Avant Glam Cabaret invites some friends to put some jingle in your bells (whatever that means). You'll never hear these holiday classics the same after all the dancing, burlesque, and bellydance action. Sat., Dec. 21, 8 & 10:30pm. $20 ($15, advance); $25, reserved seating.
Nothing says holidays in Austin like scouring aisles and aisles of local art, crafts, and – thank God – beer. All while surrounded by tunes from one of many musical acts performing this year. Don't worry; Post Office reps will be on the premises to spare you from lugging all that holiday cheer home. Dec. 17-24, 11am-11pm. $7 (free, kids).
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
It's all pretty bamboo until it starts taking over your yard. Learn to keep it at bay and looking good. Bring hand clippers, loppers, saws, gloves, and a beverage. 9:30am. Free with admission to the park.
Need something Austin-y (art, jewelry, prints, clothing, etc., whatnot, and then some) for a loved one this year? More than 135 artists and artisans will help you with your gifting conundrums. Special events occur throughout the month of December, so shop early and often. Every day through Dec. 24, 10am-10pm. Free.
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N I-35, 512/494-6178
It's time for the annual homemade tamale sale at both Santa Rita outlets, where they'll have rotisserie chicken tamales with tomatillo-serrano sauce and pulled pork tamales with Tex-Mex sauce for $16 per dozen. Order at least 24 hours in advance for pick up at either outlet.
Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina, 1206 W. 38th; Santa Rita, 5900 W. Slaughter
The Texas Department of Insurance is considering changes to the requirements for Texans working or volunteering as Health Insurance Marketplace navigators. Weigh in at the email listed, copying email@example.com.
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).
Adults can sip champagne while the kids enjoy hot chocolate plus a selection of tea sandwiches, desserts, and scones. Friday through Sunday afternoons from 3-5pm; reservations required. Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 22, 3-5pm. $45 ($25, kids).
This comedy for the whole family is a cherished holiday tradition, now with a new twist. Directed by Patricio Villarreal Avila for the Austin Latino Theatre Alliance, performed in Spanish with English surtitles. Through Dec. 22: Thursdays & Fridays, 8pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 7pm. $15 ($10, kids).
Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River, 512/537-2582
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)
Come watch the choo-choos and inspire the next generation to keep this historic hobby alive and well. You might even be allowed to sit behind the controls if you're kind enough to the tip jar. Wed. & Sat., Jan. 1 & 4, 11am-5pm. Donations appreciated.
is one of your last chances for unique holiday shopping as vendors, entertainers, and musicians congregate to help you get in the spirit of shopping local. Warm up by the yule campfire, sit down for real talk on the dark side of the season, and get the kids singing along to some of the live acts. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 21-22, noon-5pm. Free.
Habitat for Humanity now offers free, once-a-month tours of recent and past home-building sites. See how much they've accomplished, and find out what's yet to be done. Call or e-mail to reserve a seat.