Oh, thank all that's holy this holiday: It's finally cold enough outside to feel like winter in Texas. While some may be suffering from sniffling, the rest of us are celebrating the opportunities to bust out our wool coats and scarves. Everyone looks so fun all bundled up, and — let's be honest — most of us just look better with more layers.
Well, just because the weather is getting (Texas' version of) frightful, it doesn't mean there aren't just as many delightful events happening to make the season bright. So strap on your leather coat and let's get to wassailing, y'all.
This weekend, both The W Austin and The Driskill Hotel are celebrating their anniversaries, and you're invited to come party with them. Friday, the W Hotel kicks off its 12/9 Celebration, where pricing on food, drinks, even hotel packages will configure into some semblemence of 1s, 2s and 9s. At Friday's kick-off party, cocktails and appetizers will only be $1.29 before the all night dance party in the Living Room. For the rest of the month, TRACE will have $12.99 meals, AWAY Spa will have $129.00 mani/pedi/facial combos, and holiday room/dinner packages begin at $229.00.
Over at the Driskill Hotel, the two most adorable days of the 12 Days of Driskill deliver exciting programming that have become traditions for several Austin families. On Saturday morning, bring the kids to have Breakfast with Santa, including a delicious kid-friendly menu, a holiday puppet show and an appearance by the big bearded guy himself. Then on Sunday, you're encouraged to bring your cutest four-legged friends to the second floor mezzanine for the annual Pawliday Party. Lofty Dog joins the Driskill in celebrating the finest holiday fashions for your canine as they take to the green carpet.
But there are still more places to show your love for the animals at this weekend's other puppy parties. Saturday afternoon, the Pug Rescue of Austin is hosting their annual Pugs N' Kisses Party at Austin Canine Central. This is the perfect party if you've already got one of these lovable grunters or if you've considered making one a part of your forever family. Then that evening at the Downtown Hilton, the Austin Humane Society hosts the Rags to Wags Fundraiser to raise money to continue the work the AHS does for thousands of homeless animals each year.
If you can't get enough of funny-faced puppets being adorable, Gnap! Theater Productions and the Puppet Improv Project have developed a friendly and festive improvised puppet show cleverly called Elf Employment that will whisk you away to the North Pole (aka Salvage Vanguard Theatre). Not even the cast knows what's in store for the elves in Santa's Workshop, but they do know who will be the special guests playing Santa Claus each night: on Friday, it's singer Akina Adderley, and on Saturday, it's foley artist Buzz Moran.
If you prefer your puppets more sophisticated, the award-winning Trouble Puppet Theater presents their latest offerings of dark, imaginative puppeteering right after Elf Employment. The Trouble Puppet Incident is a collection of short works showcasing the company's creativity in the use of marionettes, handheld and tabletop puppets. If you've never seen one of their amazing shows before, it's time you see what the fuss is all about.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has been decorated with more than 3,000 luminaries and 5,000 Christmas lights for their beautiful Luminations event on Saturday and Sunday. Walk the lighted pathways of the Center and enjoy live music from local performers and area schools, take photos with Frosty the Snowman, or enjoy sweet treats from the cafe. Just two non-perishable cans of food get you in for free, and all donations go to the Capital Area Food Bank.
Finally, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison will be back on the Paramount Theatre stage for their annual Holiday Show. The Gourds will kick off the festivities with their own spin on the songs you love. Combining Christmas-themed classics with contemporary country interpretations, Willis and Robison's holiday show is the perfect way to get in the spirit of fun and giving.
These are just a few of the exciting things happening around our blessedly frigid town this weekend. Bundle up and keep yourself from getting sick; there's only more fun to come in the next few weeks. Can't have any ill elves in this workshop.