Comfort Suites I-35 North
609 Chisholm Trail
Round Rock, TX 78681
Phone: (512) 244-2700
Fax: (512) 244-2246
Arts & Museums
Escape from the 21st Century and journey back into the Great West aboard the Hill Country Flyer, a vintage passenger train making day-trip excursions every weekend year-round. Departing from Cedar Park, only 20 miles (32.18 kilometers) north of downtown Austin, each train ride offers 1920s coach cars for families on a budget and 1950s Pullman lounge cars for leisure travelers. Special excursion trains throughout the year include Christmas specials for children, mystery dinner trains for adults, and holiday rides to local festivals along the train route. The vintage train is operated by the dedicated volunteers from the Austin Steam Train Association, a community-based non-profit organization.
Ever wondered what life was like on a 17th-century farm? Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms is where you can relive all of those days gone by at the carefully simulated theme areas. Whether it is an 1860s German Immigrant Farm, an 1880s Cotton Planter Farm, or an 1870s Texan Farm, all of these can be revisited thanks to the brilliant reconstruction of the architects. Check their website for more information on free admission days, site tours, exhibitions, historical reenactments and special days. The farms are partly wheelchair accessible.
This museum features art by local, national and international artists, with an emphasis on local creations. It houses frequent exhibitions as well as permanent collections, with a rotating selection of artwork and artists. Paintings tend to be of the modern, abstract, surreal or futuristic varieties, usually with imaginative use of color. The museum also showcases artists' other creations, including jewelry and furniture.
El Taller Gallery features an impressive collection of Southwest art at reasonable prices. A good majority of the work is by famed local artist and previous gallery owner Amado Pena, who paints Southwest and Mexican cultural scenes. The work of Native American artist R.C. Gorman is also featured. Other offerings of the gallery include Southwest-style jewelry, Mexican textiles, handmade Pueblo pottery and Zapotec Indian weavings.
Austin Art Space serves as both a work space and a showcase for artists. Many different genres of art are conceived and displayed here. The gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays and by appointment. The studios are open on weekdays for artists. Call or see the website for more information.
Many years later, when your kids ask you what computers and hard disks were, take them to this place. The Museum of Computer Culture has one of the most extensive collections of hardware and software from the Information Age collected over the years, with most of the exhibits being donated. Some of these are vintage pieces that would make any tech geeks heart melt, along with informative tid-bits which make for great general knowledge. Refer to website for details.
Classes in tile and mosaic, wheel throwing, hand building, and color development and glaze are offered for the budding or up-and-coming artist. Classes run eight weeks and cost $155 with the glazing and firing of your pieces included. The studio is a large space with worktables and kilns, all located behind a small gallery showcasing the work of local potters. Artwork on display includes one-of-a-kind vases, jars, bowls and plates. The studio sells 25-pound bags of clay and on Saturday afternoons during the spring season, professional Austin area potters present two-hour technique demonstrations.
The Texas Military Forces Museum is an extensive museum that documents the story of the Texan military over the years, and the important contributions that they have made. One can find a number of rare exhibits here, that include pieces from the Texan Revolution and the Spanish-American War as well. The gallery is huge, and is divided into sections such as Main Gallery, Lost Battalion, Great Hall, World War II Pacific Theater Exhibit and Air Guard Gallery. The Armor Row and Artillery Park on the museum grounds consists of a vast collection of guns, tanks and aircraft. The museum also includes a library and movie room, making it interesting for visitors of every age.
Located in Austin's Hyde Park neighborhood, Mondo Gallery is a film buff's haven. Inside, patrons will find action figures, customized posters, stickers, and T-shirts of cult film favorites (Troll 2, anyone?). Why would you just want to peruse the artworks when you can purchase some to adorn your walls at home? The staff at Mondo also sells DVDs and VHSs of rare, obscure, cult films. You can also get a tee shirt with a poster of your favorite film printed on it.
The Austin Museum of Art offers two distinct art experiences. AMOA Downtown serves as the Museum's principal exhibition site and presents exhibitions and education programs that showcase 20th Century and contemporary art. These exhibitions offer something for everyone. To complement the exhibitions, the museum also presents a broad range of accessible and hands-on public education programs for people of all ages. In addition, the museum store offers a wide range of art-inspired gifts. This beloved site has been declared a national treasure and is on city, state, and national registries of historic places.
This museum has grown into one of the most fabulous experiences for children in Austin. Find out about the development of children from birth to adolescence, climb a "time tower," and learn about everything from dinosaurs to computers. Special programs for children and their parents are regular parts of the museum's curriculum. Take tiny tots to the 2-and-under special explore time, or learn about multimedia with your teen. With excellent specialty programs and wonderful exhibits, this is a museum the whole family can enjoy.
For those interested in dinosaurs and rocks, this is a great museum for you. Texas Memorial Museum focuses on collections of Texas and the New World, including an extensive Texas Natural History collection and core collections from the 1936 Texas Centennial celebrations. There is a huge variety of artifacts supporting historical and anthropological research, including collections amassed by faculty, staff and students. New artifacts are continuously added, so repeat visits are highly recommended. Admission is free.