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Halloween in Austin: The Rowing Dock’s Full Moon Paddle Is a Safe Treat

Experience Austin from a new perspective – while floating in the dark

Alex Reichek is a hospitality and lifestyle consultant and marketer. Her personal site, Chekmark Eats, is filled with recommendations on where to dine, drink and experience the best of Austin, where she lives now, and New York City, where she lived for eight years after attending UT, as well as discoveries made on her travels around the world. This year, with COVID-19 changing up everyone’s plans, Reichek is exploring the Texas Hill Country and sharing her nearby adventures with Tribeza readers. Be sure to visit Chekmark Eats and follow her on Instagram.

With all of the fun outdoorsy stuff in and around Austin, I have to say, a full-moon, evening paddle board float on Town Lake is something I had never heard of until I came across the event at the Rowing Dock. Heading onto the water at 8 p.m. is spooky, thrilling and exciting. My friends and I showed up to the dock with masks on, received a little light-up necklace and hit the water shortly after. Once all checked in, you are ready to push off freely into the moonlight. If you’re lucky, you can access their amazing blue nocqua lights that illuminate the water under your board. But don’t worry, all the boards and kayaks have lights when you go out at night.

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This is such a wild and positive new way to see Austin’s illuminated skyline and spend time with pals or on a date. I went with a small group – my best friend from UT and a few others from my time living in NYC. We had so much fun hanging out on the water and howling at the full moon. Yes, that is a thing! People do it every full moon at Barton Springs, and there were a few of us participating on the water and probably a few people on the trail yelping like wolves. It’s hilarious, exhilarating – especially in the pitch-black night – and you won’t stop laughing.

I spend so much time on the trail and on Town Lake but being there in the dark offers a unique viewpoint and a way to mix up a routine. I felt like I was on a vacation, seeing something new and feeling a tiny bit of fear. Of what? I don’t know, but I loved it! We brought a speaker, a couple drinks, and sat down trying to keep our paddles and kayaks in a circle. Downtown Austin buildings are gorgeous, and it was a great way to social distance while also expand our minds and experiences.

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The Rowing Dock is doing another evening event, and this time it’s kid-friendly and for Halloween. Their Fab-BOO-Lous Full Moon Paddle takes places Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., at 2418 Stratford Drive. Costumes are encouraged, and they will even have trick-or-treat stations on the water with a DJ playing fun music and some food trucks on hand for more substantial grub. This will be an awesome and safe alternative for Halloween night! There are limited tickets available due to social distancing. They are now $30 for adults, $15 for ages 8 to 15, and $5 for kids under 7.