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

Blues On The Green is Austin’s longest-running free music series and a can’t-miss summer experience. Veterans know the drill, but for first-time attendees here is the rundown: You can bring in two factory sealed water bottles, blankets, chairs, and your dog (he must be on a leash at all times). That is what is says on the website, but for the record I’ve never been sent away for packing wine in my picnic basket. My best piece of advice is to either ride your bike, carpool, take the bus, or walk if you can. Parking and traffic around Zilker tonight can be quite the headache.

For more Blues On The Green tips, click here.

When: tonight, August 2nd

Admission: Free

Music Starts: 8 p.m.

Location:
Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

Republic Square is excited to announce their first FREE fitness series at the square. The series kicked off May 7th with free classes every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday throughout the month. All classes begin at 6:30pm.

-Mondays: Find your inner wild with free yoga by Wild Heart Yoga! (May 7th, 14th, & 21st)

-Tuesdays: Show your strength with free rowing and circuit training by Rō Fitness! (May 8th, 15th, 22nd, & 29th)

-Wednesdays: Go Beyond the Barre with free classes by barre3! (May 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th)

-Thursdays: Interval Training with Orange Theory Fitness 

May is National Physical Fitness month – help celebrate in Austin style. Child-friendly activities will be provided each night, and all classes are free. See you at the square!

Location:
Republic Square
422 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78701

 

We’ve got your indoor fun for this rainy day right here. The Austin Record Convention is the best place to find all the good vinyl at amazing prices! Stock up on vinyl LPs and 45s, CDs, posters, T-shirts, and other music memorabilia! Come search for those hidden gems with your fellow audiophiles.

When: Today, May 20th

Cost: $5

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location:
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, Texas 78704

Get the whole family out of the house and enjoy the smells of some gorgeous blooms. Come to Fareground’s very first Flower Market and bring some of that beauty home. Featured florists are Petals, ink. and Succulent Native! Treat yourself or a loved one to a unique bunch of local flowers and succulents.

When: Today, May 19th

Time: noon – 2:00 p.m.

Location:
Fareground at One Eleven
111 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

By Greg Ackerman
Photos courtesy of Mike Manewitz 

For the past nine years, Dallas has hosted a small-format live music festival called Homegrown Fest featuring top Texas acts. Last Saturday the tradition resumed at Main Street Garden park in the heart of Big D. Headliners Explosions in the Sky performed with neo-psychrock veterans, The Black Angels and one of that band’s inspiration, Roky Erickson.

Credit Mike Manewitz/@manewitz

Homegrown Festival was in danger of being cancelled due to poor ticket sales but an article that appeared in the Dallas Morning News seemed to have helped boost ticket sales. Organizers also elected to cut production costs, striking the second stage from the site plan and slashing the number of production and security personnel on hand. To their credit, the show ran on time all day in spite of that fact.

We arrived at the park as Denton’s Acid Carousel was preparing to kick off. The scraggly bunch of musicians looked like they’d been beamed in from another era, sporting 60’s vintage striped pants and bell-bottoms with rock star accessories as they worked through their set. The audience response was favorable from the handful of fans who showed up early to catch the group.

Credit Mike Manewitz/@manewitz

A hot, humid day in Dallas meant attendance ramped up slowly with only a handful of fans on hand to see local legends [DARYL] perform with an expanded lineup that included new and former members of the band. The extra guitars and keys filled the park with sound as fans drew closer to the stage to inspect the oddly configured “supergroup” of Dallas musicians.

Earlier in the day we were wowed by Fort Worth’s Duell who aggressively attacked their set list of hard rock songs. There was a lot of headbanging and hair flying (see photos). A five-piece with three guitars meant the group is capable of producing a “wall of sound” as mentioned in their Bandcamp bio. We think it’s an apt description. We also think a double bill of Duell and Austin’s The Well would be a dream lineup.

Credit Mike Manewitz/@manewitz

After Dallas act Vodi performed, axe-wielding Austin rockers Ume, fronted by all-around badass Lauren Larson took the stage to display their power-trio chops to the Homegrown crowd. The response was overwhelming. It was nice to see after Ume took a bit of a hiatus as Larson took a bit of a hiatus to start a family. Word is the group has a new record coming.

Roky Erickson and his band took the stage next hitting on all cylinders as Erickson played and sang seated while the rest of his band stood alongside the legendary musician. The band played classic 13th Floor Elevators’ songs “Two-Headed Dog” “Levitation” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” The performance was arguably the best Roky Erickson performance we’ve seen since the singer re-entered the music world following his battle with mental illness with the collaboration record he made with Okkerville River in 2010.

Credit Mike Manewitz/@manewitz

The festival changed it up for a set following Erickson with Toronto’s Alvvays. The indie-popsters are touring in support of their sophomore album, Antisocialites. Although the Canadians may have appeared a bit out of place among the Texas acts sharing the stage with them, we found the group’s 12-song performance a nice change of pace. The shoegazey, indie-rock songs lightened the mood a bit. We saw a number of fans dancing and singing along to singer/guitarist Molly Rankin’s sweet voice.

Austin’s lords of psychedelic rock, The Black Angels took the stage next for a superlative sunset performance that made up for the sound issues that plagued the band at LEVITATION last month. That’s not to say the performance went perfectly. Sound issues at the beginning of the set required an amp swap that fixed the issue. TBA’s light man, Bob Mustachio had to wait until the sun went down 40 minutes into the band’s set for fans to be able to see his eye-popping projections. Then flood lights automatically came on that washed out half the screen behind the band. Eventually organizers shut off the floodlights just before the set ended.

Credit Mike Manewitz/@manewitz

The Black Angels’ music sounded great though. Set highlights included fan favorite, “Bad Vibrations.” early on. Other deep cuts such as 2006’s “Black Grease” off debut album, Passover was particularly good as were tracks from their latest record, Death Song. We enjoyed the fact that the band offered up new material but kept the setlist interesting by including cuts from their back catalog.

By the time headliners, Explosions in the Sky took the stage nightfall had come. The space between the sound board tent in the middle of the park and the stage had completely filled in with fans eager to have their minds blown by Austin’s most successful post-rock act.

Credit Mike Manewitz/@manewitz

The slow, then loud trademark sound transported the audience to a surreal soundscape. Along with a simple but effective lighting scheme, the band delivered an impassioned performance. Guitarist Munaf Rayani was particularly entertaining to watch. Rayani’s performance style is fun to watch. At one point, he grabbed his Fender with one hand by the neck and swung his axe in a large arc brushing the stage floor with the body of guitar. We’re certain his guitar tech works overtime after watching the man beat up his instrument.

View the complete EITS Homegrown Fest setlist here. If you were one of the few who witnessed the set, consider yourself lucky. The band’s only other tour date listed this year is May 26 at Sasquatch Festival in George, Washington according to their website.

We love it when businesses get together to make Austin an even happier place. Now when you stay at the Hyatt Regency Austin, which is downtown on Lady Bird Lake and right next to views of the famous bats, you will get a very Austin-y bonus: the VIP treatment at YETI’s flagship store. Guests at the hotel can visit the brand’s retail store (right next door) and get a bunch of amazing loot. If you’re a fan of serious insulation, cold beers, and hot coffee—this is the thing for you.

Book “The Ultimate YETI Experience” package and you’ll take home a 20oz YETI Rambler stainless steel tumbler, a YETI Colster insulator for canned beverages, as well as a YETI hat, decal, and keychain bottle opener. You’ll also get two drink vouchers for the store’s BARRR, which is located just steps away from the hotel. This sweet deal will be available throughout 2018—just make sure you book the package at least 48 hours in advance of your stay and use the promotion code YETIPK.

 

This month Austin Shakespeare is transforming the Zilker Hillside Theater into the world of a classic 1950s sitcom for their fresh take on The Merry Wives of Windsor. Imagine the Bard meets I Love Lucy. Now in its 34th year, Shakespeare in the Park is a treat for the whole family. If you haven’t seen a production in this amazing venue yet, we highly recommend it. Pro tip: Take a dip in Barton Springs before the show and you’ll stay cool throughout the night.

The audience is encouraged to bring blankets, low chairs, and a picnic to enjoy their evening under the stars. Some chairs are available. The Zilker Hillside Theater has an accessible area for all audience members in front of the stage.

When: May 3-27, 2018, Thursday-Sunday
*Preview on Wednesday, May 2

Time: All shows start at 8:00 p.m.

Location:
Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater
2206 William Barton Dr., Austin, TX 78704

 

It’s hard to fathom why anyone would ever want to leave the great city of Austin, but every blue moon, even we get a wild-hair, and set out to explore outside the city limits.

Our Escape from Austin series will provide guides for easy trips from Austin throughout the Lone Star State, and beyond. “What defines easy?” you may ask. For the purposes of this series, we’ll be exploring destinations that are a relatively easy drive from Austin (think cities like Fredericksburg and Port Aransas, as well as destinations like the JW Marriott Resort in San Antonio, and the BBQ Trail in Lockhart), OR destinations that Southwest Airlines flies to non-stop from Austin (think cities like Nashville, Denver, New York, and Portland).

In each post we’ll tell you why the destination made our list and provide insight on how to make the most of your trip. Happy travelin’ y’all.

Have a suggestion on somewhere we should visit? Somewhere you’ve never been that you’d like us to post about? Shoot an email to kristy@365thingsaustin.com

*Disclaimer: We receive compensation from some of the places we’ll visit, most often in the form of a free night’s stay. Just want to be up front with y’all and extend the guarantee that we will NEVER include a recommendation that we don’t fully stand behind. It’s just that we’re modest bloggers and in no financial position to turn our nose up at a free room!

We know what you’re thinking: Why is this Austin blog posting about things to do in San Antonio?! Before you get all “don’t move here” on us, take a moment to read a bit about the origins of this series, and what you can expect in the coming months as we (very) occasionally post about things to do outside the city limits.

The Why

  1. Depending on what part of Austin you live in (and traffic on 35), San Antonio is likely not much more than an hour and 15-minute drive South.
  2. This resort will make you feel like you’re worlds away from Austin—both with its natural surroundings, and comforting amenities.
  3. There are two AMAZING golf courses.
  4. And a massive waterpark complete with waterslides and a lazy river.

How to Make the Most of Your Trip

We only spent 48 hours at the JW Marriott San Antonio, but managed to squeeze quite a bit into our stay. We arrived at the resort early for a morning tee time on their Canyons Course, the easier of the two courses on the property, and honestly, a more enjoyable experience for high-handicap golfers like ourselves. The course is well-maintained and offers beautiful views of the Texas Hill Country from elevated tee boxes and greens. The carts also have GPS, which makes the first time on a new course a lot more manageable!

After finishing our round, we grabbed a quick lunch (and cocktails) in Cibolo Moon, one of several restaurants on the property. The restaurant has a great outdoor patio that was perfect on a breezy spring day, and the food and drinks were equally enjoyable. We snacked on several shared appetizers, but the barbecue burnt ends were the highlight of the experience.I also highly recommend any of the margaritas on the menu (opt for the chili salted rim).

From there, we checked into our room, which had a balcony with a beautiful view of the golf course and was also an easy elevator ride down to the pool. Pro-tip: Assuming the hotel isn’t fully booked, you may have the option to stay on the “conference side” or the “pool/golf course side” of the hotel busy weekends, the conference side stays a bit quieter (less families with kids) and is a good option for couples looking to enjoy a relaxing weekend. However, we had no issues with noise on the “fun side” of the hotel, and the room was spacious, and included several amenities like robes, a mini fridge, and a HUGE television that had complimentary Netflix and Hulu in addition to standard cable options.

Finally, we made it down to the water park which is definitely the most impressive area of the resort. It includes a ton of seating areas adjacent to several large pools, including one with a sandy beach area, and another that is exclusively for adults. There is also a massive hot tub, an impressive bar that offers several frozen drink machines, and an expansive cocktail and food menu. The 1,200-foot-long lazy river is way too easy to fall asleep in (don’t forget sunscreen!). But perhaps the most impressive part of the park, assuming you’re still embracing your inner child, are the waterslides. These aren’t your typical resort waterslides, they’re high-thrill slides that you’ll want to race down over and over again.

That evening, we ventured into town to meet friends. If you’re like us and don’t make it down to San Antonio very often, it is a nice change of pace from Austin, and the city’s culinary scene has come a long way in the last five years—but more on that in a future post. For your trip, think about spending a night out on the Riverwalk or the Pearl District.

The resort also hosts an impressive sports bar called High Velocity that features several massive projectors and countless flat screen TVs. The place was buzzing the first night of our stay with a pending playoff elimination game on the line for the hometown San Antonio Spurs.

For breakfast, the buffet at Cibolo Moon is quite impressive. It includes Texas-based favorites like homemade biscuits and gravy, as well as more standard offerings like bacon and scrambled eggs, a build-your-own omelet station, and fresh baked breads with jelly offerings made from fruit grown in the hotel’s garden.

On day two of our stay, we played The Oaks golf course, which was host to the PGA Tour Event, The Valero Texas Open, the weekend before. The course was in excellent shape from the tournament, with fairways beautifully crosscut and greens that were perfectly manicured. However, this course has a reputation for being one of the most difficult on the Tour and is not for the faint of heart! Professional golfer Kevin Na famously scored a 16 on the 9th hole of this course in 2011.

We capped off our trip with dinner at 18 Oaks, a traditional steakhouse adjacent to the golf course. Our final meal did not disappoint, from the sprawling wine list to the knowledgeable service staff, every part of the experience was perfect. We especially enjoyed the “choose your own steak knife” tray that was presented before our main course arrived. Texas y’all.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and would recommend a getaway to the JW Hill Country for couples, families, avid golfers, conference goers, or even as a wedding destination. We’ll definitely be back!

Are you, like lots of people, completely devastated that Fixer Upper will be ending soon? Do you dream of finding vintage treasures and rehabbing them back to life? Are you a Round Top junkie from way back? Well then, this is right up your alley.

Vintage Market Days is an upscale, open-air vintage event that goes all over the country and they are coming to Austin for the seventh time May 18-20! Country Living called it one of the “7 Flea Markets & Barn Sales You Won’t Want to Miss.”

It’s time to start planning the perfect weekend with your pals—just make sure you leave more than enough room in the car for the haul. The theme this year is Sealed With a Bloom and the market will be held outdoors at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park. There will be live music and food trucks all three days and one lucky shopper will win a gorgeous custom bench from Juarez Industrial Designs on Friday.

For more information, and to snag your tickets, click here.

Make sure to follow @vintagemarketdaysofaustin on Instagram for updates and sneak peek of the fabulous items heading our way. The early birds get the best vintage!

When: Friday, May 18th – Sunday, May 20th

Cost:
Friday – Early Buying Event – $10 with pre-purchased tickets or paid entry at the gate.
Saturday & Sunday – General Admission – $5 with pre-purchased tickets OR paid entry at the gate.

Once admission has been paid, shoppers can return as many times as they would like. Children 12 and under are free. The event is pet-friendly and handicap accessible. Parking is $5. The event is happening rain or shine!

Location:
H-E-B Center outdoors in Cedar Park