Holiday markets, light displays & more: the ultimate 2018 Austin Holiday To-Do List

Visit the Trail of Lights in Austin from Dec. 10-23.

Visit the Trail of Lights in Austin from Dec. 10-23.

Your guide for events and things to do in the Central Texas region throughout the holiday season



Nov. 17-Dec. 23
Enjoy a photo op with holiday attractions and hear carolers
Domain Northside hosts several holiday-themed attractions design by local firm Ion Art. Attractions include a 10-foot-tall Willie Nelson nutcracker, a cowboy Santa and an armadillo snowman. On Nov. 17-18 and Nov. 24-25, the first 100 guests will have an opportunity take a professional photo with an Airstream sleigh. Groups can also preregister for a time here.

Carolers perform Nov. 23-25 and Dec. 22-23 from noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Other performances include:

  • Nov. 21, 6 p.m.: Cedar Park High School Choir

  • Nov. 28, 6 p.m.: Bridge Point Elementary School Chorale

  • Dec. 5, 6 p.m.: Austin Suzuki Music School String Performance, McCallum High School Jazz Band

  • Dec. 12, 6 p.m.: Valley View Elementary School Chorale, Lamar Middle School Jazz Band

  • Dec. 19, noon and 6 p.m.: Canyon Ridge Middle School Junior Varsity Choir, The Lamar Fiddlers


Free. Domain Northside Lawn at Rock Rose Avenue and Domain Boulevard. www.domainnorthside.com/events





Nov. 23
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm begins sales and hayrides
Upon arrival customers take a hayride out to the fields, where they can select their tree and cut it down. Hours vary. $11/tree foot. As the season progresses, tree prices will go down. 120 Natures Way, Elgin. 512-281-5016.
www.elginchristmastreefarm.com





Dec. 1
Carol through Austin and end at The State Capitol

The Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll has crafts, a petting zoo and food trucks. 5-10 p.m. Tree lighting at 7 p.m. Free. Congress Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets, Austin. 512-469-1766. www.downtownaustin.com/holidays






Dec. 1
Skate with Santa Claus
Chaparral Ice hosts its annual Santa Skate event featuring photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Christmas music, hot chocolate and a raffle. $15 (includes skate rental). Noon-3 p.m. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Austin.
512-252-8500. www.chaparralice.com






Dec. 6-9
Walk through luminaries at the Wildflower Center
The center’s annual winter event, Luminations, includes non-holiday themed luminaries, music and events. 6-9 p.m. $15. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin. 512-232-0100. www.wildflower.org





Dec. 7
Hear Norman Brown perform Christmas tunes

Titled “A Joyous Christmas,” Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Norman Brown will perform two evening shows at the One World Theatre. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $35-$108. One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Caves Road, Austin. 512- 330-9500. www.oneworldtheatre.org






Dec. 7-23
Celebrate the season at ‘The Nutcracker’

The score for Ballet Austin’s 56th production of the show is performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Times vary. $24-$89. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-476-9151. www.balletaustin.org





Dec. 8
Listen to a Christmas a cappella performance

A Cappella Unlimited and A Cappella Texas host a Christmas show at South Austin’s Bethany Lutheran Church. Treats, raffles and prizes are available. 2 p.m. $20. Bethany Lutheran Church, 3701 W. Slaughter Lane, Austin. 512-931-4653. www.acappellaunlimited.org





Dec. 9
Attend a Hanukkah party with sweet Israeli treats

Congregation Beth El hosts a family-friendly community Hanukkah party complete with a menorah lighting, live music, face painting and food, including sufganiot, or Israeli doughnuts. 4-6 p.m. Free. 8902 Mesa Drive, Austin.
512-231-0266. www.betheltx.org





Dec. 13-14
Catch a baroque choral performance at a church

Hear Handel’s Messiah at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church and St. Louis Catholic Chapel. 7:30 p.m. $10-$45. Westlake Hills Presbyterian: 7127 Bee Caves Road, Austin. 512-327-1116. St. Louis Catholic: 7601 Burnet Road, Austin.
512-454-0384. www.ensembleviii.org





Dec. 15
Enjoy a sensory-friendly Christmas celebration

Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church hosts sensory-friendly event, in a calming environment for children with and without disabilities. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 3315 El Salido Parkway, Cedar Park.
512-219-9008. www.selfieswithsanta.org






Dec. 29-31
Ring in the new year with Willie Nelson and friends

Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater hosts country music legend Willie Nelson and guest Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. 8 p.m. Prices vary. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin. 512-225-7999. www.acl-live.com






Dec. 29-31
Attend a Christmas performance with a rock ‘n’ roll twist and light show

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs a special light show and original program, “Ghosts of Christmas Eve.” 8-11 p.m. $46-$90. 1701 Red River St., Austin.
512-477-6060. www.uterwincenter.com






5 holiday races to run

  1. Nov. 22: ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot
    The event features a timed and untimed 5-mile run, a 1-mile walk and a Kids K. After the race, participants can enjoy snacks, children’s activities and live music. $12-$43. Start times 8:45-9:50 a.m. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin. www.thundercloud.com/event-info

  2. Dec. 1: Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run
    The 2.1-mile course starts at the Zilker Holiday Tree and winds through the Austin Trail of Lights, ending with a celebration in the center of Zilker Park. The festival features a DJ, dance party, ferris wheel, carousel rides, food trucks, drinks and more. $20-$75. Staggered start times: 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin. www.austintrailoflights.org/2018-fun-run

  3. Dec. 9: Austin Jingle Bell 5K
    Participants can walk or run the 5K distance with jingle bells fastened to their clothing. Santa will be in attendance. $10-$40. 8 a.m. The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin. www.austinjinglebell.com

  4. Dec. 16: Jingle Bell Run
    Participants wear holiday costumes and tie jingle bells to their shoelaces for the annual 5K and 1K race. A timed and untimed option is available. The event also includes a costume contest, food, beer, prizes and an awards ceremony. $40. 2:30 p.m. Camp Mabry, 200 W. 35 St., Austin. https://events.arthritis.org

  5. Dec. 30: Rockin’ Resolution Race closes out 2018
    The second-annual Rockin’ Resolution Race offers options including a Kids K, 5K and 10- and 20- mile runs. 7:30 a.m. $10-$80. Old Settler’s Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. www.facebook.com/austinrrrace








5 places to see holiday lights

  1. Nov. 17-Jan. 1: See the Northern Lights at Domain Northside
    The shopping district has lights and photo opportunities for the holiday season. Free. www.domainnorthside.com

  2. Nov. 23-Jan. 1: See Georgetown Square illuminated with lights
    Georgetown Square features nightly holiday lights. Free. The Square, 103 W. Seventh St., Georgetown. 800-436-8696. https://visit.georgetown.org

  3. Nov. 23-Jan. 6: Visit Johnson City’s Lights Spectacular
    Many buildings rave decorative lights. Free. Locations vary. 830-868-7684. www.johnsoncitytexas.info/lights-spectacular

  4. Nov. 25-Dec. 31: The holiday tree on display at Zilker Park
    The 155-foot-tall Zilker Holiday Tree is decorated with a total of 3,309 lights. 6 p.m.-midnight. Free. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin. www.austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree

  5. Dec. 10-23: Stroll the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park
    The Trail of Lights features more than 40 displays, 2 million lights and food trucks. 7-10 p.m. Free entry on Dec. 10-13,17-19; $3 general admission other nights. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin. www.austintrailoflights.org








5 markets for holiday gifts

  1. Nov. 23-Dec. 24: Shop at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar
    Open daily from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, the bazaar features local gifts and art. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 24). Free. 6100 Airport Blvd., Austin. 512-222-7303. www.bluegenieartbazaar.com

  2. Dec. 1: Honor German heritage at German-Texan Christmas market
    Shop for authentic German-Texan gifts. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 507 E. 10th St., Austin. 512-467-4569. www.germantexans.org

  3. Dec. 1-2: Enjoy a holiday artisan market and show
    The Redbud Artisan Market has handmade arts and crafts. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2. $1. 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. 512-660-3328

  4. Dec. 8: Sip on beers at brewery holiday market
    At Flying Man Brewing Co.’s Just Me Holidaze Art On Tap Pop-Up Market, drink craft beer while shopping. 3-8 p.m. Free. 2400 Patterson Industrial Drive, Pflugerville. 512-910-4099. www.flyingmanbrewing.com

  5. Dec. 13-24: Peruse annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
    Enjoy shopping and live music. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission varies. 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin.
    512-447-1605. www.armadillobazaar.com




By


MOST RECENT

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds 178 coronavirus cases Dec. 4

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Williamson County.

Incumbent Jimmy Flannigan and challengers Dee Harrison, Mackenzie Kelly and Jennifer Mushtaler are running to represent Northwesst Austin's District 6 on Austin City Council beginning in 2021. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
District 6 Austin City Council runoff: See where Jimmy Flannigan, Mackenzie Kelly stand on issues from public safety to housing to COVID-19 recovery

Community Impact Newspaper asked Austin City Council candidates questions in the fall regarding the key issues in their district. The responses from the two runoff candidates are here.

Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden outlines the various groups of high-priority individuals to receive a COVIID-19 vaccine. (Courtesy Austin Public Health/Dell Medical School)
Austin Public Health leaders offer insight on COVID-19 vaccine distribution schedule

Local physicians could administer does fo the Pfizer vaccine to high-priority individuals as soon as Dec. 17, one official said.

While the vaccine has not yet arrived in Texas, Williamson County and Family Hospital Systems staff are confident that preparations now will ensure a smooth process to disburse the vaccine once it becomes available. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Williamson County contracts with Family Hospital Systems for COVID-19 vaccines for first responders

While the vaccine has not yet arrived in Texas, Williamson County and Family Hospital Systems staff are confident that preparations now will ensure a smooth process to disburse the vaccine once it becomes available.

Local Austin act the Peterson Brothers perform at the historic Continental Club in 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council experiment could send $15 million in hotel taxes to 'iconic' music venues, restaurants

The move represents the latest attempt by the city to save live music venues and restaurants that are struggling through the pandemic.

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know in Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County coronavirus positivity rate returns to 11.3% on Dec. 3

The county also reported 160 new cases and four deaths.

Williamson County in-person jury trials are delayed after a cleared docket.  (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County in-person jury trials delayed after a cleared docket

The trials were to take place in Judge Doug Arnold’s County Court at Law 3 courtroom Dec. 7, according to a news release.

Early voting opens Dec. 3 for runoff elections for Austin City Council and the Austin ISD board of trustees. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin runoff elections: Who is on the ballot, where to vote and when polls are open

Polls open at 7 a.m. Dec. 3 for early voting in the runoff election. Two Austin City Council positions and two Austin ISD board seats are open.

An additional 159 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Williamson County on Dec. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
159 coronavirus cases, 1 death reported in Williamson County on Dec. 2

Here is what you need to know today about coronavirus in Williamson County.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

Frontyard Brewing opened Nov. 14 in Spicewood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
New brewery opens in Spicewood and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community updates from Central Texas.