This weekend, you can enjoy tree lightings, visits with Santa, fireworks, and a holiday parade down Congress Avenue!
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:
- Santa on the Terrace – Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Santa is coming to town and spreading some holiday cheer. Join him 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 (first-come, first-serve) 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. FREE! Long Center Terrace, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin.
- Blue Genie Art Bazaar – Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. This annual 4-week holiday shopping event features handmade artwork, jewelry and gifts from more than 200 regional artists. In addition to shopping, there will be special events and activities throughout the show. Celebrating 16 years in Austin, BGAB is a family-friendly experience where shoppers can browse in a hassle-free environment with centralized checkout. Refreshments and bar available. Parking and admission are FREE! Blue Genie Art Bazaar, 6100 Airport Blvd, Austin.
- Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival (Bee Cave) – Friday from 6-9:00 p.m. Enjoy dance performances by the Lake Travis High School Cavalettes and Red Rubies, see Santa, help light the holiday tree, watch fireworks, and enjoy live music by Andy Grammer. Emceed by Mix 94.7’s Brad Booker. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Austin.
- Family Atlatl Day – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Have you ever wanted to learn how prehistoric hunters brought down wooly mammoths thousands of years ago? Kids and adults can learn how to use an atlatl (also known as a spear-thrower) together. No experience is necessary. All ages are welcome. FREE! Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin.
- Big Don Kids’ Show – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Award-winning Hip Hop artist Big Don’s music focuses on the positive and inspiring aspects of what kids embrace about life. FREE! Strange Brew, 5326 Manchaca Rd, Austin.
- Staci Gray Kids’ Concert – Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. Staci Gray’s original music gets children to sing, dance, and get their sillies out. FREE! In.gredients, 2610 Manor Rd, Austin.
- Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Enjoy live music, giant Kung Fu Panda and Super Grover balloons, festive floats, and marching bands. Don’t forget to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to Blue Santa. FREE! Congress Avenue Downtown.
- Christmas in the Community Concert: Woodwinds – Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The Austin Symphony is bringing free music to all Austinites this holiday season. Christmas in the Community is a series of ten concerts held throughout the city featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. FREE! Macy’s at Barton Creek Mall, 2901 Capitol of Texas Highway, Austin.
- Sunday Bike Day at the Market – Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This is event is to help folks learn more about cycling in Austin and to spread the word on the great work Yellow Bike Project is doing in the community. Activities will include a demo on how to fix a flat (1:00 p.m.), raffles, prizes, Imagination Playground with interactive play, recycled bike ornament craft, Lego design with Rachel, and free yoga with Juli. FREE! HOPE Farmers Market, 412 Comal St, Austin.
- Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting – Sunday at 6:00 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony will feature local entertainment, food, novelties, and live music. Prelude Music will be performed by the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble with additional event music by the Barton Hills Choir. FREE! Zilker Park, 2033 Lou Neff Rd, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun:
- Steve’s Post Thanksgiving Feastival (Improvised Leftovers) – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Thanksgiving is over but the good times and the leftover turkey are still here. Join Steve and his cast as they explore the endless possibilities – anything can be a sandwich! Volunteer to be a part of the show or enjoy from your seat. Either way, you can get a high-five from Steve. Tickets are available at the door. Suggested donation of $3 to $5. ColdTowne Theater, 4803 Airport Blvd, Austin.
- Rockin’ Dudz Consignment Event & Mistletoe Madness Craft and Vendor Show – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Enjoy unique holiday shopping with Rockin’ Dudz and their amazing craft and vendors, who will be offering one of a kind gift ideas. Rockin’ Dudz will also have awesome winter and holiday deals for the kiddos as well. Admission is FREE! Frank Fickett Scout Conference Center, 12500 N IH 35, Austin.
- Renegade Craft Fair Austin – Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ring in the season at this one-stop shopping event for festive gift-giving. Pop in to shop the very best of indie craft and experience inspiring DIY workshops, delicious food and drink, and tons of special features. Visitors will be treated to live DJ sets as they enjoy world-class design and handcrafted goods by carefully selected makers and artisans. Admission is FREE! Fair Market, 1100 E 5th St, Austin.
More Events Beyond Austin:
- Holiday Model Train Show (Round Rock) – Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. The Tinplate Trackers will be back at ArtSpace for their 4th annual Holiday Model Train show. The trains will be running Wednesday through Sunday each week. FREE! ArtSpace, 231 E Main St, Round Rock.
- Lighting of the Square (Georgetown) – Friday at 5:30 p.m. Sing along with the Austin Carolers to your favorite holiday tunes and warm your tummy with cookies and hot chocolate. Join the countdown to flip on the holiday lights on The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas. The downtown shops will be open late for holiday shopping. The Williamson Museum will be hosting a craft activity from 6-8:00 p.m. FREE! Georgetown Square.
- Star Party (Cedar Park) – Friday at 8:00 p.m. Star gaze on a state-of-the art computer guided telescope. View through the telescope, take telescope assisted photos with your smartphone, and learn major stars and constellation positions along with the planets and moons. Learn how to read a star map, and much more. Weather permitting. FREE! Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220, Toro Grande Dr, Cedar Park.
- A Charlie Brown Event (Round Rock) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Happiness is a day with friends and family. Bring your family for a morning of crafts, activities, and snuggle-time with a sweet Peanuts© movie. Blankets are welcome and encouraged. If you feel like dressing up like Charlie Brown, Snoopy, or any of the other characters, well, you’ll make the day even more fun for everyone. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.