It’s the most popular week of the year for date night. But, you don’t have to break the bank to show your Valentine a good time. Here are the best FREE date night ideas in Austin this week.
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.
Tuesday, February 13
Party Gras Fat Tuesday Party
Tuesday, Feb. 13 | at 3 p.m. | Lavaca Street Bar, 405 Lavaca St.
Kick off Mardi Gras downtown at Lavaca’s Fat Tuesday Party. Enjoy all the NOLA fixins like Abita Draft Specials, King Cake, Crawfish Ettouffee from Turf ‘n Surf, Hurricane Jello Shots and a Mardi Gras Mask Contest at 9 p.m. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Gibson Fat Tuesday
Tuesday, Feb. 13 | at 4 p.m. | Gibson Street Bar, 1109 S. Lamar Blvd.
Fat Tuesday is here and Gibson is the place to be! Enjoy Cajun food from Luke’s Inside Out, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to win prizes if you find the baby in the King Cake!
Black History Month Film Series – Glory
Tuesday, Feb. 13 | at 5 p.m. | Willie Mae Kirk Branch Austin Public Library, 3101 Oak Springs Dr.
Watch and discover new films at the Austin Public Library. This screening of Glory starring Denzel Washington is FREE and open to the public.
DTFix Dating Game at Highball Game Night
Tuesday, Feb. 13 | at 9 p.m. | High Ball Austin, 1120 S. Lamar Blvd.
Sprained your swipe finger? Friend, we have a remedy: OkCupid‘s #DTFixDating Game at HIGHBALL GAME NIGHT! Every Tuesday night, bond with people (in real life) as you use OkCupid’s questions as your dating compass—and then head out on a date. On the house. It’s like the classic Dating Game meets Cards Against Humanity meets, well, 2018.
Wednesday, February 14
Valentine’s Day Little Library Crawl (Buda, San Leanna)
Wednesday, Feb. 14 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | Whimsical Little Library, 12514 Eagle Nest Dr., Buda
Whether you are single, dating, or part of a family, this year’s Valentine’s Day Little Library Crawl provides a free alternative to the standard Valentine Day date. You can pick up a Reading Passport from any one of the four Little Free Libraries or you can print out the version they offer on the event site. As you visit each library, you will receive a sticker to place inside your passport. Completed passports can be submitted at the last stop for a chance to win a basket filled with items donated by local businesses and the library stewards. Each library will provide an activity or surprise to delight visitors of all ages; carnival games, wine, Blind Date with a Book, Outdoor Movie (The Princess Bride), and more! Check out the libraries involved here.
Wednesday Night Live: XOXO on the Paseo
Wednesday, Feb. 14 | from 6 to 7:30 p.m. | Mueller Austin, 4550 Mueller Blvd.
Looking for the perfect place to spend Valentine’s Day? Join Mueller Austin for Wednesday Night Live: XOXO on the Paseo. Take your date on a stroll down Aldrich Street before dinner or drinks and enjoy a live violinist, complimentary roses, a kissing photo booth and photo opps! Plus, Aldrich Street restaurants are also offering Valentine’s Day specials.
Thursday, February 15
ARA Black History Month Artist Celebration
Thursday, Feb. 15 | from 6 to 8 p.m. | Herman Schieffer House/ Eastroom, 1154 Lydia St. Ste. #200
The ARA Black History Month Artist Celebration event is an opportunity to highlight an up-and-coming local artist by hosting a feature exhibition that will cultivate artist development and stimulate support for multi-cultural art throughout Black History Month. One of the primary goals of this art exhibition is to encourage community engagement for local artists of color. The artist exhibition will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. featuring the work of Artist Juanita Cole Towery. The celebration is FREE, family-friendly, and open to all. Music, food, and drinks will be provided.
Date Night With Bumble
Thursday, Feb. 15 | from 6 to 8 p.m. | Cannon + Belle, 500 East 4th St.
Looking for Valentine’s Day plans? Want to avoid an awkward first date? Join Bumble at Cannon + Belle for a couple’s happy hour and mixology class. Learn how to create a signature cocktail and enjoy complimentary bites. All are welcome to stay for dinner and drinks following. Parking is available FREE in the Hilton garage on 4th St. (self-park) with validation and $5 with valet.
Friday, February 16
Refigured: Radical Realism Group Show Opening Event
Friday, Feb. 16 | from 6 to 8 p.m. | Julia C. Butridge Gallery, Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd.
A contemporary group exhibition of 12 Austin artists at the vanguard of a radical new realism movement. Austin, internationally recognized for its trend-setting creative culture, is now an outpost for an emerging Realist Renaissance and the group show REFIGURED: RADICAL REALISM showcases some of Austin’s finest realist figurative artists, across media, with their newest, most exciting work. Reception happening on Friday from 6 – 8 p.m. Exhibit dates from Saturday, February 10, to Saturday, March 10, 2018.
Texas’ Own Coral Reefs: Weathering the Storm
Friday, Feb. 16 | from 7 to 8 p.m. | San Jacinto Residence Hall, 309 East 21st St. Multipurpose Room 207
Hurricane Harvey dumped thirteen trillion gallons of rain on southeast Texas in August of 2017. Do extreme storm events like Harvey impact the coral reefs off Texas’ coast, in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary? Dr. Correa shares ongoing research connecting the Gulf Coast, extreme weather, and reef ecosystems.
Saturday, February 17
Burgers and Barbells
Saturday, Feb. 17 | from 9:45 to 11 a.m. | Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 1400 S. Congress Ave.
It’s that time again! Time to kick off your weekend with a winning combination — fitness, food, and community at Burgers and Barbells at the Hopdoddy South Congress location. From 9:45 – 10:45 a.m., join CrossFit Central for a FREE Workout at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Then, at 11, enjoy burgers, beverages and hanging out! Bring your friends and family, this is open to everyone.
Zombie Apocalypse Hike (Lockhart)
Saturday, Feb. 17 | from 10 to 11:30 a.m. | Lockhart State Park, 2012 State Park Rd., Lockhart
Have you ever wondered about your ability to survive in the wild? Test your survival skills, knowledge, and luck in this fun and family friendly program! This 1.5-hour program consists of games, activities, and 3/4-mile hike. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes. Bring water. Meet your survival expert at the Creekview Trailhead. Regular park entrance fees apply ($3/adult, free for children 12 & under). Want to learn more about surviving a zombie apocalypse in the Austin area? We’ve got you covered.
Sunday, February 18
Official Public Opening: Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin”
Sunday, Feb. 18 | from 12:30 to 5 p.m. | Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Blvd.
Join the Blanton for this FREE celebration of “Austin,” the monumental last work by renowned American artist Ellsworth Kelly. The museum is thrilled to have this beautiful building as a cornerstone work of art in our permanent collection and look forward celebrating its opening with you. Get more info on the day’s full schedule of events here.
National Drink Wine Day at IMT Austin
Sunday, Feb. 18 | from 2 to 8 p.m. | Infinity Monkey Theorem, 121 Pickle Rd.
As if we need an occasion to drink more wine. Join IMT Austin to celebrate National Drink Wine Day with an ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR! They’ll be servin’ up $5 tap glasses red cans, and $6 slushies.
Monday, February 19
Monday Night Jazz
Monday, Feb. 19 | from 7 to 9 p.m. | in.gredients, 2610 Manor Rd.
Join in.gredients for the return of Project_Trio Jazz to the porch! Marco Antonio Santos (guitar), Don Gozzard (Drums) and Will Baroni (Upright Bass) are part of Project_Trio. All members are current students at the UT Jazz Program. The trio presents original music and rearrangements of Jazz standards in a contemporary vision.