So many great things to do next month. Check out our calendar.


The Trail of Lights opens Dec. 10 in Zilker Park. American-Statesman Staff

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Hayride, pick your own tree, crazy maze, playground and more. Open for the season beginning 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Dec. 21. 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin.

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm. Cut your own tree and then play old-fashioned games or roast marshmallows. 10 a.m. to dark through Dec. 24. 242 Monkey Road, Elgin.

Santa in the Garden. Find your favorite jolly old elf among the plants. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Zilker Botanical Garden. 2220 Barton Springs Road. $3-$1.

Breakfast with Santa. A light breakfast, crafts, a sing-along and Santa. 9-11 a.m. Dec. 3. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road.

Hancock Candle Trail. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3. Walk the luminaria-filled trails of Hancock Recreation Center with carols and a special guest. 811 E. 41st St.

Montopolis Holiday Celebration. With a performance by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3. Montopolis Recreation Center, 1200 Montopolis Drive.

Parents Night Out at Candy Land Castle. Stories, treats and crafts while parents get a night out. 6-10 p.m. Dec. 9. Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st St.

Trail of Lights. See Zilker Park all lighted up. 7-10 p.m. Dec. 10-23. Free Dec. 10-16. $3 Dec. 17-23 for ages 12 and older. $15 parking passes or ride the shuttle for $5, which includes admission, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 16-23. Shuttles leave from Burger Center, 3200 Jones Road, and Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe St.

Afternoon with Santa. Meet Santa and enjoy cookie decorating, crafts and snacks. 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11. $30. Cookies for Caring. Build your own cookie tin while benefiting the Statesman Season for Caring program. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 11. $35. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Erwin Center in December.

Night Before Christmas Break. Enjoy reindeer game and treats. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury St.

Teddy Bear Tea at the Four Seasons. Enjoy a traditional tea service, reading of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a visit with Santa. Bring an unwrapped new teddy bear for Dell Children’s Medical Center. $45, must make reservation at 512-685-8300. Noon and 3 p.m. Dec. 3,4,10, 11 and 18. Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd.

Explore Asia: Holiday Storytime and Crafts. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 9. Free. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road.

Caring Santa. Come get your picture taken with Santa in this special event for kids with sensory, physical and developmental differences. 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Dec. 4, Barton Creek Square and Round Rock Premium Outlets. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 4, Lakeline Mall.

Harlem Globetrotters. Start whistling now. The twirling basketball stars are back. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 28. $17-$130. Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St.


Bradley Tredway, 7, made a colorful gingerbread house at the Bastrop Public Library open house event in 2013. There are many spots to make a gingerbread house in December.

Bullock Museum. Living History Days. See history come to life. 10 a.m. Dec. 1. “The Muppet Christmas Carol” movie. $5. 1 p.m. Dec. 3. Free First Sunday: Celebrate. Learn about diverse holiday traditions. Noon-3 p.m. Dec. 4. Free. Little Texans. Drop in and play for ages 2 to 5. 10 a.m. Dec. 8. Family Workshop. See the play “Stille Nacht,” about the rise of Nazism, and write about it. It’s all tied to the exhibit “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.” For kids 10 and up. 1 p.m. Dec. 10. Science Thursdays. Hands-on activities from Central Texas Discover Engineering including boat races. 10 a.m. Dec. 15. Story time. For ages 2 to 5. Learn about the new year. 10 a.m. Dec. 22. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Neill-Cochran House Museum. Making Making History: Gingerbread Houses. $35 per house. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 3. Sunday Funday. The Natural History of the Board Game. Free. 1-4 p.m. Dec. 4. Making History: Christmas Villages. $20 per house. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 17.Neill-Cochran House, 2310 San Gabriel St.

Thinkery. Sensory friendly hours. Not a Box! Use your imagination based on the book by Antoinette Portis, “It’s Not a Box.” 9:45 a.m. Dec. 26 for 1-year-olds; 10:45 a.m. Dec. 26 for 2-year-olds; 11:45 a.m. Dec. 26 for 3-year-olds. $20 one child and adult. Little Thinkers Club: Art Start: Discovering Color, Lines and Shapes. 9:45 a.m. Wednesdays for 1-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. Wednesdays for 2-year-olds through Jan. 25. $20 per class. Tinkering Tots: Let’s Create a Soundscape. 9:45 a.m. Fridays for 2-year-olds; 10:45 a.m. Fridays for 3-year-olds through Jan. 27. $20 a class. Baby Bloomers for kids infant to 3. Study Nature this month. 9 a.m. Mondays and Saturdays. Special guests throughout the month. $4.50. Candy Chemistry Gingerbread Workshop. For ages 7 and up. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17-23. $12 per person plus $30 per kit. Tech Gingerbread Workshop. For ages 8 and up. 2:30-5 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17-23. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 24. $12 per person plus $30 per kit. Traditional Gingerbread Workshops and Tot Gingerbread Workshops (for ages 5 and younger). 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45, a.m. 11 a.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17-18, Dec. 19-23, Dec. 24, plus noon Dec. 19-23, and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19-23. $12 per person plus $20 per kit. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Contemporary Austin. Families Create! Art Car Derby. Make a model art car and race it, plus check out art cars parked on the grounds. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 10. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

Texas Museum of Science & Technology Star Party. Every Friday in December, look at the stars in the parking lot. 8 p.m. Fridays. Science Saturday with themed activities. 4-6 p.m. Dec. 24. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park.

Hill Country Science Mill. Mosaic Artwork. Be part of creating a holiday mosaic. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 19-23, Dec. 26-30. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. Kids Kraft: Fiber Frenzy. $15. 9 a.m. Dec. 17 for kindergarten-second grade; 11 a.m. 3-5 grade. Umlauf Sculpture Garden, 605 Robert E. Lee Road.


Ballet Austin’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Choreography by Stephen Mills. Photo by Tony Spielberg.

Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 9-10, 16-17, 20 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10-11, 17-18, 20-23. $15-$89. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” A modern update of the classic fairy tale. 8 p.m. Dec. 6-11, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and  1 p.m. Dec. 11. Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive. $30-$125.

Stories in Motion. Move to the tunes of “The Nutcracker” with Ballet Austin. For preschoolers and their parents. 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Dec. 14. $15. Ballet Austin, 501 W. Third St.

Zach Theatre Open House for Zach North. Get a sample of the classes you can take plus performances. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3. Zach North, 12129 RM 620 N.

“Charlotte’s Web.” Aerial artists Sky Candy bring the spider to life. 2 p.m. Dec. 3, 10; 11 a.m. Dec. 3, 10. $16-$21. Zach Theatre’s Kleberg Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside Drive.

Tatyana Lubov and Hayden Stanes dance in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Carol Rosegg

“Cici the Hip-Hopera.” A hip-hop version of the Cinderella story. $15-$20. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 4 p.m. Dec. 4. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

“Snow Queen 2: Riddle of Eternity.” This new musical from Laura Freeman tells the story of when Gabby steps into the video game of “Snow Queen 2” to reclaim her best friend Kyle. 11 a.m and 1 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17. $12-$18. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

“Holiday Heroes.” The classic story of two elves gone wrong. 11 a.m. Dec. 17. $21-$16. Zach Theatre’s Topher Theatre, 202 S. Lamar St.

“Wassail 2016: A Solstice Christmas Celebration.” A variety show featuring music, magic, dance and poetry. Benefiting Kids for Kids to help children in Darfur. 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18 (shorter version), 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18. $5-$15. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

“Petra and the Wolf.” Mother Falcon and the puppetry of Glass Half Full Theater tell this “Peter and the Wolf” adaptation. 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18. $22. Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Ave.



Storytime in the garden. Hear stories about wildlife traits.10:30 a.m. Dec. 5. $3-$1. Zilker Botanical Garden. 2220 Barton Springs Road.

BookPeople events. Audrey Coulthurst, Paula Garner and Amy Tintera read their books “Of Fire and Stars,” “Phantom Limbs” and “Ruined.” 2 p.m. Dec. 3. Story times. 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 11:30 a.m. Saturdays. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble Events: “Polar Express” pajama story time. 7 p.m. Dec. 2, all locations. Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball. Dress as your favorite Harry Potter character. 7 p.m. Dec. 9, all locations. 11 a.m. Saturday story times at all locations: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” (with sign language at Sunset Valley). Dec. 3; “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” Dec. 10; “Santa’s Sleigh Is on Its Way,” (with sign language at Sunset Valley), Dec. 17; Hap-Pea All Year, Dec. 31.

At the library

Crafternoon. 3 p.m. Dec. 1, Cepeda Branch; 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Twin Oaks Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Manchaca Road Branch.

Chibi–tastic! A Chibi drawing workshop. For ages 6 and up. 5 p.m. Dec. 1, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Hampton Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Manchaca Road Branch.

What’s Your Story? For ages 10 and up. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Faulk Central Library.

Literature Live Presents: “The Nutcracker.” 6:30 p.m. Dec.1, Manchaca Road Branch; 10:15 a.m. Dec. 2, University Hills Branch; 1 p.m. Dec. 3, Recycled Reads Bookstore; 10:15 a.m. Dec. 6, Cepeda Branch; 10:30 a.m. Dec. 7, Terrazas Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Pleasant Hill Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13, St. John Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Old Quarry Branch.

Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie! 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Yarborough Branch; 11:30 a.m. Dec. 17, Yarborough Branch; Read to Aussie! 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8, North Village Branch.

Saturday Family Movie “Elf.” 2 p.m. Dec. 3, Windsor Park Branch.

T(w)een STEM Lab. For ages 7 and up. 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Carver Branch.

Sew Happy. 5 p.m. Dec. 6, Manchaca Road Branch.

Tween and Teen STEAM. For ages 10 and up. 5 p.m. Dec. 6, University Hills Branch; 5 p.m. Dec. 20, University Hills Branch.

Family Board Game Night. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Faulk Central Library.

Felt Friends World Tour: Polar Bear Pin. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Windsor Park Branch; 6 p.m. Dec. 14, Faulk Central Library.

Anime Club. For ages 12 and up. 5 p.m. Dec. 7, University Hills Branch.

Music & Movement. 11 a.m. Dec. 9, Milwood Branch; 11:30 a.m. Dec. 14, Manchaca Road Branch.

Winterfest. Crafts, treats, book sales and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 10, Yarborough Branch.

Annual Holiday Celebration. 12:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Pleasant Hill Branch.

Holiday Fun. 1 p.m. Dec. 10, Carver Branch.

Badgerdog Creative Writing Workshop: Songwriting. 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Twin Oaks Branch.

Perler Bead Palooza. For ages 5 and up. 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Faulk Central Library.

Storybook Dance Making. 2 p.m. Dec. 11, Recycled Reads Bookstore.

Holiday Cookie Decorating. 6 p.m. Dec. 12, Ruiz Branch.

Holiday Celebration. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13, St. John Branch.

Teen Book Club “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Howson Branch. “The Scorpio Races,” by Maggie Stiefvater. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Spicewood Springs Branch.

NBTween Book Club: “The Turtle of Oman,” by Naomi Shihab Nye. 4 p.m. Dec. 14, Howson Branch. “When You Reach Me,” by Rebecca Stead.” 6 p.m. Dec. 15, Twin Oaks Branch. “Gregor the Overlander,” by Suzanne Collins. 6 p.m. Dec. 21, Spicewood Springs Branch.“Ghosts” by Raina Telgemeier. 6 p.m. Dec. 21, Yarborough Branch.

Teen Geek Night. For ages 12 and up. 5 p.m. Dec. 14, University Hills Branch.

The Best Nest Family Book Club “Bud, Not Buddy,” by Christopher Paul Curtis. 6 p.m. Dec. 15, Faulk Central Library.

Horrifically Happy Holiday Movie: “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” 6 p.m. Dec. 15, Carver Branch.

Star Wars: May the Party Be With You. 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Little Walnut Creek Branch.

Family Movie Matinee: “The BFG.” 4 p.m. Dec. 20, Cepeda Branch.

A Magical Holiday Party. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Southeast Branch.

Mostly Manga Bookclub: “My Hero Academia.” 5 p.m. Dec. 21, University Hills Branch.

Family Craft Night. 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Hampton branch at Oak Hill.

“Kwanzaa Program.” 2 p.m. Dec. 27, Carver Branch.