Whether you are local or just in town for the weekend, you may be overwhelmed with all the amazing things to do here. It can be hard narrowing down ideas for a great Austin date night.
Don't fret! Instead, check out these 24 Austin date ideas for a romantic evening, a fun afternoon, or a unique date night out in the capital of Texas.
Cool and Unique Date Night Ideas in Austin
Forget about the standard “dinner and a date” in Austin, a city that has so many interesting and fun things to do. From glassblowing to street art tours, and exciting games to daring activities, a date in Austin will never be boring!
1. Glassblowing at Glass Pepper Glass
Fan the flames of love by taking a glassblowing class together! Ghost Pepper Glass in East Austin has a ‘Taste Of Glassblowing’ workshop that’s perfect for couples. Offered on Friday and Saturday nights between 6 pm and 9 pm, you and your date will get 15 minutes of personal instruction and then go on to make your own beautiful glass-blown objects.
For a more intimate experience, you can take a private two-hour lesson. Whatever class you take, you’ll each have a unique memento of your time together!
2. Overcome a challenge together at The Escape Game
Find out if you and your date can overcome a challenge at The Escape Game Austin. Put your heads together to find a way out of a ‘locked’ room by solving riddles and puzzles. Each game has unique themes and multiple rooms in each game, The Escape Game will put your love to the test!
You can choose a game that suits your tastes. Do you both like thriller movies or books? Play Classified where you must hurry to stop a major international attack. Want to take on the most difficult game? Play Prison Break and rush to figure out how to break out of a jail cell in a 1950s prison!
With the last game of the night starting just after midnight, The Escape Game is a great place to go in Austin for a late-night date
3. Take a self-guided street art tour
Art lovers can spend a night viewing Austin’s street art on this self-guided street art tour. The murals are not just artistically inspiring but also provocative so you’ll have plenty to talk about if this is a first date.
Longtime couples who love to post their adventures on Instagram. Wrap up your date at the romantic "I Love You So Much" mural. Afterward, take a romantic stroll along the boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake.
4. Watch the sunset from Mount Bonnell
Head up to Mount Bonnell with your partner for a breathtaking sunset with panoramic views of Austin. Since the mid-1800s, Mount Bonnell has been a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.
You can be sure that many date nights in Austin have taken place here. Unlike other date night activities, it's free to visit Mount Bonnell, making a sunset trip here one of the most romantic and cheap date ideas in Austin.
5. Go on a speakeasy tour
Want to know what bars to go to in Austin for a romantic night out? This speakeasy walking tour will show you where to go. This two-and-a-half-hour tour is led by a local craft bartender who takes you to several hideaways like bars located behind bookshelves, in basements, and in alleyways. Along the way, you'll learn about the history of speakeasies and what makes a bar a speakeasy.
The tour runs on Sundays and Tuesdays from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. On your next date, you can come back to your favorite spot and toast over newfound cocktails.
6. Take your sweetheart to the Museum of Ice Cream
At the Museum of Ice Cream, you and your sweetheart can indulge in all-you-can-eat ice cream while walking through 12 multi-sensory installations about this sweet treat! Try unusual flavors or different textures. Jump in the huge sprinkle pool together!
The museum’s late nights are Fridays and Saturdays, though it closes at 7 pm. If you’re planning a later date, skip the museum and head to one of Austin’s best ice cream shops like Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Cold Cookie Company, Luv Fats Ice Cream, and Dolce Neve Gelato.
7. Stir up something good at a cooking class
If you are looking for first-date ideas in Austin, try a cooking class! You’ll be part of a group so there’s no one-one pressure. Instructors keep classes light-hearted so you and your date will have fun laughing off any food disasters you may make together.
Sur La Table’s Date Night cooking classes create the kind of environment that's just right for couples. The great thing about a cooking class is that for date number two, you can create your own meals with what you learned.
8. Dinner and a movie like never before
Simplify your dinner and a movie date at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Watch your movie while eating delicious food from their award-winning menu brought to your seat. Sip on handcrafted cocktails and microbrewery beers. The Alamo plays everything from current hits to classics, indie to foreign films.
For an old-fashioned dinner and a movie, head to a drive-in. The Blue Starlite Drive-In has two locations in Austin, one of which has a drive-in food stand. With so many screens to choose from, the odds are that you'll find a romantic movie playing on one of them.
9. Join a painting paw-ty
If you and your date have bonded over your love of felines, join one of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge’s “Sip and Paint Paw-ties”. You’ll have 70 minutes to work on a cat painting with the help of an art instructor. Plus 20 minutes to play with the kitties in the cafe. Cupcakes are provided and you can bring your own wine if you'd like. If you’ve been thinking of adding a little one to your household, consider one of the cafe’s fur balls!
10. See Austin’s bats on a sunset kayak tour
Austin’s well known for its colony of Mexican free-tailed bats that live underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The colony is over one and a half million strong, making it the largest urban bat colony in the world. Watching them fly out from their abode at sunset in search of food is an awesome sight. For an unconventional date idea, see Austin’s bats at sunset from a kayak!
Lone Star Kayak Tours’ Bat Bridge Kayak Tour starts at 6 pm and lasts two hours. Your tour guide will teach you about these nocturnal creatures and the role they play in the ecosystem. All the while you will take in the sparkling Austin skyline.
11. Try indoor skydiving
If watching bats fly isn’t your idea of a great date night, see what it feels like to fly yourselves at iFly Austin. You and your date will be able to experience the thrill of defying gravity from inside a manmade vertical wind tunnel just a few feet above the ground. If this date goes well, consider a next date with a real skydiving experience. Feel your love soaring to new heights!
12. Relax at a spa
For couples looking for a date weekend, head a half-hour out of Austin and make your way to the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. Located in Austin’s Hill Country, the resort is a great date getaway. Bask in the luxury of a full-service resort where you can enjoy golf, nearby hiking trails, an infinity pool overlooking the rolling hills, and much more.
If you prefer a simple spa day, you can book time at the resort's Mokara Spa and enjoy spa treatments, a rooftop pool, a steam room, a sauna, a whirlpool, and locker rooms for the day. treatments, salon services, restorative personal journeys, and more. On Fridays and Saturdays, the spa is open until 7 pm so you’ll have time for dinner afterward at one of the seven restaurants at the resort.
13. Discover new wines
Turn your date into a tasting tour of Aurditn’s best wineries. The Austin Winery’s tasting room is open Tuesdays to Saturdays until 9 pm. Their wine flights get you three wines to try for $20. The friendly staff will help you pick wines that suit your taste. Since there are two of you, you can try twice as many wines!
For a longer date, Austin has wineries throughout the surrounding Texas HiIll Country. You can use this map to find great wineries to stop at. If you prefer that someone else do the driving take an organized tour, like this Half-Day Hill Country Wine Shuttle Tour.
14. Gaze at the stars
What could be more romantic than a date under Austin’s stars? Your best bet for the clearest and darkest skies is at locations about two hours or more outside of Austin where the lights of a city won't interfere with your viewing. But there are some good places in or near the city.
On Wednesday nights during school semesters, the University of Texas hosts public star parties on the roof of Robert Lee Moore Hall. Within the Austin area, the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center hosts star parties periodically. Telescopes are provided and professional astronomers are there to answer any questions.
If you can spend time taking a much longer drive, South Llano River State Park offers a big Texas sky and you and your date will be awed by the sheer number of stars you’ll see. Combine your stargazing with some time in the park enjoying nature.
15. Ziplining at night
For couples who are adrenaline junkies and not afraid of the dark Lake Travis Zipline Adventures has what you need! They offer a three-hour nighttime zipline guided adventure that includes five ziplines, ranging from 250 feet long to over 2800 feet long. Their longest zipline is the longest and fastest zipline in Texas with a descent from a cliff as tall as a twenty-story building. Glowsticks and headlamps will be provided as will a memory that will long outlast your date night!
16. Go axe throwing
We admit this may not be the best idea for a first date, but if you and your partner know each other well enough to know that this is just for fun, then a Friday night date at Austin Axe Throwing is a fantastic idea!
Axe throwing has become one of the most popular recreational activities in the past few years, so you'll probably see other couples there. This would also be a fun idea for a double date and is a fun thing for couples to do in Austin.
Urban Axes is open on Tuesdays to Thursdays until 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 11 pm, and Sundays until 8 pm.
Fun Daytime Date Ideas in Austin’s Great Outdoors
Why plan a date at night when Austin has so many amazing places for couples to enjoy during the day? Outdoor lovers can bike and hike together, swim in clear spring waters, go ziplining, wakeboarding, and more! Austin’s outdoor fun is enough for several dates!
17. Kayak at Lady Bird Lake
Located in the heart of Austin, Lady Bird Lake is a lovely spot to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. You can rent kayaks and canoes from the Texas Rowing Center, which also offers lessons. The Rowing Dock also has rentals and offers instruction for paddle boards, kayaks, and paddle boats.
No swimming is allowed here so if you are looking for a swimming experience, try a watering hole at Barton Creek Greenbelt (below) or the Barton Springs Pool inside Zilker Park.
18. Hike and swim at the Barton Creek Greenbelt
The Barton Creek Greenbelt has everything needed for a perfect outdoor date in Austin. Gorgeous and varied landscapes provide different difficulty levels of hiking trails. If you want to hike to a swimming hole, there are Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls. Dogs are welcome so if you don't feel like three’s a crowd bring Fido along!
19. Bike the Ann and Roy Butler Bike Trail
For a casual bike ride in a beautiful location, look no farther than this 10-mile bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. The terrain is primarily flat so if you are on a first date, you need not worry about breaking into an uncomfortable sweat!
20. Hold hands at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum
Another romantic place perfect for a daytime date in Austin is the idyllic UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum, filled with the charming works of American sculptor Charles Umlauf. If you are looking for something to do on an evening, look into attending one of the adult events as part of the UMLAUF After Dark series.
21. Stroll through Zilker Botanical Garden
Some call Zilker Botanical Garden “the jewel in the heart of Austin” -- sounds about right for a date! Stroll through the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Riparian Streambed. Listen to the delicate trickle of streams and small waterfalls and fish whooshing in the Koi-pond.
Austin’s Nightlife For A Great Date
Below are some easy picks for date night in Austin, like romantic restaurants, cozy bars, and live music venues.
22. Date night restaurants
If you can spring for a fancy meal, Lenoir is one of the top romantic restaurants in Austin.
The menu is sublime and the two seating options can help you create the date vibe you want. Sit in the outdoor wine garden underneath the paper lanterns for a casual experience or get more intimate inside the small bungalow with only a few tables.
A romantic date doesn't have to be expensive! QI Austin is date-night material! With delicious Chinese food, you and your date can slurp on amazing soup dumplings. The interior has a romantic ambiance so skip the patio.
While the setting of Halcyon may not be exactly ‘romantic’, sharing S’mores is! This coffee shop which serves food and cocktails is a good choice if you are looking for a low-key spot for a late date in Austin as it is open until 2 am every night.
23. Bars and lounges
Lucille is a charming bar on Rainey Street that has both a cozy inside bar serving classic cocktails and local beers and an outside bar on the patio. On the patio, you can stretch out in hammocks and play classic outdoor games making this a great Austin bar for an afternoon date.
House Wine, located in a 1940s home with plush, contemporary decor is a smart choice for a no-pressure setting just right for first dates. It’s like being at someone’s house where you can even bring your dogs and sit out on the patio.
Cool, classic, and dark! The Roosevelt Room is where to get up close and personal with your date over swanky cocktails. It’s atmospheric and whips up drinks from bygone eras like Manhattans, as well as modern libations.
24. Live music venues
For all kinds of music in a comfy, historic bar, the Scoot Inn is a good choice. Another historic music venue is the Continental Club, which also features every genre of music.
Part dive bar, part music venue, The Skylark Lounge is low on pretension and high on quality Blues. The Elephant Room is a speakeasy with jazz every night in the basement.