December is an exciting month with a bunch of activities being offered all around! However, if your budget has been a little more directed to essentials and Christmas instead of fun family activities, that’s okay. We’ve made a list of 10 free family events that you can enjoy in Austin area this December.
1. Holiday Family Movie Night! Featuring Elf
It’s a holiday classic! No Christmas season is complete unless the family is gathered around laughing at Buddy the Elf. This event takes place at The Arboretum at Great Hills–10000 Research Blvd, at 6:30 PM and begins December 7th for three Friday’s. Bring pillows and blankets! https://thearboretum.com/events-news/event/holiday-movie-night
2. Community First! Village of Lights and Outdoor Movie
Enjoy choreographed holiday lights, one of the largest Christmas light displays in Central Texas! Friday & Saturday Dec 7 & 8 from 5-9 PM at 9301 Hog Eye Road. Friday’s movie will be Angels Sing, and Saturday A Christmas Story https://give.mlf.org/event/village-of-lights/e205829
3. Holiday Book Fair
December 9th from 10 AM to 1 PM, Humanities Texas is hosting its ninth annual Holiday Book Fair at the Byrne-Reed House (1410 Rio Grande St). Noteworthy authors will be featured at this event signing copies of their latest books for both adults and young readers. https://www.humanitiestexas.org/programs/holiday-book-fair
4. Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll
This event takes place December 1st from 6-9PM on Congress Avenue. Crowds can gather and sing some of their favorite songs of the holiday season. The lighting of the Capitol tree will follow some of the sing-alongs. Families can enjoy the downtown atmosphere with foods, beverages, and holiday activities. http://www.downtownaustin.com/holidaystroll
5. Free Kids Music at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse
Enjoy free kids’ music at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse every Sunday in the month of December. The performances will take place at 10:30 AM and go until 11:30 AM at 1400 E. 38 ½ Street in Austin. http://cherrywoodcoffeehouse.com/free-sunday-kids-show/
6. Austin Trail of Lights
This event is free only for a little while! Enjoy one of Austin’s traditional holiday light events at Zilker Park. Admission for this event is free from December 10th until December 16th. Enjoy some amazing holiday lights on the Austin Trail. https://austintrailoflights.org/
7. Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop
Live music, carriage rides, games, prizes, and photos with Santa! Admission to this amazing event at Heritage Oak Park is free and is a blast for the kiddos! December 7th from 6:30-9:00 PM https://www.cedarparktexas.gov/…/tree-lighting-santa-s-workshop-december-7
8. Pfestival of Lights
This event takes place on December 3rd from 5-8 P.M. in Downtown Pflugerville. Enjoy this parade down Main Street with free arts and crafts projects, free cookies and hot chocolate, and free photos with Santa! Make sure you bring your own camera https://www.pflugervilletx.gov/for-visitors/events-and-pfestivals/holiday-pfestivities
9. Noon Year’s Eve Party at Lake Travis Community Library
This event kicks off at 11 AM on December 31! It’s a great free event for anyone with little ones who want to participate in the activities of New Years but can’t quite stay up til midnight. At this event, your kids will get a chance to make hats and noisemakers and children’s musicians Song for Seeds will perform at 11:30 https://laketravislibrary.org/ai1ec-event/noon-years-eve-party-3/?instance_id=10555
10. Celebrate New Year’s in Austin!
December 31st from 3-10:45 PM, ring in the New Year’s at Auditorium Shores (800 W Riverside Dr., Austin). Alcohol-free and family friendly event with live music and festivities with a fireworks finale. http://austinsnewyear.com/
There are lots of kid-friendly holiday events occurring in the Austin area this December that won’t break your budget. Check out some of the events above and enjoy spending time out with the family doing some fun stuff and listening to some good music.
More Free Decmber Events around the Austin Area
- Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops (Round Rock) https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/santas-wonderland Free photos with Santa
- Christmas Stroll (Georgetown) https://visit.georgetown.org/christmas-stroll Come to the 38th Annual Christmas Stroll on Friday, November 30 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
- Christmas Family Night (Round Rock) https://www.roundrocktexas.gov/…/christmas-family-night/ Round Rock’s annual holiday festival is back to its original home on Main Street!
- Annual Old Town Christmas Festival (Leander) https://visitleandertx.com/…/old-town-christmas-festival/
- Breakfast with Santa at Dittmar Recreation Center http://www.austintexas.gov/…breakfast-santa-dittmar-recreation-center Come hang out with us for a hot breakfast, and participate in our sing-a-long holiday carols and craft tables. Don’t forget to bring your cameras for pictures with Santa and of your kids having holiday fun!
- Home Depot Kids Workshop: Gingerbread Man Candy Dish
- Free Kids’ Music at Strange Brew
- Budafest (Buda) https://www.budafest.org/ There will be plenty of options to spend a little cash either by catching a thrill at the carnival, finding your treasure at the art market, adding your own touch at Santa’s Artisan Workshop, or devouring a plate from the food market.
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