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for Wed., Dec. 16
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  • Music

    John Doe's Travis County World Tour

    "I'm moving to Austin for an adventure," John Doe told the Chronicle in 2017. Having become a fixture on the local scene, the punk pioneer serves up a three-show run of virtual sets from local institutions C-Boy's, Arlyn Studios, and the Cactus Cafe. The first indulges in "fan favorites," digging into his legendary work with L.A. icons X and cowpunks the Knitters, while the second works up new material from an upcoming album and likely X's Alphabetland, the quartet's April LP and first studio album in almost 30 years.
    Wed., Dec. 16, 8pm  
    • 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  
    • Community

      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.  
    • 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.  
    • Arts

      Dance

      Ballet Austin: The Nutcracker

      Local luminaries enliven the stage with holiday splendor and wintery exuberance in this Nutcracker digital film, featuring Ballet Austin’s 2019 stage production by Stephen Mills, now streaming on-demand and including a plethora of bonus material, cast and crew interviews, and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Note: You can get access with a tax-deductible donation to Ballet Austin and view the kinetic wonderment until the new year dawns.
      Through Jan. 1  
    • Community

      Events

      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)  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Dear Diary Coffeehouse: Artists Q&A

      You know that Little Vegan Coffee House That Could, right? Well, the coffeehouse that can, rather: Dear Diary, over there near 12th & Chicon, and not so little as to keep the joint from being filled with a fine diversity of local art – prints, originals, sketchbooks, maker supplies, etc. And now they're having a community get-together online, featuring their stable (what? that's the classic term!) of artists in a virtual meet-and-greet. Listen: "We'll start off with a structured Q&A, then open the discussion toward the end. We expect a lot of Chestnut neighborhood people to join, too, so this is a nice way to meet the folks you see every day." Bonus: The shop will be open for takeout and delivery during the event.
      Wed., Dec. 16, 7pm. Free.  
    • 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
    • Arts

      Dance

      Metamorphosis Dance: The Nutcracker

      The Metamorphosis Dance company presents this annual and unique telling of the beloved holiday classic – coming to you virtually this year, via video of the ballet's performance at the Carver Museum.
      Through Dec. 24. $10-50.  
    • 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.  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Northern-Southern: Baton

      This is a group show by relay, begun in July of 2020 as a method of socially distancing a community in the height of the pandemic: Artists took turns alone in the space, each adding to the exhibition. Now, as it nears its close, the exhibition resembles a community in which work converses and overlaps. With Adreon Henry, Vy Ngo, Dawn Okoro, Leon Alesi, Matt Steinke, Sev Coursen, Stella Alesi, and more.
      Closing reception: Sat., July 24, 3-9pm
    • Film

      Special Screenings

      Paramount Holiday Film Series

      The series comes to a close this weekend with White Christmas, Love Actually, and It's a Wonderful Life. Get your tickets soon because the theatre is operating at very limited capacity.
      Dec. 6-20  
    • Food

      Food Events

      The Eleanor: Miracle on Fifth Street

      Yes, the beloved Christmas-themed pop-up bar returns to The Eleanor for another year of spirited celebration. Joann Spiegel, the mastermind behind the brand’s cocktail repertoire, has created a roster of delightful, holiday-inspired libations, featuring cocktails that play on classic holiday flavors. New this year: Jolly Koala (gin, vermouth, and pine-cardamom-sage cordial), On Dasher (bourbon, mezcal, sweet vermouth, spiced hibiscus, bitters, and lemon), and a Fruitcake Flip (brandy, Jamaican overproof rum, Amaretto, fruitcake, cherry bitters, and a whole egg). (Our personal fave, the Bad Santa, is likewise among the heady lineup.) Also, the full cocktail menu will be available at the main downstairs and mezzanine bars. Note: This year, all Miracle cocktails can be ordered to-go. Note: This year, all Miracle cocktails can be ordered to-go – and a portion of all to-go sales will benefit the Austin Children’s Shelter and Austin Pets Alive. God bless us, everyone!
      Daily, through Dec. 27  
    • Food

      Food Events

      Whisler's Cocktail Wednesdays at Sawyer & Co

      December bonus! Stephen Shallcross' New Orleans-inspired diner with the wonderfully good food is hosting the mixological talents of Whisler's on their heated and socially distanced patio. For three Wednesdays this month, those near-legendary bartenders will be serving up the high-toned hooch from Sawyer's own Airstream.
      Through Dec. 16. Wednesdays, 5-9pm
    • Community

      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
    • Film

      Special Screenings

      "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965)

      Northern Lights Holiday Spectacular
      Wed., Dec. 16, 7pm  
    • 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
    • Community

      Events

      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  
    • Film

      Special Screenings

      AFS Holiday Gift Memberships

      This holiday season, when you buy an Austin Film Society membership, you get two bonus months and a free gift of a ballcap or a T-shirt designed by local illustrator Alana Louise.
      Ongoing  
      Online via www.austinfilm.org
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Akirash Online

      Sure, Austin's Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya aka AKIRASH has an exhibition at the Carver Museum right now – and the place is closed, of course. But this Lagos-born artist also happens to have one of the most robust websites around, though you'll need a mighty big screen to get the best effect of his huge and colorful mixed-media creations and performance pieces.
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      AO5 Gallery: Disruption

      Hey, you! Globally aware art connoisseur! Don't miss this show of bold visuals from some of the most famous European street artists – like Banksy, Striker, Zero, and Cee Pil – now sharing wall space with works by Austin's own Jason Eatherly, Dave Lowell, and that Impossible Winterbourne.
      Through Dec. 31
    • 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  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Art 84: Cornelius Carter

      This is a virtual preview of "Work in Progress" by Austin's Cornelius Carter, a work that "captures the struggles and glory of the African-American experience along with the artist’s faith in the American dream of equality and opportunity for all."
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Art for the People: Where the Bots Begin

      Lauren Briére’s art escorts the viewer on a visual journey into outer space, the fun of sports, walks in nature, and various adventures and shenanigans, as Art for the People showcases 200-plus sketches that are the artist's penciled beginnings to creating her whimsical "Robots in Rowboats."
      Through Jan. 3
    • Community

      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
    • Qmmunity

      Community

      Austin LGBT Chamber Holiday Toy Drive

      The Austin LGBT Chamber Health and Wellness Committee is partnering with Austin Black Pride for its first-ever toy drive. Donate new and unwrapped toys, shoes, clothing, and gift cards appropriate for ages 18 & under at select drop-off sites (see here for locations). Gifts received will go to families enrolled in LifeWorks programs as well as ABP's distribution event on Sat., Dec. 19 at Givens Park (2811 E. 12th).
      Nov. 22-Dec. 17  
      Multiple drop-off locations
    • Film

      Special Screenings

      Austin Polish Film Festival

      This year, APFF has taken most of the screenings to the virtual realm, offering two months of Polish features and documentaries online, as well three films co-presented with Austin Jewish Film Festival and a few screenings at Galaxy Highland.
      Through Dec. 31  
      Online via www.austinpolishfilm.com
    • Community

      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
    • Arts

      Dance

      Ballet Austin: Classes Online

      While you're home, wherever you are across the world,: you can still take a dance, fitness, or Pilates class with Ballet Austin. Ballet, barre, contemporary dance, hip-hop, tap, cardio dance fitness, and Pilates out the wazoo, so to speak, because there are so many varieties to choose among, and all taught by professional instructors – and it's all available 24/7, just like the internets.
      $3-7 per class.  

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