1. Handel's "Messiah" with the Austin Symphony Orchestra
8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5. $35-$50. Dec. 4: Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway. Dec. 5: Emmaus Catholic Church, 1718 Lohmans Crossing Rd., Lakeway. austinsymphony.org/events/handels-messiah/.
It's not Christmastime in Austin without the Austin Symphony tradition of performing Handel's "Messiah." Beloved local choral group Chorus Austin will provide the vocal accompaniment throughout the concert — which includes the reason the oratorio has become such a popular piece to play around the holiday season — the "Hallelujah" chorus. Let the two musical groups begin your winter celebrations with a performance full of rejoicing.
2. "Elf" Pub Run + Screening with the Paramount Theatre
6 p.m. doors Dec. 4. $10-$20. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.
Have an affinity for elf culture? Join everyone else who does, too. The pub run starts at the Paramount and will head to Fareground for some elf-themed fun. Once back at the theater, expect more festivities at the Paramount's Gimbels department store lobby including specialty cocktails, a Throne of Lies and more surprises, before a screening of the Will Ferrell movie. Enter the elf costume contest; the top three will win prizes.
3. Umlauf After Dark: Winter Fair
6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4. $5. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Azie Morton Rd. umlaufsculpture.org/umlauf-after-dark.
Get a jump on your holiday shopping while supporting the Umlauf at the same time. The monthly after-hours event will bring in local and handmade gifts available from local artisans and makers. Activities include live music, lawn games and ornament making. Plus, there will be a bar featuring Tito's Handmade Vodka and free beer from Lagunitas so that you can sip while you shop and hang out. Umlauf members have no admission fee to get in.
4. Vintage Deschutes the Abyss Beer Dinner
6 to 11 p.m. Dec. 4. $60. The Dig Pub, 401 Cypress Creek Rd. Ste. 600., Cedar Park. facebook.com/events/182951545967920/.
This is a treat for craft beer lovers: The Dig Pub uncorks five consecutive years of Deschutes Brewery's delectable imperial stout, the Abyss. This dinner will feature five courses, each paired with a cellared vintage of the Abyss ranging in years from 2010 to 2014. Executive chef Brandon Letson has created a menu, in partnership with the Cedar Park pub, that will help to guide you through the subtleties of the incredible beers.