So this is Christmas: More than you'd expect happening this weekend
Sure, it's Christmas on Sunday, and you might be busy with eating and celebrating and opening presents. But what do you do the rest of the weekend? And what if you don't do the Christmas thing at all?
Luckily, we're keeping track of all the fun still happening in our lively little city each and every day. And with the city quieter than study week at UT, it's likely you can get in to every restaurant, bar and club you'd like. Why, the city is like your holiday oyster.
Go and find a friend, take care of the good folks who are working this weekend, and decide what the weekend means to you.
Friday night, there's a double feature at the Blue Starlite Mini-Urban Drive-In with two of our favorite animated holiday films. Make sure to bring your Snuggies and cuddle up in your car for the super traditional A Charlie Brown Christmas and Tim Burton's alternative holiday feature, A Nightmare Before Christmas. This is the perfect way to show your out of town guests how quaint our little city can be.
Might we also suggest driving through the 37th Street neighborhood known as Christmas Alley? Each year, this collection of homes near campus has prided itself on tremendous holiday light displays. You might need to park the car and walk through this winter wonderland, but it's absolutely worth it. There are plenty of nearby coffeeshops to grab some hot chocolate or mulled cider to keep you toasty warm.
Saturday, everyone is invited to the Lucky Lounge for one of the biggest Christmas Eve parties downtown: the 2011 Mazel Ball. Realizing there are plenty of folks in town who don't celebrate Christmas, this is an excellent time to score some great parking and avoid the crowds that normally make Friday night downtown a pain. Without obligations the next day, I'd say they got it all figured out.
There is also a huge live music hootnanny happening at Saxon Pub on Saturday night. The Christmas Eve Party will be a combination of holiday classics and contemporary country songs from the very talented Miss Lavelle White, The Kings of Cowtown, Reed Turner, Dustin Welch, Casper Rawls and more. It's a pretty stellar line-up that locals and visitors will equally appreciate.
If you are looking for Christmas Day meal plans, the best brunch in town happens at The Driskill Hotel. Rounding down their 12 Days of Driskill celebration, this buffet is called "legendary" for a reason. With pastries from Chef Tony Sansalone and an amazing spread by Executive Chef Jonathan Gelman, you can stuff yourself silly in the middle of the hotel's elaborately decorated lobby.
This weekend is also the perfect time to check out ZACH's production of The Santaland Diaries. This new Austin tradition attained that status through the perfect collision of David Sedaris' droll storytelling of a bitter Christmas elf working at Macy's and the talent of ZACH veteran Martin Burke. There is even a production on Christmas day, so this is a smart alternative to catching whatever Hollywood blockbuster is playing at the megaplex.
If you must go to the movies, you should check out the Alamo's High for the Holidays feature: Enter the Void. This trippy drama is a lot more heavy than merry, so it might be what you're in the mood for if Santa and his reindeer aren't your thing. The tale of a persistent ghost learning how to navigate the afterlife, it's a film that stayed with SXSW audiences long after the initial screenings.
Like we said, there's plenty to do this weekend whether you're entertaining out-of-towners, enjoying the break or just pushing through. Go and find a friend, take care of the good folks who are working this weekend, and decide what the weekend means to you.
Be safe, stay warm, and we'll see you on the other side, when we start making plans for the New Year! Happy Holidays!