It could be the most wonderful time of the year, and the busiest as well. There are so many holiday events happening in and around Austin that you’ve got to pick and choose and prioritize.


We’re here to help with a selection of events, including where to see lights, where to see Santa, where to catch favorite movies and where to make holiday crafts. Pay close attention to those weeks when school is out and kids will need something to do.


More events will be announced, so check our weekly family calendar that runs on Sunday in print and online at austin360.com.


Holiday light viewings


Emily Ann Theatre Trail of Lights. 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30-Dec. 28. Donations accepted. Emily Ann Theatre, 1101 Ranch Road 2325, Wimberley. emilyann.org


Austin Trail of Lights. Zilker Park turns into a lighted trail. 7-10 p.m. Dec. 10-23 in Zilker Park. Free Dec. 10-12, 15-18; $5 other nights; children younger than 12 are free. austintrailoflights.org


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Luminations. See the Wildflower Center lined with luminarias. 6-10 p.m. Dec. 5-8, 12-15. $18, free children younger than 5. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org


Holiday Light Stroll. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa provides a free festive trail. At sunset, Nov. 30-Jan. 1. 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road, Lost Pines. hyatt.com


A Dickens Christmas in Lockhart. Celebrate Christmas Victorian style with family events and a lighted parade at 7 p.m. Dec. 6. The event is Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 on the square.


Christmas tree lightings


Zilker Tree Lighting. Be among the first to take a spin under the Zilker Tree. 6 p.m. Dec. 1. The tree will stay lighted through Jan. 1. Zilker Park. austintexas.gov


Driskill Hotel Tree Lighting. 6 p.m. Dec. 3. Free. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St. driskillhotel.com


Tower Lighting in Mueller. Hear holiday music and enjoy giveaways. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. John Gaines Park, 2708 Sorin St.


Hill Country Galleria Christmas Tree Lighting. Many activities for the kids beginning at 2 p.m., but Santa arrives and the tree gets lit at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 Ingrid Michaelson also performs at this event hosted by Mix 94.7. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave. hillcountrygalleria.com


Christmas tree shopping


Evergreen Farms Christmas Trees. Cut your own tree, paint pine cones, play games and more. 10 a.m. to dark Nov. 29 and Saturdays, noon to dark weekdays and Sundays, noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Evergreen Farms, 242 Monkey Road, Elgin. evergreen-farms.com


Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Cut your Christmas tree, explore mazes, go on a train ride and more. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5:30 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Thursdays Nov. 29-Dec. 22, but check the Facebook page to see if there are still trees available. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Natures Way, Elgin. elginchristmastreefarm.com


Sweet Eats Fruit Farm Christmas at the Farm. Get your tree and see Santa and live reindeer. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 30-Dec. 22, plus Nov. 29. $16 a person. Kids younger than 2 free.


Sweet Berry Farm. Thanksgiving Celebration. The farm will be open all week with hayrides, corn mazes, and more. There’s no trees here, but there are turkeys to take photos with and pumpkins to buy. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday. $16 for kids 3-14. $6 for 15 and older. Free for kids 2 and younger. 1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls. sweetberryfarm.com


Gingerbread happenings


Four Seasons Gingerbread Village. Beginning Nov. 25, the gingerbread village is open for viewing. Four Seasons Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. fourseasons.com/austin


Westin Life-sized Gingerbread House. Yes, you can dine in a real gingerbread house. Now through Jan. 1. The Westin Downtown Austin, 310 E. Fifth St. Reserve your meal at gingerbreadhouse@westinaustindowntown.com


Gingerbread House decorating. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 12, $25. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com


Contemporary Austin Families Create: Gingerbread Villas. See the world through the art of Carol Bove. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org


Thinkery Gingerbread Workshops. Classic. 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15, Dec. 20-23, Dec. 24 (except no 1:30 p.m.). $5 per person, plus $20 per house kit. Seriously Sweet Structures for ages 8 and up. 2 p.m. Dec. 7-8, Dec. 15, Dec. 20-23. $5, plus $30 per house kit. Candy Chemistry. For ages 7 and up. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 7-8, Dec. 15, Dec. 20-24. $5, plus $30 per house kit. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org


Events giving back


Turkey Trot and Kids K. The Kids K starts this Thanksgiving tradition. Benefits Caritas of Austin. $10-$38. 8:45 a.m. Nov. 28. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thundercloud.com/event-info


Chuy’s Children’s Giving to Children Parade. The parade returns the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Free. 11 a.m. Nov. 30. Bring an unwrapped new toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa while you see the floats go by. chuysparade.com


RELATED: Generations celebrate parade


Teddy Bear Teas. Bring a new teddy bear to donate to local nonprofits. Hear Santa read "’Twas the Night Before Christmas" while enjoying tea and caroling. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 1-15. While there, check out the Gingerbread Village. Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. Make your reservation, 512-685-8300; fourseasons.com/austin.


Brush Square Holiday Candlelight Celebration. Brush Square Museums (O. Henry and Susanna Dickinson museums) host this event. Celebrate the holidays the old-fashioned way including play and holiday crafts. Bring a new or gently used sleeping bag and food items for the Austin Animal Center and our friends at Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center. Free. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 7. 409 E. Fifth St. facebook.com/BrushSquareMuseumsFoundation


Cookies for Caring. Pick up a tin filled with cookies from around the city. $50 per tin. Benefits Statesman Season for Caring. 1 p.m. Dec. 15, Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St. driskillhotel.com


Santa spottings


Pictures with Santa. Through Dec. 24, Barton Creek Square, Domain, Lakeline Mall, Round Rock Premium Outlets. Reserve your time slot ahead of time at simonsanta.com.


Santa on the Terrace. Come to the Long Center the day after Thanksgiving to take a picture with Santa with a view of the city, plus treats and activities. 8 a.m. Nov. 30. Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org


Caring Santa. A special Santa for kids with sensory or other differences. 9-10:30 a.m. Dec. 8, Barton Creek Square. 10-11:30 a.m. Dec. 8, Lakeline Mall. Make reservations at simonsanta.com.


Hill Country Galleria Santa’s Workshop. Santa will be available for photo-ops noon to 5 p.m. Sundays Nov. 24-Dec. 22; 4-7 p.m. Nov. 25-27, Dec. 5, Dec. 12, Dec. 16-19; 4-8 p.m. Dec. 6, Dec. 13, Dec. 20; noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 29-30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14, Dec. 21, Dec. 23; noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 24. Free, but pictures available for a fee. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. hillcountrygalleria.com


Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Free photos with Santa and activities. 5-8 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 27, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and weekdays Dec. 8-23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 28 and Dec. 24, 1-8 p.m. Nov. 29, 3-8 p.m. Dec. 2-6. Bass Pro Shops Round Rock, 200 Bass Pro Drive, Round Rock; Cabela’s Buda, 15570 S. Interstate 35, Buda. basspro.com/shop/en/santas-wonderland


St. John Holiday Celebration. 3 p.m. Dec. 12, St. John Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Christmas Bash. Visit with St. Nick and enjoy crafts and an indoor bounce house. 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 1. Lively Middle School, 201 E. Marry St. Hosted by Restore Austin. restoreaustin.com


A Magical Evening Cookie Decorating With Santa. Hosted by Brungot Farms. 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. $40 for one child and one adult. Camp Twin Lakes YMCA Dining Hall in Cedar Park. brungotfarms.com


Skate with Santa. Noon to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane. Admission required.


Santa’s Coming to Frost. Local Frost banks will offer Santa photos at 10 a.m. Dec. 14.


RELATED: What if Santa doesn’t bring the toy your child wants?


Theater viewings


"A Christmas Carol." Zach Theatre’s annual show for ages 6 and up. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23, Nov. 26-27, Nov. 29-30, 2:30 p.m. Nov. 30. More dates through Dec. 29. Tickets start at $30. Topfer Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd. zachtheatre.org


"The Snowy Day." The children’s book comes to the stage. 2 p.m. Dec. 1. $10-$65. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org


"A Christmas Carol: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." The classic tale gets an environmental spin. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 7-8, 14-15. $10-$15. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org


"Holiday Heroes." Zach Theatre’s traditional family show of elf hijinks returns for ages 3 and up. 11 a.m. Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. $27-$19. Topfer Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd. zachtheatre.org


Holiday Show with Milly McSilly. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 6. $12. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com


Ballet Austin’s "The Nutcracker." The classic holiday ballet returns to the stage. 2 p.m. Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15, Dec. 20-23 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Dec. 13-14, Dec. 18-22. $20-$99. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org


Circus Chickendog, "The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!)" See the dogs perform the classic story. 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19-22, Dec. 26-29, Jan. 2-4. 4:30 p.m. Jan. 1 and Jan. 5. $37-$15. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. vortexrep.org


Circque Musica’s "Holiday Wishes." Circus performers delight to holiday music. 2 p.m. Dec. 24. $35-$75. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. Hebcenter.com


"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical." 3 p.m. Dec. 29. $38-$68. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. Hebcenter.com


"The Elves and the Shoemaker." Literature Live’s production for ages 5 and up. 11 a.m. Nov. 23, Central Library. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Howson Branch. 10 a.m. Dec. 3, Southeast Branch. 3;30 p.m. Dec. 5, Milwood Branch. 1 p.m. Dec. 7, Recycled Reads Bookstore. 11 a.m. Dec. 9, Hampton Branch. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 11, North Village Branch. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Manchaca Branch, 11 a.m. Dec. 14, Carver Branch. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 18, Twin Oaks Branch. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 19, Windsor Park Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Movie screenings


"The Muppet Christmas Carol." 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 1. $5-$8. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com


"Polar Express 3-D." 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 9. 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 7-8, $13-$15. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com


Come meet Olaf from "Frozen." 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14. $12. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com


Flix Jr. "The Grinch." See the animated 2018 version. 11 a.m. Dec. 8. "The Polar Express." 11 a.m. Dec. 14-15. $2. "Elf." 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7. $5. Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. Interstate 35, Suite B1, Round Rock. flixbrewhouse.com


Alamo Drafthouse. "The Polar Express" Movie Party. 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Lakeline. Noon Dec. 15, Mueller. 3:45 p.m. Dec. 8, Slaughter Lane. "Elf" Movie Party. 7 p.m. Dec. 18, 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 7 p.m. Dec. 17, Lakeline. 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 2:45 p.m. Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Mueller. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 4:15 p.m. Dec. 14, Slaughter Lane. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 4 p.m. Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Village. "The Grinch" 2018 Movie Party. 4 p.m. Dec. 15, Lakeline. 3:15 p.m. Dec. 8, Mueller. 4:10 p.m. Dec. 15, Slaughter Lane.


"Elf." 1 p.m. Dec. 19, Terrazas Branch. libraryaustin.gov


"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Carver Branch. libraryaustin.gov


"The Nightmare Before Christmas." 3:30 p.m. Dec. 20, St. John Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Music listening


Downtown Holiday Stroll. Sing along to holiday music from KUT and KUTX, plus meet Santa, and the Capitol tree lighting. 5-10 p.m. Dec. 7. Free. Steps of the Capitol. kutx.org


Jingle Bell Jamboree. Crafts, games and performances by Joe McDermott and Koo Koo Kanga Roo. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 7, the Domain.


Holiday Singing with Miss Ariel. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 18. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com


Rock & Roll Playhouse. The Music of the White Stripes and Holiday Celebration. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 15. $12-$15. The Mohawk. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com


Carol Karaoke and Cocoa Sing-Along. 2 p.m. Dec. 22, Recycled Reads Bookstore.


Playing


Holiday-themed Disney Junior Play Date. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 7, Barton Creek Square near JCPenney. Noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 7, Round Rock Premium Outlets, near the Children’s Play Area. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 14, Lakeline Mall, near Dillard’s.


Thinkery Baby Bloomers. For children younger than 3. December’s theme is winter wonderland. 9 a.m. Mondays and Saturdays except Dec. 23 and Dec. 30. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org


Science Mill. Sleigh Racer Challenge. Create your own sleigh out of recycled materials, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 29-30. Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org


Book readings


Story time at Alexa James. SJ Murray, Abianne Miller Falla and Courtney Smith debut "Ralph’s Christmas Quest." 10 a.m. Dec. 5, Alexa James Baby, 908 W. 12th St. alexajbaby.com


Holiday story and craft time. Saturdays at the Domain, Dec. 7-21.


Barnes & Noble Events: Story time and activities featuring "The Polar Express." 7 p.m. Dec. 6. 11 a.m. Saturday story times at all locations: "Dear Santa" and "Cookies for Santa" Nov. 30; "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Dec. 7; "Construction Site on Christmas Night" Dec. 21. barnesandnoble.com


Crafting


Holiday Nature Creations. Make ornaments using natural materials. 10 a.m. Dec. 14. Free with admission. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org


Make an ornament. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 19. $7. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com


Holiday Cards Family Crafting. 3 p.m. Nov. 25, Spicewood Springs Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Holiday Craft-a-palooza. 11 a.m. Nov. 30, St. John’s Branch. 2 p.m. Dec. 7, Cepeda Branch. 3 p.m. Dec. 8, Walnut Creek Branch. Noon Dec. 14, University Hills. 11 a.m. Dec. 21, Carver Branch. 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21, Windsor Park Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Reuse Book Folding: Holiday Tree Make & Decorate folded book tree. 2 p.m. Nov. 30, Recycled Reads Bookstore. libraryaustin.gov


Green Gift: Reuse Material Stockings made of reuse fabric and paper. 1 p.m. Dec. 7, Recycled Reads Bookstore. libraryaustin.gov


Paper Snowflake Craft. 2 p.m. Dec. 7, Willie Mae Kirk Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Holiday Crafts and Cocoa. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Ruiz Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Noche de Fiesta. 5 p.m. Dec. 13, Southeast Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Holiday Open House. Noon, Dec. 14, Manchaca Road Branch. 1 p.m. Dec. 14, Hampton Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Recycled Reads Annual Holiday Event. 12:15 p.m. Dec. 14, Recycled Reads Bookstore. libraryaustin.gov


Holiday Celebration. 2 p.m. Dec. 14, Milwood Branch. libraryaustin.gov


Holiday Slime Saturday. 2 p.m. Dec. 14, Howson Branch.


New Year’s Eve celebrating


New Year’s Eve Balloon Stomp. Details and tickets to be announced. Dec. 31. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org


Austin’s New Year. Details to come, but this family-friendly event ends with fireworks well before midnight. austinsnewyear.com


Book readings


Story time at Alexa James. SJ Murray, Abianne Miller Falla and Courtney Smith debut "Ralph’s Christmas Quest." 10 a.m. Dec. 5, Alexa James Baby, 908 W. 12th St. alexajbaby.com


Holiday story and craft time. Saturdays at the Domain, Dec. 7-21.


Barnes & Noble Events: Story time and activities featuring "The Polar Express." 7 p.m. Dec. 6. 11 a.m. Saturday story times at all locations: "Dear Santa" and "Cookies for Santa" Nov. 30; "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Dec. 7; "Construction Site on Christmas Night" Dec. 21. barnesandnoble.com