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for Sun., Dec. 20
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    Heirloom Christmas

    Celebrate the holidays 1800s-style to experience the sights and sounds of holidays past. Three historic homesteads and the 1899 village will be decorated and filled with Christmas spirit, with historical crafts, ornament making, live music, and a horse-drawn wagon ride.
    Dec. 17-20. Thu.-Sat., 1-5pm; Sun., 10am-7pm  
  • Community

    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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    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.  
  • Community

    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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    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)  
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Christmas Celebration

    It’s happening at the zoo decorated with thousands of lights, an ice skating rink, ice sculptures, a live: nativity scene, and three new giraffe calves.
    Fri.-Tue., Dec. 18-23, 4-10pm. $15.  
    Abilene
  • Community

    Events

    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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    Frida Friday ATX

    The final Frida Friday of the year features 24 vendors offering jewelry, vintage goods, handmade artistry, homewares, unique artwork, and more. Grab shopping fuel of conchas y cafecitos or a complimentary bev by Bacardi and enjoy tunes by Chorizó Funk, Kay Cali, Zetroc, and KickIt. Bonus: Kind Clinic will be on hand offering free STD/HIV screenings.
    Sat.-Sun., Dec. 19-20, noon-4pm  
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    Home for the "Howl"idays

    If you're ready to make the commitment and have extra love to give this season, now's the perfect time to add a new furry friend to the family. For one week, Austin Humane Society is offering discounted adoption fees: only $20.
    Dec. 17-24  
  • Community

    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.  
  • Community

    Kids

    Santa Visits Sprinkle Corner

    With just a few days to go before Christmas, Old Saint Nick will make a special visit to the Sprinkle Corner village in 1800s splendor to hear children’s last-minute wish lists in a not-to-be-missed family event straight from the frontier days. Take-home photos available for an extra fee.
    Sun., Dec. 20, 10am-2pm  
  • Community

    Sports

    The Verde Van

    Beep beep! The Verde Van, Austin FC's merch shop on wheels, is on the move. Schedule an appointment online to get hot new jerseys and more.
    Sat., Dec. 19, noon-6pm (Armadillo Den); Sun., Dec. 20, 10am-4pm (H-E-B)  
    The Armadillo Den, 10106 Menchaca Rd.; Westlake H-E-B, 701 Capital of TX Hwy. N.
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    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  
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    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
  • Community

    Events

    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  
  • Community

    Events

    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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    Events

    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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    Events

    Austin Flea

    The Austin Flea features all local handmade items and vintage wares from some of Austin's most amazing and talented vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for any occasion including jewelry, bath and body products, vintage, original artwork, paper goods, textiles, and so much more.
    Third Sundays, 10am-4pm. Free.  
  • Community

    Events

    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  
  • Community

    Kids

    Brunch With Santa & Bowl at the North Pole

    Bowling, a brunch station, a Bloody Mary & mimosa bar for parents, a hot chocolate station for kiddos, and more make Santa's visit extra special. Email for details and info on package deals.
    Sun., Dec. 20, 11am-3pm. $15-300.  
  • Community

    Kids

    Camacho Activity Center Virtual Programs

    Visit the Camacho Activity Center virtually for bike tutorials, a Blunn Creek Nature Preserve hiking guide, and activity guides for homemade ice cream, nature bingo, leaf art, and more.
     
    Online
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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

    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

    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
  • Community

    Kids

    Connect2Texas

    The Bullock Museum has an excellent selection of educational programming that can be incorporated into distance learning or experienced just for fun. There are recordings and worksheets on a range of topics as wide as Texas: blues music, extreme mammals, cattle drives, and more. Plus, check out the very cool interactive tools like the Texas history timeline and "Campfire Stories," an interactive version of Amarillo artist Robert T. Ritter's mosaic that leads you to discover the people who wrote the stories of Texas.
     
    Online
  • Community

    Events

    Days of Festivus

    Paul Klemperer's ninth annual Festivus Celebration is adapting this year with livestream concerts. Sing along to your favorite Festivus carols and air your grievances. Getting through 2020 is a Festivus miracle, so it's time to celebrate!
    Dec. 13 & 20. Free.  
    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

    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

    Events

    Egg Helmet Ensemble: Inner-World Music

    A one-time online performance of new music by guitarist/composer Mohadev, featuring his band Stop Motion Orchestra joined by members of Austin's creative music community, followed by a Q&A with Mohadev.
    Sun., Dec. 20, 7:45pm. Free.  
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Elf the Musical

    Based on the holiday movie, Buddy journeys to New York City to find his birth father and discover his: true identity.
    Dec. 4-20. Fri.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. Livestreaming Saturdays, 7:30pm. $15.  
  • 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
  • Community

    Events

    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

    Events

    Interference Fest: Women Making Noise

    A virtual fest incorporating the works of visionary artists from a variety of interdisciplinary backgrounds, on the themes of race, gender, dealing with trauma, and reclaiming social space.
    Fri.-Sun., Dec. 18-20  
  • Community

    Events

    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  
  • Community

    Events

    Letterpress PLAY Holiday Gifts

    The local letterpress studio has a unique selection of paper toys, gifts, cheeky holiday cards, and more, with free shipping for online orders.
    Ongoing  
  • Community

    Events

    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  
  • 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

    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

    Out of Town

    Open Air Resorts Christmas Activities

    Safe, fun and festive ways to celebrate the holidays with socially distant, family-friendly special events including an RV site decoration contest, s'mores and cookie decorating, and holiday movies on the lawn.
    Sun.-Sat., Dec. 20-26  
    25928 Haynie Flat Rd., Spicewood
  • 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

    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  
  • Community

    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

    Kids

    Santa's Wonderland

    Visit Santa in a colorful candy wonderland and get a photo taken near him (he's touchless this year). Appointments are recommended, and only one family will be inside at a time. Be sure to bring a letter for Santa's mailbox!
    Select dates through Dec. 24  
  • Community

    Events

    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
  • Community

    Events

    Sounds of the Season Featuring Tinsel

    The festive and merry Tinsel singers will grace the magnificent porch of the Neill-Cochran House Museum to sing all your Holiday favorites.
    Sat., Dec. 12, 6pm; Sun., Dec. 20, 2:30pm. $10-25.  
  • 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

    Events

    Sun Radio's 12 Days of Christmas

    Support the Sun Radio Foundation by donating or bidding on an item in their virtual auction, which includes exclusive, unique, and local items like signed guitars from Lyle Lovett and Jade Bird, staycation retreats, jewelry, and more.
    Through Dec. 22  
  • Community

    Out of Town

    Take a (Virtual) Day Trip Around the World

    Learn something new, visit museums around the world, and explore the hidden mysteries of life at the website with enough cool stuff to outlast any pandemic.
    Any day, anytime  
    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

    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

    TX for Georgia AAPI Community Day of Action

    Asian American Democrats of Texas and other orgs are organizing to call Asian American Pacific Islander voters in Georgia to turn out for Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Ralphael Warnock. Phonebank shifts at 2pm and 4pm.
    Sun., Dec. 20, 2-6pm. Free (registration required).  
    Online
  • Community

    Sports

    University of Texas Men's Basketball

    Vs. Oklahoma State.
    Sun., Dec. 20, 1pm  
  • 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 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  
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.  

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