Free Fun in Austin: Date Night Edition (February 25-28)

Looking for a grown up night out on the cheap? Here are 15 ways to enjoy some free fun in Austin this weekend, on a date or with friends!
FREE-DATES-IN-AUSTIN

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers at Highball

Who are Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers? More and more music lovers are learning the answer: a band that’s earned a nationwide following and international fans with its honest, original music fused with synergy, sugar, sweat and soul. The 10-year-old four-piece combo plays an Americana that encompasses Texas honky-tonk, Bakersfield twang, Memphis rockabilly, Western swing and good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll. FREE show, starts at 7 p.m. (The Highball, 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin)

Nothing But Thieves at Waterloo Records

Bring The Noise UK writes, “Southend rockers Nothing But Thieves have been tearing up the festival and live music scene for the last three years. 2015 has seen the band sky rocket to popularity and become one of the hottest bands to watch out for. The band’s single, Itch, found its way on to BBC Radio 1’s playlist, as well as being awarded Hottest Record and Track of the Day status.” Check them out for FREE during their Waterloo in-store at 5 p.m. Refreshments provided by Shiner. (Waterloo Records, 600A N. Lamar, Austin)

3rd Annual Hand Drawn Records Battle of the Bands at Brass House

Omarr Awake hosts the 3rd annual Battle of the Bands presented by Hand Drawn Records, live at Austin’s renowned jazz lounge, Brass House. Nightly winners move on to an unofficial South-By showcase on March 17th, where the finalists compete for a chance to be included on this year’s Hand Drawn Records’ compilation record! Past Hand Drawn Records compilations have been nominated for numerous music awards, and are released nationally for FREE. The “battle” voting is 50% audience ballot voting, and 50% judge voting. So, come join the fun from 8 p.m. to midnight, and vote for your favorite! This week’s battle is between YesSunYes at 9 p.m., Hayseed Gypsies at 10 p.m., and Double Whiskey Straits at 11 p.m (Brass House, 115 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin)

Triplane Comedy Show

Austin comedy captains Kath Barbadoro, Joe Hafkey, and Mac Blake are starting up a new FREE show, Triplane! The lineup for their 8 p.m. show includes headliner Duncan Carson (SURE THING), Matt Bearden (PUNCHcomedy, KLBJ morning show), Lisa Friedrich (ATX Comedy Hour), Cody Greenlee (took a suspicious amount of notes while watching Making a Murderer).  (Companion, 908 E 5th St, Austin)

Throwback Thursdays with Jack Burton Trio

Throw back a drink while JB3 plays your favorite throwback tunes and original music for booty shakin’. Starts at 8 p.m. No cover, drink specials, and killer grooves. (Icenhauer’s, 83 Rainey St, Austin)

The Free Fringe

The Austin improv scene is bursting with creativity. A never-ending parade of improv experiments. There are hundreds of performers, and every single one of them is prone to saying things like “Wouldn’t it be crazy if…?” or “I just had the most insane idea.” This is where those dreams go, not to die, but to live gloriously on the stage for one night only at the FREE Fringe. Show at 10 p.m. Get tickets here. (The Hideout, 617 Congress Ave, Austin)

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Copa Kings at The Highball

Enjoy a swinging good time with The Copa Kings, Austin’s own rat-pack, who will be playing their special brand of jazzy soul from 7-10 p.m. During this FREE show, The Copa Kings pay homage to some of our country’s greatest jazz songwriters and performers, including Frank, Billie, Ella, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan and Ray. Members of the ensemble have played with locally and nationally known acts, including The Atlantics, White Ghost Shivers, The Jazz Pharaohs and The Blackbird Trio. (The Highball, 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin)

Jitterbug Vipers at C Boys Heart & Soul

The Jitterbug Vipers specialize in a beloved cult jazz offshoot called “viper jazz,” a screeching U-Turn back to the party where jazz music packed the dance floor and dazzled the audience with brilliant streams of improvisatory musicianship. This musical heritage pulls from the cherished musicality of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, and Slim Galliard. Show is FREE and starts at 6:30 p.m. (C Boys Heart & Soul, 2008 South Congress, Austin)

The Weekly Stomp: Comedy at Cenote

Weekly FREE comedy every Friday from 8-10 p.m. Hosted by Montgomery Wayne and Tiffany Stepp. (Cenote, 1010 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin)

Free Comedy: In the Treehouse with Chris Castles

One of the longest running FREE comedy shows in Austin! Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show is at 8 p.m. The room hits capacity at about 50 people, so be sure to be early for good seats, or any seats at all. (Austin Java, 1608 Barton Springs Rd, Austin)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

SURE THING Comedy at Austin Java Parkway

Founded in 2012, SURE THING has grown to become Austin’s most popular and acclaimed stand-up showcase. This week is jam-packed with talented comics. Andrew Murphy (Fun Fun Fun Fest, FPIA semi-finals) headlines SURE THING this week, with Kerry Awn, Yusef Roach, Joey Zimmerman, and more!  The FREE show starts at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7:30 p.m. (Austin Java Parkway, 1206 Parkway, Austin)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

LAUGH, DAMMIT!

Austin’s funniest live game show! Comics compete to make contestants laugh – if they don’t, they win prizes!  Laugh, Dammit! is inspired by the classic tv game show Make Me Laugh! Host David James drives a rotating panel of talented comics as they do everything they can to make contestants laugh. Contestants are snapped up from the live audience. Avery Moore is joined by announcer Duncan Carson, and the world’s greatest stagehand, Cobb Gutman. This FREE show starts is 8-9:30 p.m. (The Highball, 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin)

Super Soul Sundays with The Nightowls

Every Sunday, Icenhauer’s hosts The Nightowls – Austin’s own 10-piece soul band that was recently named one of the “Best New Bands of the Year” by Austin Chronicle and the Austin Music Awards. They play a unique blend of vintage and modern soul music that results in a high-energy, foot-stomping performance. This FREE show is 3-6 p.m. (Icenhauer’s, 83 Rainey St, Austin)

Psychedelic Soul Sundays with Hilary York and Jack Burton

Head on over to C-Boys for groovy psychedelic soul that will surely put you in a good mood for Monday. Doors open at 5 p.m., Jack Burton and Friends performs 7 p.m., and Hilary York performs at 10 p.m. FREE show! (C Boys Heart & Soul, 2008 South Congress, Austin)

Open Mic Hosted by Kacy Crowley

Can’t get enough of the weekend? Catch a FREE late night open mic hosted by Austin’s own Kacy Crowley at 10 p.m. (Strange Brew, 5326 Manchaca Rd, Austin)

About the Author

Heather Gimbel
Native Austinite, Heather Gimbel, has been soaking up our city's nightlife since before ACL was even a festival. Her favorite venue? Liberty Lunch. These days, she's a REALTOR and ambassador for all things Austin as the author of The Untourist Guide: Moving to Austin. Need help buying/selling a home in the Austin area? Visit HeatherGimbel.com.