A perfect weekend for finding some holiday fun in Austin, Dec. 8-10

The sun will come out again this weekend and the weather will be warmer. There’s so much to do this week: many trails lined with lights, holiday plays, Santas to see. How will you choose?

Friday

Pictures with Santa. 10:30 a.m. Friday. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com

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

Little Thinkers Club. Amazing Animals. Make art and do yoga inspired by animals. 9:45 a.m. for 2-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. for 3-year-olds, Fridays through Dec. 15. $20 per class, $140 for the series. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

People explore a light tunnel during the Winter Wonderland event at Circuit of the Americas. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Friday-Saturday

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 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $16, plus additional fees for some activities. circuitoftheamericas.com/winter-wonderland.

“The Elves and the Shoemaker.” For ages 5 and older. 3:30 p.m. Friday, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. Saturday, Hampton Branch.

Ballet Austin’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Choreography by Stephen Mills. Photo by Tony Spielberg.

Friday-Sunday

Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $15-$98. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Luminations. It’s back. See the Wildflower Center outlined in luminarias. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. $15. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Ride a hay ride to the Christmas tree grounds and select your tree. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. elginchristmastreefarm.com

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm. Buy Christmas trees through Christmas Eve. Noon to dark daily, except Saturdays, when it opens at 10 a.m. Weekends there’s s’mores making and pine cone painting, too. 242 Monkey Road. evergreen-farms.com

Trail of Lights. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, through Dec. 28. Free. EmilyAnn Theatre, 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley. emilyann.org

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

Go skating at the ice rink at Whole Foods downtown.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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

Zilker Tree. The tree will be lighted every night from through Dec. 31. Zilker Park. austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree

Meet & Greet with Santa. Come meet Santa at the Hill Country Galleria. Noon-6 p.m. Sunday, 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Plus a synchronized tree lighting every half hour 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd. hillcountrygalleria.com

 

Saturday

Story time with Mrs. Claus. 11 a.m. Saturday. Hill Country Galleria Central Plaza Pavilion. hillcountrygalleria.com

Winter Fest. 10 a.m. Saturday, Yarborough Branch.

Baby Bloomers. Learn all about winter. For infant to 3. 9 a.m.  Saturdays. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

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

 

 

 

 

Blanton Museum of Art. Holiday Family Day. Road trip-inspired activities. Free with admission. Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. blantonmuseum.org

Toybrary Austin. Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com

“Holiday Heroes” at Zach Theater has become a holiday tradition. Kirk Tuck

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

Contemporary Austin. Families Create: Gingerbread Villas. Make your own candy home. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org

Zach Theatre presents “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” Head to Narnia in the C.S. Lewis tale. 11 a.m. Saturday. More shows through Feb. 10. $18-$24. Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. zachtheatre.org

Harry Potter Fest. “Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Deathly Hallows Part 1.” 6 p.m. Saturday. Various prices. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In. 12419 Lowden Lane, Manchaca. bluestarlitedrivein.com

Barnes & Noble Events: 11 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Big Golden Book.” .

Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie. 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Yarborough Branch; Mornings with Moxie. 10 a.m. Saturday, Manchaca Road Branch.

Saturday-Sunday

Austin Trail of Lights. The annual tradition begins. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission Saturday. Zilker Park. austintrailoflights.org

Teddy Bear Tea. Tea, carolling 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. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. Make reservations by calling 512-685-8300. fourseasons.com/austin

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

Alamo Drafthouse events: Kids Camp: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Lakeline, Slaughter Lane. PBS Kids Holiday Mix. 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Lakeline. drafthouse.com

“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. Sunday, Saturday. $10-$15. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org

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., Saturday and Sunday. $12 per person plus $20 house kit. Gingerbread Art and Architecture for ages 7 and older. 10:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $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. Saturday and Sunday. $12 per person plus $30 house kit. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Gingerbread House Workshop at The Candy Jar. 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $50 per house; children younger than 6 must have an adult with them. The Candy Jar, 12700 Hill Country Blvd. Suite 110. Register at thecandyjartx.com.

Sunday

Hideout Theatre Presents: “Monster Holidays.” 2 p.m. Sunday. $5. Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave. hideouttheatre.org

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

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

Austin Ukestra. 1 p.m. Sunday. Recycled Reads Bookstore.

 

 

 

 

Winter isn’t coming to Austin, but holiday fun for families is, Dec. 1-3

The weather isn’t going to feel like the holidays this weekend — more like spring — but there are still many festive events to put on your calendar. Be aware, it might rain on Sunday, so if you’re looking at something outside, opt for Friday or Saturday instead.

Get your children’s picture taken with Santa. You can reserve your spot.

Friday

Thinkery. Parents’ Night Out. Kids ages 4 and up play at the Thinkery while you see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller. 5:30-10 p.m. Friday. $40 for first child, $20 each additional child. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Little Thinkers Club. Amazing Animals. Do art and yoga inspired by animals. 9:45 a.m. for 2-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. for 3-year-olds, Fridays through Dec. 15. $20 per class, $140 for the series. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Barnes & Noble Events: “Polar Express” Story time. 7 p.m. Friday, all locations.

Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie. 11:30 a.m. Friday, Yarborough Branch.

Friday-Saturday

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 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $16, plus additional fees for some activities. circuitoftheamericas.com/winter-wonderland.

Friday-Sunday

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Ride a hay ride to the Christmas tree grounds and select your tree. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. elginchristmastreefarm.com

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm. Buy Christmas trees through Christmas Eve. Noon to dark daily, except Saturdays, when it opens at 10 a.m. Weekends there’s s’mores making and pinecone painting, too. 242 Monkey Road. evergreen-farms.com

Trail of Lights. 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, through Dec. 28. Free. EmilyAnn Theatre 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley. emilyann.org

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

Whole Foods Skating on the Plaza. Go ice skating 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. now through Jan. 15. Closed

Whole Foods’ skating rink is back at the downtown store. Jay Janner/American-Statesman

Saturday

Paper Airplane Day. See demonstrations on how to make a paper airplane. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and learn more about flight with workshops 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org.

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

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

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

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

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

Skate with Santa. Yes, Santa ice skates, and you can skate with him. Noon-2:30 p.m. Saturday. 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. chaparralice.com

Breakfast with Santa. A light breakfast, crafts, a singalong and Santa. 9-11 a.m. Saturday. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road. austintexas.gov

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

Baby Bloomers. Learn all about shapes. For infant to 3. 9 a.m. Monday. Learn about winter. 9 a.m. Saturday. $5.  Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

DeSTEMber Fest. Celebrate science and holidays with activities for the whole family. 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Free. Girlstart. 1400 W. Anderson Lane. girlstart.org

Nina Martinez watches as Jimena Gonzalez rolls a marble down a roller coaster the girls and others built at the GirlStart rockin’ roller coasters workshop. Celebrate science at DeSTEMber at GirlStart. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com

Zach Theatre presents “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” Head to Narnia in the C.S. Lewis tale. 11 a.m. Saturday. More shows through Feb. 10. $18-$24. Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. zachtheatre.org

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturdays story times at all locations: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

BookPeople story time. Modern First Library. 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

Saturday Movie Matinee: “Rogue One.” 2 p.m. Saturday, Windsor Park Branch.

Saturday-Sunday

Teddy Bear Tea. Tea, carolling 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. Saturday and Saturday. Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. Make reservations by calling 512-685-8300. fourseasons.com/austin

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

Alamo Drafthouse events: Kids Camp: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Lakeline. 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Slaughter Lane. drafthouse.com

“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. Saturday  and Sunday. $10-$15. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org

Sunday

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

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

Hideout Theatre Presents: “Monster Holidays.” 2 p.m. Sunday. $5. Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave. hideouttheatre.org

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” See the book come to life. 2 p.m. Sunday. $18 and up. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org

Bullock Museum.H-E-B Free First Sunday. Free family fun around the museum with the theme “Bundle Up.” Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

Storybook Dance Making. 2 p.m. Sunday, Recycled Reads Bookstore.

A dozen family events to start your Thanksgiving break, Nov. 17-19

The weather will get slightly cooler as this weekend goes along. Is it possible that Thanksgiving is around the corner, followed by Christmas?

Get in the spirit this weekend with many family events that are holiday-themed. They’re great ways to start your Thanksgiving break.

Jasper Czysz, 4, holds onto his Hot Wheels toy he is ready to donate, but first watches the annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
  1. 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.  chuysparade.com
  2. 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. thinkeryaustin.org
  3. The Contemporary Austin’s Free Teen Night. The Contemporary Austin welcomes teenagers to the Jones Center for an entirely teen-led evening of activities. Teens can explore the art of Wangechi Mutu and John Bock. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. 700 Congress Ave. thecontemporaryaustin.org.
  4. Thinkery. Owl Pellet Dissection. See what an owl ate by looking at its poop. For ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
  5. Thanksgiving story time and craft. A snack, craft and fun with Hideout Theater guest. $10:30 a.m. Friday. $10 per child.  Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.comlio

    “Chicken Story Time” is from Pollyanna Theater Company.
  6. Meet Curious George! 10:30 a.m. Saturday. $10 per child.  Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.co
  7. “A Christmas Carol.” 10 a.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $8-$10. EmilyAnn Theatre 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley. emilyann.org/productions
  8. Zach Theatre presents “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” Head to Narnia in the C.S. Lewis tale. 11 a.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday and Saturday. 1 p.m. Friday. More shows through Feb. 10. $18-$24. Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. zachtheatre.org
  9. BookPeople events. Dave Engledow reads “The Little Girl Who Didn’t Want to Go to Bed.” 2 p.m. Sunday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

    Dave Engledow is coming to BookPeople on Sunday.
  10. Liara Tamani reads “Calling My Name.” 2 p.m. Saturday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com
  11. Pollyanna Theatre Company presents “Chicken Story Time.” Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to story time. Hear stories with a lot of chickens. For ages 2-4. 9:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday. $6.75. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org
  12. Friday Movie Matinee: “Nightmare Before Christmas.” 3:30 p.m. Friday, Old Quarry Branch.

 

Santa is coming this weekend to local malls

Not only will Santa be making his way down Congress Avenue at the Chuy’s Children’s Giving to Children Parade on Saturday, but by this weekend, he’ll be at all of the malls near you.

Get your children’s picture taken with Santa. You can reserve your spot.

Santa began showing up at Simon Malls, which owns Barton Creek Square, The Domain, Lakeline Mall and Round Rock Premium Outlets, on Nov. 3 at Barton Creek Square and will finally arrive at Lakeline Mall on Saturday.

Find him through Christmas Eve:

  • By JCPenney Court at Barton Creek Square
  • Across from iPic Theaters at The Domain
  • On the lower level Dillard’s Court at Lakeline Mall
  • In the Food Court at Round Rock Premium Outlets

And if you want to avoid the rush to get your photo taken with Santa, reserve your time slot at simonsanta.com.

Pay particular attention to these events, which have to be registered for in advance:

Caring Santa, which provides an autism-friendly experience:

8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Barton Creek Square

9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Lakeline Mall

Pet Photo Nights — yes, you bring Fido or Fluffy for Santa to be photographed with, simon.com/petphoto

7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 12, Barton Creek Square

6:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 12, Lakeline Mall

Train to be Santa’s best elf at the Elf Academy:

3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Domain