365 Things Austin

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One of the markers of any great city is its dedication to the arts—and on that score, Austin is pretty darn great. It’s a thriving art city and this annual event is your chance to see a ton of talent in once place. Art City Austin, a three-day art fair and festival will return for its 68th year April 13- 15 at the Palmer Event Center. Individual artists from across the country (120 to be exact) will showcase their work. A combination of street art and contemporary art from local and national artists will be on display.

The festival grounds will also feature multiple art installations created by local artists and commissioned specifically for the occasion by Art Alliance Austin. Noteworthy artists this year include international photographer Greg Davis, roadside landscape artist Rachel Dory, as well as international artists like Israeli painter Yoram Gal.

A selection of local food trucks, drinks, and fun activities for the whole family will be on the festival grounds. As always, Art City Austin 2018 will host a children’s section with hands-on, interactive activities meant to encourage creativity and appreciation of the arts for Austinites of all ages!

Tickets range from $10 for a single-day admission to $40 for the VIP experience, which includes access to the Friday preview reception plus weekend access to the festival. Children 12 and under receive free admission. Parking will be available with at the Palmer Event Center Garage for $8. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Here’s the full schedule:

Friday, April 13th
Art City Austin Preview: Art in the Twilight
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 14th
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 15th
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Whether you’re an ATX transplant or born-and-raised, there are a few things everyone comes to know by heart: Tacos are acceptable for every meal, Austin is weird, and all your friends talk about moving here. But how well do you really know Austin when it comes to being healthy … or at least kind of healthy?

Don’t sweat it, yet—we’ve got you covered! Our friends at Fitt have narrowed down the options. Fitt’s healthyish guide to Austin is your go-to for grub you can feel good about eating, sweat spots that’ll actually make you want to workout, and the best local spots to hang out with your crew. Now, the hard task of choosing (or trying them all) is all yours! 

EAT

Flower Child
Put up your peace fingers. Flower Child has proven itself as hotspot for salads, soups, mix-and-match bowls, and wraps of the truly healthy variety. Head to their digs in The Domain or downtown on 2nd St. on a day when you don’t have to do anything but enjoy the sunny patio and your Mother Earth Bowl. Like any healthy eatery, the dishes here are highly customizable, so you can order exactly what your inner flower child is craving.

Café No Sé
Head over to South Congress to snack at Café No Sé. It occupies the amazing South Congress Hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner creations to die for. This all-day cafe offers innovative takes on healthy dishes with the freshest ingredients. Think quinoa bowls, tuna poke, kale salads, and more. The vibe is great, too — you know, the kind you can’t help but Instagram … so have those phones close by.

Picnik
Picnik fits the bill if you’re looking for clean eating. Priding themselves on real food, Picnik serves up dishes like the Southwest Hash in the AM and Eggplant Rollatini for PM. Plus, count on lots of Butter Coffees (they’re the butter coffee connoisseurs around here), or go for one of their delicious heathyish cocktails. At either location, you can find lots of real (and local) foods free of any gluten, corn, peanut, or soy products.

SWEAT

Black Swan Yoga
Whether you live north, south, or somewhere in between, Black Swan Yoga has a studio nearby. But beyond being super convenient, all of its locations offer fun, donation-based classes with an upbeat soundtrack and funky-fresh lighting. Instructors here are encouraged to express themselves in their practice—no class is the same! Their Power Yoga sessions are a community favorite, but you’ll want to have a bit of beginner experience under your belt before you check ’em out.

MADabolic
This is a gym as much as it’s a movement in South Austin—and they make the word “boutique” a little less cutesy. Workouts are uniquely planned, interval-driven, and involve a combination of strength and endurance training. Each week, you can expect to experience three kinds of workouts: momentum, anaerobic, and durability (MAD). Not to worry though—intensity is tailored to your needs and all levels of fitness are welcome.

Onnit Academy Gym
Onnit Academy Gym is the real deal. The trainers here focus on technique and advanced methodologies that deliver crazy results and peak performance (though, they cater to aspiring athletes, too). You’ll get an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals from trainers who really know their shit. Head over to this South Austin gym if you’re ready for ropes, kettlebells, weighted maces, sprints, and one heck of a post-workout protein shake!

EXPLORE

Zilker Park
Ah, Zilker. The crown jewel of the Austin parks system. A large expanse of grass crawling with pick-up soccer games, cute dogs, picnics, and people reading books under trees. Zilker also hosts some of Austin’s most famous festivals throughout the year: Austin City Limits, Kite Festival, Trail of Lights, Zilker Relays, and Blues on the Green. This place truly is an outdoor oasis.

Barton Springs
If escaping the heat is your main goal, Barton Springs Pool is the best place to do it. The water is spring-fed and sustains a chilly 68 degrees year round. Wade in the deep end, take a jump off the diving board, or spend your afternoon people-watching. Bonus: You don’t need to pay an entrance fee to enjoy the best of Barton Springs. The greenbelt is free, and along the hiking path you can find Gus Fruh and Twin Falls—two great places to take a relaxing dip or throw yourself off a rope swing.

Lady Bird Lake Trail
Austin’s beloved (and convenient) Lady Bird Lake Trail is a 10-mile loop with a number of access points. With entry at Downtown, Zilker, and Butler Park, it feels like a natural refuge right in the heart of the city. Dogs, joggers, walkers, and strollers populate this busy route, enjoying skyline views and access to the river. There are also stops along the way to rent paddleboards and kayaks if you’re looking to cool off from the Texas heat.

KICK BACK

Easy Tiger
A bake shop AND a beer garden—say no more. Easy Tiger on East 6th gives you the best of both worlds with delicious brews, pastries, pretzels, and the list goes on. And if you thought this spot couldn’t get any better, think again. Easy Tiger has a killer outdoor patio that’s the perfect place for a laid-back hang sesh or an epic ping pong battle with friends. In Cedar Park and craving one of Easy Tiger’s house-made sweets? Stop by their outpost in Whole Foods Market 365 for a quick fix.

Bangers
How do you say no to house-made sausage, craft beer, Big Band Brunch, Smoke Out Saturday, and an off-leash dog park? At Banger’s Sausage House on 79 & 81 Rainey Street, you’re always in for some good, old-fashioned fun, quality food, and Texas-sized hospitality. And with an outdoor patio that’s second to none, you’re going to have to be convinced to leave once it’s time to close shop.

Yard Bar
All the convenience of your backyard but with local beer and spirits on deck, kick back at Yard Bar on Burnet Road. to unwind. Oh, and we should mention that they have an off-leash dog park, complete with “bark rangers” to pet-sit your pooch while you wolf down hush puppies, burgers, and charcuterie boards with your friends. Don’t want to let your dog do all the socializing? Take a shady seat in the yard with your beer and forget you have a care in the world.

Easy Tiger and Madabolic images via Instagram. 

On a drizzly Saturday morning in January, after leaving the loving embrace of Lazarus Brewing Co. on East 6th Street, our guide Adam told the origin story of the food tour we had just set off on. It goes something like this: On a trip out to Los Angeles, the founders Lindsey and Andy had signed up for a culinary tour of the city. After three hours of walking around, they were still hungry and had no buzz to speak of. Well this isn’t good, they thought to themselves. Surely, we can do better!

And do better they did, by starting Austin Eats Food Tours in January 2011 and ensuring that people who put down their hard-earned money for a tour of Austin’s finest food and booze offerings would leave with full bellies, and full hearts. “We love the Austin vibe—live music every night of the week and local restaurants that take as much pride in their unique décor as their original recipes,” Andy says. “We wanted to develop a vehicle that highlights local Texas born establishments throughout the city.”

Seven years in and many many tours later, the couple has perfected the art of touring Austin like a local—so much so that roughly 65 percent of their guests are actually from here. My husband and I are old townies who grew up in Austin and have watched in awe as it’s changed and morphed over the years. The Brunch, BBQ, and Brewery Tour was the perfect way us to check out a bunch of new spots in one go, and observe the ever-changing eastside like a couple of anthropologists.

We were instructed to come hungry, and by the time we met Adam and our new friends at Lazarus Brewing Co., we were starving. Adam—like an angel sent from above—pointed out a long table reserved for our crew and said that orders of breakfast tacos (little, adorable tacos) were already on their way. We immediately loved and trusted Adam. “This is not just a food tour,” he told us, “it’s a support group.” A flight of beer followed, and we got to know our new posse. What struck me right away was how subtle and non-touristy this felt. We just looked like a crew of people who were chatty and friendly. There was nothing about the format of the tour that shouted TOURISTS. Basically, a passing observer would have probably thought we were friends of the owner who were getting some extra TLC.

What followed were brisket kolaches at the Kerlin BBQ trailer where Adam ran across the street to get us a 12 pack of Shiner (again, the man is an angel), chicken and waffles and cactus pear mimosas at The Hightower, and crazy-good gelato at Gemelli. I got the lemon curd and it tasted like the best cheesecake of my life. The tour ended at Zilker Brewing Company, where we tasted more great local beer, and hung around like people with nothing to do but enjoy our city for a few hours. It was sublime.

Along the way Adam pointed out more of his favorite spots in the area and had menu recommendations for each. He was funny, informative, and chill—a guide/friend hybrid that made the tour a total pleasure. The mechanics of the tour were seamless. Everything was paid for, timed beautifully, and thoughtfully put together. They are pumping money into the Austin economy by showing off burgeoning local businesses that are doing something different.

If it’s been a while since you tried some new food in Austin, or you are checking out the city over a short period of time, try an Austin Eats Food Tour. It’s the best way I can think of to get a real taste of Austin—and leave completely satisfied.

If you’re in the mood for some spontaneous Austin magic, don’t miss the latest pop-up dinner and concert from Foster ATX, a company that creates singular social experiences around town. Each gathering has a theme and the chefs, artists, space and rotate. This next one is all about wood.

no. I — wood is a three-night event happening at Tillery Place that includes a concert and two dinner seatings. Come hang around the campfire with friends and break bread at a communal table—where dinner was prepped over open flames just moments before. You can choose to join for supper, songs, or both! They’re all about the unconventional, and providing a space for both emerging and well-known talent to share their craft, all while bringing the community together in an authentic way.

Here’s the whole rundown so you can plan ahead and get your tickets …

Song: A stripped-back bluegrass jam around a campfire

When: Thursday, February 22nd

Time: 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.

Featured musicians: Invoke, The Troll Smashers, and Tony Kamel of Wood & Wire

Drinks: Nine Banded Whiskey cocktails and Austin Winery wine

Bites: s’mores and appetizers from the Foreign & Domestic team

Tickets: $30

Supper: An open-kitchen dining experience with Chefs Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley of Foreign & Domestic

Seating I

When: Friday, February 23rd

Time: 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Featured chefs: Chef Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley of Foreign & Domestic

Drinks: Nine Banded Whiskey cocktails and Austin Winery wine

Live music: Eddie Dickerson and Talia Bryce

Menu: (*vegan and vegetarian options available upon request)

I.  grilled focaccia, farm cheese, & preserved tomato
II.  butternut squash, arugula, & gorgonzola
III.  24 hour pork shoulder, grilled grapes, faro, & greens
IV. juniper pots de creme, milk jam, buttermilk froth

Tickets: $80

Seating II 

When: Saturday, February 24th

Time: 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Featured chefs: Chef Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley of Foreign & Domestic

Drinks: Nine Banded Whiskey cocktails and Austin Winery wine

Live music: Eddie Dickerson and Talia Bryce

Menu: (*vegan and vegetarian options available upon request)

I.  grilled focaccia, farm cheese, & preserved tomato
II.  butternut squash, arugula, & gorgonzola
III.  24 hour pork shoulder, grilled grapes, faro, & greens
IV. juniper pots de creme, milk jam, buttermilk froth

Tickets: $80

Has there ever been a town with as much love for animals as Austin has to give? We think not. Our rescue pets are family and we celebrate them at every opportunity. That’s why, of course, Austinites will finally get to celebrate Mardi Gras with their furry best friends, because Mardi Paws, the city’s first-ever dog Mardi Gras parade is upon us. Sponsored by the animal lovers at Grocery Pup, a company making insanely fresh and natural dog food right here in Austin, this parade is basically guaranteed to make you happy.

So what goes into a dog Mardi Gras parade, you might ask? Well everything. Just like the human version in NOLA, they’ll have a king, queen, and royal court who parade in little floats that are made from wagons. People and dogs in the parade will throw treats and beads to the crowd.

The theme for this inaugural year is “Saturday Bark Fever.” All floats will be disco-themed and attendees (of every species) are encouraged to dress like John Travolta walking into Studio 54.

Our king for the day will be Sebastian, who was rescued by Cutie PITooties and was fostered by Krista Allenby, owner of Ruff Adventures Dog Photography, at the end of September. When she first got Sebastian, he had severe mange and a skin infection. After just one month, he made a full recovery and was officially adopted by Krista. To celebrate his recovery and finding a new home filled with love, Sebastian has been crowned the King of Mardi Paws! Half of all proceeds from Mardi Paws will go to Cutie PITooties so they can rescue more pups like him.

Our original queen, Lil’ Kim, was rescued by Austin Dog Rescue in November from a shelter in Lockhart, and after multiple surgeries, she was close to being ready to be adopted. After appearing to be on the road to recovery, she developed a type of neurological disorder about a week ago, and her condition steadily worsened despite several visits to her veterinarian and the emergency room. With her passing on January 21, her furry foster brother and fellow Austin Dog Rescue pup, Kaxan, will ride in her honor as the Duke of Mardi Paws

All funds raised for Mardi Paws will be split 50/50 among the two organizations that rescued the king, queen and duke. Come out and have the time of your life for an incredibly worthy cause.

When: Saturday, February 10th

Time: 2 -6 p.m.

Location:
Lustre Pearl East

Can’t make it? Click here to donate to the cause and help spread the word on your social media pages.

As someone who owns a business that’s all about doing things, I have to practice what I preach. That means I’m constantly on the go in Austin—an art opening, a yoga class in the park, a meeting downtown, and oooh look, a new happy hour place! I love it all, but I don’t have a lot of time left over in the day to shop for groceries—let alone cook myself an actual dinner. So food delivery apps are my saving grace, and these days I have a new favorite: DoorDash.

DoorDash is a national company that has been growing its Austin presence for over a year now, and they are serious about this city. They have a regional headquarters right here and a team of locals who love the Austin food scene as much as we do. That means they bring the best of both worlds—a huge selection of the biggest national chains and a growing list of local gems like Tamale House, G’Raj Mahal, East Side King, Super Burrito on 5th, and Flyrite Chicken. There are more than 250 places available for delivery in Downtown Austin.

The app itself is easy to use, with live order tracking (including driver GPS), local staff selections, and featured restaurants with free delivery. The “Try Me Free” section at the top has a rotating list of great spots to choose from. I love the way all the menu details are loaded into the app, which makes it simple to customize your order and breeze through the whole process. It also means much less room for human error. And that’s important when you need something very specific, like two extra sides of ranch.

Plus DoorDash goes above and beyond their competition by surprising customers with crazy giveaways and discounts. Earlier this month they gave away over 10,000 slices of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and partnered with Shake Shack on National Cheeseburger Day to give away free cheeseburgers.

Download the app and try it for yourself. For the next week, receive free delivery on one order of $15 or more! Use promo code 365ATX.

There’s so much to do in Austin this holiday season, but trust us, there is nothing else quite like this. NunaMaana Immersive Dance Theater is putting on A Peasants’ Holiday Masquerade and tickets are on sale now. Sometimes it’s best to go into things like this knowing as little as possible, but we’ll give you the basic plot: A group of tawdry, goat-farming-peasants have gotten their hands on a few elegant robes and opaque tights and decided to throw a masquerade ball. It will be an epic evening of booty-droppin’ Shakespearean festivities!

Come explore a comedic, medieval world where you can eat, mingle, dance, and drink as you wish—all as characters guide you through a story.

NunaMaana’s mission is to bring groups of people together in a powerful way to share in their human experience and celebration. The name is derived from indigenous words, Nuna is inspired by a word meaning “child.” The company makes playful things! Maana is inspired by a word meaning “something physical that is imbued with magic.” As artists this is always their goal.

Catch this completely unique performance this December.

When: December 8th, 9th, 16th, and 17th

All shows @ 8:00 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets.
*Open Bar is included with every ticket!

Location:
Atmosphere Coworking
2400 East Cesar Chavez Street #208
Austin, TX 78702

Image courtesy Sharper Photography. 

Skip the mall and big box stores this year and enjoy your holiday shopping experience at one of Austin’s favorite traditions: The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. This famous fine art market and musical festival features national and local award-winning artists, at least three bands performing live each day, two full bars and local food—and all in a festive, lively atmosphere.

Guests can shop from over 175 artists who will be selling their handmade gifts, fine art, heirloom pieces, and stocking stuffers. Take your shopping breaks by the Armadillo stage and sip on a craft beer or cocktail. This year they’ll have Korean BBQ from Chi’lantro and hand-tossed Neapolitan style pizza in the Southside Flying Pizza kitchen.

With a collection of musicians as well curated as the art, the Armadillo stage will host greats like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Nakia, Ruthie Foster, Charley Crockett, and Shinyribs.

Click here for a photo gallery of Armadillo artist’s work and here for a full lineup of music.

When: December 14 – 24th

Tickets are $8 for a single-day pass; available at the door, or in advance at https://armadillo.ticketbud.com/2017. For best value, purchase a season pass, which allows for entry throughout the duration of the show. Free admission for children 12 and under.

Time: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Location:
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

Photo by Jennifer M. Ramos. 

Circuit of The Americas (COTA) has just announced a new holiday tradition and festival with—get this—a million lights, camel rides, and hot air balloon rides! The holidays in Austin just keep getting better and better. Winter Wonderland will run from December 1 – 30, open daily from 6 -10 p.m., and 6 – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets are on sale now.

Like we said, a million lights will illuminate the Circuit’s Grand Plaza, which will also include Santa’s workshop, a petting zoo, a human snow globe, holiday movies on the lawn, a walking light trail, and the the Tunnel of Lights! Guests can also purchase tickets for additional offering like the hot air balloon float up to 100-feet high, Santa’s train ride for kids, a giant skating rink, camel rides, carnival rides for both children and adults, and souvenir photos with Santa. Families who donate a book to the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program at Winter Wonderland will receive one complimentary ride on the COTA Express. Guests can also hear their favorite stories read daily by Mrs. Claus at Reading Hour in the Grand Plaza. And the adults can enjoy a frosty beverage and friendly games in the Bud Light Friends Chalet after walking the .8 mile Circuit of Lights.

Entertainment throughout the Winter Wonderland will include performances by Austin school district ensembles and local artists. Plus there will be food trucks, hot cocoa stands, and other holiday-inspired beverages at Winter Wonderland. Last, but not least, you can do your holiday shopping at Go! Games—a giant pop-up shop featuring games, toys, and books—and the charming Bavarian Village with local vendors selling handcrafted goods in an enchanted setting.

Purchase tickets at the Grand Plaza Box Office or right here. Discounted group ticket sales, as well as options for corporate and private parties are also available. For information regarding special bookings or Winter Wonderland at the Circuit, click here

 

Last year was the start of a new Austin tradition—a spectacle for everyone to enjoy right before the holiday season officially kicks off. Waller Creek Conservancy’s Creek Show, which is free and open to the public, is returning for a second year and taking place November 10-18. Downtown Austin will be lit up like never before! We have a feeling this will become a mainstay of the holiday season in Austin—just like the Zilker Tree and the Trail of Lights. Bring the kids and walk along the Waller Creek downtown as you explore six luminescent, site-specific installations along between 5th and 8th Streets, all created by local artists.

They’ll also have hands-on, family friendly activities every night at the Sabine Tree Deck between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Thinkery will be on-site Fridays and Saturdays and you can visit the Creek Show Lounge (700 E. 6th St.) for interactive entertainment, a Creek Show photo booth, Waterloo Park model, and more.

The kids will really love this—and adults get to see their city in a whole new way.

For more details click here.

When: November 10th-18th

Location:
Waller Creek between 5th and 8th Streets