*Editor's note: The "Merry Making" Bee Cave Public Library event present in the Holiday calendar of Volume 13, Issue 10 of the Lake Travis-Westlake paper will not include ponies this year. According to event organizers, this year's "Merry Making" activities will include crafts, prizes, stories, and live music from Strawbitty Yops.

For residents in Lake Travis-Westlake, there are a variety of events to celebrate the holidays from ice skating at the Hill Country Galleria to photos with Santa. Here are eight events in the area to make Christmas come early this season.

Key: KID: kid friendly, FOOD & DRINK: food and drink will be available, FREE: event is free


16 through Dec. 16 Go ice skating

Bee Cave will have its first-ever ice rink at the Hill Country Galleria. The ice rink will be open seven days a week and is able to hold up to 120 people at a time. Each ticket includes a skate rental and a 75-minute skate session. Reservations are open and posted on both the city of Bee Cave and the Hill Country Galleria websites. Reservations are encouraged, but some walk-ups will be available. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (Mon-Wed.), 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Thurs.), 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.) 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sun.). $15. 4000 Galleria Parkway, Bee Cave. www.hillcountrygalleria.com (KID, FOOD & DRINK)

27 Light up a Christmas tree

The 56th annual tree lighting ceremony for the Zilker Park holiday tree will take place in late November this year. The tree is 155 feet tall with 3,309 lights and a double star measuring 10 feet from point to point. There will be pre-event music before the ceremony begins. Parking will be free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 5:30-7 p.m. Free. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin. www.austintexas.gov (FREE, KID, FOOD & DRINK)


01 through 16 Write a letter to Santa

Hosted by the Steiner Ranch Homeowners Association, parents can help their child write a letter to Santa and have Santa’s elves write them back. Return addresses are encouraged. After making their Christmas wishlist, children can drop off their letters at the Red Santa Mailbox by the HOA office front door at Towne Square on weekdays through Dec. 16 between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Steiner Ranch HOA office, 12550 Country Trails Lane, Austin. www.steinerranchhoa.org (FREE, KID)

02 Light up the night

Kick off the holiday season in Lakeway by attending the first lighting of the Trail of Lights behind City Hall. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to help plug in the Trail of Lights display. Afterward, guests are invited to the parking lot at City Hall to decorate cookies, roast marshmallows at the firepit and play games. Food vendors will also be available on-site. 6-8 p.m. Free admission. 1102 Lohmans Crossing Road, Lakeway. 512-314-7500. www.lakeway-tx.gov (FREE, KID, FOOD & DRINK)

02 through 04 Watch a classic

TexArts Theater is celebrating the holiday season with a performance of “The Nutcracker,” which will incorporate a blend of ballet, tap and jazz. Various times. $20. 2300 Lohmans Spur Road, Ste. 160, Lakeway. 512-634-8589. www.tex-arts.org

03 Run for the holidays

The Jingle Bell 5K run, hosted by the Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce, will feature a 5K fun run and a Kids Dash. The first 200 to register for the 5K race will receive a free T-shirt, and the first 100 to register for the Kids Dash will receive one as well. 7 a.m. (5K fun run), 8 a.m. (Kids Dash). $10 (kids), $15 (adults). 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-256-4004. www.beecavechamberofcommerce.com (KID, FOOD & DRINK)

03 Make some merry

Merry Making is a family-friendly event with crafts, prizes, storytime, live guitar music and ponies to pet hosted by Bee Cave Public Library. Santa will also be present to take pictures, and different holiday props will be available for photo opportunities. 2-4 p.m. Free. 4000 Galleria Parkway, Bee Cave. 512-767-6620. www.beecavelibrary.com (KID, FOOD & DRINK)

04 Experience Wonderfest

The Westlake Chamber of Commerce will host Wonderfest, featuring Santa Claus, performances from local elementary school choirs and free hamburgers from Hat Creek Burger Co. There will also be face painters, balloon artists, a photobooth, a petting zoo, a bounce house and the Holiday Express Train. 1-4 p.m. Free (admission). Westlake High School Chaparral Stadium parking lot, 4100 Westbank Drive, Austin. 512-327-3088. www.westlakechamber.com (KID, FOOD & DRINK)

04 Sing along to Christmas tunes

The Lakeway Sing Along will perform its 22nd annual Christmas show. This year’s production, “Once Upon a December,” will focus on popular songs from animated holiday movies. The group comprises over 70 music lovers from the Lakeway area. There will also be cookies available as well as a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Showings will be at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Free (admission with donation of a toy for children up to 17 years old). Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek. 512-261-1010. www.lakeway-tx.gov (KID, FOOD & DRINK)