- Tour the Texas Capitol – Friday, December 26 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Saturday, December 27 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 28 from 12-3:30 p.m. The Capitol Information and Guide Service is located in the restored Treasurer’s Business Office on the first floor of the Capitol. FREE Capitol tours are conducted daily beginning in the Capitol South Foyer and concluding in the Capitol Extension. This tour features the Capitol, Texas history, and the Texas legislature. Tours are generally 30-40 minutes in length. Read about visiting the Capitol with kids here. Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin. (Parking information)
- The Making of Gone with the Wind – Friday, December 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, December 27 and Sunday, December 28 from 12-5 p.m. Go behind the scenes of one of the classic films of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Featuring more than 300 rarely seen and some never-before-exhibited materials, the exhibition is drawn entirely from the Ransom Center’s collections and includes on-set photographs, storyboards, correspondence and fan mail, production records, makeup stills, concept art, costume sketches, audition footage, and producer David O. Selznick’s memos. The green curtain dress and other gowns worn by Vivien Leigh are displayed together for the first time in more than 25 years. FREE. The exhibition runs through January 4. Harry Ransom Center, 21st and Guadalupe Streets, Austin.
- Holiday Model Train Exhibit (Round Rock) – Friday, December 26 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Saturday, December 27 and Sunday, December 28 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Watch up to four trains running simultaneously through city scenes, snow village scenes, oil fields, a farm scene, and an animated carnival. FREE admission; $5 to operate a train for 10 minutes. ArtSpace, 231 E. Main Street, Round Rock.
- Kwanzaa Celebration of Unity – Friday, December 26 from 2-5 p.m. The Carver Museum celebrates the first day of Kwanzaa, Umoja/Unity. The principal of Umoja focuses on striving daily to engage in practices which build bonds of affection and attachment to our family members, teachers, and neighbors. Join in a recommitment to unity in our community, featuring a performance by Elizabeth Kahura and light refreshments. FREE but RSVP is requested to [email protected] George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St, Austin.
- Zilker Holiday Tree – Every evening through December 31, from 6 p.m. to midnight. The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs, totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians. At its circumference, the tree measures 380 feet. The diameter is 120 feet. The base of the tree is made up of 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moonlight Tower. Go take a spin under the tree! FREE. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Lights Show – Every evening through January 4, 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. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin.
- Big Don Kids’ Show – Saturday, December 27 at 10 a.m. Big Don’s goal is to entertain kids through the fun and energy of Hip Hop. FREE. Read about Catherine’s experience at a Saturday morning kids’ show at Strange Brew here. Strange Brew Lounge Side, 5326 Manchaca Rd, Austin.
- Kwanzaa Family Program – Saturday, December 27 at 2 p.m. African native and educator Elizabeth Kahura will bring Kwanzaa to life with storytelling, music and art for all ages. FREE. Austin Public Library, Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St, Austin.
- Milwood Movie Mania: Guardians of the Galaxy – Saturday, December 27 at 2 p.m. See the movie for FREE! Rated PG-13. Milwood Branch, 12500 Amherst Dr., Austin.
The Hey Lollies Kids Show – Sunday, December 28 at 10:30 a.m. Join The Hey Lollies for their last show of the year. The show is outside so dress for the weather. FREE. Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1401 E 38 1/2 St, Austin.Canceled due to rain.
- Scenic Strolls and Easy Hikes in Austin
- Exploring Austin’s Street Art, Murals & Mosaics
- Austin Nature and Science Center (Bingo Cards here)
- Zilker Botanical Garden
- Visit Peacocks in Mayfield Park
- Hope Outdoor Gallery (Graffiti Park)
- Free Historic Walking Tours
- Play for All Abilities Park
- Texas Military Forces Museum
- Central Texas Holiday Lights
You may also be interested in:
- Family Friendly Ways to Ring in 2015
- $1 Movies at Alamo Drafthouse
- Wizard School: A Magical Improv Adventure for Kids ($5)
Looking for something fun to do with your child (birth through age 9) this winter? Sign up for a FREE Music Together Demo Class January 2nd and 3rd at Heartsong Music and register NOW for their Winter Session of family music classes!