HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

Home for the Holidays? A list of community celebrations and volunteer opportunities this holiday season

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Home for the holidays? There are many ways to celebrate and help others in Cedar Park, Leander and surrounding areas. Here are some events to bring cheer to your holiday season whether it be seeing a play, volunteering, shopping, decorating or an event for the kids.

Volunteering

Turkey Hugs - Cedar Park

Nov. 19 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Leaders of Operation Turkey dress up in Turkey Suits and hug all employees of companies that donate a minimum of $1,000.

Email donate@operationturkey.com for details or call 866-678-8751.

Turkey Hugs - Cedar Park

Nov. 20 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Leaders of Operation Turkey dress up in Turkey Suits and hug all employees of companies that donate a minimum of $1,000.

Email donate@operationturkey.com for details or call 866-678-8751.

Turkey Tailgate - Cedar Park

Nov. 21 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Third Base, 13301 US-183, Austin

Volunteer party where 600+ turkeys will be smoked. Donations of clothing, care packages and drinks will be accepted to distribute with meals Thanksgiving Day. There will also be food and supplies at P.F. Chang's (North and Downtown), Guero's Taco Bar, HEB Center, and Dell Diamond.

Thanksgiving - Cedar Park

Nov. 22 from 8 a.m. to noon

H-E-B Center at Cedar Park (2100 Ave of the Stars, Cedar Park)

Food will be prepared, packaged and delivered to the homeless and less fortunate.

Operation Blue Santa

Cities across Williamson County have their own Operation Blue Santa sponsored by their police or fire stations. The organization provides meals and toys on Christmas for families in need, and donations and volunteers are welcome.

Below are the city specific webpages for each operation:

Round Rock, visit https://www.roundrocktexas.gov/news/round-rock-operation-blue-santa-sponsor-victims-apartment-fire/ or call (512) 218-6655.

Georgetown, visit https://bluesanta.georgetown.org/ or call (512) 930-3510.

Cedar Park, visit https://www.cedarparktexas.gov/departments/police-department/blue-santa-programor call (512) 260-4646.

Leander, visit https://www.leandertx.gov/police/page/blue-santa-program.

Brown Santa

The Williamson County Brown Santa utilizes monetary donations to purchase toys, books and other items needed to help low-income families have a brighter Christmas. You can either donate or “adopt a family” to donate to their specific needs. Learn at https://www.wilco.org/brownsanta.

Round Rock Serving Center

1099 E. Main St., Round Rock

The Round Rock Serving Center has an ongoing Keep Round Rock Warm drive until Dec. 27 where they are accepting coats and volunteers to help sort through donations.

If you are interested in volunteering, visit https://www.rrasc.org/volunteer/. Please note that there are weekly orientations and you will have to attend at least one before helping out.

The Caring Place

2000 Railroad Ave., Georgetown

The Caring Place of Georgetown has two donation drives for the community during the holidays. Both the Hunger-Free Holidays Food Drive and Coats for Kids are ongoing until the end of December. Community members can either donate, or learn how you can volunteer.

Family & Community Events

Through Nov. 24

1. Theater troupe presents ‘Sorry, Wrong Chimney’

A theater group performs a comedy about a struggling executive moonlighting as a department store Santa Claus.

8 p.m. $10-$20. Way Off Broadway Community Players, 11880 Hero Way West, Bldg. 4, Leander. 512-259-5878. www.wobcp.org

Nov. 23-Dec. 24

2. Shoppers can look for gifts at Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Open daily, the bazaar features handmade gifts and art, such as paintings, prints, jewelry and clothing.

10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Nov. 23-Dec. 23), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Dec. 24). Free admission. 6100 Airport Blvd., Austin. 512-222-7303.

www.bluegenieartbazaar.com

Nov. 26

3. Chabad of Greater Austin holds menorah decoration

Chabad of Greater Austin’s Jewish Women’s Circle hosts Menorahs & Martinis in Northwest Austin. Attendees craft and decorate menorahs and drink martinis.

7 p.m. Free. Location available upon RSVP at mussy@chabadaustin.com. www.chabadaustin.com

Dec. 1

4. Leander celebrates at Old Town Christmas Festival

The festival includes the Old Town Rudolph Run, children’s activities, photos with Santa, school performances and local vendors.

9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Free. Old Town Leander, 100 N. Brushy St., Leander. 512-259-1907. www.visitleandertx.com

Dec. 1

5. Lakeline Oaks holds holiday shopping event

The retirement community puts on an arts and crafts fair that features shopping, live entertainment and photos with Santa.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Lakeline Oaks Retirement Community, 1905 S. Lakeline Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-331-4100. www.lakelineoaksretirement.com

Dec. 1

6. Local Rotary Club gives back at Christmas Party

Rotary Club of Cedar Park-Leander will bring a meal and gifts to more than 30 children currently between homes and families.

3-6 p.m. Donations accepted. SpringHill Suites, 1110 Discovery Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-298-5903.

www.cedarparkrotary.org

Dec. 6-8

7. Good Shepherd performs its annual ‘Follow the Star’

“Follow the Star” is the annual outdoor production of scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.

6:30-9 p.m. Free. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 700 W. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-258-6227. www.gstx.org/follow-the-star

Dec. 7

8. Families visit Santa’s Workshop in Cedar Park

The city of Cedar Park hosts a Tree Lighting and Santa’s Workshop event featuring live music, carriage rides, games, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts.

6:30-9 p.m. Free. Heritage Oak Park, 875 Quest Parkway, Cedar Park. 512-401-5500. www.cedarparktexas.gov

Dec. 7

9. Whitestone Brewery throws holiday party

Attendees can wear ugly Christmas sweaters or other holiday attire and celebrate the season at Whitestone Brewery.

6-10 p.m. Free. Whitestone Brewery, 601 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. 500, Cedar Park. 512-765-4828.

www.whitestonebrewery.com

Dec. 7

10. Norman Brown performs holiday jazz music concert

Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Norman Brown performs two evening shows with Bobby Caldwell and Marion Meadows.

7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $35-$108. One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Caves Road, Austin. 888-616-0522. www.oneworldtheatre.org

Dec. 7-23

11. Ballet Austin stages ‘The Nutcracker’ performance

The production returns for its 56th year in Austin. The score for Ballet Austin’s production is performed live.

Times vary. $24-$89. The Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin. 512-476-9151. www.balletaustin.org

Dec. 8

12. Families eat breakfast with Santa at local YMCA

The American Legion Hunter-Morris Post 911 hosts a Breakfast with Santa event that invites kids to take photos with Santa, do crafts and listen to storytime.

7:30-10:30 a.m. $10 (per family). YMCA Camp Twin Lakes, 2300 S. Bell Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-801-1160. www.legion911.org

Dec. 9

13. Band of the Hills plays holiday tunes at concert

The wind and percussion ensemble Band of the Hills performs its 21st annual holiday concert at Hill Country Nazarene.

3 p.m. Free (donations accepted). Hill Country Nazarene, 1750 Bagdad Road, Cedar Park. 512-426-4270 www.bandofthehills.org

Dec. 9

14. Hanukkah party provides sweet treats and activities

Congregation Beth El hosts a family-friendly community Hanukkah party complete with a menorah lighting; live music; face painting; and food including sufganiot, or Israeli doughnuts.

4-6 p.m. Free. 8902 Mesa Drive, Austin. 512-231-0266. www.betheltx.org

Dec. 13

15. Roadshow Christmas Tour takes place at H-E-B Center

Compassion Live’s holiday tour features performances by Matthew West, Matt Maher, Building 429, Plumb, Josh Wilson and Leanna Crawford.

7-10:30 p.m. $29.50-$160. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. http://bit.ly/Roadshow_HEBC

16. Leander chamber hosts Santa’s breakfast event

Members of the Leander Chamber of Commerce will join the chairman of the board dressed as Santa to celebrate the holiday season.

8:30-9:30 a.m. $13-$18. Hill Country Bible Church, 11880 Hero Way West, Ste. 600, Leander. 512-259-1907. www.leandercc.org

Dec. 15

17. Kids take selfies with Santa

The event Selfies with Santa allows kids to take photos with Santa in a sensory-friendly environment. Families can sign in, do a craft and listen to story time with Mrs. Claus before taking a photo.

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church, 3315 El Salido Parkway, Cedar Park. 512-219-9008. www.selfieswithsanta.org

Dec. 28

18. Austin museum celebrates Kwanzaa with food, crafts

The George Washington Carver Museum is celebrating the African-American cultural holiday Kwanzaa. The event features food and arts and crafts.

6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St., Austin. 512-974-4926. www.austintexas.gov/carvermuseum

Holiday Lights

Nov. 17-Jan. 1

1. The Domain hosts Northern Lights

The shopping district is covered in lights for the holiday season and features holiday-themed original attractions locally designed by Ion Art, including a 10-foot-tall Willie Nelson nutcracker, an armadillo snowman and an Airstream sleigh pulled by a Texas longhorn. Guests may also have their photo taken for holiday cards. Free. www.domainnorthside.com

Nov. 22-Dec. 27

2. Cedar Park neighbors put on an annual light show for the holidays

Neighbors at Anna Court in Cedar Park come together for their annual light display, which is open to the public. Donations are accepted for SafePlace and Blue Santa. 5-10 p.m. Free. Anna Court, Cedar Park. www.annacourt.com

Nov. 23

3. Georgetown celebrates the season with Lighting of the Square event

Experience the magic of the holiday season at the annual Lighting of the Square event. The Austin Carolers will sing traditional holiday tunes as the community kicks off the countdown to Christmas. The downtown shops will be open later than regular hours to allow for some holiday shopping. 5:30 p.m. Free. The Georgetown Square, 103 W. Seventh St., Georgetown. 800-436-8696.  https://visit.georgetown.org

Dec. 1-31

4. Leander family lights up ‘Klub Kringle’

Blake and Stacey Toungate display more than 50,000 lights around their home to celebrate the season, along with an 18-foot tree and 15 smaller trees. Visitors are invited to watch the ‘Klub Kringle’ show while listening along to music on 88.3. 6-10 p.m. 2305 Arroyo Grande, Leander. www.facebook.com/klubkringle

Dec. 10-23

5. Trail of Lights features over 40 displays at Zilker Park in Austin

The city’s trail of lights features more than 40 displays, 2 million lights, food trucks, nightly entertainment and holiday activities. An estimated 400,000 guests attend the event each year. 7-10 p.m. Free (Dec. 10-13,17-19), $3 (general admission other nights). Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin.  www.austintrailoflights.org

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