The holidays are right around the corner, which means YOU need to start planning how you're going to take advantage of all of the activities our great city offers. From family affairs to gift bazaars to music and fun, there is something available to get every type of person in the holiday spirit. We’ve taken the liberty of creating an informative list of all of the holiday happenings this 2015 season and listed them in order by date in each category. Enjoy!

Shop Unique Gifts for the Holidays

Blue Genie Art Bazaar 11/27/15- 12/24/15
Marchesa Hall Theatre
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a beloved fixture of the Austin holiday season. Shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. Support local artists while you guy hassle-free holiday gifts for all of your loved ones.
Bluegenieartbazaar.com

Junior League’s A Christmas Affair 11/29-11/22
Palmer Events Center
A Christmas Affair is the largest fundraiser for The Junior League of Austin, hosting approximately 200-vendors in a themed shopping extravaganza! The event includes parties, children’s events, a private shopping brunch, and the season’s biggest celebrity, Santa!
https://www.jlaustin.org/?nd=2011aca

40th Annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 12/15/15 - 12/24/15
Palmer Events Center
Shades of old Austin are reflected at this market with eclectic gifts and local entertainment. Fine art and cold beer round out the experience where you can explore handmade items from 160+ artists. The musical lineup includes hometown acts like Shinyribs, Jimmy LaFave, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Band of Heathens, Alpha Rev, and Asleep at the Wheel.
armadillobazaar.com

Fun for the Whole Family

Ice Skating on Whole Foods Rooftop 11/29/2015 – 1/09/2015
Whole Foods Plaza Rooftop
Fun for the whole family! Get your ice skating legs in gear and hit the rooftop of the Wholefoods downtown location on South Lamar, from 10 am to 9 pm daily! $10 ticket admission includes your skate rental.
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/store/event/ice-skating-plaza

Violet Crown Arts Festival 12/5/2015 – 12/6/2015
Brentwood Elementary School 6700 Yates, Austin, TX 78757
The Creative Learning Classroom initiative Brentwood Elementary School hosts the Violet Crown Arts Festival in their west parking lot. Expect to find unique artwork from talented sculptors, potters, and fiber artists, painters, jewelers, glass artists, woodworkers and metal smiths. Shop for handmade gifts and high-quality art and support local cottage businesses. Free admission for the whole family means there’s no excuse not to attend and pick up some holiday gifts!
http://www.violetcrowncommunity.org/artsfest.html

Cherrywood Art Fair 12/12 - 12/13/2015
3808 Maplewood Ave, 78722
Cherrywood Art Fair is an art-filled two-day event showcasing local artist, live music, kids activities, and great food in a free, family friendly environment. The longest-running not for profit fair in East Austin with proceeds to benefit the Little Artist BIG ARTIST mentoring program that pairs East Austin elementary school students with professional artists. Visitors can stroll throughout the fair and shop artful items from Texas artists, listen to live music and sample some of Austin’s finest food trailer cuisine. Musical lineup TBA.
http://cherrywoodartfair.org/

Holiday Music and Entertainment Events

Rudolph the Red–Nosed Reindeer Musical 11/27-29
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this beautiful new holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Tickets are on sale from $24, and you can buy them at the link below.
http://thelongcenter.org/event/rudolph-red-nosed-reindeer/

Austin Symphony Orchestra presents Handel's "Messiah" 12/1/15
Hyde Park Baptist Church
This night of musical magic will comfort you through its familiarity and fill you with the joy of rediscovery. This holiday classic and city favorite brings an opportunity to rejoice with the whole family. Begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing.
austinsymphony.org

Ballet Austin's The Nutcracker 12/5/15- 12/23/15
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Ballet Austin presents the 52nd annual production of The Nutcracker with a fresh new experience to Austin's beloved holiday tradition. With many performances throughout the month of December, Ballet Austin’s Nutcracker is the longest-running production of the seasonal classic in Texas. Enjoy live accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and experience this sweet treat with your family and friends!
balletaustin.org

CONSPIRARE CHRISTMAS WITH MATT ALBER 12/07/2015
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Experience the excitement of one of Austin’s most treasured holiday events. With a variety of music unlike anything else, this concert will warm your heart and kick off the holiday season with some fantastic music. Matt Alber returns as our featured special guest, and tickets start at $20.
http://thelongcenter.org/event/conspirare-christmas-with-matt-alber/

Get in the Festive Spirit

Santa on the Terrace 11/27/2015
The City Terrace at The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Kick off the holidays and take a break from mall madness this Black Friday when Santa Claus comes to the Long Center. Bring the kids for a FREE photo with Santa overlooking the best view in Austin. Sip delicious hot chocolate, enjoy some of Austin’s most delicious food trucks, and kick off the holiday season.
http://thelongcenter.org/event/santa-on-the-terrace/

2nd Annual Night Lights – Friday 12/4/2015
Zilker Park
An exclusive first look at the Trail of Lights, attendees will experience an intimate setting with samplings from Austin’s best chefs and restaurants, a trunk show showcasing local artisans and designers, and live music + entertainment. Entertainment includes live music from headliner Jimmie Vaughan, beer, wine and holiday cocktail samples, an eclectic auto show, ice sculptors, stilt walkers, photo booth, and swag bag. Share an unforgettable evening that you’re sure to talk about for years to come. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also CandyLand and Santa visits in the hospitality area, as well as a carousel and Ferris wheel rides. Ticket admission required for attendees six years and older.
http://austintrailoflights.org/night-lights

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll 12/5/15
The Capitol
Join hundreds caroling in front of the Capitol as the tree is lit before heading down Congress Avenue for live music, shopping, art and much more. Hosted by KUT and KUTX, this annual event helps spread holiday cheer with the whole city!
downtownaustin.com

Trail of Lights Fun Run - Saturday, 12/5/2015
Zilker Park
Get festive with fitness and run through over 2 million lights dressed in crazy costumes and socks. Presented by Humana, the 2.1-mile run begins at the Zilker Tree and ends within the Trail of Lights. Run through a sea of Santas and elves and enjoy the lighted tunnels and displays. The price to enter is $32.50 per person, but prices go up on December first so register soon!
http://austintrailoflights.org/2015-fun-run

Trail of Lights 12/8/15- 12/22/15
Zilker Park
The Austin Trail of Lights is part of the Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. With a beautiful array of lights, the tree is lit following a 5k run, which allows the Trail of Lights to be lit and showcased. Visitors can walk the trail and view all sorts of different lights featuring characters, light tunnels, a huge Christmas tree, and much more. Admission is $3 a person and children 11 and under are free!
austintrailoflights.org