20+ Free “Don’t Miss” Events In Austin This December

The holidays are upon us and the festivities have begun! Check out these free events in and around Austin that are family friendly and full of holiday cheer!

Photo via Austin Trail of Lights Facebook Page

Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.

The holidays are upon us and the festivities have begun! Check out these free events in and around Austin that are family friendly and full of holiday cheer!

Christmas Stroll (Georgetown)
November 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. and December 1 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Downtown Georgetown 
The Magic of the Stroll is real and will bring memories on this 38th Annual Celebration. The Georgetown Square will be transformed into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of a multitude of trees outlined with twinkling white lights, old-fashioned lamp poles, Santa in the Christmas tree farm waiting to hear from both naughty and nice. It’s the place to journey back in time as you wonder through Bethlehem Village. You can also have dessert with the Grinch at 5 p.m. on Friday. FREE!

Christmas In the Community With The Austin Symphony
December 1 – December 20 | Various hours and locations
The Austin Symphony is once again bringing FREE music to all Austinites this holiday season. “Christmas in the Community” is a series of twelve concerts held throughout the city of Austin featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music. The program kicks off on December 1st with woodwinds at the Macy’s at Barton Creek Mall and concludes December 20th with big band music at the Austin Public Library downtown. All twelve dates, times, and locations are listed here.

Mozart’s Christmas Light Show
Daily through January 1  |  Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
FREE Christmas light show every evening, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The show plays at the top of each hour, starting at 6 p.m.

Lost Pines Christmas
November 24 through December 23 | Times and locations vary
Escape to Bastrop, an original Texas town with a fresh approach to life, to enjoy a true Lost Pines Christmas!
Celebrate the holiday season in Historic Downtown Bastrop. From an old-fashioned Main Street Christmas to a dazzling night-time holiday parade, food and wine events, and activities for the entire family, you’ll love how Bastrop shares the season during this month-long holiday event. Downtown merchants offer extended shopping hours throughout the holiday season.
Kick off the holiday season at a Lighting Party on Nov. 24. Come out to Fisherman’s Park at dusk to visit Santa, enjoy hot cocoa and enjoy the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” on the outdoor big screen.
Or have the ultimate winter fun at Lost Pines Christmas Snow Day on Dec. 8. With snow slides and a play area, friends and families can enjoy some holiday cheer and a few snowball fights (even in Central Texas). Snow Day will feature food and children’s activities – such as face painting and balloon animals.
Families will also enjoy the famous Lost Pines Christmas Lighted Christmas Parade featuring more than 100 fanciful floats and local participants lighting up Main Street in this joyful tradition.
For a full schedule of events visit Lost Pines Christmas. Make it a family weekend getaway and stay overnight to truly experience everything Bastrop.
Bastrop is home to a bustling art scene, vibrant nightlife, quaint restaurants offering home cooked meals and breathtaking nature with abundant outdoor activities. From the moment you cross the iconic Old Iron Bridge and step foot on its charming downtown streets, you feel welcomed – welcome to it all!

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops (Round Rock)
Daily Through December 24 | Activities And Hours Vary | Bass Pro Shops, 200 Bass Pro Drive, Round Rock, TX
Free photos with Santa, carolers, crafts, cookies and hot chocolate! FREE!

Blair Woods Family Nature Day
Saturday, December 1 | from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Blair Woods Preserve 5401 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin, TX
Join Travis Audubon for a morning of educational activities at Blair Woods Sanctuary, a natural oasis in east Austin! This Nature Day will be all about Things With Wings, so come prepared to learn about birds, bugs, bats, and more! We will be joined by some great local organizations, including Capital Area Master Naturalists, Lost Pines Master Naturalists, and the Austin Nature and Science Center. Snacks and water will be provided, and every guest has a chance to win a Travis Audubon prize package!
This event is free and open to the public. Direct any questions about this event to Caley Zuzula.
Parking for this event will be at Heritage Pointe Apartments (1950 Webberville Rd.). Once you enter the gate to the complex, continue driving left through the parking lot until you see a Travis Audubon sign, which is located next to a gate that leads to Blair Woods. You may use any visitor-assigned parking. We thank Heritage Pointe for kindly allowing us to use their parking for this event!
This is a weather-dependent event, so if there is rain Saturday morning check out the event page for the event status.

Santa in the Garden
Saturday, December 1 | from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m | Zilker Botanical Garden – Garden Center | 2220 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX
This PARD event is indoors and takes place rain or shine. Skip the lines at the mall and bring the family to meet Santa & Mrs. Claus. Shop in our Chrysalis Gift Shop & enjoy 20% off during the event. Bring your own camera to capture this special event! Tasty treats & fun crafts.

Christmas Vacation Free Outdoor Screening Village Of Lights Event
Saturday, December 1 | from 5:30 to 9 p.m. | Community First Village 9301 Hog Eye Rd. Austin, TX
Join us for the FREE third annual Community First! Village of Lights
Friday, November 30, Saturday, December 1,
Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8
Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Road, Austin, TX
With more than 200,000 lights choreographed to holiday music, the Community First! Village of Lights is one of the biggest Christmas light displays in Central Texas.
Be sure to include a stop at the Advent Market to shop for unique, handcrafted gifts made by formerly homeless crafstmen and artisans who live at the Village. Your purchase of gifts and concessions during the event will help our Community First! Village neighbors earn a dignified income.
Schedule of Events:
Advent Market and Concessions Open
Lights on!
Movie at the Community Cinema
Lights out. Come again soon!
Movie Schedule:
Friday, November 30
The Polar Express
Saturday, December 1
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Friday, December 7
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Saturday, December 8
A Christmas Story
Mobile Loaves & Fishes invites you to a free movie during our annual Village of Lights. Come early and see the lights, then stay for a family-friendly holiday film!
Grab chairs and a blanket, bring family and friends and enjoy this special screening.
Come to explore Community First! Village, pick your spot and enjoy your favorite movie snacks from the Community Grille. Burgers, french fries, snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase (cards and cash accepted!).
The event is free, however, a $5 donation would be highly appreciated. Donations can be made electronically when RSVPing to this event.
We encourage you to support our Community Grille rather than bringing outside food and drinks.
Dress in weather-appropriate clothing and don’t forget your flashlights and bug spray. We also recommend wearing closed-toe shoes.
Like our Facebook page for all the latest news & updates from The Community Cinema.
Dogs on leashes are welcome at Community Cinema movie nights!
Interested in renting the Community Cinema amphitheater for a private event? Email [email protected]
Movies begin at full dark and/or ~an hour after event start time, depending on the season.

Christmas Family Night (Round Rock)
Friday, December 7 | at 6:30 p.m. | Main Street, Downtown Round Rock
During Christmas Family Night, Main Street will be decorated with small wooden houses that host various games and activities. The event kicks off with a welcome from Mayor Alan McGraw, followed by the illumination of holiday lights. Then Santa makes his grand entrance. This FREE event includes activities for the entire family including live music, dancers, candle making, game booths, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus and more. Children should bring their wish lists for Santa Claus and parents are encouraged to bring their own cameras for pictures with Santa. Plus, enjoy free hot dogs, popcorn, hot chocolate, and other refreshments, activities and snacks.

2018 Old Town Christmas Festival (Leander)
Saturday, December 2 | from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. |  100 N. Brushy Street, Leander
Every first Saturday of December: Old Town Leander comes alive to spread Christmas joy throughout the community. This event includes the Old Town Rudolph Run 5K, Leander in Lights Parade, a snow zone, activities for the kids, pictures with Santa, a Christmas tree farm, local school performances and entertainment, food court, local vendors, and more. Free to attend. Some children’s activities require a fee.
Event Schedule

Budafest (Buda)
Saturday, December 1 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday December 2 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Downtown Buda / City Park

Holiday traditions start in Buda, TX, so bring the whole family to Downtown Buda. Explore the art market to find that perfect gift or add your own touch at Santa’s Artisan Workshop. Watch their eyes sparkle with thousands of lights during the night parade and fireworks! And don’t forget the dog! Come back on Sunday for the one of a kind Reindog Parade as you and your dressed-up-pup walk down Main Street for all to see.
Saturday, December 1, from 12 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, December 2, from 12 to 5 p.m.
Night parade and fireworks happen on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Pfestive Pfarmers Market
Tuesday, December 11 and 18 | from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Heritage Park 901 Old Austin Hutto Rd. Pflugerville, TX
Visit the Pflugerville Pfarmers Market for extra shopping for your holiday meals and gifts. The market brings fresh, locally grown and prepared foods to the Pflugerville community. Vendors sell a variety of produce, artisan baked goods, free-range meats, jarred salsas, crafts and more. Pfestive Pfarmers Market days include Nov. 13, Nov. 27, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. The market is located inside The Green Red Barn in Heritage Park, 901 Old Austin Hutto Road. Remember, when you shop at the Pflugerville Pfarmers Market, you are supporting local farms and small businesses.

German Christmas Market
Saturday, December 1 | from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | German Free School of Austin, 507 E 10th St, Austin, TX
Come for the Food and Entertainment. Stay for a unique shopping experience. We will have authentic German, handcrafted Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, Schwiebogen, smokers and decor. Enjoy some Gluehwein (hot spiced wine), Christmas Stollen made by The New World Bakery and gingerbread hearts made by Uwe’s Bakery. Up for some German cookies? Try out Silke’s German Gourmet Cookies. Need to know where to park your car? Please carpool if you can. If you don’t have any luck on the surrounding streets, try the hotels: Hyatt House, Holiday Inn Express.

Pfestival of Lights and Christmas Parade (Pflugerville)
December 1 | from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Main Street, Downtown Pflugerville
Join us on Main St. in Downtown Pflugerville as we kick off the pfestive season. Parade begins at 5 p.m. and ends with the tree lighting and photos with Santa (bring your own camera). Enjoy pfestive activities in Downtown Pflugerville from 4-7 pm, including free cookies and hot chocolate, musical performances and a yule log fire. The parade is presented by Knights of Columbus Council 10373.

Holiday Sing-Along And Downtown Stroll
Saturday, December 1 | at 5 p.m. | Congress Ave., Downtown Austin
Kickstart your holiday season at the Downtown Austin Alliance’s Holiday Stroll on Saturday, December 1 along Congress Avenue between 9th and 11th streets. Join us from 5:00 to 10:00 pm for a night of holiday cheer in downtown Austin, including the annual KUT & KUTX 98.9 Holiday Sing-Along and the lighting of the downtown tree. A free, family-friendly event, Holiday Stroll has something for everyone including photos with Santa, a petting zoo, live ice sculpture, holiday arts & crafts, a live mural painting, local food trucks, artisan vendors, and more.

HEB Free First Sunday at the Museum: Giving
Sunday, December 2 | from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin
Celebrate the season by giving back to others! Create, sing, and enjoy activities that focus on the joy of giving and receiving. Enjoy FREE exhibition admission all day during Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibitions that showcase artifacts from around the state. At December’s H-E-B Free First Sunday: Bring a smile to someone else’s face by making a handmade card. Sing songs, listen to stories, and create crafts celebrating generosity and giving at Storytime. Reflect on a time when you gave to someone else and how it made you feel with a creative writing activity from The Library Foundation’s Badgerdog.

Mueller Tower Lighting
Tuesday, December 4 | from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. | John Gaines Park 2708 Sorin St, Austin, TX          
Please join us on Tuesday, Dec. 4 for one of Mueller’s most beloved traditions, the 13th Annual Tower Lighting. This free, family-friendly event will feature: Music from the Reagan High School Drumline, Coffee from Starbucks, Cookies from Lady Quackenbush’s Cakery, Croissants and soup from La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, Sandwiches and giveaways from H-E-B , Photobooth from TapSnap, Additional giveaways or activities from David Weekley Homes, CalAtlantic Homes and Kerbey Lane Cafe.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop (Cedar Park)
Friday, December 7 | from 6:30-9 p.m. | Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park
The Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop will feature live music, carriage rides, games & prizes, inflatables, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), and arts & crafts projects. Admission is free.

Nyle Maxwell’s Christmas Dreams And Snowy Things
Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Chasco Family YMCA, 1812 N. Mays Street, Round Rock
The CHASCO Family YMCA will see some snow this Christmas! Head to the Boles Family Sports Complex (on North Mays Street) in Round Rock on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm to be a part of it! There will be “Real Snow” activities as part of the fanfare for their Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things event.

Austin Trail Of Lights
December 10-23 | from 7 to 10 p.m. | Zilker Park, Austin
Admission is FREE from December 10 through December 13 and from December 17 through December 19. Check the Austin Trail of Lights website for admission fees on other dates and event schedules. Children 11 and under are FREE every night! Parking passes and shuttle tickets are available online.


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