• 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


  • Wing-Man and Reilly

    Gnap! Theater Projects and Salvage Vanguard presents this double feature of physical comedy, showcasing Caitlin Reilly (of Schave & Reilly) and NYC's Mark Gindick (who performs Wing-Man, his original and wordless winner of United Solo Theatre Festival's "Best One-Man Show"). These aren't the clowns who will eat you while you sleep; these are the clowns who will thrill you while you're awake. Recommended. Wed.-Fri., Jan. 2-4, 8pm. http://edit.austinchronicle.com/tools/binary-viewer?mode=image&sid=object-editor-NPkFAM&key=de453902eeb9e085b2b9962afebd39be&fieldid=162&subindex=1&input=f%3Aoid%3A1394422%3Aimage%3A1&bgcolor=ccccff&time=50db6f7f, $10

    Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 512/474-7886


  • Fusebox & Blue Genie Open House

    Party with the artistic geniuses of Blue Genie and learn about this year's imminent Fusebox Festival while enjoying some wintry treats – like veggie chili, winter beer, and, maybe, just maybe, s'mores. Fri., Jan. 4, 6-9pm.

    Blue Genie Art Industries, 916 Springdale, 512/444-6655



    • Mario Kart Tournament

      You might have thought Mario was nothing but a turtle-hater, but he's also a cutthroat driver. Test your skills against other players (6 years of age and older) to advance to the finals. Fri., Jan. 4, Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 3101 Oak Springs Dr.; Sun., Jan. 6, Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe; both at 2pm. Free.



    • 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


    • Owl Prowl With the Eagle Lady

      Doris Mager, the Eagle Lady, travels the country introducing her flock of birds of prey in a program that is not to be missed. Sat., Jan. 4, 4:30-6:30pm. $3 plus park entrance fee.

      Ink Lake State Park, Burnet


    • Austin Toros

      See our sports blog, the Score, for more on the Toros. Vs. Rio Grande Valley: Fri., Jan. 4, 7:30pm. $4-39.

      Cedar Park Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park, 512/236-8333 x4651


    • 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


    • Femme ATX

      Meet Austin's La Femme Nostra. Open to femmes of all genders. First Fridays, 8-11pm, self-ID femme time; after 10pm, allies, admirers, and pals may join

      Bennu Coffee, 2001 E. MLK, 512/478-4700

      www.bennucoffee.com, femmeatx@gmail.com