What’s Up? Weekly: December 3 – 7, 2018

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.

The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Free Fun in Austin calendar is only for live digital events at this time.

Happening All Week

Harry Ransom Center Free Daily Exhibition Tours
Monday through Friday, December 3 – 7 | at 12 p.m. | Harry Ransom Center, 300 W. 21st St.
Experience the Harry Ransom Center with free daily exhibition tours. Visitors have the opportunity to see some of the Ransom Center’s renowned holdings in literature, art, photography, film, and the performing arts. In addition to these holdings, the current exhibition “Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” gives an unprecedented look into the creative process of Ed Ruscha, one of today’s most influential artists. Always on view are the Center’s rare, complete copy of the Gutenberg Bible and the Niepce Heliograph, one of the earliest photographs taken in a camera. Tours meet daily at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. No reservations required. Check website to confirm holiday schedule.

Ice Skating on the Whole Foods Plaza ($10)
Monday through Friday, December 3 – 7  (open daily through January 15 – some closures) | from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (call to confirm) | Whole Foods, Plaza Rooftop, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.
$10, includes skates. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are always open to the public, but please check the website or call Lamar Guest Services at (512) 476-1206 during the week to confirm public skating hours on weekdays.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Monday through Friday, December 3 – 7 | from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Blue Genie Art Bazaar, 6100 Airport Blvd.
Open annually Black Friday through Christmas Eve! FREE admission and parking.

Mozart’s Annual Light Show
Monday through Friday, December 3 – 7 | from 6 to 11 p.m. |
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
The 9th Annual Joyous Mozart’s Christmas Light Show is here and better than ever! This year is an on-going experience with over one million LED lights, a giant coffee mug, and more. New this year is the Cobalt Blue Piano that will be played by pianist all season long. They also have a German Market in the parking lot serving warm treats as you walk in. Whether you’ve been before or not, this is the year to add the Mozart’s Light Show to your calendar!

White Christmas Gingerbread Village
Monday through Friday, December 3 – 7 | open 24 hours | Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd.
Featuring 11 traditional meets modern houses named after some of Austin’s historic neighborhoods, the 2018 gingerbread village will boast a “White Christmas” theme. The 100 percent edible village will be centered around a house that resembles the architecture of City Hall. Scheduled to debut on Tuesday, November 20, the free holiday activity will be open 24 hours a day through December 25.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s (Round Rock & Buda)
Monday through Friday, December 3 – 7 | Activities And Hours Vary | 200 Bass Pro Dr., Round Rock & 15570 S IH 35 Frontage Rd., Buda
Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. Families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering FREE 4×6 studio-quality photos with Santa and free family holiday activities, including fun crafts and games. Guests can reserve their free visit and photo with Santa using the free Bass Pass system. Visit the Bass Pass Ticket Depot located at the entrance of Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s to pick up a time-stamped pass. In addition, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores are designated toy drop-off stations for Toys for Tots. Families that bring a new toy to donate Saturday and Sunday, November 24-25, will receive a FREE premium photo package valued at $20. Check website for store location and hours.


Storybook Dance Making (Ages 1- 5)
Monday, December 3 | from 10:30 to 11 a.m. | Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd.
Dance with your family to live music, play games, and enjoy a storybook reading. Storybook Dance Making classes include a warm up, check-in activity, game, storybook reading, and dance making activity. Each lesson is aligned with the National Core Standards for Dance Education and taught by a Dance Waterloo artist. This class is best for families with children ages 1-5. Stick around afterwards to snack, sip, or shop at one of the many local businesses in Mueller’s vibrant community!

Capitol Rotunda Community Sings
Monday, December 3 | at 7 p.m. | Texas Capitol Rotunda, 1100 Congress Ave.
The Texas Capitol is a glorious space for singing in community. The acoustics are unmatched and the act of singing songs for connection and belonging in an historically divided space is powerful. Suggested donations on a sliding scale of $3-$18 are graciously accepted to help support our mutual flourishing but your presence is the greatest gift of all. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your ability to financially contribute. Come sing! It’s an uplifting and inspiring way to engage with yourself and others.

Hit ‘next’ for more Austin events!


Pfestive Pfarmers Market (Pflugerville)
Tuesday, December 4 | from 3 to 7 p.m. | Heritage Park, 901 Old Austin Hutto Rd., Pflugerville
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. Remember, when you shop at the Pflugerville Pfarmers Market, you are supporting local farms and small businesses.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Class
Tuesday, December 4 | from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. | Southeast Branch Library, 5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd.
Get ready for the holiday season! Learn how to make beautiful decorated sugar cookies using colorful royal icing. Also, learn basic cookie decoration techniques and create your very own works of cookie art to take home, eat and share. Class size is limited to 30 participants, adults and children ages 8 . Participants arriving 15 minutes late will forfeit their reservation. There is a waitlist for each class if it fills up. Cookies and all supplies will be provided. For adults and children ages 8.

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.

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Wednesday Farmers’ Market at Mueller
Wednesday, December 5 | from 5 to 8 p.m. | Texas Farmer’s Market at Mueller, 4209 Airport Blvd. at the Browning Hangar
Make Mueller on Wednesdays your fave hang spot with friends or the fam. Perfect for an after work or after school wind down, TFM Mueller on Wed features 50 local food artisans, sustainable farmers and ranchers and craft beverages. Pack a blanket and picnic lakeside! Sip and stroll along Mueller Lake park under the shady trees beside the historic Browning Hangar. Take the kiddos for independent play in our play area, pony rides and other great family fun.

Free Youth Dance Classes
Wednesday, December 5 | from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. | Esquina Tango, 209 Pedernales St.
Awesome free dance classes for kids coming! Latin Dances with Stephanie (Ages 5 – 7) from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Showing for family and friends for all classes Friday, December 7 and 6:15 p.m. Esquina Youth is sponsored by Vance Rightmire.

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Holiday at the Oaks (Lakeway)
Thursday, December 6  | from 5-8 p.m. | Oaks at Lakeway, 1900 Ranch Rd. 620 S., Lakeway
Inaugural FREE kid-friendly event featuring live music, food and beverage tastings, holiday craft making, raffle giveaways from our tenant partners, and of course, Santa and Ms. Claus.

Follow The Star (Cedar Park)
Thursday, December 6  | from 6:30-9 p.m. | Good Shepherd Lutheran Church | 700 W Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park
Admission is free, but please bring a donation of nonperishable food items to help those in need.

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Community First Village and Screening of Miracle on 34th Street
Friday, December 7 | from 5:30 to 9 p.m. | Community First Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd.
This FREE holiday event boasts more than 250,000 Christmas lights choreographed to holiday music, and is one of the biggest Christmas light displays in Central Texas! Santa will make an early visit and be available for family photos. Plus, the Community First Village Advent Market offers unique, handcrafted gifts made by formerly homeless craftsmen and artisans. You can also enjoy a free holiday themed movie at the Community Cinema and concessions for purchase from the Community Grille.

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.

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.

Follow The Star (Cedar Park)
Friday, December 7  | from 6:30-9 p.m. | Good Shepherd Lutheran Church | 700 W Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park
Admission is free, but please bring a donation of nonperishable food items to help those in need.

Christmas Concert Benefit
Friday, December 7  | from 7:30-9:30 p.m. | St. Louis King of France Catholic Church | 7601 Burnet Rd.
The Annual Christmas Concert Benefit continues to be timeless as we present a memorable evening of beautiful Christmas music! Choirs and musicians from central and north Austin join together to create this dynamic evening of joyful music and generosity of spirit. Give yourself the gift of music! Hear lovely music and take part in the sing-a-longs.  Admission is free to the public.

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

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About the Author

Dani Dudek
Dani Dudek is an Emmy-winning marketer who has been active professionally in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has mastered the art of celebrity spotting across the country, but does so best in Austin, where she runs the website ATXGossip.com. With a special eye for even the most minor of celebs, she is basically Shazam and IMDB together in human form.
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