This week you'll find lots of great freebies to get you ready for the holidays including a way to get a personalized message from Santa sent to your child and several free events here in Austin this weekend. Enjoy!
Holiday sing-along and downtown stroll
Saturday, December 4th the Downtown Austin Alliance has a bunch of free family fun events scheduled. This is one of the best weekends to head downtown. The sing-along starts at the south steps of the Capitol at 6pm. Then the tree lighting takes place at 7pm. You can find a full list of events here.
Zilker Tree Lighting
The Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 5 at 6 p.m. Head over to Zilker Park to watch more than 3,000 lights bring the 155 foot tall tree to life, ushering in the 2010 holiday season. In addition to the ceremony, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department will present "Giving to Others," an opportunity for the citizens of Austin to donate toys and/or cash to Operation Blue Santa. Collection of any new unwrapped toy appropriate for ages 12 and under will be located under the Blue Santa tent at the tree lighting ceremony. Blue Santa will be on site to visit with children and accept donations.
From December 5 - 31 the tree will be illuminated nightly from dusk to midnight. Food vendors will be on site each evening. Beginning December 12, there will also be free entertainment at Zilker Hillside Theatre: dancers, musicians, storytellers, choirs, comedians, theater troupes, and more. Go here for details. Thanks to Heidi from Free Fun in Austin for the reminder.
Free Gingerbread cookie decorating
Visit the 3rd floor of the Old Bakery and Emporium on Saturday, December 4 between 6 and 9 p.m. to enjoy free cookie decorating! The bakery is located at 1006 Congress Avenue.
Main Street Bethlehem
First Baptist Church of Burnet turns the main street in Burnet into Bethlehem starting this weekend. Its free and runs from 6pm to 9pm Friday through Sunday nights through December 12th. Thanks Shirley for the tip!
Free Personalized Message from Santa
Here’s a way for you to get Santa to send a personalized video message to your child. It’s really cool. You supply your child’s first name and the town where they’ll be for Christmas. This year there are also options for what you’d like your child to work on, what they want for Christmas as well as if they’ve been good. Then Santa does the rest. David and Leslie reminded me about having this on my blog last year. I have to say it is so great and will really make the holiday special. Can't wait to do this for my little one in the years to come!
Free pictures with Santa
The Oasis is having a free picture taking event with Santa this weekend. Bring your family and your camera to the first floor of the restaurant between 2pm and 5pm Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5th. It is free! Thanks Jenness and Lauren for the tip!
Eat Local Week
Eat Local Week
Edible Austin launches Eat Local Week Saturday, December 4th through the 11th. This is a great way to try locally owned restaurants that also use locally grown produce. The best part is you eat out and a portion of what you spend helps a terrific program called Urban Roots. I've hosted the awards ceremony for Youth Launch the last two years and I have to tell you the kids who volunteer in this organization are truly inspiring. You can find a list of all the participating restaurants and markets here.
Half priced Austin deals
Remember we have half priced deals across Central Texas posted on our web site every week. The deals change regularly so check back often.
20 percent savings Austin restaurant
Tarka Indian Kitchen just opened in the Ikea at Round Rock. To say thanks the restaurant is offering 20 percent off your bill when you visit before December 15th. Go here to print out the coupon. Thanks Shirley for the tip!
BOGO lunch and dinner deal
Mimi’s café is giving away a free lunch or dinner entrée with the purchase of a lunch or dinner entrée Wednesday, December 1st and Thursday, December 2nd. Just go here to print out your coupon.
Free holiday music download
Target is offering 13 holiday music song downloads for free.
Amazon.com has a bunch of new free music downloads including some songs from Beyonce and the Zac Brown band.
12 Days of Christmas
Whataburger begins its 12 days of Christmas deals Wednesday, December 1st with a free taquito. You must dine in and bring this coupon. If you sign up your e-mail they’ll send you new coupons throughout the promotion.
Big toy sale