COTA’s Winter Wonderland closed again tonight; new hours for rest of week

The Circuit of the America’s Winter Wonderland has been cancelled for the second night in a row due to anticipated wind and rain. All tickets will be automatically refunded.

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People skate on synthetic ice during the Winter Wonderland event at Circuit of the Americas Nov. 30. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If the weather improves, Winter Wonderland will be open tomorrow through Saturday, and carnival rides, which previously required a fee in addition to admission, will be free. The hours have changed, too. Thursday-Saturday hours will be 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This is the first year for COTA’s Winter Wonderland, which made a big splash when it was announced in November.

The Trail of Lights closed for the season on Dec. 23; the Zilker Tree remains on display through Sunday.

COTA’s Winter Wonderland closed tonight; carnival rides free tomorrow through Saturday

If you were planning to visit Circuit of the America’s Winter Wonderland tonight, bad news: It’s been cancelled due to anticipated wind and rain. All tickets will be automatically refunded.

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People explore a light tunnel during the Winter Wonderland event at Circuit of the Americas Nov. 30. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

There’s good news, too, though. Winter Wonderland will be open tomorrow through Saturday, and carnival rides, which previously required a fee in addition to admission, will be free.

This is the first year for COTA’s Winter Wonderland, which made a big splash when it was announced in November.

The Trail of Lights closed for the season on Dec. 23; the Zilker Tree remains on display through Sunday.

Saturday is Choose Kind Day in Austin. Here’s what’s happening

You can never have enough kindness, right?

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Austinites are encouraged to choose kindness on Saturday. Martin do Nascimento/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Mayor Steve Adler has declared Saturday, Nov. 11 Choose Kind Day in Austin, a day when Austinites are encouraged to participate in random acts of kindness and volunteer with their favorite nonprofits while using the hashtag #ChooseKindAustin to spread the word.

In honor of Choose Kind Day and in conjunction with the movie “Wonder,” which opens on Nov. 17, a variety of events are being held across the city on Saturday and into next week. Here’s a sample.

  • Austin Pets Alive! mural: Snap a photo next to the new kindness-themed mural at the Austin Pets Alive! thrift store and receive 20 percent off anything in the store on Saturday.
  • Adelphi Acre Gardens Work Day: Generation Serve has coordinated a work day at these gardens, where volunteers will tend to the butterfly gardens and weed, mulch, harvest and plant in the donation garden beds. Produce collected from the harvest will be donated to a local food pantry.
  • Ronald McDonald House meal prep: Generation Serve has also coordinated this opportunity, which will include preparing a meal for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House while they have a family member at the hospital.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities for all ages in the Austin area at generationserve.org.

Trail of Lights tickets are about to go on sale; here’s what you need to know

No holiday season in Austin is complete without a visit to the Trail of Lights, and if you’re eager to map out this year’s excursion, never fear — we’ve got the scoop on what to expect.

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No holiday season in Austin is complete without a visit to the Trail of Lights, and if you’re eager to map out this year’s excursion, never fear — we’ve got the scoop on what to expect.

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This is the 53rd year for the Trail of Lights celebreation. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The 53rd annual Austin Trail of Lights will be held Dec. 9-23 in Zilker Park. More than 400,000 guests are expected to visit the trail, which will feature more than 2 million lights, four light tunnels, a 90-foot Ferris wheel, 40 displays, more than 20 food trucks and two stages.

“The 2017 Trail of Lights celebrates the creativity, talents, accomplishments and generosity of Austinites,” Trail of Lights Foundation Board President Leah Davies said in a statement.

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Visiting the Trail of Lights is a holiday tradition for many Austinites. Ricardo B. Brazziell/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Just in time for the latest cold snap, here are four things to know about this year’s event.

  1. Music will take center stage. Confirmed performers include the Mother Falcon String Trio, Whiskey Shivers and DJ Mel at the Night Lights Preview Party Dec. 8 and Alan Haynes at the grand opening Dec. 9. The full music schedule will be announced in the coming weeks at austintrailoflights.org.
  2. There will be various specialty nights. They include the Zilker Tree lighting (Nov. 26); the Trail of Lights Fun Run (Dec. 2); the fifth annual UT night (Dec. 10); the annual HEROES night honoring first responders (Dec. 12); and Movie Night (Dec. 19).
  3. It’s possible to avoid the crowds. You can access the park early and receive other amenities if you purchase a Platinum Pass or a ZIP Fast Pass. Learn more here.
  4. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 8. Buy them here.

 

Learn more about this year’s Trail of Lights at austintrailoflights.org.

Austin’s Oilcan Harry’s will host official “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” returns for its ninth season on Friday, and Warehouse District nightclub Oilcan Harry’s has been chosen by VH1 to help celebrate this fashionable occasion.

Premiere viewing parties on March 24 and March 31 will give you the chance to win some “Drag Race” swag and enjoy the adventures of the queens competing for the ultimate crown. The free fun begins at 7 p.m. March 24; 18 and older are welcome.

The first episode features a guest appearance from Lady Gaga.

Throughout the season, Oilcan Harry’s will host trivia contests during each Friday night episode, followed by performances by local female impersonators. And the nightclub will be bringing in Season 9 contestants throughout the spring as special guest performers at the weekly Super Sunday Show at 11 p.m. and midnight.

Season 8 of “Drag Race,” you may recall, featured Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine.