How was your holiday? Probably joyous, fun, and exhausting. Over a month of partying, shopping and traveling leaves most of us tapped out. We all need to recover from a December of debauchery. Luckily, The Austinot is here to help. Check out this surefire plan to use all-things-local to get back into the regular swing of things. [Read more…]
Nothing excites me more than the prospect of hosting a party. From creating menus to dreaming up goodie bags, I can’t get enough. Half of this enthusiasm comes from living in a city that makes party planning so easy. Last year as a maid of honor, I convinced an entire bridal party to come to Austin because of all the bachelorette party potential!
Though I find the role of hostess exhilarating, I realize I might be in the minority. So let me be your hostess with the mostest, and introduce you to a few local Austin companies that can make any party a success. From birthday bashes for tiny tykes to bachelorettes for blushing brides-to-be, I’ve got ideas for everyone. [Read more…]
How is it that some people naturally have a green thumb? Are they born plant experts or did they learn how to make living things thrive over time?
I’ve survived a roller coaster of success and failure with plants of my own. More often than not, I can’t figure out what I did wrong or right. Am I destined for a life of silk flowers and plastic fronds?
That question has crossed my mind a time or two. But after picking the brains of two Austin plant experts at Barton Springs Nursery and Frond Plant Shop, I’ve decided a green thumb isn’t hereditary; it’s contagious. [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…]
Have you ever been to a gun range without any bullets? How about an archery range where you can practice your hunting and marksmanship skills within hundreds of different scenarios?
Whether you’re a trained shooter sharpening your skills or a gun newbie wanting to try a range for the first time, there’s something for you at Safe Range. Located in Round Rock, Safe Range uses real guns, modified to work without ammunition. These guns combine with laser technology to create a fun, safe and realistic shooting experience. [Read more…]
Living in a city like Austin, with so much music and art around to enjoy, it’s no wonder we often feel an urge to tap into our creative side. Whether you already have a craft you dabble in or are looking for something new, you should consider the art of metalsmithing! Smithing is the craft of using metal to create items such as tools, kitchenware and jewelry, and is one of the oldest occupations. No wonder Smith is such a common last name.
Sounds like a difficult craft to try out, right? Wrong! Creative Side Jewelry Academy–and their latest expansion, Creative Side Metal Works–allows the average Austinite to tap into his or her creative side and learn how to forge, solder, melt and mold metal. [Read more…]
Did you know Austin has a zoo? If you didn’t, you’re not alone! It isn’t your typical zoo, as it started as a rescue sanctuary in 1990 and remains a non-profit habitat for rescued animals today. The nature-loving individuals who work there are dedicated to rehabilitation and education.
If you fancy a day spent with amazing creatures other than humans, it’s worth the 25-30 minute drive southwest from downtown Austin. Here are a few key components that make it such a special place. [Read more…]
Step off the plane into Austin-Bergstrom Airport, and the wafting scent of Salt Lick BBQ is one of the first indicators this town is going to woo you. Try not to swoon over the unmistakable guitar riffs of Stevie Ray Vaughan ubiquitous in bars around town. And if your heart doesn’t do a back flip when gazing at the skyline from a grassy corner of Barton Springs, then you’re beyond help.
I had to leave Austin for it to sink in: living in this overgrown college town is something that ruins a person for living elsewhere. While it’s impossible to completely describe what makes this town so lovely to call home, here are some of the reasons I can never hang my hat anywhere else. [Read more…]