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Out & About- Things to do in December
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Out & About: Things to do in December

Nov 19th, 2015

‘Tis the season for events and your calendar’s undoubtedly already filling up fast with all the usual beloved holiday traditions. But if you happen to find yourself with some free time between trimming trees and your cousin’s ugly sweater party, check out some of these holiday favorites happening in your city.

Find your region below to see the must-dos for the month of December.


  • Get your pup dressed up in his holiday gear and head to the Reindog Parade December 5, 2015 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Enjoy Pup Tent refreshments, photos with Santa, and win prizes starting at 11 AM.
  • Catch Midtown Atlanta being transformed into Santa Claus Lane at the Children’s Christmas Parade which steps off at Peachtree Street and 16th Street at 10:30 AM December 5, 2015.
  • Don’t miss the first ever Pub Crawl on the Beltline on December 12, 2015! Get into the holiday spirit with a complimentary beverage at each location as you crawl along the Atlanta Beltline.
  • Find your ugliest holiday sweater and join the Ugly Sweater Run December 19, 2015 at Piedmont Park. It’s the perfect way to burn some calories in anticipation of all the great treats you’ll be indulging in in the coming weeks.


  • Grab your skates and head to Whole Foods for Ice Skating on the Plaza from 11 AM to 9 PM every day starting December 1, 2015.
  • The 50th season of  Trail of Lights  starts December 8, 2015. Enjoy two weeks of the holiday spectacle in the heart of downtown Austin. Culture Map Austin breaks down which nights to go and how to navigate the park.
  • While you’re out at Zilker Park, stop and visit the Zilker Tree on display nightly throughout the month of December from 6 PM until midnight.


  • Start your holiday celebration with an Ugly Sweater Run on December 12, 2015 at Soldier Field. Grab your ugliest sweater and have some fun with the holiday themed stations at every mile. Once you’re done with the run, head to the post-event festivities and enjoy a hot cocoa, Sam Adams, or a Kahlua cocktail and other holiday treats.
  • Enjoy a one-of-a-kind holiday celebration at the Museum of Science + Industry at Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light throughout the month of December (and even into January). A 45-foot tree takes center stage, but it’s surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent various cultures and holiday traditions.
  • Head out for the Chicago Santa Crawl on December 19, 2015 in River North. Celebrate the holiday season as you crawl from bar to bar all the while enjoying food, and free stuff from sponsors.  If a bar crawl isn’t for you, head to Holiday Cheers at the Chicago Botanic Garden for tastings of local spirits, wine, and winter beer while enjoying the Wonderland Express exhibition.


  • The 27th Annual Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase celebrates local talent who make up the music community of Dallas. Sample the sounds of over 40 local bands at Deep Ellum on December 5, 2015 at multiple locations throughout Dallas.
  • Burn some calories at the Frosty 5K and Merry Mile on December 12, 2015 at the Simpson Plaza at city Hall in Frisco.
  • Get into the holiday spirit at Prairie Lights beginning Thanksgiving night through January 3, 2016. See millions of lights set along two miles in all different shapes and sizes. Make a pit stop at the Holiday Village where you’ll find food, Santa, an indoor laser show, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through forest. Finish the night off with the animated light tunnel.


  • Start your holiday season off with the Denver Parade of Lights on December 4 and 5, 2015. The holiday event features marching bands, ornate float, and a special appearance by…you guessed it, Santa!
  • Enjoy seasonal music and holiday decorations at the Boulder Holiday Festival December 4 through 6, 2015 at the Macky Auditorium. Proceeds benefit the CU Music Scholarship Fund.
  • Rummage through your closet and find the ugliest sweater you can find to participate in the Ugly Sweater Run on December 19, 2015 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. If you’ve never participated, then burn some calories, have some fun, and replace those calories with a hot cocoa, Sam Adams, or Kahlua cocktail once you’re done.


  • Grab your skates and enjoy a variety of winter programming at The ICE at Discovery Green, the largest outdoor skating rink in the Southwest.
  • Start the holidays off right with the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting on December 4, 2015. Enjoy holiday music, family fun, fireworks, and the lighting of the 63-foot White Fir Holiday Tree as it lights up the streets of downtown Houston.
  • Celebrate Houston’s culinary diversity at the Tamale Festival December 5, 2015. Enjoy two-days of local chefs, taquerias, and restaurants slinging tamales as well as creative takes on masa and meat dishes. Art exhibits, live music, and stand-up comedians will keep you entertained.


  • Bellevue Magic Season features seven weeks of holiday events, music, culture, shopping, and dining for everyone to enjoy all in Downtown Bellevue throughout the month of December and into 2016.
  • If you missed the Ugly Sweater Run, there’s still the 12K’s of Christmas Holiday Run on December 16, 2015 at Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. Run or walk to the holiday-themed finish line and celebrate with free food, music, and a holiday costume contest.
  • Looking for a New Year’s Eve celebration? Join thousands around Seattle to ring in 2016 at New Year’s at the Needle. Enjoy an eight-minute fireworks display that begins just before midnight.

Southern California

  • Enjoy boats decorated and lit up at Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights at the Ventura Harbor on December 18, 2015 at 7 PM.
  • Enjoy a holiday cocktail party at Light Up the Night on December 14, 2015 at The Strand House. Enjoy gourmet carving stations, a seafood tower, dessert, festive music, dancing, and the famous Manhattan Beach fireworks show.
  • Ice skate around the sparkling Christmas tree at LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live throughout the month of December. Take in the holiday light show or book the Supper and Skating deal which includes a prix-fixe dinner at a number of L.A. Live restaurants, skate rentals, and skating admission.

South Florida

  • See millions of festive lights at Zoo Miami’s Zoo Lights, and also enjoy dozens of bright animal-shaped lights, holiday music, hot chocolate, and yummy cookies.
  • Get into the holiday spirit and head to Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest holiday theme park. Be dazzled by South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, light displays, holiday music, food, live entertainment, and of course, carnival rides!
  • Bring on the holiday cheer with the 53rd Annual Christmas on Las Olas on December 1, 2015 at 5 PM. Stroll the boulevard while listening to music and taking part in many special features (Snow Mountain, ice skating rink, an enchanted village, and a ski and sports snow deck).

Have an event you’re attending this month? Share it in the comments. 

Have an event you want featured in January? Email our editorial team.

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