Alternative Christmas Market

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


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.

Buda City Park, Downtown Buda, 512/422-7863

Community Yoga First Sunday

By-donation yoga classes. 11am. $10-15 suggested donation.

The Little Yoga House, 1211 Parkway

Fossil Fest

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

Highland Mall Farmers Market

This dying mall gets new life with farm-fresh produce and meats ready for your table. Sundays, 10am-2pm. Free.

Highland Mall, 6001 Airport, 280-1976

Lominta Loving Loftis Foundation Benefit

Get your blood flowing with a Zumba-thon at 1pm ($15), and if you still have energy left stick around for live music ($10, suggested donation). 1-8pm.

Nutty Brown Cafe, 12225 Hwy. 290 W., 512/301-4648

Operation Green Santa Carnival

Bring two unwrapped toys for military families and get arts, crafts, food, face painting, a bounce house, rides, and pictures with Santa in return. 11am-2pm.

Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th, 565-0131

Public Affairs Forum

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

RESULTS Austin Benefit

Learn how RESULTS is helping people living in poverty in the United States by supporting policies that address the issue's underlying causes. 2-4pm. Donations requested.

Dell Children's Medical Center, 4900 Mueller Blvd., 919-9271

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 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)

Service of Lessons & Carols

It's like alternative church as local luminaries discuss the holiday season from various faith perspectives. Carols from the 55-voice choir cap things off. Sun., Dec. 2, 11am & 7:30pm. Free.

University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe, 478-9387

Swedish Lucia Celebration

The cultures of the Scandinavian peninsula get together for a Christmas party, featuring a traditional Lucia procession, dance, carols, a bake sale, and more. 4-6:30pm. $5 ($1, children).

Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 200 W. Anderson

Texas Victorian Christmas

The carols, decorations, and kid crafts might hearken back to a simpler time, but the man of the hour, Santa, is timeless and ready for pictures with the younguns. 2-5pm. $5-10.

Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel, 478-2335

Whole Foods Market Ice Rink

It isn't easy getting into a Winter Wonderland mood in Texas. This little frozen oasis can help you forget about climate change for a little while. $10.

Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar, 542-2225

Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting

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

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