Five (More) Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

New England Conservatory Millennium Gospel Choir
There’s nothing quite so powerful as the raw, goosebump-inducing sound of human voices thundering away together in an acapella performance. Trust me — as a former high school choir member, a terrible one at that, I can vouch that this group of 50 singers will send shivers up your spine as they perform Christmas classics like “Carol of the Bells.” $20 (members), $25 (non members), Friday, December 16, 8 p.m., Remis Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 800-440-6975,

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Not into all that pre-holiday festing? Then go see what’s widely hailed as one of the best sci-fi flicks of all time. Fun fact: the film is named after a legit hierarchical system created by astronomer J. Allen Hynek in 1972 — the third “kind” involves an actual sighting of animate beings in, near, on, or around a UFO. $5-$10, free for Emerson students, Bright Family Screening Room, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston, 617-824-8400,

Happy Hour with Cisco
Hit up Charlie’s Kitchen for free samples from Nantucket’s Cisco Brewery, free pint glasses with the purchase of any Cisco or Triple 8 beverage, as well as a chance to win free ski passes to Okemo Mountain in Vermont. 5 p.m.-7 p.m., 10 Eliot St., Cambridge, 617-492-9646, check out the Facebook page.

Seasonal Bar Hop
Santacon 2011
Basic idea? 1. Dress up like Santa. 2. Proceed with bar crawl alongside a couple hundred other Santas. 3. Hope for the best. According to the flier, the event “starts at noon in Porter Square and goes ’til Santa is pissed, puking, or passed out.” The event starts at noon at Christopher’s and Tavern in the Square and “ends” at the final destinations in Central Square (Middlesex, Zuzu, and Phoenix Landing) at 9:30. Free, but don’t forget to tip the bar staff; visit the website.

The Velveteen Rabbit
This was one of my favorite books as a child — one that reinforces the positive power of an active imagination, a talent all kids should be encouraged to nurture. This play adaptation of the Margery Williams book by Burgess Clark combines puppetry, live actors, and runs for two hours. $25, Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m., and Sunday, December 18, 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston, 617-426-5000,