There are a myriad things going on at your local library every day. Go online for a schedule of their story times, puppet shows, book groups, instructional classes, meetings, and more. Not to mention they have a ton of great books.
Learn about how children in the Frontier era lived. Read about and explore the lives of Kirsten, a young Swedish girl, and Kaya, a Native American. Crafts, stories, and hikes bring the past to life. 1-4pm. Free (with entry to the garden).
The Austin City Ballet presents the 12th annual Nutcracker for the kids. It's a holiday tradition for all age groups, as long as you don't consider watching people leap in tights "adult." Fri.-Sat., Dec. 14-16. $25 ($15, children).
Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd., 496-5937
Kids and parents are invited to create their own sugary abodes made from locally baked gingerbread. Through Dec. 23: Wednesdays, 10am; Thursdays, 10am, 3:30pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 10am, 12:30, & 3:30pm; Sundays, 12:30 & 3:30pm. $35 ($30, members).
Roll call for a great holiday party: Santa? Check. Cookie decorating? Yup. Carolers? You bet. Hair and face painting? Train rides? Inflatable obstacle course? Tree lighting? Affirmative. All they need are kids and adults to enjoy it. 4-6pm. Free.