It is officially the end of an era. The old Fran’s building on South Congress is going to be demolished today. As a way of giving it a proper goodbye they’re going to be handing out tacos at the demolition today. Come help say good-bye to an Austin icon.

The old Fran’s site will become a Torchy’s Flagship restaurant.

When: today, January 21st

Time: 2 pm

Location:
Old Fran’s Burgers
1822 South Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704

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We are in for a ‘winter storm’ later which means lots of winds, no snow but it’s going to get cold! I know this weather makes it hard for some Austinites to leave the house, if you have the courage go to trivia night at The Highball, you won’t regret it.

Nothing beats a good trivia night and The Highball does one of the best ones in Austin.  Their atmosphere and prizes are what puts them above the curve. They give away things like Alamo Gift Cards, tickets to Alamo Events among other fun stuff.

I am putting this out there. If any pub quizzes around town are holding a Seinfeld Trivia night, let me know. I must attend.

Also, on Monday’s check out Motown Monday on Mondays and Cards Against The Highball on Tuesdays, those are both fun events as well!

Admission: Free

When: Wednesdays

Time: 8 – 10:15 pm

Location:
The Highball
1120 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78704

http://thehighball.com/events/detail/14578/

Photo Credit: The Highball Facebook Page

6.15

Seeing a show during Free Week should be part of the ‘becoming an Austin resident’ initiation process. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Free Week  has been a celebration of music in Austin since 2003.

Legend has it that Emo’s was one of the first venues to start the tradition, but it’s now spread through most of the music venues down Red River and other select venues throughout the city.

Here are a few places offering Free Week shows through Saturday:

The Mohawk

Holy Mountain

Stubb’s

Spider House

Empire Control Room

When: Today through Saturday, Jan. 10th

Cost: FREE

http://do512.com/freeweekaustin

5.15

Last night was the coldest nights that we have had in while. Most people are great about making sure their own pets stay warm but this time of the year the shelter can really use extra towels, blankets, pillows to keep the animals that are still looking for forever homes warm.  Now is a great time to go through your linen closet and get rid of some old stuff and give it to animals that will really benefit from your generosity.

There are several different organization around here that are in need.  Here are a few around town.

Austin Animal Center – 7201 Lavender Loop Austin, Texas 78702 http://www.austintexas.gov/department/animal-services  (they have a massive donation bin right out front so it is easy to swing by and drop off items – this is the only location I’m familiar with based on personal experience)

Austin Pets Aive – 1156 W. Cesar Chavez Street Austin, Texas 78701 http://www.austinpetsalive.org/donate/wish-list/ items can be dropped off outside between 11:30 – 7 pm

Austin Humane Society – 124 West Anderson Lane Austin, Texas 78752 http://www.austinhumanesociety.org/give/items donations can be dropped off between 7am – 7pm, Monday through Friday; between 12pm – 7pm, Saturday; and between 12pm – 5pm on Sundays.

If you are looking to adopt a pet, check out our Pet Of The Weeks, they are long stay animals that have been in the shelter close or more than 365 days.

1.15

Happy 2015 everyone! Here we go again, back to list item #1.  For those who don’t understand the numbering system, we start back over at number ‘1’ and the ‘.15′ represents the year.

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For the 35th year, people willing to brave the brisk jump into the springs are invited to make the plunge. We have it a little easier than some of our polar bear jumping neighbors from around the country, as Barton Springs stays at a constant 68 degrees. So in today’s case, the water will actually be warmer than the air temperature! Regardless of that detail, this is still going to be some feat today as it’s definitely the coldest it’s been outside in several years.

They’ll have coffee and donuts to warm you up, and they’ll be selling 2015 commemorative T-shirts.

When: Today, January 1st, 2015

Time: 5:00am-10:00pm (the actual plunge will take place at 10:00 a.m.)

Cost: Free

Location:
Barton Springs Pool
2101 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

https://www.facebook.com/events/758139187573616/

Photo Credit: http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs114/1101784698470/img/164.jpg

One of my favorite things to do each December is decorate/enjoy the decorated trees along 360. While hundreds of people like to participate in the act of decorating a tree, many people forget to go back and clean up their tree once the season has passed eventually causing litter and this fun tradition ends up taking a toll on our city.

This is a reminder that you should make some time today or this week to go remove all the decorations if you decorated a tree. The rain should clear out this morning and we will have a party cloudy afternoon that will be perfect taking down the tree!

Photo Credit: http://www.penick.net/digging/images/2010_12_16/XmasTrees360_7.JPG

Today is the second annual Dreidel Tournament! Players or all age are welcome to come out and join the holiday fun.

They’ll have a craft station where you can make your own repurposed dreidel out of an egg carton.

Admission: free

When: today, December 21st

Time: 1 pm

Phone: 512-974-7400

Location:
Recycled Reads Bookstore
5335 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78756

http://library.austintexas.gov/event/dreidel-tournament-65326

The past few years, I helped deliver presents with Operation Blue Santa, and it’s always one of the most amazing experiences. The joy on the kids faces when you drop off the presents is unmatched and proves that it really is better to give than receive. Here’s a rundown of how it works.

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Today is delivery day for Operation Blue Santa, and they need all the help that they can get. Basically, you get to go around and deliver presents and make peoples’ days.  When you show up, the folks at Blue Santa will load your vehicle with as many presents as you wish to deliver, and then off you go to make the families’ days.

Post delivery, you’re invited for BBQ and live music as a thank you!

I can’t think of a better or a more rewarding way to spend a Saturday morning!  Events like this help restore my faith in humanity and the good in people.

When: today, December 20th

Start time: 8:00am

Location:
Operation Blue Santa Warehouse
4101 S. Industrial Drive

Or:

12425 Lamplight Village
404 Ralph Ablnedo
812 Springdale Road

http://www.bluesanta.org/

A horse drawn carriage ride sounds perfectly Christmas-y, so I absolutely love that the Domain is offering these free rides.

I think it’s such a fun, random and romantic thing to do after dinner at the Domain, and it’s definitely something that kids will enjoy.

Santa will also be at the Domain through Christmas Eve to pose for pictures.

When: Friday & Saturday night

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Cost: Free, tips accepted.

Location:
The Domain
In front of Dillards and Macy’s
11410 Century Oaks Terrace
Austin, Texas 78758

http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain/stream/holidays-at-the-domain-2157103

 

Each year there seem to be more and more decorated trees along 360. It’s one of those things that makes Austin unique and eclectic all at the same time.

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The story goes that this tradition began over ten years ago with just one tree, decorated under the cover of night by a local family.  Each year more and more decorated trees pop up from mid-November through Christmas.

You can always participate and decorate your own.  If you don’t have the time to do it before Christmas, be sure to take the time to drive down 360 and appreciate the trees!  It’s really fun!

The tree decorations have just as much variety and spark as the city’s residents.  Currently there are more than 100 trees decorated with everything from traditional ornaments, candy canes, and garland, to funky trees sporting flamingos, rainbows, Barbie’s, and more.

Important: After New Year’s make sure to go “un-decorate” your tree.  We don’t want litter everywhere.

I love how we manage to keep “Keep Austin Weird,” one day at a time.

Location:
Loop 360
 They come in batches, Spicewood Springs has a bunch.

Photo Credit: http://www.penick.net/digging/images/2010_12_16/XmasTrees360_7.JPG