image: The Long Center
It’s never not fascinating to step across the threshold into one of the creations dreamed by by Architects of Air, and this month, it’s possible again when the luminarium known as Miracoco comes through town. Due to the hypersensory experience’s popularity, advance tickets are only available to Long Center members; walk-up tickets are available to the public on site. Show up, step inside and watch time and space come to a serene and blissful halt as children romp through the chambers and adults meditate, stare up in wonder and snap many an Instagram photo — this visual feast is certainly something to capture.
Miracoco by Architects of Air
Jan 24-Feb 2: luminarium opens at 11 am weekdays, 10 am weekends
Long Center Lawn, 701 West Riverside Drive
Ticket prices: from $10 same day
image: Blanton Museum of Art
Typically, when we think of museum tours, we don’t think about getting particularly hands-on with things. But when The Blanton Museum of Art hosts its Holiday Family Days event, things get interactive in a heartbeat. This year’s event focuses on the Blanton’s latest exhibition, a collective on German Renaissance art, and whether it’s printmaking, gallery games or just plain old art appreciation that you’re into, the museum has something for you and the kiddos alike.
The Blanton Museum, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Holiday Family Days event: Friday, December 27, 11 am – 4 pm
Admission: $9 for adults, $5 for ages 13-21, free for kids under 12
image: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
When something’s delighted locals for 38 years straight, chances are, it’s something worth checking out. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a perfect example of one such longstanding tradition: boasting “hot music, fine art and cold beer,” the bazaar convenes at the Palmer Events Center, hosting 25 local musical acts over the course of the eight-day event and offering endless handmade items from more than 160 artists. An ideal one-stop shop for thoughtful holiday gifts, the bazaar offers a warm and wondrous way to spend the day, safe from the cold and supporting local music makers and craftsmen in the process. Happy holidays!
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road
$7 for a day pass; kids 12 and under get in free
image credit: LBJ Wildflower Center
Texans typically think of wildflowers as a springtime perk, but at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, there’s something to see all year round. This weekend in particular, the holiday spirit fills the center with songs and lights as Luminations fills the gardens with thousands of luminarias and twinkling lights. With live choral and instrumental music, savory kettle corn and free hugs for the kids from Frosty the Snowman himself, there’s much to celebrate this Saturday and Sunday evening. Admission is free with two canned goods, to be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.
Saturday Dec 14 and Sunday Dec 15, 6 pm – 9 pm
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue
Admission free with two canned goods (for donation)
Did you know you could take a one-day excursion through the grandeur of Texas Hill Country by steam train? Well, you can. This family-friendly activity is available year-round, but what better way to enjoy the crisp fall weather than to bundle up and hop on board the Austin Steam Train
for an old-fashioned trek through the natural wonders of Central Texas? Reservations are recommended, and you can choose between heated/air-conditioned excursion coach and first-class cars or the slightly more authentic (i.e., not climate controlled) standard coach cars. Tickets start at $20, and there’s a concession car with snacks on most rides.
Austin Steam Train
401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste A-103, Cedar Park
Tickets $20 and up, depending on car type