January 30, 2017
“Not all heroes wear capes.” Don’t believe it? Three words: Special Olympics Texas.
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) came together as a means to improve the quality of life of those affected with intellectual disabilities. By holding more than 300 competitions on a local, regional, and state level, these athletes are able to not just participate in competitive physical fitness activities, but form new friendships that could last a lifetime.
But more to the point.
On February 2-5, 2017 SOTX will be hosting their annual Winter Games in Austin, Texas. The Winter Games is just one of their six statewide events that are held annually where hundreds of athletes across the state come to enjoy. In just a few days, these athletes will join together in friendly competition, participating in activities such as powerlifting, volleyball, and their biggest event (found in multiple locations): bowling.
Although competition is just around the corner, volunteers are always needed. This is Hotel for Hope’s 8th year volunteering, and we can attest to the fact that there is not a more rewarding experience than dedicating time to help these athletes achieve their dreams. Interested in joining us for a couple hours? Check out the volunteer page on their website.
What could I do while I’m in Austin?
If you’re traveling as a spectator, with the team, or for any other reason, look no further. Austin, Texas is a vibrant city well-known for its music, landmarks, and food. Here are just a few recommendations when not attending one of the Winter Games Events:
TAKE A STROLL DOWN SOCO.
South Congress is filled with live music, bars, shopping places, and one-of-a-kind eateries. Take a team photo for your Instagram by the I love you so much wall, sift through the eclectic artifacts at Uncommon Objects, or grab a bite to eat at the famous Hopdoddy. Texas weather is looking a little abnormal for this time of year so why not take advantage of being outside? (Just pop some Allegra beforehand #CedarFever).
SEE A MOVIE AT ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE
If your family and friends are looking for something relaxing to do at night, consider Alamo Drafthouse. The popular movie theater chain allows you to order food and drinks during the film and offers a one of a kind experience others don’t come close to. So order yourself a shake or some mac and cheese, sit back, and enjoy a selection of movies from cult-classics to new releases.
TOUR THE BOB BULLOCK MUSEUM
Between competitions and have time to spare? Explore the history and culture of Texas at the Bob Bullock Museum. Along with the three floors of interactive exhibits dedicated to the themes land, identity, and opportunity respectively, it also features a video presentation led by Sam Houston journeying the history of Texas. To make things even more interesting, the museum also has an IMAX theater seating 400 people and can screen both regular and 3D movies. Enough to make Alamo Drafthouse somewhat screen-envy? Visit both locations and we’ll let you be the judge.
FIND YOUR INNER CHRISTINA AGUILERA AT AUSTIN KARAOKE
Austin Karaoke is just one of the many karaoke spots here in Austin. So, gather the family, rent out a room, and shamelessly sing your heart out to songs like Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis.
EXPERIENCE THE FOOD TRUCK SCENE
Looking to experience the food culture of Austin firsthand? From Baton Creole’s Cajun-style food to La Barbecue, there is something for everyone. Take a look at the list of top 20 Food Trucks in Austin.
NEED A PLACE TO STAY? We got you covered.
Hotels for Hope provides plenty of discounted options, such as the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Austin Northwest/Domain with rates currently as low as $84, to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Austin Northwest Arboretum that’s only 3.5 miles away from the Athlete Village and Wellness Park. Not to mention the Courtyard by Marriott Austin-University, nestled only 2.1 miles away from one of the event locations, Dart Bowl.
If you’d like to weigh all your options, view Hotel for Hope’s complete list of hotel inventory.
Overall, expect there to be a lot of enthusiasm at the Winter Games and never a dull moment in Austin.