1. Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker”
Opens Dec. 7. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, with additional 7:30 p.m. performances Dec. 18 and 19 and 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 23, through Dec. 23. $20-$99. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. balletaustin.org
The world’s best-known ballet has been an Austin tradition for 57 years. Ballet Austin combines vibrant sets and costumes with Stephen Mills’ sterling choreography, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s music and the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s live accompaniment for this breathtaking production of “The Nutcracker.” Local celebrities continue to take on the Mother Ginger role, starting this year with KEYE anchor Hema Mullur.
2. Eberly’s Sunset Sessions finale
6 p.m. doors Dec. 1. $43-$100. 615 S. Lamar Blvd. eberly.ticketleap.com/secret-artist
The fall season of Sunset Sessions — a live music showcase at Eberly benefiting the SIMS Foundation — is coming to a close. The finale will feature Kalu James (of Kalu & the Electric Joint) as well as a secret headliner, who will announce the show on social media the morning of the event. Hosted in Eberly’s private rooftop event space, Sunset Sessions has VIP tickets available with perks including a $50 Eberly gift card.
3. Central Market Cooking School: Austin Beerworks Party Fun Time
6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2. $65. 4001 N. Lamar Blvd. centralmarket.com
Austin Beerworks has two goals: “to consistently brew exceptional craft beers and build community in the town we love.” Learn more about this local brewery and how to make tasty food that pairs with the beers made there. During class, you can sit back and relax or join Central Market staff and Beerworks’ Will Golden in the kitchen to help create four dishes that will be served with beers like Sputnik.
4. “Elf” Pub Run and Movie Screening
6 p.m. doors Dec. 3. $12-$25. 713 Congress Ave. tickets.austintheatre.org/5580
Dress in your best “Elf” attire and jog over to the Paramount Theatre for the annual pub run and movie screening. Participants will run to Scholz Garten for “Elf”-themed contests and games (including a costume contest judged by Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano) before settling in to enjoy everyone’s favorite holiday movie. Entry includes drink and popcorn tickets. Movie-only tickets are still available. — Johanna Gretschel
5. Up Around the Sun at Cactus Cafe
8:30 p.m. Dec. 4. $12-$15. 2247 Guadalupe St. cactuscafe.org.
Legendary as a member of pioneering, circa-1980 Austin punk band Big Boys but in recent years focusing on intriguing folk-instrumental music, Tim Kerr joined with fellow Austinite Jerry Hagins on Up Around the Sun’s self-titled album a few years ago. For this show, they’ll team with Alaska fiddler and poet Ken Waldman, whose recent projects also include three volumes of timely political works titled “Trump Sonnets.” — Peter Blackstock
6. “Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche”
Opens Dec. 5. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 29. $15-$25. Picturebox Studios, 701 Tillery St. citytheatreaustin.org/currentshow.html
The Austin premiere of the off-Broadway smash, as staged by the City Theatre, serves up a tasty recipe of hysterical laughs, cheeky innuendoes, unsuccessful repressions and delicious discoveries. It’s 1956, and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is having their annual holiday quiche breakfast — when the atomic bomb sirens sound. How will the ladies respond?
7. Austin Trail of Lights’ Night Lights Preview Party
6 p.m. Dec. 6. Free-$85. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road. austintrailoflights.org/specialty-nights/night-lights-preview-party
Before the annual Trail of Lights display opens to the public in Zilker Park, check out the sparkling scene with a smaller crowd. The Night Lights preview party will have live music from Jackie Venson and Mother Falcon, bites from local restaurants, a beer and wine open bar, cocktail tastings, and complimentary Ferris wheel and carousel rides. Ticket proceeds go toward the Trail of Lights Foundation.