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.
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.
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.
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 here. FREE! EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley.
The Austin Symphony Presents Christmas in the Community: Woodwind Quartet – Wednesday, December 10 at 7:00 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! ESB-MACC, 600 River St, Austin.
Forest Creek Elementary School Choir – Thursday, December 11 at 10:30 a.m. Forest Creek’s kindergarten and first grade students sing the songs of the season. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.
‘Tis the Season Holiday Story Time – Thursday, December 11 at 4:00 p.m. Celebrate the spirit of Christmas with storyteller Bernadette Nason. All ages are invited to attend. FREE! Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin.
Holiday Party/Fiesta de Navidad – Thursday, December 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. Enjoy crafts, music, stories, and snacks. Bring your cell phone to take a selfie with Santa. Books and stories by special guest author Tim Tingle will be featured. FREE! APL – Cepeda Branch, 651 N Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin.
Adult Craft Night (Pflugerville) – Thursday, December 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. Create unique wrapping paper for your gifts using stamps, fun cutouts, and more. Anyone age 18 and up is welcome. Materials provided while supplies last. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pflugerville St, Pflugerville.
Free Photos with Santa at Hawaiian Falls (Pflugerville) – Fridays through December 12 from 6–8:00 p.m.; Saturdays through December 13 from 2–4:00 p.m.; Sundays through December 14 from 2–4:00 p.m. Guests can visit Santa for FREE and take their own photos at the Aloha Event Center. Hawaiian Falls, 18500 N SH 130 SVRD SB, Pflugerville.
Main Street Bethlehem (Burnet) – Friday, December 12 – Sunday, December 14 from 6-9:00 p.m. Main Street Bethlehem is a unique, interactive, outdoor production that will immerse visitors to Burnet in small town Bethlehem life, as it was at the time of Jesus’ birth. Guests will also receive complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies at the exit. FREE but donations are accepted. Bethlehem will close if it is raining. First Baptist Church, 108 S Vanderveer St, Burnet.
Trail of Lights (Buda) – Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13 (and December 18 – 21) from 6-10:00 p.m. Get in the holiday mood by strolling through the park and enjoying the lights! FREE shuttle parking is available at Cabela’s. No parking is permitted in the park. Walk in visitors are welcome and may bring leashed pets. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long. No pets are allowed on shuttle buses. Hot beverages and concessions will be available for purchase. FREE. For more information, please call the Parks Department at 512-295-7170. Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main Street, Buda.
Harmony Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair – Saturday, December 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Austin Harmony Project is hosting a holiday arts and crafts fair that will feature original fine art, handmade crafts, jewelry, henna tattoos, music, food, games, and more. The event benefits Harmony’s nonprofit art and music programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Family friendly and FREE! 1806 W Stassney, Ste 106, Austin.
Cherrywood Art Fair – Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This art-filled two-day event showcases local artists, live music, kids activities, and great food–all benefitting the Little Artist BIG ARTIST arts mentoring program. Since its 2002 inception, the Fair has served as a destination for discerning holiday shoppers seeking unique and artful items from Texas artists and makers. FREE! Maplewood Elementary, E. 38 1/2 St. & 3808 Maplewood Ave, Austin.
Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things (Round Rock) – Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be real snow activities as part of the fanfare for the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things event. This event will feature snow-filled activities (truckloads of snow are being delivered on-site) as well as giant slides, paintball, tango tower & zip line, horse-drawn wagon rides, Blue Santa donation station, train rides, interactive holiday booths (including decorating your own stockings, Santa hats and cookies, writing letters to Santa), inflatables and rides, concessions, live music (with choirs from eight area elementary schools) and appearances by Santa himself. (See photos from last year’s event here.) FREE! Boles Family Sports Complex, 1605 N Mays St, Round Rock.
Family Gingerbread Workshop at South Austin Recreation Center – Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Bring the family for the 2014 Family Gingerbread Workshop at the South Austin Recreation Center! Decorate gingerbread men cookies, make holiday crafts, and enjoy light refreshments with your family and friends. FREE. South Austin Recreation Center, 1100 Cumberland Rd., Austin.
Downtown Christmas Fair (Hutto) – Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Shop the stores, enjoy a meal at the downtown restaurants, shop vendors featuring handmade items, unique gifts, home decor, jewelry, toys, and delicious fair food and drinks. Live music and children’s activities will take place all day. FREE! Downtown Hutto.
Mrs. Claus Visits Family Storytime (Round Rock) Saturday, December 13 at 11 a.m. Why, hello Mrs. Claus! The Round Rock Public Library is thrilled to welcome a special guest to this week’s Family Storytime: yes, it’s Mrs. Claus. It’ll be fun with photos for everyone. The signing portions of the storytime will feature Amy Joines from The Signing Connection. This event is FREE. No preregistration is required unless you plan to bring six or more children. Round Rock Public Library Room A, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.
Christmas Shopping Extravaganza (Round Rock) – Saturday, December 13 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The heart of this event is to showcase local business women and their talents along with raising money for a great cause. There will be great vendors to shop from and a raffle of some of their wonderful items to support the Round Rock ISD Clothes Closet. Please bring your gently used size 4T-16 children’s clothing to donate to the clothing drive. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase. FREE! Grace Presbyterian Church, 1705 Gattis School Rd, Round Rock.
Christmas Parade and Pfestival of Lights (Pflugerville) – Saturday, December 13, starting at 5:30 p.m. Activities until 8 p.m. The city’s Parks & Recreation Department joins forces with the Knights of Columbus this year and adds activities to the annual Christmas Parade. Blending the two events makes a larger, more fun holiday celebration for the community. The city will bring a stage with live performances from local elementary schools and dancers on the stage at 200 W. Main Street. There will be FREE arts and crafts activities for children, a bonfire, the traditional tree lighting, and photos with Santa Claus at the end of the parade. Donations for the Blue Santa program welcome. For information, call 512-990-6113. FREE. The parade travels down Railroad Avenue to Main Street. Activities will take place on Main Street. (Parade route map.)
Pilgrimage to Bethlehem (Taylor) – Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Live nativity with FREE tours every 20 minutes. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 411 CR 401, Taylor.
A Night in Bethlehem (Kyle) – Saturday, December 13 – Sunday, December 14 from 6-8:30 p.m. After your walk through Jesus’ Bethlehem, visit “modern” Bethlehem to make a craft, drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies as you enjoy live Christmas music and performances. FREE! Fellowship Church at Plum Creek, 160 Grace St, Kyle.
Downtown Posada – Saturday, December 13 at 6:00 p.m. St. David’s Episcopal Church will host the 4th Annual Downtown Posada. The Posada commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem in search of shelter prior to the birth of Jesus. The Posada will include a procession led by children, followed by adults, and Mariachi Relampago. The procession will make its way through St. David’s Church, ending at Bethell Hall. Everyone is welcome to then feast on food and refreshment, sing Christmas carols, and join in traditional activities such as the breaking of the piñata for treats. This event is FREE with FREE parking in the St. David’s garage. St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 East 8th St., Austin.
Luminations at Wildflower Center – Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, from 6-9:00 p.m. Enjoy Luminations, a Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center holiday tradition. Make plans to visit the lighted gardens, filled with thousands of luminarias and twinkle lights. Admission is FREE with two canned food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. In addition to the beautiful holiday lighting, there will be hot chocolate and food for sale, plus children’s activities and musical acts throughout both evenings. Kids can get a hug from Frosty the Snowman and make crafts in the Visitors Gallery. 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin.
Lighted Parade (Bastrop) – Saturday, December 13 at 6:00 p.m. Bastrop’s annual lighted Christmas parade brings a festival of lights, music, and cheer, including lovingly constructed and decorated floats, fire engines, marching bands, horses and riders, and, of course, Santa Claus and his helpers. Produced by the Downtown Business Alliance, this joyful Bastrop tradition literally lights up the Bastrop Christmas festivities. Main Street, Bastrop.
Austin Civic Wind Ensemble Concert – Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. FREE Christmas concert. St. Louis Catholic Church, 7601 Burnet Rd, Austin.
Abel’s North Pole – Sunday, December 14 from 12:30-4:00 p.m. Enjoy photos with Santa, snow, cookie decorating, bounce house, train rides and more. Photos with Santa will start at 1:30 p.m. FREE admission with an unwrapped child’s gift. Abel’s North, 4001 West Parmer Ln, Austin.
Multicultural Holiday Bazaar – Sunday, December 14 from 2-7:00 p.m. Looking for unique gifts from around the world this holiday season? Join Austin’s first Multicultural Holiday Bazaar, celebrating Austin’s diverse culture, featuring vendors from various countries offering a wide range of merchandise. Bring the family to shop and sample foods from several continents while enjoying fun cultural entertainment. Don’t miss the chance to win a surprise holiday gift basket! Shop local this holiday season and relish the global experience at Austin’s Multicultural Holiday Bazaar. Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd, Austin.