This week you'll find lots of free Christmas fun, terrific ways to connect with Santa and easy ways to save. Enjoy!
Fun ways to connect with Santa
This is one of my favorite things to do every year. Portable North Pole (PNP) allows you to create a personalized Santa video for that special someone on your list. It can be a kid, an adult, you name it. Each year they make this better and better. This year you can add a picture, a special message even an additional scene. The video is then sent to your email and ready to view. It’s free and will have your loved ones wondering how you did it.
Disney offers a similar service. You do need to register first.
Smilebox does a similar thing only it lets you download a picture or video with their name and age even questions for Santa. Then Santa replies.
More Christmas fun
This Saturday, December 7th is the annual holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll. This is always a terrific family friendlyl event. The Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and KUT News 90.5 and KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience all put this on and its all free! The evening starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season during KUTX 98.9 "Eklektikos" host John Aielli’s Holiday Sing-Along. As the clock strikes 7 p.m., the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree begins, featuring a programmed light show at the top and bottom of every hour, set to holiday songs of local Austin musicians. From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late and will feature special activities and offers. The highlight of this year’s event is an aerial dance performance by Blue Lapis Light at 816 Congress, “Love’s Prayer”. For more information go here.
The Domain is offering free horse drawn carriage rides each Friday and Saturday until Christmas. Tips are of course appreciated. Every year this tends to create pretty long lines. The rides happen between 5:30pm and 9:30pm near the Dillard’s entrance and the Macy’s entrance. For more information, contact Guest Services at The Domain at (512) 795-4230 or visit The Domain website.
Also happening at The Domain Breakfast with Santa - Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 9 a.m. (FREE)
The Four Seasons gingerbread village is already up and it’s always free to visit. This year’s theme is the Grinch That Stole Christmas and it is amazing! This Wednesday and Thursday, December 4th and 5th from 5pm to 6pm they have their open houses. You’ll get a chance to ask the chefs questions, see Santa and enjoy complimentary cookies and cider. You can check out the story I did and see pictures of why it’s definitely worth a visit here.
The Driskill kicks off Christmas with its annual tree lighting event Wednesday, December 4th at 6pm. Enjoy music, sweet treats and cider. They’ll also have live music December 5th, December 11 and 12th and December 18th and 19th from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information visit The Driskill Hotel website or the Facebook event page.
Wednesday, December 4th you can get a free chocolate chip cookie at The Great American Cookie shops in honor of National Cookie Day.
This Saturday, December 7th The For the City Network will host its fourth annual Christmas Market from 10a.m.– 6p.m. at the For the City Center (500 East St. Johns Avenue). The event is free, open to the public, and will feature 25+ local fair trade, direct trade, and social enterprise vendors who use their businesses to promote employment and well being for people in Austin and around the world. The Christmas Market provides each vendor with a platform for their merchandise and gives them an opportunity to sell their products at a fair price. While many of the items are made internationally, it’s important to know that each vendor ensures that their workers are paid a fair market price, allowing them better opportunities for their communities and families. This year, merchandise will include art, jewelry, clothing, purses, bags, toys, cosmetics, coffee, paper goods, housewares, photo prints, and much more. Free childcare will be provided at the For the City Center, allowing adults to take their time shopping and learn more about the vendors. To see a list of vendors and to learn more go here. Thanks Jennie!
Cyber Monday is over, but that doesn’t mean the deals are gone. Offers.com has a Top Deals of the day page that’s worth checking out. And here are some of the best deals our Austin friends there found this week. Thanks Amber.
Below are the newest freebies our friends at BeFrugal.com sent us. Thanks Jen!
- Bed Bath & Beyond Free Gift With Waring Wine Opener, Expires: 12/31/2013
- Canon Free Gifts With $50+ Ink or Paper Order, Expires: 12/8/2013
- Lane Bryant Free Manicure Set With $40+ Order, Expires: 12/30/2013
- FTD.com Free Peppermint Bark Gift w/ Any Order, Expires: 12/5/2013
- Nordstrom Free Gift w/ Men's Jay Z Fragrance Order, Expires: 1/31
- OfficeMax Free 2-Piece Bag Set With $150+ Order, Expires: 12/7/2013
- totes ISOTONER Free Holiday Umbrella With $50+ Totes Order, Expires: 12/19/2013
- Wirefly Free 4GB Memory Card w/ Any Phone Order, Expires: 12/31/2013
- Straight Talk Free $15 Data Card with the Mobile Hotspot, Expires: 1/1
Gift card bonuses
- Au Bon Pain Free $5 Coupon w/ $25+ Gift Card Purchase, Participating locations only. See offer for details. Expires: 12/20/2013
- Moosejaw Free Gift Card With $99+ Item, Expires: 12/8/2013
- Olive Garden Free $10 Bonus Offer w/ $50+ Purchase, Participating locations only. See offer for details. Expires: 12/25/2013
- Solstice Sunglasses Free $50 Gift Card With $200+ Order, Restrictions apply. Expires: 12/31/2013
- Target Free $5 Gift Card w/ Elf On The Shelf Box Set, Expires: 12/7/2013