What’s Up? Weekly: December 25-29, 2017

Looking for things to do in Austin this week? What’s Up Weekly highlights some of the exciting Austin events featured on our Free Fun Calendar! Have an event to add to the calendar? Submit it here.

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.

Happening All Week

Mozart’s Christmas Light Show
Tues-Fri, Dec. 26-29 | from 6 to 10 p.m. | Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd
Thousands of dazzling lights have been sculpted into giant iconic objects, custom-made in Greece, that evoke Austin’s culture and the Christmas season, including a dozen guitars, the State Capitol, and a tree filled with presents, plus, an audio-activated wall of lights. Thousands of other lights will be imaginatively strung in the trees, facades, and rooflines. All will be placed around Mozart’s lakeside deck. For refreshment, Mozart’s acclaimed coffee and hot chocolate can be purchased inside the coffee house and at kiosks outdoors. Special holiday goodies from Mozart’s bakery will also be available. High Points of the Show/Timing: The exhilarating high points of the show, super light-ups and live choral singing, will be spaced throughout the entire evening. Families can relax and arrive at any time to get their over-the-top dose of Christmas magic. Show is FREE!

5th Annual Holiday Model Train Show (Round Rock)
Wed-Fri, Dec. 27-29 | from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | ArtSpace, 231 E Main St, Round Rock
Visit a dynamic train display replete with a Harry Potter scene, a 1950s city with a trolley weaving through its downtown that is filled with vintage cars, a farm, amusement park, mountain range where Boy Scouts are on an outing, an old train depot, and even a water tower, just like Round Rock! For a donation to the Tinplate Trackers, you can be a “junior engineer” and operate the train controls, many of which have different speeds and audio components (bells, engineer’s commands, etc). Additionally, raffle tickets are available for purchase to enter to win a Thomas the Train set. To add an interactive component for children and families, they are also offering “ArtSpace Activity Booklets,” containing the ever popular scavenger hunt. FREE!

Alamo Kids Camp: The Peanuts Movie ($1)
Wed-Fri, Dec. 27-29 | various times | multiple Alamo Drafthouse theaters
Bring your kids of all ages to this special movie showing! You pick the price – tickets just $1, $3, or $5! Proceeds from screenings of this film benefit Ruby’s Rainbow.


Monday – Merry Christmas!

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Whole Foods Kids Club
Tuesday, Dec. 26 | at 9:30 a.m. | Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr
Kids ages 2-5 will enjoy snacks and a special storytime. Parental supervision is requested. FREE!

Free Admission to Laguna Gloria
Tuesday, Dec. 26 | from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | The Contemporary Austin, Laguna Gloria, 3809 W 35th St
Visit this gorgeous historic estate and its art collection, part of The Contemporary Austin. Learn more about the site’s history and legacy here. Today, you can enjoy the museum and grounds for FREE!

Carriage Rides at The Arboretum
Tuesday, December 26 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | The Arboretum at Great Hills, 10000 Research Blvd
Enjoy a FREE carriage ride around The Arboretum and take in the holiday sights and sounds! Rides will be available every Tuesday and Thursday in December from 5 to 9 p.m. Rides start near Amy’s Ice Creams and last around 10 minutes.

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Kids Club
Wednesday, Dec. 27 | at 9:30 a.m. | Whole Foods, 525 N Lamar Blvd
Kids of all ages will enjoy snacks, storytime, crafts, and more. Parental supervision is requested. FREE!

The Last Storytime of 2017!
Wednesday, Dec. 27 | at 10:30 a.m. | Book People, 603 N Lamar Blvd
The last storytime of 2017 will feature favorite books of the year! The Kids team has chosen — come see which ones made the cut! Make your New Year resolutions, enjoying yummy snacks, giving away awesome goodies, and celebrating another great year at BookKids!  FREE!

Community Night at The Thinkery
Wednesday, Dec. 27 | from 4 to 8 p.m. | The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave
Make and do together at Community Night. Every Wednesday, The Thinkery stays open late for families to discover new ideas and learn together. Enjoy the exhibits and educational programs facilitated by staff. Cost: Admission is by donation only, with a suggested $1 donation.

Date Night at the DAC: Night of Lights
Wednesday, Dec. 27 | at 7 p.m. | Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd
Who was it that said “Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born. You are my sun, my moon and all my stars?” Embark on an after-dark adventure with your special someone. You will learn the secret of creating the art of glow, go to your happy place with black light paintings and cruise the cosmos in a pop-up planetarium hosted by the Austin Nature and Science Center! End 2017 on a positively glowing note at the Dougherty.
This event is FREE!


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Free Admission at The Blanton
Thursday, Dec. 14 | from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin

¡Hola, Hola! Spanish Camp
Thursday, Dec. 21 | at 10:30 a.m. | Westbank Library, 1309 Westbank Dr
¡Hola, Hola! Spanish Camp for All Ages is designed to empower parents to read simple Spanish books at home and foster a love of Spanish language and Hispanic culture through singing, traditional circle games, rhythm instruments, puppets, and stories. You do not need to have any Spanish language skills to participate. All skill levels are welcome. Arrive early or stay after class to enjoy the beautiful playground and picnic area just outside the door and make new amigos. FREE!

Carriage Rides at The Arboretum
Thursday, Dec. 28 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | The Arboretum at Great Hills, 10000 Research Blvd
Enjoy a FREE carriage ride around The Arboretum and take in the holiday sights and sounds! Rides will be available every Tuesday and Thursday in December from 5-9pm. Rides start near Amy’s Ice Creams and last around 10 minutes.

Write. Ponder. Create. (18+)
Thursday, Dec. 28 | at 6 p.m. | Recycled Reads Bookstore, 5335 Burnet Rd.
Celebrate what’s ahead with Bernadette Noll! Whether you are working on the personal or the professional, trying to figure out what’s next in a tangible or existential way, or even have no clue where you’re headed, this one-hour writing and crafting session will help you get where you want to be. Register here for FREE!


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Friday Family Movies @ Ski Shores Cafe
Friday, December 29 | at 5:30 p.m. | Ski Shores Cafe, 2905 Pearce Rd
Bring the clan and head over to Ski Shores Cafe for Friday Family Movie nights! The film will start at dusk and you can have FREE s’mores by the fire! What better way to celebrate the end of your work week than an evening by the lake with loved ones, movies, food and beverages? This week: RV. *Note: Ski Shores will be open on days when it is above 60 degrees and dry (closed otherwise).

Friday Night Flix: Scrooged
Friday, December 29 | at 7 p.m. | Lone Star Court, 10901 Domain Dr
Friday Night Flix returns on December 29th with the Bill Murray holiday comedy, Scrooged! Come early and enjoy a classic burger with fries and a soft drink for just $5 in the Water Trough Bar! RSVP for a chance to win some great prizes, including a complimentary night’s stay at Lone Star Court, a $50 tab at the Water Trough, or a $25 tab at the Water Trough. HAPPY HOUR prices until 11 pm in the Water Trough Bar. Movie is FREE!

Check out the Free Fun Calendar for even more ways to fill your week with fun Austin events.



About the Author

Jaelyn Penner
Jaelyn was born and raised in Kansas, but she got to Texas as soon as she could! After a few years of youthful fun in Dallas, Jaelyn decided to make her passion her career and headed to west Texas to make it happen. There, she honed her musical chops while studying Commercial Music, and then headed straight for Austin to help keep it weird. Once here, she unexpectedly found her soul mate, and loves that her husband and two boys are now her biggest fans! Besides being a musician, Jaelyn also works as a corporate event planner, is a self-proclaimed “celebratory expert” and a long-time foodie. She doesn’t feel complete unless she is keeping up with all the cool stuff Austin has to offer.
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