Jason Neff - 2/7 - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

Jason Neff

64 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Schedule your weekly outing with friends old and new by signing up for Major League Bocce’s spring season and get $10 off the registration fee.

After rolling onto Austin’s after-work sports and social scene last year, Major League Bocce returns for the spring season with weekly league play at Alamo Pocket Park in East Austin and Little Zilker Park in South Austin.

Registration is open now through April 27th for the eight-week spring season that begins during the first week of May. 365 Austin readers who use promo code BALLS10 will save $10 off their spring season registration.

Major League Bocce Spring Season 2015

The East Austin Division will roll Wednesdays from May 6th through June 24th. This division plays games at East Alamo Pocket Park off of Manor Rd. at 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Players toss traditional red and green 110mm boules, under the lights if necessary. After games players walk to a nearby sponsor bar to continue the party.

Austin Cover Image

The South Austin Division gets crazy with glo-bocce balls that light up on Thursdays at Little Zilker Park (at Zilker Park Elementary School). Participants at this division play between 7pm and 9pm and head to a South Lamar sponsor bar after games.

At the end of the season, all teams make the single elimination play-off tournament. The champions from each division will face off against each other as part of a joint end of season party and blow-out!

Bocce-Curious? Read on to learn about the game.

Bocce is an ancient game often associated with older Italian gents, but this game perfectly serves the goals of the happy-hour set. Bocce is ideally played with a ball in one hand and a beverage in the other. It is casual and competitive. Both men and women are on equal footing in this sport and age is never an issue.

No experience is necessary to win at Major League Bocce – besides competing in a weekly match, players can take home new friends, ball-jokes to last a year or the standing to call themselves a regular at their bocce sponsor bar.

365Things readers get $10 off the $60 registration fee when they use the promotion code BaLLS10 to join. Create a team, join a friend’s team or sign up without a team and the fine folks at Major League Bocce will set you up with some deboccerous teammates.

Home Page Link: http://play.majorleaguebocce.com/sites/Austin/home.aspx
East Austin Link: https://play.majorleaguebocce.com/RegNet/reg1.aspx?lgid=377&custom=1
South Austin Link: https://play.majorleaguebocce.com/RegNet/reg1.aspx?lgid=378&custom=1

Floating. Camping. Live Music.

One year in, and Float Fest is quickly becoming one of my favorite summer festivals. This year’s lineup promises to keep the momentum going with a diverse bill that includes hometown favorites Ghostland Observatory, and co-headliners Phantogram, and Local Natives.

We’ll continue to provide details and tips as the event approaches (we’re officially Float Fest veterans now), but in the meantime, check out this announcement video then visit their website for the full lineup and info on camping, tubing and general awesome-ness.

When:
August 28-30th

Where:
Cool River Ranch
San Marcos, TX

http://floatfest.net

It’s no secret that Lake Travis Zipline Adventures is one of my favorite things to do in Austin.

It’s an adventure from the beginning, as there are five ziplines for you to tackle. Even with the lake levels low, the views are still absolutely incredible. One of the cables is the longest zipline in Texas, and you reach speeds of up to 60 miles an hour. It’s such a rush! The guides are also friendly, knowledgeable and fun. They make the whole experience even better.

For the month of April, when you purchase adventures for two people, you’ll get the third one free! You must call to make your reservation to get this deal: 512-614-1996

http://www.ziplaketravis.com/

Location:
Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
14529 Pocohontas Trail
Volente, Texas

It’s no secret that we’ve been in love with Favor Delivery since day one. Now 18 months and hundreds (thousands?) of personal deliveries to our offices/homes later, we asked one of the Favor co-founders, Zach Maurais, what people in Austin Favor the most.

We’re guessing that Favor extending their delivery hours until 3am might have skewed these results towards the more munchies-worthy restaurants, but who are we to judge?

We’re proud to report that an overwhelming majority of these restaurants are local, so keep up the good work:

  1. Homeslice Pizza– Love it or hate it, it’s one of the top-rated pizza joints in Austin. A major drawback for years has been their lack of delivery. Favor changed that and the orders came flying in.

Homeslice-Austin

  1. Torchy’s Tacos– Suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we weren’t surprised to see Austin’s original taco-truck empire show up on the list.torchys-austin-queso
  1. P Terry’s– Nobody likes a cold hamburger. With 10 locations in Austin, your burger and fries won’t have to travel very far, ensuring hot fries and cold milkshakes.

P-Terry's-Austin

  1. Chipotle– Not so local, but we’re guilty of it too. And yes, we know the guacamole is extra.

Chipotle-Favor-Austin

  1. Kerbey Lane Café– Kerbey Queso rules. Breakfast delivered on a hung-over Sunday doesn’t sound so bad either.

Kerbey-Lane-Austin

  1. Fat Sal’s Deli– The Fat Sal Original is a hero sub packed with roast beef, mozzarella sticks and onion rings, INSIDE the sandwich. Being located on the drag isn’t hurting them.

Fat-Sals-Austin-Pastrami-Ruben

  1. Whataburger– The King of Texas fast-food joints. No surprises here.

Whataburger-Austin

  1. East Side King– If you live in Austin and haven’t had ESK, stop reading this and Favor some poor qui buns with an order of chicken karaage.

east-side-king-austin-torimeshi

  1. Gourdough’s Donuts– Refer back to the previous munchies comment. It doesn’t get much better than this.

gourdoughs-austin-ron-burgundy

  1. Elizabeth Street Café– The classiest bahn mi in the city.

elizabeth-street-cafe-austin

  1. JuiceLand– Tastes good, and is good for you too. A win/win.

Juiceland-Austin

  1. Fresa’s– Tacos with organic eggs, and coffee from Stumptown for breakfast. Wood-grilled chicken with a side of Mexican street-corn for lunch or dinner. Trust me on this one.

Fresa's-Austin

If this list made your PB&J look less than appetizing, use the code 365THINGS to get your first Favor free.

www.FavorDelivery.com

Changing my address throughout greater Austin roughly once a year for the last decade has had some benefits. I’ve learned a lot about various neighborhoods’ breakfast taco offerings (Manor Road might still top my list in this category), and I’ve progressively moved closer to downtown (more breakfast tacos within walking distance).

But there’s one very obvious realization that relocating throughout the city has taught me… MOVING IS THE WORST.

Local startup Bronko Box is making this painful process a bit easier.

bronkoboxvscardboard

The company offers fully assembled, plastic, REUSABLE packing boxes delivered straight to your door, and then picks them up when you’re done. On top of the obvious environmental benefits, the boxes are durable, meaning they can hold a lot more than their cardboard counterparts, and the boxes have handles, making them much easier for you (or your movers) to carry.

Gone are the days of shady grocery store dumpster heists; say goodbye to the desperate Facebook posts begging for boxes. Bronko Box makes what was once a major pain point in the moving process much easier.

Like all services, you might expect to pay a premium for this experience, but a weeklong rental of Bronko Boxes is actually 50% LESS than buying standard cardboard boxes. Sounds like a win/win.

To show some love to 365 Things Austin readers, they’re giving away a free two-week Bronko Box rental for a two-bedroom residence (must be used within six months of 3/24/15).

To enter:

  1. ‘Like’ Bronko Box on Facebook or follow them on Instagram
  2. @Tag a friend who might be able to use their services!

Winner will be chosen at 6pm on March 30th, 2015.

www.BronkoBox.com

Bronko-Box-Logo-cmyk

Highly anticipated seafood destination, Monger’s Market + Kitchen opened it’s doors in East Austin earlier this month. We stopped by last week to check out the space and to try a few dishes as well.

Mongers-Market-+-Kitchen-Austin

Nestled into a lot with ample parking on the corner of E. Cesar Chavez and Clara Street, the restaurant provides a cozy interior with an Eastern-shore vibe both inside and out. Upon entering Mongers you’ll find fresh fish and shrimp from the gulf on ice and available for wholesale, as well as an oyster bar with full service that provides guests a glimpse into the kitchen while they dine.

Mongers-Market-Kitchen-Oysters

Outside, Mongers has several handmade wooden tables on a large patio. We chose to grab one of these for the warmer-than-average spring evening in Austin. Their drink menu provides several beer and wine selections including a few drafts, but the real treasure is in their food offerings.

We started with a few selections from the raw bar including the peel n’ eat shrimp.

Mongers-Market-Kithen-Austin-Raw

We then moved into the appetizer section of the menu and tried the angels on horseback (crispy oysters with pork jowl rillette, raisin rhubarb, and pecan creme fraiche). These came highly recommended from Executive Chef and Owner Shane Stark, and were definitely a highlight.

Mongers-Market-and-Kitchen-Austin-Angels

We then tried several main course entrees including the fish & grits which was delicious… to the point that we were undecided on whether it was the fish or grits that were the star of the plate.

We also tried one of the chalkboard specials of the evening, the crispy snapper collar, which tasted as good as it looked, and vice-versa.

Mongers-Market-Kitchen-Austin-Collar

We ended things on a lighter note with a hamachi crudo (raw hamachi sliced perfectly thin with blood orange, pickled fresno chile, and fennel pollen), along with a few more glasses of wine.

Mongers-Market-Kitchen-Sashimi

For more details and reservations, visit:

http://www.mongersaustin.com/

The rumors are true, Austin’s own Ghostland Observatory will be ending a lengthy hiatus to headline this year’s Euphoria Music Festival. Co-headliners Pretty Lights, STS9, Thievery Corporation, and Adventure Club top a bill that is arguably the strongest top-to-bottom lineup in the history of the Austin electronic music festival arena.

Photo courtesy of  www.lasershows.net

Photo courtesy of www.lasershows.net

“Expanding to a full three days of camping, coupled with our diverse lineup has allowed us to create an immersive festival experience unique not just to Texas, but to most festivals out there,” says Euphoria creative director Mitch Morales.  “We really want to emphasize our culture and show fans what sets us apart from the rest.”

Euphoria-Austin

The three-day festival will take place at the beautiful Carson Creek Ranch, just a few minutes east of downtown Austin. Festival-goers are encouraged to camp on the property to fully immerse themselves in the Euphoria experience.

For a full lineup, and to purchase a “very limited” number of $139 (3-day) pre-sale tickets, visit: http://www.euphoriafest.com/

Euphoria-music-festival

 

 

There’s a new tool online for anyone looking to explore the great outdoors in Texas. Hipcamp launched officially in Texas yesterday, and their innovative site allows you to browse hundreds of amazing campsites throughout the state with unprecedented ease.

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time (often during the work-day) exploring Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, dreaming about the upcoming weekend, and whether the possibility of a last minute trip to Big Bend is somehow in the cards.

Enchanted Rock State Park

Enchanted Rock State Park

Hipcamp makes these explorations even more engaging, with beautiful photos and witty content written by a “tribe” of people who simply love to camp.

The site also makes it easy to search by region or to filter by preferred activity or attribute. Meaning that if you’re looking for a campground “close to Austin; with a waterfall,” you can get there in a few clicks. Yes, that’s a real thing. Check out this description and photo of Colorado Bend State Park on Hipcamp:

Once you find your spot amongst the seven campgrounds, let the wilderness shenanigans begin! Give the reins to a local, and opt for the Gorman Falls Tour which lasts up to two hours and will take you on a 1.5 mile hike to see lush waterfalls and flora. Or be your own guide, and check out the Gorman Falls Trail, a combined 26 miles of mountain biking goodness. Explore further and your options multiply from caving to whitewater rafting along 16 miles of Class I-II rapids on the Colorado River, a great place for beginners. Colorado State Park truly is a mecca for exploration, how will you spend your time here?

Colorado Bend Hipcamp

 

I’ve already got a long list of new places to explore, and with highs in the upper 70’s this weekend, it might be camping season sooner than you think.

www.hipcamp.com

Featured image by Sarah Vaughn, http://instagram.com/ohexplorar

Top-Chef fans and food-loving Austinites in general, mark your calendars for February 22nd. A who’s who of area chefs will be competing in several lamb-centric categories with a shot at the crown for “Lamb Jam Master” on the line.

The event will take place at the beautiful Barr Mansion in East Austin, and at $60 a ticket, I’m confident this event will sell out quickly. Full details and a list of the competing chef’s and their respective restaurants are below. To purchase tickets, click here.

AUSTINJanuary 12, 2015 – On Sunday, February 22, 16 top Austin chefs and more than 300 lamb lovers will gather at the Barr Mansion for Austin’s first Lamb Jam Global Flavors Tour, the annual multi-city culinary cook-off where attendees decide which chefs have earned their “chops” by voting on inventive American lamb dishes.

Competing for the titles of “Best in Show,” “People’s Choice” and “Best Mediterranean, Asian, Latin and Middle Eastern inspired dishes,” chefs will prepare and serve their most flavorful American lamb fare to be voted on by lamb-loving attendees and judged by Austin’s top food media. The Austin victor will go head-to-head with other winners representing cities from coast to coast, vying for the title of “Lamb Jam Master” at the Lamb Jam finale in New York City in late 2015.

Lamb Jam Austin

“We designed the Lamb Jam Tour as a way to bring communities together and drive awareness about the benefits of American lamb,” says Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board. “Texas is the largest lamb producing state in the country and Austin is one of the fastest growing markets with a nationally recognized food scene, so we’re excited to bring the tour to Austin for the first time.” This year marks the fifth national Lamb Jam Tour.

Participating Austin chefs include:

 

Join the Flock: Purchase a Ticket

Lamb Jam takes place from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Tickets are $60 and provide an opportunity to sample 16 globally inspired lamb dishes, taste some of Texas’ best brews and wine, mingle with local shepherds, visit the DIY spice rub station to mix a take-home tin of lamb rub, and vote for Lamb Jam dishes.

What: Sample globally-inspired lamb dishes from 16 of Austin’s finest chefs. Visit www.americanlamb.com for the complete lineup and to purchase general admission tickets.

When: Sunday, February 22

3:00 – 6:00pm

Where: Barr Mansion
10463 Sprinkle Road
Austin, Texas 78754

Organized by the American Lamb Board, a portion of the ticket sales will benefit The Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Visit americanlamb.com for ticketing and event information.

About the American Lamb Board

The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers and processors. The Board, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is focused on increasing demand by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. The work of the American Lamb Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the board’s programs are supported and implemented by the staff in Denver, Colorado.

Austin’s official band, The Austin Symphonic Band, has a one of kind concert coming up. The show will be the first at AISD’s new Performing Arts Center in Mueller, which is a pretty spectacular venue. Excellent music, plus a cool venue, sign me up.

You may be familiar with the Austin Symphonic Band from their annual Mother’s Day Concert at The Capitol, or their Father’s Day Concert in the park. Both events are very popular each year, and this is a great opportunity to check out the band in an acoustically-perfect environment!

Inside AISD's brand new Performing Art's Center

Inside AISD’s brand new Performing Art’s Center

The February concert, Tributes, will feature the world premiere of Frank Ticheli’s new work Dancing on Water which will honor the Austin Symphonic Band’s conductor, Richard Floyd. Other selections that will be performed were written as tributes to persons, places and events.

As an added treat, Frank Ticheli will be present to discuss his new work and will also conduct the concert.

Frank Ticheli courtesy of Graham Lindsey/ Wavelength Media

Frank Ticheli courtesy of Graham Lindsey/ Wavelength Media

 

AISD’s new performing arts center just had its Grand Opening last week, so this is a fantastic opportunity to check out the new state of the art venue. Following the concert, there will be a reception with coffee and cake.

Admission: Adults $10, Students/Seniors $6

When: February 7th

Time: 8 – 9:30 pm

Location:

AISD Performing Arts Center
1500 Barbara Jordan
Austin, Texas 78723

Tickets: AustinSymphonicBand.com