The year is winding down and the holidays are just around the corner. Resist the urge to stay inside under a blanket this December, though—there’s a lot happening around AMLI’s apartments this month from holiday festivities to New Year’s parties to concerts and more. Let’s get right into what’s going on this December.

Atlanta

Dec. 1-30: Christmas market

Shop for all of your holiday gifts in one place at the Atlanta Christkindl Market. This open-air holiday market features handmade gifts made by German, Austrian and Swiss craftsman. Enjoy food, beverages and entertainment on Tower Street NW at Atlantic Station. The market is closed Mondays and Tuesdays except Dec. 17 & 18. Admission is free.

Dec.2: Big holiday concert

Listen to your holiday favorite songs all with an international twist at the family-friendly Gala Holiday Concert. The show is performed by 200 members of the Georgia State University Symphony Orchestra, jazz band, choruses and ensembles at Rialto Center for the Arts. Music starts at 3pm.

Dec. 15: Ugly sweater bar crawl

Wear your tackiest holiday outfit to the fourth annual Ugly Sweater Crawl that begins at Buckhead Saloon. Listen to holiday music and enjoy drinks specials at five different bars. Group tickets are $15, individual tickets are $17. Hang out from 5-11pm.

Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve party

Ring in the New Year at Opera Nightclub’s Fire & Ice Party on New Year’s Eve. The party features a premium open bar, gourmet dinner buffet, confetti cannons, balloon drops, champagne, multiple DJs and incredible fire and ice elements. Located in Midtown. Ages 21+.

Austin

Dec.1 & 2: Arts From the Streets

Visit the 25th Annual AFTS show and sale to shop original works and help continue the efforts of AFTS to provide a safe and creative space for homeless and formerly homeless local artists. All profits go to the artists.

Dec. 7-23: Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker

Ballet Austin kicks off the holiday season with their annual production of The Nutcracker. This family-friendly show brings a fresh and creative perspective to this classic holiday tradition. The show will be accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and is taking place at The Long Center.

Dec. 10-31: Trail of Lights

The Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin holiday experience—lighting up the season and bringing our community together. Make memories and have fun viewing the twinkling lights at Zilker Park. Plan your visit early and don’t forget to take a spin under the Zilker Tree.

Dec. 31: Austin’s New Year

This alcohol-free, family-friendly New Year’s event celebrates the diversity and creativity of Austin. View visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers and other festive performances. The event runs from 3-11pm.

Chicago

Dec. 1: Santa Claus race

Dress in your best Santa-inspired gear for the Santa Hustle Chicago 5K at Soldier Field. There will be thousands of runners participating! During the event, you have a chance to receive Christmas gear, candy, cookies and a medal. Stay for and an after party at Navy Pier. Adult registration is $44.75.

Dec 2: Artisan market

Shop and support the small businesses of Chicago during the Chicago Artisan Market which takes place at Morgan MFG. You will find over 80 independent vendors selling food, clothing, accessories, art and home goods. General admission is $8, children age 11 and younger are free.

Dec. 8 & 9: Japanese dancing

Tsukasa Taiko, brought to you by the Taiko Legacy & Reduction, features Japanese drumming, dancing and street theater. Performances are filled with traditions and unique flare at the Museum of Contemporary Art. General admission to the shows are $20.

Dec 31: New Year’s at the zoo

Welcome 2019 at Chicago’s favorite zoo! See millions of holiday lights, watch artists carve ice sculptures, listen to DJ’s, play games and visit the animals during the Zoo Year’s Eve event at Lincoln Park Zoo. Beer, wine and champagne will be available for purchase. Ages 21+. Tickets are $20.

Dallas

Dec 1: Tamale festival and market

The fourth annual DFW Tamale Festival will highlight and explore the tradition of tamale making in the Americas. Beyond tamale vendors, get into the holiday spirit with their traditional Christmas Market where you can find the perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones or decor for your home. Admission is free.

Dec. 6-9: Auto show

For over 50 years, the DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth has been a must-see event for any car buff. View vehicle makes and models from almost every manufacturer, talk to knowledgeable sales staff and compare pricing. General admission starts at $11.

Dec. 14: Holidays at the Heard

Bundle up for a walk and experience Holidays at the Heard, a unique holiday event in north Texas. You will hear holiday music and see the sparkling lights that enhance the surroundings along a half-mile of nature trail at the Heard. Tickets for adults are $9.

Denver

Dec. 1-24: The Nutcracker

Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed Nutcracker is one of the largest performances in the state. This is the 58th annual show, and one that’s not to be missed. Live music accompanies the show.

Dec 1-22: Shop small, sip big

The “Shop Small, Sip Big” tour is all about local business. Guests imbibe local microbrews while visiting a selection of boutiques curated by the event staff. This is a great chance to get your holiday shopping done early and pick up some one-of-a-kind items available only from these small Denver shops.

Dec. 31: Black tie New Year’s party

Ring in 2019 in your finest dress at the Westin Westminster’s New Year’s Eve event. The party features all-inclusive open bars, two live bands, multiple DJ’s, Vegas-style casino games, a confetti blast and a champagne toast. Festivities start at 8pm.

Houston

Dec. 8: Gingerbread build-off

The 10th annual Gingerbread Build-Off pits family against family as teams build 100-percent edible gingerbread houses competing for several awards, including the Grand Prix de Show, tallest standing structure, best traditionally holiday-themed, most creative interpretation of materials and other categories as well.

Dec. 8 & 9: Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road

See rock legend Elton John for one of his last performances in Houston at the Toyota Center. Tickets may tend toward the steep end, but it’s a small price to see one of contemporary music’s living greats doing what they do best.

Dec. 23: Charlie Brown Christmas

A new take on holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas comes live to Galveston performing at 1pm and 4pm Sunday, Dec. 23 on the Grand 1894 Opera House stage. General admission starts at $25.

Seattle

Dec. 1 & 2: Craft show

Shop for hand-crafted clothing, jewelry, toys, stationery, art, candles, housewares and food at Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show in the Exhibition Hall at the Seattle Center. There are over 150 vendors to shop from so you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Admission is free.

Dec. 8: Green Lake lights

Take a walk following glowing luminaries on the Green Lake Pathway of Lights, which includes live music. This free holiday event is great for the whole family. Wander through the sparkling lights, enjoy drinks and holiday tunes. The event runs from 4:30-7:30pm.

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve at Chihuly

New Year’s Eve pARTy at Chihuly Garden and Glass includes appetizers and dessert, two drink tickets, live music and dancing. Enjoy a tour of the glass exhibits and participate in a champagne toast with a view of the Space Needle’s fireworks through the glasshouse ceiling. Ages 21+.

Southern California

Dec. 2: Cars and Claus

Stop at the Marconi Automotive Museum for a family photo with Santa and a red Ferrari. You can tour the car museum with a hot cup of hot chocolate and a holiday sweet treat. General admission is $5.

Dec. 5: Tamale festival

Check out this annual Tamale Festival that will be held in Old Town Placentia on Santa Fe Street. Eat authentic food, shop and listen to live music. Walk down multiple vendors and enjoy a craft beer garden. Admission is free.

Dec. 19-23: Christmas boat parade

The annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade takes over the harbor here for the better part of a week. Over 250 ships decked out with lights and decorations are expected to participate in the parade, as well as the hundreds of estates that line that waterfront.

South Florida

Nov. 30 & Dec. 1 & 2: Riptide Music Festival

This three-day music festival is packed with contemporary and throwback bands who will perform right on Fort Lauderdale Beach. See over 20 bands, including The Jacksons, Panic! At the Disco and 311 on the shores of South Florida. One day tickets start at $90.

Dec. 14-31: Nights of lights

Check out Pinecrest Gardens in Miami during the holidays as it’s lit up with thousands of festive holiday lights to get you into the seasonal spirit. The event offers opportunities to get pictures with Santa, engage in carnival activities and enjoy performances by the Miami Royal Ballet, as well as music by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and FIU Chorus. Admission is $5.

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About Lauren Fischer


Lauren is a freelance web designer and writer out of Asheville, NC. Lauren has worked with a variety of businesses from manufacturing, healthcare, non-profits, and eCommerce shops to enhance their online presence. When she's not working, she's hiking with her dogs, cooking something tasty, or planning her next adventure.