From art bazaars and festive films to holiday lights festivals and Santa sightings, we've got your top things to do in Austin this December:
11/21/18 - 12/30/18
ZACH Theatre Presents: "A Christmas Carol"
"A Christmas Carol" is back to ring in the holidays! This rockin' show provides a modern twist on the classic tale. In fact, this show has proven to be such a hit among locals and visitors that is it the most popular show in the theatre's history.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar. Credit Annie Winsett.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday season. Shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. A great way to buy hassle-free holiday gifts and support local artists.
11/23/18 - 12/20/18 (Select Dates)
Winter Wonderland at The Circuit
Circuit of The Americas
Welcome to a bright new holiday festival in Central Texas featuring a .8 mile circuit of lights, skating rink, Santa’s Village, petting zoo with camel rides, human snow globe, singing trees, movie lawn, carnival rides, tunnel of lights, trips to the top of the North Pole, musical stages and much, much more!
11/23/18 - 1/21/19
Ice Skating On The Plaza at Whole Foods
Whole Foods Lamar
Spend an afternoon on the rink at the Whole Foods flagship store on North Lamar. Then head inside for a cup of cocoa or cider and live, local music on the weekends! Daily: 10 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
German-Texan Heritage Society Christmas Market
German Free School of Austin
The German-Texan Heritage Society's annual market offers shoppers handmade, imported crafts, decorations, ornaments and more. Browse the market, visit Sankt Nikolas, listen to traditional German Christmas music and enjoy a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), gingerbread cookies and other sweet baked treats.
12/1/18 - 12/2/18
Art From the Streets Show & Sale
Austin Convention Center
Visit the 25th Annual AFTS Show & Sale to shop original works and help continue the efforts of AFTS to provide a safe, creative space for homeless and formerly homeless local artists. Profits go to the artists.
Holiday Stroll, Downtown Tree Lighting. Credit Michael Knox.
Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
Texas State Capitol
Join hundreds caroling in front of the Capitol as the tree is lit before heading down Congress Avenue for live music, shopping, art and much more.
12/2/18, 12/9/18, 12/16/18
Teddy Bear Tea
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Don't miss this annual event at the Four Seasons hotel featuring tea service, caroling and a fireside reading by Santa. Teddy Bears will be donated to Dell Children's Hospital.
Austin Symphony Orchestra presents Handel's "Messiah"
Hyde Park Baptist Church
This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. Begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing.
12/4/18 - 12/8/18
Austin Music Video Festival
Now in its third year, the Austin Music Video Fest celebrates Austin's longstanding music video heritage with screenings, awards, parties, panels and workshops around town.
The Nutcracker, Ballet Austin. Credit to Tony Spielberg.
Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker"
Long Center for the Performing Arts
Ballet Austin kicks off the season with the 55th annual production of "The Nutcracker." This family-frienldy show brings a fresh experience to the beloved holiday tradition.
12/8/18 - 12/9/18
Cherrywood Art Fair
This neighborhood fundraiser benefits the eastside arts scene. Enjoy local food artisans, live music, 80+ artists, kids crafts and a silent auction at the annual event.
12/10/18 - 12/ 31/18
54th Annual Trail of Lights
The Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. The annual Tree Lighting ceremony will be held in November, then the 5k fun run will kick off the spectacular season in early December. Plan your visit early and don't forget to take a spin under the Zilker Tree!
12/13/18 - 12/23/18
Of Mice & Music: A Jazz Tap Nutcracker
Celebrate the season with Tapestry Dance Company’s unique and highly popular take on a beloved holiday classic, with live jazz music and a swinging sound. This one-of-a-kind evening includes an original score, local musicians and some of the world’s best tap dancers.
Dale Watson at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Credit Jennifer M. Ramos.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Palmer Events Center
This holiday shopping bazaar is a fun, authentic Austin experience – for 11 days leading to Christmas, visitors can shop national and local art, handmade gifts, stocking stuffers and more while enjoying live music from the Armadillo stage and sips from a full bar. This annual tradition and cultural icon is one of Austin’s longest running art and music festivals, attracting around 40,000 shoppers each year.
12/22/18 - 12/31/18
Home for the Holidays Series
Enjoy favorite Hollywood holiday classics on the big screen at the AFS Cinema's Home for the Holidays film series, including "It's A Wonderful Life," "Meet Me in St. Louis" and more.
George Washington Carver Museum
Join the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center as they celebrate Kwanzaa with a presentation by Elizabeth Kahura on the principal of Ujima.
Austin's New Year
This alcohol-free, family-friendly event celebrates the diversity and creativity of the city with visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers and other festive performances.
People of Color Christmas
Asian American Resource Center
Set at an annual white elephant gift exchange party, "People of Color Christmas" is an original comedic play 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.