2019 Central Austin holiday events: Find light displays, markets, shows and more

Courtesy Zach Theatre
Courtesy Zach Theatre

Courtesy Zach Theatre

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Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper
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Courtesy Blue Genie Art Bazaar
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Courtesy The Long Center
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Courtesy Christkindlmarkt
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Courtesy Kirk Tuck
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Courtesy Annie Winsett
Bring the family to a holiday show

Nov. 20-Dec. 29: The ZACH Theater presents three holiday shows this season. “A Christmas Carol” will run from Nov. 20-Dec. 29 and is recommended for ages 6 and older. “The Santaland Diaries” production will go from Nov. 29-Dec. 29 (ages 14 and older), and “Holiday Heroes” will be presented Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 (ages 3 and older). Times and ticket prices vary.

ZACH Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.



Experience a Christmas light show

Nov. 21-Jan. 5:
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters lights up its patio each year with more than one million LED lights. 6 p.m.-midnight (daily); 6-10 p.m. (Christmas Eve); Closed (Thanksgiving, Christmas Day). Free.

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.



Shop at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Nov. 22-Dec. 24:
The annual art and shopping market was founded in 2001 and has grown to an event with more than 200 artists and a full bar. Ten percent of profits each Monday are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and South Texas.

10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Free admission.

6100 Airport Blvd.


Watch a classic children’s story come to life

Dec. 1:
“The Snowy Day” is an adaptation for the stage of Ezra Jack Keats’ Caldecott Award-winning children’s book. The show is recommended for children between pre-K and third grade. 2 p.m. $10-$65.

Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. 512-472-5470


Watch the Zilker Holiday Tree light up

Dec. 1: The tradition of lighting the Zilker Holiday Tree around the moontower in the park returns for its 53rd year. The tree stands 155 feet tall and has 3,309 lights in total with a 10-foot star on top. 6 p.m. Free.

Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road



See a classical holiday concert

Dec. 3-4: The Austin Symphony Orchestra, along with Chorus Austin, will perform George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” over two nights at two different locations. 8 p.m. $15-$60.

Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin (Sat.)

Emmaus Catholic Church, 1718 Lohmans Crossing Road, Lakeway (Sun.).



Stroll through downtown Austin

Dec. 7: The Downtown Austin Alliance hosts the annual walk along Congress Avenue to the Capitol building. The stroll features live music, carol singing, a street market and a tree lighting. KUT and KUTX lead a sing-along, with complimentary commemorative songbooks. 5-10 p.m. Free. •

Congress Avenue from Ninth Street to the Texas Capitol



Shop the German-Texan Christmas Market

Dec. 7: The market will feature German handcrafted goods such as Christmas ornaments as well as hot spiced wine, stollen—a German Christmas bread—and cookies. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free admission.

German Texans Heritage Society, 507 E. 10th St.



Spread holiday cheer with Charlie Brown

Dec. 7:
A Charlie Brown Christmas” features the music of Vince Guaraldi from the 1965 television special performed by local musicians of the Austin Chamber Music Center. 5 p.m., 8 p.m. $22-$37.

Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Ave.



Experience Ballet Austin’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Dec. 7-23: The holiday staple from Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky enters its 57th year in Austin and will feature 15 performances for the public over 16 days. Additionally, separate shows from Dec. 10-12 are open to elementary school schools and teachers. 2 p.m. (matinee shows), 7:30 p.m. (evening shows). $29-$94.

The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive



See the night sky lit up in Zilker Park

Dec. 10-23:
The 55th annual display of holiday lights in Zilker Park begins with a grand opening Dec. 10 with a countdown ceremony, entry tunnel lighting and more in a free event. 7-10 p.m. nightly. Free (Dec. 10-12, Dec. 15-18), $5 (other nights).

2100 Barton Springs Road


See ‘The Nutcracker’ jazzed up

Dec. 12-22:
“Of Mice and Music” is a jazz tap version of “The Nutcracker” featuring a version of the original Tchaikovsky score alongside jazz classics. The show, presented by Tapestry Dance Company, features local Austin jazz musicians. 2 p.m. (matinees); 7:30 p.m. (evening shows). $24-$34.

The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.



Take in an Austin Civic Orchestra concert

Dec. 14:
The concert will feature selections from a number of pieces, including “Winter from the Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet. 7:30-9 p.m. Free (ages 18 and younger). $10-$15 (ages 19 and older).

Butler School of Music,

2420 Robert Dedman Drive



Sing big at “Big Sing”

Dec. 17:
Local choir Conspirare presents its holiday “Big Sing” at Austin Central Library. Craig Hella Johnson, the choir’s artistic director, will lead the audience in vocal warmups and holiday songs. The event is open to all ages, and no singing experience is necessary. 6-7:15 p.m. Free.

Austin Central Library,

710 W. Cesar Chavez St.



Deck the halls with Drag Queens

Dec. 19:
“A Drag Queen Christmas” will feature a performance with holiday costumes, backup dancers and a full stage production with contestants from the VH1 reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

8 p.m. $35-$50.

ACL Live at the Moody Theatre,

310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd.



Check out the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Dec. 13-24:
The 12-day market features art for sale in all price ranges, live music from 36 bands and two full bars.

11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Dec. 13-23), 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Dec. 24). Free (ages 12 and younger), $10 (one-day pass), $50 (season pass for ages 13 and older).

Palmer Events Center,

900 Barton Spring Road


Be merry and go to the movies

Dec. 20-Jan. 1:
The Austin Film Society’s “Home for the Holidays” series features Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1934 murder mystery “The Thin Man” presented in 35mm film and Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 Japanese classic “Tokyo Story.” Various times. $9-$11.25.

AFS Cinema, 6406 N. I-35, Ste. 3100



Worth the trip: Check out some events outside the Central Austin area

Choose your Christmas tree

Nov. 29-Dec 15:
The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm begins sales Nov. 29 and is open daily through Dec. 15. Check the farm’s Facebook page for availability and open times Dec. 15-Dec. 23. Customers take a hayride to the cutting fields where they can pick out their preferred tree. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Mon.-Thu.); 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.); 12-5:30 p.m. (Sun.). $11 (per tree foot); prices go down as season progresses.

120 Natures Way, Elgin



Head to the Hill Country for a Johnson City light display

Nov. 29-Jan. 5:
The Johnson City Lights Spectacular celebrates its 30th anniversary and will feature more than two million lights on display lit from dusk to midnight. Free to attend.

Lights are lit throughout Johnson City’s downtown area.


Shop at the Christkindlmarkt

Dec. 6-7:
The German-inspired Christmas market features food, drinks, German music, singing and dancing as well as vendors selling ornaments and other gifts. 5-9 p.m. (Fri.), 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (Sat.).

Bavarian Halle at Schlitterbahn Resort

212 W. Austin St., New Braunfels

By Jack Flagler

Jack is the editor for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. He graduated in 2011 from Boston University and worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in January of 2018.


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