Start a new family tradition with these Austin holiday events

Our list of fun holiday events for families in Austin keeps growing every year. Check out these events that are sure to create memories.

Holiday events

The Zilker tree will be lighted on Nov. 26. SUZANNE CORDEIRO/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN.

Chuy’s Children’s Giving to Children Parade. Bring an unwrapped new toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa while you see the floats go by. Free. 11 a.m. Saturday.

Gingerbread Fun Run 1 K. A fun run for kids of all ages and abilities that benefits the Thinkery. $18-$22. 9 a.m. Saturday. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

“A Christmas Carol.” 10 a.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Nov. 25-Dec. 17. $8-$10. EmilyAnn Theatre 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley.

Turkey Trot and Kids K. The Kids K starts this Thanksgiving tradition. $10. 8:45 a.m. Nov. 23. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Buy Christmas trees beginning Nov. 24. On the weekend, paint pine cones and roast s’mores. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin.

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Hunt. Buy Christmas trees beginning Nov. 24 242 Monkey Road.

Santa on the Terrace. Come meet Santa and more. Free. 10 a.m. Nov. 24 Long Center, Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive.

Santa’s Arrival Holiday Celebration. See a tree lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa with fireworks. 6-9 p.m. Nov. 24. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd.



EmilyAnn Theatre Trail of Lights. 6:30 p.m. 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-Dec. 28. Free. EmilyAnn Theatre 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley.

Mozart’s Christmas Light Show. 6-11 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters at Oyster Landing, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.

The ice skating rink at Whole Foods opens on Nov. 24. Jay Janner/American Statesman

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The holiday TV special comes to the stage. Your favorite toys come to life on the stage. $29-$59. 4 p.m. Nov. 24, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 25. Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive.

Whole Foods Skating on the Plaza. Go ice skating 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 24 through Jan. 15. Closed Christmas Day. $10 per person. Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.

“The Elves and the Shoemaker.” For ages 5 and up. 4:30 p.m. Nov. 21, Little Walnut Creek Branch. 11 a.m. Nov. 28, Ruiz Branch. 10:15 a.m. Nov. 30, Cepeda Branch. 3 p.m. Dec. 2, Central Library; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Spicewood Springs Branch; 10:30 a.m. Dec. 5, Terrazas Branch; 10:15 a.m. Dec. 7, Windsor Park Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. Dec. 9, Hampton Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Twin Oaks Branch; 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13, Willie Mae Kirk; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13, St. John Branch, Dec. 14; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Old Quarry Branch.

Zilker Tree Lighting. Live music and your first chance to take a spin under the tree this year.  6 p.m. Nov. 26. Zilker Park.

Driskill Hotel Tree Lighting. See the grand tree turn on in the lobby. 6 p.m. Nov. 28. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

Teddy Bear Tea. Tea, caroling and a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with Santa. Bring an unwrapped new teddy bear to donate to Dell Children’s Medical Center. While you’re there, don’t miss the gingerbread village. $30-$45. Nov. 25-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17. Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. Make reservations by calling 512-685-8300.

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit of the Americas. See lights, go skating, enter the petting zoo and Santa’s workshop and more. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 1-2 and 8-30, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. $16, plus additional fees for some activities.

“A Christmas Carol.” 10 a.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Through Dec. 17. $8-$10. EmilyAnn Theatre 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley.

Alamo Drafthouse events: Kids Camp: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” 10 a.m. Dec. 2-3, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Lakeline. 10 a.m. Dec. 2-3, Slaughter Lane. PBS Kids Holiday Mix. 10 a.m. Dec. 9-10, Lakeline.

“Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.” Junie B. is ready to take on her nemesis May in this holiday story. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16. $10-$15. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol.” See it in IMAX. 1 p.m. Dec. 2. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Elf Academy. Train to be Santa’s best elf. 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Domain. Reserve your spot at

Get your children’s picture taken with Santa. You can reserve your spot at the mall or find Santa all over town.

Skate with Santa. Yes, Santa ice skates and you can skate with him. Noon-2:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Skating and admission is $14 per person. $2 pictures with Santa or bring two non-perishable food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane.

Breakfast with Santa. A light breakfast, crafts, a singalong and Santa. 9-11 a.m. Dec. 2. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road. 10 a.m. Dec. 9. Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane.

Santa in the Garden. Find your favorite jolly old elf among the plants. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec.2. Zilker Botanical Garden. 2220 Barton Springs Road. $1-$3.

Holiday Ornament Workshop. Make ornaments with things found in nature. Noon-2 p.m. Dec. 2. $15-10. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Tea and Story Time with Mrs. Claus. 10:30 a.m.-noon Dec. 6. $10 a child. Peeps Christmas Story Time. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 7. Free. Pictures with Santa. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Elf Visit. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13. $10. Holiday Sing-along with Miss Ariel. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

Caring Santa. Meet Santa in an autism-friendly way. 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Barton Creek Square; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Lakeline Mall. Reserve your spot at

Neill-Cochran House Museum. History Lab: A Historic Holiday. Make Pomanders, putz houses and historic board games. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 3. Free. 2310 San Gabriel St.

Hideout Theatre Presents: “Monster Holidays.” 2 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, 17, 23 and 30. $5. Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave.

Luminations. It’s back. See the Wildflower Center outlined in luminarias. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 7-10. $15. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Friday Movie Matinee “Home Alone.” 3 p.m. Dec. 8, Old Quarry Branch.

Austin Trail of Lights. 6-10 p.m. Dec. 9-23. Free admission Dec. 9-14, Dec. 18-19. $3 other nights. Zilker Park.

Zilker Tree. The tree will be lighted every night from Nov. 26-Dec. 31. Zilker Park.

Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. This month’s theme: Frosted. Free. 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 6. Reservations required.

Story time with Mrs. Claus. 11 a.m. Dec. 9. Hill country Galleria Central Plaza Pavillian.

Winter Fest. 10 a.m. Dec. 9, Yarborough Branch.

Holiday Open House. 11 a.m. Dec. 9, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; Noon Dec. 9, Pleasant Hill Branch; 1 p.m. Dec. 9, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. Dec 9, Manchaca Road Branch.

Bradley Tredway, 7, made a colorful gingerbread house at the Bastrop Public Library open house event in 2013. There are many spots to make a gingerbread house in December.

Thinkery Gingerbread House Workshops. Traditional or Tot (ages 5 and younger) 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 4 p.m., Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 23; 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 18-22; and 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. Dec. 24. $12 per person plus $20 house kit. Gingerbread Art and Architecture for ages 7 and older. 10:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 16-23; 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 24. $12 per person plus $30 house kit. Candy Chemistry for ages 7 and up. Make candy to go on your house. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Dec. 16-24. $12 per person plus $30 house kit. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Gingerbread House Workshop at The Candy Jar. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Dec. 16-17. $50 per house, children younger than 6 must have an adult with them. The Candy Jar, 12700 Hill Country Blvd. Suite 110. Register at

Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9, 15-16, 19-22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 22-23. $15-$98. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

“Holiday Heroes.” Zach Theatre’s annual Christmas family tradition. 11 a.m. Dec. 2, Dec. 9. $18-24. Topfer Theater, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.

Contemporary Austin. Families Create: Gingerbread Villas. Make your own candy home. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 9. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

An Afternoon with Santa. Take photos, make crafts and eat cookies. 3 p.m. Dec. 10. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Class. 6 p.m. Dec. 10, Windsor Park Branch.

Pictures with Santa + Crafts. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Cepeda Branch of the Austin Public Library.

Holiday Movie: “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Carver Branch.

Family Movie Night: “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” 10:30 a.m. Dec. 20, Twin Oaks Branch.

The Carver’s Christmas Special. Celebrate Christmas with Santa at the Carver Museum. Noon-3 p.m. Dec. 16. Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Night Before Christmas Break. Enjoy reindeer game and treats. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Free. Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury St.

Kwanzaa Celebration of Ujamaa with Elizabeth Kahura. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 29. Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Austin’s New Year. A family-friendly New Year’s Eve party with events throughout the day.