7 Things to do in Austin: Labor Day Weekend

Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 10:21am.

By Cali Bock This week families and the school bus will rev up for the start of the new fall semester. Students and parents alike fear the alarm clocks, however this upcoming Labor Day weekend grants us our last sunrays of reprieve before everyone buckles down to begin the grind and school-night routines. Austin rarely has a meager lineup of events, and this Labor Day weekend is stacked – literally-with Legos, free citywide yoga, farmers’ markets and of course music.

1. Lego Kid’s Fest

From Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, the Austin Convention Center will host Lego Kid’s Fest, a floor plan filled with building challenges, trivia, games and even a ‘Big Brick Pile’ where kids and families are untethered to create what they may from a mound of loose Legos. Master builders, Lego-stacking legends that are ‘paid to play’, will also be roaming the floor to teach workshops and to expand the minds and designs of the participants.

Labor Day Weekend Dates & Sessions:

Friday, August 31 4 pm - 8:30 pm Saturday, September 1 Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm Sunday, September 2 Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm Note: Regardless of the time slot, the site states that each session hosts the same exhibits and activities. Update: As of Aug. 28 the tickets for Saturday, session 1 are sold out.

Above: The local group The Sour Bridges took the state on Aug. 26 at Hope Farmers Market, photo by Cali Bock

2. Hope Farmers Market

Every Sunday starting at 11a.m., Pine Street Station in East Austin stirs with a local buzz. Austin’s own farms and ranches, artisans and nonprofits gather on the corner of East 5th and Waller Street to sell their wares and to educate the city about a healthy, whole lifestyle. Keeping with the local theme, Austin-area bluegrass and folk bands also take the stage as shoppers clap and foot tap along the rowed tent aisles. Current stage favorites include: Whiskey Shivers Sour Bridges The Carper Family Horse Opera

Johnson's Backyard Garden

Above: Shoppers wait to pay for their locally-sourced produce from Austin’s own Johnson’s Backyard Garden

3. McKinney Falls

Labor Day normally equates to battening down the car and escaping to some source of water and nature. If you don’t want to venture too far from Austin-yet enough distance to leave the clamor of I-35 and Mopac behind-McKinney Falls is your hiking, swimming and general outdoor destination. The park offers: - Camping - Hiking - Mountain biking - Road biking - Picnicking - Fishing - Wildlife observation - Swimming Note: Swimming is allowed in Onion Creek. As of Aug. 27, a park official reported that water is still flowing over the falls in that designated area.

Park Attractions

Thomas F. McKinney- Frontiersman, entrepreneur, Sam Houston supporter and rancher. Thomas McKinney was a colorful and hardy rancher from Kentucky who's company- McKinney & Williams - supplied Texas in the Revolution from 1835 to 1836. McKinney Falls State Park is a portion of his original 40,000- acre tract. The remains of his original house still stand- nod, photographers- on park land. Old Baldy- This is one of the oldest bald cypress trees on public land. The tree is over 100 feet tall, and Baldy's estimated to be over 500 years old.

4. Lady Bird Lake Exhibit

In the state of Texas, Governor Rick Perry has officially dubbed 2012 as the Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Year. Austin will celebrate and open its own commemoration, “Lady Bird’s Lake” at the McDermott Learning Center at the Wildflower Center from Sept. 1 to Dec. 2 of this year. The exhibition will feature photos and mementos from Lady Bird’s beautification of Town Lake including those by Jen Ohlson and Brenda Lindfors from the book “Every Town Needs a Trail”. Related art will also be on display by Margie Crisp and Diana Grammer.

5. House Wine

Above: House Wine patrons sip on Cava and munch on local artisan cheese plates on the restaurant's front patio

House Wine, a cozy yet vivacious local spot, (located behind P. Terry’s at the corner of Barton Springs and South Lamar) welcomes all visitors and natives with a mantra that dubs the bar, “As unpretentious and inclusive as Austin itself.” Every Monday the South Austin bar offers a selection of 10 bottled wines for $20 each (just ask to see the list).  The menuincludes local artisan cheese plates, gourmet empanadas, olive spreads and desserts. Besides wine and champagne, Austin-brewed beers are also supported and sold by House Wine. As you sip you’re also encouraged to browse the art that hangs on the walls once again, all sourced locally.

6. Austin’s Free Day of Yoga

Since 1999, Austin has spearheaded the Free Day of Yoga movement, where the practice is offered cost-free to patrons at participating studios and parks across the city. The core of the movement is to encourage you to try different styles, teachers and venues. Participating studios for the Free Day of Yoga 2012 currently include: Be Yoga Yoga Yoga BeneFIT Bikram Yoga Yoga RX Dharma Yoga BFree Yoga Austin Eastside Yoga Quiet Austin Pure Bikram Yoga Satyanada Yoga Center Castle Hill Yoga SOCO Yoga Breath & Body Yoga Kula Yoga Center Sunstone Yoga Blue Skies Therapy The Little Yoga House Yoga for You Austin bea LOVE Del Sol Yoga Sense


Opening Festival

If you can't get enough yoga in your life, Whole Foods is hosting Austin's Free Day of Yoga opening festival on its Pavilion downtown. On Sept. 2 from 9a.m. to noon, enthusiasts and rookies are welcome to visit with local vendors such as Luna, Zico, Sunstone Yoga and more, and you're also encouraged to check out the various classes with attending instructors.Sunshine Fest Lineup

Above: The lineup for Austin's Sunshine Fest, Labor Day Weekend 2012 photo courtesy of Austin Sunshine Fest

7. Austin Sunshine Festival

What’s better than listening to one of Austin’s local bands? Well on Aug. 31 at The Mohawk downtown, you can experience eight groups of local talent at the Austin Sunshine Festival. This second annual fundraiser will donate concert proceeds to help mitigate building costs for the Austin Sunshine Camps, a program that allows impoverished and underprivileged children to experience summer camp. The money raised also funnels to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, a low-cost primary healthcare service that provides dental, audiology and mental health counseling to the uninsured musicians in our area.

The Local Lineup, Tickets $12

Click the links below to view the band's profile -Learning Secrets -Tje Austin -Neiliyo -Hundred Visions -La Guerrilla -Shivery Shakes -TV Torso (Headliner) -Kay Leotard (Inside the bar after midnight) Note: Thus far, $3.002 million out of $3.5 million has been raised for the Sunshine Camp’s Capital Campaign, an effort to rebuild and expand the weathered campus at Zilker Park. When construction is completed in 2014 an additional 40 kids will experience summer camp, bringing the total capacity to 180 girls and boys.

You may also be interested in…

If you’re in the mood for music, you may also be interested in Bob Schneider's Labor Day Bash with Black Pistol Fire. On Sunday, Sept. 2, Schneider – and his famous husky voice- will take the stage at The Nutty Brown Café.  To nab guaranteed seating, patrons must pay $50 for a 4-person VIP table. General admission is $15, and you’re allowed to bring small folding chairs. Click here to get your tickets.

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