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for Wed., Dec. 30
  • Texas Book Festival

    Discover new stories with Texas Book Festival. This year's Fest is going hybrid featuring virtual sessions & in-person programming at Symphony Square and Austin Central Library. The event is free and open to the public. Register for your favorite sessions today! Find out more on their website.
    Oct. 23-31  
    Virtual/In-Person Hybrid Event
Recommended
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    Events

    Luminations at LBJ Wildflower Center

    In a year that could use some sparkle, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is bringing back a beloved winter tradition. It's a strollable Hill Country experience where thousands of luminarias light the way. For the first time ever, Luminations will wind through the Texas Arboretum among glowing oaks and the light-splashed forts of Fortlandia, a collection of forts custom-designed and built by local architects, designers, and artists.
    Through Jan. 3. Members only on Mondays; closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 & Jan. 1  
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    Events

    Winter Wanderland

    Snow close, yet snow far out! Austin Motel is decked out for the holidays with a neon rainbow, and they're serving up hot chocolate (with optional peppermint schnapps), a Sugar Plum cocktail, and La Colombe coffee. Snacks include Reindeer Chow and hot pretzels.
    Through Jan. 3. Free, but RSVP.  
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    Events

    Austin Trail of Lights

    Austin's 56th annual holiday tradition returns to Zilker Park as a drive-through event this year and runs two additional weeks. As you drive through the trail illuminated by more than 2 million lights, tune in via your car radio for holiday music, highlights, and history. This year guests can choose a ticket type based on their preferred date and time, with prices ranging from $25-35 per vehicle for GA or a $60 per vehicle "Dash Pass" which includes early entry and festive refreshments.
    Through Jan. 3 (except New Year's Day). GA, $25-35 per vehicle; Dash Pass, $60 per vehicle.  
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    Black Mirror Trivia

    Is there any more 2020 show than Black Mirror? Join this socially distanced trivia night to test your knowledge, and make sure someone on the team has a fully charged phone, because it's played electronically to limit contact.
    Wed., Dec. 30, 7pm  
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    Downtown Holiday Stroll

    This year, the hallmark event is more than just one evening; it's a month of free activities and holiday happenings. Visit the 45-foot-tall holiday tree by the Capitol, catch a movie at Paramount or the new Blue Starlite, and download or pick up a holiday passport to guide your way and collect stamps as you experience all that Downtown Austin has to offer.
    Through Dec. 31  
    Downtown Austin
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    Events

    Mozart's 2020 COVID-Cautious Christmas Light Show

    Sip a delicious hot bevvie and see the beautiful light show by the lake. Reservations required.
    Through Jan. 6, 6pm-12mid. $10 per table for one-hour show.  
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    Events

    Winter Well-Being Toolkit

    The stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic could make this winter and holiday season tougher than usual. Integral Care recently launched a Winter Well-Being Toolkit, a compilation of ideas to boost mental health, fight the winter blues, stay safely connected and celebrate the season in new ways. Topics include ideas to make gatherings special, tips for fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder, steps for improving happiness, ways to get moving and elevate your mood, and mindfulness activities. Plus, check out their YouTube channel for a winter mental health forum video.
    Ongoing  
All Events
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    #BlackLivesMatter Survivor Peer Support Group

    Led by the SAFE Alliance, one of Austin's nonprofits working to end sexual violence, abuse, and harassment. Email for details.
    Last Wednesdays, 5:30-7pm  
    Email for info
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    #TsoGiving Holiday Initiative

    Tso Chinese Delivery has partnered with seven local organizations with the goal to provide $100,000 in meals to Austinites in need. Make a direct donation online, or add a donation to any food order placed at Tso Chinese Delivery. For every $1 raised, #TsoGiving can donate $3 worth of meals.
    Through Dec. 31  
    Remote
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    Events

    Austin Scavenger Hunt

    Explore Downtown in search of storied buildings, green spaces, and famous concert venues, all while solving riddles, trivia questions, and completing photo challenges. Now available: "Roam From Home," with family and date night scavenger hunt activities you can do without leaving the house.
    Anytime. $12.99-24.99.  
    Online and at home
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Central Texas Food Bank Emergency Relief Food Distribution

    Food will be distributed primarily via a drive-through but groceries are also available via walk-up.
    Wed., Dec. 30, 9am-noon. Free.  
    7105 Berkman
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    Events

    Central Texas Food Bank Giving Opportunities

    The holidays will be tougher for everyone this year. The food bank has put together a list of 10 ways to make a difference to someone in need, from an online matched donation to donating your change at participating stores. Check out the list online and help CTFB fight hunger.
    Ongoing  
  • Community

    New Year's Guide

    Champagne & Chocolate Virtual Pairing Experience

    Ring in the new year by indulging in four chocolate truffles from a menu curated by Delysia Chocolatier owner and chef Nicole Patel, and choose from a list of recommended wine pairings to complete the experience.
    Wed., Dec. 30, 6pm. $35.  
    Virtual
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Christmas Trail of Lights

    Follow the driving tour around the courthouse, and through Hamilton Creek and Wallace Riddell parks.
    Sat.-Fri., Dec. 26-Jan. 1  
    Burnet
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    City Encourages Safe Celebrations

    Austin Public Health would like to remind everyone to spread kindness, not COVID, this season. Keep the health of your family, friends, and neighbors in mind when planning your holiday celebrations, and consider virtual and low-risk activities. Get party ideas and COVID-19 info on the city's site, and if you do plan to go out, be aware that events are subject to cancellation.
    Dec. 21-Jan. 1  
    Citywide
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    Civic Events

    City of Austin "How to Help" Portal

    Looking for the right way to help your community during the pandemic? Or do you have a volunteer opportunity that you want to list? Visit the city's "How to Help" portal to make a match. The portal includes ways to help from home, donation drives, and active community engagement opportunities.
     
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    December in the District

    Help support local businesses by making 2nd Street District your one-stop-shop. Enjoy seasonal sips, holiday creations, and the 10th annual Holiday Window Walk. Plus, check out their new passport activation in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance, wherein you collect stamps and earn prizes as you explore.
    Dec. 1-30. Free.  
    Second Street downtown
  • Community

    Events

    Donate Blood, Get Free Whataburger

    All month long, when you donate with We Are Blood, get a free honey butter chicken biscuit from Whataburger. Donors between Dec. 24 and 31 also get a free sweatshirt. Appointments are mandatory; schedule online or call 512/206-1266.
    Through Dec. 31  
    We Are Blood donor centers & mobile drives
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    Events

    Donate Platelets, Get a Free Baseball Tee

    During its monthlong Platelet Step-Up campaign, We Are Blood is offering a branded baseball tee to donors who successfully donate platelets twice during December. Appointments are mandatory; schedule online or call 512/206-1266.
    Dec. 1-31  
    We Are Blood donor centers & mobile drives
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Draft Transportation Criteria Manual Review

    The draft defines the rules, requirements, and technical guidelines for building mobility infrastructures. Feedback can be made on transit systems, bike and urban trails, and pedestrian zones, among other items in the manual.
    Online
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Eagle Nest Webcam

    The eagle cam is back after being dark for nearly two years, and the pair of eagles are building their nest in preparation of the eggs sometime in December or January. Watch their progress from home.
    Through early spring. Free.  
    Online via JBS Wetland Center, Seagoville
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Eisbahn, Ice Skating in the Hill Country

    Safety protocols are in place in the outdoor skating rink at Marktplatz.
    Sat.-Sun., Dec. 26-Jan. 3. $15.  
    Fredericksburg
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    Civic Events

    Free COVID-19 Neighborhood Testing

    No insurance or doctor's referral is needed. Scheduling an appointment ahead of time is strongly recommended (make one here), but no one will be turned away. Immigration status is not asked.
    Wed., Dec. 23, 3-7pm; Sat., Dec. 26, 8am-1pm; Mon., Dec. 28, 8am-1pm; Wed., Dec. 30, 3-7pm. Free.  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Free COVID-19 Neighborhood Testing

    No insurance or doctor's referral is needed. Scheduling an appointment ahead of time is strongly recommended (make one here), but no one will be turned away. Immigration status is not asked.
    Wed., Dec. 23, 3-7pm; Fri., Dec. 25, 8am-1pm; Sat., Dec. 26, 8am-1pm; Mon., Dec. 28, 8am-1pm; Wed., Dec. 30, 3-7pm. Free.  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Free COVID-19 Neighborhood Testing

    No insurance or doctor's referral is needed. Scheduling an appointment ahead of time is strongly recommended (make one here), but no one will be turned away. Immigration status is not asked.
    Wed., Dec. 23, 3-7pm; Sat., Dec. 26, 8am-1pm; Mon., Dec. 28, 8am-1pm; Wed., Dec. 30, 3-7pm. Free.  
  • Community

    Events

    Gibson Wonderland

    Sip a festive holiday cocktail and snap a photo at the Gibson Sleigh, then tag #gibsonwonderland and @gibsonstreetbar for a chance at a prize.
    Through Dec. 31  
  • Community

    Out of Town

    History in Lights

    The pathway of lights illuminates Mission Espiritu Santo in a way that is suggestive of the early days of the Spanish frontier outpost.
    Through Dec. 31, 6-10pm. $4.  
    Goliad State Park
  • Community

    Events

    Holiday Lights in Georgetown’s Historic Town Square

    Enjoy the lights and local flavor throughout the holiday season.
    Through Jan. 2. Free.  
    Historic Town Square, East Seventh Street, Georgetown
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    Holiday Parties With Urban Axes

    Celebrate the holiday season at Urban Axes with add-ons like drink packages, catering from local partners, party decorations to make your celebration special, or an axe trophy for the tournament winner. You can even book the entire facility for your own private party.
    Ongoing  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Holiday Traveling Risk

    Traveling is a high-risk activity due to COVID-19. Austin Public Health encourages the community to safely celebrate virtually during the holiday season.
    Ongoing  
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    Events

    IssueVoter Trivia Night for Donors

    Locally based nonprofit IssueVoter, a nonpartisan civic engagement platform, aims to raise $52,000, and Subaru is matching donations through Jan. 2. Donors who set up recurring monthly donations will be entered in a drawing to win a Patagonia jacket, and every donor will receive an invite to the trivia night on Dec. 30.
    Donate through Jan. 2; trivia night, Dec. 30  
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    Judaism UnBoxed

    Brought to you by Chabad of Austin, Judaism UnBoxed is hands-on Jewish discovery and growth, Jewish culinary lessons, and quality family time all in one. Receive holiday baking kit boxes for the Jewish holidays and/or challah baking boxes every month.
    Ongoing  
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    Keep Austin Rooted

    Gifting a tree through Treefolks is a fun way to surprise a friend or family member with a present that could last a lifetime, while beautifying and benefiting the community. Donors can opt for preset donation tiers of $30 (10 trees), $75 (25 trees), $150 (50 trees), or an amount of their choice.
    Ongoing  
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    Lost Pines Christmas

    There are plenty of holiday happenings in Bastrop, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Austin: Take in the sights at the River of Lights, head downtown to shop the Holiday Sidewalk Stroll, take in Elf! The Musical at Bastrop Opera House, or visit Krampus at Scream Hollow's Twisted Christmas.
    Through Jan. 1  
    Bastrop
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights

    The holiday season kicks off with Christmas in the Park in Natchitoches and continues through the fireworks on New Year’s Eve around eastern Louisiana.
    Through Dec. 31  
    Alexandria-Pineville, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches & Shreveport-Bossier
  • Community

    Sports

    MADD Virtual Jingle Bell 5K

    Run, walk, or jog where you are to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The first 250 registrants get a swag bag, so sign up ASAP! All participants get a participant medal.
    Through Jan. 6. $35, adults; $10, kids.  
    Virtual
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Marriott Marquis Houston's Texas Winter Lights

    An interactive walk-through or float-under light experience at the hotel’s iconic Texas-shaped lazy river, which will be surrounded by a mile worth of sparkling lights, complete with stunning views of the downtown Houston skyline.
    Through Jan. 3, 5-10pm. $5-15; hotel packages starting at $143.  
    Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker St., Houston
  • Community

    Events

    Maywald Christmas Lights

    A park-and-walk display that's free with a donation to Make-A-Wish at the box upon entry.
    Through Jan. 3  
    10505 Twilight Vista
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    Sports

    Mobility Games

    Use a bike, micro-mobility modes, or your own body to get around in December and win prizes. Register online and share trips on social media with #MobilityGames20 to be entered.
    Through Dec. 31  
  • Community

    Events

    Northern Lights Holiday Spectacular

    Presented by Toyota of Cedar Park, this drive-through light show has a special bonus of a different holiday movie screening each night.
    Through Dec. 31. Light show opens at 5pm; films screen at 7 & 10pm  
  • Community

    Kids

    Peppermint Parkway

    Join Pepper and Mint on their journey down COTA’s Tunnel Road with this drive-through holiday experience. They are on a mission: to deliver letters to Santa for gifts under the tree! On their way they will meet dancing elves and strolling entertainers as they are transported from Candy Cane Lane to an Enchanted Forest. Additional activities include COTA Karting, Peppermint Plaza with amusements and games, and COTA Zipline.
    Various dates through Jan. 3. $35-90.  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Project Connect Virtual Open House

    The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan.
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    Pub Quiz at Baker Street

    Triviaficionados are welcome to join this COVID-cautious quiz to compete for prizes.
    Wednesdays, 7-9pm. Free.  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Request for Proposals: TEMPO 2021

    Art in Public Places' TEMPO program seeks proposals from practicing visual artists or artist teams for short-term, outdoor art installations.
    Deadline: Tue., Jan. 26, 2021, 5pm  
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    Reuse Gift Wrapping Challenge

    According to Austin Creative Reuse, if every family chose reused materials to wrap three gifts, the paper saved would cover 45,000 football fields. So they're calling on the community to think outside the box and choose reuse this year. Submit photos of your wrapping ideas to the contest via email, and they'll be judged on creativity, workmanship, and use of reused materials. Get ideas and materials from ACR or use what you have on hand.
    Dec. 11-31  
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    Events

    Santa's Sleigh Selfies

    Visit anytime after dark to see the tree lit with thousands of twinkly lights and take photos with Santa's sleigh.
    Through Jan. 3  
  • Community

    Events

    Self-Care Cinema Nights With philosophy

    Join the well-being beauty brand's virtual watch parties to chat with and learn from Julia Michaels, Jay Versace, and Chika as they discuss their self-care routines, plus enter for chances to win prizes or a scholarship.
    Mon.-Wed., Dec. 28-30, 7pm  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Suffrage Now: A 19th Amendment Centennial Exhibition

    Contemporary Texas women photographers share photos commenting on the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
    Aug. 6-Jan. 31  
    Online
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Tour the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

    Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s online exhibitions or take a virtual tour of Renzi, Bayou Bend, or the museum.
  • Community

    Civic Events

    Travis County Christmas Tree Recycling

    Give your natural holiday tree new life by recycling it at one of the following locations: West Service Center (4501 FM 620); Del Valle Adult Softball Complex (3614 FM 973, Del Valle); Collection Center (2625 Woodall Dr., Leander); and East Service Center (6011 Blue Bluff). Remove decorations, and trees taller than 6 feet must be cut in half. Flocked trees not accepted.
    Through Jan. 10. 7am-5pm. Free.  
    Multiple locations
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    Events

    Virtual Kwanzaa

    George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center partner with Six Square to present a virtual celebration of the fifth principle of Kwanzaa, "Nia," meaning "purpose."
    Wed., Dec. 30, 6:30pm  
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Walkway of Lights

    The 30-year tradition continues with thousands of lights and more than 350 sculptures illuminating Lakeside Park.
    Through Jan. 2, 6-10pm. free.  
    Marble Falls
  • Community

    Events

    We Are Blood Holiday Drive

    Blood donors are especially needed during the holiday season. Make an appointment online or by calling 512/206-1266.
    Dec. 22-23 & 29-30, 9am-3pm  
    The Arboretum, 10000 Research #103 (between Gap & Zoe’s Kitchen)
  • Community

    Events

    We Are Blood Mall Drives

    Blood donations are especially needed right now, and it's easy to donate while you shop for the holidays. Look for the bus parked in the Cheesecake Factory parking lot at Barton Creek or the Macy's lot at Lakeline.
    Dec. 19-Jan. 3 (except Dec. 25 & Jan. 1)  
    Barton Creek Square, 2901 Capital of TX Hwy. S; Lakeline Mall, 11200 Lakeline Mall Dr.
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Wild Texas Film Tour

    In ordinary times, filmmaker and conservationist Ben Masters would be traveling the state sharing wildlife, adventure, and conservation stories, but this year the film festival has gone online. The short and feature films showcase the Scottish Highlands, the Texas ocelot, Buffalo Bayou, paddlefish, swift fox, and several other topics that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences.
    Through Dec. 31. Free, but donations appreciated.  
    Online via www.wildfilmtour.com
  • Community

    Events

    Winter Holiday Mystic Market

    An event that partners local, women-owned health and wellness shops with local cosmic practitioners, hosted by Rituals Rising and Joy Organics.
    Through Jan. 15. Mon.-Sat., 11am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    YMCA Early Learning Readiness Program

    A free community program for qualifying low-income families that focuses on preparing children ages 2-4 for school, while providing their caregivers with the tools to facilitate their child’s development. Classes are offered twice a week in English and Spanish and last one hour.
    English: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am. Spanish: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am.. Free.  
    Online
  • Community

    Sports

    Yoga in the Dark

    Bring a candle to the mat for this beginner-friendly yoga class with Sarah Beames, themed around the gorgeous and masterfully moody Pier & Loft album by Hiroshi Yoshimura.
    Wed., Dec. 30, 6:30pm. $5 donation encouraged.  
    Virtual
Ongoing
  • Community

    Sports

    Austin FC Season Membership Deposits

    Austin's Major League Soccer team, Austin FC, is officially taking deposits for 2021 season memberships. Your deposit will reserve your spot in line, which means the earlier you purchase your membership, the earlier you're eligible to select your seats for the season.
    Ongoing. $50.  
  • Community

    Civic Events

    YWCA Greater Austin Warmline

    Call 512/548-9922 for support amidst the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Mondays-Thursdays, 9am-8pm; Fridays, 9-5pm; Saturdays, noon-4pm  
    Citywide

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