Interactive art gallery Wonderspaces opens in Austin and 3 other events to check out

Wonderspaces Austin
Interactive art gallery Wonderspaces opened in northeast Austin in June and has open spots for safe, socially distanced gallery tours. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Interactive art gallery Wonderspaces opened in northeast Austin in June and has open spots for safe, socially distanced gallery tours. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

From the annual South By Southwest Conference & Festivals to independent music shows, events across the city of Austin have been postponed or canceled altogether in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some executive orders from Gov. Greg Abbott have allowed certain businesses to reopen and host visitors. Here is a list of events to safely check out in the coming weeks in and around Austin.

Wonderspaces Austin

Wonderspaces is an interactive art gallery that opened in northeast Austin in June. The gallery currently features a dozen installations from contemporary artists.

Installations at Wonderspaces use light, sound, space, virtual reality and other mixed mediums to create experiences for guests. Visitors at the gallery are encouraged to engage and interact with installations, which include pieces from international artists Reed van Brunschot and Memo Akten.

Wed.-Thu. 12-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. $15-$24. 205 Sheldon Cove, Ste. 2-A, Austin.

Bull Creek and Barton Creek greenbelts reopen

On Aug. 8, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department will reopen the Bull Creek and Barton Creek greenbelts to the public again. The greenbelts have been closed since the July 4 weekend.

Free reservations for Barton Creek trail access will be required Thursday-Sunday when it reopens. The city is starting a capacity management pilot program that is expected to last approximately five months, according to the parks department. Reservations for greenbelt use can be made online, or visitors can leave a voicemail at 512-974-6797.

Available times vary. Free. Passes are available at multiple trailheads for greenbelts.

Austin’s Birthday Bash

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation is hosting the third annual Austin’s Birthday Bash on Aug. 15. The annual celebration, which is usually hosted at Republic Square in downtown Austin, is being held online this year with a live concert from four local musicians.

Attendees are invited to record birthday wishes for the city of Austin, which will mark its 181st anniversary. Arranged party kits from Toy Joy and picnic baskets from Salt & Time are available for purchase for the event.

Aug. 15, 6-8 p.m. Free to attend.

Shop during the state sales tax holiday

Even as shops limit customer capacity to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the state of Texas will hold its state sales tax holiday Aug. 7-9. Clothing, footwear, school supplies and other items will be sold sales tax free during the three-day holiday, as outlined by Texas state law, according to a July 23 news release.

Online shopping is included in this holiday, state Comptroller Glenn Hegar said in the July 23 release, so customers are encouraged to shop online to maintain social distancing in retail locations.

Aug. 7-9. For more information, please visit the Texas comptroller of public accounts website.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.