There is no shortage of holiday fun in Austin! Chuy’s Christmas Parade, the Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll at the Texas State Capitol, and the Holiday Trail of Lights at Zilker Park are all popular traditions. But finding festive fun doesn’t require a drive into the big city — there’s so much merriment right around Bryson you’ll be ho-ho-hoping for more days to play before Santa makes his annual visit. Here are some suggestions to make the most of this holiday season:
Home for the Holidays
Through Jan. 3
Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter
1855 S.E. Inner Loop, Georgetown
Give a lonely pet a Home for the Holidays during this foster drive that saves the lives of the lost and abandoned pets of Williamson County and raises awareness about the importance of pet adoption during the holiday season. Foster dogs and cats are one year or older, spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.
Tree Lighting & Santa’s Workshop
Friday, Dec. 6, 6:30-9 p.m.
Heritage Oak Park
875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park
There will be plenty of holiday fun at this annual event — live music, carriage rides, games and prizes, inflatables and the chance to visit with jolly Old St. Nick. Admission is free.
Holiday Lighting of the Square
Friday, Nov. 29, 5:30 p.m.
710 S. Main Street, Georgetown
The holiday season officially kicks off with the lighting of the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas”. Ooh and ahh as the switch flips on thousands of lights, sing along with the Austin Carolers and pose for pics with Santa.
39th Annual Christmas Stroll
Friday, Dec. 6, 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
116 W. 8th St., Georgetown
Georgetown celebrates holidays so big it takes two days! Stores will be open late in downtown Georgetown Friday, where shoppers can also enjoy live entertainment, the Bethlehem Village, dessert with the Grinch and a holiday movie. Saturday’s festivities begin with a 10 a.m. parade followed by crafts, children’s activities, photos with Santa, live entertainment, ice skating, the Bethlehem Village and much more.
North Pole Flyer
Through Dec. 7
Austin Steam Train Association
Historic 1912 Bertram Depot
170 S. Gabriel St., Bertram
Enjoy a 2-hour train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa and cookies from a local bakery. Plus, hear a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book — the railroad’s own holiday story! Tickets range from $45-$55.
Old Town Christmas Festival
Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
100 N. Brushy St, Leander
It will be a full day of holiday fun starting with the Old Town Rudolph Run 5K and continuing with a Christmas Marketplace, Hometown Parade and tree lighting. Other activities include a petting zoo, s’mores by the yule fire, pictures with Santa, choir performances, Christmas tree farm and more. Free admission.
Christmas Trail of Lights
5-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14
Glenn High School
1320 Collaborative Way, Leander
Sponsored by the Glenn High School Project Grad, the Christmas Trail of Lights will be a fantastic holiday display with plenty of shopping, snow, cocoa and cookies, and a visit from Santa. Admission is $5 for ages 3 and up, with discounts for families over 5.
Holiday Disney Junior Play Date
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2-4 p.m.
11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park
Santa’s elves are heading to Lakeline Mall for an afternoon of holiday-themed songs, games and crafts. Admission is free.
A Magical Evening Cookie Decorating with Santa
3:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15
E Little Elm Trail, Cedar Park
Santa is letting the elves run the North Pole as he heads to Brungot Farms to help little ones decorate cookies to take home, lead sing-a-longs and recount some of his favorite holiday tales. The event raises funds for HOPE for Christmas. Tickets range from $40 to $160 depending on number of children and adults.
Cirque Musica Presents: Holiday Wishes
2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
2100 Ave of the Stars, Cedar Park
The acrobats, aerialists and performers with Cirque Musica will present a magical afternoon of popular holiday hits performed live and accompanied by a full orchestra. Tickets range from $45 to $75.