It’s time to get a little more proactive about finding that special someone. At some point soon it may actually get a chilly in Austin, and that means you are going to need someone to cuddle up with by the fire pit. So tonight—ladies, bring a man, and men, bring a lady. You know, the one you love, but have already put in the friend zone. Hey, you aren’t going to date them, but their soulmate is out there somewhere!
When: Today, November 29th
Time: 7-10 p.m.
W Austin Living Room Bar
Get your tickets here.
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!
When: Today, November 26th
Time: 5:30 – 11:00 p.m.
Barton Springs Road
Photo: Jennifer M. Ramos
Skip the mall and big box stores this year and enjoy your holiday shopping experience at one of Austin’s favorite traditions: The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. This famous fine art market and musical festival features national and local award-winning artists, at least three bands performing live each day, two full bars and local food—and all in a festive, lively atmosphere.
Guests can shop from over 175 artists who will be selling their handmade gifts, fine art, heirloom pieces, and stocking stuffers. Take your shopping breaks by the Armadillo stage and sip on a craft beer or cocktail. This year they’ll have Korean BBQ from Chi’lantro and hand-tossed Neapolitan style pizza in the Southside Flying Pizza kitchen.
With a collection of musicians as well curated as the art, the Armadillo stage will host greats like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Nakia, Ruthie Foster, Charley Crockett, and Shinyribs.
Click here for a photo gallery of Armadillo artist’s work and here for a full lineup of music.
When: December 14 – 24th
Tickets are $8 for a single-day pass; available at the door, or in advance at https://armadillo.ticketbud.com/2017. For best value, purchase a season pass, which allows for entry throughout the duration of the show. Free admission for children 12 and under.
Time: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
Photo by Jennifer M. Ramos.
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.
© David Brendan Hall, www.davidhallphotog.com
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.
For more details click here.
When: November 10th-18th
Waller Creek between 5th and 8th Streets
Company holiday parties can be completely awesome or completely awkward, depending on which route you go. But thankfully, we live in Austin, a town full of vendors and experiences that are changing the corporate event game.
If you are tasked with booking the holiday party this year, look no further—each of these concepts will make you a party-planning hero. We’ve compiled a handy list of our favorite corporate party ideas. And none of them involve trust falls or pot luck buffets.
Break out of the building and have a little staycation in ATX for the day! Austin Tour Company specializes in private group tours and events that allow guests to explore the history, food, street art, nightlife, music and other concepts that “Keep Austin Weird.” They can work with any size group and customize the experience to fit the needs of your quirky crowd.
In that same category, AustinEats Food Tours offers a variety of options (walking and bus tours) that will allow you and your team to try curated offerings of the city’s best eats with knowledgeable guides and no lines. The focus here is all on the food and drink, so the foodies in your worklife will be especially pleased.
Serious power bonding awaits your team. The Escape Game Austin is your ticket to adventure. Solve million dollar heists, decode secret service missions, and navigate through prison passageways. You have one hour to complete the task. This is a dependably fun and out-of-the-box idea.
Whaaaat? That’s right! You and your colleagues should skip the cheese log and just throw some axes this year! Since the dawn of man, humans have been throwing stuff at other stuff. Why? Because it’s fun. They offer group bookings and a holiday party concept that is the opposite of boring.
There’s no feeling tourist-y while cruising around town on a Fat Tire Electric Minibike. Create your own bike gang and experience the city like never before. Did you ever think you’d be in a bike gang with your IT guy and that lady from accounts receivable? Well here’s proof that anything is possible in Austin.
Come crush some balls with your coworkers while you drink good beer, eat good food, and get a little competitive. Everyone, even people who have never hit a golfball before, will have an amazing time. Trust us.
Or how about some world-class indoor go kart racing in European-style 20hp electric karts? The track at K1 in Austin is among the largest in the nation.
If you just need the perfect spot to gather your team away from the office, you can’t go wrong with Irene’s. One of our favorite restaurants in Austin, has that indoor/outdoor vibe, plenty of photo opps, great music, and even greater food and drink. Check out their options for private events here.
OK, if you aren’t into throwing axes or racing go karts, how about some fancy shooting? The Range at Austin is hailed as the finest precision shooting range in the country. The 52,000 square foot facility encompasses more than a targeting range; this fully integrated entertainment facility is the preferred location for seasoned shooters and a welcoming environment for beginners.
Via 313 has made Austin a better place by serving up the most amazing Detroit-style pizza, and now the sky has opened up and the angels are singing and they’ve announced that they are bringing us brunch pizza starting this Sunday at their Craft Pride location.
And not just that, Craft Pride has created a signature beer cocktail menu to compliment this deliciousness.
Here’s the list of cocktail/pizza pairings so you can ready your appetite for the big day:
Martin House Brewing Company True Love is the base for this mulled brew. Flavors of fall spice combine with a Raspberry sour ale to produce a sweet and sour treat. Dressed with a cranberry rim and garnished with an edible hibiscus leaf.
Pairs excellently with B.B.E: A Detroit Style French Toast Pizza
Cherry Lime Sour
Independence Brewing Co. Redbud Berliner-Weisse gives life to a cherry limeade made just for adults. Packed with real cherry and a bright lime flavor reminiscent of the drive-in treat. Garnished with a dried cherry wrapped in a fresh petite mint leaf
Pairs excellently with The Austinite: Cheese and Over-Medium Eggs are layered on a Hashbrown crust and crowned with a Salsa Verde.
A drink inspired by the Mexican Cerveza Preparada tradition. Our take is spicy, savory, and just a little sweet. Made with Dallas Blonde from Deep Ellum Brewing Company and garnished with chile lime dusted salami and a Spanish olive.
Pairs excellently with Pepper Adams: Calabrese and Over-Medium Eggs on every slice and topped with Fresh Arugula and Shaved Parmesan.
When: Sundays starting October 2nd
Time: noon – 3:00 p.m.
61 Rainey St
Austin, Texas 78701
Present Company’s 4th annual Shakespeare at the Market, Romeo & Juliet, runs October 13th – 29th on the rooftop of the downtown Austin flagship Whole Foods Market. Promoting the philosophy of accessible art, Shakespeare at the Park is free! A suggested $20 donation supports the artists and event. RSVPs are encouraged.
When: Today, October 13th
Time: Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. show
Whole Foods Downtown
524 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
A few things to remember!
- Picnics and blankets or chairs encouraged
- BYOB or purchase from Whole Foods
- FREE & PLENTIFUL parking in the Whole Foods garage
- Parents encouraged to research the plot and have any necessary conversations with children under the age of 10.
If you’ve discovered the weirdly addicting fun of Topgolf (you really don’t have to be a golfer to love it) then get excited, because the company is taking their experience to Circuit of the Americas for the Topgolf Crush Grand Prix. Come enjoy food, drinks, and music while you crush golf balls on top of the legendary Turn 1 hill at COTA at giant targets on the field.
Players will aim for seven targets ranging from 50-150 yards away from one of 23 bays. Topgolf’s Toptracer Range technology, which is not yet available at TopgolfAustin, tracks the flight path of the golf balls and instantly scores every shot! That’s fancy. There will also be other games to play while you wait for your tee time. And of course a live DJ will spin every day throughout the weekend.
When: October 18-22 (Private corporate events can be booked for Oct. 18-19, and the event will be open to the public from Oct. 20-22.)
Time: Daily from 9 a.m. – midnight
Cost: Tickets start at $65 for standard 55 minute tee times and VIP passes are $250. Buy yours here.
201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.
Austin, TX 78617
Before we get into the holiday swing and start thinking about buying new things, and eating all the things, let’s do something good for our bodies and souls! Wanderlust is bringing Wanderlust 108, billed as the world’s only “mindful triathlon,” to Austin on November 11!
What is a mindful triathlon, you might be asking? It’s a 5K run (or walk) through The Travis County Expo Center, followed by a DJ-powered outdoor yoga class, with a guided meditation for the finale. Mindful triathletes will also enjoy music, artisanal vendors, local foods, and many surprises throughout the day.
In addition to the main events, participants can add a scheduled bonus class such as aerial yoga, acro-yoga, hooping, walking meditation, photography or essential oils workshops, or a community yoga experience from favorite local teachers. At all Wanderlust 108 events, the Kula Marketplace will showcase local craft vendors, including clothing, jewelry, and handcrafted items. Local and organic food vendors will be on site, as well as a retail store and juice bar collaboration between Wanderlust and adidas housed in a 60-foot geodesic dome.
In 2017, Wanderlust events will take place in over 60 cities in more than 17 countries on 5 continents. Their mission is to help you find your true north—to cultivate your best self! Sign us up!
For more information about the event, and to get your tickets.
Photo by Diana Gerstacker.
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