There will be baked goods and live music like any normal holiday bazaar, but instead of vendors there will be nonprofits who need your help to make a difference in the community. It's like a gift to the world. Sat., Dec. 1, 11am-4pm; Sun., Dec. 2, noon-3pm. Free.
St. John's United Methodist Church, 2140 Allandale, 452-5737
Need something Austin-y (art, jewelry, prints, clothing, etc., whatnot, and then some) for a loved one this year? More than 125 artists and artisans will help you with your gifting conundrums. Special events occur throughout the month of December, so shop early and often. Through Dec. 24, 10am-10pm, everyday. Free.
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N I-35, 454-2000
Get a jump on the holiday with a weekend full of parades, live music and entertainment, a carnival, visits with Santa, and more than 125 artisans selling their wares. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 1-2, 10am-dusk. Free.
Bring two dozen cookies to swap and share at this class presented by pastry chef Robert Morales, who will demonstrate the classic French dessert masterpiece, croquembouche, as well as holiday cookie recipes. Reserve by phone. 4-6pm. $25.
What's under the dirt in your back yard? Find out and enjoy door prizes, displays, a fossil dig pit, and fossil vendors from around the world. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 1-2, 9am-5pm. $3 ($2, students; kids under 6, free).
Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, 512/218-5540
Jim Ritts is the CEO of Austin Theatre Alliance and boasts an impressive résumé that makes him qualified to talk about the history of the State and Paramount theatres and what they've meant to Austin. noon. Free.
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover, 512/452-6168
Santa's tired of waiting for global warming to catch up at the North Pole. He's spending most of his pre-Christmastime among the 1.5 million lights of Santa's Ranch. Why not join him? Through Dec. 30, 6-10pm. $24 per car.
9561 N. I-35, New Braunfels (two miles south of Tanger Outlet Mall)
Tan Cerca de la Frontera brings women from around the world to sell their creations and tell their stories of overcoming adversity and what it means to buy fair trade goods. Come out on Sunday from 2-4pm for a trans-cultural poetry reading. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 1-2, 10am-6pm. Free.
Come see the 155-foot-tall moonlight tower decked out in its 3,300 lights for the season accompanied by the breathy tunes of the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble. Be one of the first to spin under the tree until you puke. 6pm. Free.
Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-6700