Hold onto your butts, there’s a lot of family fun going on for Christmas in Austin this week…

christmasevents

– Tuesday, December 3 –

⇒ Lighting Up Mueller – The 8th Annual Mueller Tower Lighting will have family activities, holiday treats and live music performances from the Huston-Tillotson Jazz Ensemble and the Reagan High School drum line. Families can make their own holiday wrapping paper and commemorate the evening with a family portrait inside a photo booth. The night will end with the NOEL lights being lit up on the top of the historic control tower. FREE, in Mueller, 6 – 8 pm.

Make a Handprint Ornament – Make a Santa Christmas ornament from the impression of your child’s hand in clay, then come back in a week to paint! At The Art Garage, $15, reserve your spot by calling 512-852-9900, 10 – 11 am.

– Wednesday, December 4 –

Pictures with Santa – Dress up the littles in their Christmas outfit for a professional pic with Santa! They can decorate and eat Christmas cookies too. At Toybrary Austin, $5, 10:30 am.

– Thursday, December 5 –

Preservation Austin’s Holiday Candlelight Tour – This holiday walking tour on East 8th and 9th Streets highlights the historic Guadalupe neighborhood, a long-standing Austin community for more than 125 years. The tour partners with the French Legation Museum, which will be open to tour guests. Ticket price includes tours of the homes, free admission to the museum, festive drinks and light snacks. Starts at the French Legation Museum, $20 – $30, get tickets here.

– Friday, December 6 –

Austin Trail of Lights Preview Party – See the iconic Trail of Lights without the crowds in an intimate setting with special amenities and comfort. There will be live music from Ray Benson, Marcia Ball, the Whiskey Sisters and more, along with food trailers and a sneak peek of the Trail of Lights. At Zilker Park, $62.50 per person, kids 10 and under are free, 7 – 10 pm, you can get tickets here. THIS EVENT HAS CHANGED/POSTPONED, READ THE UPDATES HERE.

6th Annual Lights of Love 5K and Family Fun Run – Enjoy the scenic trail of holiday lights and caroling voices while walking, jogging or running in Austin’s favorite holiday race. The event-filled evening features pictures with Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald, food, kids’ crafts, music, a hot chocolate stop and enough holiday spirit to last through the entire season! Proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas. At the Mueller Browning Hangar, $20 – $35, register here, starts at 5:30 pm.

Santa’s Workshop: Make Clay Ornaments, ages 2 – 5 – You and your 2 – 5-year-old child can create original ornaments for your Christmas tree. There will also be a Christmas-themed story time and games. At Toybrary Austin, $10, register here, 10 – 11 am.

Ebenezer’s Journey – Bring the family to Pioneer Farms this holiday season for a most unusual event. Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history. Then experience the classic Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol, like never before as our actors take you into the story with an interactive theatrical presentation staged in the old buildings. At Pioneer Farms, tickets are $12 per person and you can buy them here, 7 – 10 pm.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop –  Over 60,000 lights illuminate the largest Live Oak Tree in Cedar Park. Santa’s Workshop will kickoff immediately following the tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, games & prizes, inflatable, photos with Santa, and arts & crafts projects. FREE at Heritage Oak Park, 6:30 – 9 pm.

 

North Pole in the South – Join National Geographic Kids for a Snow Day with sledding, weird snow-sculpture building, giveaways and more! FREE, at The Rise School of Austin, 3 – 6 pm.

Lakeway Trail of Lights – Walk the trail and see thousands of twinkling lights and listen to delightful seasonal music! FREE, at Lakeway City Hall, 6:30 pm – midnight.

– Saturday, December 7 –

Austin Trail of Lights 5K Run – Run alongside Santa, elves and maybe a few reindeer – just slow down enough to enjoy the lights. This run also includes a Family Mile, both runs are open to adults and kids and both courses conclude with a stretch through the Trail of Lights. At Zilker Park, $15 for kids, $40 for adults, register here, run starts at 6:30 pm.

Ebenezer’s Journey – Bring the family to Pioneer Farms this holiday season for a most unusual event. Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history. Then experience the classic Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol, like never before as our actors take you into the story with an interactive theatrical presentation staged in the old buildings. At Pioneer Farms, tickets are $12 per person and you can buy them here, 7 – 10 pm.

Holiday Heroes – Now in its 14th year due to popular demand! In this hilariously fun holiday sing-along students get into the holiday spirit with Ernie and Rufus. The stage is set for big holiday display when too much fun causes a raucous mix up of Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. At ZACH Theatre, $14 for kids, $16 for adults, get tickets here, 11 am.

Prairie Christmas – 1880s-decorated houses will be available for visitors to see all day at Pioneer Farms. The historic sites will be all dolled up just like they would have been in the 1800s, and as visitors walk around they can see the history of Christmas in Central Texas. In addition, on select weekends, there will be Santa for photos, horse rides (available for an extra charge), exhibits, heritage shopping at the General Store and more. Candy canes and other give-aways will be offered to visitors. At Pioneer Farms, tickets are purchased at the gate for $8 for adults and $6 for kids, 10 am – 5 pm.

Snow Day – It snows every weekend in December at the Hill Country Galleria! Toss a snowball, build a snow man, make a snow angel and take fun family photos. Enjoy live holiday music, holiday carolers and more. FREE, at the Hill Country Galleria, 12 – 4 pm.

Cocoa & Cookies with Santa & Mrs. Claus – Kids can talk to Santa and get their picture taken, as well as enjoy cocoa, cookies, crafts, story time, sing-a-longs and more. There will be six 1-hour sessions between 8:45 am and 3 pm for children ages 1 – 12 to attend. At YMCA Camp Twin Lakes, $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Sign up by calling 512-250-9622.

Holiday Sing-a-Long and Downtown Stroll – The evening will start with singing songs of the season on the steps of the Capitol, followed by a countdown to the lighting of the tree which features a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. Then everyone can stroll down Congress Ave. and enjoy shops,  restaurants, galleries, museums and more. Other fun stuff includes classic holiday cartoons at the Paramount Theatre, Santa in an airstream photo booth, a special holiday Farmers’ Market and much more. FREE, at the Texas State Capitol, 6 – 9 pm.

Santa Skate – Take photos with Santa, listen to carolers, skate to holiday music, enjoy a hot cocoa bar and win prizes. At Chaparral Ice Center, 12 – 4 pm, RSVP on their Facebook page.

Holiday Toy Exchange & Christmas Shopping Event –  Toybrary will be hosting a Toy Swap from 3 -5 p.m. To participate in the swap, you must drop your gently-used toys off at Toybrary Austin between December 3 and 6. Toybrary Austin will record how many you donated, and you will be able to take the same number home on the day of the swap. Immediately following the Toy Swap on December 7, tables will be set up with vendors selling various gifts and gift certificates for Christmas from 5 – 7 p.m. Spend some time looking around and enjoy a Christmas beverage and some music! FREE, at Toybrary Austin, 3 – 7 pm.

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting –  Enjoy pictures with Santa, Holiday Hayrides, Yule Fire, Choral Performances, a Christmas Parade, and the Tree Lighting. FREE, at Leander City Hall, 5 pm.

Georgetown Christmas Stroll – Visit with Santa, listen to carolers, meet the Grinch and Hug a Whoo, have dessert with the Grinch, play in the kids zone and craft area and a whole lot more! FREE to attend, at the Georgetown Courthouse Square, 5 – 10 pm.

Holiday by the Tracks – Live music and entertainment, a holiday bazaar, a farmer’s market, holiday specials, pictures with Santa, a lighted Christmas parade and more. FREE, at Veterans Memorial Park, 9 am – 3 pm.

Santa’s Workshop – Santa will be in from the North Pole to take pictures and give gifts to the children. Refreshments will be served! At Millie & Mox, $10/photo, 11 am – 5 pm.

Make a Handprint Ornament – Make a Santa Christmas ornament from the impression of your child’s hand in clay, then come back in a week to paint! At The Art Garage, $15, reserve your spot by calling 512-852-9900, 11 am – noon.

Kids & Parents: Decorate a Gingerbread House – For kids ages 5 – 12 and a parent, these miniature works of art are as tasty as they are captivating and so much fun to make! We’ll provide an authentic Swiss Lebkuchen gingerbread house, lots of royal icing and mountains of candy. Just bring you creativity and imagination. Boxes will be provided to transport your masterpiece home. At Central Market Cooking School, $65 parent/child team, register here, 4 – 6 pm.

– Sunday, December 8 –

Austin Trail of Lights Grand Opening –  The Trail of Lights winds through 1.25 miles of Zilker Park, the crown jewel of Austin’s public green spaces. For two magical weeks in December, over 50 stunning custom displays (many updated for 2013) light up the night, bringing Austinites together to celebrate the season. Come make memories with the ones you love and uniquely Austin eats, fun for the kiddos, and performers including musicians, dancers, and carolers. The Ransom Notes with D’Ette and Co. Dancers Rhythm Foce will perform. At Zilker Park, FREE, 7 – 10 pm.

Crystal Falls Winter Wonderland – 10 tons of snow will descend on this Austin community. Ring in the season with cupcakes, cocoa, train rides, a visit from Santa and much more. Kids can get their face painted and play in the snow. FREE to attend, at Crystal Falls in Leander, 1 – 3 pm.

Santa’s Workshop – Santa will be in from the North Pole to take pictures and give gifts to the children. Refreshments will be served! At Millie & Mox, $10/photo, 11 am – 5 pm.

 

So much Christmas, have fun!