The weekend is finally upon us and with temperatures largely staying above 60 degrees Saturday and Sunday, you’ll want to soak up all the spring weather you can get. Whether you’re in the mood for a boozy brunch, wandering around an art museum or listening to some local tunes, you can find it here in town.
Whether you’re painfully free all weekend or just need a little bit to supplement your agenda, try out one of these weekend activities.
Brunch at 1886 Cafe & Bakery | 604 Brazos St.
Start out the day with everyone’s favorite urban pastime: brunch. If you haven’t yet been to the historic Driskill Hotel’s cafe, 1886 Cafe & Bakery, it’s high time you tried one of its Texas-shaped waffles. You’ll find all the brunch staples like migas and eggs benedict but you’ll also spot some unique additions, like a cauliflower steak topped with jalapeno chimichurri or the Brazos Huevos Rancheros, topped with cotija cheese.
Best of all, 1886 Cafe doesn’t even take reservations so there’s no need to reserve ahead of time.
New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists at the Blanton Museum of Art | 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
An installation to celebrate Black artists across the nation, “Assembly,” was made possible by an anonymous donor who wanted to ameliorate the underrepresentation of Black art. Including sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles and more produced between 1980 and 2019, the subject matter is diverse but comes back to a root theme: “the long afterlife of slavery.” Works include a resin sculpture made with raw cotton from artist Kevin Beasley’s family’s farm and a neon sculpture made by Cauleen Smith, commemorating the life of Sandra Bland, a Black woman who died in police custody.
Admission runs $5 for children and $12 for adults.
Continental Club | 1315 S. Congress Ave.
Close the day out with a jazzy night at the historic Continental Club, which starts music out early in the day and goes deep into the night.
Saturday: Starting at 3:30 p.m., “Mr. Honky-Tonk Piano” Earl Poole Ball will take the stage with a cover-free show of re-inspired classic country.
Next up is a couple of Continental Club regulars The Peterson Brothers, dubbed the “baddest cats in the world” by Gary Clark Jr., who will take the stage at 8 p.m. Catch their jazz/funk sound for $17 in advance.
Later into the evening, Greyhounds, another Continental Club staple, will start their uniquely danceable set at 10 p.m. for a $15 cover. The last set of the night, East Austin native Nikki DaVaughn’s soul and funk tunes will start at midnight.
Sunday: Sunday’s music won’t run quite as late but still kicks off with a free show from Marshall Hood, nephew of singer-songwriter Champ Hood, starting at 2:30 p.m.
Earl Poole Ball returns with the band Heybale!, which claims to be the “most popular country supergroup in Austin. The band, which has been performing at the Continental Club since 2000, takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. for a $10 cover.
The final show of the night, Willie Pipkin & Friends will take to the stage at 9:30 p.m. Expect a mix of bluegrass, swing, jazz and rock at this show, with a $7 cover at the door.
Memorial Day is today and, as you honor the men and women who laid down their lives to serve our country, leave some room to celebrate yourself with that extra time off. Austin will be celebrating all over the city, all day.
So in honor of the coveted three-day weekend that comes with the holiday, get out of the house and enjoy a free relaxing day at Barton Springs Pool, crawfish in a beer garden or maybe getting some fresh air out in the countryside.
Austin Eastciders Memorial Day Party, 1530 Barton Springs Rd.
From noon-8 p.m. Austin Eastciders is throwing a Memorial Day party packed to the brim with drink specials and live music. Music starts at 2 p.m. with singer-songwriter Parker Chapin, then Evan Charles at 4 p.m., followed by Austin-based "rock and roller" Danny Golden. There will be $4 draft ciders and seltzers, $8 crowlers and $7 summer cocktails all day!
South Austin Beer Garden Crawfish Boil, 10700 Menchaca Rd.
South Austin Beer Garden isn't throwing your average crawfish boil, it's throwing an event with games specials, pet adoptions through Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and free crawfish with the purchase of a drink. You read that right—free mudbugs. The party starts at 2 p.m., so come for the boil, stay for some drinks and maybe leave with a new best friend.
Take a dip at Barton Springs Pool for free, 2201 William Barton Drive
For one day only, enjoy Austin's famous Barton Springs Pool without a reservation or entry fee. The pool will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. so you can swim to your heart's content, but you might want to get there early, as capacity limits will be enforced due to a lifeguard shortage.
12 Fox Beer Co. Beer-iversary Artisan Market, 4700 W Fitzhugh Rd
Closing out a four-day celebration of 12 Fox Beer Co. turning 2 years old, the local brewery will be open from 12-6 p.m. on Monday for a live performance by Brews Blues Band and an artisan market where wares like jewelry, home decor, skincare, clothing, dog treats and more await. While you're celebrating the veteran-owned beer garden, grab some food from nearby food truck Buns N Chicks.
Austin Spring Festival at Barton Hill Farms, 1115 FM 969
The Austin Spring Festival will come to a close this Monday after one last day of fun for the whole family. Take a scenic drive out to the Bastrop countryside where you can frolic among the zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers; go on a hayride; visit some farm animals; and listen to live music. Adults are invited to enjoy the Apfelwein & Biergarten for a craft brew, and it wouldn't be a festival if there wasn't funnel cake!
As Austinites head into a long Labor Day weekend—in which we honor the contributions of American workers by taking a much-needed Monday off work—typical celebrations may be a bit stymied by social distancing and rules against large gatherings.
But even though that big annual barbecue or Sunday night bash (because in Austin, that's probably a Thing) may not be going on as planned, there are plenty of fun, safe ways to spend time getting some fresh air and relaxation during this holiday.
With the weather forecast calling for scattered rain and mild(ish) temps ranging from the 70s to the mid-90s, it's a great time to get outside and have some fun on your extra day off.
Here are some of our favorite ideas.
Enjoy a flashback to simpler times with a drive-in movie at Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, which is featuring a "Labor Daze" lineup of two '80s favorites: Ferris Beuller's Day Off and The Princess Bride.
Located in the Mueller neighborhood, Blue Starlite offers a socially distanced way to get out of the house and watch some classics with your favorite passengers. Be a righteous dude and take in a flick as you wish—under the stars.
From the city's website: "A mini version of traditional auto cinemas, Blue Starlite often features two films per night, with the option to add a vintage drive-in speaker and old-fashioned concessions to the package. The Blue Starlite is Austin's one and only Drive-In Movie theater."
Patio time(Charlie L. Harper III)
Hit up one of Austin's stellar patio dining areas for some al fresco drinks and noshes, with no need to rush back to work, head home early or worry about hangovers.
Do some people-watching at Graj Mahal, take in the Lake Austin vista and some Polynesian Tex-Mex at Hula Hut or hang out on the rooftop of 77 Degrees at the Domain, where this rooftop oasis in Rock Rose section of the Domain, offering exotic cocktails, small plates, cushy seating, fans with misters and views of the action below.
Hit the trail3. We're a great city for bikes(The City of Austin)
Take a long bike ride, or a long stroll, on the Walnut Creek Trail System, with more than 10 miles of car-free, stress-free, tree-lined trails stretching from North Austin through downtown. Monday promises sunshine, and the paved trail has plenty of room for social distancing. So get on your bike and ride!
Watch the bats
Mexican free-tail bats in the Austin skylinelive.staticflickr.com
Check out the world's largest urban bat colony on the Congress Avenue bridge at sunset, as we are right in the middle of the best season for watching the city's 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats pour out into the evening to find food.
The spectacular sight never gets old, attracting visitors to the bridge and to kayaks and tubes on Ladybird Lake below. Don't forget to bring your mask and social distance if you're watching it from Congress, but you can also find gorgeous and secluded viewing spots from anywhere along the banks of the lake—or from the boardwalk.
Reserve a spot in the cool waters of Blue Hole
The Blue Hole Swimming Area
The City of Wimberley
About 45 minutes south of Austin near Wimberley, you'll find the cool relaxation of the Blue Hole, located just outside of Wimberley. The 126-acre park includes 4.5 miles of trails, picnic areas, a community pavilion, playscape, basketball court, sand volleyball court, amphitheater and the shady Blue Hole Swimming Area, which stays 75 degrees all year round. Reservations are required for swimming, so make your reservation online here.
Take a Black Austin tour
Take a deep dive in Austin history with a Black Austin tour, developed by Native Austinite and PhD student Javier Wallace, whose roots in Austin go back some 200 years.
From Wallace's post on the city's website: "Black Austin Tours ensures that Black histories, experiences and contributions are included in Austin's story. Black Austin Tours Founder and Guide, Javier Wallace, provides both in-person and virtual experiences that tell the hard truths, including those about some of our most visited places like Barton Springs, Zilker Park and the Texas State Capitol Building. He does this to hold the city accountable and ensure that visitors have a better understanding of the city and the sites and spaces they are visiting while here."
Build a board gameThe Academy of Games
Don't feel like sweating and want to learn something new? Start learning how to build a board game with a free introductory session at The Academy of Games. Fun for kids and adults, these two-hour sessions can last for one intro or several weeks - your call!
From the website: "Designing a game is a launching pad for countless other skills, and a great way to develop socially. Things that would be frustrating or boring become interesting and engaging when they are part of a game you play with others."
Wait - a break from the frustrating and boring? Sign us up!
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