The situation: it’s December 21 and you have no idea what to get for a particular family member or friend. You’ve been mulling it over for a while to no effect, pondering as you creep down I-35 or Mopac in rush hour traffic, musing with yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth. But now that you’ve discovered this article, all your troubles are over.
These last-minute gift items are certain to delight any Austinite in your life — even if they’re Scrooge-y:
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STUFF THEY CAN WEAR
Every Austinite must own a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt. If you haven’t ever seen your pal wear one, it’s time to make that happen. You can buy the shirts at Austin Gift Company on South Lamar or Outhouse Designs on Judson. If you don’t want to go strictly traditional, be sure to check out Outhouse’s “Absolutely Austin” t-shirt collection for more unique designs featuring such things as the Congress bridge bats, Austin’s music obsession, and one of Austin.com’s personal favorites: the Willie Nelson shirt.
Additionally, the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau has a variety of Austin tees for sale, and there’s something to be said for CafePress.com’s more than 5,000 “Austin” t-shirt designs (although many in that number are probably about that Mahone kid).
For cowboy-ish types, go for the western wear at Allen’s Boots on South Congress Ave. Boots, hats, belts — these rugged accessories and more are available at both the online and physical stores, along with classic button-downs and all manner of jeanery, but the company’s most notable product with respect to Austin-themed gifts are their Longhorn “Gameday” boots for both lads and ladies.
STUFF THEY CAN EAT & DRINK
Let’s not waste time, because you’re running out of it. You can never go wrong buying your loved one a gift card or promising him or her a dinner date to any of these classic Austin eateries and drinkeries:
- Stubb’s BBQ
- Franklin Barbecue
- Amy’s Ice Creams
- Kerbey Lane Cafe
- Whole Foods
- Iron Cactus
- Epoch Coffee
- Black Star Co-Op
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- Independence Brewing Company
- Phil’s Ice House
- Gourdough’s Doughnuts
- Torchy’s Tacos
If you aren’t the gift certificate or dinner date type, consider buying your loved one a box of ganache goodness from Wayward Chocolat or a box of Texas Chewie Pecan Pralines from Lammes Candies. Then there’s the GoLocal Austin Card or the Austin Passbook, two gift options that will guide your loved one to discovering local restaurants and food trailers and provide some sweet discounts along the way.
STUFF THEY CAN JAM TO
As you know, there are about a zillion places to buy and hear music in Austin. Find out the names of some of the bands, singer/songwriters, and musicians that your friend enjoys to listen to and go on the hunt for new albums from those artists that he or she doesn’t have yet or search for similar-sounding artists that he or she will probably be into. Waterloo Records is one of the best places to discover new music in Austin — you can listen to virtually every track of every album in the store before you buy.
South by Southwest 2016 badges and Austin City Limits 2016 festival passes are already available online for purchase, and most of the 250+ live music venues throughout Austin are already filling out their 2016 show booking schedules. Concert tickets would be a huge hit for most Austinites, so check ACL Live, the Austin Chronicle, Austin360, or any of these live music venues‘ online calendars for shows coming up.
And don’t forget about the classical side of things — the Long Center hosts the Austin Symphony Orchestra every month!
STUFF THEY CAN DO
Besides foods, drinks, and musics, Austin’s got plenty of wrappable entertainment options for the adventurous Austinite. For wintertime activities, treat your friend to ice skating at Whole Foods on Lamar or the Zilker Trail of Lights.
Movie buffs will enjoy Alamo Drafthouse or Paramount Theatre tickets and you can purchase tickets to Broadway and local theatre performances at ZACH Theatre and The Long Center for theatre buffs. For sports enthusiasts, you can choose from UT sports tickets, Round Rock Express tickets, or Circuit of the Americas tickets.
Outdoorsmen and women would probably love you forever if you got them a membership to REI, an Austin Rock Gym membership, Inner Space Caverns tickets, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures tickets, or a Texas Parks and Wildlife State Parks Pass. Heck, you can even take ’em indoor skydiving at iFly!
If none of these gift suggestions sound appealing, then we’re not sure what to tell you. Get ’em a goat for a village in Africa. Pledge to do their laundry for a month. Find them a pet rock. Write them a song. Buy them anything from Toy Joy or Monkey See Monkey Do and make them laugh. Bake them a dish of cheesecake brownies. Or you could always just give them a hug and a Christmas card and tell them that you love them!
Whatever you choose to gift your loved one, be quick about it. Godspeed, friends, and happy holidays!
Featured photo: Flickr user Kenny Louie, CC licensed