The new school year is knocking on our door and summer will be over all too soon. But hey, there is still time to get out of town for a little getaway. 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 right now the resort—one of the absolute best in Texas—is offering discounted back-to-school rates for last-minute summer getaways.
Guests who stay between August 18–31 will receive up to 20 percent off of their stay with rates available as low as $158 per night. The discount is available when guests book directly through the resort’s website. Make sure to book your reservation at least seven days before your stay dates to get the lowest prices available.
The kids will love this idea. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa is home to the Crooked River Water Park, which includes a 1,000-foot lazy river with a swim-up bar, a two-story water slide, and an active pool with a volleyball net and sandy beach, as well as a splash pad for children. It also features an adults-only section with a relaxing pool, a whirlpool, and cabana rentals for a more quiet and serene pool experience.
For more information or to book a stay, click here or call 512-308-1234.
The scooter craze is officially a thing in Austin and for good reason—buzzing around this beautiful city with the wind in your hair is a fun and easy way to avoid traffic and get where you need to go.
But the scooting life can also be a pain. You have to search the streets for one when you need it and when you do find one, they are often totally beat up and running out of charge. But now an Austin-based company is coming to the rescue with a new scooter business model that will solve these problems and more.
CRAFT Scooter is turning the scooter-share trend upside down with a super-smart monthly membership program. The Austin-based company gets you unlimited rides for just $1.50 a day! That’s less than half the price of just one ride on those per-minute scooter brands.
Our favorite part of their service is how the scooter becomes your personal ride. Since you own your scooter, it stays functional, clean, and maintained. And if it breaks, they will give you a temporary scooter while it’s getting fixed. No more broken, dirty, or unmaintained scooters. They are also foldable, so you can easily put yours in your car or bring it into your home, office, or classroom. The scooters come in seven different colors and are always getting upgraded. When new scooters are released, you can upgrade to the latest model.
How cool is that? And with your trusty, personal scooter you can go anywhere in the Austin Metropolitan area. There are no boundaries whatsoever.
The CRAFT Scooter experience is also a win for the local community. Their membership model cuts clutter on our streets and sidewalks, reduces reckless scooter driving (scooter-ownership leads to more accountability), and best of all, it helps reduce carbon emissions so we can all breathe a little easier.
Start riding today! Click here to learn more or start your membership.
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.
Photo: Aubrey Young Photography
If I had to pick one word to describe Spa Luxe it would be “experience.” From the warm welcome you receive upon walking in the door to the truly first-class treatments, the experience was nothing short of exceptional.
I’m not sure how many spa days you need under your belt to be considered an expert, but whatever the number is—I’m close! This is probably very obnoxious, but I swear it’s just part of being a lifestyle blogger. That, and lots of 5Ks, heavy appetizers, and cheap champagne! I’ve been scrubbed and buffed and steamed in hotels and day spas at various price points. But I can tell you: The sprawling Spa Luxe in Georgetown has set a new bar.
A critical part of the spa day for me is the relaxation room, the staging room if you will. A luxurious robe and some not-so-cheap champagne before a massage always sets the tone for some serious me time. Spa Luxe set the stage just right. Next up was a 90-minute massage. You now how certain people are born to do things? Like Michael Phelps was born to swim like a fish? Beyoncé was born to bring the house down? Well my masseuse was born to rub muscles! She had a gift for knowing the right amount of pressure and feeling points of tension without me even mentioning it. It was magical and my 80 minutes were over far too soon.
Photo Credit: Aubrey Young Photography
Next up was a HydraFacial, which is the latest and greatest when it comes to facials. I’ve long struggled with clogged pours and this treatment was just what I needed. It’s been three weeks and my face still feels and looks clear and fresh. That most definitely will not be my last HydraFacial.
Topping off my day of self care was a pedicure, with my glass of bubbly in hand. The thing about Spa Luxe is that everyone was so good at their specific job. I felt like I was the only client of the day and they were truly invested in my longterm wellness. A real highlight in the crazy life of a blogger. Duty calls!
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
For the 8th year in a row, the team at Netspend decided to forgo the traditional office holiday party and give back to the local community. The holiday season at this Austin-based company is not about long lunches, over-the-top celebrations or loud music—it’s about the amazing reward, and personal satisfaction, of helping your neighbor and the community. This day of giving they call “Netspend Community Connect” was held yesterday, Thursday, November 15th.
Founded in 1999, Netspend offers prepaid debit cards and innovative payment solutions to consumers who have historically been “underbanked” or choose to be self-banked to deal with their financial needs. This unique holiday tradition gives employees a chance step away from their daily routines and take a “walk in the shoes” of Netspend customers. Community Connect is designed to highlight the everyday hurdles that so many people face—especially in an expensive city like Austin.
On Thursday, about 650 participants, broken into 72 teams, took to the streets of Austin and gave away more than $30,000. A little kindness goes a long way, and this year’s participants paid it forward to unsuspecting Austinites by paying for their groceries, gas, bills and much more.
On top of this Community Connect event, Netspend and its partners, have also raised $400,000 to fund the Netspend Scholarship Foundation’s awards for 2019 which will include 120+ deserving recipients from across the US.
“Community Connect is a proud Netspend tradition, and every year around the holidays, we’re humbled to continue the initiative alongside our partners, and to give back to our beloved city of Austin,” said Netspend President Kelley Knutson. “If other organizations embrace this concept, and participate in days of giving back to their communities (over and above their normal charity giving), we’ve helped evolve our mission to a greater collective good. This event is a personally moving, and motivating, experience and we are thrilled to have raised the most money to date for our Community Connect day, and we look forward to continuing our deep-rooted tradition for years to come.”
Where to Next? Race, the city-wide scavenger hunt that saw huge turnouts in D.C. and Nashville is on its way to ATX! Test your knowledge of our fair city, along with all of your brains and brawn. This is basically an action-packed combination of race, scavenger hunt, outdoor escape room, and interactive city tour. You’ve seen Amazing Race, right? Then you are ready.
Grab your best buddy because this involves two-person teams solving clues to locate checkpoints across the city and complete physical and mental challenges at each one. Checkpoints will include iconic Austin landmarks, unique local spots, and a few wildcards. Teams can travel between checkpoints on foot, bike, public transportation, rideshare apps, personal vehicles, etc.
The race will be logged live via Instagram @wheretonextrace_ and will showcase the challenges and activities of the race. W2NR allows followers to tune in on Instagram to see coverage of the race and watch as the action unfolds. The W2NR staff is with racers every step of the way to enhance and personalize the racing experience!
Teams that finish the race within the goal time will win an equal share of the prize money! The minimum prize money will be $1000 but it has the potential to go way up based upon the number of people who sign-up.
Scholz Garten is hosting W2NR registration and the post-race after party! For more information about this crazy-fun situation, click here.
When: Saturday, October 20th
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cost: $55 – 65 | Click here to register!
The Gruene Music & Wine Festival + Craft Beer Event, which began way back in 1986, is a four-day festival with four distinct events to offer. This long weekend of fun in one of the most charming and historic parts of Texas is a celebration Americana music, wine, craft beer, food, and local makers. There will be more than 90 Texas wines and 75 Texas craft beers for tasting, so come thirsty. Everyone from Shinyribs to Clint Black and Emmylou Harris has played this iconic event.
Since its founding, the fest has always benefited the Comal County United Way, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for locals by generating resources to meet the needs of the community.
Check out the day-by-day details below and click here to get your tickets! If you haven’t been to Gruene, this will be the perfect intro to a true Texas gem.
When: October 4th – 7th
Gruene Historic District
THURSDAY: KICKOFF EVENT
- Specially curated wine & beer tasting
- Live Music
- VIP Tickets Available
- 21+ only
FRIDAY: ROCKIN’ WITH TEXAS WINE & FOOD
- Private show & meet ‘n’ greet with Aaron Watson
- Wine tasting by three of Texas’ best vineyards
- Catered Dinner by The Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
- The Great Guitar Auction
SATURDAY: TEXAS TASTINGS & TUNES
- 90+ wines for tasting
- Live music
- Artisan Market
- 21+ only
SUNDAY: + CRAFT BEER EVENT & MUSIC FEST
- Over 75 craft beers for tastings & wines for purchase
- 8+ hours of live Texas tunes
- Artisan Market
- 21+ only event!
Wedding season is officially upon us! The invites are out, the tents are going up, the signature cocktails are flowing, and that makes pretty much everyone in a serious relationship start thinking about making it official.
This spring, Benold’s Jewelers, Austin’s favorite bridal and fashion jewelry destination for more than 85 years, is going all out to help you find the perfect engagement ring during their Spring Bridal Event. The choices may be overwhelming, so they’re bringing the best designers together for two special days. Plus, shoppers will get 20% off featured bridal designers! If you’re in the market, there is no time like the present.
Designers will have representatives at the event to discuss their newest lines, and help you understand the four C’s, and everything else you need to know about this all-important purchase.
When: Friday, May 4 (Special Preview Night, 5 – 8 p.m.) and Saturday, May 5 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
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