An Evening with Will Allen

Agricultural leader discusses sustainability and food policy. VIP tickets include reception with live music and local food. 7pm. $35, $100 VIP.

Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress, 512/474-1221


An Evening With Will Allen

The founder of Growing Power Inc. in Milwaukee discusses urban agriculture and universal access to fresh, nutritious foods with a panel of experts. $35.

Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress, 512/441-3971


Arts & Drafts Informal Classes

This new series pairs specialty drinks with weekend classes in everything from DIY Christmas decorations to making bitters to raising backyard chickens. Check out complete schedule and prices online.

The North Door, 502 Brushy, 512/485-3002


Austin Trail of Lights

Austin Trail of Lights

Still bright and free after all these years. Every day has live entertainment, myriad photo ops, and, of course, funnel cake. Go online for a schedule of shuttles and other transpo options. You can pay online for parking or a pass that lets you cut everyone in line. Bike racks will be available for your pedal pushers. Every day through Dec. 22, 7-10pm. Free.

Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-6700


Changes In Health Care – Have Your Questions Answered And Get Enrolled

Trained volunteers help you figure out which insurance plan works for you and how to get enrolled. Free.

Various locations (see website), 512/610-7374


Eat Drink Local Week

Edible Austin presents seven days of encouragement to buy and eat local. Go online for a complete list of special events and participating restaurants. Dec. 7-14.


Extreme Mammals

Learn about the biggest, smallest, meanest, and cutest mammals on earth using the museum's interactive exhibits. Through March 23.

Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress, 512/936-8746


Holiday Light Show

Holiday Light Show

This local coffee shop has been stepping up its holiday-light game for years. Every hour on the hour the lights and music explode with the spirit of the holidays. Through Dec. 31, 6-11pm. Free.

Mozart's Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., 512/477-2900


Holiday Lights & Ice

It's not exactly a winter wonderland 'round these parts, but you can at least skate around the ice rink with 200,000 lights to help you get in the mood. Go online for package deals and VIP pricing. Through Jan. 6. $23 ($17, kids).

Omni Barton Creek, 8212 Barton Club Dr.


Santa's Ranch

Santa's Ranch

Santa's tired of waiting for global warming to catch up at the North Pole. He's spending most of his pre-Christmastime on the 12 acres surrounded by the 1.5 million lights of Santa's Ranch. Why not join him? Through Jan. 4, 6-10pm. $28 per car ($56 for a season pass).

9561 N. I-35, New Braunfels (two miles south of Tanger Outlet Mall)


Winter Wonderland

Dancing, a cash bar, desserts, auctions, and a chance to get a pic with Santa (he seems to be everywhere these days). Money raised goes to Texas Humane Heroes. 6-9pm. $35 ($10, kids).

Teravista Ranch House, 4211 Teravista Club Dr., Round Rock, 512/260-3602



Barton Springs Audio Tour

Take a self-guided tour of Austin's favorite swimming hole. All you have to do is download the audio files and map from the Save Our Springs Alliance website, and off you go.

Barton Springs Pool, 2201 Barton Springs Rd., 512/867-3080


Central Market Cooking School

Whether you need to brush up your knife skills or throw together a romantic Thai dinner for two, these guys have you covered year round with an eclectic array of classes spanning all skill levels.

Central Market North, 4001 N. Lamar, 512/206-1000


Helping Hands Center

needs strong, dependable males to help load/unload groceries twice monthly.

Helping Hands Center, 1151 San Bernard St., 472-2298