Kristy Owen - 3/368 - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

Kristy Owen

I am a realtor here in Austin, and clients are always asking for suggestions on what to do around town. So, I thought I would blog about my experiences, recommendations and what you have to do before you can call yourself a true Austinite.

If you are looking for something to do with the kids that’s indoors but out of the house, look no further: Today Circus Chickendog is making a triumphant return to The VORTEX with The Mutt-Cracker (SWEET!)

Circus Chickendog is an Austin-based troupe that has been entertaining audiences for decades. They’ve been previously featured nationally on David Letterman, Pet Star, and Donny and Marie.

This year’s production stars five brilliant and talented rescue dogs (Mouse, Moose, Coyote, Squirrel, and Skeeter) and a talking scarlet macaw (Lauren MaCaw). Darren Peterson brings his masterful juggling and unicycling, as well his gifted dog training. Joining Darren with the magic of diabolo is Etienne Chauzy.

VORTEX artists will also return to support their canine friends. Directed by Anna Eisley. Melissa Vogt wrote the original script and is a featured performer, joined by Patricia Wappner, Monica Kurtz, Trey Deason, and Makenna Mabon. Tyler Mabry’s live original score also includes bits of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite. Vikki Schwarz joins Tyler on piano. Ann Marie Gordon creates the set. Amy Lewis designs the lighting. Suzanne Smith stage manages. Choreography by Sandie Donzica.

Click here for tickets and more info!

When: Today, December 29th

Time: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

2307 Manor Rd.
Austin, Texas 78722

These days between Christmas and New Year’s are laaaaazy, but we like it that way. And since you officially have nothing to do, we thought it would be a good time to highlight a few non-holiday-related things to do in the city for when you have some serious time to kill. Your first stop, if you haven’t made it there yet, should be Austin’s new and glorious Central Library. For bookworms and architecture buffs, and really anyone with a pulse, it is truly something magical to behold. And this could be an ideal time to explore the almost 200,000-square-foot downtown building without all the crowds.

“We all thought of the building as this great portal,” architect David Lake told the Austin Chronicle in October, “… to knowledge, to the environment, to the culture—so in that way it’s by far the most public-spirited building we’ve done—not only in Austin but anywhere.” Go check out our city’s newest landmark for yourself. It will be time well spent.

Hours today: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.


710 W. César Chávez St.

Since you and your adorable doggie will just be out and about today wearing your ugly Christmas sweaters and spreading holiday cheer, you might as well stop by Blue Owl Brewing and win an awesome prize. Dress your furry friend in the ugliest dog sweater imaginable and come by anytime on Christmas Eve. The happy elves at Blue Owl will be serving up some Professor Black egg nog to foster the holiday spirit, and the winning dog’s owner gets a free tasting tour.

When: Today, December 24th

Blue Owl Brewing
2400 E Cesar Chavez St, Ste 300
Austin, Texas 78702

If you’re a Seinfeld die-hard, or just someone who needs a break from the onslaught of Christmas this year, here is your plan for tonight: It’s a Festivus for the rest of us at Star Bar! Feats of Strength will commence promptly at 10 p.m. to be followed by our Airing of Grievances. The pole will stand tall and be admired.

When: Today, December 23rd

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Star Bar
600 W 6th St.
Austin, Texas 78701

This is one of those heartwarming little experiences you can count on in Austin every year. Today around lunchtime, 200 tuba players will perform carols for a Merry TubaChristmas on the south steps of the Texas Capitol. Bring the whole family for one of the biggest (and loudest) traditions in Austin!

When: Today, December 22nd

Time: noon – 1 p.m.

Texas State Capitol
1100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701

Tonight is your chance to prove just how much you know the greatest Christmas movies of all time: Home AloneElf, Die Hard, and A Christmas Story. The Volstead is getting into the holiday spirit with a special Thursday themed trivia night on these four classics. So leave work early, put on your Christmas PJs, and marathon them at home to refresh your memory. Victory is on the line!

It’s free to play and teams of 1-6 are welcome.  They’ll be great prizes for the top teams—and maybe even a special prize for the team dressed in their holiday best.

They’ll also have themed cocktails from The Volstead / Hotel Vegas and a themed dinner special from Hotel Vegas Concession Stand.

When: Today, December 21st

Time: Music starts at 6:30 p.m. | Signups at 7 p.m.| Quiz starts right at 7:30 p.m.

The Volstead
1500 E 6th St.
Austin, Texas 78702

The best way to spend NYE is surrounded by friends and with the lowest possible expectations  … know that before jumping into this list! The lines for downtown venues are long, the covers are high, and there are thousands of people roaming the streets who apparently do not consume alcohol the other 364 days of the year.

That being said, it can be the pinnacle party of the holiday season with the right people, and the right venue. To help you with the latter, we’ve put together a list with ten options that will help you create a memorable farewell to 2017.

14. Keep It Quite NYE Party at Fair Market

So you’re looking to get all dolled up and party into 2018. This is the party for you. Your ticket covers everything once you’re in the door. Open bar, pizza, DJ, coat check. It’s going to be a rager. 

Tickets/Info: here.

13. Justine’s MORE IS MORE

For this New Year’s Eve, Justine’s is opening its arms wider than before—because more is more. More love, more beauty, more friendship, more art, more style, more time with you. Our exquisite genius of a designer Emily Hughes is building a sister tent to the golden Winter Tent, “Le Hollandaise” we’ve named her, in silk folds of ruby-red, inspired by The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. We’re offering more champagne, more music, more oysters, more ribeyes, more crème brulées in this extended and grand room.

Tickets/Info: here.

12. Lambert’s NYE Party

Join in on the six-piece Nola based band, Flow Tribe, and a performance plus DJ sets from DJ Chicken George. There will be hurricanes, a midnight Champagne toast, New Orleans gear such as beads, masks, balloons, and late night “Lucky Dog” inspired hot dogs and beignets. Doors open at 10 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $75

Tickets/Info: here.

11. Speakeasy’s Legendary NYE Bash


Speakeasy is great for ringing in the New Year due to the sheer size of the place. It’s basically three venues in one, which makes staying at the same bar for roughly four hours a lot more enjoyable.

Speakeasy will have a band in the main bar, and DJs in the Kaberet Room and on Terrace59 (the rooftop). Tickets start at $49, but I’d recommend spending a bit more to ensure access to the rooftop, which has a great view, and might even allow you to catch the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake.

Tickets/info: Here

10. Native Hostel’s BASH + CRASH

Be a part of Native’s first New Year’s Eve BASH + CRASH. Come for just the party, or bring your crew to crash overnight! Lighting and Visual Art Scapes, Photo Booth Magic and Special LIve Performances by:  MOBLEY and BIRD PETERSON (Special NYE VJ Set).

Tickets/info: Here

9. City of Austin NYE Event at Auditorium Shores


This year’s festivities on Auditorium Shores include live performances from almost two-dozen other artists. There will also be food trucks on-site, activities for the kids, and the grand-finale fireworks show at 10 p.m.

This is a great event for families and couples that are looking to avoid the downtown madness, but still want to get out and do something memorable on New Year’s Eve. For an added bonus, admission is free!

More info: Here

8. NYE 2018: A Celebration of 85 Years Since Prohibition Failed! at Parlor & Yard

Parlor and Yard is kicking things up a notch and turning back to basics.

The event kicks off at 9pm with live music and a complimentary appetizer buffet catered by Hot Mess. Live Music kicks off at 10pm and the private, all-inclusive bar continues until midnight, capped off with a champagne toast. Late night buffet also provided by Hot Mess keeps the party going and DJ BigBear turns the dials up on the party at 11 and brings us into 2018 and beyond.

Tickets/info: Here

7. Pool Burger

Looking for something that isnt going to break the bank? 

Pool Burger is will host a casual party with DJ rerun playing Dance Hall, Soul & Funk starting at 9:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. There will be an exclusive Shark Bait cocktail in a shark shaped tiki mug for the evening. 

6. Banger’s New Year’s Eve Smoke Out


If you want to enjoy the mild winter weather in Austin underneath the oaks, look no further than Banger’s. This year they’re smoking Prime Rib, and hosting live music, and a complimentary toast at midnight of Miller High Life (the Champagne of Beers).

No cover to get in, and the party starts at 7 p.m.

More info: Here

5. The Nightowls at Stubb’s

Austin’s favorite soul band, The Nightowls, will rock the indoor stage at Stubb’s with an opening performance from Kev Bev and The Woodland Creatures. The $70 ticket includes a champagne toast and a complimentary buffet!

Tickets/info: Here

4. Bob Schneider at The Paramount 

The Paramount Theatre invites you to celebrate New Year’s Eve with perennial favorite Bob Schneider. From “Tarantula” and “40 Dogs” to tracks from his latest album King Kong Vol. 3, Bob has proven time and time again why he’s one of Austin’s most beloved artists. 

Tickets/info: Here

3. Irene’s NYE House Party 

Here is another option for the non planner. Chill with our homies at Irene’s New Year’s Eve House Party (no cover!) featuring DJ Emily Rabbit from 10 pm – 2 am and $40 magnums of bubbles all night! Be sure to eat some of Chef Drew’s special $3 black-eyed peas and collard greens after midnight, a Southern tradition said to bring you luck and prosperity for the year!

Tickets/info: Here

2. Ghostland Observatory at Mohawk 


No description needed. If this is your scene you don’t need us to tell you. 

Tickets/info: Here

1. INTO THE WILD by W Austin


You know those NYE parties you see in the movies? While not for everyone, that’s what the two-party experience (one called Urban Wild, the other Jungle Glam) at The W Austin provides.

If you’re looking to dress to the nines, pop bottles, and you don’t mind dropping some cash— there’s nothing else in Austin quite as glittery as this celebration.

GA tickets start at $75 for UBRAN WILD, and $175 for JUNGLE GLAM.

Pro-tip: Grab some friends (up to 15) and split the cost of a table ($2,000). Tables come with two bottles and will save you money assuming you trust your friends to cover their part of the bill!

***Bonus points if you can sneak into the sold-out Willie show happening next-door at ACL Live.

Tickets/info: Here

Happy New Year’s from 365 Things Austin! Please party responsibly and consider ride-share, public transportation (Cap Metro is offering FREE rides, see below), or taxi this holiday season.

If you’re a pro-level procrastinator and you still have some shopping to do (sheepishly raises hand), don’t fret! Tonight you can be super productive and have some holiday fun at the same time. Shop, eat, and celebrate at this inaugural pop-up event. Enjoy food, drinks, and live entertainment while you shop a selection of local artists and vendors. This event is free and family-friendly! DJ Hexum will be spinning throughout the night.

Shop at:
– Athena Silversmith
– Billie Claire Handmade
– Dalton Designs
– Dream Bijoux
– Heatherhilldesignsatx
– NEA’s Fine Arts
– Pepillo Art
– Pride Socks
– Salud de Paloma Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Too Bees Must Buzz

Food Trucks:
– Saigon Le Vendeur
– Garbo’s Lobster Truck ATX

When: Today, December 20th

Time: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Republic Square
422 Guadalupe St.
Austin, Texas 78701

This year is winding down, and aren’t you curious what 2018 will bring? Well tonight you can sip on some tequila and hear all about the future with free tarot readings by Kristin of Senders Receive at Irene’s!

There are tequila-centric specials all day (just the kind of liquid courage you need to ask the big questions about your life).
* $3 Tequila Shot
* $3 Rocks or Frozen Margarita
* $5 Tequila Punch

Most importantly this is the last Tarot and Tequila of 2017! Don’t miss this chance to convene your spirit guides.

When: Today, December 19th

Time: 6-8 p.m.

506 West Avenue
Austin, Texas, 78701

That week between Christmas and New Year’s where half your friends are still with their families, some are traveling, and you’re off work in Austin wondering what to do.  This, this is what you should do. 

1. Ice Skating at Whole Foods

Just because it’s past Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those activities that you didn’t get around to before Santa visited. Ice Skating at Whole Foods is happening daily though January 15th. It’s an Austin rite of passage and one of our favorite holiday traditions! 

2. Free Tipster Walking Tour 

You’re sitting around twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do? Let Tipster take you on a walking tour of Austin. It is a great way to check out a part of the city you’ve never experienced before. They explore everything from East Side Art, The Local Beer Scene to The Capital and Local Live Music. Great for locals and/or tourists! 

3. Volunteer 

There are a million places that you can volunteer. We have a soft spot for local animals in need, if you’re like us try Austin Animal Center. You can get involved in the administration side or work directly with animals. If you don’t want to commit to volunteering, you can just go walk some pups and love on homeless animals for a day. Both you and your furry friend for the day will have full hearts. 

4. Visit Austin’s New Library 

This is not your grandma’s library! Trust us. It’s everything you’ve heard it is. Make sure to check out the rooftop patio. 

5. Go On A Hike 

You always see those photos of millennials on social media exploring. Be one of those people. There are plenty of beautiful places to take in nature in Central Texas.