10 Free Events to Enjoy Thanksgiving Week (Nov 21-30, 2014)

Mozart’s Light Show
  1. Mozart’s Christmas Light Show – Friday, November 21 – Sunday, January 4, from 6 p.m. – midnight. The 15-minute show will start at 6 p.m. and then repeat every hour on the hour until midnight. The FREE light show will be bigger and better than all past years!  Hot beverages will be available for purchase. Closed on Thanksgiving. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin.
  2. Walkway of Lights (Marble Falls) – Friday, November 21 – January 1, from 6-10 p.m. People come from far and wide to see the two million lights reflecting off Lake Marble Falls during the world-famous Walkway of Lights. Walkway will open on November 21st after the Christmas Light-Up Parade!  Please check the website before heading out for weather updates. The lights cannot be turned on if the ground is wet. FREE! Lakeside Park, 307 Buena Vista, Marble Falls.
  3. East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.) – Saturday, November 22 and Sunday, November 23, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. EAST is a FREE, annual, self-guided art event providing the public with an opportunity to meet the makers: the local artists and artisans who leave a lasting imprint on Austin’s vibrant, dynamic culture. Tour-goers are invited to discover new artistic talent, see working studios, learn about artists’ tools, techniques, and inspirations, and explore unique exhibition spaces and local businesses. Visit the website for information on participating artists and studios, exhibitions, and happenings. For the scoop on how to enjoy EAST with kids in tow, head over here. You can also watch a short video about EAST here. East of IH-35, west of 183, south of 290, and north of Lady Bird Lake, Austin.
  4. The Great Tree Lighting – Sunday, November 23 at 6 p.m. (This event was moved from Saturday due to rain in the forecast). The Domain will kick off the holiday season by lighting its 40-foot holiday tree – featuring 6,000 twinkling lights, 400 ornaments and a 5-foot star topper. The 30-minute tree-lighting show, starting at 6 p.m., will feature dynamic musical performances, culminating with the lighting of the tree by Santa himself. The Great Tree is located in front of Macy’s in Domain I. Earlier in the day, starting at noon in the Domain II, guests can enjoy free holiday entertainment, performances by area schools, special in-store events, craft activities, face painting, caricature drawings, balloon twisting stations and more. Check the Facebook event page for updates. FREE! The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin.
  5. Santa on the Terrace – Friday, November 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Santa Claus is coming to the Long Center! Take a break from the mall madness and experience Santa on the Terrace this Black Friday. Bring the kids for a FREE photo with Santa overlooking the best view in Austin! Sip hot chocolate, enjoy some of Austin’s favorite food trucks, and kick off the holiday season in the greatest winter wonderland in town. The Long Center, 701 W Riverside, Austin.
  6. Blue Genie Art Bazaar – November 28 – December 24, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday shopping season. The Bazaar features unique work from more than 200 local and regional artists, with a portion of proceeds going to Make-A-Wish®. Parking and admission are always FREE of charge. Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin.
  7. The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Trail of Lights (Wimberley) – Saturday, November 29 – December 31, times vary. Stroll a walking path with more than 100 lighted exhibits created by local businesses, churches, organizations and families. Roast a marshmallow at the yule log and listen to live entertainment on most nights.The trail will be open from 6–9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. See the schedule of when Santa will be in his house. FREE! EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley.
  8. Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade – Saturday, November 29, starts at 11 a.m. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Capitol and moves south on Congress, all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge. The hour-long procession features giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, marching bands, cool classic cars and Santa! At a designated time towards the end of the parade, Santa’s Helpers will line the parade route and help spectators donate new, unwrapped toys to Operation Blue Santa, which brings Christmas magic to children under 15 years old that otherwise might not receive any gifts. FREE! Congress Avenue, Austin. 
  9. Renegade Craft Fair’s Austin Holiday Market – Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30. This FREE-to-attend event will be open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day and will feature a curated selection of today’s finest independent Makers along with workshops, food and drinks, music, and more. Give the gift of handmade this holiday season and support Small Business Saturday. Shoppers will find an array of outstanding handmade goods at the Fair, ranging from holiday inspired stationery and gift wrap, unique and one-of-a-kind jewelry, children’s toys, apparel and shoes, to natural healthy and beauty products, repurposed lighting and furniture, housewares and much more. Preview this year’s line up of 100+ talented makers, food and drink, and workshops here. Admission is FREE. Parking at Palmer Events Center is $7. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin.
  10. Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting – Sunday, November 30 at 6 p.m. The Zilker Tree has been lighting the Austin skies during the holiday season since 1967. The tree, which is located in Zilker Park, will be lit for the first time this year by the winners of a citywide coloring contest. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and features local entertainment, food, novelties and live music. (Please bring cash if you’d like to patronize the vendors.) Performers include the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble and the Barton Hills Choir. After November 30, the tree will be on display nightly from approximately 5:30 p.m. until midnight. FREE! Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin.
For even more ideas, be sure to check our Free Fun Calendar!

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