While planning a power-bonding group activity for my co-workers recently, I was struggling with the decidedly un-cool nature of the options. A pub on wheels? No thanks. A Segway tour? They’d never forgive me. Or trust falls? Oh God, no. I didn’t want to embarrass these people, I wanted to have a fun with them!
Thankfully, because of this very site, I came across Your Biker Gang, which bills itself as one of the funnest things to do in Austin. This company helps you create your own motorcycle gang, but subs in fat-tired electric minibikes for the motorcycles, which are so much safer and completely glee-inducing.
I can tell you now that when I surprised my beloved colleagues with this outing, I became, for that brief shining moment, the hero of our office. When we arrived at their headquarters in West Austin, our little gang of nine were outfitted with helmets and bandanas by our fearless leader and road captain, Cope. We also had what’s called a “sweeper,” a super nice guy who held up the tail end of the crew and kept us all very very safe.
After a quick tutorial and training on the bikes in a parking lot, we were out on the open road, with Cope blasting classic biker gang tunes from a giant speaker on his bike. I immediately wanted to buy one of these bikes and I still do. It’s a little intimidating at first, but once you learn to trust this speedy little machine and lean into your turns (top speed is 20 mph) you become one with the bike and basically feel like you can do anything. Anything! Like riding in Downtown Austin traffic.
As someone who has grown up in this city, and takes its beauty for granted on a daily basis, I can tell you that this is an amazing way to see Austin. As we biked over the pedestrian bridge on Lady Bird Lake, through Zilker Park, and along Waller Creek, I fell in love with this place all over again. The wind was blowing our hair back, people were looking at our crew with total envy, and Cope was doing stunts at the front like a badass. We were the happiest Hell’s Angels you ever did see.
If you need an activity to entertain a crew, whether they are family, friends, coworkers, or total strangers, Your Biker Gang will be a hit, I promise. They will customize the tour for your group so you can get history and trivia and see the big sights like murals, statues, the UT campus, and more. Or—if you are locals like us—you can just have a joyride and stop for tacos on the way. These bikes are easy to ride and the concept is as feel-good as it gets.
It’s time to jump on your electric hog and get lost for a while. Be a group-activity-planning hero for once. The road is calling!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Austin, the monumental last work by renowned American artist Ellsworth Kelly is finally complete and open to the public. The building is now a cornerstone work of art in the Blanton Museum’s permanent collection.The museum is closed on Mondays but you can still walk around and take in the gorgeous exterior or make plans to tour this week. Share your experience by using #KellyAtTheBlanton.
Blanton Museum of Art
200 East Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78701
The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off with a short program at the MLK Statue on The University of Texas campus.
We will then march to the south steps of the State Capitol for a short program and marchers will continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. All businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.
We’ve done just about everything for Christmas in Austin, but we’ve mostly been limited to land activites—until now! Tonight is Austin’s first annual Boat Trail of Lights! Hopefully this has the makings of a longstanding tradition that will get bigger and crazier every year. Call that friend of yours with a boat and get organized. Decorate the boat (and/or your body) with holiday spirit and lights and meet under the 360 Bridge. Boaters will hit the lights at 6 p.m. sharp, and listen to holiday music.
Boaters and spectators will need to pay normal entrance fees at the bridge. The city can accept cash and checks only and it costs $15 for a truck and trailer, $10 for a vehicle, and $3 for anyone who walks into the park to watch the fun.
If you are planning on launching at the 360 Bridge, message the page Boat Trail of Lights and let the organizers know (this is important!). They need to make sure everyone isn’t coming at once.
It’s December and we are officially going crazy for Christmas in Austin. Ring in the season at this free, family-friendly event that celebrates the arrival of the holiday season and the joy it brings. Enjoy live music from local favorites like Riders Against the Storm, Jane Ellen Bryant, Charlie Faye and the Fayettes, Gina Chavez, and more.
They’ll also be a ton of great activities for the kids like face painting, ornament making, carnival games, and gingerbread decorating! Plus the big guy will be there—all the way from the North Pole.
It’s the big one! Tonight, the Christmas season officially kicks off in Austin with the lighting of our beloved Zilker Tree. Enjoy local entertainment, food, live music, and more tonight for this special occasion. The tree stands 155 feet tall and is made of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs—totaling 3,309 lights.
The tree will be on display nightly from until December 31 from 6 p.m. – midnight. Don’t forget that area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. It’s totally worth the trouble, but make sure you plan ahead!
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.