From decorating cookies to watching a live Nativity, here are six fun ways to kickstart the holiday season.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

A holiday tradition for many in Cedar Park, this event will center around the lighting of the Heritage Oak Tree with more than 50,000 lights. Available activities will include Snow Hill, a Santa Claus photo line, giveaways, holiday music and performances, face painting, and crafts. Throughout the evening, food vendors, coffee and treats will also be available.Santa Claus at Heritage Oak Park

Santa Claus will visit Cedar Park’s Heritage Oak Park on two Saturdays in December, in addition to a visit at the Tree Lighting Ceremony event Dec. 1. Those visiting Santa Claus will have the opportunity to take photos; however, guests should bring their own cameras.Old Town Christmas Festival

Starting with the Rudolph Run 5K, attendees can expect a day filled with both food and craft vendors, holiday music, and the Leander Christmas Parade. The day will wind down at 7 p.m. with the lighting of the Christmas tree, followed by a sing-along and Christmas movie with free hot chocolate.
  • Dec. 2; 10 a.m. (Rudolph Run 5K), 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (festival)
  • Free
  • 100 N. Brushy St., Leander
Cocoa and Cookie Decorating

The library will offer a festive evening where visitors of all ages can drink warm cocoa and decorate cookies while listening to holiday music. Everything from the cookies to the frosting and sprinkles will be provided for free; however, signing up is required prior to the event starting Nov. 27.Follow the Star

Guests can either walk or drive through 10 family-friendly live scenes depicting the Nativity story as well as the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Collected donations of nonperishable canned food will be given to the local food pantry, Hill Country Community Ministries.
  • Dec. 7-9, 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Free (canned goods donations accepted)
  • Good Shepherd, 700 W. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park
Tail of Lights

Pets and their owners are invited to stroll through holiday lights and music, with a section of the dog park open as well. Activities will include pet-focused vendors, giveaways and treats. Those attending are encouraged to dress in holiday attire or costumes. Santa Paws will be available for dog visits; however, attendees should bring their own cameras for photos.