Things to do this Labor Day weekend in the Austin area

Barton Springs Pool is located at 2201 Barton Springs Road, Austin, on the grounds of Zilker Park.

Barton Springs Pool is located at 2201 Barton Springs Road, Austin, on the grounds of Zilker Park.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning your Labor Day weekend:

Be aware of closures

Sept. 5 is an official holiday for the city of Austin and Travis County, and most offices will be closed.

  • Splash pads and larger city of Austin-operated pools, such as the Barton Springs Pool and Bartholomew Pool, will be open, but many smaller neighborhood pools are already closed or closing for the season, according to Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson Shelley Parks. Visit www.austintexas.gov/swimming for each pool’s hours open to the public.

  • Libraries will have regular hours Saturday and Sunday but are closed Monday, spokesperson Kanya Lyons said.

  • Travis County offices are closed Monday with the exception of emergency services and correctional offices. County courts will be closed. Offices for Travis County Emergency Services, including emergency management, medical examiner, fire marshal and STAR Flight departments, are closed, but essential 24/7 services provided by those offices will still be available, according to spokesperson Lisa Block. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office will also be closed on Labor Day, but all essential personnel will be working. Visitation at the jail is not available on Sundays or Mondays, so that facility will operate as usual, according to sheriff’s office spokesperson Kristen Dark.

  • Austin ISD and Austin Community College District will also close Monday.


Plan ahead

Capital Metro bus Capital Metro operates public buses in Austin.[/caption]

On Monday, Capital Metro will operate its Sunday bus schedule and close its offices, according to a news release. Transit travelers can use the online trip planner.

  • There will be no MetroRail, Night Owl, UT Shuttle or E-Bus service.

  • All MetroAccess subscription trips are canceled. MetroAccess customers can call 512-852-7272 to reschedule trips scheduled for Monday.

  • Detours downtown during the Tri Rock Austin Triathlon will take place around Congress Avenue, the Ann Richards Bridge, the South First Street bridge and Cesar Chavez Street. Routes 1-7, 10, 17, 19-22, 30, 37, 100, 801 and 803 will have detours until approximately 2:30 p.m.


Take a hike

A number of trails in the Greater Austin area will remain open and offer hikers nature views, glimpses of wildlife and more.

  • The Barton Creek Greenbelt reopened Aug. 24 following a brief closure due to flooding and debris from heavy rains earlier in the month.

  • In Southwest Austin, the first portion of the Violet Crown Trail, located in Sunset Valley, opened in August 2015. The city anticipates opening bids this fall for construction of the next phase of the Violet Crown Trail, which consists of the section from the Hampton branch library to Slaughter Lane, according to Chad Crager, division manager for the city’s public works department.

  • Read Community Impact Newspaper's regional hiking guide and regional kayaking guide for day trip options in Central Texas as well as places to partake in outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing, camping, boating, scuba diving and biking.


Stay local

Blue Starlite The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In offers screenings throughout Labor Day weekend.[/caption]

For those planning a staycation, a number of local businesses offer events and specials.

  • The Art Garage on Circle Drive in Southwest Austin offers its monthly free family fun event on Sunday from 2-4 p.m., featuring free crafts, in-studio specials, giveaways and more, owner Kelly Emmert said. Families can RSVP on Facebook.

  • Local beer producer Jester King Brewery, located next to Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza on Fitzhugh Road in Austin, is offering new arrivals starting during Labor Day weekend and is open from noon-7 p.m. on Labor Day.

  • Regional entertainment options include Round Rock Express baseball games at The Dell Diamond in Round Rock as well as screenings of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Princess Bride and films starring Gene Wilder—who died Aug. 29—at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In at its East 51st Street location in Austin.


Give back

Central Texas Food Bank Volunteers pitch in at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin.[/caption]

Events such as Geeks Who Drink Quiz for a Cause at the Highball and a charity event at Shake Shack on South Lamar Boulevard aim to raise funds for a new Central Texas Food Bank campaign.

  • Austin-based nonprofit CTFB, which moved into its new Southeast Austin home at 6500 Metropolis Drive over the summer, is recognizing national Hunger Action Month in September with its “Nothing Runs on Empty” campaign.

  • In Central Texas more than 471,000 people face hunger, and 25 percent of them are children. CTFB aims to help those in need and raise awareness via social media as part of the campaign using the Twitter hashtag #HungerActionMonth.

  • Many local retail and corporate partners are holding special events to benefit the food bank during Hunger Action Month. For a complete list of these events or to volunteer, visit www.centraltexasfoodbank.org.


Stay safe

During the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, there were 359 alcohol-related crashes in Texas that led to 12 fatalities and 36 serious injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.  TxDOT urges drivers to arrange for sober rides home before hitting the road.
By Kelli Weldon
Kelli joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter and has been covering Southwest Austin news since July 2012. She was promoted to editor of the Southwest Austin edition in April 2015. In addition to covering local businesses, neighborhood development, events, transportation and education, she is also the beat reporter covering the Travis County Commissioners Court.


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