Christmas is NEXT WEEK, y’all! It’s time to maximize all that is holly and jolly. We’re feeling that holiday spirit all around Austin these days, and we love all of the many fun, family events that help us celebrate the joy of the season. Check out what’s going on this week.


On-Going Events:

Special Events this Week:

Trail of Lights @ Zilker Park
Through Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7-10 p.m.
Come out to Zilker Park to marvel at this Austin holiday tradition! General admission will be FREE through Dec. 15, and a $3 admission will be charged for ages 12 & up on Dec. 16-22. Click here for all the details about parking, shuttles, ZiP Fast Passes and more info before you go. You can also check out this handy My Trail, My Way printable that includes suggested photo ops and a checklist of fun stops to make along the Trail for the family.



—  Armadillo Christmas Bazaar @ Palmer Events Center
Tuesday, Dec.15 – Thursday, Dec. 24, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
The is such a fun shopping experience with a very Austin vibe. You’ll find a beautiful assortment of fine art and crafts, a great music lineup, delicious food, and cold beer, too. Plus kids 12 and under are free! Admission is $8. You can click here to purchase your tickets. Click here to learn more about the lineup of artists and entertainment and to enter to win passes!



The Nutcracker @ The Long Center
Through December 23, shows at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
From the scrumptious sets and costumes to all of the colorful characters you love, Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker is the longest-running production of the seasonal classic in Texas. Stephen Mills’ take on this timeless tale features a cast of hundreds of dancers. Celebrate the magic of the holidays by experiencing this sweet treat with your family and friends. Tickets start at $15 which you can purchase online here.



The Mutt-Cracker Sweet @ The Vortex
Thursday, Dec. 17 – Jan. 3
Thurs. – Sat. shows at 6 p.m. & 8 p.m., Sunday shows at 4 p.m. & 6p.m.
This unique show stars six rescued circus dogs, a performing parrot, juggling, unicycling, balancing acts, puppets, accordion music and a live jazz piano rendition of Tchaikovsy’s “The Nutcracker Suite” This holiday show will captivate the whole family! (Done in 55 minutes to enthrall even a toddler.) Tickets are $15 for children and $25 for adults. You can order tickets online here  or by calling 512-478-5282. *2 for 1 Offer-December 17 & 18! (Say “2 for 1” when reserving tickets by phone.)



Rocking Holiday Extravaganza @ The Blanton Museum of Art
Thursday, Dec. 17, 5:30 – 9 p.m.
Enjoy an amped-up mashup of holiday music and sing along classics from the Texas Choral Consort and the Invincible Czars. And then join the Symphonic Choir from Conspirare for The Big Sing, a community singing event. Admission is free as part of the Museum’s Third Thursday program.



Annual Winter Wonderland Shopping Soiree @ Charles Johnson House
Thursday, Dec. 17, 6-9 p.m.
Check out a o
ne-stop holiday shopping experience, featuring local artists, boutiques, holiday crafted cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, delightful desserts, raffles, silent auction gift baskets, gift wrap and more that benefits Austin Police Department’s Operation Blue Santa. Tickets are $13.50 which can be purchased online here. Children under age 12 are free.



Groundwork Music Orchestra Holiday Concert @ Central Market North Lamar
Friday, Dec. 18. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
This free family-focused holiday concert presents the Groundwork Music Orchestra and the students of Groundwork Music Project. Young students from local Austin preschools and elementary schools will get a chance to perform on stage with professional musicians fostering a sense of pride combined with commitment to the collaborative process.



Grand Opening of Holiday Lights on Ice @ Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
Friday, Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m.
Christmas comes to life at the Grand Opening of the Holiday Lights & Ice season at with a special Winter Wonderland on Ice production by Ice Couture, featuring international dancers and ice skaters. Then take to the ice with Santa on the indoor ice rink that overlooks the scenic hill country and is accompanied by a display of twinkling lights and festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Holiday-inspired treats and hot beverages will be served along with ornament and gingerbread cookie decorating in Santa’s Workshop. Tickets are $20 for children and $25 for adults. Click here for more info.



Cookies & Cocoa with Santa @ Topgolf
Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 – 11 a.m.
Bring the kids to get a free photo with Santa, a gift, cookies & cocoa.

Holiday Storytime @ BookPeople
Saturday, Dec. 19, 11:30 a.m.
This will be the last Saturday storytime before the big holiday! Join us for one of the most classic stories of all time – The Polar Express! Join us for special stickers and maybe a giveaway or two!

Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things in Round Rock @ CHASCO Family YMCA
Saturday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Enjoy activities in the snow, giant slides, paintball, tango tower, zip line, horse-drawn wagon rides, train rides, interactive holiday booths, inflatables and rides, concessions, live music, and appearances by Santa from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. as well as world famous clydesdales. Free!


Free Photo with Santa @ Carver Museum
Saturday, Dec. 19, 12 – 3 p.m.
Free photo with Santa! Call (512) 974-4926 to RSVP by Wednesday, December 16.



Holiday Heroes @ ZACH Theatre
Saturday Dec. 19, 11 a.m.
Kids will love this silly holiday sing-along show full of good cheer, singing and laughter. (Great for kids ages 3 & up.) Tickets are $15 for kids and $20 for adults and can be purchased online in advance here or by calling the box office at 512-476-0541 x1. Click here to enter to win tickets!

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Snow Day @ Hill Country Galleria
Saturday, Dec. 19, 12-4 p.m.
Located outside of the Bee Cave Library, you’ll find real snow being delivered to the Hill Country Galleria. Toss a snowball, build a snowman, make a snow angel, and take family photos. Enjoy live holiday music, holiday carolers, and more. Free!



A Child’s Christmas In Wales @ First Presbyterian Church
Saturday, Dec. 19, 4:30 p.m.
Texas jazz musicians Alex Coke, Suzi Stern, Rich Harney and Evan Arredondo bring Dylan Thomas’ beloved holiday tale to life for two shows at First Presbyterian Church this December. A seasonal favorite of Austin audiences for more than a decade, these four friends (and award winning musicians) herald the season with a live reading and concert of original songs and improvised music that sparkles with surprise, inspired by the author’s enchanting short story.Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids, sold at the door.

–> Fore more holiday events, please check out our listings of Holiday Family Fun on our calendar.