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  • The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!)

    The Vortex and Circus Chickendog team up to present this trained-animal homage to Tchaikovsky's classic for the holidays. It's family-friendly, all right, but it's not just for the kiddies: These are antics that even grown-ups will be delighted by, as the talented Darren Peterson goes all out with juggling, unicycling, giant bubbles, rope tricks, and puppets – as abetted by his circus dogs and a performing macaw. Thu.-Sun., Dec. 27-30, 5:30 & 7pm; Thu.-Fri., Jan. 3-4, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 5, 5:30 & 7pm. $10-30 ($5-15, kids)

    The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282

    www.vortexrep.org

  • Community

    • Winter Break Camp

      Are the kids starving for activity in their school-deprived vacation? Let the Nature & Science Center give them a day of science learning, outdoor exploration, and playing. For kids ages 5-11. Dec. 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, Jan. 2, 3, & 4, 8am-5pm. $45 per day.

      Austin Nature & Science Center, 301 Nature Center Dr., 974-3888

      www.austintexas.gov/ansc

    • Texas Stars

      For more on the Stars see our Sports blog, the Score. Vs. Oklahoma City: Thu., Dec. 27, 7:30pm. $11-64 plus fees.

      Cedar Park Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park, 512/600-5000

      www.texasstarshockey.com

    • The Rules of Basketball

      Features an exhibition by artist Paul Pfeiffer and a display of James Naismith's 1891 document the Original Rules of Basketball. You won't want to miss this in-depth and historical look into the sport of basketball. Runs through Jan. 13, 2013.

      The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr., 512/471-7324

      www.blantonmuseum.org

    • Thursday Night Social Ride

      Between 250 and 300 cyclists are expected to take part in this friendly, socially paced ride of 12 to 15 miles. Riders will stop for cars and try not to block intersections along the way. This adult ride concludes at a different bar each week. Fiesta Beach, N. I-35 and Lady Bird Lake. Free.

      www.socialcyclingaustin.com

    • Texas Stars

      It's H-E-B night where fans can get $5 off their tickets by donating an H-E-B store brand nonperishable food item at the box office. Vs. Rockford: Tue., Feb. 5, 7:30pm. $11-64 plus fees

      Cedar Park Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park, 512/600-5000

      www.texasstarshockey.com