Fun Things to Do in Austin, Texas
WELCOME TO AUSTIN, TEXAS
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.
AUSTIN CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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.
ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO IN AUSTIN
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 Drafthouse.com for special offers, upcoming films, and show times.
AUSTIN BALLOON RIDES
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 AustinBalloonRides.com 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 AustinCarriage.com or call 512.243.0044 as they book quickly most weekends.
AUSTIN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
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 thinkeryaustin.org.
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS (ACL)
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 ACLTV.com for upcoming artists and special events.
AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER
There’s always something happening at the Austin Convention Center with the convenient Downtown location and loaded calendar of events.
AUSTIN FLEA MARKET
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.
AUSTIN GHOST TOURS
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 AustinGhostTours.com.
AUSTIN’S PARK AND PIZZA
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 AustinsPark.com.
AUSTIN PANIC ROOM
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
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 AustinSlam.com or through their Facebook page Austin Slam on Facebook.
AUSTIN STEAM TRAIN
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 AustinSteamTrain.org for more information, rates, schedules, etc.
AUSTIN TROLLEY COMPANY
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 AustinZoo.org
BARTON SPRINGS POOL
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 EdwardsAquifer.net for more information.
BAYLOR STREET ART WALL
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.
BLUE STARLITE URBAN DRIVE IN
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. BlueStarliteDriveIn.com
BOB BULLOCKS MUSEUM
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 TheStoryofTexas.com
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 brokenspokeaustintx.net
CAP CITY COMEDY CLUB
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 CapCityComedy.com 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.
CEDAR STREET COURTYARD
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 CedarStreetAustin.com 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 CeramicsBayou.com, 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.
CONGRESS AVENUE KAYAK
Looking to spend a little time on the water without the drive out to Travis Lake? Check out Congress Avenue Kayak at CongressKayaks.com 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 BatCon.org 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.
DEEP BLUE SCUBA
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 DeepBlueScubaTx.com 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 MILB.com for more information.
DOUBLE DECKER AUSTIN TOURS
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 DoubleDeckerAustin.com
DRISKELL HOTEL & GRILL
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 DriskellHotel.com for more information.
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