Every Wednesday night while UT is in session the astronomy department sponsors free public star parties on the top roof of Robert Lee Moore Hall, which is located at the southeast corner of Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) and Speedway. Once you reach RLM, take the elevators to the 17th floor and then follow the signs to the stairs up to the telescope. Click here for map to RLM and nearby parking garages. (Garage rate information is available here.)

The telescope was purchased from Group 128 in 1977 at a cost of about $18,500. It was primarily used for teaching undergraduate astronomy majors the processes involved in modern astronomical observation and for graduate student projects. After time, the telescope began to suffer from wear and tear. So in 1997, a grant proposal was approved by the National Science Foundation with matching funds from a generous private donor. In July 1998, the telescope was re-fit with a state-of-the-art mount and new clock drive at a cost of $50,000. The telescope is controlled from a Dell desktop computer using contol software called PC-TCS. 

All ages are welcome, but they ask that younger children be under adult supervision at all times. Viewing times change throughout the year so please check this page for current times before planning your visit. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information.(This line is updated approximately 30-45 minutes before the scheduled start time.)

Admission: free

When: Wednesdays

Time: now – March 9th 7 pm – 10 pm / March 23 = May 4th 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Location:
The University of Texas

http://outreach.as.utexas.edu/public/parties.html

Photo Credit: http://umich.edu/~lowbrows/astrophotos/tsp/tsp20s.html

Free sunset yoga on the terrace at Whole Foods is back! Every Monday and Wednesday in February and March they’ll host a sunset yoga session at 7 pm. You can’t beat it. Yoga on the terrace at Whole Foods, how Austin can you get.

Advice: try to get there early to snag a spot!

All you need to bring is water and a mat.

When: Mondays & Wednesdays in February & March

Time: 7 pm – 8pm

Location:
Whole Foods Downtown
524 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78701

https://www.facebook.com/events/1547861322191395/

City Surf is turning 1! You probably know them at the workout that happens on a surf board but on dry land!

Stop by and treat-yo-self to manis & beauty braids x PRIV, food & drink, and good vibes! Get on board, meet the crew and see what they are all about.

When: today, January 12th

Time: 5 pm

Location:
City Surf Austin
1500 South Lamar
Austin, Texas 78704
https://www.facebook.com/events/1744459882434093/

On the First Thursday of every month shops along South Congress stay open late – until about 10:00 pm. Some the stores have specials, sales, give out drinks, some of the restaurants and bars have drink specials as well. All and all it has the feel of a block party.

Local vendors set up and you can find anything from handcrafted jewelry, art, clothes, to unique Austin artifacts. In the mist of people you will see local musicians just set up and playing.

You can not call yourself a true Austinite until you have been to a First Thursday – it is almost a right of passage if you ask me. The roughest thing about it is finding a parking spot but it is worth the hassle!

When: the first Thursday of every month

Time: 5 – 10 pm

Location:
South Congress
Austin, Texas 78704

Join Black Swan Yoga for Guilt Free Sunday at the Rattle Inn. The class is free but they’ll will be accepting donations for Austin Pets Alive!

You can RSVP and donate on our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-yoga-on-the-rooftop-tickets-20207095968

Alise Crain will be leading an hour-long All Levels Vinyasa Class! Get your sweat on, and continue your healthy start with a little added naughtiness by ordering a guilt-free cocktail named after exercises and made with cold-pressed juices, coffee or coconut water. See the drink menu and the rest of the Guilt Free Sunday Funday Lineup here: http://rattleinnaustin.com/guilt-free-sunday-funday

Don’t worry if its a little chilly! There are heaters on the rooftop that’ll keep your yogi bunz warm!

When: Sundays this January

Time: 11 am

Location:
The Rattle Inn
610 Nueces Street
Austin, Texas 78701

https://www.facebook.com/therattleinn/?fref=ts

Known as one of the fittest cities in the US, it’s no wonder Austin has breathtaking trails to run and quirky streets to explore. We have trails and running routes easily accessible from downtown, luscious greenery, and even views of the Texas Capitol. You name it, and we’ve got it.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite places to run and experience the wonderful city we live in – Austin, Texas!

5. For the city slicker seeking solitude: Shoal Creek Trail
     Start your playlist with: Days Like This – Van Morrison

shoal creek
Although parts of the trail are currently under construction, this is a great trail to get away without stepping outside of Austin. You’ll find Shoal Creek less crowded than other nearby trails, yet it still provides beautiful creek views surrounded by massive trees. If you start at the northern most end of the trail, you will have to cross a few roads including North Lamar; but, this short intermission doesn’t take away from the serenity to be experienced on the trail.

Distance: 4 mile stretch
Terrain: Compacted dirt, loose rocks, limestone, pavement
Pro tip: Park at Randall’s (W. 35th) for easy access to Shoal Creek Blvd. There is also parking available off of North Lamar.

4. For the ultimate sight-seer: Texas State Capitol to South Congress Loop
     Start your playlist with: Fader – The Temper Trap

This is the perfect running route if you’re visiting Austin for a few days or if you’re a resident looking to escape the office for a lunch time run. Start at the Capitol and run through downtown; you’ll soar across the Congress bridge and witness breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake. From there, you’ll run at an incline up South Congress (one of Austin’s most memorable and well loved streets in Austin). On the way back, be sure to take a pit stop at Amy’s Ice cream for an afternoon snack!

Distance: 6 mile round trip
Terrain: Paved road
Pro tip: This is the beginning of the Austin marathon/ half marathon course and is a great way to train for some of the hills on the course. However, they only get bigger from here!

3. For the hill climber: Mount Bonnell
     Start your playlist with: Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi

mount bonnell

When I first visited Mount Bonnell, I’ll admit I walked up the stairs within a few minutes and was slightly underwhelmed. Maybe I was expected something a bit more rugged or a longer climb. However, if you want to reach one of the highest points in Austin, try running up it. Mount Bonnell stands at 785 feet and remains one of Austin’s most popular tourist attractions. If you’re fit for the challenge, start at the top of Mount Bonnell, run until you get to the beginning of Mount Bonnell Road (Mayfield Park) and climb back up to the summit. If you make it to the stairs running,  you’ll be no doubt be out of breath but have earned the beautiful view of the Colorado river and Austin skyline.

Distance: (Covert Park at Mount Bonnell – Mayfield Park) .7 miles each way; 1.5 miles total
Terrain: Paved road
Pro tip: Mayfield Park, right off of Mount Bonnell Road is one of Austin’s lesser known gems. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can run through it before heading back up to Mount Bonnell. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find –

mayfield

2. For the trail runner not afraid of a rocky ride: The Barton Creek Greenbelt
     Start your playlist with: The ‘59 Sound – The Gaslight Anthem

greenbelt

Located off of Highway 360, The Greenbelt serves as a popular attraction for both visitors and Austin locals. It has explorative trails and numerous swimming holes for the warmer months. With multiple different routes and trailhead access points, the Greenbelt is a trail runner’s dream. For running, one of my favorite trailheads is The Scottish Woods trail, a less crowded access point. The trailhead starts off rocky with a decent decline known as “The Hill of Life”. From there, it’s a smoother ride and offers many different trails comprised of several obstacles. The main access is off of 3755 B Capital Highway 360 and another popular one is Spyglass (West). Hit up this spot for the perfect combination of hiking and breakfast tacos from the nearby Taco Deli. For runners, with varied terrain and multiple trails, this is a great place to challenge yourself while still enjoying Austin’s serenity.

Distance: 7.9 mile stretch (main trail)
Terrain: Loose rock, dirt, gravel, limestone
Pro tip: Stop at the iconic Sculpture Falls on the way back to cool off (only about 1 mile from The Scottish Woods Trailhead).

1. For the long distance runner who takes the scenic route: Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail (Ann and Butler/Town Lake)
    Start your playlist with: Do You – Spoon

ladybirdlake

*Ahh* the lake. Like most, this was the first trail I ran in Austin. Its prime location, and beautiful sunrises/sunsets that reflect off the water make it a popular spot for Austinites. The majority of the trail is flat with some small inclines, which makes it fairly easy to maintain your pace. In its entirety, the trail covers over 10 miles and is extremely suitable for half marathon/marathon training. But, don’t be overwhelmed by the distance. The trail also offers many shorter and equally as scenic loops. If you’re seeking a shorter run, take the MOPAC loop or start downtown and cross I-35 to get to the boardwalk. There’s lots to explore here and the view simply never gets old.

Distance: 10.1 mile loop
Terrain: Compact dirt, crushed granite, concrete
Pro tip: Wake up early to beat the rush and witness the sunrise. For skyline views, check out the boardwalk; for rugged trails, enter the trail from downtown (Congress), and once you’ve reached the trail, turn left.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our guide to Hiking Trail in Austin.

I always say that Austin needs more events to appreciate cars! Well Top Notch (where some of the classic Dazed and Confused was filmed)  is making it happen tonight with their live music and hot rod night!


Local car lovers will love checking out all the sweet rides.

Don’t forget to bring a chair.

I highly recommend their onion rings, treat yourself!

Admission: free

When: today, January 2nd

Time: 6:00 – 10 pm

Location:
Top Notch Hamburgers
7525 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78757

https://www.facebook.com/Top-Notch-Hot-Rod-Drive-In-Nights-461645080613790/?fref=ts

I can’t believe that we’re already at the end of another year. Living in the greatest city on earth must make time fly.


Tonight, the city of Austin is hosting a family friendly, alcohol free event for those who are looking for a good old fashioned celebration of the new year. They’ll have live music, interactive art installations, performances, and creative activities throughout the night including:

Bike Zoo: Human-powered puppetry featuring larger-than-life creatures powered by bicycles.
The Flying Balalakai Bros: Roaming interactive performance of Gypsy Folk music.
Scare for A CureFace Painting and theater crafts.
Sky Candy: Breathtaking works of aerial drama.
The Thinkery: Combining science and art through crafts and 3D printer demonstrations.
Russian Nesting Doll: Artist Bradford Maxwell will do an interactive live painting of a NYE-themed Matryoshka Doll. Take photos with the masterpiece!

There will be local trailers on hand including:

• Chi’lantro, home of Kimchi Fries and Korean BBQ
• Tacos from La Sirena Fantabulous Taqueria
• BBQ from Mickelthwait Craft Meats
• Hot Beverages from Elixer Coffee
• Lobster Rolls from Garbos
• Hot Dogs and Sausages from The Evil Weiner
• F’Real Milkshake and Smoothie Truck
• Hot Sandwiches from Emoji Grilled Cheese

The great thing, as always, will be the firework finale over Austin. Remember, fireworks are forbidden within Austin city limits, so this is a real treat. The city makes a fantastic back drop for for the show!

Admission: Free

When: today, December 31st

Time: 5:00 p.m – 10:30 p.m.

Parking: There won’t be parking at Auditorium Shores – however there will be parking in nearby parking garages. Check the website for more details.

Please remember that it’s a no refusal weekend. Capital Metro will be offering FREE rides tonight from 6:00 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. for more details visit, https://www.facebook.com/capitalmetro.

Location:
Auditorium Shores
South First & Riverside
Austin, Texas 78704

http://www.austintexas.gov/department/austins-new-year

 Photo Credit

If you’re looking to get a little more rowdy, take a peak at the rest of our Top Picks for NYE: http://365thingsaustin.com/2015/12/17/party-like-its-2016-best-new-years-eve-parties-in-austin/.

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s helped inspire and support me along the way this year. The unwavering support of my family, my friends – I don’t even know where to start. The overwhelming support of it has truly left me speechless. To my mom and dad, my most consistent readers, I love you! Ali, I couldn’t do it without your support, ideas and wittiness, you’re the best sister anyone could ask for. Neff, thank you for always helping me think differently,  see new ideas, and always being up for ‘research.’  And of course to the people that read the blog everyday, it wouldn’t be possible without you! I always appreciate the suggestions, new ideas and criticism, it helps me improve the blog throughout the journey.  Thank you and Happy New Year.

Here’s to many more adventures and good fortune in 2016!