HAAM Day plays on, Labor Day celebrations and more: 8 events to check out in Austin this September

Pinballz Lake Creek charcuterie board
Pinballz Lake Creek in Northwest Austin is serving its charcuterie board alongside its Japanese whisky tasting this September. (Courtesy Pinballz Arcade)

Pinballz Lake Creek in Northwest Austin is serving its charcuterie board alongside its Japanese whisky tasting this September. (Courtesy Pinballz Arcade)

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 are some upcoming events to safely check out in the coming weeks in and around Northwest Austin.

Sept. 4: Whisky tasting at Pinballz

Northwest Austin entertainment center Pinballz Arcade is continuing its series of whisky tastings with a focus on Japanese whisky. The tastings are led and curated by Pinballz owners Darren and Mikki Spohn.

Participants will taste pours from Japanese whisky distillers Nikka, Hibiki, IWAI and Kaiyo, as well as a charcuterie board from Pinballz’s Whiskey Bar at its Lake Creek location. 7:30-8:30 p.m. $30. Pinballz Lake Creek, 13729 Research Blvd., Austin. 512-537-8737. wwww.pinballzarcade.com


Sept. 5: Labor Day celebration at Scholz Garten

The historic Scholz Garten in Central Austin is hosting a Labor Day celebration with all-day barbecue specials. Local outfit Departure ATX will perform live in the evening at the event. Social distancing measures will be in place throughout the day, and no groups larger than 10 may sit at one table. It is recommended to call ahead for reservations. 12-8 p.m. Free. Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin. 512-474-1958. www.scholzgarten.com

Sept. 6-7: Thinkery reopens for Labor Day

Children’s museum and play center Thinkery is reopening to the general public beginning Sept. 6. In a news release, Thinkery stated it will implement a new “Path to Play” model, which allows groups of 10 to interact with the museum in a sequenced path to maintain social distancing. Three 90-minute sessions will be available each day with a maximum 60 guests in the museum at any point. Times vary. $14. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave., Austin. 512-469-6200. www.thinkeryaustin.org

Sept 12: Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday

The Austin Chamber Music Center is hosting a virtual string quartet performance in celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

The Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet is performing Beethoven’s string quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, Op. 130 on Zoom, which includes a live chat with the audience prior to the concert. 7:30 p.m. $25. 512-454-0026. www.austinchambermusic.org

Sept. 13: Foraging at Vista Brewing

Vista Brewing in Driftwood is holding three plant foraging classes beginning Sept. 13. Dr. Mark Vorderbruggen of Foraging Texas will lead small groups of participants on tours of Vista Brewing’s 21 acres to showcase seasonal wild foods and medicines that can be foraged. The class will also feature lessons on how to use foraged plants in cuisine. 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $25. Vista Brewing, 13551 FM 150, Driftwood. 512-766-1842. www.vistabrewingtx.com

Sept. 15: HAAM Day goes virtual

This year marks the 15th installation of HAAM Day, a day of live music throughout Austin to raise funds for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. The nonprofit provides affordable health care for Austin’s working musicians.

Due to safety precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, HAAM Day is being streamed entirely online this year. Local musicians will perform across all of HAAM’s social media pages to raise funds for the nonprofit group. Times vary. Free. 512-541-4226. www.myhaam.org/haam-day

Sept. 16: Viva México celebration

The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American Cultural Center in downtown Austin on Sept. 16 is hosting a virtual celebration of Mexican culture, freedom and independence. The celebration will feature music and dance performances from local Austin artists streamed live across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. 5-8 p.m. Free. www.vivamexico2020.net

Sept. 19-20: Pecan Street Festival goes online

The 37th annual Pecan Street Festival is being held entirely online this year. Organizers on the festival’s website state the virtual event will allow for more engagement opportunities with vendors and artists. So far, more than 100 vendors have been announced for this year’s Pecan Street Festival. Times vary. Free. www.pecanstreetfestival.org
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.


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