Holiday events that will get your season started right away
The holiday season in Central Texas gets into full swing this weekend. Once you put away those turkey leftovers, get ready to fa la la la la with your family and friends. Here’s a look at some of the places where you can make merry before the calendar turns to December.
Mozart’s Christmas Light Show. The annual spectacular at the Austin coffee shop is already lighting up the night. New this year: a more “immersive” experience with giant Austin-inspired objects (think guitars and the Capitol) made of lights and placed throughout the space, and a sound-activated wall of lights. Mozart’s co-owner and show founder Katrine Formby sums up Mozart’s approach: “There’s no such thing as too many Christmas lights.” 6 to 11 p.m. nightly (closed Christmas Day) through Jan. 1. Free. 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
2nd Street District Holiday Window Walk. St. Edward’s University students compete for scholarships by designing holiday window displays at participating stores; you can stroll downtown and then cast a vote for your favorite via the 2nd Street District Facebook page. Nov. 24-Dec. 14. Second Street in downtown Austin.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar. Shop more than 200 artists from Austin and surrounding areas, with art and handmade items for just about every budget. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily starting Nov. 24 (closes at 6 p.m. Dec. 24). Free admission and parking. 6100 Airport Blvd.
Domain Northside holiday events. Carolers, live music and carriage rides will enliven your shopping experience throughout the month. Plus, check out Austin-only displays including a 10-foot-tall Willie Nelson nutcracker, an armadillo snowman, and more. Various times starting Nov. 24. 11700 Domain Blvd.
Georgetown annual lighting of the square. Watch as this town north of Austin switches on its holiday light display. There will be carolers, hot chocolate and cookies, and photos with Santa. 5:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Downtown Georgetown.
Miracle on 5th Street Christmas pop-up bar. For the holiday season, the Eleanor is transforming into Miracle — one of 50 Christmas-themed bars worldwide popping up with the Miracle name this year. Expect over-the-top holiday decor, music and specialty cocktails with names like How the Gimlet Stole Christmas, You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out and the Christmopolitan. So gather your friends, put on your ugliest Christmas sweaters and get ready to toast. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily Nov. 24-Dec. 31. 307 W. Fifth St.
Santa’s Arrival Holiday Celebration at Hill Country Galleria. Bring the whole family for face painting and children’s activities, a visit from Santa, the tree lighting, music and fireworks. 6 p.m. Nov. 24. 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave.
Santa on the Terrace. The Long Center hosts the big guy in the red suit; stop by with the kids to grab a free photo with Mr. Claus overlooking the best view of the city. 10 a.m. Nov. 24. Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.
Lost Pines Christmas’ Wassail Fest. This friendly competition is one of the opening events of Bastrop’s Lost Pines Christmas celebrations. While shopping in downtown Bastrop, you’re encouraged to sample and vote on the wassail recipes of merchants and restaurants vying for the Wassail Fest trophy. You can find participants with the Wassail Fest map available online. 11 a.m. Nov. 25. Free. Main Street in Bastrop.
Zilker Tree lighting. The shining star of Austin’s holiday scene, the “tree” made of utility poles, streamers and 3,309 25-watt bulbs will be turned on for the 51st time at 6 p.m. Nov. 26. It will remain on from 6 p.m. to midnight nightly through Dec. 31. Free to visit and twirl underneath. Food and other items available for purchase. 2100 Barton Springs Road.
More holiday events coming in December:
Winter Wonderland, Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-30, Circuit of the Americas
Holiday Sing-along and Downtown Stroll, Dec. 2, Capitol and downtown
Cherrywood Art Fair, Dec. 9-10, Maplewood Elementary
Trail of Lights, Dec. 9-23 (after Dec. 2 fun run and preview party Dec. 8), Zilker Park
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Dec. 14-24, Palmer Events Center