- December 15, 2014

Holiday Happenings This Week (Dec. 15-21, 2014)


Blue Genie Art Bazaar – Daily through Wednesday, December 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (closing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve). The annual four-week holiday shopping extravaganza returns for its 14th year. Featuring more than 200 Texas artists, the bazaar offers FREE admission and a hassle-free shopping environment. All items featured at the bazaar must be handmade and include paintings, photography, prints, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, glassworks, and more. It is one of the best places to find unique gifts with a local touch. See the calendar for special events. Marchesa Hall, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin.

Trail of Lights – Daily through Sunday, December 21 from 7-10:00 p.m. The Austin holiday tradition returns for its 50th year. Gate tickets are FREE Monday-Thursday; $3 Friday-Sunday for ages 12 and up. Find parking and shuttle information here (note that weekend shuttle tickets include gate admission). Read pro tips for planning your trip here. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin. (Please note that the Friday, December 19 Trail has been canceled due to rain from the night before.)

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters – Daily through January 4, 2015 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), from 6 p.m. to midnight. Mozart’s hosts a FREE 15-minute light show at the top of each hour, starting at 6 p.m.  3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin.

Holiday Light Shows at The Domain – Daily through December 31, on the hour from 5 and 9 p.m. Watch the holidays come to life with hourly lights show in Domain II. More than 82,000 lights and 2,200 strobes will dance to holiday music for the first 15 minutes of each hour. Get a sneak peek here. Call (512) 795-4230 for more information. Domain II (mall map).

Capitol Christmas Tree – Daily through January 5, 2015. This 45-foot tree at 11th and Congress on the south side of the Capitol shines brightly with 137,000 LED lights. 10 choreographed light shows set to local music play at the top and bottom of every hour. The tree is lit daily at 10:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. (Sun-Wed); 11:00 p.m. (Thursdays) and Midnight (Friday & Saturday). Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue & 11th Street, Austin.

The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights (Wimberley) – Daily through December 31, from 6–9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and from 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  Stroll a walking path with more than 100 lighted exhibits created by local businesses, churches, organizations and families. Roast a marshmallow at the yule log and listen to live entertainment on most nights. See the schedule of when Santa will be in his house. Read why Heather loves this trail hereFREE! EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley. 

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center: Holidays in the Courtyard – Daily until January 2, 2015. Show times will be every night at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Holidays in the Courtyard will feature a 15-minute light show accompanied by a holiday playlist around the spacious courtyard illuminated with nearly 10,000 bulbs. FREE and open to the public. For more information, call 512-404-1900. AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 1900 University Avenue, Austin.

Meet and Greet with Santa (Bee Cave) – Monday, December 15 – Friday, December 19 from 4-8:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 20 – Sunday, December 21 from 12-6:00 p.m. Bring your own camera to take FREE photos with Santa.  When the weather is nice, he will be under the tree. If the weather is iffy, he will move inside Barnes & Noble. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – Tuesday, December 16 – Wednesday, December 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The ACB is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar. Cost: Adults $7; kids 12 & under are FREE! Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.

The Austin Symphony Presents Christmas in the Community: String Quartet – Monday, December 15 at 1:00 p.m. Christmas in the Community is a series of twelve concerts held throughout the city of Austin featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. Also featured on this series are members of the Austin Youth Orchestra, who will perform side-by-side with the Austin Symphony. FREE! Delco Center, 4601 Pecan Brook Dr, Austin.

Family Movie Matinee: Arthur Christmas – Monday, December 15 at 4:00 p.m. On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa’s youngest son looks to use his father’s high-tech operation for an urgent mission. Rated PG. FREE! APL – Cepeda Branch, 651 N Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin.

Mrs. Claus Visits ASL Bilingual Storytime (Round Rock) – Tuesday, December 16 at 10:30 a.m. Why, hello Mrs. Claus! Visitors to this ASL storytime will enjoy a special guest appearance by Mrs. Claus. Fun and photos for everyone. This program is children who are at least 3 years old. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.

Holiday Open House – Tuesday, December 16 from 2-5:00 p.m. Celebrate the season with holiday cartoons, kids’ crafts, and a sing-along with Mr. Walter. Refreshments will be served. FREE! APL – Old Quarry Branch, 7051 Village Center Dr, Austin.

Kindle the Texas Menorah with Guest of Honor Governor Rick Perry – Tuesday, December 16 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah by participating in lighting the menorah in front of the Texas State Capitol building with guest of honor Governor Rick Perry. There will be hot drinks, latkes, jelly donuts, chocolate coins, dreidel games, music and dancing to celebrate Hanukkah. 
1100 Congress Ave. (in front of the Texas State Capitol), Austin.

Tween Scene: Tea Light Snowman Ornament (Pflugerville) – Tuesday, December 16 at 4:30 p.m. Tweens will use LED tea lights and other craft supplies to make a snowman ornament. Ages 8-12. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pfluger St, Pflugerville.

Holiday Family Sing-Along (Round Rock) – Wednesday, December 17 from 10-11:00 a.m. All ages are welcome at this come-and-go event. Children may be delighted to sing with a very special holiday visitor in a bright red suit (shhhh!). FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.

Holiday Harp Music – Wednesday, December 17 at 10:15 a.m. Cindy Schaufenbuel plays the early Irish harp (clairseach), familiar to many as the harp on the reverse of the Irish Euro coin, or on old Guinness labels. She has traveled to Ireland several times to study with the best players and teachers of early Irish harp in the world. FREE! Laura’s Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

Ugly Sweater Storytime – Wednesday, December 17 at 10:30 a.m. You’ve heard of Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties but have you ever been to an Ugly Sweater Storytime? Come in you most frightening stripes, appalling polka dots, and startling tassels for a dramatic reading of Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. Ugly sweaters are welcomed. FREE! BookPeople, 603 N Lamar, Austin.

Hanukkah Storytime – Wednesday, December 17 at 11:00 a.m. Hear a reading of Honeyky Hanukah by Woody Guthrie–a fun-filled celebration of Hanukkah with accompanying CD. FREE! Barnes & Noble Lakeline, 14010 US Hwy 183, Austin.

Holiday Train Display (Round Rock) – Wednesday, December 17 – Friday, December 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 20 – Sunday, December 21 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The Tinplate Trackers have set up their free Holiday Model Train Exhibit at ArtSpace, located across the street from the Round Rock Public Library. Watch up to four trains running simultaneously through city scenes, snow village scenes, oil fields, a farm scene, and an animated carnival. Admission is FREE. If you donate $5, your junior engineer can operate one of the trains for 10 minutes. ArtSpace, 231 E. Main Street, Round Rock.

Christmas in Mexico – Wednesday, December 17 at 4:00 p.m. Experience Latin holiday music, dance, song, interactive video presentations, maracas, and an electric candle light procession. For Spanish and non-Spanish speakers alike. FREE! Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin.

Holiday Music at The Driskill – Wednesday, December 17 and Thursday, December 18 from 5-7:00 p.m. Ring in the holidays with seasonal music from the Arundel Ensemble String Quartet. FREE! The Driskill, 604 Brazos St, Austin.

Horrifically Happy Holiday Movie: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians – Wednesday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. Martians kidnap Santa Claus and demand that he make toys for the unhappy Martian children. Rated PG. FREE! APL – Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St, Austin.

The Austin Symphony Presents Christmas in the Community: Brass Quintet – Wednesday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. Christmas in the Community is a series of twelve concerts held throughout the city of Austin featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. Also featured on this series are members of the Austin Youth Orchestra, who will perform side-by-side with the Austin Symphony. FREE! George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St, Austin.

Hola, Hola!: Feliz Navidad – Thursday, December 18 at 10:30 a.m. Step into the magic, beauty, and fun of a Mexican Christmas. Experience traditional Latin holiday music, dance, song, interactive video presentations, maracas, an electric candlelight procession, and some pan dulce – Mexican sweet bread. For parents and their children ages 0-5. FREE! Laura’s Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

Santa Visits Storytime (Cedar Park) – Thursday, December 18 at 11:00 a.m. Ho! Ho! Ho! Guess who’s coming to storytime? Sing some holiday songs, then welcome the big man himself. Bring your camera – Santa will be taking pictures will all the good boys and girls. FREE! Cedar Park Library, 550 Discovery Blvd, Cedar Park.

Free Noon Concert – Thursday, December 18 at Noon. Take a 30-minute lunchtime break to hear Pinnacle Brass play holiday music with a distinctive jazz flair. Family-friendly and FREE! Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E 8th St, Austin.

Caroling at Noon: Voices of St. David’s– Thursday, December 18 at Noon. Voices of St. David’s perform sparkling motets for chamber choir. FREE! St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E 8th St, Austin.

The Austin Symphony Presents Christmas in the Community: String Quartet – Thursday, December 18 at 1:00 p.m. Christmas in the Community is a series of twelve concerts held throughout the city of Austin featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. Also featured on this series are members of the Austin Youth Orchestra, who will perform side-by-side with the Austin Symphony. FREE! Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin.

6th Annual Posada – Thursday, December 18 from 6-8:00 p.m. Enjoy an evening performance of Ballet Folklorico, Teatro, and Mariachi. Festivities include arts and crafts, piñatas, hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa. FREE! Southwest Key, 6002 Jain Ln, Austin.

Trail of Lights (Buda) – Thursday, December 18 through Sunday, December 21 from 6-10:00 p.m. Get in the holiday mood by strolling through the park and enjoying the lights. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long. Free shuttle parking is available at Cabela’s; no parking is permitted in the park. Walk-in visitors are welcome. Hot beverages and concessions will be available for purchase. FREE! Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main St, Buda.

Live Music at Central Market North – Thursday, December 18 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Urban Achievers Brass Band holiday show. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Live Music at Central Market Westgate – Thursday, December 18 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. River City Pops Show Choir will play holiday music and popular songs. FREE! Central Market Westgate, 4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.

HIStory – December 18-21, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. His-Story is a live presentation that tells the full story of the life and purpose of Christ. A cast of local volunteers, live animals, and multimedia come together to create a powerful message that considers what Christmas is really about. FREE! Mission: Possible! Community Center, 1190 Chicon, Austin.

The Austin Symphony Presents Christmas in the Community: String Quartet – Friday, December 19 at 10:30 a.m. Christmas in the Community is a series of twelve concerts held throughout the city of Austin featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. Also featured on this series are members of the Austin Youth Orchestra, who will perform side-by-side with the Austin Symphony. FREE! Gus Garcia Rec Center, 1201 E Rundberg Ln, Austin.

Story Time with Santa – Friday, December 19 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Wear your favorite pajamas and enjoy a snack of milk and cookies while listening to a winter classic. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures with Santa. This event is designed for walking toddlers to children 5 years of age. Cost: $2.50 per child. Northwest Rec Center, 2913 Northland Dr, Austin.

Light Up the Season – Friday, December 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This event will feature a special seasonal story time, fun wintertime crafts, live music throughout the day, snacks and beverages to fill and warm your tummy, and a sing-along screening of Frozen for the young and young at heart. Please feel free to attend in festive attire or costume. There may even be sightings of the Jolly Old Elf Himself, Santa Claus! FREE! APL – North Village Branch, 2505 Steck Ave, Austin.

Santa on Horseback – Friday, December 19 from 4-7:00 p.m. Pictures with Santa every Friday before Christmas. Fun for the entire family. FREE! Texas National Outfitters, 1115 South Congress Ave., Austin.

Friday Family Films: Home Alone – Friday, December 19 at 4:30 p.m. Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister has become the man of the house, overnight. Accidentally left behind when his family rushes off on a Christmas vacation, Kevin gets busy decorating the house for the holidays. But he’s not decking the halls with tinsel and holly. Two bumbling burglars are trying to break in, and Kevin’s rigging a bewildering battery of booby traps to welcome them. Rated PG. FREE! Laura’s Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

Live Nativity – Friday, December 19 from 6-8:00 p.m. Live nativity and petting zoo. FREE! Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 10408 Hwy 290 West, Austin.

Christmas Towne (Round Rock) – Friday, December 19 from 6-10:00 p.m. Featuring amazing light displays, light maze, Kiddie Express train rides, petting zoo, holiday food, holiday entertainment, and more. FREE! Fees apply for activities. Find carnival fees here. Old Settlers Association, 3300 Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock.

Trail of Life Gospel Presentation – Friday, December 19 – Sunday, December 21 from 7-9:00 p.m. Tours start every 20 minutes. Visitors follow a tour guide through a beautifully lit, outdoor trail where they will see and hear actors “living” out important scenes from the life of Christ: his birth, death, and resurrection. Golf cart available for those with limited mobility. FREE! Texas Oaks Baptist Church, 9910 Bilbrook Pl, Austin.

The Scrooge Live Presentation – Friday, December 19 and Saturday, December 20 at 7:30. Scrooge instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of Christmas. Stay after the performance for refreshments and a photo-op with the cast. FREE! Toy and cash donations will be accepted, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Blue Santa. Potter’s House Christian Church, 13461 Pond Springs Rd, Austin.

Austin Civic Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert – Friday, December 19 at 7:30. FREE! Covenant United Methodist Church, 4410 Duval Rd, Austin.

Williamson County Symphony Orchestra Concert (Cedar Park) – Friday, December 19 at 7:30. FREE! St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 1101 W New Hope Dr, Cedar Park.

Austin Flea – Saturday, December 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Flea features all local handmade items and vintage wares from some of Austin’s most amazing and talented vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays or any occasion including jewelry, glasswork, clothing, artwork, paper goods, textiles and so much more. Family friendly and FREE! The Highball, 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Hill Country Galleria Snow Day (Bee Cave) – Saturday, December 20 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Real snow will be delivered to the Hill Country Galleria! Toss a snowball, build a snowman, make a snow angel, and take fun family photos. Enjoy live holiday music, holiday carolers, and more. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, located right outside the Bee Cave Library, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave.

TOMS Holiday Market – Saturday, December 20 from 1-5:00 p.m. TOMS is teaming up with ATX’s Maker Co-op Shop so you can browse for last minute one-of-a-kind holiday gifts made by talented local artists. Enjoy poptails by Dripping Springs Vodka and Good Pop, live music and pictures with Texas Santa! 1401 South Congress, Austin.

Holiday Celebration – Saturday, December 20 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. This event, which takes place at the Ruiz Branch of the Austin Public Library, will feature a visit from Santa Claus and a Ballet Folklorico dance performance. Light refreshments and a holiday themed craft will also be offered. FREE. Ruiz Branch, 1600 Grove Blvd., Austin.

Living Nativity & Petting Zoo – Saturday, December 20 from 5-8:00 p.m. A replica of the stable and animals surround the Holy family. The Sanctuary will be open for all to enjoy its historic splendor. Refreshments will be served. FREE! Decker UMC, 8304 Decker Ln, Austin.

Williamson County Orchestra Concert (Georgetown) – Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. This Christmas concert is family friendly and FREE! Celebration Church, 1202 Rabbit Hill Road, Georgetown.

Dreidel Tournament – Sunday, December 21 at 1 p.m. Come participate in the second annual dreidel tournament! Players of all ages are welcome to participate. There will also be a craft station available where you can make your own repurposed dreidel out of an egg carton. Recycled Reads Bookstore, 5335 Burnet Rd., Austin.

Holiday Music with Thales Smith – Sunday, December 21 from 3-4 p.m. Thales Smith will be playing holiday favorites and favorite classical work. FREE!
Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St., Austin.

Jingle Jam: Wrapped Up (Round Rock) – Sunday, December 21 at 6 p.m. RSVP for FREE tickets for the production here. The Exchange Church, 1601 Interstate 35, Suite 305, Round Rock.

You may also be interested in Central Texas Holiday Lights Displays.