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General Events for Wed., Dec. 2
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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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    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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    #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
  • Film

    Special Screenings

    A Very Happy Holiday Blue Star Lite Show

    Blue Starlite has created a winter wonderland in their space, with movie-themed decorative scenes and sparkling lights for perfect photo ops. Each night there'll be a surprise short film and holiday pre-show so you can get out to the drive-in for a short and sweet outing with the fam.
    Various dates Dec. 1-23  
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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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    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 Angels Give-a-Thon

    Austin Angels is a foster care nonprofit with a mission to reach and serve every child, youth, and family in the U.S. foster care system. With 22 chapters across the country, National Angels relies heavily on donations from the community to change children’s lives. Please consider making a donation during the Give-a-Thon to make a difference in the lives of children and youth in the foster care system.
    Tue.-Thu., Dec. 1-3  
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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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    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
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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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    Events

    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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    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
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    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
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    Free Design Hour

    Registrants can bring their own art or project and Q Manning will show new ways to improve the design and give suggestions.
    Wednesdays, noon-1pm  
    Online
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    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  
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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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    Healthspeak Education Series: Stroke

    Join emergency department providers Louis Richman, MD, and Stephen Viduya, RN, for an informative discussion on the signs and symptoms of stroke, the importance of calling 911, and current treatments available, as well as lifestyle recommendations on how to reduce your risk of stroke.
    Wed., Dec. 2, 2-3pm. Free.  
    Zoom
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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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    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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    Events

    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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    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
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    Lend a Hand ATX

    Lend a Hand ATX, created by Austin Tech Alliance, is a platform to help skilled tech volunteers and those in need make critical community connections during the COVID-19 crisis. Create an account, make an offer or request, and find a match!
    April 24-Dec. 15  
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    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
  • Community

    Events

    Pub Quiz at Baker Street

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

    Scholz Jingle Jam and Toys for Tots

    Scholz Garten will be giving guests a $5 gift card to the restaurant in exchange for new and unwrapped toys for their Toys for Tots bin, now through Dec. 12. And on Dec. 11, get dressed up in your ugliest holiday sweater, enjoy live music from the Jingleberries, sip warm drinks, and indulge in a turkey dinner at Jingle Jam, 5-8pm.
    Through Dec. 12. Free.  
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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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    Events

    The Escape Game Remote Adventures

    Play the Escape Game’s newest game, "Ruins: Forbidden Treasure," from anywhere in the world using Zoom. Control an avatar wearing a live feed camera, search 360° images of the room, and use items in your online dashboard to progress through the game. An expert game guide will be there to help along the way, just like the typical escape room. Assemble a team of friends, family, or co-workers, and see if you can escape within an hour!
    May 5-Dec. 20. $25/person.  
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    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
  • 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  

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