- Arianna Auber American-Statesman Staff
1. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar opening day
Music starts at noon Dec. 14; open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 24. $8 (season pass $60); ages 12 and younger free. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. armadillobazaar.com.
The 42nd annual music-and-shopping tradition during the holiday season begins an 11-day run with music from the Watters at noon, Wendy Colonna at 3 p.m. and Dale Watson & His Lonestars at 7 p.m. The event features three musical acts daily through Christmas Eve, with highlights including Ruthie Foster, Shinyribs, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Marcia Ball. Listen to their live performances while browsing for one-of-a-kind, locally made artisan wares including jewelry, visual art and ceramics. — Peter Blackstock
2. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Movie Party
7:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Free. 1505 Town Creek Drive. buzzmillcoffee.com.
The Buzz Mill is celebrating the new “Star Wars” movie a week early with the previous film in the franchise, which will help us collectively refresh our memories. And it’s no ordinary screening, either. There will be a “Star Wars”-themed photo booth, and the evil Kylo Ren himself will be in attendance for pictures. Plus, the Buzz Mill is transforming into the Mos Eisley Cantina where you can get special drinks. Think you know trivia? Test your knowledge for the chance to win prizes.
3. Half Step’s Guest Sous Chef Pop-Up Series
7 p.m. Dec. 11. $45. 75 1/2 Rainey St. facebook.com/events/133090677397712/.
The Rainey Street cocktail bar is bringing back this dinner series and, this time, is featuring a sit-down five-course meal with boozy pairings. Half Step is hosting chef Karsten Speith of Old Thousand, who will have fall-focused dishes for 40 guests. The dishes include tortellini with braised pork, turnip dashi, mushroom and egg yolk, and a chocolate malt chiffon with caramelized whey, goat ricotta and pumpkin. Arrive 30 minutes early to partake in a pre-dinner fortified wine tasting.
4. Handel’s “Messiah” with the Austin Symphony
8 p.m. Dec. 12. $35-$45. Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway. austinsymphony.org.
The Austin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Austin are once again partnering to perform the music of Handel’s “Messiah,” which includes the beloved Christmastime song the “Hallelujah Chorus.” The symphony’s show has become a holiday tradition. And if you can’t get enough classical holiday tunes, different ensembles of the symphony are performing a total of 12 Christmas in the Community concerts held throughout the city, continuing at the Asian American Resource Center and the Carver Museum on Dec. 13.
5. “White Christmas” at the Paramount Theatre
7 p.m. Dec. 13. $7-$12. 713 Congress Ave. 512-472-5470, austintheatre.org.
The Paramount has said it best: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” starring never-better Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, is “the cinematic equivalent of a hot-cocoa-fueled winter retreat.” If it’s on your list of must-see holiday movies every year, change it up and watch the 1954 film on the big screen in glorious 33mm. You know the story, right? The musical about a musical features Kaye and Crosby as a male song-and-dance team who become romantically involved with a sister act.
6. Jurassic Quest
3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 16-17. $14-$29. Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. jurassicquest.com/austin.
Dinosaurs bones in a museum are cool and all, but this weekend-long dinosaur exhibit will feature more than 80 super realistic, life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Families can interact with the massive creatures, learn about them and even ride a few. Plus, aspiring paleontologists can experience fossil digs with the bones of T-Rex and Triceratops, and there will also be an activities area with large dinosaur-themed inflatable mazes, face painting, dino crafts and more.
7. The Worthwich Yule Ball
3 to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 16. $5-$25. Sterling Events Center, 6134 U.S. 290 Frontage Road. eventbrite.com/e/worthwich-yule-ball-tickets-36877682140.
Now’s our chance to attend a snazzy magical ball like Harry Potter and his friends did in the book “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” The Worthwich School, a Central Texas wizarding school, is hosting two editions of the Yule Ball, one for families and one for adults 18 and older, featuring DJ music, dancing (including ballroom dance lessons) and the chance to take holiday photos. The night ball will also have booze. Getting fancy in your dress robes is encouraged but not required.