Like a perfectly worn-in pair of cowboy boots, slipping into a classic dive bar to down a cold one provides true comfort. The Hole in the Wall is as divey as they come. I’m grinning from ear to ear as I order my tequila. [Read more…]
From huge festivals with famous headliners to as-of-yet-undiscovered bands playing neighborhood bars on a Monday night, Austin is known for its phenomenal music scene. But there’s one kind of musical performance that doesn’t always get the same recognition: Austin’s stellar opera scene.
Austin Opera (formerly known as Austin Lyric Opera) is celebrating its 30th anniversary season this year. That’s 30 years of putting on thrilling live musical experiences ranging from Italian classics to hip, modern creations. Austin Opera seeks to thrill diehard opera fans and newbies alike with an “art form as spirited and adventurous as Austin itself.” [Read more…]
In a digital world, it’s a fun feeling to get anything delivered by mail. It’s especially fun when music is involved. Vinylmnky, a local Austin vinyl delivery service, has joined the movement to make listening to music a more tangible experience. And there are many reasons why people enjoy collecting vinyl records, from the album art to the feel of the grooves. It’s delightful to learn how to “drop the needle.”
After trying the service myself, this is what I’ve found. [Read more…]
It’s hard to believe, but 2016 is coming to a close. Whether you prefer a casual celebration or choose to ring in the New Year dancing the night away, Austin has something for you. To help you decide what to do, I’ve curated a list of dinners, bashes and even a few activities for the morning after (hangovers welcome).
So here’s to you, to the end of this year and to the start of another. Let’s get this party started. [Read more…]
The holiday season in Austin can be magical. The Zilker Tree. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Brightly decorated cedar trees along Route 360. Everything falls in place for a beautiful season, with one exception: cold weather.
Growing up back east, Christmastime was synonymous with freezing temperatures. Bundling up to go shopping, frost covered windows, parks and forests transformed into Norman Rockwell paintings by blankets of snow. In Austin, not so much. It’s tough to get into the holiday spirit while wearing sandals and shorts.
Luckily, there’s a number of ways to add a little “brrrr” to your holiday season in Austin. It may not be a winter wonderland, but a touch of Christmas cold can lead to extra warmth in your heart. Let’s get chilly!
1/ Ice Skating at Whole Foods
A miracle of modern science, ice skating in 75-degree weather on the rooftop at the flagship Whole Foods Market on North Lamar is an amazing experience. But you don’t need to be Wayne Gretzky to get in on the fun. Admission is $10 and includes a skate rental, just in case you’ve never felt the need to buy skates in our blazing hot climate. Afterwards, grab a hot chocolate downstairs and be filled with holiday chill.
The Whole Foods Market rink is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from Nov. 27 to Jan. 7.
2/ Watch a Texas Stars Hockey Game at H-E-B Center
In a land dominated by football, football and football, alternative sports are a footnote. But during our warm winter months, a very good hockey team plays just north of Austin in Cedar Park.
And it’s a great value. Tickets start at $15; there isn’t a bad seat in the house; and players hit other. Quite often. Just be sure to dust off your jackets before heading to the arena. Hockey wasn’t called the “Coolest Game on Ice” in the 90’s for nothing.
The Texas Stars play at H-E-B Center. Go to texasstars.com for tickets, schedule and team info.
3/ Nutcracker at the Long Center With Ballet Austin
Snow falling from the rafters. A gigantic Christmas tree. Something about sugar plum fairies. Few things scream “holidays” like Ballet Austin’s annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Now in its 54th year, this tradition presents the illusion of cold without the need for buying a scarf. Singing, dancing and Santa equals a magical evening for the whole family.
“The Nutcracker” runs every weekend until Dec. 23 at the Long Center. Tickets can be found at balletaustin.org.
4/ Cryotherapy at Recovery Zone
What’s cooler than being cool? SUB-ZERO! Hear me out on this one. The holidays can be a brutal assault on the body. Rushing from store to store, lugging bags of gifts to the car, carpel tunnel due to online shopping. You’ll need a breather and your body will need rejuvenating.
Enter cryotherapy. The treatment puts you in a sauna chilled to -200 degrees for three minutes or less. The results are nothing short of science fiction brought to life. Reduced muscle soreness, improved joint function and decreased fatigue will put you back into the holiday shopping frenzy with renewed energy.
Recovery Zone is located at 1211 West 6th St., Suite 600. For prices and availability, visit recoveryzonecryo.com.
5/ Tour Neighborhood Holiday Season Displays
Of everything on the list, this is my favorite. While Trail of Lights and the big Texas Hill Country light shows are awe-inspiring, walking Austin’s many neighborhood displays is a more intimate experience. Whether it’s Elfvis & The Kringles in Round Rock or the massive Harlen Family Christmas in Cedar Park, gazing at a kaleidoscope of lights in the chilly night air generates warm holiday feelings. Snuggle up with a loved one, bask in the glow and let the holiday season fill your heart.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
How do you plan on spending your holiday season in Austin?
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!
‘Tis the season to sparkle! Events and festivals full of holiday light trails adorn Texas Hill Country, and we’ve found the best and brightest for you.
Of course, we all LOVE Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. However, these eight Hill Country destinations can satisfy your craving for even more holiday glitz.
I love that Christmas glow. If you do, too, here are the best holiday light trails I’ve found within easy road tripping distance of Austin, organized by distance from downtown. [Read more…]
For some people, karaoke is a time to sit back and marvel at (or laugh along with) vocally talented friends. For others, it’s a dream scenario come to life to hold a mic and squeeze every note out of a favorite song. Austin has a happenin’ karaoke scene. Even better, the community of karaoke-ers is usually very welcoming, no matter whether you sound like Adele or Tom Waits with a cold.
Karaoke is a perfect outlet to shake off stress built up during the week. Here are a few of Austin’s favorite spots to let loose with a microphone. [Read more…]
Austinites pride themselves on the “Live Music Capital of the World” tagline, but the local love for big festivals, loud bars and coffee shop jams can overshadow classical forms of music. Those who want to experience the full spectrum of incredible musical happenings in our city need to add Chorus Austin to the top of their list. [Read more…]
As we move into the holiday season, I begin to reflect on all I have to be thankful for and consider how I can help those in my community who are less fortunate. If you’re also looking for a way to give back this holiday season, Austin Empty Bowl Project is a cause highly deserving of your support. Over the past 19 years, Austin Empty Bowl Project has raised over $900,000 to help feed hungry Central Texans. Now celebrating 20 years, the goal is the $1 million mark.
The family-friendly event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Texas Food Bank, located at 6500 Metropolis Dr. For a donation of $20, guests are invited to choose their favorite from over 4,000 handmade ceramic bowls donated by local artists, which are then filled with soup and bread from some of Austin’s best restaurants. When it’s time to leave, have your bowl wrapped up to take home as a reminder of those whose bowls are empty. [Read more…]
Five years ago, Trail of Lights was privatized to take the monetary obligation away from taxpayers. The future of the holiday extravaganza seemed rocky at first, but now the event is arguably better than ever with a giant Ferris wheel, charitable events and Austin vendors helping to make the event memorable. [Read more…]