Scattered across the globe like so many building blocks in the playpen of a toddler architect-to-be, Gymboree Play and Music provides wee ones up to five years old with a safe place for enriching, educational play. At more than 500 facilities across 30 countries, grown-ups come along to observe art, music, and sports classes for toddlers up to five years old, as well as their signature Play and Learn sessions.
Serving central Texas for more than 25 years, Bridal Extravaganza simplifies shopping for brides and grooms by collecting more than 200 vendors under one roof. The booths of experienced wedding professionals lure in couples to sample their wares, from planners showing off their color-coded to-do lists to caterers doling out tastes of cakes, dinner dishes, and champagne. Fashion shows give onlookers a taste of the latest dress fashions for brides and bridesmaids and the latest developments in the world of cummerbunds for grooms. By the day's end, lucky ticket holders win prizes for a free wedding gown, bridal pictures, and cash. Each bride who attends the Bridal Extravaganza will receive $500 in free Bridal Bucks to spend on select exhibitors or a fairy godmother.
An old blue trailer has been parked on First Street for days. Instead of arousing suspicion, the aromas of frying pickles, chicken, and smoked beef alert passersby that this trailer is not the site of some crime investigation scene, but rather a place where chefs create delicious comfort fare for the masses. SoCo To Go's kitchen, located inside the trailer, draws inspiration from the people, scenery, and traditions of Austin. Eatery staff, headed by owner Sam Rhodes, pays homage to downright good food with chicken fried chicken, tilapia tacos, and tortilla and chili bowls. After picking up dishes at the trailer's side window, guests can sprawl out at garden picnic tables, where red umbrellas shelter from the sun and hungry skydivers. This same seating area transforms at night into a glowing hangout with holiday lights wrapped around trees and strung above the tables. SoCo To Go's deliverers can bring fare to various locations throughout the city, under the banner of the eatery's confidently smiling mascot, Daisy Mae.
Vulcan Video, located just off of bustling South Congress in Austin, is an absolute haven for movie lovers. The door to this funky video shop is plastered with film artwork and cinematic quotes, while inside, endless rows of foreign, cult and classic films, plus newer releases – of both DVD and VHS variety – fill the store and are available for rent. Some used copies are even available for purchase. Vintage posters and signs hang from the walls above an even deeper selection of tapes and DVDS. Throughout Vulcan Video, various themes and film references are abundant: Frankenstein’s monster’s head and a wispy spider’s web adorn the Horror section. Staff is knowledgeable, light-hearted and fun – and always willing to help a fellow cinephile source their latest rare film obsession.
While standing on the balcony of a hotel in London, Lady Bird Johnson and Ann Butler, the wife of Austin’s mayor, admired the green trail that follows the Thames. The scene inspired them to hatch a plan to beautify their own waterways. Over the next three decades, in partnership with local garden clubs, they planted trees and flowers along the polluted shores of Lady Bird Lake, undoing centuries of damage from the flooding of the Colorado River. Now the trail receives 1.5 million visitors each year and creates an oasis among Austin's skyscrapers and streets. The Trail Foundation implements improvements to the trail’s infrastructure and environment while honoring the vision of its founders. The foundation has built tree groves, landscape lighting, and a bathroom that reduces overall maintenance costs and blends into the natural environment without the use of an invisibility cloak.
Members of car2go enjoy the freedom of transportation that comes with owning a car without the worries of keeping up its maintenance or discovering that it’s a robot in disguise. Participants can reserve a car ahead of time through the company’s website or snag an unreserved vehicle by swiping their membership card past the windshield to unlock it and punching in a PIN to start it up. All fuel, insurance, parking, and maintenance costs are included with each rental, allowing patrons hassle-free travel as they explore downtown or give their pet goldfish a tour of the suburbs. After zipping around town, members park in an open car2go spot and walk away, letting a team of cleaners and technicians take care of the rest.