Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Are they usually focused on self-improvement, requiring physical exercise, food abstinence or cleaning out that garage?
Dang it, you need to make a resolution that will open your mind. Look at the city around you, begging to be explored.
If you need fresh ideas, here’s a list of 14 Austin resolutions for 2015 that will reward you with a uniquely Austin experience and expand your understanding of this weird, wild and wonderful city. I’m giving you one resolution a month, plus two bonus resolutions to make 2015 your best year in Austin yet.
#1 See the Bats
Watching the millions of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats emerge from under the South Congress Bridge at dusk is something akin to a religious rite. To see and feel them flit effortlessly within inches of your head as they snap up insects is ecstasy.
There are several places to park your car and wander to watch. They include:
- Austin American-Statesman’s Bat Observation Center, 305 S. Congress Ave
- Four Season’s Hotel, 98 San Jacinto Blvd (parking is not free, but it is only one block north of the bridge)
- 100 Congress Ave (parking not free)
- Colorado River Park, 400 Grove Blvd
- East Cesar Chavez St (some parking free after 6 PM and some paid)
Make sure you read our full guide to bat season in Austin.
#2 Walk the Lady Bird
Walk the entire Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake in 2015. It’s time.
Alternatively, bike it. Or run. Just go. You need to see this part of Austin as it can only be seen from the trail. Here’s a map.
#3 Climb Mount Bonnell
Take a picnic lunch and watch the sunset at 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd overlooking the Colorado River.
Did Antoinette leap? Who’s Antoinette? Find out for yourself.
#4 Recline at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
Book a recliner chair in the balcony of Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (320 E 6th St). The experience combines the comfort of your den with the communal experience of sharing film with others.
Look at the schedule online and pick your movie. Take a date or a friend. If you can’t find anyone, go by yourself. Nobody cares in Austin if you’re by yourself to see a movie. Don’t be afraid. Keep Austin Weird.
#5 Find Austin Food Trucks You’ve Never Been To
Break out of your rut by going to a food truck you’ve never been to. Ask a friend. Drive around.
If you can’t find a new food truck, check to make sure you’re still in Austin and not driving around Dallas or Lubbock.
#6 Go to Eeyore’s Birthday Party
Mark your calendar: April 25, 2015 (rain date is May 3rd). The 52nd Eeyore’s Birthday Party will take place in Pease Park from 11 AM till dark.
Wear a costume. Artists. Music. Fun. You can’t park at the park, which is located at 1100 Kingsbury Street. You can park elsewhere and catch free shuttles. Check their website for details.
#7 Segway Tour
There are a number of Segway tours of Austin. They include a downtown tour (Executive Segway Tour in Austin), a bat tour (Haunted Bat Segway Tour in Austin) and the Ride It Segway Tour in Austin. You can easily master a Segway if you’ve never ridden one to explore historic landmarks and shoot photos.
Here are a few companies to get you on your way:
- Austin Segway Tour
- Segcity, 1718 Lavaca St and 621 E 6th St
- Gliding Revolution, Austin Segway Tours, 30 N I-35 Frontage Rd, (512) 495-9250
- Segway Nation Inc, 1108 Lavaca St #100
8. Try a Flavor You’ve Never Had at Amy’s Ice Creams
If you’ve never tried Mexican Vanilla with strawberries at Amy’s Ice Creams, it’s time. This flavor will make your year. Make sure to tip the artist who makes your order.
You probably have your favorite location. If not, you can’t go wrong with the one at 1301 S Congress Ave. There are now a total of 13 Austin area locations, all listed here.
#9 Go to Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival
Austin City Limits is an annual event now held across two three-day weekends in Zilker Park. There are at least eight stages for watching bands both famous and obscure. You’ll have fun. Everyone there is having fun.
#10 Hang Out in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is an historic Austin neighborhood that holds many delights within walking distance. A few of the highlights include Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, the Elizabet Ney Museum and Mother’s Restaurant.
Hyde Park stretches from Guadalupe to Duval and 39th Street to 45th Street. It’s only moments west of I-35.
#11 Experience UT’s New Theatre Festival
The UT New Theatre Festival takes place in December, so you have plenty of time to work it into your 2015 schedule. The festival features new plays by third-year playwrights in UT’s MFA program. The plays are brand new – some have lines and whole scenes added just before opening night.
These plays (four were put on in 2014) are by gifted people UT believes will make it as playwrights. And the festival as a whole is directed by Steven Dietz, one of the most produced living playwrights in North America (many say the most produced living playwright).
#12 Dip in Deep Eddy Pool
Deep Eddy Pool (1401 Deep Eddy Ave) is rumored to be the oldest man-made swimming pool in Texas. It was built during the FDR era as part of the Works Progress Administration, after the former swimming hole concreted in on the Colorado River was destroyed by a flood.
During the summer, there are movie nights at Deep Eddy, where Austinites can lounge in a tube or on the grass as popular films play on a blow-up screen.
#13 Go to an Author’s Reading at BookPeople
R.L. Stine, Laura Lippman and Amanda Palmer all visited BookPeople in 2014 for Author’s Readings. Check out who’s there in 2015. This is your chance to see in person the authors whose words sound in your mind with their ideas and stories.
BookPeople is at 603 N Lamar Blvd just north of Whole Foods.
#14 Grab a Cup of Coffee with a Friend at Halcyon
Halcyon is a great location to meet a friend for coffee or drinks at the full bar. Or you can cruise on your laptop with a cup of joe or eggnog latte.
Located in Austin’s Warehouse District at 218 W 4th St, Halcyon features live music on occasion and a great atmosphere to relax, think and talk with friends.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are your Austin resolutions for 2015?