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Fun Things to Do in Austin, Texas

Updated on September 29, 2016
Downtown Austin from Zilker Park
Downtown Austin from Zilker Park | Source


Built on an extensive history, rich with diversity, and one of the friendliest places in the country, Austin, Texas is one of the best places to live, visit, and explore. With so many great areas that keep you close to the lively scene, it’s no wonder more and more people are moving to the Austin area. But, even those that are just visiting can take part in the wonderful activities, both indoor and outdoor, that will keep everyone occupied and happy!

Known as the Live Music Capitol of the World, home to the famous Sixth Street, and awesome new location to the Formula One races, the Greater Austin Area is also a great place to find many other things to do. Ask any Texan what there is to do and you may find a different answer every time.

Perhaps it is the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe of the city, the lively nightlife, or the laid back nature of some areas that so many come here for. Maybe it is the diverse culture or the artistic side that not many people know about. It is common knowledge that the local food is recognized as some of the best, the locals here are as friendly as you’d expect, and there’s so much to do in Austin and around this happening city that you will never be lacking for entertainment, no matter how long your stay.



January brings you activities like the Austin Boat Show, Bridal Extravaganza and the Westlake Farmers Market. It’s the New Year so everyone is recovering from the holidays with a number of sales from the small business owners in the Downtown Austin area so stop by and show your support.

February is the month of romance but you’ll also find the Texas Memorial Museum ID Day, Austin Green Show and Carnival Brasiliero to stop by. Take a carriage ride or make a reservation at a luxury restaurant in Downtown Austin.

March begins spring and a month full of music. After all, Austin is known as the Music Capitol of the World. During this month you’ll have the Texas State Arts Festival, South by Southwest, Texas Relays held at the Mike A. Myers Stadium, the Austin Chocolate Festival and best of all the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. You can also stop by the Zilker Garden Festival.

April brings springtime and a month full of activities to do in the city. The Louisiana Swamp Thing Crawfish Festival down in Buda, Texas begins; as well as the Demo Days Kayak Event, Austin Fine Arts Festival and Old Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival. Take in Austin culture at the Austin International Poetry Festival, Old Settlers Music Festival, and Art Week Austin while you are in town.

May is the start of summer for the locals and because it is already so hot, many are heading to the lake. Thankfully there is a calendar of events in Austin to keep you busy, and cool, like the Austin Writer’s Downtown festival and Cinco de Mayo. Not to mention all of the water parks and tubing rivers opening. During the summer months Austin Symphony Hartman Foundation also hosts free Sunday concerts in the park that is a must for anyone to check out.

June brings the Texas Greek Festival, Republic of Texas Biker Rally, the Texas Hill Country Railfair and Festival or the Annual Young Latino Art Exhibition.

July is a patriotic month filled with things to do in Austin that celebrate Independence Day, such as the 4th of July Celebrations that take place throughout the area. The Fireworks on Town Lake is a sight to see.

August is the time of year that everyone is gearing up for back to school so you will surely find something to do this weekend. There is the Austin Ice Cream Festival for anyone with a sweet tooth for ice cream. Then you can attend the Austin Home and Garden Show or Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. However, Batfest is one of the fun events in Austin happening in August for locals and tourists alike.

September is Longhorns all the way with UT Football beginning. For those of you who aren’t the sports type, not to worry; there is the Old Pecan Street Fall Festival, the Darkness to Light Gala and Oktoberfest begins at the end of the month.

October is “Spooktacular” with the Nightmare Factory Haunted House opening on the 1st. Halloween on Sixth Street is a famous tradition of Austinites and so is the ACL Music Fest and Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo. We can’t leave out the Austin Film Festival.

November begins college basketball for the sports enthusiasts visiting the area this month. For those of you in the holiday spirit you’ll enjoy Austin as it begins to prepare for the holidays. Christmas at Caswell House, Victorian Christmas on Sixth Street and the Devine Fall Festival are all festivals you want to check out while in Austin.

December is one of the busiest months of the year in Austin. With an Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Santa’s Workshops all over the city, the Cedar Park Tree Lighting or the famous Trail of Lights in Round Rock; Keep Austin Bizarre Christmas Bazaar, worldwide recognized Trail of Lights at Zilker Park and ending the year with a New Year’s Eve celebration in Downtown Austin.

Relaxing on the Water
Relaxing on the Water | Source


Whether you are looking for things to do this weekend, next month, or next year, there is always something happening in Austin to keep you and everyone in the family busy. From Austin’s action packed calendar of events to the little known places that hold lots of fun.


Austin’s very own Alamo Drafthouse is perfect for date night or just spending time with friends. Enjoy adult beverages or indulge in the delicious menu while watching a movie on the big screen. Visit Alamo Drafthouse online at for special offers, upcoming films, and show times.


Up in the sky you may find more than airplanes passing over the city. Austin Balloon Rides provides an experience to never be forgotten as you glide over Austin as the sun comes up. Visit them online at or call 512.851.8009 for specials and reservations.


Enjoy the horse drawn carriage ride around Downtown Austin with Austin Carriage.

Visit them online for hours of operation and to make reservations at or call 512.243.0044 as they book quickly most weekends.


The family will enjoy spending time at Thinkery, the Austin Children’s Museum evolution, for a little science that is always changing. Located at 1830 Simond Ave in Austin, learn more at


Enjoy the famous Austin music scene at Austin City Limits Music Festival or take in a live performance at the ACL Live at The Moody Center. Learn more at for upcoming artists and special events.


There’s always something happening at the Austin Convention Center with the convenient Downtown location and loaded calendar of events.


For thrift shop adventurers or garage sale enthusiasts, Austin Flea Market is the perfect place to venture on the weekends. You’ll find deals galore and feel like you’ve experienced a true treasure hunt.


Have a haunted good time with Austin Ghost Tours located at 303 Red River St in Downtown Austin. The average cost is $20 per person and private group tours are available. Tours begin every Friday and Saturday night at 8 pm. Learn more at


Austin’s Park and Pizza offers a day of family fun with go-karts, rock climbing, bumper boats, mini golf, and so much more! Perfect for hosting birthday parties or spending the day with friends. Visit their website for more at


There’s something about haunted houses, mysteries, and thrillers that keep the locals entertained all year long and Austin Panic Room is just such a place.


Austin Poetry Slam is a premiere location for the spoken art of words. There are shows every Tuesday at the Spider House Ballroom on 29th Street. Find more online at or through their Facebook page Austin Slam on Facebook.


All aboard the Austin Steam Train! From Murder Mystery fun to Signature Cocktail Series, there’s so much more to the Austin Steam Train than you could imagine. Enjoy the Hill Country Flyer for a 66-mile round trip through gorgeous Texas Hill Country or enjoy a shorter 44-mile trip on the Bertram Flyer over the San Gabriel River. Visit online at for more information, rates, schedules, etc.


Known as the original party trolley bus for Austin, the Austin Trolley Company offers guided tours around the Downtown area for your enjoyment. Give them a call at 512-323-9955 to learn more today!


Every time you visit the Austin Zoo you are contributing to this non-profit sanctuary for wild animals. Located in Southwestern Travis County, the Austin Zoo is an ideal location for a day trip with the family, summer youth programs, and a great place to host a wild birthday party! Learn more at



Austin is full of hidden gems, one of the most popular is the Barton Springs Pool located within Zilker Park and a short distance to the UT Campus. Four springs make up this popular and refreshing location, Main Spring, Old Mill Spring, Eliza Spring, and Upper Spring. Because Texas is full of hot, simmering days, you’ll appreciate the Barton Springs to cool off and relax in the shade. Visit for more information.


The artist in you will appreciate the Baylor Street Art Wall. Visit their Facebook page for more information about this awesome artistic area. Also the perfect backdrop for taking awesome pictures.


Experience the drive-in like it used to be with family friendly films under the stars. Blue Starlite Urban Drive In features films that will take back to those innocent days complete with popcorn and an outdoor big screen. Visit them online to see what’s playing tonight.


History buffs of all ages will enjoy Bob Bullocks Museum, conveniently located in Downtown Austin on Congress Avenue. Discover Texas history that you may have never known before, enjoy the IMAX theatre onsite, or take part in the ever-changing exhibits. There’s so much more to the Bob Bullock Museum than you could have ever imagined. Learn more at


One of those Texas traditions, since 1964, that promises a true two-stepping Texas experience, the Broken Spoke has hosted such celebrity guests as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Harry Connick Jr. just to name a few. See whose playing this weekend at



If you’re in the mood for a laugh or two, good food, and great atmosphere then Cap City Comedy Club is the place you want to be. Visit them online at to see who the headliner is this week. With nightly shows there is always something going on so no matter what night of the week you are looking for something to do in Austin, here’s one place that is always happening.


Live music every night, an awesome drink menu, and delicious food isn’t all you can expect at Cedar Street Courtyard. The lively ambiance is perfect for meeting up with friends for a laid back night out. Located on 4th Street in Downtown Austin, you’ll find four bars with a courtyard for hosting live bands. Visit for more information.


Paint-your-own pottery, create clay sculptures, or learn about glass fusion and more at Ceramics Bayou. With the ongoing calendar of events, found on, there is always something new to try. Whether you are looking to have a creative night out, want to plan a party, or looking to reserve a private room for your own event, Ceramics Bayou is an award-winning DIY pottery studio that provides everything you need.


You can spend an entire afternoon and evening along Congress Avenue in Downtown Austin. From the Historic Congress Avenue District and modern, trendy SOCO District to the famous Sixth Street District and the ever-growing East Side District, everything begins and ends along Congress Avenue.


Looking to spend a little time on the water without the drive out to Travis Lake? Check out Congress Avenue Kayak at for rental information, to schedule a lesson, or to schedule a group tour. Lady Bird Lake is the ideal scenic route for kayaking in Downtown Austin.


The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is famously home to the largest urban bat colony in the world. During the summer months, thousands of spectators come out to see over one million bats emerge from under the bridge at sunset. It’s an amazing site to see. Visit to view the schedule and the best times to witness the magnificent flight of Austin’s bats.


Enjoy a glass of wine, or two, at Craft Pride on Rainey Street in Downtown Austin. Open 7 days a week, in the afternoon around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and opening at 1 p.m. on the weekends, you will find them on the corner of Rainey St. and River St. on the West Side of IH-35.


Whether you are an avid diver or an amateur looking to learn the ropes, Deep Blue Scuba is eager to help you explore the mysterious depths only few dare to venture. With two locations, one in Austin and one in Aransas Pass, you have the opportunity to expand on your adventures with their help. Visit for more information.


One of America’s oldest traditions has a home in Round Rock, Texas at the famous Dell Diamond, official home to the Round Rock Express. Baseball enthusiasts will enjoy season passes to the home games while the general public also enjoys other events that take place throughout the year with concerts, carnivals and more. It is also the entrance to the Trail of Lights in December. Visit for more information.


For the ultimate experience in Austin sightseeing and activities check out the Double Decker Austin Bus Tours. Take the 90-minute tour to see historical sites and cultural attractions and more. Enjoy the Zilker tour or get in on the awesome Scavenger Hunt in Austin. Learn more at


One of Austin’s oldest, most luxurious, and to some, most haunted hotel in the Downtown Austin area, the Driskell Hotel is more than a luxurious hotel. It is also home to the Driskell Grill with delicious cuisine to satisfy your appetite. If you’re looking to book a weekend getaway or have family coming into town that are seeking hotel reservations, visit for more information.


Hey Ya'll ...

What Do You Like About Texas the Most?

See results
Surfing in Port Aransas along the Gulf of Mexico
Surfing in Port Aransas along the Gulf of Mexico | Source

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

A marker3600 Presidential Blvd. Austin TX 78719 -
3600 Presidential Boulevard, South Terminal Austin, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin,
get directions

DFW International Airport

A marker3200 E Airfield Drive DFW Airport, Grapevine, TX 76051 -
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, 3200 East Airfield Drive DFW Airport, Grapevine, TX 76051,
get directions


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    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @Kasman ~ that's so great! Have a safe trip!! I hope you enjoy your stay in Texas and thanks for stopping by my hub!!

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Wow, very detailed on everything Texas. I'm driving down there this weekend into next week anyway, might have to look into some of these spots as I go. Voting this up! Great job Sydney.

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @khmazz I recommend anyone that hasn't to do so lol! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 4 years ago from South Florida

      I want to visit Texas even more now! Great information!

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @INFJay thank you for your comment! My kiddos and I are in Port A every chance we get ~ we rent a cottage when we go. I do agree that the heat is a major negative. Even as a Texan I would prefer much cooler weather lol.

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 4 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      Texas is a wonderful place to visit and certainly has something for everyone. My favorite place to visit is Port A where we've rented a condo during the off season (November/December) to become a "Winter Texan." However, the summer weather is a major negative (thus why we visit in winter). Excellent list of resources too!

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @Mike Robbers ~ you have to visit Texas! It's like having five states in one :) Of course I'm partial but on the west side of Texas is the scenery most people are familiar with like tumbleweeds and dry desert but there is the Big Bend National Park! On the east side of Texas is beautiful green areas that will remind you of Washington state in my opinion :) Then down by the Gulf is the ocean life where you could go parasailing or camping on the beach. Central Texas of course if the music scene of Austin that the world has come to know. Up in the Panhandle is beautiful green acres perfect for horseback riding :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll enjoy your visit should you make it to the state!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Pretty informative hub about Texas. Texas is probably one of the 2-3 U.S. states I would have like to visit first even if most Europeans tend to prefer New York or San Francisco!

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @ MountainManJake I would love to hear another suggestion as Things to Do in Texas gets over 110,000 monthly local searches and that's what I based it on :) Anything you think would be better? Thanks for stopping by!

    • MountainManJake profile image

      MountainManJake 4 years ago from Seattle

      Things is a terrible keyword! You'll get more traffic if you edit your title.

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @ prettynutjob30 ~ thank you for leaving a comment! Where do you guys come from when you are driving through to CA? I was just out in CA a couple of years ago and wow, such a beautiful drive! Thanks for stopping by!! :) Safe journey the next time you are on the road!

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @Deborah Brooks ~ awe thank you so much for stopping by! Bill has been instrumental to me in learning Hubpages :) Thank you for voting up too! I appreciate that!

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, voted up and shared. Me and my hubby drive through Texas every time we go to visit his family in California, I will have to check out some of the spots you talked about in your hub the next time we drive through.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow you are talking my state.. LOVE TEXAS.. especially south Padre Island , San Antonio and Galveston.. lol.. love it all

      love your hub..

      Blessings to you.. bill says you are new so welcome to the hub.. I will check you out.

      voted up and sharing


    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sydney, attending one of Willie's parties would be the ultimate experience for me!

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      @bravewarrior ~ I have not had the pleasure of attending Willie's parties but I did have the pleasure of meeting him a few years back ... if he is as nice at his parties as he was in person then I'm sure it'd be a hoot! If I ever get an invite I'll be sure to let you know!! lol Thanks for stopping by!

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      Thanks for stopping by UberGeekGirl !!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sydney, both my brother and I were born in Texas, but only because that's where our Dad was stationed at the time (USAF). I was born in Dennison, way up at the top of the state, and my brother was born in Waco. I've never been to Texas as an adult.

      Have you ever been to one of Willy's 4th of July parties? That would be something I'd like to experience!

    • UberGeekGirl profile image

      Michelle Harlow 4 years ago from Calgary

      Mmmm cowboys... :D

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I sent the will see them on the left side of your Facebook page...share your work there...share the work of other Hubbers there...get to know some people. I think you will find it helpful.

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      Thanks for the comment billybuc! I've sent that friend request and I would love any help you can give. I appreciate any and all feedback. Maybe there are things I need to do to improve this or other hubs? And yes! You HAVE to visit Texas at least once in your life! If you are ever in the Austin area I'm happy to show you around!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow! No comments? This is such a wealth of information. You know, I have never been to Texas. I have visited forty states but never made it that far south. I'll have to rectify that soon, don't you think?

      Great job with this hub. We really need to get you more active followers. If you are interested in becoming a member of the HP Facebook groups, friend me (Bill Holland) on Facebook and I'll invite you. Good way to get to know more of the Hubbers and form a relationship.