Free Date Nights in Austin, March 13 – 19, 2018

SXSW is here but you can still escape the madness for a little date action. Or, you can join in on the fun. This week, we’ve got a little bit of both in our FREE date ideas list. So let’s get going!

Tuesday, March 13

Sun Radio Sessions 2018 – Mornings
Tuesday, March 13 | from 7 to 10 a.m. | Hyde Park Bar & Grill Westgate, 4521 W Gate Blvd.
The Sun Radio Sessions – Mornings will be happening March 13 through 16 at Hyde Park Bar & Grill WestGate from 7 to 10 a.m.! Join Kevin Connor each day for live music performances from local, national, and international artists. Lineup TBA soon. Stay tuned to Sun Radio and SunRadio.com for updates.

Central Market’s “Explore our National Porks” Bacon Fest
Tuesday, March 13 | from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Central Market, 4001 North Lamar & 4521 Westgate Blvd.
Tuesday is the final day of Central Market’s “Explore our National Porks” Bacon Fest. Taking place  at both Central Market Austin locations, discover how bacon can be much more than just a breakfast table item through Central Market’s wide variety of bacon-influenced recipes and chef-prepared meals, as well as learn tips for cooking with bacon. Bacon Fest will give customers a unique experience in all things bacon by encouraging them to expand their pallets with exclusive sweet and savory bacon products found across the store.

Wednesday, March 14

PIECE OUT: SXSW Paint Day
Wednesday, March 14 | from 12 to 10 p.m.| Hope Outdoor Gallery, 1008 Baylor St.
40 live artists. Silent disco DJ-Sets by MadCoins, Bird Peterson, FIDEO, Go Go Garcia and. Chino Casino. Get information about the NEW location. HOPE Art Books, shirts, hats, etc.

Closer Art Show
Wednesday, March 14 | from 6 to 9 p.m. | Imagine Art, 2830 Real St.
The exhibition entitled “CLOSER” features colorful large pop-temporary for behind your couch by: T. HYDEN, a simply perfect ceramic body by: SHON PARKER, unique and beautifully crafted ceramic creatures by: BLOOKAT and paintings, naturally modern/contemporary by: BILL KOLB. Live musical performances. FREE!

Thursday, March 15

SXSW Marketplace
Thursday, March 15 | from 12 to 6 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.
SXSW Marketplace, a giant pop-up shop in the heart of downtown Austin, is back for a second year. Badge holders and general public who register for a SXSW Guest Pass will be able to explore a curated selection of 70 local and national vendors that will showcase clothing, accessories, home goods, art, and more. An impressive range of vendors from cities including Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles– to name a few. FREE to badgeholders and general public with the SXSW Guest Pass. Guest pass registration here. Thursday hours: 12 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts
Thursday, March 15 | from 4 to 10 p.m. | 800 Riverside Dr.
SXSW returns with three days of music in the park at The SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts. These three shows on SXSW’s largest stage will be open to all SXSW Badges, Wristbands, and FREE and open to the public, but require a SXSW Guest Pass. Guest pass registration here. More info on the lineup here.

St. Nick Birthday Bash at Lala’s
Thursday, March 15 | at 4 p.m. | Lala’s, 2207 Justin Ln.
What better place to celebrate the birthday of the jolly man in red than Austin’s Christmas-themed bar Lala’s? Join the neighborhood bar to raise a toast to St. Nick with drink specials including $4 Jack Daniels, $5 selected pints, and $5 snowballs, plus a special Santa appearance during the event.

Friday, March 16

SXSW Marketplace
Friday, March 16
| from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.
SXSW Marketplace, a giant pop-up shop in the heart of downtown Austin, is back for a second year. Badge holders and general public who register for a SXSW Guest Pass will be able to explore a curated selection of 70 local and national vendors that will showcase clothing, accessories, home goods, art, and more. An impressive range of vendors from cities including Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles– to name a few. FREE to badgeholders and general public with the SXSW Guest Pass. Guest pass registration here. Thursday hours: 12 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts
Friday, March 16
| from 4 to 10 p.m. | 800 Riverside Dr.
SXSW returns with three days of music in the park at The SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts. These three shows on SXSW’s largest stage will be open to all SXSW Badges, Wristbands, and FREE and open to the public, but require a SXSW Guest Pass. Guest pass registration here. More info on the lineup here.

Austin Monthly Texas Music Magazine Bands to Watch Party
Friday, March 16
| from 2 to 9 p.m. | Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin Monthly is teaming up with Texas Music Magazine for a full-day lineup of music, beer from Twisted X Brewing Company, and Hilmy Cellars wine! Better yet, they’ll be showcasing several of 2018 Bands to Watch and other Texas artists, including: TRÉS OUI, Caroline Says, Mélat, Donovan Keith Music, Whitney Rose, Eve & The Exiles, Mike and the Moonpies. Admission is FREE with RSVP, so make sure you RSVP at the ticket page. You may also be permitted at the door with a subscription to either magazine

Saturday, March 17

KGSR SXSW Live Broadcast at W Austin ($5 Suggested Donation)
Saturday, March 17 | from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. | The W Austin, 200 Lavaca St.
Join KGSR for its annual SXSW Live Broadcast at the W Austin benefitting Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas. With a $5 suggested donation at the door, enjoy a morning full of exclusive live interviews and performances by featured SXSW artists from Austin and beyond. The lineup on Saturday, March 17 includes Ahi, Caamp, Lovelytheband, Walker Lukens, Lucy Dacus, Amy Shark, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Arriving early has its perks as the first 300 guests through the door each morning will receive a complimentary breakfast treat prepared by W Austin’s culinary team.

SXSW Marketplace
Saturday, March 17
| from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.
SXSW Marketplace, a giant pop-up shop in the heart of downtown Austin, is back for a second year. Badge holders and general public who register for a SXSW Guest Pass will be able to explore a curated selection of 70 local and national vendors that will showcase clothing, accessories, home goods, art, and more. An impressive range of vendors from cities including Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles– to name a few. FREE to badgeholders and general public with the SXSW Guest Pass. Guest pass registration here. Thursday hours: 12 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

St. Patrick’s On The Patio @ Irie Bean
Saturday, March 17
| from 3 to 10 p.m. | Irie Bean, 2310 S. Lamar Blvd.
FREE acoustic music in the courtyard of Irie Bean Coffee Bar, with sets from Kacy Crowley, Suzanna Choffel, Drew Smith, Ryan Carter, Kris Schultz, Will Clark, Ron Gregory and Willow|Speak. See some of Austin’s finest songwriters and some up and coming songwriters in a kid-and-dog-friendly oasis-like setting, away from the madness of downtown during SXSW.

SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts
Saturday, March 16
| from 4 to 10 p.m. | 800 Riverside Dr.
SXSW returns with three days of music in the park at The SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts. These three shows on SXSW’s largest stage will be open to all SXSW Badges, Wristbands, and FREE and open to the public, but require a SXSW Guest Pass. Guest pass registration here. More info on the lineup here.

Sunday, March 18

The Austin Puppy Party 2K18
Sunday, March 18 | from 12 to 4 p.m. | Lustre Pearl, 94 Rainey St.
Lovers of all kinds unite under one WOOF for the ultimate Puppy Party! PrideBites, Bumble and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are coming together to throw the ultimate DOG FRIENDLY bash benefitting Austin Pets Alive! Bring your dog(s) down and celebrate! Even if you can’t attend, or don’t live in Austin, make sure you register for the event to instantly receive $10.00 towards pridebites.com on behalf of PrideBites, Bumble & Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Show Bumble on your phone at the door to get a complimentary Tito’s Handmade Vodka drink! Download Bumble here.

 

Monday, March 19

Film screening: The Watermelon Woman
Monday, March 19 | from 6:30 to 10 p.m. | PerryCastañeda Library, Learning Lab 1, 101 E. 21st St.
Join for a screening and discussion of the film The Watermelon Woman, presented by the University of Texas Libraries in cooperation with Profs. Ann Cvetkovich and Vlad Beronja. The Watermelon Woman is a landmark of New Queer Cinema. The film follows Cheryl, a video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker, as she makes a documentary about the “most beautiful mammy,” a character she sees in a 1930s movie. Interviews with her own mother and cultural critic Camille Paglia, along with Dunye’s own direct address of the camera, further the non-fiction conceit in a film that uses the mockumentary format to unpack LGBT, Philadelphia and Black history. Complete with grainy clips and stills from movies that never were, The Watermelon Woman — winner of the Teddy Award at the 1996 Berlin International Film Festival — is an engaging and important work of social critique.

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About the Author

Dani Dudek
Dani Dudek is an Emmy-winning marketer who has been active professionally in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has mastered the art of celebrity spotting across the country, but does so best in Austin, where she runs the website ATXGossip.com. With a special eye for even the most minor of celebs, she is basically Shazam and IMDB together in human form.
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