‘Tis the season for merriment and celebration, and this is the perfect time to get into the spirit with a holiday themed weekend full of Austin flair. Whether you want to bundle up for a downtown holiday stroll, get a head start on holiday shopping, or support some local initiatives, we’ve got you covered. Here are CultureMap’s picks for the best bets in town this weekend.
On Friday night, The Blanton kicks off the holiday season with a Great Gatsby-themed B Scene party. Don your best winter attire (or that Roaring 1920s ensemble tucked away in your closet) and lose yourself in an evening of live jazz music. Sip champagne and dance to the sounds of White Ghost Shivers in the exquisite setting of one of Austin’s premier museums. The event starts at 6 p.m.; tickets are $12 for the general public, and only $5 for Blanton members.
Thanks to Tapestry Dance Company, April comes more than once a year. The professional tap company is presenting an encore of its award-winning performance, April Fools, at the Long Center all weekend. The show features an all-star cast and a rhythmic experience set to the live music of Datri Bean and The Butter Bean Band. Performances take place from November 30 through December 2. Proceeds benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
Thanksgiving is behind us, but Eat Drink Local Week is your best excuse for overindulgence on local fare this week. And if you join in on the Urban Bike Tour Saturday morning, you can indulge without worrying about your waistline. The family-friendly bike tour kicks off Saturday morning (9 a.m. at the Triangle, 10 a.m. at the SFC Downtown Farmers’ Market) and includes stops at local farms and community gardens where you can check out goods and taste chef-prepared bites. The full tour is 20 miles, but you can shorten it if needed. All proceeds benefit Urban Roots and the Sustainable Food Center.
Little will get you into the holiday spirit better than an old-fashioned tree lighting and Christmas carol sing-along. On Saturday evening, gather on the steps of the Capitol at 6 p.m. with friends, neighbors, and the one-and-only John Aielli for KUT’s annual holiday sing-along. After the singing commences, the 40-foot Capitol tree will be lit, and general merriment will ensue. Couple this evening with some hot chocolate and strolling the Congress Avenue corridor.
Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, which is open daily through December 24. The annual Austin event features the work of over 130 artists and craftsmen, all under one roof at Marchesa Hall. Prepare to spend some time exploring the handmade goods — from paintings and ceramics to clothing and photography. We bet you’ll find plenty gift-giving options (and probably a few things you can’t live without).
Inspired by the true story of two male Chinstrap Penguins named Roy and Silo that incubated and raised a hatchling at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, “And Then Came Tango” is an original play from UT graduate student, Emily Freeman. The play, which caused a stir earlier this year among AISD directors, received an honorable mention in The Chronicle’s Top Ten of 2011. Performances, free and open to the public, run through Sunday, December 2 at Oscar G. Brockett Theatre.