Article by: Claudia Alvarez, patch.com
Celebrate the spirit of the season with these (mostly) free holiday event happenings in and around Austin throughout the month of December.
AUSTIN, TX -- Get ready, the holidays are fast approaching! Hard to believe the Christmas season is around the corner, but it's the perfect opportunity to start planning those fun and family-friendly activities that bring so much cheer and are the touchstone of the season. Whether you'll be enjoying the festivities with friends or family -- or simply looking to start new traditions -- you'll find varied events throughout Austin and its surrounding areas that typify the holiday spirit. Take a look at what's happening in and around ATX throughout December.
- Smart Trip - Downtown Holiday Stroll: Capital Metro will host its Smart Trip - Downtown Holiday Stroll event on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 5:10 PM - 8:45 PM. Passengers will meet at a designated spot and be picked up and be able to enjoy music from Austin favorites, see the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree, shop a special night market presented by Sustainable Food Center, watch live dance performances, take photos with Santa at the Vannagram & Co. Photobooth; kids will enjoy a petting zoo, carnival games, face painting, coloring, ornament making, gingerbread decorating, and holiday card making. FREE Event. For additional details, click HERE.
- 2017 White Party 10th Anniversary: The Andy Roddick Foundation will host the 2017 White Party 10th Anniversary celebration at Speakeasy on Saturday, Dec. 2 beginning at 9 PM. All proceeds will benefit the foundation which seeks to engage children in high quality learning and enriching experiences after school and during the summer -- the months and times of day when children are left out and left behind. For additional information including ticket pricing, click HERE.
- Trim Your Tree Holiday Market: Graceland Oaks presents Trim Your Tree Holiday Market on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 12 PM - 6 PM. Local artisans and makers will be on hand to help kickoff the holiday cheer. Event will include cocktails and a holiday movie from Blue Starlight Drive-in. FREE Event. For additional details, click HERE.
- The Fine Goods Market- Holiday Edition: The Fine Goods Market will kickoff its 6th Austin pop-up event on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM. The evening will offer a showcase and shopping experience featuring some of Austin's best handmade and vintage vendors. Shoppers will meet local makers and designers, shop their wares, sip on complimentary drinks, taste some locally made treats and enjoy an evening of music, mingling, and fun! The market will benefit a local non-profit chapter with a portion of every dollar made going directly to their cause. For further event details, click HERE.
- Ballet Austin - The Nutcracker at the Long Center: Celebrating its 55th year as a beloved Austin tradition, Ballet Austin delights in presenting The Nutcracker at the Long Center beginning Friday, Dec. 8 and running through Saturday, Dec. 23 with evening performances at 7:30 PM and matinees beginning at 2 PM. The production is recommended for all ages and will include live accompaniment by the Austin Symphony orchestra performing to music of Tchaikovsky. The world's best known ballet will feature hundreds of dancers and gorgeous sets and costumes. This is a great holiday tradition for the whole family. For additional information, including schedule and ticket pricing, click HERE.
- Lake Austin's Boat Trail of Lights: The Boat Trail of Lights will take place on Lake Austin on Saturday, Dec. 9 beginning at 6 PM. This 1st annual event is an opportunity to enjoy the holiday season upon us as a community. Participants and spectators will meet under the 360 bridge. Boaters/People that park, launch or spectate at 360 bridge will need to be paid normal entrance fees. The city can accept cash and check only and it costs $15 for a truck and trailer, $10 for a vehicle, and $3 for anyone who walks into the park and spectates. For additional event information, click HERE.
- People of Color Christmas at ESB-MACC Show 2: In collaboration with the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department: Museums and Cultural Programs Division, Color Arc Productions is proud to present "People of Color (POC) Christmas", an original, comedic, contemporary Austin Holiday play written by award-winning Vietnamese American playwright Christine Hoang to be held on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 8 PM - 9:30 PM. Set at an annual white elephant gift exchange party, POC Christmas is a comedy that explores family, love, and relationships in ways that universal audiences will find fun, hilarious, and engaging. Through catchy a cappella tunes and tacky Christmas sweaters, discover the heartfelt stories these friends reveal and the white elephant re-gifts they will steal. FREE Event. For additional information, click HERE.
- Ugly Sweater Party: The Russian House of Austin will host its Ugly Sweater Party on Saturday, Dec. 9 beginning at 10 PM. No cover all night, attendees are invited to come out in their funkiest, ugliest, holiday sweater. The worst sweater will be awarded a special prize by The Russian House of Austin. DJ Russo will be on hand spinning Russian favorites mixed with international hits. For event details, click HERE.
- Christmas at the Movies - Symphony at the Movies: Come out and enjoy the sounds of the season with Cinematic Symphony's performance of some of your favorite holiday music film scores on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3 PM. From Miracle on 34th Street and the Grinch to Edward Scissorhands and even Fargo―this music is full of wonder and magic. Fun trivia and prizes with doors opening at 2:45 PM. FREE Event. To RSVP through Facebook and for additional details, click HERE.
- Eastside Holiday Market: Revelry will host the Eastside Holiday Market on Friday, Dec. 15 from 6 PM - 10 PM. Pop in for some holiday cheer and enjoy great locally sourced, curated talent from makers to music to treats and eats, and enjoy an amazing shopping experience. This market will be held only for one night, so you won't want to miss it! Family-friendly, FREE Event. For details, click HERE.
- Austin Cantorum - Carols Amid a Starry Night: Come out to celebrate the Christmas Spirit with the Austin Cantorum and their Carols Amid a Starry Night event to be held Friday, Dec. 15 from 7:30 PM - 9 PM. This event will take you on a journey through the stories and prophesies surrounding Christmas from Advent to Epiphany. Music by Jonathon Dove, James Whitburn, John Rutter and more will be featured including a U.S. premiere by Thomas LaVoy. FREE Event, donations graciously accepted. For event details, click HERE.
- Sensory Santa: Join in on a sensory-sensitive Santa experience on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10 AM - 6:30 PM in Cedar Park. This event includes having pictures taken and participating in fun activities within an environment tailored to unique needs. FREE Event. Registration required. To register and receive location confirmation, click HERE.
- Keep Austin Creating Holiday Market: All are invited to a fun East Austin creative hub for a day of celebration with over 100 artists for the Keep Austin Creating Holiday Market on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 11 PM - 5 PM. A unique holiday shopping event, this market features artist pop-ups vending locally created goods, arts, and wares and organizations that inspire and empower communities by promoting accessibility and inclusion in the arts. You don't want to miss this one-of-a-kind event. FREE Event. For details, click HERE.
- Southpark Live: A Day of Holiday Rockin' at The Grove: Southpark Meadows Shopping Center will host Southpark Live: A Day of Holiday Rockin' at The Grove on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 4 PM - 10 PM. Guests will enjoy a full day of FREE live music with holiday classic performances and promises to be a day of fun for the whole family. FREE Event. For additional details, click HERE.
- Smart Trips Austin - Bike d'Lights: What better way to kick-off the holiday season than with a bike ride with friends? Smart Trips Austin presents Bike d'Lights on Tuesday, Dec. 19 from 6 PM - 7:30 PM. Enjoy a special holiday bike ride to the Trail of Lights for a leisurely ride taking you on a tour through Bouldin Creek and Zilker neighborhood lights. The ride will conclude at the Trail of Lights for a magical experience celebrating the season. General admission at the Trail of Lights is FREE on the evening of the bike ride. There will be a movie projected at the Tree of Lights so bring a warm blanket for sitting. COSTUMES/DECORATION: To fully encourage the fun-filled holiday spirit, we highly suggest festive outfits and bike decorations. Find inspiration here. This ride is open and welcoming to all levels and ages of riders. WHERE TO MEET: Join us for pre-ride warm drinks at Manana where the ride will start. SAFETY FIRST!: Helmet and bike lights are mandatory. If you plan on walking through the Trail of Lights or staying on the premises, we highly recommend bringing a bike lock to lock up at the bike racks. NO BIKE, NO PROBLEM: Don't have a bike but want to ride? Give Austin B-cycle a try! There are stations closely located at the start and finish of the ride. TOOLKIT: If you live in Travis Heights, Bouldin Creek, or Zilker, sign up to receive your FREE Transportation Toolkit at http://smarttripsaustin.org/order-your-toolkit/. Available while supplies last! FREE Event. For event details, click HERE.
Original Link: https://patch.com/texas/downtownaustin/kickoff-holidays-these-festive-fun-events-atx