Top 5 Festivals to Catch in Austin This Year

Top 5 Festivals to Catch in Austin This Year

The city of Austin, Texas is packed with fun festivals that are held throughout the year. For the best events that you simply can’t miss, here are our top five picks that are guaranteed to be a one-of-a-kind experience.

1. Kite Festival

Come and watch hundreds of kites dance across the sky at this fun spring event! Scheduled for March 5th, 2017 (with a rain date of March 12th), the annual Kite Festival will take place on the Zilker Park Great Lawn and is free for anyone to attend. Participants will have a chance to enter the exciting annual kite contest along with several other competitions during the day. To obtain a kite, you can either make one yourself, purchase a kite from an onsite vendor, or create one in the kite making workshop that is held on the day of the festival.

Although admission is free, be sure to bring extra cash for food, souvenirs, and kids activities that are offered on the festival grounds, which include face painting, balloon art, carnival games, inflatable houses, and rock climbing. You can also donate cash to help support various non-profit groups.

2. Earth Day Festival

The annual Earth Day Festival will take place on April 22nd, 2017 and is full of educational and lively entertainment. Children will love the Outdoor Activity Zone, where kids can try out a trampoline, climbing wall, and electric bikes. They’ll also enjoy the festival’s Kids Zone, which features fun options for children to mingle with musicians and wildlife. At the Zen Zone, adult attendees can relax with meditation, acupuncture, yoga, and crafts. The Renewables Marketplace is also a fascinating exhibit for adults and features many revealing energy innovations. The festival will also serve delicious food and have live entertainment, demos, workshops, and panel discussions. Admission is free for all to attend and will be located at the Huston-Tillotson University.

The annual Earth Day Festival is a great spot for the whole family to enjoy.
The annual Earth Day Festival is a great spot for the whole family to enjoy.

3. Pecan Street Festival

This art, craft, and music festival is one of the largest in Central Texas and is thrown by the Pecan Street Association. Located on Sixth Street with free admission to all, this festival features hundreds of beautifully handcrafted goods, such as clothing, jewelry, and candles, and hosts over 50 of Austin’s most talented musicians with concerts and shows. Children will be thrilled by the petting zoo, carnival, street magicians, and face painting, and with over 30 food vendors to choose from, is a great place to spend an entire day with family. By attending this festival on May 6th or 7th, 2017, you’ll help preserve the Sixth Street Historic District, with all funding used for its maintenance and beautification.

4. Ice Cream Festival

With delicious ice cream and exciting events, what more could you want from an Austin festival? Taking place on August 12th, 2017 at the Fiesta Gardens, the annual Ice Cream Festival raises support for local charities while spooning out tasty treats! Proceeds from the event go to many Austin nonprofits, such at the Austin Children’s Shelter and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. And with contests such as ice cream eating, popsicle stick sculpting, and homemade ice cream recipes, this yummy festival can be enjoyed by all! Admission is $10 for entry (free for children age 8 and under), with free ice cream included.

Who wouldn't want to eat scoop after scoop of hot fudge sundaes at the annual Ice Cream Festival?
Who wouldn’t want to eat scoop after scoop of hot fudge sundaes at the annual Ice Cream Festival?

5. Austin City Limits Festival

The Austin City Limits Festival is an exciting 3-day event that features several musical acts from all around the globe. With over 110 shows, several family-friendly activities, and award-winning cuisine that caters to gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets, the festival is a hit for attendees of all ages. And with artists mingling with crowds and hosting free giveaways, it’s a great spot for those who are fans of today’s music scene. Festival goers can choose to attend the event at Zilker Park on either Weekend 1 or 2 (October 6th-8th or 13th-15th, 2017) and can purchase a General Admission ticket for $119.

Your Guide to the Best of Austin Nightlife

Your Guide to the Best of Austin Nightlife

If you’re visiting the city of Austin, Texas, get ready for an exciting night on the town! Known as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, you’ll find outdoor concerts, music festivals, and other performances around the city on a nightly basis. And with excellent cuisine, fun bars, artisanal breweries, and theater events, there’s never a dull moment on the city streets. With so many fantastic venues to visit, it can be tough to narrow down a selection for a weekend trip. But to help you out, here’s our guide to the best of Austin nightlife.

6th Street

The most well-known and boisterous district of Austin is the 6th Street stretch from Congress Avenue to Highway 35. Here you’ll find many students from neighboring universities, and for those who enjoy a party ambiance with crowds that tend to be young, loud, and enthusiastic, this is the place to be! Try stopping by Parish for rock, reggae, and funk live music sets or the Blind Pig Pub for a night of dancing and drinking.

Warehouse District

For those who are looking for a sophisticated night in downtown Austin, head to the Warehouse District, located just west of the central business center. With handcrafted cocktails, elegant restaurants, and a more mature and educated crowd, this district is perfect for special gatherings, anniversaries, or a high-class night out. Swing by The Ginger Man for a mix of traditional pub drinks and new craft brews and visit the Roosevelt Room for fancy cocktails, tasty charcuterie and cheese boards, plus heavenly desserts.

Enjoy an elegant night on the town in the Warehouse District.
Enjoy an elegant night on the town in the Warehouse District.

South Congress Avenue

South Congress Avenue, also known as SoCo, is an attractive, tree-lined part of town that has a comfortable and laid-back atmosphere. There are many dive bars, bistros, and craft breweries in the district, and if you arrive at the lake at twilight, you can see the famous bats of Austin take off into the night sky. Be sure to head to The Continental Club to hear some country, jazz, and blues tunes or visit the Saxon Pub for live music with an intimate and cozy atmosphere.

University of Texas

The University of Texas is part of the heart and soul of Austin. And for those who love having fun with others while enjoying quality brews and music, the university’s area offers a number of venues that have become a part of Texas’ cultural history. The Cactus Cafe has a national reputation for incredible acoustic sets and The Hole in the Wall hosts daily music shows. Both venues are popular among locals and are ideal for listening to live performances.

The University of Texas has a fun bar scene that can be enjoyed by all.
The University of Texas has a fun bar scene that can be enjoyed by all.

East Side

For a more funky, offbeat, and alternative experience, we recommend checking out the East Side of Austin. Here you’ll find a quirky energy that drives the many eclectic bars, cafes, and food trucks, along with a hip and edgy crowd. Head on over to Kitty Cohen’s for specialty drinks and punches while lounging poolside or visit the Hard Luck Lounge for a grunge scene complete with jukeboxes and pool tables.

Rainey Street

If you’ve always wanted to visit a speakeasy, Rainy Street is the place for you. Located off of Cesar Chavez Boulevard, you’ll find many cool bars in this district that are perfect for a laid-back evening out with friends. Visit the Victorian house turned cocktail lounge of Icenhauer’s, where you can sip handcrafted drinks and listen to live music. And for a cozy ambiance with dim lighting and rustic (yet elegant) decor, head to the fashionable Clive Bar for homemade cocktails and brews.