1. “The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!)”
Opens Dec. 19. 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, with additional 4:30 p.m. show Jan. 1, through Jan. 5. $15-$37. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. vortexrep.org
Rescue dogs? Juggling? A talking macaw? You know what that means: Circus Chickendog returns to the Vortex for its holiday spectacular featuring furry friends. This year’s production — based on “The Nutcracker” and about a girl, Clara Marie, exploring the magical world of Doglandia — stars five talented rescue dogs, a talking scarlet macaw and their handler, Darren Peterson. The guest stars of this year’s show are the Famiglia Gentile, the famous foot-juggling family.
2. Paul Klemperer's 8th annual Festivus Celebration at Barrel O’ Fun
7 p.m. Dec. 15. Free. 1911 Aldrich St., Suite 120B. pksax.com
Do Christmas commercialism and manufactured merriment leave you feeling Scroogey? Paul Klemperer feels your pain. The jazz sax man hosts a celebration of the cynical “Seinfeld”-inspired holiday, leading his crew in a series of songs and airing of grievances around the Festivus pole. Klemperer promises other Festivus traditions, like feats of strength, and observance of Festivus miracles also will be part of the event. — Deborah Sengupta Stith
3. Blue Genie Art Bazaar
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 24 (when it closes at 6 p.m.). 6100 Airport Blvd. bluegenieartbazaar.com
Want to get your loved ones one-of-a-kind, locally made gifts? Austin’s numerous holiday bazaars just might have what you’re looking for. One of the largest markets is back with handmade gifts by more than 200 artists and vendors, all located under one roof with a full bar and a festive, family-friendly atmosphere. The bazaar hopes to draw you out on less-crowded weekdays with themed nights such as Make-a-Wish Mondays.
4. The Fair of the Aeronauts
3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 17. Free. Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe St. eventbrite.com/e/the-aeronauts-incredible-journeythe-cross-country-ballooning-fair-tickets-81631286375
In celebration of the new film “The Aeronauts,” Amazon Prime Video hosts this extravagant recreation of the World’s Fair that launched the real-life aeronauts to fame in 1862. In addition to taking flight in a functional replica of the Mammoth balloon featured in the movie, you can also be entertained by a legion of 19th-century performers, such as an aerial acrobat, rope walker and juggler. There will be fair food and beverages.
5. Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker”
7:30 p.m. Dec. 18-21, 2 p.m. Dec. 22 and 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, including Wednesday’s Kendra Scott.
6. “Home Alone” at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in
7:15 to 9 p.m. Dec. 20. $10-$37. 2103 E M. Franklin Ave. tickettailor.com/events/bluestarliteaustin/316273/#
Watch the John Hughes holiday film in a way you may never have before — via an old-school drive-in theater. Blue Starlite has returned to the Mueller area and is screening a variety of Christmas movies, including “Home Alone.” Watch the crafty young Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) take on Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern’s bad guys in your car or on the grass. And don’t miss Blue Starlite’s Forest of Lights.
7. Eden East’s Winter Solstice Festival
6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 21. $85. 755 Springdale Road. eventbrite.com/e/eden-east-annual-solstice-festival-craft-market-tickets-70720889083
Well, we’re just a few days away from Christmas, but farm-to-table restaurant Eden East doesn’t want to overlook the fact that the winter solstice has arrived now. Celebrate the official arrival of winter with a pig roast and craft market. There will be live music from retro-soul phenomenon Brian Scartocci. Plus, you can pick up last-minute holiday gifts from artisans such as Molly + Rye. The chefs will serve a seasonal, family-style buffet and dessert bar.