Oh, it could be a long week next week. Many schools are out all week, and we know families are looking for things to fill those days.

Time to get inspired by the upcoming holidays with these family-friendly events.


Caring Santa. Come get your picture taken with Santa in this special event for kids with sensory, physical and developmental differences. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Lakeline Mall, 1200 Lakeline Mall Drive. simon.com/caring-santa.

Beginning Friday

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. Friday-Dec. 21. 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. elginchristmastreefarm.com.

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


Turkey Trot Kids K. $8-$10 a kid. 8:15 a.m. Thursday. Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive. thundercloud.com/turkey-trot/event-info


Santa on the Terrace. Get your picture taken with Santa with Austin as a backdrop. Free. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday. Long Center. 701 Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.

Friday and Saturday

Lights Spectacular Bling Bar. Make your own LED jewelry. $5 to make two battery-powered gifts.  10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org.

Beginning Saturday

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. Saturday and Nov. 27, Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11 and 18. Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. fourseasons.com/austin

Jasper Czysz, 4, holds onto his Hot Wheels toy he is ready to donate, but first watches the annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade.


Chuy’s 28th Children Giving to Children Parade. Line the streets of Congress Avenue from the Capitol to Cesar Chavez Street to see this holiday parade. Bring an unwrapped gift for Operation Blue Santa. Free. 11 a.m. Saturday. chuysparade.com

Sunday, Nov. 27

Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Take a spin under the tree for the first time of the season. 6 p.m. Nov. 27. The tree will be lighted 6 p.m.-midnight Nov. 27-Dec. 31. Zilker Park. austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree

The Zilker tree will be lighted on Nov. 27 for the 50th time.. SUZANNE CORDEIRO/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN.

More things to do with families

If you don’t want to go full-on holiday, take in a musical with a classic story.

“Charlotte’s Web.” Aerial artists Sky Candy bring the spider to life. 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 11 a.m. Saturday. $16-$21. Zach Theatre’s Kleberg Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside Drive. zachtheatre.org

“Annie.” See the classic musical. $29-$99. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday. Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Or head to the movie theater for these family-friendly films:

“Trolls.” The dolls with the large-and-in-charge hair come to life in this movie with the voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. PG.

“Moana.” Disney’s animated tale with the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame takes us on an adventure across the ocean. Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) navigates the ocean with the help of demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock). It opens Wednesday. PG.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” From the mind of “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling comes this story of beasts lost in New York City at a time before Harry Potter. Eddie Redmayne stars. PG-13.

Or go explore nature.

Austin Nature & Science Center has three events this week. Family Stargazing. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Free. Family Archery Day. For ages 6 and older. 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday. $3. Family Atlatl Day. learn how prehistoric hunters took down mammoths and use a atlatl (spear thrower). 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Free. Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Drive. austintexas.gov/ansc