With the holidays around the corner, we've compiled a list of some of Austin's must-see stops. Perfect for the chosen person in your life, or just someone who likes to party like the chosen people.
1) Menorah Lighting at the Capitol
Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress
Dec. 22, 3:30pm
Kick off the first night of Chanukah with this downtown menorah lighting, where Chabad of Austin will provide the candles you need to light up the night. Festive music and dreidel games will welcome the beginning of the eight-day affair, with plenty of geld, latkes
, donuts to go around.
2) Chanukah Concert at the Alamo
Barrel O' Fun, 1911 Aldrich
Dec. 25, 7-10pm
Come light the menorah and explore your competitive side spinning the dreidel at the fourth annual Chanukah concert, featuring Klezmer music by Austin’s own Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour
. The decade-old band, which will also be playing at Cosmic Coffee on the 22nd, is bringing a bit of Jewish folk history to Central Texas. All ages are welcome, and since it takes place at the Drafthouse, you can buy your movie ticket for before or after the festivities and make an evening of your celebrations.
3) Mosaic Annual Chanukah Party Potluck at Sheldon and Miriam’s House
12301 Deer Track
Dec. 29, 5:30-7:30pm
Join the Mosaic Jewish Outdoor Club of Central Texas’ annual potluck to get in touch with the Jewish population of Austin. At the party, you will be able to begin or renew your membership with this nonprofit outdoor-centric volunteer organization, and participate in all the usual festivities – menorah lighting, dreidel spinning, and songs. Feel free to bring non-meat dishes, desserts, or pre-made latkes, as well as additional Chanukah supplies such as candles.
4) Get Lit – Chanukah-themed pop-up bar
Kitty Cohen's, 2211 Webberville
Through Dec. 30
Pop into Kitty Cohen’s to witness its transformation into a Chanukah-themed pop-up bar, paying tribute to the eight days of Chanukah with creative sips like latke punch or a Manischewitz Spritzer from the limited-time menu. Armed with two enthusiastic co-owners, Kitty’s is one of the only pop-up bars in Austin paying tribute to the Jewish holiday. In the name of holiday generosity, a portion of what you spend at Kitty Cohen’s will go to Shalom Austin, an organization providing support for the Jewish community of Central Texas.
5) Hit the City’s Jewish Delis
You don’t need to make the trek to Krakow, or even to New York City, to find yourself a juicy pastrami on rye or a bagel. Austin is buzzing with underrated Jewish establishments such as Biderman’s Deli, Rosen’s Bagels, and Fricano’s Deli. The eight days of Chanukah are a fitting opportunity to order all the latkes and matzo balls you can handle. Make sure to stop by the Kosher Store at H-E-B to sample more of the city’s authentic delicatessen and find ingredients for all your holiday favorites.
6) Eight Crazy Nights Marathon
Austin’s athletes pay homage to the holiday with a virtual run featuring a 5K, 10K and full marathon. Whether you are jogging outside, at the gym, or on your treadmill, participants are encouraged to try for 1K a day, for a total of 8K by the end of the race, commemorating the eight nights of flickering flames. Additional perks include the fact that your medal will be sent directly to your house and you can now plow through your holiday feasts guilt-free thanks to Eight Crazy Nights keeping you (literally) on your toes. There is a $20 entry fee, and 15% of every payment benefits the Human Rights Initiative, a North Texas foundation providing services to refugees and immigrants who have experienced human rights abuse.
7) Congregation Tiferet Israel’s Annual Chanukah Party
Temple Beth Shalom Social Hall, 7300 Hart
Dec. 23, 5-7pm
Celebrate the second day of Chanukah by hitting the sufganiot and latke bar with Tiferet Isarael, Texas’ oldest Orthodox congregation, with roots dating back to the 1860s. Watch your kiddo try their hand at some crafts while serenaded by accordion player Eli Davidsohn. Check out the temple’s many youth and adult educational programs while you’re here.
8) Chanukah Storytime at BookPeople
BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar
Dec. 26, 10:30-11am
Your little ones will be excited to know that BookPeople is breaking out its best reads for Chanukah this year. Attend to hear a reading of books like My First Chanukah
, focused on educating young readers on the Jewish holiday. If this event leaves you wanting more for your child, don’t forget to check out additional worthy titles such as Jeremy’s Dreidel
and A Hanukkah With Mazel