East Side Glass Studio is exactly what it sounds like: a professional hot glass studio on Austin’s eastside. Known as much for its cool monthly demonstrations (which are free and open to the public) as it is for the actual art it produces, these artisans seriously know what they’re doing. This Saturday, though, the studio opens its doors for a special Christmas in July event, where guests can get hands-on and create their own works of art with guidance from the experts. Craft a holiday ornament or create a solid glass “space rock” and enjoy on-site brews from hops&grain and yummy bites from Yume Burger while you stand back and admire your artistic prowess; portions of the day’s proceeds will go to Community Glass House to benefit disadvantaged youth in the arts.
$30 per person, Saturday, July 28, 3-6 pm
507 Calles Street, on the eastside
Learn more about the studio here
As progressive, weird and forward-thinking as Austin might be, it still knows how to honor an age-old tradition. This weekend, for the 34th year in a row, 6th Street will close itself off from traffic and line up food and craft tents as far as the eye can see, with musical performances dotting the street all weekend long. The Pecan Street Festival
, a decades-old event that takes place twice a year, hearkens back to a time when all the numbered streets downtown were named after types of trees — 6th Street being, of course, Pecan Street. The biannual celebration of local culture is free, not to mention incredibly kid-friendly (check out the kids’ art tent hosted by Michael’s at the corner of 6th and Jacinto). Four-legged friends are welcome too.
Saturday, May 5, noon – 9 pm
Sunday, May 6, noon – 6 pm
6th Street, west of Red River (see website for full details)
Austin is undeniably an artistic town, but we’re admittedly known more for our music than any other artistic discipline in particular. Along with other events of its kind, the annual outdoor festival known as Art City Austin seeks to change that perception with what it aptly calls a “temporary art utopia.” Perhaps needing to seek utopia amid the stress of tax day, guests can explore art galore for purchasing or just no-strings-attached perusing and appreciating. Local food trucks turn out in spades along Cesar Chavez as well, making it as much a culinary feast as it is a visual one, and an event ticket also grants free admission to several permanent museums (like the Blanton) around town. Now, that’s utopia indeed.
Saturday, April 14, 10am to 6pm
Sunday, April 15, 11am to 6pm
Cesar Chavez Street from Lavaca to Lamar, plus the 1st Street Bridge
See official website for more info
Every year, Austin foodies (and everybody else with an appetite who happens to keep up with such things) lose their minds over the arrival of Austin Restaurant Week
. The concept is simple enough: “One city, two weeks, three courses.” Dozens of fine dining establishments throughout town offer three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for either $26 or $36 (plus $16 lunch menus in some restaurants) for a specified series of days, and even upstarts on the most modest budgets can enjoy champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Reservations are strongly recommended, since each one made through the ARW site or smartphone app results in an automatic donation to Meals on Wheels. So, indulge & enjoy!
Sunday through Wednesday, March 25-28 and April 1-4
See official website for details and list of restaurants
* UPDATE *
East Austin Mobile Photo Tour’s date has been changed to this Sunday, February 19th. Same place, same time.
Austin definitely isn’t lacking in visual appeal, with its eclectic mix of hippie and cowboy cultures co-existing peacefully in the heart of the Texas hill country. It’s no secret that the Eastside has been experiencing a bit of gentrification over the past five years or so, and it’s been taking place in typical Austin fashion: at an ambling pace and with a laissez-faire attitude. Photographic possibilities are endless east of I-35 and south of Manor Road; that’s precisely why the Discover East Austin Mobile Photo Tour strolls through the neighborhood on Saturday morning, February 18 starting at 9 a.m. Prizes will be given away at the event, including a platinum SXSW badge.
Tour begins Saturday, February 18, 9 am at Nuevo Leon Restaurant at 1501 East 6th Street; visit the official site for details.