Things To Do In Austin Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

One of the markers of any great city is its dedication to the arts—and on that score, Austin is pretty darn great. It’s a thriving art city and this annual event is your chance to see a ton of talent in once place. Art City Austin, a three-day art fair and festival will return for its 68th year April 13- 15 at the Palmer Event Center. Individual artists from across the country (120 to be exact) will showcase their work. A combination of street art and contemporary art from local and national artists will be on display.

The festival grounds will also feature multiple art installations created by local artists and commissioned specifically for the occasion by Art Alliance Austin. Noteworthy artists this year include international photographer Greg Davis, roadside landscape artist Rachel Dory, as well as international artists like Israeli painter Yoram Gal.

A selection of local food trucks, drinks, and fun activities for the whole family will be on the festival grounds. As always, Art City Austin 2018 will host a children’s section with hands-on, interactive activities meant to encourage creativity and appreciation of the arts for Austinites of all ages!

Tickets range from $10 for a single-day admission to $40 for the VIP experience, which includes access to the Friday preview reception plus weekend access to the festival. Children 12 and under receive free admission. Parking will be available with at the Palmer Event Center Garage for $8. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Here’s the full schedule:

Friday, April 13th
Art City Austin Preview: Art in the Twilight
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 14th
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 15th
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Whether you’re an ATX transplant or born-and-raised, there are a few things everyone comes to know by heart: Tacos are acceptable for every meal, Austin is weird, and all your friends talk about moving here. But how well do you really know Austin when it comes to being healthy … or at least kind of healthy?

Don’t sweat it, yet—we’ve got you covered! Our friends at Fitt have narrowed down the options. Fitt’s healthyish guide to Austin is your go-to for grub you can feel good about eating, sweat spots that’ll actually make you want to workout, and the best local spots to hang out with your crew. Now, the hard task of choosing (or trying them all) is all yours! 


Flower Child
Put up your peace fingers. Flower Child has proven itself as hotspot for salads, soups, mix-and-match bowls, and wraps of the truly healthy variety. Head to their digs in The Domain or downtown on 2nd St. on a day when you don’t have to do anything but enjoy the sunny patio and your Mother Earth Bowl. Like any healthy eatery, the dishes here are highly customizable, so you can order exactly what your inner flower child is craving.

Café No Sé
Head over to South Congress to snack at Café No Sé. It occupies the amazing South Congress Hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner creations to die for. This all-day cafe offers innovative takes on healthy dishes with the freshest ingredients. Think quinoa bowls, tuna poke, kale salads, and more. The vibe is great, too — you know, the kind you can’t help but Instagram … so have those phones close by.

Picnik fits the bill if you’re looking for clean eating. Priding themselves on real food, Picnik serves up dishes like the Southwest Hash in the AM and Eggplant Rollatini for PM. Plus, count on lots of Butter Coffees (they’re the butter coffee connoisseurs around here), or go for one of their delicious heathyish cocktails. At either location, you can find lots of real (and local) foods free of any gluten, corn, peanut, or soy products.


Black Swan Yoga
Whether you live north, south, or somewhere in between, Black Swan Yoga has a studio nearby. But beyond being super convenient, all of its locations offer fun, donation-based classes with an upbeat soundtrack and funky-fresh lighting. Instructors here are encouraged to express themselves in their practice—no class is the same! Their Power Yoga sessions are a community favorite, but you’ll want to have a bit of beginner experience under your belt before you check ’em out.

This is a gym as much as it’s a movement in South Austin—and they make the word “boutique” a little less cutesy. Workouts are uniquely planned, interval-driven, and involve a combination of strength and endurance training. Each week, you can expect to experience three kinds of workouts: momentum, anaerobic, and durability (MAD). Not to worry though—intensity is tailored to your needs and all levels of fitness are welcome.

Onnit Academy Gym
Onnit Academy Gym is the real deal. The trainers here focus on technique and advanced methodologies that deliver crazy results and peak performance (though, they cater to aspiring athletes, too). You’ll get an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals from trainers who really know their shit. Head over to this South Austin gym if you’re ready for ropes, kettlebells, weighted maces, sprints, and one heck of a post-workout protein shake!


Zilker Park
Ah, Zilker. The crown jewel of the Austin parks system. A large expanse of grass crawling with pick-up soccer games, cute dogs, picnics, and people reading books under trees. Zilker also hosts some of Austin’s most famous festivals throughout the year: Austin City Limits, Kite Festival, Trail of Lights, Zilker Relays, and Blues on the Green. This place truly is an outdoor oasis.

Barton Springs
If escaping the heat is your main goal, Barton Springs Pool is the best place to do it. The water is spring-fed and sustains a chilly 68 degrees year round. Wade in the deep end, take a jump off the diving board, or spend your afternoon people-watching. Bonus: You don’t need to pay an entrance fee to enjoy the best of Barton Springs. The greenbelt is free, and along the hiking path you can find Gus Fruh and Twin Falls—two great places to take a relaxing dip or throw yourself off a rope swing.

Lady Bird Lake Trail
Austin’s beloved (and convenient) Lady Bird Lake Trail is a 10-mile loop with a number of access points. With entry at Downtown, Zilker, and Butler Park, it feels like a natural refuge right in the heart of the city. Dogs, joggers, walkers, and strollers populate this busy route, enjoying skyline views and access to the river. There are also stops along the way to rent paddleboards and kayaks if you’re looking to cool off from the Texas heat.


Easy Tiger
A bake shop AND a beer garden—say no more. Easy Tiger on East 6th gives you the best of both worlds with delicious brews, pastries, pretzels, and the list goes on. And if you thought this spot couldn’t get any better, think again. Easy Tiger has a killer outdoor patio that’s the perfect place for a laid-back hang sesh or an epic ping pong battle with friends. In Cedar Park and craving one of Easy Tiger’s house-made sweets? Stop by their outpost in Whole Foods Market 365 for a quick fix.

How do you say no to house-made sausage, craft beer, Big Band Brunch, Smoke Out Saturday, and an off-leash dog park? At Banger’s Sausage House on 79 & 81 Rainey Street, you’re always in for some good, old-fashioned fun, quality food, and Texas-sized hospitality. And with an outdoor patio that’s second to none, you’re going to have to be convinced to leave once it’s time to close shop.

Yard Bar
All the convenience of your backyard but with local beer and spirits on deck, kick back at Yard Bar on Burnet Road. to unwind. Oh, and we should mention that they have an off-leash dog park, complete with “bark rangers” to pet-sit your pooch while you wolf down hush puppies, burgers, and charcuterie boards with your friends. Don’t want to let your dog do all the socializing? Take a shady seat in the yard with your beer and forget you have a care in the world.

Easy Tiger and Madabolic images via Instagram. 

Santa Fe-based immersive art collective Meow Wolf left quite an impression yesterday at their Fractallage party when the organization made their first foray (outside their origin film release this week) into South by Southwest (SXSW). The group spent most of the night Monday evening transforming Empire Control Room and Garage into a Meow Wolf satellite installation complete with visual art, immersive activities (tube dating by Tinder for example) both inside and outside the venue while a roster of exceptional DJs entertained the crowd and set the mood for a surreal (and completely satisfying) experience.  

We entered the venue through the Seventh Street side gate to find a bevy of tapestries and colorful banners artfully arranged over the exposed to the air space outside the Garage where Gold Room was performing. The chill-wave sounds being produced perfectly set the mood as fans slowly bopped along to the infectious beats while warm sunlight streamed into the garage and onto the languid audience milling about Empire’s backyard. 


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The backyard was an entirely different story albeit, fit nicely alongside the performance space adjacent to the decorated patio that featured Tinder Tube Dating (yeah, we don’t know either) using “Experience Tubes.” The exercise pokes fun at how we connect on social media versus real life. Light blue carpeting had been laid over the ground with colorful pillows and foam-stuffed couches to create a kind of chill-out area from space is the only way we can describe it. EVERYONE was smoking pot out there. 


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Inside, an indoor exhibit had been set up. A man in a captain’s uniform stood near three oversized buttons inside the foyer to the Control Room. He explained (while in character) that the buttons controlled the lighted serpent affixed to the ceiling. Folks were invited to press the buttons to change the lighting sequence and music being piped into the room. Actors in costume milled about portraying sentient beings from another planet trying to suss out people and their actions while visiting the mysterious Earthlings. Costumes included LED lights that responded to the music being played. A giant, fantastic lighted “barnacle” held up the far wall of the Control room and held flowers in which touching the metal wire stamens activated the glowing lights in the display. High tables and seats along the wall allowed visitors to sit and absorb the peaceful environment Meow Wolf created. 


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We sat outside earlier chatting with staff who talked about working with the organization and their aggressive growth plans (which includes Austin.) Danny, a gentleman who works with sound and audio for Meow Wolf stated he’d been working for the New Mexico trendsetters since 2014 and felt blessed to be a part of something so cool. He was exceedingly kind as was each staffer who arrived in Austin with the collective as if a directive had been handed down that said Meow Wolf employees can only project happiness upon the world. Perhaps that is the credo of Meow Wolf? To project happiness. We know the perma-grin plastered on our faces while we were at Meow Wolf’s Fratallage installation was about as real as you get. Meow Wolf is pure joy. 

Want to take a ride?  Check out Rowing Dock’s newest addition to their fleet, the SUPJet.  SUPJet is both a quality stand up paddle board as well as an electronically powered watercraft.  When you want an extra boost or just want to sit back and relax, you simply push a button and the built-in drive will move you along at 5 mph (8 km/h) for well over 1.5 hours. This paddle assisted SUP is great for beginners, parents with small kids, and experienced paddlers on windy days. 

Rowing Dock is the first to release this fully integrated electric powered SUP technology on Lady Bird Lake and they are open 7 days a week from 9am-8pm. Visit their website  for more information or head down to the dock to get your paddle on!

SXSW is a marathon, not a sprint. And there will be several times after a show when you will be starving, in a hurry, and waiting in snaking lines at a food truck court. This will feel like tortue. Don’t let this happen to you. Luckily, there is an app that takes you right to the front of the line and helps you get on to the next cool thing.

Partake, a technology platform enabling a seamless purchasing experience for the Sports and Entertainment Industry, has just announced that it will release the Partake App at
SXSW for attendees to pre-order, pay, and pickup food at nine (with more coming!) participating food truck vendors—which means long lines and wait times are part of your past.

The Partake App is totally free and available for immediate download for both Apple and Android devices. Participating food truck vendors this year are Belly Up, Burro Cheese Kitchen, Dee Dee’s Northern Thai, juice Austin, kebabalicious, mmmpanadas, Noble Sandwich Co., Ranch Hand, and Taco Flats.

Seriously, stop waiting in line. We are all better than this! Click here to learn more about Partake.

On a drizzly Saturday morning in January, after leaving the loving embrace of Lazarus Brewing Co. on East 6th Street, our guide Adam told the origin story of the food tour we had just set off on. It goes something like this: On a trip out to Los Angeles, the founders Lindsey and Andy had signed up for a culinary tour of the city. After three hours of walking around, they were still hungry and had no buzz to speak of. Well this isn’t good, they thought to themselves. Surely, we can do better!

And do better they did, by starting Austin Eats Food Tours in January 2011 and ensuring that people who put down their hard-earned money for a tour of Austin’s finest food and booze offerings would leave with full bellies, and full hearts. “We love the Austin vibe—live music every night of the week and local restaurants that take as much pride in their unique décor as their original recipes,” Andy says. “We wanted to develop a vehicle that highlights local Texas born establishments throughout the city.”

Seven years in and many many tours later, the couple has perfected the art of touring Austin like a local—so much so that roughly 65 percent of their guests are actually from here. My husband and I are old townies who grew up in Austin and have watched in awe as it’s changed and morphed over the years. The Brunch, BBQ, and Brewery Tour was the perfect way us to check out a bunch of new spots in one go, and observe the ever-changing eastside like a couple of anthropologists.

We were instructed to come hungry, and by the time we met Adam and our new friends at Lazarus Brewing Co., we were starving. Adam—like an angel sent from above—pointed out a long table reserved for our crew and said that orders of breakfast tacos (little, adorable tacos) were already on their way. We immediately loved and trusted Adam. “This is not just a food tour,” he told us, “it’s a support group.” A flight of beer followed, and we got to know our new posse. What struck me right away was how subtle and non-touristy this felt. We just looked like a crew of people who were chatty and friendly. There was nothing about the format of the tour that shouted TOURISTS. Basically, a passing observer would have probably thought we were friends of the owner who were getting some extra TLC.

What followed were brisket kolaches at the Kerlin BBQ trailer where Adam ran across the street to get us a 12 pack of Shiner (again, the man is an angel), chicken and waffles and cactus pear mimosas at The Hightower, and crazy-good gelato at Gemelli. I got the lemon curd and it tasted like the best cheesecake of my life. The tour ended at Zilker Brewing Company, where we tasted more great local beer, and hung around like people with nothing to do but enjoy our city for a few hours. It was sublime.

Along the way Adam pointed out more of his favorite spots in the area and had menu recommendations for each. He was funny, informative, and chill—a guide/friend hybrid that made the tour a total pleasure. The mechanics of the tour were seamless. Everything was paid for, timed beautifully, and thoughtfully put together. They are pumping money into the Austin economy by showing off burgeoning local businesses that are doing something different.

If it’s been a while since you tried some new food in Austin, or you are checking out the city over a short period of time, try an Austin Eats Food Tour. It’s the best way I can think of to get a real taste of Austin—and leave completely satisfied.

Jaws on the Water is back and it is definitely not for the faint of heart! Here’s the rundown: You head out to Volente Beach and watch Jaws while floating in a tube on that water. It’s super creepy, but also totally fun!

JAWS ON THE WATER is back, and this year we’re headed to the third dimension of terror. Birth.Movies.Death. Events is proud to present several weekends of “dive-in” screenings of Steven Spielberg’s Great White chompfest JAWS on sunny Beachside Billy’s.

Add it to your summer to-do list!

When: see calendar

Time: 6:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Beachside Billy’s 


You know what? You’re amazing. You deserve to get paid just for being you. And that’s basically what the people at Tastebud have come up with in the form of an app. TasteBud is an extremely straightforward and effortless way to get cash back for dining at your favorite restaurants. Yes, you will be getting paid for doing exactly what you’d be doing anyway.

Here’s how it works: When you are deciding on a place to eat, open the TasteBud app and lock an offer at the restaurant of your choice. The offers are are applicable for food and drinks! Once you arrive at said hotspot, order whatever you want off the menu. When it’s time to pay your bill, simply pay with your VISA card. As soon as your card gets swiped, you’ll get a push notification to your phone saying you just saved X% at that restaurant and a cash back refund will go directly to your VISA card. The card linking program is what makes TasteBud so easy and enjoyable to use.

No coupons, no barcodes, no awkwardness at the restaurant, just cash back directly to your VISA card.

Tastebud works with restaurants and bars throughout downtown Austin to get you the best deals possible and the experience is super discrete. No one has to know you are bargain hunting—even though bargain hunting is totally cool—so it’s great for dates!

Consumers have complete purchasing power. Order whatever you want! TasteBud makes going out and trying new places more affordable. No more guilt for not eating ramen at home—it’s time to get out of the house and live it up!

Looking for the perfect opportunity to give them a try? They’re doing a 50% off deal with BaseCamp on March 1st from 5pm-7pm.

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:

Rodeo Austin Ticket Prices:

Rodeo tickets range from $20 to $175.
Parking is $15 cash only at the gate.

Fairgrounds only:
Children (2 & under) One Day Admission – FREE
Children (3-12 years) One Day Admission – $5.00
Adult One Day Admission – $8.00
Children Season Admission – $15.00
Adult Season Admission – $25.00

Fairgrounds & Carnival:

SPRING BREAK SPECIAL – March 12-15, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$2 Tuesday: $2 Fairgrounds admission, $2 carnival rides
Carnival wristbands available at gate.

Rodeo Austin Music:

Rodeo Austin has nearly 100 live performances throughout March.
There are performances at the Outdoor Stage, 100X Dance Hally, Bullet Proof, and at the ProRodeo & Concert. 

ProRodeo Performances include:

  • March 10: Josh Turner
  • March 11: Dia Del Vaquero with Duelo
  • March 12: Ludacris
  • March 13: Cody Johnson
  • March 14: Chris Janson
  • March 15: Young the Giant
  • March 16: Josh Abbott Band
  • March 17: Justin Moore
  • March 18: Tracy Lawrence
  • March 19: LANCO
  • March 20: Gladys Knight
  • March 21: Lee Brice
  • March 22: Dwight Yoakam
  • March 23: Turnpike Troubadours
  • March 24: Kevin Fowler

Rodeo Austin Carnival/Attraction Facts:

Rodeo Austin is proud to host Austin’s largest Carnival. Crabtree Amusements 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 new and expanded Craft Beer and Wine Garden, Butterfly and Parakeet Exhibit, and rotating food trucks to a petting zoo, pony rides, pig races and more, there is a little bit of something for everyone!


The public can take a FREE tour and see a “Behind the Chutes” look at Rodeo Austin!

Gives the public an opportunity to see inside the 100X Dance Hall, Founders Club, Avenue of Breeds, Vendors, the Arena, and more!

Every day at noon and 4:30 p.m. (No 4:30 p.m. tours on Sunday’s)


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, presented by H-E-B! Sign your children up online or on-site at the Wild West Tent.

Fairgrounds for Kids

North Fairgrounds is open daily 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. and includes the Great American Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, and the Southwest Dairy Milking Show.

You can learn about milking a cow during the Southwest Dairy Milking show. Daily Show Times: 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. After the show, take a ride on a real pony at the pony rides and enjoy feeding and petting baby deer, goats, llamas, and wallabies in the petting zoo!


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.

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.


Pig races occur daily and feature the swiftest swine in the business! Catch the porky speedster’s race around Pork Chop Downs International Speedway toward the prize of an Oreo cookie.

Daily show times: 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.


Join Rodeo Austin March 23 – 24, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. as they close out the Rodeo Season at the Bullet Proof Blowout! This exclusive two-day event featuring great live music entertainment, food and drinks is a great way to show groups of friends and clients a good time!

Contributor package options available for purchase below. No sales available at the door. Packages must be purchased in advance.

Funds generated at the event support the Rodeo Austin mission of Promoting Youth Education – Preserving Western Heritage. Rodeo Austin would like to recognize and thank the presenting sponsor of Bullet Proof, Greater Austin Development.

100X Dance Hall, Presented by PlainsCaptial Bank and Jack Daniel’s

Wind down after the ProRodeo and Concert at the 100X Dance Hall! This Exclusive club offers hospitality on the Rodeo Grounds with live entertainment each night. Members and their guests can enjoy live music and a closed-circuit coverage of Rodeo Austin. The public may enter the club with a $5 cover charge.

Competitive Events:

Rodeo Austin has over 7,000 entries for this year’ 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.

If you haven’t been to the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards (AMAs) yet, 2018 might be the perfect year to break that streak. Organizers elected to move the date before South by Southwest (SXSW) instead of during the insanity of the festival when the local awards ceremony is usually held. Instead of battling traffic to get to ACL Live at the Moody Theater, fans can purchase tickets in advance to see guest performers Lucinda Williams, The Black Angels, John Hiatt, Alejandro Escovedo and a host of other national and local acts plus unannounced special guests. In previous years attendees have gotten to see surprise performances by Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant and Chrissie Hynde among others. The long-format awards show is a great opportunity for local music fans to get a taste of the best Austin musicians in arguably the best sounding room in town. 

The awards are voted on by the public via an online form. This year, the voting process was changed to two rounds of voting instead of one, which determined the finalists.  Another call was put out to the public was  to vote again to determine the winners. This appears to be a better method of determining the best artists in each category. The Austin Music Awards previously announced the Townes Van Zandt Songwriting Award will be presented to singer-songwriter Joe Ely (who has been a special guest performer before) and the Margaret Moser Women in Music Award will be presented to Liz Lambert, founder of Bunkhouse Hotels and the Trans-Pecos Festival at her El Cosmico resort in Marfa by Grammy winner Williams.

Musical Director, Charlie Sexton will head up a crack house band with Michael Ramos, John Michael Schoepf and Conrad Choucroun. Rick McNulty and Laurie Gallardo of KUTX will return to host ceremonies.  Proceeds from The Austin Music Awards will benefit the SIMS Foundation which provides health care to qualifying Austin music industry professionals. 

Advance tickets ($35) are available at the ACL Live website. Mezzanine and other VIP ticketing options start at $250.   Those prices might seem like a bargain after the special guest is revealed. Perhaps it’ll be heir apparent to SRV, Gary Clark Jr? You’ll have to grab a ticket to find out.