Looking for the best Austin date ideas to spice up your dedicated time with your partner? You can really only do dinner and a movie so many times. Luckily this city is bursting with romantic potential. Whether you’re into art or nature, there’s sure to be something here that will appeal to you. So, let’s get you out there exploring the city with your special someone.
Best Austin date ideas
Austin is a beautiful southern city with plenty of things to do and see. If you’re new to the area or you simply want to find something that will truly impress your date, here’s what we think you should consider:
1. Go for a hike at Bull Creek District Park + Greenbelt
Hiking is a great active date idea, and Bull Creek District Park + Greenbelt offers you an easy-access option that’s doesn’t require a road trip to get to. It has a mixture of easy to moderate trails, so neither you nor your date have to be an expert hiker. If you love getting out into nature and want to enjoy the beautiful scenery together, strap on those hiking boots and get out there.
2. Take a walk around Lady Bird Lake
If nature is the name-of-the-game, but a full-on hike seems too involved, a quiet walk around Lady Bird Lake is a good alternative. This in-city reservoir gives you the perfect mixture of lush lakeside scenery with the hustle and bustle of the city skyline. Soak in the views and get some fresh air while enjoying each other’s company.
3. Visit the Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is a must-visit if you and your date are art lovers. As one of the largest art museums in the country, it features collections of gorgeous works from around the world. You can easily get lost together spending hours in the museum admiring everything from painted cloth to contemporary American art. There’s something for everyone at the Blanton, so it’s a great place for a date.
4. Check out the bats at Congress Avenue Bridge
While bat watching might not be the most romantic-sounding date, it’s a genuinely unique Austin date idea — and it doesn’t cost a thing! The Congress Avenue Bridge has a bustling Mexican free-tailed bat population that’s truly an amazing site to see. These night lurkers come out about 30 to 60 minutes before sunset, so you’ll want to plan your arrival time accordingly. But make sure you don’t get too close, as bats aren’t exactly the friendliest or cleanest creatures out there.
5. See a show at The Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre has an impressive lineup of shows from musical acts to theatre performances which make for a unique, fun date idea. Tickets are slightly more than free, but note quite weekend getaway pricing. Plus, with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby, you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to grab dinner or drinks before or after the show. So why not check out what’s coming up and snag some tickets today?
6. Take a stroll through Zilker Botanical Garden
Turns out there are plenty of places to wander around in Austin, and Zilker Botanical Gardens is no exception. If you’re looking for romantic Austin date ideas, it should definitely top your list. Nestled in downtown Austin, this local gem features three themed gardens including the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and Rose Garden. Wander through, see what’s blooming and enjoy a romantic garden stroll.
7. Visit the Texas State Capitol
This historic date idea might not be for everyone, but if you or your date is newer to the city visiting the Texas State Capitol is a fine idea. This government icon sits on 22-acres of beautifully manicured grounds, features fun exhibits, interesting architecture and there’s food available on-site. It’s a particular good date night idea if you are both interested in traveling back in time. Learn the roots of the city and uncover a few new favorite date spots while you’re at it.
8. Check out a food truck park
Dinner dates are so last year, food trucks are the new unique foodie date experience. The best part about seeking out food trucks in Austin is that you have a few different parks to choose from. Regardless of where you are in the city, you can find a wide-variety of food and a festive atmosphere for your date. Chat, enjoy your meal, listen to the hustle and bustle of the area, and people watch. Plus, most of the food truck parks around the city have free admissions, so it’s as low as the cost of your meal!
9. Shop at one of Austin’s many farmers markets
Farmer’s Markets are the modern-day cool-equivalent of shopping malls. You and your date can grab some produce, pick up a box of freshly-made chocolates, grab a bite to eat, and buy a vintage lamp all in one fell-swoop. The farmer’s market gives you a chance to explore a vibrant local hot-spot and support neighborhood businesses!
10. Go bowling at Westgate Lanes
Westgate Lanes & Entertainment Complex gives you plenty of options you can add to your Austin date night ideas list. It features a whopping 62 bowling lanes, an arcade with over 45 games, billiards tables, and a on-site pub and grill. You can enjoy yourself dinner, have a game of pool, bowling or hit the arcade, and get to know each other better.
11. Visit the Austin Aquarium
Austin is a bit off from the coast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sea life. The Austin Aquarium is a fun and educational date activity where there’s plenty to do and see. You can explore the different exhibits, watch the fish and marine life swimming around in their tanks, and learn about the ecosystems of different parts of the world. There’s also food and drinks available on-site, so you can make sure your date gets something good to eat (even if it is just a plate of nachos).
12. Take a scenic drive down the River
Getting in a car with a stranger isn’t a good first date practice. But if you’ve been on a few dates and you’re comfortable, getting in the car together and going for a drive might be a good change-of-pace. A scenic drive down the river can help you explore beautiful views while chatting and getting to know each other. Not to mention, it’s a great way to relax and forget about the stresses of daily life.
13. Play disc golf at Zilker Park
Zilker Park is full of outdoor activities, and disc golf is one of those. It might not be the first sport that comes to mind when you think about Austin date night ideas, but it can be a real good time. Players of any level can head out to the park to enjoy themselves a game. The course is accessible, well maintained, and there are other nearby activities you can check out if you need to switch it up.
14. Get ice cream at Amy’s Ice Creams
Amy’s Ice Creams is a local Austin favorite with 13 different locations for you to choose from. If you need a quick-and-easy date idea, or you’re simply looking for a low-key way to end the afternoon or evening, this is for you. They have a wide variety of flavors for you to choose from, and you really can never go wrong with ice cream.
15. Go on a picnic at Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a view of the city, which makes it the perfect picnicking destination. Dinner and a movie is pretty typical date night, but if you want a similar experience that’s more budget-friendly and unique, this is the date for you. Pack your favorite on-the-go foods and blanket and you’re ready to head out!
16. Visit the Austin Zoo
A zoo date isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it gives you everything you need for a date in one easy place. Walk around and see animals from around the world, stop and enjoy an educational show, and grab a bite to eat from a concession stand. It’s one of the easiest date ideas you can do if you want smooth planning.
17. Go swimming at Barton Springs Pool
Swimming is a ton-of-fun, and it’s even better if you can do it in a unique natural spring. Barton Springs Pool delivers that right in the middle of downtown Austin. It’s a natural spring-fed pool that’s perfect for swimming, relaxing, and sunbathing. The best part is, it costs less than $5 a person to enjoy an afternoon here, so it’s a budget-friendly date idea.
18. Go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake
Just like swimming, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding is a summer activity. But if you’re looking for the perfect warm-weather date, grabbing your equipment and heading to Lady Bird Lake is a great idea. This active date lets you get in some exercise while you take in the sights and sounds of Austin. It’s a great way to have fun and get to know each other.
19. See a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse
The Alamo Drafthouse is a unique movie theater chain offering a more curated experience than your regular cinema. Unlike regular popcorn-and-hotdog theaters, they deliver your food and drinks right to your seat while you enjoy your flick which takes dinner and a movie to a whole new level. Plus they play a mixture of cult classics and the latest and greatest, which makes for an exciting and fun evening out.
20. Play laser tag at Blazer Tag Adventure Center
Laser tag is a throwback to the days of your youth and can make for an engaging date activity for couples who like a little competition. There are plenty of options in Austin, like Blazer Tag where you can play a game for $10 each. If the game goes well, you and your date can grab a burger and a beer there after.
21. Go on a bike ride
Austin has a ton of great biking trails for couples that like to get some exercise and explore the city on two wheels. From Southern Creek Walnut Trail in the East to Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail in the West, there’s something accessible wherever you are in the city. Biking is a low-key active date idea that lets you get that heart rate up.
22. Go ice skating
Considering it’s Austin not New York, ice skating might not be the first date idea that comes to mind. But it’s the perfect romantic date night for couples, especially in those fall and winter months. You can visit the Galleria Ice Skating Center where you can skate around together, or you can legitimately rent synthetic ice from Classic Holiday Ice Skating Rentals if you want to go all-out.
23. Go to a comedy show
Austin has a handful of comedy clubs around the downtown area where you and your date can go to have a laugh. There’s Fallout Theater that’s a whole comedy club and improv theater to the East Austin Comedy Club that provides you with a traditional comedy experience. Comedy shows are a great way to relax and have some fun. So, if you’re looking for a date night that’s a little bit different, getting tickets to a show is a great option.
Ready to plan your perfect Austin date?
There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Austin. Whether you’re headed out on your first, 14th or 444th date, there’s something out there for everyone. From a romantic walk through the flowers to an exciting sporty activity, this vibrant city is itching to house your next date.