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General Events for Sat., Nov. 28
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    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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    Aldrich Street Tower Lighting on Small Business Saturday

    Kick off the holiday season with Aldrich Street small businesses and get deals at Lick Honest Ice Creams, Colleen's Kitchen, Massage Heights, Barre3, and Kerbey Lane Cafe, plus a special tote bag. The tower will be lit at dusk after a virtual countdown on Mueller's FB page at 6pm.
    Sat., Nov. 28, 10am-10pm  
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    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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    Blue Genie Art Bazaar

    The beloved Austin holiday shopping experience returns for its 20th year with four shopping options to ensure safety in the time of COVID-19. For in-store shopping, reserve free tickets online for a "no wait" entry. Walk-ins are also welcome, but guests may have to wait outside if it's at capacity. Online shoppers can either pick up items in-store or have them shipped anywhere in the U.S. Personal shoppers and virtual shopping will also be available through the BGAB website. BGAB is a family-friendly experience where you can find one-of-a-kind, handcrafted jewelry, artwork, home goods, and gifts for everyone on your shopping list.
    Through Dec. 24, 10am-10pm daily (10am-6pm on Dec. 24)  
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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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    Final Call for RENT: Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants

    This program through the city of Austin provides full rent payment for income-eligible renters financially impacted by COVID-19. Get all the details on their FAQ and apply online.
    Applications due Tue., Dec. 8, noon  
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    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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    Small Business Saturday With Austin Flea

    If you want to #shoplocal, you can't go wrong with this market featuring over 20 artisans and vendors. Don't forget to pick up some Zilker brews by the crowler or sixer (they're No. 5 on the Chronicle's latest Top 20 brewery list).
    Sat., Nov. 28, 11am-5pm  
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    Succulent Native Holiday Specials

    Support small biz and beautify your home with Succulent Native, now offering a Plant Love Club subscription box that brings a new pot, plant, and local goodie to your door each month. For Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (and Sunday), shop in-store for 20% off plants, cacti, and succulents, and get a free December Plant Love box when you spend $250 or free planting with $100 purchase. On Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) they're knocking 20% off online purchases. Their beautiful wares make excellent gifts for plant people, and they host virtual and in-person plant parties if you're looking for a fun, unique activity for the holidays.
    Nov. 27-Dec. 1  
    Online and in-store at 5501 N. Lamar Ste. 101-A
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    15th Annual Thanksgiving Family Festival

    There's something for everyone: wine, food, live music, local artisan vendors, free kids' games, and holiday fun. Join in for Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, and arrive early for disc golf; the course opens at 9am.
    Nov. 27-28, 11am-6pm. Free.  
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    AAYHF Annual Toy Drive

    African American Youth Harvest Foundation is seeking donations of toys for youth 3 months to 17 years of age. Gift cards are also welcome.
    Through Dec. 18  
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    Anomaly Archives Streamathon

    A variety of speakers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists explore the exciting world of UFOs, Bigfoot, synchronicities, and other high strangeness for an ongoing fundraising event for the Anomaly Archives, a nonprofit struggling to survive pandemic times. Streaming through YouTube and Facebook every Saturday through the end of the year.
    Saturdays. Donations accepted.  
    Online
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    APA! Holiday Store Now Open

    When you're shopping for the animal lovers in your life, you'll find the perfect gift and support the nonprofit at the Austin Pets Alive! online store. They've got a people & pets cookbook, ornaments, toys, and the must-have outerwear for winter: the "I Like Big Mutts and I Cannot Lie" hoodie.
    Ongoing  
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    Armadillo Art Concierge

    Sadly, we can't visit the Armadillo Art Bazaar in person this year. The next best thing is Armadillo Art Concierge, an online, curated shopping guide pointing visitors to collections by content, process, medium, or artist location. Follow them on social media @armadillobazaar to see spotlighted art each day.
    Ongoing  
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    Austin Creative Reuse

    ACR is such a neat place, filled to the brim with donations of reusable items, but you don't even have to be there to take advantage of their Earth-friendly stock. Shop online for gifts, holiday wrapping, craft supplies and notions, and even fun mystery packs.
    Ongoing  
    Online or in-store at 2005 Wheless
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    Austin Public Library Virtual Book Clubs

    Austin Public Library has a full schedule of virtual book clubs throughout the fall, including true crime, LGBTQ content, graphic novels, and more. Check out the online calendar and see if one strikes your fancy.
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    Be a Santa to a Senior

    Fulfilling a senior's Christmas wish couldn't be easier. Simply visit Home Instead Senior Care's virtual tree, choose a recipient, and purchase their wish list item from Amazon. It'll be safely delivered and will make someone's day. You can also visit one of Home Instead's three Austin-area locations to participate.
    Through Dec. 15  
    Virtual
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    Blood Bazaar

    Blood Over Texas' online holiday market is the spot to find all kinds of evil wares for fans of goth and horror. All the vendors are local, and include many of the sellers from past Horror for the Holidays events.
    Through Dec. 24  
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    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  
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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
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    Coming of Age Online Holiday Fundraiser

    Double your holiday gifting by supporting a local nonprofit as you shop. Visit this unique online estate sale for electronics, collectibles, kitchenware, and lots more, and all proceeds benefit Travis County's Coming of Age program, which supports individuals age 50 and up. Shipping and local delivery are available.
    Ongoing  
    Virtual
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    Cosmic Convoy Live at Smooth Village

    Socially distanced, outdoor live music, food, and drinks.
    Sat., Nov. 28, 6pm. Free.  
    Smooth Village, 203 W. Broade St., Leander
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    Gone to Texas

    A walking tour through Texas history from 1841 to 1899, with a costumed guide. Tours start at the General Store in the Sprinkle Corner entrance village.
    Saturdays & Sundays; times vary  
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    Half Marathon Race Seeks Volunteers

    The Austin Runners Club is looking for volunteers for a classic Austin race, the Decker Challenge. Sign up online to help with packet pickup, race setup, and more duties.
    Race date: Sun., Dec. 20  
    Race held at COTA; sign up online
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    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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    Keep Austin Roofed

    In honor of their 50th year in business and as a "thank you" for Austin's support, Ja-Mar Roofing is donating a free roofing system to at least one needy family. Nominate yourself, a neighbor, family, or friends by submitting a story and a photo of the roof in need of replacement. Get all the rules and submission details online.
    Deadline: Fri., Dec 4, 9pm; winner announced Dec. 5  
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    Kickoff to the Holidays at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

    Kick off the holiday season at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. Following the Thanksgiving feast, welcome Santa and view a tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 27. Additional holiday-themed activities will be provided throughout the weekend, including cookie decorating, an alpaca meet & greet, and family movie. Restricted to overnight guests; make a reservation via phone or online.
    Fri.-Sat., Nov. 27-28  
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    Lone Star Holiday Market

    Shop local vendors, find unique gifts, and even get them wrapped. There'll be live music and libations nightly.
    Through Dec. 20, Fri.-Sun., 2-8pm  
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    Personalized Video Message From Santa

    COVID has taken away our Santa Claus visits this year, but don't worry! The Volunteer Services Council has you covered with a personalized video message from Santa. Support mental health programs at Austin State Hospital with this unique fundraiser: For only $20, get a video your kids will love with a personal message including facts only Santa Claus would know. Order online or call 512/419-2323 for more details.
    Order by Dec. 13. $20.  
    Virtual
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    Queer Creatives Holiday Market

    Support underrepresented small business owners this holiday at this inclusive, intentionally intersectional, digital space that celebrates creative entrepreneurs and empowers the diverse creator community.
    Through Dec. 12  
    Virtual
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    Soul Studio Holiday Pop-Up

    Soul Studio, a natural dye house and sustainable fashion label specializing in plant-dyed silks, is making shopping easier this season by featuring local, handcrafted, and ethical gifts meant to inspire and delight. Shop fashion, accessories, art and home goods in this one-stop, experiential market where you'll find something for every femme on your list.
    Through Dec. 23. Tue.-Sun., noon-7pm  
    Soul Studio, 2511-A E. Sixth
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    Tomlinson's Pound 4 Pound Pet Food Drive Presented by KXAN

    Every holiday season, Tomlinson’s Feed hosts Central Texas’ largest pet food drive in support of 30+ local animal rescues and shelters. When you gift a bag of food in-store or online, your donation will be doubled (pound for pound) by healthy pet food makers. In 2019, the drive raised 163,584 pounds of high-quality, donated pet food, and this year's goal is to raise 175,000.
    Through Dec. 24  
    Online or at any Tomlinson's Feed location
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    We Are Blood Thanksgiving Mall Drives

    Blood donors are especially needed during the holiday season – sign up to donate blood and get in some holiday shopping at the same time with drives at Barton Creek Square, Lakeline Mall, and the Arboretum. Find them near Old Navy at Barton Creek, near Macy's at Lakeline, and between the Gap and Zoe's Kitchen in the Arboretum.
    Nov. 24-25 & 27-28  

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