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

A restaurant week for dogs and the people who love them—what a gloriously Austin thing! Running July 22-28, you and your pup can head to a select group of restaurants that will be catering to you both. It all kicks off Monday, July 22 at The Rustic Tap from 6-8 p.m.

While on these restaurant patios with your pup, you can cool off with a special cocktail for humans and a portion of the proceeds will go toward some incredible organizations who lookout for our furry friends. A dog-friendly menu at each spot will feature pup’s pastries, beef sliders, and pumpkin truffles!

Edible Austin puts this on and you can read more here about which nonprofits will be benefitting from the event.

Here are all the participating restaurants:

Irene’s – 506 West Ave.
Opal Divine’s – 2200 S. I-35
Revelry on the Boulevard – 6215 N. Lamar Blvd.
Rustic Tap – 613 W. 6th St.
Red’s Porch (Round Rock; 4401 N. I-35, Ste. 2002; Quarry; 4200 B Braker Ln.; South; 3508 S. Lamar Blvd.)

There’s a new thrill at Circuit of the Americas and this time you won’t be watching—you’ll be driving! Karting is here and it’s a blast for the whole family. A great location for private events, birthday parties, corporate outings, and more; COTA Karting is here to elevate your Karting Experience.

COTA Karting offers high speed fun at the only Formula 1 track in the U.S. They cater to novice karters, elite karters, and everything in between! In a single race, drivers can expect to get 10 minutes of race time on a technical course (plenty of time to get in 10 laps if you are fast enough). Similar to that of the Formula 1 Circuit, the karting track elements include elevation changes, hairpin turn, stars and stripes, and fuels the need for speed!

The classes of karts offered widely range to include children and adults of all ages and abilities. Test your skills in one of our Champ, Rookie, or Junior heats. Click here to get the scoop on all requirements. Single races start at just $28, but if you simply cannot get enough, race packages and upgrades are available in store.  

COTA Karting is open seven days a week, 365 days a year! Book online or over the phone two weeks in advance or arrive and drive. All first time drivers are required to watch a quick briefing video, which covers the rules of the road.

Buckle up and get ready to take your love of racing to the next level. 

The health and wellness industry has taken off like crazy in the past few years, and now a local company wants to bring the best products and services right to you. Smooth Aesthetics is a mobile company that is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, Dr. Aarti Leyva and Oscar Leyva, RN. The company will come to your home, office, or even hotel room for no extra charge. And, the best part is you can make a party out of it! 

Smooth offers a wide range of services in three categories: Hydration, Beauty, and Performance + Wellness. How about throwing a little summer Hydration Party for your closest pals? IV hydrations are the perfect addition to girls night, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, and just about anything else you can think of. The service can be customized to help you feel your best or treat whatever is ailing you—a raging hangover, allergies, migraines, and fatigue to name a few. 

Or think about a Beauty Party where your guests can get Botox and fillers in a cozy environment with snacks and drinks! For either option the host receives a gift and the guests get exclusive discounts.

And starting today on their social media, Smooth is hosting a giveaway contest to all local brides and their bridal parties! You could win a free Hydration Party to have at your upcoming bachelorette party. Check out Smooth’s social media to enter the giveaway: @smoothaestheticsatx

Smooth’s Facebook

Smooth’s Instagram

And if you aren’t in the partying mood, Smooth is a fantastic option for just doing something great for yourself–without having to hang around in a waiting room. All staff members are RNs who have been properly trained to administer services. The company is also the exclusive provider of Koniver Wellness in Austin, which are extremely innovative products that take function and performance to the next level. Their NAD+ treatments have shown incredible results with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, depression, chemical depression, and overall brain health enhancement.

If you are curious about these options and all their other services, learn more here: Smooth Services. We can tell you firsthand that it’s a game-changer for the morning after a crazy night. Once on a wedding weekend, the hydration team came directly to our hotel room and hooked about a dozen of the wedding goers up to IVs. They were professional, the process was painless, and we all felt great afterward. The only regret we have is that we didn’t have them come back again on Sunday morning!

We recommend this every year, because once you go it will become an unmissable part of your ideal Austin summer. For 61 years now, the Zilker Summer Musical has been giving audiences packed with families some Broadway-level magic for free. And this year, the kids (and our inner kids) are going to freak out because it’s The Little Mermaid! Based on the animated 1989 film of the same name, and the classic by Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this one is a going to be a total crowd pleaser.

A few pro tips for the uninitiated: Get there a couple of hours early to secure your spot with a blanket and some low-backed chairs, then go for a swim in Barton Springs! You’ll be so glad you did. It’s like natural air conditioning that lasts throughout the show. And pack a big picnic—everyone gets snacky at this thing.

When: Thursdays – Sundays through August 17th

Time: 8:15 p.m. (There are two acts, with a quick intermission!)

Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, 78746

If we aren’t already there, we are approaching the point of an Austin summer where you can’t go outside unless you plan on promptly flinging yourself into a body of water—and preferably an ice-cold one like Barton Springs.

But lucky for us, a city this hot has a plethora of ways to cool off. To keep your body temp right and a chilled drink in your hand, we’ve rounded up the best ways to enjoy the water this summer.

Float The River

This is a must do at least once this summer! Floating the River is a rite of passage in Central Texas.

Rent Something From Rowing Dock

Get out on the water and see Austin from a whole new vantage point with kayaks, standup paddle boards, and even fishing kayaks (you read that right!).

Or From Austin Canoe & Kayak

Rent kayaks, canoes and SUPs by the day and take them anywhere. With a rental you can receive a discount on coolers, dry boxes/bags and even sunscreen and bug repellent. Life vests are included with rentals.

Take Your Happy Hour On The Water

Take your happy hour out on the water and experience the beauty and fun of this place in a whole new way. We’ve partnered with Float On and Independence Brewing Co. to offer the booze cruise of your dreams!

Take The Fam To Waterloo Waterpark

This locally owned and operated floating water park and challenge course that is a true evolution in water play! 

Watch Austin’s Famous Bats On A Boat

While most people grab a spot on the bridge, there’s an even better way to watch the bats: from the rooftop deck of a gorgeous boat with pizza in your belly and a drink in your hand!

Sunday Funday With Brunch On The Water

We’re on a boat—no seriously! This brunch-time party cruise on Lady Bird Lake has great music, food, and beverages for you and your crew. Also, air conditioning, bathrooms, and views you can’t get on land.

Swim In Our Glorious Swimming Holes

So grab your swimsuit, a little sunscreen, and a cooler full of your favorite local beer, and check out our favorite natural swimming spots.

Daycation At The Best Hotel Pools

You should really play hooky and spend the day at one of these fabulous Austin pools.

Watch Jaws On The Water (If You Dare)

Pop open a beer, dangle your feet over your inner tube, and watch the film that made everyone afraid to go in the water… while you’re in the water!

A much cheaper alternative to traditional recording studios has just opened in Austin, and you’ll feel like you are right at home. That’s because it’s actually in a home. Brandon Perry is the guy behind Wandering Robot Studio, which is available for musicians to rent from just $50 an hour.

The setting feels comfortable and casual, but it offers the same pro-level gear and sounds as the bigger outfits. The studio also has a guest room for traveling artists who want to record or work while staying in Austin. North enough of Downtown that festival traffic isn’t an issue, but close enough to make it to a gig on short notice, this studio might just be the answer to your musical prayers. We spoke to Brandon to learn more about his unconventional business.

365 Things Austin: How did the idea for Wandering Robot Studio come about?

Brandon Perry: I’ve been playing guitar since I got my first $99 Walmart-brand electric guitar on my 13th birthday. I’ve loved music ever since. As I was learning how to record my own music, I realized I was building a studio that would be useful for more than just myself. This city is overflowing with artists who deserve to be recorded, if only for archival purposes. I wanted to offer a resource for locals with the highest quality gear. I also firmly believe artists deserve to own their music, from production to final payments and distribution.

365: How did you come up with the name?

BP: I have several pieces in the studio by Lauren Briere, a local artist who puts a robot in different landscapes and contexts. I love her art and I’ve never had the chance to tell her personally! I hope I paid her rent once. I purchased her art at Austin Art Garage.

365: Why does Austin (and the world) need something like this?

BP: Artists deserve a chance to make a living from their art. Wandering Robot Studio helps them own their own publishing and keep as many of their own money as possible. With the ability to record and mix at a professional level, and guidance on publishing and managing your own music, we give you the power to keep creating.

365: What’s your favorite part of running this business?

BP: I love capturing the moment when great music is made. It’s usually spontaneous, and often an artist never sings the same song twice. It’s just the one that gets recorded that everyone ends up listening to. Listening to a song evolve as an artist records it, honing the core of where a song is going—it’s very rewarding.

365: What feedback do you get from musicians who record with you?

BP: As a guitar player, I care a lot about how a guitar sounds. Every guitarist I record loves the sounds we can capture. From clear, transparent, acoustic guitars to gritty, sawtooth distortion (sometimes feedback in more than one way), I want your guitars to sound as amazing as possible. Artists also love the vocal tracks we are able to capture. We have modified analog gear that makes vocals ring!

365: What music/artist/album are you loving right now?

BP: I’m currently listening to the Great Courses 30 Greatest Orchestral Pieces. The enthusiasm of the professor and the subject matter make it incredibly enjoyable. I recently found a super funky drum loop on an old vinyl called Something for Everybody by saxophonist Dave Duplissey (1978) that I’m working on for a guitar track. I love the local band Trouble In The Streets. They are awesome and I’ve seen them several times! They recently won an award from BlackFret and it was much-deserved.

365: What are your plans for the future of the studio?

BP: Just keep recording!

Break out your best white summer duds, and get ready for the coolest party of the season! It’s the seventh annual White Linen Night in the heart of Austin’s 2nd Street District. Spend an evening sampling delicious bites and refreshing sips from some of the city’s best restaurants.This giant culinary block party isn’t just a ton of fun, it’s all for a great cause. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to Austin Food & Wine Alliance and Farmshare.

Early bird tickets start at $55 and include all the food, wine pairings from Washington State Wine, beer from Hops & Grain, and cocktail offerings from Tito’s Vodka —and a live performance from R&B singer-songwriter Tje Austin!  

And if you go for the early bird $85 VIP tickets, you get a one-hour head start to everything, plus a complimentary glass of bubbly and a souvenir YETI Wine Tumbler.  

Among the featured restaurants this year are La Condesa, She’s Not Here, Taverna, Living Room Bar at the W Austin, CRÚ Food and Wine Bar, Yummi Joy, and Popbar Austin. Guests can also enjoy food from Le Politique, Second Bar + Kitchen, The Backspace, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Chispas, Revue, Swift’s Attic, and Hotel ZaZa Austin.

All ticket purchasers will be entered to win a staycation at W Austin with a gift card to TRACE.

Don’t miss this celebration of our amazing food and wine scene! It gets better every year.

When: Saturday, August 3rd

Time: 6:30–9 p.m. (VIP Pre-Party @ 5:30 p.m.!)

More info & ticket link:

If you are a parent of school-aged kids you know that summer is a childcare scramble. Thankfully Cordovan Art School, which teaches visual and performing arts, is offering a wide range of camps at their Northwest Austin and Cedar Park locations.

In a town bursting with culture like ours, Cordovan believes in fostering creativity and self-confidence. The learning environment is positive, enjoyable, and allows students to progress and gain a deeper appreciation for the arts.

Students learn fundamental principles and time-tested techniques that will stay with them for life. If your child enjoys the arts, this is the perfect place for them to develop their talents.

Right now if you purchase three camp sessions for your child, you will get the fourth for free! Cordovan offers full-day and extended care options all summer long. They also have wildly popular themed camps like “Yay Clay!” where campers will turn a slab of mud into a ceramic masterpiece, and “Enchanted Forest” where kids get to paint, sketch, and interact with real furry, fuzzy, and scaly friends!

If you are looking for even more creative fun, you can drop in the studio at your leisure to paint your own pottery (PYOP). PYOP is a perfect activity for friends, family, parties, and even date night! Choose from hundreds of pre-made ceramics pieces.

Take advantage of the summer months and enrich your child’s, and your own life, in a whole new way!

Are you feeling a familiar combination of nervousness and hunger? Us too. And it can only mean one thing—Quesoff is right around the corner! Austin’s preeminent melted cheese contest is coming back on July 27th and as always, it’s going to be better than ever.

More than 35 teams repping restaurants, top chefs, home cooks, neighbors, brothers, and sisters will go head to head in four categories: Meaty, Spicy, Veggie, and Wild Card. A Best in Show will also be awarded to the overall favorite.

This year’s teams include past winners Cheesus, Dai Due, Better Half and Kesos Tacos; along with a whole slew of local eateries and businesses like Micklethewait Craft Meats, Uchiko, Central Standard, Scholz Garten, Pink Avocado Catering, Luvit BBQ, Republic Diner, Siete Foods, Posse East, Trudy’s, Red’s Porch, JuiceLand, Sala and Betty, Credo Foods, Jamie’s Salsa, Eldorado Cafe, Taco Baby, Austin Daily Press, Austin’s Pizza, Guero’s, Maudie’s as well as ‘home teams’ such as Voodoo Magic, Club Indigo, Formaggi-hoes, Downtown Cheesy Brown, It’s All Gouda, and more!

The esteemed panel of judges this year are: Andrew Knowlton, Editor at Large, Bon Appétit; Callie Speer – Executive Chef & Owner, Holy Roller; Fermin Nunez – Executive Chef, Suerte; Kendall Antonelli – Co-Owner & Founder, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop; Matthew Odam, Restaurant Critic, Austin American-Statesman; and Michael Fojtasek – Executive Chef & Owner, Olamaie.

A per usual, Quesoff will benefit an amazing cause—the Central Texas Food Bank. A $3 donation will be required to attend the event and 100% of those proceeds will go to the CTFB

Bags of chips will be available for $5. This event is all ages, because even babies love queso.

When: Saturday, July 27th

Time: 1 – 4 p.m.

The Mohawk
912 Red River

JAWS ON THE WATER returns for its fifth year! It’s finally summertime and everyone is invited back to Volente Beach Resort on the shores of Lake Travis for one the best events of the year. Get access to all the Volente Beach Resort rides, a ticket to one of the best films of all time, and an explosive finale to close out the night. Pop open a beer, dangle your feet over your inner tube, and watch the film that made everyone afraid to go in the water… while you’re in the water. We’re pretty sure there’s nothing lurking in there…

WHO:                   Presented by Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow

WHEN:                 June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, 17
*Doors open at 6:00 PM
*Movie begins at 8:45 PM (or after sundown)

Included with your JAWS ON THE WATER experience…

·         Admission to Volente Beach Resort fun from 6:00PM – 8:30PM, with all rides and hang out spots open, including the Lazy Lagoon, The Sidewinder, volleyball, a beachside bar and grill and a whole lot more.

·         (1) ticket to the On the Water screening of one of the greatest films of all time.

·         An explosive finale.

·         The chance to be a floating shark snack for a squad of scuba divers to scare.

 TUBES: Three options available this year: 

·         Buy one! Alex Kintner’s float inspired tube featuring headrest and cupholders will be available for sale on site (or with an add on to your ticket)

·         Bring your own! Picked up a tube last year? Feel free to bring that, or any other tube 53″ diameter or less.

·         Borrow from us! Don’t want to bring a tube? We’ll also have plenty of loaners available for your use during the screening, and you can just return it to the beach after the film.

Served 6:00-8:30 PM
You can purchase an optional pre-sale Meal Ticket at check out (vegetarian options available). Meal Tickets will be received onsite.

There will be multiple outdoor bars throughout the venue, including permanent bars set up at the waterpark, and pop up bars built on the beach for these screenings.

No unaccompanied minors under 17. All children 12 & under are required to wear a life jacket while in the water. Ages 6 & under are not allowed in water or at water park.