What to do in Austin this weekend: Dec. 18-21

An Austin children's museum is hosting gingerbread house–making workshops through Dec. 24.

The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave., in the Mueller neighborhood is accepting one-hour reservations for children to gain access to everything they need to build their own gingerbread house that may be taken home.

There are separate gingerbread workshops available for children age 5 and younger. All participants may visit the rest of the children's museum after the workshop concludes.

The sessions cost $24 for members and $28 for nonmembers. 512-469-6200. www.thinkeryaustin.org


DEC. 18"An English Christmas Tradition," the second show in Ensemble VIII's 2014–15 season, includes carols based on the traditional service from King's College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that has become an annual Christmas highlight throughout the world. 7:30 p.m. $10–$45. St. Louis Catholic Church chapel, 7601 Burnet Road. 800-838-3006. www.ensembleviii.org

DEC. 19—The "Turn Blue" world tour stops in Austin to promote The Black Keys' eighth studio album. Special guest St. Vincent joins the Grammy Award–winning rock duo from Ohio. 8 p.m. $35–$75. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. 512-471-7744. www.uterwincenter.com

DEC. 20—The official Blue Santa representing the Austin Police Department's Operation Blue Santa—a nonprofit outreach program run by the Austin Police Department, the Austin Fire Department, Austin Energy, Austin Water Utility and the Texas National Guard—delivers donated toys and meals to needy families' homes. The event features live entertainment and food for participating volunteers. 7 a.m.–1 p.m. Free. Blue Santa Warehouse, 4101 S. Industrial Drive, Ste. 260. www.bluesanta.org

DEC. 21"Disney Junior Live on Tour: A Pirate & Princess Adventure" awaits attendees of this family-friendly show, a live stage performance featuring characters from "Sofia The First" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." The event also includes an interactive preshow performance featuring Doc McStuffins. 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. $20–$55. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. 512-471-7744. www.uterwincenter.com

DEC. 21—The Newcomers Hanukkah Party hosted by the Jewish Community Association of Austin includes latkes and sufganiyot, or jelly donuts, for attendees who have recently moved to Austin. The event is for Austin newcomers to learn about the area and the Dell Jewish Community Center. Jay Rubin, CEO of the Jewish Federation, and JCC Executive Director Shelly Prant provide information about the center. 4–6 p.m. Free. Dell Jewish Community Center, 7300 Hart Lane. 512-735-8000. www.shalomaustin.org

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


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