Free Date Nights in Austin (February 11-14, 2016)

Looking to plan a special evening with your valentine (or galentines)? There are plenty of Austin venues offering free date night entertainment all weekend long!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

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. – midnight, and vote for your favorite! This week’s battle is between Tyler Stanfield at 9 p.m., Micah Marcos at 10 p.m., and Orbitmann and Ground Control at 11 p.m. (Brass House, 115 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin)

Carnaval Austin- Official West Pre-Party featuring OS Alquimistas, Austin Samba School & DJ Aquaman Chill

Join in the FREE final Pre-Carnaval Warm-Up Party at Spider House Ballroom for a real musical mashup featuring disc-spinner DJ Aquaman Chill, Austin’s authentic Rio samba school, Austin Samba, and the Brazilian funk grooves of Os Alquimistas. Doors open at 8; music starts at 9. 101X will be on hand to give away Carnaval tickets and other swag. Also, Donald from Curvy Canvas will be there airbrushing willing bodies and faces. (Spider House Ballroom, 2908 & 2906 Fruth St, Austin)

Triplane Comedy Show

Austin comedy captains Kath Barbadoro, Joe Hafkey, and Mac Blake have a new FREE show, Triplane. The lineup for their 8 p.m. show includes headliner Omar Shaukat (NYC), Kerri Lendo (Moontower’s Inside Joke), Matt Bearden (Punch! Comedy), Abby Rosenquist (Just for Laffs Montreal). (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 12, 2016

Flatbed Contemporary Print Fair

Presented in conjunction with PrintAustin, the third annual Flatbed Contemporary Print Fair showcases nine highly esteemed print publishers and artist self-publishers from across the United States. New and established collectors are invited to peruse and purchase limited editions. Take advantage of Flatbed’s intimate and relaxed setting to meet and talk with fine art print artists, printers, and publishers. The Opening Night Benefit Preview is Friday, from 6-9 p.m., and admission is a $10 donation at the door.  The Weekend Print Fair, Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m., is FREE and open to the public. (Flatbed Press and Gallery, 2830 Martin Luther King Blvd E, Austin)

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)

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, this week’s featured comics include MK Paulsen, Justin Biske, Sara June, Tre Howard, Christina Parrish, and special guests. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. (Austin Java, 1608 Barton Springs Rd, Austin)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

2nd Annual Vigilante Valentine’s Masquerade Party

Come out for the 2nd Annual Vigilante Valentine’s Masquerade Party at Fado’s! This is an absolutely FREE event starting at 9 p.m.  DJ Hexum will be spinning all night and there will be a prize for the best mask of the night. Dress code is semi-formal and there will be masks available for purchase at the event for $1. (Fado Irish Pub, 214 West 4th Street, Austin)

Valentine’s Austin Flea

The Flea features all local handmade items and vintage wares from some of Austin’s most amazing and talented vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for Valentine’s or any occasion including jewelry, bath/body products, vintage, original artwork, paper goods, textiles and so much more! Open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., plus FREE live music throughout the day by: Hilary York, ernie c. ernst, Greta Goo, Graham Wilkinson, Shawn Nelson, and HoneyPunch! (Opal Divine’s Penn Field, 3601 South Congress, Suite K100, Austin)

COME AND SING IT: The Highball’s Ultimate Karaoke Tournament

The Highball is bringing back their Karaoke Tournament to end all others! Come see Austinites battle it out with their vocal chords in an attempt to win big! COME AND SING IT is the arena! A three-stage competition celebrating the creativity and variety of Austin’s insane karaoke community and offering big cash money and gift card-y rewards! This week will feature a FREE, special Valentine’s Day edition of the show! (The Highball, 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin)

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, Mac Blake (Moontower, Funniest Person in Austin Winner, “Bird Drugs”) headlines SURE THING, with a jam-packed supporting cast: Ben Cholok, Amber Bixby, Genevieve Mueller, Andrew Clarkston, and NYC’s Omar Shaukat.  The FREE show starts at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7:30 p.m. (Austin Java Parkway, 1206 Parkway, Austin)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Super Soul Sundays with The Nightowls: Valentine’s Day Special Tribute to Al Green

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)

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