Plummeting into a hurricane’s eye. Tunneling through San Andreas’s interior. Zipping in and out of colliding galaxies. At Mayborn Science Theater, these sorts of adventures are par for the course. Here, wonders of the natural world beam onto a 60-foot digital screen that wraps around an entire 180-seat theater, creating immersive educational experiences. Screened during weekends and weekday matinees, science-minded shows focus on diverse, family-friendly topics such as stars and tropical reefs. Its laser light shows, on the other hand, eschew education for spectacle, dazzling audiences with 3D graphics and 15,000 watts of digital sound.
Outside the dome, Mayborn continues educating visitors at its gallery. Amidst rotating displays on subjects such as rocks and minerals, the Vice Space station showcases Hubble photographs and shares updates from the Mars rover. The exhibit’s recent acquisitions even include tiles from actual space shuttles, as well as tiles from actual Mahjong games played by astronauts sitting in NASA waiting rooms.
Kenneth Threadgill stood in line all night to be the first person in Travis County to get a beer license. It was 1933, and the bootlegger and country-music connoisseur had plans to evolve his filling station into something bigger—though even Threadgill probably couldn't have anticipated how big it would become.
It started with touring musicians stopping in for drinks after their shows. By the ’60s, Janis Joplin was on stage, polishing her unpolished sound for crowds from all walks of life. The evolution continued, with Threadgill's hosting artists from Jerry Lee Lewis to Captain Beefheart and expanding into a Southern-style restaurant where the love of music ironed out disagreements and engendered an atmosphere of tolerance.
Today, the original location on North Lamar harks back to Threadgill's beginnings, with current owner Eddie Wilson decking the place out with decor that evokes the Austin of the 1930s to the 1960s, including vintage signs that say, “I can’t wait for the internet to be invented.” The second location on West Riverside celebrates the 1970s music scene that thrived at the Armadillo—Wilson's former establishment at that location. At both venues, chefs churn out classic Southern food, such as chicken-fried steak and fried green tomatoes, while frequent live music entertains guests.
In what was once a generic roadside warehouse, Patsy's Cowgirl Cafe now brims with inviting, kitschy personality. Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton, the entrepreneurs behind comedy hotspot Esther's Follies, decorated the ceiling with tumbleweeds and tree branches and built a bar inlaid with mosaic tilework. There's a stage for live music or tomato-throwing duels, behind which a mural depicts a cowgirl on horseback rearing up against the sunset. In the words of Austin Chronicle writer Virginia B. Wood, "Patsy's has great style and personality, the drinks are good, and the eclectic selection of local music is free."
The food is another popular reason to visit. Chefs prepare Texas staples such as hand-breaded chicken-fried steak with cracked-pepper gravy, and they also put their own spin on the classics with dishes such as chicken-fried portobello mushrooms in vegetarian cilantro-cream sauce. There's also a roster of burgers and veggie burgers named after local celebrities, and libations such as the mexican martini with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and olive juice.
A team of passionate instructors fosters a community of health- and wellness-conscious patrons brought together by Bodhi Yoga's classes, spa treatments, and a boutique stocked with items to help integrate healthy-living practices into daily routines. Yoga sessions range in difficulty and style, including vigorous Vinyasa- and hot-yoga classes, to accommodate downward-facing dogs of all skill levels and breeds. Patrons looking to enhance a wellness-focused lifestyle may pay a visit to the facility's resident holistic healers, who perform massage body work, acupuncture, cosmetic laser teeth whitening, and skincare services.
ColdTowne Theater is Austin's main stage for alternative comedy. We currently run shows Thursday through Monday, featuring the funniest comedians in Central Texas. We also run a conservatory offering the most fun improv and sketch comedy classes Austin has to offer.
Today’s Groupon offers an upgrade from your biography audio books. For $25, you’ll hear legendary lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s candid confessions at The Long Center on Thursday, November 12; the Austin Chronicle’s Robert Faires will prompt the esteemed composer to reflect on his career, collaborations, and creative process during the 8 p.m. event.