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


Blue Genie Art Bazaar

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.

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


Gifts That Give

Shop without guilt with fair trade and socially conscious jewelry, journals, shoes, clutches, T-shirts, backpacks, and more. Dec. 1-8, 11am-7pm. Free.

Pine Street Station, 1101 E. Fifth, 217-1384


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


Hyde Park Holiday Sale

Locally made gifts and treats with music and food to keep the money flowing. noon-5pm. Free.

Gallery Black Lagoon, 4301-A Guadalupe, 371-8838


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 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


Wild Ideas Shopping Event

A dozen local artists and artisans hawk their creations for your gifting convenience. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 9am-5pm; Sun., Dec. 2, noon-5pm. Free.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse, 232-0100


Women & Fair Trade Festival

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.

The Old School, 1604 E. 11th, 474-2399


Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting

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