image: The Long Center
It’s never not fascinating to step across the threshold into one of the creations dreamed by by Architects of Air, and this month, it’s possible again when the luminarium known as Miracoco comes through town. Due to the hypersensory experience’s popularity, advance tickets are only available to Long Center members; walk-up tickets are available to the public on site. Show up, step inside and watch time and space come to a serene and blissful halt as children romp through the chambers and adults meditate, stare up in wonder and snap many an Instagram photo — this visual feast is certainly something to capture.
Miracoco by Architects of Air
Jan 24-Feb 2: luminarium opens at 11 am weekdays, 10 am weekends
Long Center Lawn, 701 West Riverside Drive
Ticket prices: from $10 same day
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
As the temperatures start to (hopefully) settle into a more comfortable autumnal zone sometime soon, there are few better ways to enjoy some crisp September air than by taking a free guided tour of downtown Austin, seeing the sights and getting a sense of the town’s true history. Congress Avenue/Sixth Street district walking tours take place at 9 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as 11 am and 1 pm on Sundays. All require a reservation 48 hours in advance but are free of charge. Afterward, pop into Royal Blue Grocery for a quick bite to eat at a sidewalk table, where you can soak in all the knowledge you’ve just learned about the neighborhood.
Downtown Walking Tours, every Tues, Thurs-Sat: see above for times
Register at least 48 hours in advance (for free) online
Austin is more than just the live music capital of the world; it’s also home — at least part of the year, anyway — to more than 1 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Migrating to Austin each March and typically staying through October, many of the bats give birth to pups over the summer, making their nightly display of flying out from beneath the Congress Avenue bridge even more spectacular in the latter months of their stay. That’s why Bat Fest was established nine years ago: to celebrate the weird, wild awesomeness of our furry friends in flight. With two live stages, 10 bands, 75 arts & crafts vendors, plenty of food & drink, and lots for the kiddos to do, it’s a truly unique event that shouldn’t be missed.
Bat Fest, Saturday, August 24, 4 pm – midnight
Congress Avenue Bridge, downtown (see website for parking details)