Fill your December with magical events for families in Austin

December is filled with holiday-themed family fun. Plug these events in your calendar. Pay special attention to those weeks when kids are out of school and day cares might be closed. There’s a lot to do. Go out and do it.

Holiday events

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Ride a hay ride to the Christmas tree grounds and select your tree. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin.

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm. Buy Christmas trees through Christmas Eve. Noon to dark daily, except Saturdays, when it opens at 10 a.m. Weekends there’s s’mores making and pine cone painting, too. 242 Monkey Road.

Trail of Lights. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, through Dec. 28. Free. EmilyAnn Theatre, 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley.

Mozart’s Christmas Light Show. 6 to 11 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters at Oyster Landing, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.

Whole Foods Skating on the Plaza. Go ice skating 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. now through Jan. 15. Closed Christmas Day. $10 per person. Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.

“The Elves and the Shoemaker.” For ages 5 and up. 3 p.m. Various dates and times.

Teddy Bear Tea. Tea, carolling and a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with Santa. Bring an unwrapped new teddy bear to donate to Dell Children’s Medical Center. While you’re there, don’t miss the gingerbread village. $30-$45. Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17. Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. Make reservations by calling 512-685-8300.

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit of the Americas. See lights, go skating, enter the petting zoo and Santa’s workshop and more. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 1-2 and 8-30, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. $16, plus additional fees for some activities.

“A Christmas Carol.” 10 a.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Through Dec. 17. $8-$10. EmilyAnn Theatre, 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley.

Alamo Drafthouse events: Kids Camp: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” 10 a.m. Dec. 2-3, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Lakeline. 10 a.m. Dec. 2-3, Slaughter Lane. PBS Kids Holiday Mix. 10 a.m. Dec. 9-10, Lakeline.

“Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.” Junie B. is ready to take on her nemesis May in this holiday story. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16. $10-$15. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol.” See it in IMAX. 1 p.m. Dec. 2. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Elf Academy. Train to be Santa’s best elf. 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Domain. Reserve your spot at

Skate With Santa. Yes, Santa ice skates, and you can skate with him. Noon to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Skating and admission is $14 per person. $2 pictures with Santa or bring two nonperishable food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane.

Breakfast with Santa. A light breakfast, crafts, a singalong and Santa. 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 2. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road. 10 a.m. Dec. 9. Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane.

Santa in the Garden. Find your favorite jolly old elf among the plants. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec.2. Zilker Botanical Garden. 2220 Barton Springs Road. $1-$3.

Holiday Ornament Workshop. Make ornaments with things found in nature. Noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 2. $15-10. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Tea and Story Time With Mrs. Claus. 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 6. $10 per child. Peeps Christmas Story Time. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 7. Free. Pictures with Santa. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Elf Visit. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13. $10. Holiday Sing-along With Miss Ariel. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

Caring Santa. Meet Santa in an autism-friendly way. 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Barton Creek Square; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Lakeline Mall. Reserve your spot at

Neill-Cochran House Museum. H istory Lab: A Historic Holiday. Make pomanders, putz houses and historic board games. 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Free. 2310 San Gabriel St.

Hideout Theatre Presents: “Monster Holidays.” 2 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, 17, 23 and 30. $5. Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave.

Luminations. It’s back. See the Wildflower Center outlined in luminarias. 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7-10. $15. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Austin Trail of Lights. 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 9-23. Free admission Dec. 9-14, Dec. 18-19. $3 other nights. Zilker Park.

Zilker Tree. The tree will be lighted every night from Nov. 26-Dec. 31. Zilker Park.

Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. This month’s theme: Frosted. Free. 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 6. Reservations required.

Story time with Mrs. Claus. 11 a.m. Dec. 9. Hill country Galleria Central Plaza Pavilion.

Thinkery Gingerbread House Workshops. Traditional or Tot (ages 5 and younger) workshops are $12 per person plus $20 house kit. Gingerbread Art and Architecture for ages 7 and older is $12 per person plus $30 house kit. Candy Chemistry for ages 7 and up. Make candy to go on your house. $12 per person plus $30 house kit. Various dates and times. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Gingerbread House Workshop at The Candy Jar. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Dec. 16-17. $50 per house; children younger than 6 must have an adult with them. The Candy Jar, 12700 Hill Country Blvd. Suite 110. Register at

Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9, 15-16, 19-22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 22-23. $15-$98. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

“Holiday Heroes.” Zach Theatre’s annual Christmas family tradition. 11 a.m. Dec. 2, Dec. 9. $18-24. Topfer Theater, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.

Contemporary Austin. Families Create: Gingerbread Villas. Make your own candy home. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

An Afternoon with Santa. Take photos, make crafts and eat cookies. 3 p.m. Dec. 10. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

The Carver’s Christmas Special. Celebrate Christmas with Santa at the Carver Museum. Noon-3 p.m. Dec. 16. Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Night Before Christmas Break. Enjoy reindeer games and treats. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Free. Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury St.

Kwanzaa Celebration of Ujamaa with Elizabeth Kahura. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 29. Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Austin’s New Year. A family-friendly New Year’s Eve party with events throughout the day.


“Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic.” Noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 23. $20-$55. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St.

Zach Theatre presents “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” Head to Narnia in the C.S. Lewis tale. 11 a.m. Dec. 2, 9 and 16. More shows through Feb. 10. $18-$24. Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road.

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” See the book come to life. 2 p.m. Dec. 3. $18 and up. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.


Zilker Botanical Garden. Story time in the Garden: Naked Trees and the Other Four Seasons. A bilingual story time. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14. $1-$3. Zilker Botanical Garden. 2220 Barton Springs Road.

DeSTEMber Fest. Celebrate science and holidays with activities for the whole family. 9:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 2. Free. Girlstart. 1400 W. Anderson Lane. gi

Austin Nature and Science Center. Family Climbing Day. Go rock climbing as a family. 9 a.m. to noon, Dec. 20. $5 per person, ages 5 and up. Family Archery Day. Explore archery. 9 a.m. to noon, Dec. 21. $5 per person, ages 7 and up. Family Planetarium Day. 9 a.m. to noon, Dec. 22. Free, ages 3 and up. Austin Nature and Science Center, 2389 Stratford Drive.

Bullock Museum. H-E-B Free First Sunday. Free family fun around the museum with the theme “Bundle Up.” Noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 3. Living History Days. Re-enactors stroll through the museum. 10 a.m. Dec. 7. Little Texans: Take Flight. 10 a.m. Dec. 14. Science Thursdays. 10 a.m. Dec. 14. Maker Faire. Create things at the museum. Dec. 28-30. Story time at the Museum: Brrr! 10 a.m. Dec. 28. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Blanton Museum of Art. Holiday Family Day. Road trip-inspired activities. Free with admission. Noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Starry Nights. See a star show in the mini-planetarium and learn how the ancient Greeks saw the universe. 5 to 7 p.m. Dec.7. Free. Girlstart. 1400 W. Anderson Lane. gi

Thinkery. Parents’ Night Out. Kids ages 4 and up play at the Thinkery while you see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 1. $40 for first child, $20 each additional child. Little Thinkers Club. Nature as Our Canvas! Make art inspired by nature. 9:45 a.m. for 1-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. for 2-year-olds. Wednesdays through Dec. 13. $20 per class, $140 for the series. Little Thinkers Club. Amazing Animals. Make art and do yoga inspired by animals. 9:45 a.m. for 2-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. for 3-year-olds, Fridays through Dec. 15. $20 per class, $140 for the series. Baby Bloomers. Learn all about winter. For infant to 3. 9 a.m. Mondays and Saturdays, except Christmas Day. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Hill Country Science Mill. Homeschool Day: Game Development. All day, Dec. 13. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Wildflower Center. Winter, Wonder, Land . Find out what happens to a garden in winter. $15 adults, $10 children. Noon-2 p.m. p.m. Dec. 16. $15. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Toybrary Austin. Gardening class. 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Free. Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.


Harry Potter Fest. See all the movies. Through Dec. 9. Various prices. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In. 12419 Lowden Lane, Manchaca.


BookPeople story times. 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesday. 11:30 a.m. Saturdays.BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble Events: “Polar Express” Story time. 7 p.m. Dec. 1, all locations. 1 1 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Dec. 2; “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Big Golden Book,” Dec. 9; “River Rose and the Magical Christmas,” Dec. 16; “Santa’s Magic Key,” Dec. 23; “The Story of Ferdinand,” Dec. 30.

At the library

Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie. 11:30 a.m. Dec. 1, 9, 16, 23, 30, Yarborough Branch; Mornings with Moxie. 10 a.m. Dec. 9, Manchaca Road Branch; Bow Wow Reading with George. 3:45 p.m. Dec. 13, Pleasant Hill Branch.

Saturday Movie Matinee: “Rogue One.” 2 p.m. Dec. 2, Windsor Park Branch.

Storybook Dance Making. 2 p.m. Dec. 3, Recycled Reads Bookstore.

The Contemporary Austin Presents: Glowing Aliens. For ages 3-5. 10:15 p.m. Dec. 5, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. Dec. 12, Hampton Branch; 11 a.m Dec. 13, Old Quarry Branch; 4:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Twin Oaks Branch.

Sew Happy. 5 p.m. Dec. 5, Manchaca Road Branch.

Music & Movement. 11 a.m. Dec. 11, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13, Manchaca Road Branch.

Austin Ukestra. 1 p.m. Dec. 10. Recycled Reads Bookstore.

Crafternoon. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Manchaca Road Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Howson Branch.

NBTween Book Club One Half from the East.” 4 p.m. Dec. 13, Howson Branch. “Keeper of the Lost Cities.” 6 p.m. Dec. 20, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Nameless City.” 6 p.m. Dec. 21, Twin Oaks Branch.

Graphic Novel Book Club. “Identity Crisis,” 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Windsor Park Branch.

Teen Book Club. “The Upside of Unrequired,” 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Spicewood Springs Branch. “My Lady Jane.” 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Howson Branch.

Night Builders: Family Lego Lab. 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Hampton Branch.

Family Craft Night. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Howson Branch.

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