On Sunday afternoons off Metric Boulevard among warehouses and offices, a weekly event is romancing audiences with tasty brews, trailer eats and consciously curated music performed by some of Austin’s best talent. This reoccurring event at 4th Tap Brewing Co-op is called Revel Unclassified, and it began in January of this year after Carla McElhaney dreamt up the idea for a concert series listeners are meant to revel in. [Read more…]
Food and history are the key ingredients at Taste of Black Austin, an intimate reception to be held at Peached Social House on Jan. 31, 2017. The event is hosted by Greater Black Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization that promotes the development of African American businesses. Tickets are now available to the general public.
When the lights go off and the audience settles in, all you can see inside a spacious back room at Austin Java is a brightly-lit stage and two neon arrows hanging from the ceiling. In the spotlight created by the arrows is a tall guy with a cup of coffee in one hand and a phone with notes open in the other. Brendan K. O’Grady is here every single Saturday. So is his best friend Duncan Carson who takes the stage next. The duo has been running a free comedy show called Sure Thing in the back of the coffee shop for five years now. Every Saturday, there’s a lineup of comics, from Austin and around the country. [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…]
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…]
Texas Monthly invited 27 BBQ purveyors to participate in the 7th annual TMBBQ Fest at the Long Center on Oct. 30, 2016. Austin pitmasters represented our city well, claiming five of the coveted spots at the festival and sharing the stage with others from among the top 50 pitmasters in Texas.
The pitmasters, crews and volunteers brought in their smokers early to set up for the meat-tasting extravaganza of the year. A hungry horde of roughly 3,500 eaters put on their game faces and lined up for grub. Some families planned their tasting strategy ahead of time, employing a divide and conquer strategy. Others meandered about, going where the day and their noses led them.
The five Austin participants included Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue, Freedmen’s, Stiles Switch and Lambert’s. Here’s what you missed. [Read more…]
If you’ve ever been to a concert in Austin, you know it’s never just about the music. The audience participating, the libations and the ambiance form a full experience. We all crave entertainment that stimulates our many senses.
But what happens when you strip away the “entertainment” factor and leave an audience with nothing but the the artist and the music? Does the experience fall flat? Perhaps unexpectedly, guests at Cafe con Letras in Austin find their senses set on fire by the connections they see, hear and feel between the artist and the music. [Read more…]