2019 Northwest Austin holiday events: Find light displays, markets and photos with Santa

(Courtesy The Arboretum)
(Courtesy The Arboretum)

(Courtesy The Arboretum)

Image description
(Courtesy Austin Trail of Lights)
Image description
(Courtesy Blue Genie Art Bazaar)
Image description
(Courtesy Simon Property Group)

Choose your Christmas tree

Through Dec. 15: The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm is open daily through Dec. 15. Check the farm’s Facebook page for open times Dec. 15-23. Customers take a hayride to the cutting fields where they can find their preferred tree.

10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Mon.- Thu.), 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.), noon-5:30 p.m. (Sun.). $11 (per tree foot; prices increase as season progresses). Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. 512-281-5016. www.elginchristmastreefarm.com

Partake in photos and more at Lakeline Mall

Through Dec. 24: Santa Claus will be available for photos at Lakeline Mall. Special events include a sensory-friendly opportunity Dec. 8 for children across the spectrum of needs to take photos with Santa and a Disney Junior Play Date on Dec. 14, featuring crafts and games.

Various times. Free. Lakeline Mall, 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive, Cedar Park. 512-257-8501. www.simon.com/mall/lakeline-mall

Peruse a holiday bazaar

Through Dec. 24:
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar includes more than 200 artists with 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). Blue Genie Art Bazaar, 6100 Airport Blvd., Austin. www.bluegenieartbazaar.com

Celebrate the holiday season with carols and cider

Through Dec. 24:
The Hill Country Galleria Holiday Village features 20 local vendors, and guests can listen to carolers, enjoy mulled cider, and take photos with Santa and his reindeer.

4-8 p.m. (Thu.- Sun.). Free (admission). The Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-263-0001. www.hillcountrygalleria.com

See the Zilker Holiday Tree light up

Dec. 1:
The tradition of lighting the Zilker Holiday Tree around the moon- tower in the park returns for the 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, Austin. 512-974-6700. www.austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree

Shop a holiday boutique

Dec. 5:
Twin Creeks Country Club hosts a holiday boutique where people can shop for gifts from local vendors.

Noon-7 p.m. Free admission. Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Drive, Cedar Park. 512-331-5900. www.twincreeksclub.com

Watch a holiday classic

Dec. 7:
The Arboretum invites families to its Holiday Movie Night to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on an outdoor 25-foot movie screen. Fam- ilies are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

6-9 p.m. Free. The Arboretum, 10000 Research Blvd., Austin. 512-338-4755. www.thearboretum.com

Enjoy a holiday craft fair

Dec. 7:
Join the Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District for the annual holiday event at Cat Hollow Park. The holiday festival and craft fair will feature Santa Claus, a bounce house, horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo, carolers and local artisans.

Noon- 3 p.m. Free. Cat Hollow Park, 8600 O’Connor Drive, Round Rock. 512-255-7871. www.bcmud.org

Skate with Santa

Dec. 7:
The ice rink is open for the chance to skate with Santa and take photos.

Noon-2:30 p.m. $15. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Austin. 512-252-8500. www.chaprralice.com

Enjoy a German-Texas Christmas market

Dec. 7:
The market features German hand- crafted goods as well as hot spiced wine, stollen—a German Christmas bread—and cookies.

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free (admission). German Texas Heritage Society 507 E. 10th St., Austin. 512-467-4569. www.germantexans.org

Run in a festive 5K

Dec. 8:
Runners can don jingle bells and Santa hats for the 24th Annual Aus- tin Jingle Bell 5K. The event includes a chip-timed 5K and a Kid’s Fun Run. The race benefits MADD and takes place rain or shine.

7 a.m. (registration), 8 a.m. (Kid’s Fun Run), 8:30 a.m. (5K). $15-$40. The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin. 512-445-4976. www.austinjinglebell.com

Create a craft at the library

Dec. 8:
Create wooden signs with vinyl at Austin Public Library’s Holiday Craft-a-palooza event. The library is providing all the supplies needed.

3-5 p.m. Free. Little Walnut Creek Branch library, 835 W. Rundberg Lane, Austin. 512-974-9860. www.library.austintexas.gov

Walk through the Austin Trail of Lights

Dec. 10-23:
The 55th annual display of holiday lights in Zilker Park begins with a grand opening Dec. 10 with a count- down 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, Austin. www.austintrailoflights.org

Social with chamber members

Dec. 11:
The Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce hosts a holiday social for people to meet with the members of the board and advisory council. 6-8 p.m. Free (members), $10 (nonmembers who preregister), $20 (nonmembers who do not preregister).

Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, 8001 Centre Park Drive, Austin 512-407-8240. www.austinasianchamber.org

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., 7:30 p.m. $24-$34. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin. 512-474-5664. www.thelongcenter.com

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Dec. 13-24:
The 12-day market features artisan goods, 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 ages 13 and older). Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin. www.armadillobazaar.com

Make a holiday card or gift bag

Dec. 14:
Austin Public Library is providing supplies for attendees to decorate gift bags and boxes or create holiday cards for friends and family. Light refreshments will be provided.

2-3:30 p.m. Free. Milwood Branch Library, 12500 Amherst Drive, Austin. 512-974-9880. www.library.austintexas.gov

Play in the 'snow' in a winter wonderland

Dec. 14:
An interactive, wintry display will be at the Texas Stars game against the Tucson Roadrunners. The event includes photos with Santa, live reindeer and a place for fans to play in the snow.

7 p.m. $22.50-$51. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-467-8277. www.texasstars.com

Take sensory-friendly photos with Santa

Dec. 14:
Children with special needs can enjoy photos with Santa in a calm, sensory-friendly environment. Families have space to relax, make a craft or sit for elf storytime. Families are encouraged to visit the website to reserve a time.

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church, 3315 El Salido Parkway, Cedar Park. 512-219-9008. www.selfieswithsanta.org

Watch a winter wonderland on ice

Dec. 20-21:
Chaparral Ice hosts two holiday skating shows featuring Chaparral Ice students.

7-9:30 p.m. (Dec. 20), 4-6:30 p.m. (Dec. 21). $12-$27. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Austin. 512-252-8500. www.chaprralice.com

Watch the circus on Christmas Eve

Dec. 24:
The H-E-B Center at Cedar Park hosts Cirque Musica for a night of acrobatics and aerial tricks accompanied live by a full symphony orchestra. Cirque Musica and its circus performers will perform a holiday story.

Doors open at 1 p.m., event starts at 2 p.m. $35-$75. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com

Enjoy Rudolph the musical

Dec. 29:
The classic story of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” hits the stage in Cedar Park. The play features characters, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Rudolph.

3-6 p.m. $38-$68. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com


Travis County continues to urge residents to follow social distancing guidelines when out in public. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County officials: 20 new coronavirus hospitalizations per day would strain local hospital capacity

Dr. Mark Escott said new admissions per day is a key measure to determine if the county should be more or less restrictive in its guidance to residents and businesses.

A May 27 preliminary budget discussion showed Central Health expects to see a slow-down in property tax revenue growth in fiscal year 2020-21. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early budget forecasts from Central Health show anticipated 'slow-down' in tax revenue collection

Preliminary budget forecasts from Central Health show the health care district anticipates a slow down in tax revenue collection growth.

Pflugerville ISD students who rely on meals from the district will be able to continue picking up meals throughout the summer. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Free meal pickup services to continue through summer for Pflugerville ISD students

Pflugerville ISD students who rely on meals from the district will be able to continue picking up meals throughout the summer.

Williamson County reports additional coronavirus-related death May 28. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County reports additional coronavirus-related death May 28

“Our hearts are with the family who lost their loved one due to this deadly disease," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

Williamson County judges are continuing to hold court even as the coronavirus pandemic forces the courts to enter digital spaces. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Justice continues in Williamson County even as courtrooms go virtual

Williamson County judges are continuing to hold court even as the coronavirus pandemic forces the courts to enter digital spaces.

Zilker Theatre Productions announced May 28 that its summer musical, "Mamma Mia," has been postponed to 2021. (Courtesy Zilker Theatre Production)
Zilker Theatre Productions postpones summer musical to 2021

This will be the first time the free outdoor show in Zilker Park has not run since it began in 1959.

Williamson County confirmed coronavirus cases have reached 588. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
4 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Williamson County, which has reported more than 9,800 tests

Currently, 15 patients are hospitalized, and seven are in intensive care, per the report.

A screen shot of Dr. Mark Escott speaking
Austin Public Health planning response in case of coronavirus hospitalization spike

As local health authorities monitor an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, they are bracing for a possible uptick in hospitalizations.

There have been 1,084 total coronavirus recoveries in Travis County as of May 27. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County reports 73 new coronavirus cases May 27

There have been 1,084 total coronavirus recoveries in Travis County as well.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spoke to members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 about what the state's post-pandemic economic turnaround might look like. (Screenshot of May 27 virtual luncheon)
Texas comptroller predicts slow, steady economic turnaround post-pandemic

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said the state entered the era of the coronavirus in a healthy financial situation, which bodes well for the future as reopening continues, but that Texans are not out of the woods yet.