image: Transmission Events
Given the fact that Austin calls itself the “live music capital of the world,” it makes sense to offer up an abundance of the stuff. Free Week does that and then some, offering dozens upon dozens of live bands taking over the bars of the Red River Cultural District with absolutely zero cover. Venues include Mohawk, Red 7, Holy Mountain and Beerland. Rock out with the best of them any night of the nine-day affair, at no cost other than beer… and ideally with a pair of earplugs.
Free Week, Red River Cultural District, various venues
Thursday, January 2 – Saturday, January 11
see website for individual show details
image: Whole Foods
It’s a simple fact that Whole Foods is one of Austin’s biggest commercial success stories, having launched from the 512 in 1980 and taken the nation by storm ever since. So it stands to reason that an Austinite (or a Pflugernaut or a Round Rocker) shouldn’t have to venture too far to find one, right? Well, the long wait for a Whole Foods store at the northern end will soon be over; the Domain’s very own food paradise will open its doors to an undoubtedly endless crowd of excited (and hungry) locals on January 15. Keep an eye out for exclusive Domain-only products in the aisles, like sweet treats from Better Bites Bakery and kombucha from Buddha’s Brew. Bon appetit!
Whole Foods at The Domain, opening January 15
11920 Domain Drive, at the north end of The Domain shopping complex
Hours: 8 am to 10 pm seven days a week
image: Swift’s Attic
Rare are the sorts of bars anymore where you can walk in alone and have a drink, undisturbed, without being hassled by groups of folks who think watering holes are only for couples and large crews of people. But at Swift’s Attic, a converted second-story space in the heart of Congress Avenue, weeknights are perfect for stopping in solo to enjoy their inventive, carnivorous menu and sample a few fine drinks before dipping downstairs to enjoy some live jazz at The Elephant Room — another great place for a loner’s night out. Enjoy the dark, cozy ambience amid the thump of hip hop and other unexpected tunes playing overhead, and don’t forget to tip the barhop well.
315 Congress Avenue, above The Elephant Room
Dinner hours: M-W 5-11 pm, Th-Sat 5 pm-12 am,
Bar open til 1 am Th-Sat nights, Sunday brunch 10:30-2:30
image: Blanton Museum of Art
Typically, when we think of museum tours, we don’t think about getting particularly hands-on with things. But when The Blanton Museum of Art hosts its Holiday Family Days event, things get interactive in a heartbeat. This year’s event focuses on the Blanton’s latest exhibition, a collective on German Renaissance art, and whether it’s printmaking, gallery games or just plain old art appreciation that you’re into, the museum has something for you and the kiddos alike.
The Blanton Museum, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Holiday Family Days event: Friday, December 27, 11 am – 4 pm
Admission: $9 for adults, $5 for ages 13-21, free for kids under 12
image: Annapurna Gardens
Few things are quite as delicious during the coldest months of the year as a steaming bowl of tikka masala and soft, warm naan to soak up the sauce. Luckily for those of us too far north to enjoy Austin’s favorite Indian restaurant, the Clay Pit, there’s now a Round Rock restaurant worth popping into: Annapurna Gardens
is Sanskrit for “full of food” and “kitchen goddess,” and the eatery lives up to its name: with perfect winter dishes from curries to cake (as well as a kids’ menu), it’s not difficult to satiate your appetite in this little strip mall hideaway.
Annapurna Gardens Indian Restaurant
3203 S Interstate 35 (at SH45 intersection, same parking lot as Target)
Mon, Weds, Thurs 11:30-2:30 (lunch) and 5-9:30 (dinner)
Fri-Sat 11:30-2:30 (lunch), 5-10 (dinner); Sun 11:30-3, 5-9:30