Thanksgiving 2014 – We’re Open For Business!

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Three years is a lot of time for things to change.  Just think, three years ago Texas A&M fans were sitting in an “old” Kyle Field.  (How did we survive?)

For the first time since 2011, the Texas A&M football team will play at home on Thanksgiving Day, with kick happening at 6:30 pm.  And for some, that three year break has people wondering what exactly they did for food on the turkey gameday.

To help ease the mystery, we’ve looked into a few local restaurants and asked what their gameday hours were.  Here’s the results (disclaimer: this list was compiled on November 10, and some may have changed their schedule. We recommend calling to confirm ahead of time):

Applebees (2pm-2am)

Bell Ranch Steakhouse at the Hilton (6am – 10pm)

Blackwater Draw (11am – 2am)

Buffalo Wild Wings (3pm – 2am)

C&J BBQ (10am – 5pm)

Cafe Eccel (11am – 6pm)

Chicken Oil Company (11am – 6pm)

Cracker Barrel (6am – 10pm)

Dennys (11am – 2am)

Dixie Chicken (11am – 2am)

Fox & Hound (11am – 2am)

Golden Corral (10am – 9pm)

La Bodega (11am – 9pm)

Ozona Bar & Grill (11am – 11pm)

Messina Hof (1pm – 6pm *by reservation only)

Proudest Monkey (11am – 10pm)

Veritas (12pm – 4pm)

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The following restaurants we contacted have indicated they are closed on Thanksgiving Day:

Blue Baker

Cheddar’s

Christopher’s

Fuego

The Republic

Layne’s

Napa Flats

On the Border

Torchy’s

Village Cafe

These are just a small sample of the restaurants in Bryan-College Station though! We encourage you to check out the VisitAggieland website to look up your favorite restaurant to see if they’re open.

And if push comes to shove and your tummy is really rumbling, head up to the Kyle Field tailgates – there’s bound to be someone frying up a turkey that would be more than happy to share a slice with you.  After all, we don’t get called the friendliest tailgaters in the SEC for nothing!


(This blog is from November 2014.  If you are pulling up an archived version in 2015 or later, the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau does not guarantee the accuracy of this list.)

Hundreds Of Cultures – One Community

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Bryan/College Station is a unique community with people from more than 120 different countries living here. They have either made the Brazos Valley their home or they work or study here. Brazos Valley Worldfest is just as unique. Hosting more than 50 culture displays and performances from around the world on 3 stages, this annual festival is a way to “Celebrate with the World” without leaving the Brazos Valley.

The eighth-annual festival will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 21-22, 2014 at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater in College Station. Free parking is available at Post Oak Mall.

Friday night festivities include a FREE Salsa and Meringue concert and dance under the stars. Texas A&M University Salsa Fusion will be in attendance teaching lessons starting at 6 p.m. and the La Orquesta Salmerum goes on to perform from 7-10 p.m. Food vendors will be on site and you can even sample Beers From Around the World while you listen and dance. The beer booth is new for 2014 and will highlight more than 10 different beers.

Saturday offers the full world-tour including culture displays, performances on 3 stages, arts and crafts, petting zoo, inflatables, storytelling, the 4th annual Salsa Tasting Challenge, fashion show and the chance to continue to sample the Beers From Around the World, and last, but not least, international and festival cuisine! Admittance on Saturday is also free, but be aware there are nominal charges for the inflatables and petting zoo.

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Walk over from Post Oak Mall parking to the amphitheater and hear the lively music representing a variety of cultures while you start visiting the culture displays and food vendors. This year you can also sample Beers From Around the World while you enjoy your funnel cake or corn dog. Continue from the amphitheater area to the festival field and do some shopping from the professional vendors selling their handmade or international products. This mile-plus loop takes you on a trip around the world through the culture displays and international cuisine tasting. Don’t forget to taste and vote on the best salsa in the Brazos Valley (or enter your own personal recipe in the amateur category for cash prizes) and visit the inflatables, petting zoo and arts and craft activities. While making your way through the festival site, make sure to pick up the festival program listing the stage schedules and all the activities so you won’t miss a thing. Also, a favorite for all attendees is the souvenir festival passport. Get your passport stamped at each culture display as you make your travels.

Worldfest Dancers

For details on the festival including stage schedules, please visit www.brazosvalleyworldfest.org. You can also find the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Kim Fox is a guest blogger for the CVB who works in the Office of the Provost for a little university named Texas A&M and is a salsa connoisseur.

(The BCS CVB accepts guest blogs from time to time. The content is considered original, and is not paid advertising. While posted by the BCS CVB, the writer’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the BCS CVB.)

BV Bombers Bring a Boisterous Blast at the Ballpark in B/CS

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By Kim Fox

Every season we make it a priority to attend at least one Bombers baseball game.  Neither my husband nor I are what I would call baseball fans, but we are sports fans and love the experience of watching sporting events live.  The summer lull of A&M sports is easily filled with a trip to Cellucor Field to watch the hot bats of the Bombers.  The Bombers play in the summer Texas Collegiate League (TCL) and were the 2013 champions.  The facility and the atmosphere are stuff of movie stereotypes and we love it!  High energy announcers, music pumping from the speakers and of course a mascot with just enough taunting of the visiting team. 

In addition to the baseball fun, there are between-inning antics.  Kids and adults are selected to play on-field games to keep the excitement up.  Kaboom, the mascot, may also get involved and regularly walks through the stands to make sure the fans are “in the game”.    Don’t be surprised to see Kaboom around town either.  He and other Bomber players make appearances at community events and regularly give their time to visit local schools, and camps through the summer.

Make sure to come hungry because while you and your family are at Cellucor Field, you can enjoy a full menu snack bar.  Of course they have the regular ball park food, but have a new item on their menu this year.  Although I didn’t see anyone take on the challenge of the Great Bombino, what diehard baseball fan wouldn’t want to take on a hamburger bun and patty topped with a hot dog, chopped BBQ beef and nacho cheese??

The Bombers know how to be great hosts as well.  Their staff are all very friendly and work hard to make sure guests of all ages have an enjoyable experience.  In addition to baseball fun, the little ones can take advantage of free inflatables before and during the games.  On Fridays in June a free fireworks display followed every game as well.  These are always top-notch productions.

Ticket prices start at only $5, but you can regularly find discount ticket packages online.  I think what I like best is the community connections.  We meet friends at the game, hang out and have a good time as a family.  The Bombers have worked hard to be a part of the Brazos Valley and it has really paid off for them.    The rest of their schedule can be found at http://www.bvbombers.com/schedule/ and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more details.


 

Kim Fox is a guest blogger for the CVB who works in the Office of the Provost for a little university named Texas A&M and fully participates in the wave and 7th inning stretch.

(The BCS CVB accepts guest blogs from time to time. The content is considered original, and is not paid advertising. While posted by the BCS CVB, the writer’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the BCS CVB.)

First Friday Offers Family Fun

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By Kim Fox

Howdy! And welcome to my inaugural blog for the CVB. I was born and raised in Caldwell and have lived in the B/CS area my whole life. I went to school at Blinn College in Brenham and then came to Texas A&M University. Needless to say, I have stayed close to home and not strayed too far! Now I have been married for just over 20 years and have a teenage daughter who I love with all my heart and who challenges me daily (as all parents with teenagers know).

I am really excited to write a blog for the CVB as I have worked with them for years on events I organize through my work at Texas A&M University. There tends to be a lack of information out there on activities for families, especially if the kids are over the age of 10. There is family fun out there; you just have to track it down.

On Friday, May 2, my family went to First Friday in Downtown Bryan. It has been a very long time since we have been and I have wanted to get back for months. Although it is a great date night locale, the many activities offered offer a very diverse range of choices for just about any age demographic.

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We arrived a little after 6 p.m. and the area was already bustling. We were able to find street parking near the Children’s Museum, but would have parked in the garage if we didn’t find this space so easily. Make sure to keep a hand on the little ones as the traffic through Downtown at this time can be bumper to bumper and I saw a few little ones try to dart in and out of parked cars and made my heart stop a few times!

If you haven’t been to Downtown recently, the restaurant options are similar to taking a trip around the World Showcase at EPCOT in Disneyworld! From block to block you have offerings of Italian, Tex-mex, Indian, German, and even home-style. Now thanks to the food truck trend we have rolling restaurants all over the community and they have seen the benefit of parking at First Fridays. They add to the cultural mix with Filipino, gourmet, waffle-style, sliders and even some good old fashioned snow cones. Wouldn’t it be awesome to grab food from a truck and sit on the sidewalk people watching and listening to the street performers? Basically, if you leave Downtown Bryan hungry, you did something wrong! 

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Obviously food is a big draw for my family and we had too many options for one night, so we’ll be back to sample the others. But, there is so much more to First Friday than just food. You can’t walk a block without enjoying some type of street performance. Multiple groups play, folk, tejano, country and more.

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The Village Café also is one venue with live music in the alley next to their restaurant. While we were there an impromptu dance party broke out – of course, most of the free spirits were under the age of 7, but I would have been motivated to join in if my family wouldn’t have threatened to disown me. We also saw pottery demonstrations and a great performance from the Order of Aggie Illusionists. The one theme we kept seeing was families. Kids of all ages, and kids at heart, were mesmerized by the music and sights.

Sometimes kids need a little hands-on activity to keep them engaged and those opportunities were at First Friday as well. And the best thing Mom and Dad – most, if not all, were FREE! In addition to the pottery demonstration outside of The Frame Gallery, The Purple Turtle Art Studio has craft tables set up inside. Kids can explore their creativity while parents can tour the art and listen to live jazz (or just sit on the comfy couch).

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Also, don’t forget to pop into Daniel-Stark Law offices. They have more craft tables set up in their lobby. Again, live music and food trucks are right outside the door.

These are great activities for the younger set, but not too many tween or teenagers might be interested in creating a bead necklace. Just the atmosphere of First Friday with the music, food and excitement is enough to keep my teenager engaged. Not to mention some great shopping opportunities at the boutiques – just about any teenage girl would be able to find something they can’t live without!

Did someone say chocolate? The Chocolate Gallery is an experience in and of itself. After all that walking, you might want to satisfy that sweet tooth with the multitude of indulgents they offer. Not only can you find something yummy to eat, but you also watch as a chef creates their edible art.

And, what’s better than a FREE movie under the stars? Sale Park is set up for family-friendly movies every First Friday. Of course, food trucks are nearby for snackage, but all you can bring your own picnic, blanket and/or chair and enjoy a movie usually starting a little after 8 pm.

Before you leave, try to take a ride on the Hidden Oasis horse-drawn carriage that leaves from the plaza by the La Salle Hotel. Although we saw a lot of couples enjoying the romantic ride (even one very special proposal!), families can still enjoy the experience as well.

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Overall, I would best describe it as a PG rated version of the French Quarter with something for all ages, but even more fun to enjoy as a family. For the monthly list of activities and other events in Downtown Bryan, visit http://www.downtownbryan.com/. I hope to see you and your family in Downtown Bryan on Friday, June 6th, because I’m sure we’ll be there again.


Kim Fox is a guest blogger for the CVB who works in the Office of the Provost for a little university named Texas A&M and enjoys sharing her “townie” knowledge to those that ask.

(The BCS CVB accepts guest blogs from time to time. The content is considered original, and is not paid advertising. While posted by the BCS CVB, the writer’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the BCS CVB.)

 

The BCS Yoga-splosion

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By Ashley Diamond Siegert

In case you have missed the human pretzels all over town, you will be interested to learn that Bryan/College Station has a quickly growing yoga culture that is about to be even more prevalent starting in May.  As I myself am an avid yogi and have recently been inspired to start a fine art yoga portraiture line, I have come to love and appreciate the growing popularity of yoga here in the Brazos Valley.

Many gyms, country clubs, dance studios, spas and even dedicated healing centers offer a variety of yoga classes here in town and opening May 10th, the Boulder, CO based franchise “Yoga Pod” is expanding into Aggieland, offering upwards of 70 classes each week.  Perhaps you have seen some of their promotional classes where over 100 students laid out their mats in the alley of The Village Café at April’s First Friday in downtown Bryan, or if you are an A&M student, you may have wandered by the rooftop yoga class held at the Corner Bar in Nothgate in March.

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Yoga has long been identified as a healing practice that can offer such benefits as decreased stress, lowered blood pressure, improved muscle tone, body awareness, and pain reduction.  Yoga can be practiced in many forms from gentle restorative breathing exercises all the way to powerful inversions and arm balances. However, if you have never tried yoga before, please don’t be afraid! There is a level and a class to suit each person and the goal is not to nail that crazy pose, but to use the process to find a place of calm.

As I mentioned, my personal yoga practice has inspired me to launch a fine art yoga portraiture line. I will be exploring each of my client’s practices to identify the pose and location to best illustrate his or her place in the yoga journey. Many of these images will be shot off on location during my travels, but many will be shot right here in Aggieland.

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If you are looking for a place to start or continue practice or to find a class while visiting Aggieland, here are a list of offerings (list as of May 2014…please google search for recent listings):

College Station Yoga

Yoga Pod

Dance Centre

Brazos Healing Center

Studio Yoga

Aggieland Fitness Dome


 

Ashley Diamond Siegert is a guest blogger for the CVB who lives behind a lens running her photo company Fig-Mint Photography and is perfecting her Reverse Warrior pose.  If you want your yoga documented by her, or just photos in general, check her out at http://www.fig-mint.com or shoot her a message at ashley.figmint@gmail.com

(The BCS CVB accepts guest blogs from time to time.  The content is considered original, and is not paid advertising.  While posted by the BCS CVB, the writer’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the BCS CVB.)

“Sweets” Is A True Aggieland Treat

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By McKinzie Brocail

Tucked in behind Fuddrucker’s on George Bush Drive E is a lovely little bakery/crepe café and coffee shop called Sweet Eugene’s House of Java.

It is cozy, cool and quite eclectic. As you approach the distressed green doors, you’ll feel like you’re about to enter the wardrobe to Narnia! Go on and enter, you’re taste buds will be so glad you did!

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The second the doors are open you’ll be smacked by the glorious scent of freshly roasted and brewed coffee. It’s delightful!

Gaze around and take it all in: This is the ultimate study place for Aggies. There are six or seven open sections, nooks really, that are blocked off by walls making them like separate rooms. Each nook is dotted with students and visitors studying or writing papers or relaxing with friends. No worries though, it doesn’t have that hush-hush atmosphere of a library.

Bold, colorful artworks line the walls. (They’re awesome and for sale!) With different flooring and seating, the nooks are even more distinguished as separate places. One such room is lined with books on one wall and totally feels like an indie library.

A suit of armor in one corner, a phone booth in another, and a study for, well, studying (or watching cat videos on YouTube…). All odds and ends fit in wonderfully here somehow.

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You’ll be in awe of what your eyes see, but don’t forget to check out the food and drinks!

Their assortment has both breakfast and lunch items on the menu and includes wraps, sandwiches pastries, donuts and desserts. Drink-wise, they offer coffee, espresso, smoothies, shakes, specialty drinks and various hot and cold options. You cannot go wrong with anything!

We suggest the green tea or vanilla java shakes, but everything is great. They have a huge selection of crepes with clever names like “Crème of the Crepe”, “Crepes of Wrath”, and “Alexander the Crepe”.

Sweet Eugene’s has been around since 1993 and proudly displays that they are “Aggie owned, operated and brewed!”

Whether you’re going to grab breakfast, catch up with friends over coffee, or to studying in a chill place that supplies plenty of caffeine options, Sweet Eugene’s is as sweet a place as they come.

The ultimate cherry on top? They’re open early and late, so any time is a good time and there’s free WiFi!


 

McKinzie Brocail is a guest blogger for the CVB who works with Cherry Ruffino Realtors and loves that first cup of java each day.  You can see her other stuff at http://www.collegestationhomefinder.com/blog/ or @CherryRealtors

(The BCS CVB accepts guest blogs from time to time.  The content is considered original, and is not paid advertising.  While posted by the BCS CVB, the writer’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the BCS CVB.)

First Fridays in Downtown Bryan

Every first Friday of the month, Downtown Bryan hosts many exciting events and exhibits for our residents and visitors. Starting from artists, musicians, variety of vendors, poetry readings, movies, carriage rides, food and drinks, First Friday is offers many more live entertainments and fun to the public! 

Here are some events coming up this first Friday, July 5th for you and your family and friends to enjoy!

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 - “Field of Dreams” at 8:30pm in Sale Park. Brazos Valley Bomber baseball players will be signing autographs before the movie!      

- Carriage rides beginning at the courtyard of the La Salle Hotel at 6pm.

- Special kids’ games area in St. Andrew’s Church parking lot.

- Free First Friday concert feat. HI FI, Christ Taylor Band, Wes Taylor Band & Daniel Gonzales at the Grand Stafford Theater starting at 5pm.

 

Come enjoy a fun first Friday of the month in the beautiful historic downtown Bryan!

For more information, Visit Aggieland – First Friday.