decor. You can also enjoy some Gluehwein (hot spiced wine), Christmas Stollen made by The New World Bakery and gingerbread hearts made by Uwe’s Bakery! Other performers include the Saengerrunde as well as high school choirs and Sunshine Willie.
Dancing With the Stars Austin – December 1
JW Marriott Austin 110 E 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
In its 12th year, Dancing with the Stars Austin is the single largest fundraiser for the Center, raising over $1.6 million in 2017! With the help of funds raised this December 1 at Dancing with the Stars Austin, the Center could provide up to 2,000 children with forensic interview services or 128 children with a year of weekly therapy sessions or train thousands of community members on how to prevent and report child abuse.
Pfestival of Lights & Christmas Parade – December 1
Downtown Pflugerville 100 E Main St, Pflugerville, TX 78660
Join the City of Pflugerville on Main St. in Downtown Pflugerville as they kick off the pfestive season. The parade begins at 5 pm and ends with the tree lighting and photos with Santa (make sure to bring your own camera)! Enjoy pfestive activities in Downtown Pflugerville from 4 to 7 pm, including free cookies and hot chocolate, musical performances and a yule log fire! Knights of Columbus Council 10373 is presenting the Christmas parade.
Budafest – December 1- December 2
Buda Public Library 303 Main Street, Buda, TX 78610
Budafest attracts artisans, craft workers and craft enthusiasts from all over Texas! This year, the Budafest parade will be a lighted, nighttime parade through the heart of Downtown Buda complete with a lighting ceremony to kick-off the holiday season in Buda! This is an opportunity to sell your wares in a fun, open-air atmosphere. And of course, Santa Claus will be there to take pictures!
Art From the Streets 26th Annual Show and Sale – December 1- December 2
Austin Convention Center 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701
Austin is our wonderful home. It is changing so fast in so many ways that at times it’s sometimes hard to recognize where it is headed. However, we all know what this city is and has been to each of us and that we choose to be here for so many different reasons. Recently, amazing artists from the streets of Austin took on the challenge of interpreting the topic of living in this city and what that looks and feels like to them. The colorful, dynamic and unique responses were as varied as all of the things that make Austin so very Austin. In their Special Collection: Austin Through Our Eyes, they offer exhibition-quality prints of that beautiful body of work. Your patronage fulfills an obvious financial need and also an even more valuable emotional need that helps build a path to self-determination for their remarkable artists!
Lakeway Trail of Lights – December 1- January 1
City of Lakeway 1102 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Lakeway, TX 78734
One of Lakeway’s most cherished traditions is the Trail of Lights! Come see thousands of twinkling lights with your friends and family! See amusing tableaus, all accompanied by delightful seasonal music! Please be aware that skateboards, scooters, bicycles, and motorized vehicles are not permitted (neither are pets).
Milk and Cookies with Santa – December 2
The Caswell House 1404 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to the Caswell House! Little ones will be filled with delight as they have milk and cookies during story time. This fun-filled afternoon includes a craft and sing-a-long too. Parents, don’t forget to bring your cameras! Santa and Mrs. Claus will happily take photos before and after the milk and cookies event. Keep in mind that The Caswell House will also have a photographer. Instructions for receiving the images after they are taken will be available at the event.
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