Category Archives: In Your Free Time

Texas Road Trips

Texas Beach (Corey Leopold CC 2.0)

Summer is just around the corner for most Austinites.  Many of us can’t wait to put on our swimsuit, take off of work, and get ready for a fabulous vacation.  Well this year some might not be able to afford a trip to a Florida beach or a Caribbean cruise.  Very often Texans overlook the great number of things we have to do in our own lone star state.  After all Texas is huge.  Rhode Island would fit into Texas over 212 times, so we must have something worth seeing here!

I have created a list of some of my favorite sites to see around Texas.  Find a good map and some good company and set out for a road trip across the state.  The drive in itself can be fun.

  • You don’t have to miss out on the beach vacation!  Texas beaches have a great coastal vibe and many places to stay.  Some of the most common destinations for Texas beachgoers are Galveston and Padre Island.  My personal favorite Texas beach is in Port Aransas.  It has a small town feel with a great beach.  My favorite resort in the area is the Port Royal. It has great beach access and three fabulous pools.
  • Big Bend National Park is a historic place to take your family this summer.  With the beautiful views and serene landscapes you can experience nature close to home.  The park borders both the US and Mexico so you can get a taste of both cultures in one trip.  More information on visiting Big Bend can be found here.  The Texas ghost town of Terlingua is a fun stop while you are in the area as well. Continue reading
Advertisements

Disc Golf…more free exercise!

Ok, I know the previous post discusses something similar to disc golf, but the two are different!  And they are both cheap ways to have fun while getting fit.  Therefore, it is important to highlight them both!

So what exactly is disc golf?

“Disc golf is a disc game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target.”

And, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association:

“The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc.”

The discs are super cheap (about $7) and if you just head over to Pease District Park (24th and Lamar area) you can play for free! That’s right!  I could not believe it either!  You get to play 18 holes of disc golf for absolutely nothing.  What an excellent way to spend these beautiful spring days with friends!

Post by Kristin White

Ultimate Frisbee

Step 1: Get  a Frisbee. Step 2: Play with Frisbee.

So from watching the boys in the courtyard play Ultimate every week, it has kinda made me realize all the different aspects of it. It isn’t just throwing a Frisbee, hoping someone on your team will catch it. There is a lot skill involved. The best part about it, is that it is a cheap way to have a good time with friends. Besides the courtyard in the Honors residence halls, I have seen people play on Main Mall/South Mall. There is even Intramural Ultimate Frisbee.

Here is  a look at what goes on in the courtyard, every Thursday night!

by Meera Rajagopalan

Austin Wine Festival 2k9!

Photo courtesy of Yashima via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution license

Photo courtesy of Yashima via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution license

I know what you’re thinking.  Austin Wine Festival.  Sounds expensive.  But wait!  Don’t judge a post by its title!

This festival is actually very inexpensive for the deal you are getting!

“Imagine an entire grassy acre of music, food, fun and vino bliss.”

The 3rd annual Austin Wine Festival is a three day event May 23-25 held at The Domain in North Austin.  The fesival features wine from over 30 local Texas Wineries only, as well as music, seminars and food!  Also, this is the only festival in Texas where you are able to purchase whichever wine you like best right then and there!  And to show you this festival is the real deal…over 6,500 were in attendance last year!

And it gets better.  All event proceeds benefit the Austin Farmers’ Market.  What better way to support locally while enjoying tons of local wine, music and food!

So now, on to prices.  An adult 1-day pass is only $20 and will get you admission into the festival along with a “10-tab Wine Sampler wrist band for wine sampling.”  You can use the 10 tabs for 10 wine tastings from any of the participating wineries or the tabs can be used for full glasses, which cost you 5 tabs.  Additional tastes are just $1 and wine by the glass is just $5.  Sounds like a good deal to me!

P.S.  For an exclusive wine festival experience pay an extra $5 to become a member of the Vintner Club.  Read more about what this means here!

Post by Kristin White

The Big Pink Building in the Middle of the Downtown

Photo by DGilder via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Photo by DGilder via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

While South Congress has become the uber-trendy part of the street,  drive north a few blocks you can’t help but miss the huge Renaissance Revival building otherwise known as the Texas State Capitol, a downtown Austin landmark since 1888. While everyone knows it is the seat of the Texas’ government, legislature and politics, few know about what the Capitol has to offer citizens. There are daily free tours of the largest capitol building in the country. The tours include information about the architecture, building history and some state history as well (for those of us who are little rusty from that junior high class). The tours run seven days a week, with a very open schedule. The tours will allow you to experience several informational exhibits with information about the secret places in the Capitol and the architectural details of its famous dome. If you are lucky, a visit to the Capitol might even get you a meal. People looking to wine and dine legislatures give free incentive food that the even the interns take part in. So if you can pass for an intern (or a senator) step in line!

Posted by Jill Harris

Motivate Yourself for Free!

Mother's inspiration. Photo by Gold41, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

Mother's inspiration. Photo by Gold41, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

I know that cheesy motivational speakers can work wonders in their own stead. But you don’t have chant a juvenile acronym to make you feel like you need to make some significant changes in your life. All you need is a little nudge and some good advice. Here is some free (and useful!) advice for certain specific topics.

  • BiGAUSTIN is a non-profit organization in Central Texas for promoting entrepreneurial education, providing business counseling specific to you as well as flexible loans. They micro-lend to small start-ups and have an annual business competition for people with a sustainable idea that could thrive in the region. Check out the winners of the 2009 BiG Idea Business Competition. BiGAUSTIN has free workshops and classes in Borrowing Basics and Start-Ups on a regular basis. Their next free session is on Friday, May 1. Details about the event are here. Directions from UT campus here.

More after the jump!

Continue reading

Dancing With the Stars!

In Flight Entertainment, Austin Dancer, Photo by loudtiger, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

In Flight Entertainment, Austin Dancer, Photo by loudtiger, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

No, I don’t mean the stars from the hit tv series but you, yes, you sitting and reading this post right now! Dancing is a wonderful art, a great way to meet new people and learn a little more about other cultures. Here is the best part: Austin has a whole bunch of cheap, even free, ways to get your groove on!

Austin Uptown Dancing has a free workshop on April 30th in two step, swing and salsa. No partners are necessary. A Jack and Jill competition on April 26th for dance partners who want to challenge their lead and follow skills is a great opportunity for people who already have some dancing experience. Entry fee is only $2 per person. Check out other upcoming events at Uptown here.  Their weekly events include lots of workshops and classes and almost all of them are no more than $6-7! Here are maps to their North and South locations.

Austin Swing Syndicate is a great resource for swing lovers. It is a non-profit community of dancers and they promote swing, lindy and hip hop dancing in Austin. I personally think swing dance is the most fun for groups and couples because it is simple and the music is upbeat and cheerful. It is a great beginners dance too. With an annual membership of only $25 with the Syndicate, you can get free classes every Thursday. Their events have entry fees of only $2-5. See their calender here. Also, see some reviews about it at Yelp.

Continue reading