There’s no shortage of amazing celebratory options for New Year’s Eve in the weird, wild heart of Texas; almost predictably, you can practically walk down any given street within a mile of downtown and find something fun to do. Since New Year’s Eve tends to draw out even the most introverted of folks, though, it’s wise to book your plans in advance, particularly if you’re planning on hitting one of the more popular soirees in town. CultureMap:Austin has kindly provided a listing of events from which to choose; there’s Willie Nelson’s big bash at the W in the Moody Theater, the Uncle Billy’s BBQ party on Lake Travis, the New Year’s Eve singalong at the Alamo Ritz on 6th, live shows at nearly every music venue in town, and much much more. New Line Cinema even has a movie out called New Year’s Eve… what better evening could there possibly be to check it out? Wherever you go and whatever you do, though, get home safely so you can begin 2012 in one piece. Note: taxis are available 24/7 via Yellow Cab Austin.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
Sometimes, you just need to de-stress… and sometimes, the best way to do that is to be as immature as possible and get back to basics. The masterminds behind Jumpoline knew exactly what they were doing when they opened their doors to adults as well as children; this trampoline megaplex may just be the most awesome stress-buster in the entire city.
Although it might sound a tad unorthodox, the establishment welcomes kids of all ages — including, say, 29, 37 or even 58 — to bounce ’til their hearts are content, and the cardio workout it provides is really just a bonus. Open seven days a week at the corner of Mopac and Wells Branch Parkway, the trampoline park has but three rules: jumpers must wear socks at all times, jumpers cannot bring food or drink into the trampoline area itself; and jumpers must read the rules. If you’re tired of following all the rest of the rules in your life, these three are actually pretty easy to abide by, and the experience is completely worth it. Jumpoline charges $10 for an hour of unlimited jumping ($7 on weekdays). No reservations needed.
Jumpoline Trampoline Park
13801 Mopac Expressway (at Wells Branch)
Having celebrated its 125th birthday this year, the grand dame of central Texas hotels, The Driskill, has obviously thrown its fair share of parties and provided more than a heaping helping of hospitality to locals and travelers alike. This holiday season, it takes the work and stress out of Christmas dinner preparation (on your part, anyway) and replaces it with sheer opulence. Whether you’re spending the holiday solo or would simply like to treat your family to a decadent celebratory meal, The Driskill is hosting a special Christmas Eve Dinner on the 24th, as well as a Christmas Day brunch on the 25th. The establishment with the highest Zagat score in all of Austin is sure to please even the most discerning palate and make even the Grinchiest of patrons smile with delight.
The Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos Street
Austin, TX 78701
The Nutcracker Ballet is the longest-running holiday dance production in the entire state of Texas, and rightfully so: this time-honored tradition has delighted children and children at heart alike for generations with its blend of symphony, ballet, costumery and magic. Tchaikovsky’s classic score is interpreted through Ballet Austin’s troupe of professional and pedestrian dancers (this year, the character of Mother Ginger will be played by a local elementary school teacher, and local luminaries like Lance Armstrong have been known to make a surprise appearance in years past) and choreographer Stephen Mills. Bring the kids — or just yourself — for an unforgettable stage experience. The Nutcracker’s matinee and evening shows run through December 23. Tickets (available online) start at $12.
Evening performances: December 9, 10, 16, 17, 21, 22,
Afternoon performances: December 4, 11, 17, 18, 23
The Long Center for the Performing arts
701 West Riverside Drive
It may be the season of giving, but it’s undoubtedly the season for cozying up with delicious food and drinks, too, while we wait out the colder temperatures and enjoy the indoor delights of winter. The holidays can be feast or famine for local growers and proprietors, so Edible Austin is hosting Eat Drink Local Week to promote local sourcing and patronage. If you act quickly, you can still take advantage of the last few days of the week’s activities.
This Friday, December 9, has been designated “An Evening Out,” in which dozens of Austin-area restaurants are offering a special locally-sourced dish; proceeds go to Urban Roots and the Sustainable Food Center, both of which cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.
On Saturday, December 10, Black Star Co-op and Wheatsville Co-op present Local Brew Fest, where you can meet Texas craft brewers and sample their local beers, not to mention treats locally sourced (of course!) from Windy Hill Farm, Pure Luck Farm & Dairy, Veldhuizen Cheese and Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery. Tickets ($20 apiece) include a dozen 2-ounce beer samples.
Friday, Dec 9, dinner hours: An Evening Out
Click here for a list of participating restaurants
Saturday, Dec 10, 1-5 pm: Local Brew Fest
Black Star Co-op, 7020 Easy Wind Drive (Airport at North Lamar)