WINTER’S WONDERS

Across our great big state is a host of fun winter possibilities. Here our editors on the scene Jake Gaines, Jason Grosgrain, Ellie Morrison, Jennifer Roosth and Cynthia Smoot have captured some lively options to warm up these chilly days and nights.

Austin

POOLSIDE PICK-ME-UP

From McGuire Moorman Hospitality, the group that brought us Jeffrey’s, Lambert’s, Perla’s and other favorite local dining spots, Pool Burger is a new tiki-themed snack bar with elevated takes on classic favorites, and a chic neighborhood vibe that’s located adjacent to the beloved dive Deep Eddy Cabaret. At PoolBurger.com

ON PHOTO: Photo courtesy of Chad Wadsworth via Eater

OFF THE WALL

Add a contemporary touch to your home with a new piece from Twyla, the Austin-based art curator, dealer and gallery. Twyla’s roster of over 130 artists create limited-edition works, produced as archival prints and shipped all over the world. Their limited art pieces make a fantastic gift, too. At Twyla.com

BOOKS’ NEW LOOK

Austin’s lakeshore skyline has a new crown feature. The new Central Library; featuring incredible architecture, public art, and myriad interactive surprises; offers much more to check out than books. The building’s soaring atrium, on-site café, and outdoor amphitheater reflect Austin’s eclectic energy. At Library.AustinTexas.gov

ON PHOTO: Photo courtesy of Lake Flato

Dallas

NEW VINTAGE STYLE

Originally opened in 1956 as one of Conrad Hilton’s first convention properties, The Statler, more than 60 years later, has reopened the property as The Statler, Curio Collection by Hilton following a $255 million redevelopment. The 19-story hotel and mixed-use development features 219 residences, restaurants and nightlife (with restaurants by local chef Graham Dodds including Overeasy, Bourbon & Banter, Fine China, Scout.) Waterproof, a poolside roof deck bar and lounge, is slated to open soon. At  TheStatlerDallas.com

LIVING ART

Urban Spikes was generated out of desperation for warmth and color in founder Courtney Goldberg’s very white, angular home. Without the budget to purchase art she needed alternative, less costly options to add color and dimension to her home. She wanted to create indoor conversation pieces, not an outdoor terra cotta garden. Her designs are created using succulent cuttings – think of it as a cut flower arrangement that lasts for months. When it’s time for new succulents, contact them to order replacement cuttings. They offer pickup or delivery/styling for a nominal fee. At UrbanSpikes.com

LIVING LA VIDA VERDE

Lala’s Mexican Café, the new fast-casual concept in Preston Center, offers diners health-conscious Mexican food. Michelle Mireles, the owner of Jorge’s TexMex Café, created this new concept in tribute to her grandmother and believes that what you eat matters. While Lala’s focus is on health, nothing is short on flavor in their organic, non-GMO cuisine. Be prepared to experience a drool-worthy menu at brunch, lunch and dinner. They even offer organic tequila for happy hour. At LalasMexicanCafeDallas.us

HOUSTON

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
It’s big with the hipsters. The retro arcade dealer Joystix has Pac-Man Fever Fridays on the first and last Friday of every month. For $15, you get gaming on over 200 classics, including pinball machines, air hockey, and 80s hits like Centipede and Moonwalker. Extra points if you wear a scrunchie. At JoystixMusements.com

BUTTERFLIES FLY FREE

The Cockrell Butterfly Center and Brown Hall of Entomology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science offers visitors a fascinating insight into the world of butterflies and insects. The Rainforest Conservancy, a spectacular three-story glass structure with a 50-foot waterfall filled with exotic plants and living butterflies is especially popular, so what are you waiting for? At HMNS.org

CAN YOU HUM A FEW BARS?

Among the city’s Chinatown treasures is a karaoke bar you won’t soon forget. In fact, it might feel like a 90s flashback. Yes KTV has private rooms for rent for special occasions and you can choose from over 10,000 songs to croon. Perfect for your next Friends reunion. At YesKTV.net

SAN ANTONIO

LET’S TAKE THIS DOWNSTAIRS

Descend to a new level. Literally. The recently opened Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern is directly on the Riverwalk. The unpretentiously high-quality, intimate riverside lounge and hangout dishes out top cocktails, small-scale eats and unconventional inclinations. Downstairs should be next on your “night out” list. At EsquireTavern-SA.com

TWIRL IN

Whether you’re simply in need of a touch-up or you’re ready for a totally new you, this modern-day beauty shop in Southtown’s trendy Blue Star Arts Complex has you covered. Twirl Salon, led by globally known hairstylist Lisa Weller, offers the best in the beauty business: from hair to make-up to skincare. Themed galas coming up in the new year? Don’t sweat it – the Twirl Girls will transform you for any event on your social calendar. At TwirlHair.com

MAKING THE SCENE

At Monty + Ivy Hall you can orchestrate a show, host a shindig, or rendezvous in a secret garden while nestled in one of San Antonio’s most unique neighborhoods. Whether you’re planning an event for 30 or 300, this chic renovated venue has a range of spaces and configurations to fit a variety of functions and festivities. From weddings to workshops, food to film, reunions to revelry – The Monty + Ivy Hall can host it all. At MontyAndIvy.com