1. The "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy Feast
10 a.m. Dec. 21. $205. The Alamo Ritz, 320 E. Sixth St. drafthouse.com.
Start your holiday break off right with this fantastical movie marathon. The Alamo Drafthouse invites "Lord of the Rings" lovers to snuggle up in the theater and brave the extended editions of each movie — a total of nearly 12 hours — all while devouring food and downing drink inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. You will even get to partake in elevensies, supper and all the meals in between, as each of the seven courses is served during hobbit meal times. That’s right: seven courses. So come hungry.
2. Circus Chickendog’s "Mutt-cracker (Sweet!)"
Opens Dec. 21. 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. on various dates through Jan. 6. $15-$35. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. vortexrep.org.
It’s not Christmastime without this kid-friendly, circus-themed version of "The Nutcracker," as performed by Circus Chickendog. The production once again stars five talented rescue dogs (Mouse, Moose, Coyote, Squirrel and Skeeter) and a talking scarlet macaw named Lauren MaCaw. Their owner, Darren Peterson, brings his masterful juggling and unicycling skills to the stage, as well his gifted dog training. Joining Darren with the magic of diabolo is Etienne Chauzy.
3. TexMex Holiday Fiesta at ACL Live
8 p.m. Dec. 22. $35-$50. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com.
One of the last holiday shows of the season is also one of the coolest. With Grammy-winning Tex-Mex outfit Los Texmaniacs and living-legend accordionist Flaco Jimenez at the helm, this borderland party brings in a broad horizon of possibilities thanks to a stellar cast of special guests. Expect some Free Mexican Airforce action between Jimenez and folk-bluegrass great Peter Rowan. Johnny Nicholas, Rosie Flores and a "very special surprise guest" also are promised for a show that will include a holiday song swap. — Peter Blackstock
4. "Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic"
Noon, 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 23. $20-$55. The Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. texasboxoffice.com.
Families are getting multiple chances to see this popular kid-friendly performance on Christmas weekend. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the comical duo of Donald and Goofy will take the stage to lead off a night featuring 25 beloved cartoon characters. See the Fairy Godmother transform Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful ball gown in a split second, the Toy Story gang defy the dimensions of Andy’s toy box, and the spectacular stage debut of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider as they rise into the sky. With special appearances by Snow White, Tinker Bell and Aladdin’s Genie, you never know who might join in the fun.
5. Ugly Holiday Dog Sweater Contest
Noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 24. Free. Blue Owl Brewing, 2400 E. Cesar Chavez St. facebook.com/events/1748428115462912/.
This spin on the typical ugly holiday sweater party couldn’t possibly be any cuter. Dress your furry friend in their most hideous holiday outfit and find out if it’s the ugliest of them all at this East Austin brewery. You can stop by at anytime during Blue Owl’s open hours to participate. Blue Owl Brewing will also be serving up eggnog made using its Professor Black Sour Cherry Stout to celebrate Christmas Eve. The owner of the winning dog will get a free tasting tour.