Pay What You Wish to See “Hairspray” at Zilker Park!

Each year, more than 60,000 people take full advantage of the outdoor performances put on at Zilker Park, located less than a mile from Lamar Union. The beloved Austin greenspace plays host to the Zilker Hillside Theatre, a not-for-profit organization that organizes the annual Zilker Summer Musical. It runs every weekend from July to August, and this year the show on deck is Hairspray.

Like all of the musicals produced by the Zilker Hillside Theatre, this musical pays homage to Broadway by pulling out al the stops. From the sets to the cast, every aspect of the show is professional and polished, making for a fun night out with your family or friends. You can "pay what you wish" for your spot at the Beverly S. Sheffield Hillside Theater in Zilker Park, so you won't have to break the bank on this outing, either. Round up the troops this weekend and take them to the park this weekend for a fun, colorful show interlaced with soulful tunes and poignant plotlines.

Zilker Hillside Theatre's Summer Musicals
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 479-9491

Ooh and Ahh Over Tunes and Fireworks at the July 4th Symphony and Fireworks!

This Fourth of July, Austin celebrates its independence with a performance from the Austin Symphony. Vic Mathias Shores along Lady Bird Lake (which used to be called Auditorium Shores) transforms into the orchestra's playground at 8:30 p.m. on July 4, and everyone is welcome to enjoy it.

Unfolding just about a mile from Lamar Union, the performance typically attracts about 100,000 guests, so make sure your group's red, white, and blue attire is on par with the rest of the crowd. Claim a spot on the grass and enjoy the orchestra's patriotic tunes as the sun begins to dip below the city skyline. When the sun has completed its descent at 9:30 p.m., stick around for an awe-inspiring fireworks display right along the lake. If these patriotic events aren't enough to bring you to Vic Mathias Shores this Saturday, then perhaps the food, drink, and arts and crafts that serve as the prelude to the symphony—booths open at 4 p.m.

July 4th Symphony and Fireworks
Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores)
8:30 p.m. July 4
800 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 441-9015

Take Part in a One-of-a-Kind Celebration at Keep Austin Weird Fest

Many have heard about the Keep Austin Weird Fest, and most know two things: it’s some kind of a festival in Austin, and, well, it’s weird. If you’ve been curious about it but have never gone, let this be your year!

Only about one mile away from Lamar Union, you have a chance to experience this unique celebration that only the people and spirit of Austin can deliver. The main attraction is the 5k, billed as “the slowest race on the planet.” All participants wear costumes and join in different activities at “Fun Spots” along the way. A new addition is the Side Show, which will feature wacky events like Big Toe Wrestling and a Smelly Chamber (one can only imagine what that entails!). Live bands perform throughout the day, and whoever wins the costume contest gets a year of free ice cream from Amy’s Ice Cream! Don’t miss this crazy event in your own backyard.

Keep Austin Weird Fest
1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 27
Long Center
701 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78704

See if You Agree With the Rave Reviews by Dining at Vox Table, a Hot New Restaurant in Austin!

Arguably the hottest new restaurant in Austin is Vox Table, and — lucky for you — it’s right outside your door in the Lamar Union complex. It opened at the end of April and it’s been collecting rave reviews from diners as well as accolades from local publications for its small plate, farm-to-fork concept and its inventive cocktail menu.

Given that it employs the small plate concept, you’ll order a bunch of plates and share with your dining companions. By far the most popular plate here is the smoked hamachi pipette, consisting of tomato raisins, pickled cucumber, thai chili, and coconut soy vinaigrette, which diners says is “to die for.” The calamari noodles is another home run — roasted corn, smoked tomatoes, Spanish chorizo, chili oil, and corn nuts, as is the glazed cabrito, a delicious mix of creamy rice, fava beans, pea tendrils, charred vine ripe tomatoes. Be sure to make a reservation for Vox Table, but if you don’t, you might be able to get a table if your party is small.

Vox Table
1100 S. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 375-4869

Strengthen and Lengthen Outdoors with Wanderlust Yoga at the Springs on Monday Evenings

There's nothing quite like doing yoga outdoors — the fresh air; the soft grass cushioning your mat; the natural soundtrack lulling you into a state of relaxation. These are all perks you can't get in a yoga studio, which is why many yoga instructors take their practice outside during the summer months. In Austin, you can enjoy a free yoga class outdoors courtesy of Wanderlust Yoga at the Spring.

This weekly event transforms Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park, just a mile from Lamar Union, into a yoga studio—sans the walls. Just bring a mat and a bottle of water, and you can join in with the flowing poses at a vinyasa-style class. Yogis of all skill levels are welcome, and there's more to do after class commences. At 8:30 p.m., local cafe Blenders and Bowls will dole out free snacks. Nibble on the fresh food and then allow some time for your stomach to settle before 9 p.m., when open swim begins.

Wanderlust Yoga at the Spring
Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park
7:30 p.m. Mondays
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78746

Cantine Italian Cafe and Bar: A New Contemporary Italian Spot in the Neighborhood

Fresh, whole wheat pasta. Wines from around the world. Crispy, thin-crust pizzas. These are the elements that converge to make Cantine Italian Cafe and Bar a buzzed-about new restaurant in Austin, and it's a mere 60-second trip from Lamar Union. It just debuted in the space where Fino restaurant once dished out Spanish tapas, and it's taken a new approach to cuisine. Now instead of Spanish fare, the eatery at 1100 South Lamar crafts Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

Reserve a table online to sample some of the freshly made pasta or golden-brown pizzas on the menu at Cantine Italian Cafe and Bar. If you opt for the pizza, order the Verde with spinach, zucchini, and ample amounts of cheese. Other more decadent meal options range from bone-in lamb over a bed of asparagus to seafood dishes. Don't forget to order a cocktail or glass of wine as well, since Cantine's list of libations is as impressive as the creative Italian cuisine.

Cantine Italian Cafe and Bar
1100 S. Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704

Touch as Much as You Want at the Umlaf Sculpture Garden and Museum

If the “be quiet, no touching” rules at a typical museum make you tense, then the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is for you. The bronze sculptures that dot the xeriscape garden are coated with a special wax that makes touching perfectly okay — in fact, visitors are encouraged to experience the works of art with their hands as well as their eyes.

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum opened in 1991 to showcase the art of Charles Umlauf, an artist and sculptor who made his home in Austin. Umlauf was also a faculty member of the University of Texas’ art school for more than 40 years, so it makes perfect sense that the the garden and museum has an educational component, too — offers classes and workshops centered around sculpture. Yoga and meditation classes are also held here, usually in the garden, if weather permits. Make the one-mile drive from Lamar Union to see everything this place has to offer.

Umlaf Sculpture Garden and Museum
605 Robert E. Lee Road
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 445-5582

Plan B Brunch at Historic Scoot Inn: Mimosas and Barbecue After Hours

Brunch is a beautiful thing, especially if you had a particularly fun night before. It's a time to stave off a hangover with greasy food or, if you had a quiet night, just fuel up for your day. There's only one problem: you have to wake up first. Plan B Brunch at Austin's Historic Scoot Inn takes care of that problem by holding brunch after hours.

From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Sunday night in May, the Historic Scoot Inn hosts a late-night brunch that proves mimosas taste even better after dinner. Unfolding less than 3 miles from your home at Lamar Union, just a quick 10-minute drive, Plan B Brunch is a fun option if you're older than 21 and couldn't drag yourself out of bed earlier in the day. Local musician Flavor Raid will be laying down fast-paced electronic beats while you dance and dig into tacos, barbecue, and burgers provided by the Scoot Inn and popular local food truck Hot Mess. Of course, mimosas will also be flowing freely.

Plan B Brunch
Historic Scoot Inn
10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays through May 31
1308 E. 4th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 394-5486

Go on a Self-Guided Tour of Artists’ Studios This Weekend in Austin!

Have you ever wondered about an artist’s creative process? This weekend and next weekend, May 9-10 and 16-17, you’ll get a chance to visit artists’ studios, see their works in progress, and learn about how they approach their projects through the West Austin Studio Tour.

During this free, self-guided tour, artists will host open houses at their creative spaces and allow the public to get a peek at where the magic happens. And since Lamar Union is just a few minutes from the boundaries of the tour, it would make for a convenient and fun thing to do!

One of the highlights of the West Austin Studio Tour is West Group Exhibition located at 3300 N. Interstate 35, which features the work of nearly 200 artists who are taking part in the tour. Essentially, it’s a way to preview art that you can then delve into deeper by visiting the artist’s studio. Breakfast will be served at the West Group Exhibition from 9:30-11 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, which is a great way to kick off a day of going from studio to studio. Visit the tour’s website for a studio guide and map.

West Austin Studio Tour
Various locations, May 9-10 and 16-17
West Group Exhibition
3300 N. Interstate 35
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 939-6665

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