Creek Show with Waller Creek Conservancy. The Waller Creek Conservancy’s Creek Show features six luminescent, site-specific art installations all created by local talent. Families can stroll along the creek to take in the light-based pieces, illustrating the intersection of natural environment, innovative design and urban life, during the days of the show. There will also be a variety of events, including music, family-friendly activities hosted by the Thinkery, an artist talk introducing the half-dozen artists, and an art ride on the final day. Bike your way through an art-centric tour starting at Laguna Gloria. 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through Nov. 18. Free. Waller Creek between 5th and 8th streets. creekshow.com.
Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade. The annual parade down Congress Avenue doubles as a toy drive for the Austin Police Department’s Operation Blue Santa program. Bring new, unwrapped toys to donate at a designated time during the procession, when a group of Santa’s helpers will line the parade route and help spectators give their toys. Highlights of the parade include giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, spectacular marching bands, cool classic cars — and Santa, of course. Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade starts at the Capitol and moves south to Cesar Chavez Street. 11 a.m. Nov. 18. Texas State Capitol, 11th Street and Congress Avenue. Free. chuysparade.com.
2nd Annual Austin Mac & Cheese Festival. The unapologetically cheesiest dish in American cuisine has returned as the star of the mother of all food festivals. Austin Food Magazine is once again producing this mac and cheese extravaganza to celebrate everyone’s most favorite side dish. Some of Austin’s best chefs and eateries — including Burro Cheese Kitchen, Stiles Switch BBQ and Eden East — will battle it out to see who truly has the best mac and cheese in the city. With up to 35 vendors, you’ll need to come in your comfy pants. 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 19. $20-$100. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, 6020 Dillard Circle. eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-austin-mac-cheese-festival-tickets-37208634026.
ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot. In Austin, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition: either walking or running for a good cause the morning before we all eat a whole lot of turkey. The Turkey Trot features a 5-mile run that you can participate in either timed or untimed or a 1-mile walk, depending on what you’re in the mood for. There’s also a kids K so everyone in the family can participate. It’s the largest 5-mile run in Texas, with more than 20,000 participants each year, and it benefits Caritas of Austin, a nonprofit that supports the city’s working poor and homeless people. All proceeds go to Caritas. 9:30 a.m. Nov. 23. $10-$35. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thundercloud.com/turkey-trot/event-info/.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.” The television special we all grew up with is coming to life on stage to kick off the holiday season. Come see all your favorite characters from the Christmas classic, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph himself. The Long Center is also hosting the annual Santa on the Terrace the morning of Nov. 24. Stop by with the kids to grab a free photo with Santa Claus overlooking the best view of the city. 4 p.m. Nov. 24, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 25. $29-$59. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664, thelongcenter.org.