If you want to get out of town for a while, the City of Liberty Hill, which is just a short drive from Austin, is offering something really unique. The main street of this charming little place will be completely transformed into a wonderland for your senses!
At Whimsy & Wonder, an interactive art festival taking place May 18, downtown businesses will turn into galleries hosting works from local artists, live art demonstrations, and live music. Even the serving of food and wine will be artistic and unexpected—think aerial bartenders, living tables, and a live champagne dress.
The magic continues outside on Main Street, which will be filled with performers, stilt walkers, and local artisans. World-renowned Magician Cody S. Fisher will wow visitors with street magic, and a strolling caricature artist will draw guests on the spot. A children’s Imagination Garden will house interactive art exhibits, craft booths, and unforgettable circus performances!
Festival goers will be also be able to watch live art demonstrations including a live body painter, sidewalk chalk artists and Austin’s very own Dirty Car Artist, Scott Wade, in action. And it will be super easy to get around—pedicab drivers will be everywhere to transport visitors from downtown street parking and parking lots.
When: Saturday, May 18, 6-9 p.m.
Cost: Admission and parking are free! Food and a wide variety of unique art items are available for purchase.
For more information, click here.
We’re always looking for a fun new group activity in this city, and something new will be arriving in early April. The Candle Bar, which started in Nashville and grew quickly to Charlotte and Dallas gives customers a DIY candle pouring experience for $40. Think Build-A-Bear for grown-up people.
So instead of the same old brunch or drinks or manis and pedis, this would be a fab thing to do with your girls. The store is coming to the Domain Northside near Hat Creek Burger Company.
Here’s how it works: First, you choose your vessel from their wall stocked full of traditional colored glass and modern ceramics, then you sniff your way around the fragrance library, which has over 40 options. After that, you get to help measure your own wax, mix the scent, and pour your own custom candle.
This is a group outing where you can learn a lot and leave with a souvenir you’ll actually use or gift it to some lucky pal. And you will be beaming with pride when people compliment the smell of your house.
The store will also carry stuff you don’t have to make yourself like jewelry, stationary, textiles, skincare, and fancy grooming products for men.
If you have a group that wants to do the candle thing, it’s best to make a rezzy online. They’ll offer between three to five workshops per day.
Photo by Julia Keim
We’re thrilled to be a part of Hot Luck
again! We know you are thinking about SXSW right now, but let’s zoom ahead to May and get tickets for one of the best fests in town. Scope out the lineup and get your tickets right now at hotluckfest.com.
Created and founded by James Beard Award-winner Aaron Franklin, Guerilla Suit principal and Mohawk owner James Moody, and Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland, Hot Luck is what happens at the fire—in the flames. It’s where the inspiration turns into food. This festival feeds the people, the music, the camaraderie Which lead to the next round of crazy ideas that flicker to life.
True to Hot Luck style, music shows will showcase some of Austin’s beloved music venues, including Mohawk, Antone’s, and Barracuda. Music to date includes Lucero, Leftover Salmon, Archers of Loaf, The Suffers, PJ Morton, Sunflower Bean, Robert Ellis, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Naughty Professor, New Breed Brass Band, Harlem, El Tule and more.
Photo: Alison Narro
The 2019 chef lineup is …
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice (Chicago); Alon Shaya, Saba (New Orleans); Chris Bianco, Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix); Doug Adams, Bullard (Portland); Elias Cairo, Olympia Provisions (Portland); Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon (Portland); Greg & Gabi Denton, Ox (Portland); Jason Vincent & Ben Lustbader, Giant (Chicago); Jeremiah Stone, Contra (New York); Katie Button, Button & Co. Bagels (Asheville); Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf (New Orleans); Matty Matheson, TV Host, Just A Dash; Sara Kramer & Sarah Hymanson, Kismet (Los Angeles).
Chris Shepherd, Georgia James (Houston); Justin Yu, Theodore Rex (Houston); Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston); Rico Torres & Diego Galicia, Mixtli (San Antonio); Steve McHugh, Cured (San Antonio).
Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ; Alex Manley & Jen Tucker, Swedish Hill; Andre Natera, Garrison & Revue; Andrew Wisehart, Contigo; Austin Rocconi, Hotel Ella; Bryan Butler & Ben Runkle, Salt & Time; Callie Speer, Holy Roller; Chad Dolezal, The Hightower; David Norman, Easy Tiger; Fermín Núñez & Sam Hellman-Mass, Suerte; Fiore Tedesco,L’Oca d’Oro; Gabe Erales; Ivana & Yamila Maldonado, Cuyo; Jason Stude, East Austin Hotel; JB Gross, Loro; Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye; Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due; Laura Sawicki, Launderette; Max Snyder, Pitchfork Pretty; Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie; Miguel Vidal, Valentina’s Tex Mex; Philip Speer, upcoming restaurant; Sarah Heard & Nathan Lemley, Foreign & Domestic; Sarah McIntosh, Épicerie; Tatsu Aikawa, Tatsu-Ya; Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Emmer & Rye; Todd Duplechan & Jessica Maher, Lenoir; Tyson Cole, Uchi; Yoshi Okai, Otoko; Zach Hunter, The Brewer’s Table.
And here is the rest of the fun. The 2019 events include …
THURSDAY, MAY 23
The Giddy Up: Mohawk (7 p.m.)
Presented by our friends at YETI, The Giddy Up is our welcome party for the Hot Luck family. All our food heroes get together to swap whopping lies and insider truths about life in the weeds. Canada’s favorite son Matty Matheson will be joined by local luminaries such as Callie Speer, Chad Dolezal, and Yoshi Okai for this industry shindig, with tunes furnished by Texas Piano Man, Robert Ellis, and friends. Get on down to The Giddy Up — eat, drink, and hoot with the chefs and culinary nerds behind this whole prandial extravagance.
*This event is only available via the Whole Enchilada pass. All bites are included; beverages will be available for purchase.
FRIDAY, MAY 24
Hi, How Are You?: Franklin Barbecue (7 – 10 p.m.)
Welcome to Hot Luck ‘19, and for a lot of you, welcome to Austin. Join us for this East Side backyard get-together featuring Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue—famous for the longest lines in the history of lunch. He’ll be joined by Portland heroes Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon) and Elias Cairo (Olympia Provisions), along with Texans Chris Shepherd, Rebecca Masson, Sarah McIntosh, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Luigi’s mom, and more for a one-of-a-kind block party.
SATURDAY, MAY 25
Al Fuego: Wild Onion Ranch (7 – 10 p.m.)
Al Fuego is Hot Luck’s main event: a live-action, flame-fueled celebration of open-air cooking styles—from Texas to Thailand. We coax the chefs to kick it casual (not that hard) and cook what they might for friends in their own backyards. We set them up with the best meats, the coldest beer, and Aaron Franklin might even build them a specialty cooker. The entire reason Hot Luck exists is to celebrate the fare rarely seen at large events—the obsessively prepared, passionately executed, inspiring food that chefs love to eat.
SUNDAY, MAY 26
Couple de Grille: Austin Speed Shop (11 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
Sweet dreams and driving machines meet for autobrunch at our favorite vintage garage shop in town. Whether you roll slow and low, drift furiously, or are insured through Lloyds of London, prepare yourself for a gleaming spectacle of magnificent Motorcraft and meticulous morsels, ZZ Tapas style.
Fan of Lamb ATX Tour
Hot Luck has teamed up with American Lamb Board for a special #FanOfLamb initiative during Hot Luck 2019. We’ve partnered with four amazing restaurants in Austin’s East Side to showcase the variety of ways delicious lamb can be enjoyed. During regular service hours on Hot Luck weekend, Cisco’s, Kebabalicious, Micklethwait Craft Meats, and Salt & Time will each have a special Hot Luck lamb dish. Try one, or try ‘em all!
Since 1938, Rodeo Austin has been the place “Where Weird Meets Western.” From Austin’s largest carnival and funnel cakes, to mutton bustin’ and amazing live music, there is something for everyone. Because the attractions and big-name acts seem to grow exponentially every year, we’ve compiled this rundown of everything you need to know about the rodeo before you go.
Put on your ten-gallon hat, and all the denim and turquoise you own—it’s time for the best time in Texas. Here’s the deal:
New This Year: Kick Open The Chutes – Party On The Dirt!
Rodeo Austin’s brand new event, Kick Open the Chutes, takes place March 15th at 6:30pm and officially kicks off the 2019 Rodeo season! This party on the dirt features live music concerts by Wade Bowen and Sam Riggs, rodeo eats, a cash bar, rodeo-inspired games, and silent auction – all on the arena floor! Your $20 ticket provides a sneak peek into rodeo action with a behind-the-scenes experience for true rodeo fans and there’s FREE parking!
Rodeo Austin Music:
Rodeo Austin has nearly 100 live performances throughout the month of March.
There are performances at the E2open Outdoor Stage, the 100X Dance Hall, and at the ProRodeo & Concert.
2019 ProRodeo Performances include:
- March 16: Aaron Watson
- March 17: Dia Del Vaquero with La Adictiva
- March 18: Flo Rida
- March 19: Midland
- March 20: Chris Janson
- March 21: The Struts
- March 22: Randy Rogers Band
- March 23: Josh Turner
- March 24: Ronnie Milsap
- March 25: Walker Hayes
- March 26: Martina McBride
- March 27: The Jacksons
- March 28: Dustin Lynch
- March 29: Parker McCollum
- March 30: Kevin Fowler
New to the Fairgrounds:
On the Southside of the Fairgrounds, Rodeo Austin is excited to bring more entertainment that can be enjoyed by all! Watch feathered friends race to the finish line at the turkey races, enjoy excitement and laughter at the comedy stunt show, play in the sea of bubbles at the Bubble Bayou or sit back and relax at the Coors Cactus Saloon.
Rodeo Austin Carnival/Attraction Facts:
Rodeo Austin is proud to host Austin’s largest Carnival. Rodeo Austin brings great entertainment to the Fairgrounds each year with over 80 rides, games and other amusements.
In addition to the carnival, the Fairgrounds offer a variety of things to do. From a Beer and Wine Garden, Butterfly and Parakeet Encounter and rotating food trucks to a petting zoo, pony rides, Swifty Swine pig races and more, there is a little bit of something for everyone!
WILD WEST TENT:
Rodeo Austin’s Wild West Tent will feature Tomás Garcilazo – The Charro, a world-renowned, traditional Mexican Charro whose rope artistry and horsemanship skills are among the best in the world. Also appearing in the Wild West tent Every Saturday at 3:00, is Mutton Bustin’ Mania! Sign your children up online or on-site at the Wild West Tent.
The Wild West Tent will also feature Tricked Out. The well-known Kimzey family has teamed up to bring an equestrian act that is so daring and fast-paced, it is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! The tricks will keep you in suspense while they bring the “Wild West” back to life.
Rodeo Austin has over 8,000 entries for this year’s competitive events, which includes the Junior Livestock Shows, Open Livestock Shows, Horse Show, Gold Stirrup Horse Show, Longhorn Open and Youth Show and Ultimate Scramble Championship.
Avenue of Breeds:
The Animal Science Center features the Avenue of Breeds, an educational exhibit showcasing a variety of animals found in Texas that originated from various places across the globe.
Visit the Hank The Cowdog exhibit to learn about ranching and Texas heritage through the eyes of a loveable dog, Hank!
The first week, Row of Champions will be empty however, the second week, Row of Champions will display the Grand Champion Junior Market animals from the 2018 Junior Livestock Show.
100X Dance Hall:
After the ProRodeo and main stage concert, head over to the 100X Dance Hall for even more live music as you dance the night away at Rodeo Austin’s exclusive after-hours honky-tonk. 100X Dance Hall opens at 5 p.m. on weekdays for dancing, drinks and live music! Open at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with live music all day!
A new addition 100X Dance Hall is Jack’s Front Porch, where you can enjoy an evening on the front porch under the stars.
Get half-off ProRodeo & Concert tickets March 25-27.
Carnival Wristband Spring Break Special – March 18-21, 11 a.m. –5 p.m.
$2 Tuesday – $2 Fairgrounds admission and $2 carnival rides
The beauty of living in Austin is that you don’t have to go far to feel worlds away. One of our favorite escapes is Hyatt Regency Lost Pines & Spa, a gorgeous 405-acre property on the banks of the Lower Colorado River between Austin and Bastrop. It’s just a 20-minute drive to paradise!
And now the resort is embracing the “staycation” trend and offering a ton of—and we mean like endless—activities to entice families to bail on city life for a few days give ourselves a much-deserved break. They’ve just announced its lineup that offers everything from outdoor survival skill classes, moonlight stand-up paddle board tours of Lake Bastrop, and special rates for horseback rides!
Younger guests can also take part in the “Pony Trail Ride Adventure,” an abbreviated trail ride experience where children learn about horses while being led side-by-side by an experienced handler. Trail rides are $85 per person, and the “Pony Trail Ride Adventure” costs $45.
Led by a naturalist with the LCRA, the one-hour survival class will teach children the basics of outdoor survival skills including fire building, water filtration, shelter building, edible plants and insects, cordage and knot tying, as well as wilderness first aid. The organization will also feature “Extreme Teen Challenges” where teenage guests and their parents can take part in some of the LCRA’s most daring activities including zip lining at Zip Lost Pines, rock climbing, and gladiator challenges.
A new moonlight stand up paddle board tour of the nearby Lake Bastrop is an amazing experience. As the resort is directly connect to the Colorado River, guests can take the “Kayak the Colorado” excursion in which they are led by a guide who discusses the local scenery, wildlife, and foliage of the area, or enjoy the “Sunset Raft Trip” tour which takes place at dusk when local animals are most likely to be seen in their natural habitat.
Additionally, the resort will provide a jam-packed itinerary of family-friendly spring break activities including tractor-drawn hay rides, family movie nights, magic shows, an inflatable bounce house, glow-in-the-dark putt-putt and glow dance parties, nightly s’mores by the firepit, and scavenger hunts, as well as arts and crafts sessions with everything from slime making to tie-dying shirts. It’s camp for everyone! Families can also take part in friendly competition with lawn bowling tournaments, volleyball and soccer games, as well as several giant yard games including Jenga, Connect 4, chess, and more.
Kids and their parents will also get a chance to meet the resort’s mascots, including two Texas longhorns, an American mustang, miniature horses, and alpacas.
As always, guests can relax at the on-site Crooked River Water Park. The water park features an activity pool with a sandy beach for building sand castles, a 1,000-foot lazy river, and two-story water slide. It also includes a splash pad for children and an adults-only section with a relaxing pool and whirlpool.
The resort also provides Camp Hyatt, a kid-friendly program that introduces young travelers to the Lone Star State. While children are enjoying a fun-filled time with arts and crafts, games, and sports, parents can enjoy a round-of golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club or escape to total relaxation with customized treatments at the on-site Spa Django.
To learn more and reserve your staycation to find your #LostPinesMoment, click here or call or call 512-308-1234.
We have so much to celebrate in this glorious town, but let’s take a moment to honor something special—the sausage! It’s time, once again, for our hotly anticipated contest of the greatest links this city has to offer. Join us on February 24th for the 2019 Sausage Kings of Austin throw down.
Meat masters like Styles Switch, Micklethwaite, and Banger’s and will go head-to-head in a smoking hot competition where YOU are the judge. If you have a tastebuds, you are totally qualified. After a few hours of drinking, eating, and voting, the results will be in and the most delicious sausage will be crowned!
Come on by, get yourself fed, and enjoy music from the Urban Achievers Brass Band. This is one of our favorite events of the year.
When: Sunday, February 24th
Time: 2:30–5 p.m.
The Brewer’s Table
4715 E 5th St.
Austin, TX 78702
In honor of National Tequila Day, we put together a list of the places you would most likely be able to find us celebrating this important holiday. Frozen or rocks, chile-salted rims, or no salt at all; here are our favorite spots in Austin for margaritas in 2018.
The cult favorite restaurant just opened its third location downtown at the base of the 360 building. All three restaurants offer the various margarita options that made them famous.
When we want options, we go sit up on the roof at El Alma. Their drink menu offers ELEVEN types of margaritas.
Because sometimes the ambiance of where you’re drinking your margarita is just as important as the taste. Nothing beats a Hula Hut margarita after a long day on the lake… or at the office.
This South Austin institution pumps margs out by the hundred. Frozen, rocks, or premium, you can’t really go wrong here.
We loved the original Vivo location on Manor road, but while the location has changed, their consistently delicious margaritas have not.
Photo by Ashlyn Allison
Deemed the mecca of Mexican Food in Austin, they also have really great margaritas. Try the Silvercoin, Watermelon infused with Patron Silver, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.
We typically go all-in and just order Mexican Martinis (sans glass), but they offer swirls, dots, and other fun combos of frozen drinks as well.
Photo by Melody Fury
The most unique margarita in Austin can be found off Oltorf. The Avocado Margarita isn’t just a gimmick, it’s delicious as well.
Photo by Julia Keim
The West 6th Street hotspot offers several margarita variations, but the true star of the show at 616 is the Ranch Water. A concentrated, boozy version of a margarita topped with Topo Chico.
Three words: $5 Happy Hour (four words?) Combier finished margaritas and hearty snacks for five bucks a pop.
Our biggest struggle is whether to order frozen or on the rocks, and then to drink them inside at the bar or outside on the patio.
Polls have been conducted, and the margs here typically finish top of class. If a $10 margarita is out of your acceptable price range, check them out for happy hour in their bar area M-F from 5-7pm.
Cover Photo by Melody Fury
It’s almost impossible to believe, but Austin’s beloved Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is celebrating its 43rd year of existence! This famous fine art market and musical fest features national and local award-winning artists, at least three bands performing live each day, two full bars, and local food. The holiday atmosphere gets merrier every year.
There is no better place to pick up unique gifts for the people on your list. The event features more than 175 contemporary touring visual artists and local favorites showcasing their work while the Armadillo Bazaar stage entertains shoppers with national touring acts and Grammy nominated musicians. With lights down low, spirits high, and the music just right, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar makes holiday shopping fun.
The 2018 bazaar will also give back to local nonprofits in a big way! Feel good about throwing your money around this year—and shop for gifts that could only be found right here in Austin.
To save time and snag your tickets online, click here!
When: December 13th–24th
Time: 11 a.m.–10p.m. daily
Cost: $10 for General Admission | Free for kids 12 and under
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
This year a whopping 280 artists (that’s a record!) submitted their applications for Austin’s famous Cherrywood Art Fair! This beloved ATX holiday event just gets bigger and better all the time.
Come shop for the most unique and meaningful gifts at Maplewood Elementary school in the Cherrywood neighborhood. The hallways and sidewalks will be lined with handmade ceramics and pottery, eclectic art, stylish apparel, one-of-a-kind jewelry, natural skincare, playful pet products, and whimsical children’s merchandise. More than just shopping the Fair offers live music and entertainment, kids crafts, and local eats.
So you can plan ahead, here are some of the participating artists:
HB Ceramics produces organically formed and textured vessels inspired by nature.
Jamie Billman McCormick paints public lands, Austin landscapes, and life outside.
Hatton Henry is a fourth generation leather maker offering classic bags and accessories.
Rebekah Vinyard Jewelry designs and produces wearable art in geometric shapes.
MC Shave Gear crafts distinctive wooden razors, brushes, and luxurious shave products.
Las Ofrendas showcases handmade flower crowns, headdresses, and multimedia art.
Nailivic Studios designs colorful folk art inspired lasercut engravings, etched into wood.
Floating Forest Studio creates whimsical pins, greeting cards, and stickers.
Lucy & Lester represents globally inspired edgy children’s clothing.
Tisa’s Creations sells modern and playful stationary and paper goods.
This is always one of our favorite events in December, because it strengthens local businesses, connects families, and supports aspiring young artists. The proceeds from Cherrywood Art Fair benefit Maplewood Elementary School and Chula League’s Little Artist BIG ARTIST program, a free 10-week mentoring program pairing professional artists with East Austin 5th and 6th graders to turn ideas into art and art into business.
Skip the megastores, and go hyper-local with this Austin tradition. There’s really nothing else like it.
When: December 8th and 9th, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
3808 Maplewood Ave
Austin, TX 78722
It’s that time of year again, the holidays are upon us! You’ve been working hard all year, so it’s time to take a break from the office, get your team together, and spread some holiday cheer. We’ve compiled a list of awesome activities around Austin that are sure to get everyone into the holiday spirit.
What could be more fun than sharing a few beers with your coworkers and competing in urban axe throwing competitions? Group events start with safety instructions and one-on-one throwing practice, then get straight into head-to-head and team events. This place is perfect for group events, the experience is designed for groups of 6 to 24 people and lasts about 2.5 hours.
Book online or call 512.887.2937 for more info.
If you’ve ever had dreams of being part of a rough and tough electric minibike biker gang, now is your chance. Your Biker Gang takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime guided tour through some of the city’s most iconic locations in style. No previous experience is needed to ride—they take care of everything make sure you have a safe and memorable experience. They can also organize special requests, food and bar tours. They like to say, “nothing is too weird for Austin, or us.”
Book online or call 512.893.6833 for more info.
Home to one of the fastest and longest ziplines in Texas, this is sure to be a thrilling and memorable experience for the whole team. The excursion also includes access to a private beach where you can relax, eat, swim, or lay out in one of their hammocks. It’s great for smaller events, groups of 50 or more people will require more than three weeks notice.
Book online or call 512.614.1996 for more info.
With speeds up to 45 miles per hour, K1 will test your competitive edge and possibly bring out some road rage along the way—but all in good fun. They provide everything for your group at the facility: safety lessons, helmets, karts, and even trophies so you can take home all the glory. This is a great space for large corporate events!
Book online or call 855.517.7333 for more info.
Whether you are a seasoned golf pro, or have never swung a club in your life, Topgolf is a great place for people of all skill levels to compete in a fun, casual environment.
Players take turns hitting micro-chipped golf balls that track each player’s accuracy and distance and award points for hitting targets in the outfield, all while kicking back and enjoying some incredible cocktails and appetizers. There are several tiered event spaces, from the Rooftop Terrace, to smaller private lounges, so Topgolf can host any any group size.
Book online or call 866-867-4653 for more info.
Looking for the ultimate test of teamwork and critical thinking? Look no further! With five different immersive adventures to choose from—ranging in difficulty—The Escape Game will put your brains to the test and bond the group together. This is perfect for a smaller group outing, around 2-12 people.
Book online or call 512-643-0043 for more info.
Not everyone is going to be the next Picasso, but Painting With a Twist makes lets you take home a one- of-a-kind piece of art. You don’t need any previous experience to create a masterpiece, just a few drinks, and some real artists who will point you in the right direction.
Click here for more info. They have several locations around town.
All those you put in at the office ping pong table are about to pay off. Spin is all about friends, food, drinks, smiles, and good old fashioned competition. Even if you don’t want to play you can still enjoy a cocktail and watch people duke it out on the tables.
Book online or call 512-351-7110 for more info.
Want to take a break from the stressors of the office and show your coworkers how your really feel about those TPS reports? This gladiator style soccer match is fun as heck and the gang will get plenty of laughs while getting in a good work out. Great for parties of any size!
Book online or call 512-579-8231 for more info.
First we passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and then we cruised Lady Bird Lake!
Once again we’ve teamed up with Austin Tour Company, Capital Cruises and many of our other local businesses friends for our second annual season of…
The Brunch Boat with Buddy the Elf!
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