Hello, what’s up, and welcome to the December monthly edition of the Lite + Brite newsletter.
In the early days of L+B, we used to include craft markets in our weekly events listings, but after a while we mostly stopped. There were just so damn many of them. But in this issue of the Monthly, when holiday shopping is in full swing and local makers are making the majority of their sales, we’re indulging a list of 34+ Austin markets coming up this month. (I say “34+” because I counted 34 a couple days ago, but also I may have added to the list since then; I don’t remember.)
Today’s newsletter also includes all-the-time Austin arts events and venues; some music we’re listening to; and a list of top-tier upcoming events of both the holiday and non-holiday variety. Some exciting December events don’t yet have all their info online, so be sure to check the weekly editions for stuff that’s announced later. We’ll give y’all a full NYE rundown later in the month, too, once more venues have shared their plans.
If you’re not already a subscriber to this newsletter and you want to be, click here. We do one newsletter a week, usually on Fridays, plus this bonus monthly edition around the start of each month. Please support us by contributing to our Patreon and by forwarding this email to your friends who enjoy things like listening to music and leaving the house sometimes.
Let’s do fun stuff!
—Leila + Brian
Looking Ahead to Upcoming Events
Our weekly newsletters will include many more listings, but here are a handful of events that we know will be coming up over the next month. We’re giving you the heads up now in case you want to pre-buy tickets or block off the time.
- Dec 2: Wizard Rodeo at the Long Time
“Mystical gathering curated by artists + musicians w/a shared vision”
- Dec 2: Cowboy Xmas in December at Co-Lab Projects
Live mariachi band, Hyperreal films, holiday costume contest + “cheer bar”
- Dec 2: Lucha Libre Dos at Blue Norther
Luchador-style wrestling brought to you by the folks at Slam Portal
- Dec 2-3: Horror for the Holidays at the Palmer Events Center
Buy gifts from horror-themed vendors, meet + greet some horror celebs
- Dec 7-9 + 14-16: The Watchmaker’s Song at the Neill-Cochran House
Immersive reinterpretation of the Nutcracker in different styles of dance
- Dec 8: The Austin Puppet Incident at the Dougherty Arts Center
“Puppetry for adult audiences” ft. many different styles of puppetry
- Dec 8: Geekgasm Revue at Kick Butt Coffee
Holiday-themed “nerdlesque” + drag performers
- Dec 8: 37th St. Lights Opening Night at 37th and Guadalupe
Tour a neighborhood w/intense holiday lights + decorations
- Dec 8-10, 15-17, 22-23, + 29-30: Illumaverse at dadaLab
Immersive, holiday-themed light installations
- Dec 9: Dear Diary’s Secret Show at a secret location
Ride your bike to a secret location w/live music, coffee, + more
- Dec 9: Mortified ATX at the Highball
Folks tell tales of adolescent angst in a new comedic light
- Dec 9: Fat Bottom Cabaret at the Stateside
“Plus size” cabaret group does classic burlesque w/live band
- Dec 9: Krampus Night at the Glass Coffin
Say hi to Evil Santa, buy horror holiday stuff, + listen to a DJ
- Dec 10: Art Show at the Flipside Warehouse
Like open mic for art. Bring your own art to show (but not sell)
- Dec 12: Tiny Talks at Pershing Hall
Short-format “inspiring + entertaining talks” accompanied by slides
- Dec 13: Queer to Tell at the Soundspace at Captain Quack’s
“Queer Stories told by Queer People in Queer Businesses in Queer Austin”
- Dec 13: The Moth at the Paramount
Great storytelling gets a big spotlight
- Dec 14: No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea
The lone December date for our dance party in the dark
- Dec 14: Home Alone at the Long Center
Watch a classic holiday film w/live symphonic score
- Dec 16: The Nightmare Before Christmas Gothic Ball at Elysium
Celebrate the spookiest holiday film w/DJ, singalongs, + vendors
- Dec 16: Hyde Park Storytelling at Batch
Storytellers ply their trade in a local craft beer spot
- Dec 15-30: The Mutt-cracker (Sweet!) at the Vortex
An all-dog not-at-all-ballet production of the holiday favorite
Holiday Market Roundup
In the weekly newsletter, we generally steer away from listing artisanal markets because a) there are so many of them and b) there are only so many ways to describe them. But if ever there’s a season for giving makers’ markets the attention they crave, it’s right now. Almost none of these will show up in the weekly newsletters, so we advise you to cherish this email all month long.
Please note: There are SO MANY holiday craft markets! This is by no means all of them. Also, some of them are outdoors, so if the weather is rainy, double-check to make sure they’re going on as planned.
- every day through 12/24
- Art Bazaar at Blue Genie
- Dec 1
- Dec 2
- Ukrainian Arts and Crafts Market at Sunflower Ranch
- German Christmas Market at the German Free School
- Holiday Market at Austin Bouldering Project
- Holiday Market at Tiny Minotaur
- Big Gay Holiday Bazaar at RAIN
- Markets for Makers at the Palmer Events Center
- Yule Met Market at Metropolis Apartment
- Holly Jolly Christmas Party + Market at Fast Friends Beer Co.
- Holiday Reuse Market at Austin Creative Reuse
- Dec 3
- Dec 5
- Holiday Market at UMLAUF
- Dec 6
- Austin Woman Magazine Holiday Market at Contentstack Experience Center
- Dec 7
- Holiday Makers Market at Desert Door
- Dec 9
- Dec 10
- Dec 15 – 23
- Armadillo Christmas Market at the Palmer Events Center
- Dec 16
- Big Ole Queer Market at the Palmer Events Center
- Dec 17
What We’re Listening To
Unfortunately it’s been a sad time at L+B HQ. We lost our cat Graham recently, pictured here enjoying her vinyl record collection on her favorite record player slash perching spot. I rediscovered this beautiful, fragile song by Christine & the Queens while poring through my own records, and it has helped me get through the very difficult process of caring for a sick pet, + losing a dear companion. When I first heard this song last year, I loved it but assumed it was a romantic love song, as it’s in French and my French is incredibly rusty. After I began to listen to it repeatedly, I learned the lyrics were about losing someone you love and showing them you love them without words or speaking (“rien dire”) as Christine recently lost his mother, and the song came to mean much more to me than it had before. May it help you through difficult times, or remind you of someone you love. This one goes out to Graham. Thank you for loving us, enriching our lives, and distracting us from our duties, newsletter + otherwise.
Brian has given me a tough act to follow with his beautiful remarks. My song pick is significantly less sentimental than his, though my love for Graham and my sadness at her passing is no less true.
This month I am going with a song from a band that would have been a huge hit at my summer camp circa 1997 (had any of the band members been out of diapers at the time). Everything they record sounds like it should be on “Jock Jams.” Their 2018 song C.O.O.L Party is a delightfully campy song about partying. The lyrics to this month’s pick are way less clever than that, but the beat is, as the kids say, sick.
All-the-Time Austin Artsy Fun
Our weekly newsletter features upcoming events, but sometimes the activity you’re looking for isn’t an event at all—it’s a place that’s always there. Next time you find yourself on an afternoon when nothing special seems to be going on, you could consider checking out one of these evergreen options.
- Tiny Minotaur
Drinking and costumed LARPing, Dungeonsynths performing in the dungeon w/lots of lore
- The Eureka Room
Uniquely goofy, silly, + fun immersive games you play with a group. No spoilers!
- Escape the Box on South Congress
So you think you can escape boxes. Sure, but what about time traveling boxes?
- We Luv Video
The Alexandria Library of video rental. It’s community-run, you can rent movies or watch them in a cinema while literally surrounded by VHS tapes and DVDs.
- The Goats at Jester King Brewery
More a theme park geared towards folks who like refermented cherries in their beer (me) than a brewery. I have not experienced the Goat Experience, but I have seen their goats, and I approve.
- Cathedral of Junk
A towering achievement to collecting weird old stuff that will spark nostalgia and cause you to wonder at your last tetanus shot timing
- West China Tea House
In addition to their events, West China is a wonderful place just to chat with interesting and welcoming people and drink some delicious tea
- Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve
A lovely park + nature walk that is protected by a crack corps of dedicated peacocks and peahens. Good luck escaping without some flashy, feathery displays.
- Laguna Gloria
The Contemporary Austin’s outdoor sculpture garden. Culture + Nature = Profit.
- Austin Creative Reuse Center
A nonprofit shop where you can get any art, craft, or office supplies you can imagine for literal pennies. Eat your heart out, Office Despot.
- Museum of the Weird
It’s right there on Dirty 6th but worth a visit. From famous fake paleontology to recreations of horror film sets, there’s lots to see.
- James Turrell’s Skyspace
Like Turrell’s best works, this is an art experience which unfolds slowly over time. Watch as the changing colors of sunset remake the space.
Thanks to our Patreon subscribers
A huge thank-you to our Patreon subscribers Christina Jue, Colleen MB, Lilly Ettinger, Lena Long, Amalia Litsa, Jacob Rosenberg, Alexander Freed, Spencer, Kristen Backor, Timon A., Kate Murray, and Amy Wilde. We’re deeply grateful for your support, which allows us to do things like “pay our Mailchimp fee” and “spend hours researching Austin events when technically we should be working.”
If you’d like to support us on Patreon and get access to exclusive member-only benefits, you may do so here.
Recent weeks found us taking in the Austin Studio Tour’s many wonders, observing collaborative visual + musical artists at Buzzfest, and bathing in neon art at an Ion Art open house. Follow Lite + Brite on Instagram to keep up with our adventures. And come chat with us and the rest of the L+B community on our Discord server!
How do we choose which events to feature?
Honestly, it’s pretty random. We might include anything in Austin that we, personally, would conceivably want to go to, generally excluding normal concerts, comedy shows, and movie showtimes because there are many other good resources for finding those. (We especially recommend Showlist for live music, The Darker Side of Austin for goth and metal stuff, and the 60+ Weirdest Things in Austin for exactly what it sounds like). This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just stuff that caught our eye this week. If you have an event that you want us to consider including, send it over.
Who are we?
We make this newsletter. We do our own events, most prominently No Lights No Lycra (every second and fourth Thursday of the month). We once got called “local Austin couple” by KXAN. We do some other stuff here and there. We love going out to creative events in Austin, and we want you to join us. Visit us at liteandbriteatx.com, and support us on Patreon if you like what we do.