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If you are a parent of school-aged kids you know that summer is a childcare scramble. Thankfully Cordovan Art School, which teaches visual and performing arts, is offering a wide range of camps at their Northwest Austin and Cedar Park locations.

In a town bursting with culture like ours, Cordovan believes in fostering creativity and self-confidence. The learning environment is positive, enjoyable, and allows students to progress and gain a deeper appreciation for the arts.

Students learn fundamental principles and time-tested techniques that will stay with them for life. If your child enjoys the arts, this is the perfect place for them to develop their talents.

Right now if you purchase three camp sessions for your child, you will get the fourth for free! Cordovan offers full-day and extended care options all summer long. They also have wildly popular themed camps like “Yay Clay!” where campers will turn a slab of mud into a ceramic masterpiece, and “Enchanted Forest” where kids get to paint, sketch, and interact with real furry, fuzzy, and scaly friends!

If you are looking for even more creative fun, you can drop in the studio at your leisure to paint your own pottery (PYOP). PYOP is a perfect activity for friends, family, parties, and even date night! Choose from hundreds of pre-made ceramics pieces.

Take advantage of the summer months and enrich your child’s, and your own life, in a whole new way!

Sam Hovland has worked in the Texas wine industry for more than 20 years and received his International Sommelier Guild Diploma in 2005.

He also worked at influential Austin wine shops including The Austin Wine Merchant, and East End Wines, as well as Vine Vault, where he partnered with the Texas Wine Journal. Additionally, he served as sommelier at the prestigious Headliners Club and worked as a wine buyer at other Austin restaurants, including Swift’s Attic and Wu Chow. Sam especially enjoys training waitstaff and interacting with customers.

All of these experiences and skills come together in his consulting service, Sammelier Services, through which he advises private collectors, teaches classes, and holds corporate events.

The series of articles presented below will draw upon Sam’s experience in the Texas wine industry and point the way to some great wines and the wineries that produce them.

Favorite Texas Wines of 2019

Texas Wine Trends

Austin has a thriving restaurant scene, this you know. But did you also know that The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas (WFFT) is investing in the chefs and culinary artists of the future? Since 1985, the organization has awarded over $1.3 million in scholarships and grants.

To carry out their mission to bring education, appreciation, and enjoyment to the community, WFFT hosts amazing wine and food events that raise money for the cause. They have an active membership program created to connect and inspire wine lovers and foodies of all interests and abilities. Learn more about WFFT and join right here.

Now they are partnering with Texas Monthly for Toast of Texas, an exclusive tasting of the magazine’s “Top Texas Wines of 2018.” After years of exciting expansion and innovation, it’s a great time to celebrate the state’s growing wine industry.

Guests will meet this year’s top Texas winemakers and enjoy their wines alongside a BBQ feast prepared by lauded LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue. There are 22 wineries (and counting!) confirmed for the event. And Warm Sugar will be playing live throughout the night, which will give it that warm, cozy, lone star vibe.

When: Thursday, June 20th

Time: 6–8:30 p.m.

Location: Mercury Hall, 615 Cardinal Lane, 78704

In honor of the 60th anniversary of Motown Records, the LBJ Presidential Library is hosting a new exhibition that will take you way back in time. If you haven’t been to to the LBJ Library, we really think you should. It’s one of the cultural treasures that makes Austin so unique.

Motown: The Sound of Young America traces the evolution of the label, which began in Detroit in the early 1960s and quickly became known as “The Sound of Young America,” crashing the American pop charts and challenging the Beatles-led British Invasion. In addition to stage outfits from many of Motown’s top performers, such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Miracles, and The Supremes, the visitors can also check out interviews with many music legends.

“The music of Motown represents a high-water mark in American music,” says Bob Santelli, the exhibition’s curator and Founding Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum®. “The long list of number one hits, the incredible stable of stars, and the genius of Berry Gordy, Jr., both as a businessman and nurturer of talent, made Motown one of the most successful and impactful record companies of all time.”

Above: A Clarinet D6 keyboard played by Stevie Wonder.

There are also interactive displays, including one that lets you perform The Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love” on stage and another that will teach you The Temptations’ signature dance moves. If you don’t Instagram yourself doing that, it didn’t happen!

When: now through January 26, 2020

Location:

The LBJ Presidential Library

2313 Red River Street

Austin, TX, 78705

Photos courtesy Jay Godwin for the LBJ Presidential Library.

When you are cruising on Lake Austin at sunset and sipping on an ice-cold beer, it’s like you just fall in love with this city all over again! Take your happy hour out on the water and experience the beauty and fun of this place in a whole new way. We’ve partnered with Float On and Independence Brewing Co. to offer the booze cruise of your dreams!

Organize your pals and join us on Thursday, May 16th! The trip starts just minutes from downtown at Walsh Landing and heads toward the 360 Bridge. Enjoy a slow troll through a semi-private grotto called Little Venice and take in the gorgeous Austin Country Club where all the greatest golfers compete in Dell Match Play. We’ll end up in Bull Creek Cove, aka Party Cove where you can float your cares away on Aqua Lily Pads. Please don’t miss out on this weeknight escape. You’ll be so sad if you do!

Book your reservation before this ship sails.

When: Thursday, May 16th

Time: 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Location: Walsh Landing

If you want to get out of town for a while, the City of Liberty Hill, which is just a short drive from Austin, is offering something really unique. The main street of this charming little place will be completely transformed into a wonderland for your senses!

At Whimsy & Wonder, an interactive art festival taking place May 18, downtown businesses will turn into galleries hosting works from local artists, live art demonstrations, and live music. Even the serving of food and wine will be artistic and unexpected—think aerial bartenders, living tables, and a live champagne dress.

The magic continues outside on Main Street, which will be filled with performers, stilt walkers, and local artisans. World-renowned Magician Cody S. Fisher will wow visitors with street magic, and a strolling caricature artist will draw guests on the spot. A children’s Imagination Garden will house interactive art exhibits, craft booths, and unforgettable circus performances!

Festival goers will be also be able to watch live art demonstrations including a live body painter, sidewalk chalk artists and Austin’s very own Dirty Car Artist, Scott Wade, in action. And it will be super easy to get around—pedicab drivers will be everywhere to transport visitors from downtown street parking and parking lots.

When: Saturday, May 18, 6-9 p.m.

Cost: Admission and parking are free! Food and a wide variety of unique art items are available for purchase.

For more information, click here.

Spring in Austin is a glorious little window of mild weather that simply must be taken advantage of. Come out of hibernation, throw on some cut-offs, and maximize every minute. Since we have built our business around giving you things to do, here’s a comprehensive to-do list of springtime activities that will make these next few months unforgettable, and for more options, visit our year-round list of the Best Things To Do In Austin.

Live it up, friends.

26. Take A Hike

There is so much natural beauty in and around Central Texas and if you live in Austin, chances are you don’t hate the idea of a nice long hike. Here are five tucked-away hiking trails in Austin we love.

25. Watch Movies Outside

Enjoy a fun and relaxing evening under the Austin sky. Blankets, lawn chairs, picnics, and dogs on-leash are welcome. There are great flicks this year—from The Little Mermaid to Zoolander; here’s the full schedule for Movies in the Park this season. 

24. Take A Sunset Bat Cruise

There is nowhere else on the planet where you can do this! While most people grab a spot on the bridge, there’s an even better way to watch Austin’s famous bats—from the rooftop deck of a gorgeous boat with pizza in one hand and a drink in the other! Click here to book your sunset bat cruise on Lady Bird Lake.

23. Float The River In Style

If you’re going to embark on this age-old journey of aquatic debauchery, you might as well do it right! This year, we’ve partnered with Austin Tour Company to offer public floats with added features that make it a floating party unlike any other. Get your tickets to float the San Marcos river and leave the driving to us. 

22. Eat Brunch On A Boat

We’re on a boat—no seriously! This brunch-time party cruise on Lady Bird Lake has great music, food, and beverages for you and your crew. Also, air conditioning, bathrooms, and views you can’t get on land. 

21. Austin Food + Wine Fest

Explore the best bites and sips our city has to offer with endless tastings from top Austin restaurants, appearances from big-time chefs, live music, and—because this is Austin—a gourmet taco competition. All this and more at Austin Food + Wine Festival. When: April 26th–28th. 

20. Hit Up Hot Luck Festival

This fest is a giant mishmash of food and music that could only happen in Austin. Created by James Beard Award-winner Aaron Franklin, Guerilla Suit principal and Mohawk owner James Moody, and Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland, it is a DIY casserole of the culinary and music world. When: May 23rd–26th. Click here for all the details on The Hot Luck Food and Live Fire Festival

19. Explore Art City Austin

This event will feature up to 80 visual artists, designers, installation artists, artisans, and makers showcasing and selling their wares. Always fun for friends and family! When: Saturday, April 13th. Learn more about Art City Austin here.

18. Attend A Lavender Festival

Yes, because our part of the world is so extra, there are two options to choose from here:

And the 21st Annual Lavender Fest at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg will have cooking demonstrations, lavender presentations, artisan vendors, lavender luncheons, concessions, music, and wine tasting, too. When: May 4th–5th.

The Blanco Lavender Festival. Blanco will be in full bloom, celebrating this free festival’s 15th year. Guests can tour local farms, hear from expert speakers, enjoy live music, and sample speciality foods. When: June 7th–9th.

17. Take Tons Of Bluebonnet Pics

It wouldn’t be spring in Austin without fields of our state flower putting on a show. And weather conditions have made this year’s wildflower bloom super special. Pull over and take some iconic pictures of your family, friends, and, most importantly, your dog. Here’s a list of the best places to see bluebonnets in Austin

16. Plant Your Own Garden

The Wildflower Center is hosting a native plant sale. Pick up a few things that will actually survive the Texas heat and beautify your own space. When: Saturday, April 13th. Details on The Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Sale.

15. Dance With Ballet Under The Stars

Beginning just before sundown at the Zilker Hillside Theater, this Austin tradition will make you swoon and wish spring could stay forever. When: May 31st and June 1st. Learn more about Ballet Under the Stars.

14. Explore Pecan Street Festival

The festival attracts hundreds of local and national artisans offering original handcrafted creations in a variety of mediums, from metal, wood, fiber, clay, leather, glass, and stone to repurposed materials of all kinds. It’s an Austin institution. When: May 4th–5th. More here on the Pecan Street Festival.

13. Watch Game of Thrones with your fellow fans

Good, clean fun for the whole family. Actually, not really—have you see this show? Come hang at Nickel City, they’ll be hosting Game of Thrones watch parties all season long. When: Sundays, April 14th–May 19th. C

12. Get Weird At Eeyore’s 56th Annual Birthday Party

This festival is basically the epicenter of the Keep Austin Weird movement. In fact, weird doesn’t even begin to describe this delightful event. Picture hundreds of people in costume dancing, sitting in drum circles, and running around maypoles to celebrate the fictional birthday of a fictional donkey. When: Saturday, April 27th. Details here for Eeyore’s Birthday Party.

11. See Ludacris at Longhorn City Limits

The one, the only Ludacris is headlining ‘Made in Austin’ weekend on the LBJ Library’s lawn. Catch him after the big spring game. When: Saturday, April 13th. 

10. March in Austin’s Annual Pet Parade

This is the place for dogs in drag. This event is beloved by all who have ever come across it—it’s hard not to love animals in outfits. There’s a costume contest, too! When: Saturday, April 20th. Register your pet here for Jo’s Annual Pet Parade

9. Go For A Full Moon Swim

This is as heavenly as it sounds, Austin Motel and Joann’s Fine Foods have launched Full Moon Swims. Grab a drink from the pool bar and relax to some tunes from Sundown to pool close. When: The next one is Friday, April 19! Click here for all the dates for Austin Motel’s Full Moon Swims.

Austin Motel Full Moon Swim

8. Booze On A Patio For Happy Hour

The Four Seasons restaurant, Ciclo, just launched a new happy hour worth visiting. Unwind from your work day and get a little fancy.

Looking for more happy hour options? Check out our list of happy hours around Zilker Park.

7. Check Out Jazz In The Park

Feast on fresh crawfish straight from Louisiana, jambalaya, gumbo, étouffée, alligator, and more, plus the best barbecue & Mexican cuisine from Austin. Guests will be able to wash it all down with a variety of cold beers from Austin while they are enjoying the very best bands from New Orleans and Austin on one stage.

In addition to food & music, guests will also be able to purchase arts & crafts from numerous artists in various mediums including art, jewelry, and sculpture. 

Jazz in the Park Austin

6. Watch The Best Bartenders In Texas Battle It Out

Garrison Brothers is challenging tastemakers to showcase their love of the Lone Star State by incorporating their bourbon into a unique concoction while competing against other top mixologists. When: Thursday, April 18th. Get tickets for the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl here.

5. Assemble Your Own Bike Gang

This company allows you to start your own motorcycle gang, but subs in fat-tired electric minibikes for motorcycles, which are completely glee-inducing. Plan an outing with your buds/gals or go on a custom tour (they recently added food truck tours to their arsenal). It’s a great way to explore the city when it’s gorgeous out. More details here on Your Bike Gang.

4. Hit Up Lady Bird Lake 

We’re blessed to have access to so many water activities in the middle of downtown. Rowing Dock will help you get out on the water and see Austin from a whole new vantage point. With kayaks, standup paddle boards, and even fishing kayaks (you read that right), Spring is an excellent time to be out on the lake!

3. Zipline Across Lake Travis

There’s no better time of year to check out this three-hour zipline tour that includes equipment, boat transportation, water, and a light trail snack. You also get access to a private beach where you can picnic, swim in the lake, play games, or just relax in a hammock. If you’ve got the nerve, you’ll have the time of your life.

2. Rent A Boat On Lake Austin Or Travis

Life is better on the lake, and Float On Boat Rentals offers ski boats for water-sports, and pontoon boats for chiller (or rowdier) party vibes. Their boats come equipped with yeti coolers, aux cables for your own jams, lily pads (google it), and even a boat captain so you can partake in an adult beverage or two and leave the navigating to the professionals. 

1. Explore Your Local Texas State Parks

Let’s face it, Texas gets hot in the summer, making Spring and Fall the ideal times of the year to enjoy the outdoors in Austin. Whether it’s camping, hiking, fishing, or generally enjoying nature that you’re into, you don’t have to venture far from downtown to disconnect. Here are five of our favorite state parks that are close to Austin.

Best State Parks Near Austin: Bastrop State Park

 

Have fun out there y’all! If you have a great spring activity that you think we missed, feel free to clue us in at hello@365ThingsAustin.com

Since 2012, when the Circuit of the Americas (aka COTA) opened in Austin, fans have been clamoring for some IndyCar action. If you don’t know what that means—IndyCar is the country’s fastest, biggest, and baddest open-wheel racing series, sort of the All American version of Formula 1.

And now it’s finally here! The inaugural IndyCar Classic will take place at COTA March 22-24.

IndyCar Spring Training at COTA

There will also be three other series racing throughout the weekend. Indy Lights, which is the class just basically the minor league of IndyCar where future stars are developing. There’s also the Mazda MX-5 Cup and the return of an old X Games favorite, Stadium Super Trucks, which go off ramps on track at about 70 mph and get some serious air..

On top of all this, Muse will perform in Austin360 Amphitheater on Saturday night! The last time they played this venue, tickets sold out fast. Both the 3-day and Saturday-only IndyCar tickets will receive access to the 200 level section and the H-E-B Lawn for the show. Optional pit and seating upgrades are available for purchase, but you don’t need them to enjoy the show. Click here for more info.  

Lastly, there will be live music on the Lone Star Stage all weekend featuring local Austin legends like Asleep at the Wheel and Dale Watson to exciting up-and-comers like Jonathan Terrell.

So break out of your entertainment rut and get hip to the fun of IndyCar! It’s a crazy fun spectacle that everyone can appreciate.

 

Since 1938, Rodeo Austin has been the place “Where Weird Meets Western.” From Austin’s largest carnival and funnel cakes, to mutton bustin’ and amazing live music, there is something for everyone. Because the attractions and big-name acts seem to grow exponentially every year, we’ve compiled this rundown of everything you need to know about the rodeo before you go.

Put on your ten-gallon hat, and all the denim and turquoise you own—it’s time for the best time in Texas. Here’s the deal:

New This Year: Kick Open The Chutes – Party On The Dirt!

Rodeo Austin’s brand new event, Kick Open the Chutes, takes place March 15th at 6:30pm and officially kicks off the 2019 Rodeo season! This party on the dirt features live music concerts by Wade Bowen and Sam Riggs, rodeo eats, a cash bar, rodeo-inspired games, and silent auction – all on the arena floor! Your $20 ticket provides a sneak peek into rodeo action with a behind-the-scenes experience for true rodeo fans and there’s FREE parking!

Rodeo Austin Music:

Rodeo Austin has nearly 100 live performances throughout the month of March.

There are performances at the E2open Outdoor Stage, the 100X Dance Hall, and at the ProRodeo & Concert.

2019 ProRodeo Performances include:

  • March 16: Aaron Watson
  • March 17: Dia Del Vaquero with La Adictiva
  • March 18: Flo Rida
  • March 19: Midland
  • March 20: Chris Janson
  • March 21: The Struts
  • March 22: Randy Rogers Band
  • March 23: Josh Turner
  • March 24: Ronnie Milsap
  • March 25: Walker Hayes
  • March 26: Martina McBride
  • March 27: The Jacksons
  • March 28: Dustin Lynch
  • March 29: Parker McCollum
  • March 30: Kevin Fowler

New to the Fairgrounds:

On the Southside of the Fairgrounds, Rodeo Austin is excited to bring more entertainment that can be enjoyed by all! Watch feathered friends race to the finish line at the turkey races, enjoy excitement and laughter at the comedy stunt show, play in the sea of bubbles at the Bubble Bayou or sit back and relax at the Coors Cactus Saloon.

Rodeo Austin Carnival/Attraction Facts:

Rodeo Austin is proud to host Austin’s largest Carnival. Rodeo Austin brings great entertainment to the Fairgrounds each year with over 80 rides, games and other amusements.

In addition to the carnival, the Fairgrounds offer a variety of things to do. From a Beer and Wine Garden, Butterfly and Parakeet Encounter and rotating food trucks to a petting zoo, pony rides, Swifty Swine pig races and more, there is a little bit of something for everyone!

WILD WEST TENT:

Rodeo Austin’s Wild West Tent will feature Tomás Garcilazo – The Charro, a world-renowned, traditional Mexican Charro whose rope artistry and horsemanship skills are among the best in the world. Also appearing in the Wild West tent Every Saturday at 3:00, is Mutton Bustin’ Mania! Sign your children up online or on-site at the Wild West Tent.

The Wild West Tent will also feature Tricked Out. The well-known Kimzey family has teamed up to bring an equestrian act that is so daring and fast-paced, it is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! The tricks will keep you in suspense while they bring the “Wild West” back to life.

Competitive Events:

Rodeo Austin has over 8,000 entries for this year’s competitive events, which includes the Junior Livestock Shows, Open Livestock Shows, Horse Show, Gold Stirrup Horse Show, Longhorn Open and Youth Show and Ultimate Scramble Championship.

Avenue of Breeds:

The Animal Science Center features the Avenue of Breeds, an educational exhibit showcasing a variety of animals found in Texas that originated from various places across the globe.

Visit the Hank The Cowdog exhibit to learn about ranching and Texas heritage through the eyes of a loveable dog, Hank!

The first week, Row of Champions will be empty however, the second week, Row of Champions will display the Grand Champion Junior Market animals from the 2018 Junior Livestock Show.

100X Dance Hall:

After the ProRodeo and main stage concert, head over to the 100X Dance Hall for even more live music as you dance the night away at Rodeo Austin’s exclusive after-hours honky-tonk. 100X Dance Hall opens at 5 p.m. on weekdays for dancing, drinks and live music! Open at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with live music all day!

A new addition 100X Dance Hall is Jack’s Front Porch, where you can enjoy an evening on the front porch under the stars.

Special Deals:

Get half-off ProRodeo & Concert tickets March 25-27.

Carnival Wristband Spring Break Special – March 18-21, 11 a.m. –5 p.m.

$2 Tuesday – $2 Fairgrounds admission and $2 carnival rides