Free Week, Souper Bowl of Caring and 5 other things to do in Central Austin this weekend, Jan. 5-7

Austin Free Week began Jan. 1.

Austin Free Week began Jan. 1.

Now that it's warming up, Central Austin is returning to the oasis that we know and love. Here are some activities—both indoors and outdoors, depending on your cold weather tolerance—happening this weekend.

Monday, Jan. 1-Monday, Jan. 8
Austin Free Week kicks off the year
To get music fans into venues across the city during one of the slowest weeks of the year, owners and organizers devised Austin Free Week. Venues including Mohawk, Stubb's Bar-B-Q and Cheer Up Charlies wave their cover charges and pack their schedules full of local musicians and bands. Showtimes vary. Free. Locations vary.

Friday, Jan. 5
Central Texas Food Bank looks ahead to Super Bowl Sunday
In anticipation of the big game, the food bank hosts its annual Souper Bowl of Caring, part of a nationwide campaign that rallies food and monetary donations to help end hunger locally. The kickoff event launches a weeklong food drive. 6 a.m. 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin. 512-282-2111.

Saturday, Jan. 6
Hot Chocolate Run offers fitness and indulgence
Run, skip, walk or stroll this 3-mile loop that crosses Lady Bird Lake, passes the Willie Nelson statue and ends by the Austin American-Statesman building. 8 a.m. Free. Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center hosts a Children's Book Fair
Meet Peter Rabbit, enjoy story time and discover new favorites to take home at this outdoor event. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with regular admission ($10 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-17, free for members and children age 4 and younger). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin. 512-232-0100.

Cornell University Chorus performs with Austin Girls' Choir
Austin is the first stop on the renowned treble choir's Gulf Coast tour. The program focuses on themes of solitude and community. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $20. St. Austin Catholic Parish, 2026 Guadalupe St., Austin.

Sunday, Jan. 7
Group meditation offers chance to recharge for the year ahead
Wellness center Wellful organized this 45-minute guided meditation to help Austinites set intentions for 2018. All experience levels are welcome, and attendees are expected to RSVP in advance. 10:30-11:30 am. Donation based. 2503 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin. 512-931-4521.

WeatherFest turns 17
The American Meteorological Society hosts its 17th annual event, which takes a cool look at weather, water and climate. Noon-4 p.m. Free. Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin. 830-310-3159.


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Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

The 28-story tower is expected to open on West 17th Street in 2023. (Rendering courtesy Rhode Partners)
Luxury mixed-use tower The Linden breaks ground north of Capitol in Central Austin

The 28-story high-rise will feature dozens of luxury residences, including a selection of two-story penthouses.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission considered a finalized draft of an updated map for Austin's 10 City Council districts Sept. 15. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Volunteer city redistricting commissioners have unanimously passed an initial outline to update all 10 City Council districts set to go into effect next year.

Photo of a sign in a field
3 weeks before first weekend, ACL Music Festival awaits permit, final health and safety procedures

Austin City Limits Music Festival has not yet received a permit for its multiweekend music festival, but the city of Austin said this is a normal timeline.

The Austin Transit Partnership approved a $312.8 million budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Project Connect’s $312.8M budget receives approval for FY 2021-22

The budget will largely be spent on advancing the 30% designs for the Orange and Blue MetroRail lines.

The Davis/White Park trail will be improved through the Neighborhood Partnering Program. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
City of Austin selects 4 neighborhood improvement projects to assist

The Austin Public Works department has helped complete more than 70 local neighborhood improvement projects in the last 10 years.

200 Academy Drive could be redeveloped to bring live music and housing to a South River City neighborhood. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
South River City's historic Austin Opera House property targeted for housing development, music venue revival

If approved, the project could bring a 17,500-square-foot concert hall and dozens of homes to a 4.6-acre site off of South Congress Avenue.

The city Music Commission met Sept. 13 to consider final outlines for the Live Music Fund Event Program and Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund 3.0.
Austin moving closer to sending out millions for live music events, musician recovery

Two upcoming city funding opportunities are being designed to support music industry events and provide emergency stabilization for those in the music sector.

Photo of county commissioners and community nonprofit leaders at a press conference
Travis County commits $110 million in federal funding to combat homelessness

The allocation will fund 2,000 supportive housing units.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization said the 10 projects will complement existing priority projects in Central Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Central Texas transportation organization advances $7 million in funding for 10 priority projects

The group also provided updates on efforts to restructure the loan it extended for the MoPac express lanes.