Winter (if you dared to call it that) is over and spring has officially sprung in Central Texas. This month is not only abuzz with June bugs and blooming flora, but also a slew of festivals, outdoor activities and cultural events.
Hold on to your floppy hats, here are our top 10 picks for April activities in Austin.
Austin Beauty Week
To Austin women (and even some men), the first week in April means big savings in the beauty department. For seven consecutive days, participating local businesses such as Sono Bello, Wet Salon & Studio and Stella & Dot by Whitney Fields, among many others, offer dramatically discounted products and services. How discounted, you might ask? Try a stress fix massage from Hiatus Spa Retreat (regularly $109) for only $69 or 50 percent off Makeup Bar looks from Adore Makeup Boutique + Salon.
Boots, Burgers & Beers
April 4, 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate the April issue of Austin Monthly with a sampling of some of the best burgers in town. The event features meaty selections from the local joints Your Mom’s, The Peached Tortilla, East Side Showroom and Blue Star Cafeteria, as well as seasonal beer from Shiner Bock. For the more daring (and strong-stomached) burger-beer enthusiasts, there will also be a mechanical bull onsite. Local “celebrities” will judge the burgers while guests indulge in diversions from the Billiard Factory and The Traveling Photo Booth. To purchase tickets, visit the Boots, Burgers & Beer Eventbrite page.
April 4, 8 p.m.
If you like ‘The Daily Show,’ Comedy Central, and laughing, chances are you love — or will soon love — Demetri Martin. The comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer and humorist (phew!) is currently on tour in support of his second comedy album and returns to Austin on April 4 with a stage performance at the Scottish Rite Theater.
April 6, 11 a.m.
Veg-heads: pry yourself away from that wicked, homemade compost pile and get thee to the second annual Texas VegFest! This family-friendly event features live music, vendors, and, of course, plant-based foods, with a special focus on health, the environment and compassionate living.
April 6, 10 p.m.
Scream, cry and croon your way through over 600 punk and indie classics with the April installment of Karaoke Underground. Seriously, you name it — anything from Cat Power to Guided By Voices and Black Flag — and they’ve got it. This month’s hootenanny returns to the Nomad Bar with video karaoke and the requisite selection of drafts, liquor, wine and food.
Austin Restaurant Week
April 7-10; April 14-17
Although Restaurant Week in Austin may be a far cry from that of similar events in New York or LA, the premise is all the same: some of the city’s top restaurants offer pre-fixe menus at a discounted price. Some of this year’s participating restaurants include Uchi, Uchiko, Olive & June, Salty Sow and Swifts Attic, among a selection of over 35 other local dining hotspots.
CultureMap Tastemaker Awards
April 11, 6:30 p.m.
Austin’s Daily Digital Magazine is a local arbiter of gastronomy, which just happens to be the focus of the 2013 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards. Guests will enjoy a sampling of complimentary bites and specialty cocktails in the company of the city’s best chefs and mixologists, in an event benefiting the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. At the end evening, the Tastemaker Awards ceremony will honor Austin’s best restaurant, chef, pastry chef, sommelier or beverage director, brewery and craft bartender.
KLBJ Dog Day Afternoon
April 13, 12 p.m.
There are few pleasures greater in this world than watching a gaggle of dachshunds race across a lawn. That is, besides watching a group of Chihuahuas do the same thing. Spectators at the annual KLBJ Dog Day Afternoon will delight in both, as well as a slew of kids' activities, dog-related vendors and animal rescue groups. Admission is free and friendly dogs on leashes are welcome.
April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Cindy St. John and Dan Boehl, hosts of the local literary series Fun Party, return to Tiny Park Gallery this month with a reading featuring the visiting poets Adam Clay, Ada Limón and Michael Robins. The series, which employs literature, art and film mediums, focuses on writers associated with small, independent press publishing. Readings such as Fun Party, along with the recent return of American Short Fiction, have helped to establish Austin as a new bastion for independent authors and artists.
Austin Food & Wine Festival
For two days in late April, foodies will descend on our fair city to indulge in the annual epicurean adventure that is the Austin Food & Wine Festival. Top chef talent, sommeliers and winemakers converge with Austin's emerging gourmet scene for cooking demos, wine and cocktail seminars, tasting lounges and pavilions, and, of course, all out noshing.