Savvy local shoppers know Christmas is but 87 cheery days away. And that means Austin’s ceremonial kickoff to the season is peeking around the corner like a rosy-cheeked elf ready to ring in some holiday cheer.
The 46th annual A Christmas Affair, the Junior League of Austin’s largest fundraiser and long a must-attend fete for the city’s philanthropically minded patrons, returns with a series of in-person events November 17-21, and tickets are available now online and at the Palmer Events Center box office.
A Christmas Affair, which this year boasts the theme Dashing Through the Snow, aims to give Austinites a little taste of those frosty yuletide experiences that often elude Texans, like basking in the spirit of a winter retreat with friends and family while overlooking a snow-capped mountain top.
The event’s five-day holiday market ($20 per day) will feature more than 200 small and mid-sized businesses from across the country, and is expected to attract thousands of patrons to the Palmer Events Center. (Pro tip: Watch for Santa sightings!)
The shopping spectacular is a win-win event, as holiday buyers can find some unique and crafty gifts while also supporting a worthy local cause, as proceeds from market ticket sales and accompanying events benefit the Junior League of Austin’s signature impact programs, including Kids in Cool Shoes, Coats for Kids, ¡Sí! (Spanish Immersion), and FIT (Food In Tummies), in addition to 30 of the organization’s nonprofit partners.
Market days are hosted at the Palmer Events Center and run November 18 from noon-6:30 pm, November 19 from 9 am-7 pm, November 20 from 10 am-5:30 pm, and November 21 from noon-4 pm.
Of course, shopping is only part of the holiday experience. It wouldn’t be the festive season without a whole lot of parties, and that’s something the Junior League of Austin particularly excels at. This year’s A Christmas Affair will include the following themed celebrations and children’s events:
Wednesday, November 17
- Flannel & Frost, opening reception, 7 pm, $100
Thursday, November 18
- Wintergarden, shopping and bites, 9 am, $70
- Jingle Bell Bling (Girls’ Night Out), 7 pm, $70
Friday, November 19
- On the Bunny Slopes of Mt. Bluffstone children’s event, 9:30 am, $35
- Snow’d Inn virtual party, 5 pm, $50
Saturday, November 20
- Chalet Soiree, sip and shop, 8 am, $50
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! children’s event, 9:30 am, $35
- Mt. Bluffstone Reindeer Ranch children’s event, 3 pm, $35
- Mountain Masquerade closing celebration, 6 pm, $70
Sunday, November 21
- Enchanted Forest Party children’s event, 1 pm, $45
“This year’s ACA committee has put together an amazing week of holiday cheer, parties, and events,” says Julia Null, A Christmas Affair 2021 chair. “The Junior League of Austin is ready to go dashing through the snow, and we enthusiastically encourage the rest of the Austin community to join us.”
Marketplace and event tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on the JLA website.
All events are open to the public, with children’s events and holiday portraits taking place at the Junior League of Austin’s Community Impact Center at 5330 Bluffstone Ln., and parties and the marketplace happening at Palmer Events Center. All party tickets include private shopping at the marketplace during the event.
Shoppers should know that face masks will be required at the market and at all A Christmas Affair events for all attendees age 2 and older. The Junior League of Austin will release more info about any additional COVID-19 safety requirements closer to the event.