Get outdoors this weekend with these Austin events

The forecast for Friday and Saturday is looking mighty fine—this Texas winter is pretty killer, y’all. It even hit 90 degrees in Austin Thursday. Wondering how to spend your days of fantastic weather? We’ve got ideas.

Perla’s is one of the best options for outdoor dining in Austin. Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman

Dine on a patio. We’ve got a list of Statesman food critic Matthew Odam’s favorite outdoor dining in Austin, so you better call and make your reservations now.

Go swimming. Seriously, we can’t believe we’re even talking about this in February, but if you’re interested, Barton Springs Pool is set to reopen Friday after flooding earlier this week. Alternately, if you don’t feel like swimming but do feel like being charitable, two Austin lap swimmers are raising money to keep Northwest Pool a little chiller in the summer so that swimmers can enjoy it more.

Catch a movie at the drive-in. Blue Starlite Drive-In is hosting its 3rd Annual Harry Potter Drive-In Film Fest. On Feb. 24 you can see the very first and last movies in the series – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two – and on Feb. 25 the drive-in will show both Deathly Hallows installments.

RELATED: A beautiful weekend to explore STEM and more family events, Feb. 24-26

Get on the lake. You can take a guided kayak tour starting at the Waller Creek Boathouse every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. between now and November, but with this perfect February weather, who can resist a winter tour of the lake?

Check out some of Austin’s live music. If you’re not sure where to start, Austin Detours is offering the Austin Live Music Crawl, featuring multiple venues over a three-hour span. You can also learn about Austin’s live music history, and tickets and cover charges are included in the price.

Take a trip to Gruene and take in a show. Gruene is a great little town to stroll around in and check out the sights and sounds, plus one of Austin’s most renowned local bands is playing at Gruene Hall Friday night: Shinyribs. If you can’t make it Friday, Uncle Lucius is playing Gruene Hall Saturday.

Win a brand-new Jaguar. No, seriously—Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is giving away a brand new Jaguar F-PACE to the first person to make a hole-in-one on its Fazio Canyons golf course. You have to be a hotel guest or a member of the Barton Creek Country Club to participate, but it’s worth a shot for that car, right? Even if you don’t win, you’ve got an excuse to hit the links on a beautiful day.

Tour some of Austin’s coolest modern homes. The 2017 Austin Modern Home Tour takes place Saturday, and you’re sure to see a variety of homes on the tour, from the sleek and beautiful to eco-friendly homes and even examples of indoor/outdoor living.

Celebrate Mardi Gras Austin-style. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden is hosting a Cajun-themed Smoke Out Saturday with live music all day, and chefs will cook a whole hog and serve it over dirty rice. Or you can check out the Mardi Gras Dog Parade at the ABGB (yes, you read that right) where you can bring your dog to “bark for beads” and enjoy a special Cajun menu—with King Cake, of course.

RELATED: Austin’s drinking events calendar, February 2017

There’s rain in the forecast for Sunday, but you might get lucky and celebrate outdoors for Parlor & Yard’s One Year Birthday Party featuring live music in the yard.

If the weather rains on your Sunday parade, you can always take in a movie or stay in and watch the Oscars.

Music-related events in Austin Jan. 26-29

Whitney Rose CD Release Party at the Continental Club. Rose is kicking off a night of live tunes with the release of her sophomore effort, “South Texas Suite,” a love letter to the Lone Star State. The EP will feature more of her “vintage-pop-infused-neo-traditional-country” songs. Ramsay Midwood and the Lonesome Heroes will also play. 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26. 1315 S. Congress Ave.

The Bowie Project 3: A Rock & Roll Soundpainting.” 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. $10-$35. Ironwood Hall, 505 E. Seventh St. Following two successful runs of “The Bowie Project” in 2014 and 2015, Ariel Dance Theatre is once again collaborating with local David Bowie tribute band Super Creeps and New York’s Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble for this one-of-a-kind production that ventures into a dance, theater and rock ‘n’ roll journey through superstar David Bowie’s life and music. The performance will use soundpainting — a live composing sign language used to lead improvised performances.


String Quartet Smackdown III. 7 p.m. Saturday. $10.83. Alamo Drafthouse, 1120 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-861-7040, It’s March Madness for the ears. A follow-up to the sold-out String Quartet Smackdown I and II from late 2012 and 2015, this competition works like a bracketed NCAA basketball tournament but features original string quartet compositions submitted by composers and musicians from around the world. The audience will help the jury of experts select the favorites, which will be performed live by the Mother Falcon String Quartet, of the former Mother Falcon band.

Joe King Carrasco at the ABGB. Known as the king of Tex-Mex rock and roll, Carrasco has created a stylistic borderland of pop rock and Latin rhythms — a cross-cultural stew that blends cumbias, vamp, salsa, surf, reggae, blues and Latin-tinged polkas. He’ll bring this unique brand of music to the ABGB, which means you’ll be moving your feet to the beat while trying not to spill your beer. 9 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1305 W. Oltorf St.

“Unplug This” 20th Anniversary at Hole in the Wall. 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. 2538 Guadalupe St. The four-decades-plus history of Hole in the Wall has about a million little side-chapters. One of them was “Unplug This,” a Monday night series in the mid-late 1990s that spurred many of Austin’s rock acts at the time to go acoustic for an evening. An “Unplug This” compilation disc documented the sound and spirit of the series, and many of the participants are gathering to celebrate the record’s 20th anniversary: Mike Nicolai, Wheel, Rice Moorehead, Andrew Duplantis, Michael Fracasso, Beaver Nelson, Pam Peltz, Brit Jones, Kevin Carney and Matt Harmon. — Peter Blackstock

See more of the weekend’s music picks from Peter Blackstock and Deborah Sengupta Stith.

Things to do in Austin Jan. 19-22

Austin Playhouse’s “Bloomsday.” The Texas premiere of this production by Austin Playhouse comes from one of Austin’s most acclaimed playwrights, Steven Dietz. In his literature-laden love story, an American man searches for the Irish woman who captured his heart 30 years earlier while leading a Bloomsday walking tour in Dublin. As they stroll backwards through time, the couple rediscovers their younger selves and reflects on what might have been, had they made very different life decisions. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 5. $14-$36. 6001 Airport Blvd.

The Amazing Acro-cats. They are a troupe of real house cats that will jump and pounce their way into your heart. Reaching out to shelters in need and accepting cats found homeless in the streets, Samantha Martin has not only rescued her own cats but has also found homes for more than 182 cats and kittens. After she’s given them a second chance with positive reinforcement-only clicker training, the cats take these amazing abilities on the road and tour the nation in the infamous Acro-cat Bus. Their act — including tightrope walks — is something you must see to believe. 7 p.m. Jan. 19-20, 21 and 23; 3 p.m. Jan. 21; 1 and 5 p.m. Jan. 22. $27. Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Ave. 512-472-5470,


Guided Garden Tour. Tour the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s gardens and trails with a knowledgeable volunteer docent, learning about native plants and the history and architecture of the center. Each of the docents brings their own special knowledge and interests to the tour, and sites change throughout the seasons. 11 a.m. Saturday. $4-$10. 4801 La Crosse Ave. 512-232-0100,

KUTX Winter Jam at ABGB. Public radio station KUTX 98.9 FM showcases a diverse cross-section of top-notch Austin sounds at this free, family-friendly event. Politically charged Austin/San Antonio hip-hop act Third Root takes the 5 p.m. headline spot, performing songs from their 2016 work of crucial rap scholarship, “Libertad.” Tele Novella plays tracks from their beautifully crafted psych pop platter “House of Souls” at 4, and country artist James Hand kicks things off at 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1305 W. Oltorf St. — Deborah Sengupta Stith

Sarah Silverman at Bass Concert Hall. On stage, two-time Emmy Award winner Silverman continues to cement her status as a force in stand-up comedy. But she is also one of the most versatile talents in entertainment, with credits including that of actress, creator, writer, executive producer and author. Silverman will next be seen in both “The Book of Henry” and “Battle of the Sexes,” both of which are set for release this year. 8 p.m. Sunday. $39.75-69.75. Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive.