Scratching your head looking for that perfect gift? Searching for a memorable souvenir for out-of-town guests? Our guide to the city’s creative minds will help you find the Austin gifts you need to keep it local. [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…]
There’s nothing more exciting than finding the perfect gift for a loved one or close friend. Sometimes it jumps out and screams, “buy me!” Other times, you have to spend a little time searching.
Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to shop. Mark your calendars because we’ve compiled a list of our favorite pop-ups, markets and bazaars around town this holiday season. These are the shopping events you won’t want to miss. [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…]
Friends, food and family. The three F’s of the holiday season. Amid the chaos, lights and Amazon wish lists, there’s one constant: the old-fashioned family get-together. A chance to reconnect with the ones you love.
But not everybody heads home for the holidays. For whatever reason, many of us will be hanging out in Austin for the holiday season. And Austin can become a ghost town over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
But don’t despair. Put on some real clothes, turn off Netflix and head out on the town. For those doing an Austin Christmas this year, here are eight events that’ll make your holiday full of memories and fun. [Read more…]
I love the holidays in Austin. This is the time of year that locals bask in the mild weather, enjoying unparalleled nightlife minus the frostbite, while the rest of the country hunkers down and endures another snowy winter.
What better way to celebrate this amazing time of year than with some incredible, can-only-happen-here holiday events? These are my favorite picks for getting into the festive spirit this season. [Read more…]
My holiday season doesn’t get started until Trail of Lights begins. This year, Austin’s beloved event is back for its 51st year of sparkling holiday goodness.
It may be like this every year, but there seems to be an renewed energy surrounding this celebrated Austin tradition. The Trail of Lights Foundation has worked extremely hard to make the experience better than ever, while keeping the cost to Austinites down.
Trail of Lights is free for its first week, Dec. 8-15. After that, its only a $3 for ages 12+. This is a small price compared to how much it costs to keep over two million lights bright on a trail where Austinites and visitors will walk a combined million miles this season! [Read more…]
When it comes to giving gifts, my favorite part is the hunt for the perfect one. This joyous obsession may very well lead me to bankruptcy some day. But let’s not go there, yet.
If you have a list of names and an unsettled feeling in your stomach–because all you hear is crickets when it comes to knowing what gifts to give–this Austin gift guide is for you!
We’ve compiled hyperlocal suggestions to make your holiday gift-giving experience as simple as possible. Unfortunately, we can’t do the actual shopping for you. You’ll have to brave the hoards yourself. But fortunately, this ultimate guide will only lead you to local Austin treasures. No big box shopping nightmares from us. [Read more…]
After the turkey has settled and the pumpkin spice lattes have transitioned to frothy peppermint mochas, grab your wallet and reusable tote bags because it’s holiday craft fair season until we land with a thud in 2016.
Austin hosts a range of fairs in November and December, but if you’re looking to score that neon dinosaur planter or Velvet Underground vinyl record wall clock at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night, I recommend you make your way to North Austin for one of Austin’s longest-running craft shows, Blue Genie Art Bazaar. [Read more…]