Austin is one of those cities filled with fun activities for anyone and everyone—even if you're on a budget. Whether you're looking for some fun drinking or you want to spend a day in nature, Austin has you covered with some bizarre and other tranquil entertainment options for the best day ever.
Here are 9 activities under $10 you should try in Austin.
Chicken Shit Bingo at The Little Longhorn Saloon
Address: 5434 Burnet Road
For the past 40 years, The Little Longhorn Saloon has provided Austinites with amazing live music of all genres, a good time and one of the weirdest and most creative activities: chicken shit bingo.
If you had to do a double take on that name, you aren't alone. The popular weekly activity is a fan favorite at The LIttle Longhorn Saloon. From 4-8 p.m. on Sundays, you can make a $2 donation to buy your ticket and gather with your friends for the unique bingo experience. Once the chickens are fed and the anticipation for what is followed begins, the rounds of bingo start. Your ticket will have a number that will correspond with one on the table and if a chicken happens to do its business on your lucky number, you win a cash prize.
Cathedral of Junk
Address: 4422 Lareina Dr.
Hidden behind a south Austin home is none other than the Cathedral of Junk, a beloved Austin treasure. What started as a fun project for owner Vince Hannemann has become the talk of the town and a location for tours, weddings, parties and much more.
Hannemann started building his towering artwork in 1988 when he was in his 20s and has since collected some 60 tons of unwanted items, adding to the Cathedral of Junk. Adults can make a $10 donation to tour the Austin gem and kids 18 and younger get in for free. You can make a reservation to tour the Cathedral of Junk by calling Vince at 512-299-7413.
Zilker Botanical Garden
Address: 2220 Barton Springs Road
In the heart of downtown is a land where the grass is green and gardens don't fall short on the horizon. At the Zilker Botanical Garden, guests can tour around the different themed gardens while enjoying some sunlight and all that nature has to offer. The botanical garden has three garden themes: Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Hartman Prehistoric Garden and the Rose Garden, all offering different sights and peaceful walking tours. General admission tickets range from $6 to $8 depending on the time of day and a reservation can be made online here.
There are also free days offered for 2021: May 2, July 17, Sept. 12, Nov. 11 and Dec. 27.
Barton Springs Pool
Address: 2131 William Barton Dr.
It's no secret that Austinites cherish one of the most well-known treasures of the city: Barton Springs Pool. The 3 acre pool is made possible from underground springs with warm water temperatures of 68-70 degrees, making it a perfect place to visit year-round. The pool has been visited by locals, tourists, celebrities and all people wanting to enjoy a beautiful natural treasure within downtown city limits. Austin residents can enter the Barton Springs Pool for $5; entry for children between the ages of 1 and 11 is $2, ages 12 to 17 is $3 and seniors 62 or older is $2.
Address: 3505 W 35th St.
Since before humans toured the grounds of Mayfield Park, bright and colorful peacocks claimed it as theirs and haven't left since. Mayfield Park, home to over 20 acres of palm trees, brilliant gardens, koi ponds and as stated before, brilliantly eccentric peacocks. From 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., guests can roam around the park while exploring the historic buildings, running into peacocks and enjoying the outdoors.
Watch the sunset at Oasis Texas Brewing Company
Address: 6650 Comanche Trail Suite #301
Lake Travis has some of the most breathtaking views in Austin, and now, you can enjoy a cold beer and some sunset views at the Oasis Texas Brewing Company. From 4-6 p.m. on Thursday and 2-6 p.m. on Fridays, the brewery hosts a killer happy hour with a great view. Guests can order $12 sliders and beer tasting featuring a fried chicken slider, wagyu beef slider and triple threat pork slider plus a flight of 3 beers. If the extra $2 is a dealbreaker, you can try any slider and a beer for $5 during happy hour. Checking out Lake Travis during golden hour might be an activity worth doing every weekend.
The Congress Avenue Bridge bats
Address: Congress Ave.
Locals know that starting in late March until early fall, spotting bats during sunset isn't a surprise. Whether it's your first time seeing the Mexican free-tailed bats wake and start their night flight or you've seen it one too many times, it's a mindblowing and beautiful activity worth witnessing, sometimes more than one. The small winged nocturnal animals come out to play right around sunset. If you find yourself on the Congress Avenue Bridge, along with hundreds of other people wanting to see the magical experience, you won't be disappointed.
Address: 1110 E. 52nd
Halloween is far away but Carousel Lounge, a beloved Austin circus-themed bar will be reopening it's doors just in time for a fun summer. The oh-so-Austin and unique dive bar has been providing Austinites with quite a weird scene of circus-themed everything since the 1960s. Now, with the pandemic's end in sight, the bar will be opening its doors May 1 for a night of creepy fun, drinks and tons of live music. If you're not sold on the idea or being surrounded by clowns, you'll be happy to know its BYO-liquor, according to do512. Go for the experience, save on the alcohol.
Address: 6700 Burnet Road
At Yard Bar, you'll find yourself enjoying a cold beer while spending time with exclusively dog lovers, all while giving your own pup a space to have fun. For a $9 per dog entry pass, 21 and older guests can enjoy the afternoon at the outdoor restaurant while drinking $5 draft beers and soaking up some sun. Along with pup-inspired meals for your own four-legged friends, Yard Bar also offers human food such as burgers and sandwiches. So if you're looking for good beer, good food and even better—dogs, Yard Bar has you covered.
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A park in the sky. That’s how Ed Muth, Gensler principal-in-charge of the Sixth and Guadalupe project, describes the outdoor deck on level 14 of the building.
It’s a gathering space that’ll be lushly landscaped and filled with various plant types. It’ll also have spaces for sitting and a small amphitheater tech space. It’s poised to be an area for Meta employees to spend time and mingle once the tech giant moves in next spring.
As downtown grows with increased residential and office space, the tech industry’s influence in the area is clear with Google’s sailboat tower plus TikTok signing a lease on Colorado. How will Sixth and Guadalupe shape Austin’s skyline?
For starters, it's poised to be the tallest tower in Austin when it is completed in 2023, standing 66 floors high. The deal with Meta, Facebook's parent company, was inked on Dec. 31, 2021 and is downtown Austin's largest lease ever, spanning across 33 floors and 589,000 square feet. It'll cater to some of the 2,000 employees that have been working in Austin. The social media giant has also said it plans on adding 400 more employees.
Key to the project, Muth told Austonia, is making sure clients get everything that they expected out of it.
Soon-to-be residents, the first of which are expected to come in the summer of next year, will occupy space from level 34 up and can expect gaming lounges, theater space, a garden on level 53 plus some pools. The one on level 66 will be the highest pool deck in Austin, Muth said.
The flashy amenities are sure to catch the attention of people vying to move in, but other major design elements were brought on by the Capitol view corridor.
“It's set out there to make sure that we don't block the views of the Capitol,” Muth said. “It kind of set the rules for where we can build, where we could position the building, how we design, the shape of the building, and how we put the square footage together in that building.”
A building of this undertaking involved a team of about 20 people at Gensler, a global architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco. They’ve been working with commercial developer Lincoln Property Company and residential developer Kairoi plus about a dozen consultants, some of whom were in Austin and others in Dallas.
The downtown tower boom has been in the works for some time. Muth said they’ve built a lot of trust working with them for the past five years, with some of their work carried out remotely during COVID-19. In the early days of the pandemic, downtown areas across the country—Austin included—saw lowered activity and both residents and workers heading to suburbs and other areas of the city.
“It really rose to its form, as we see it today, during that time, and a lot of people weren't downtown,” Muth said. “So it probably surprised some folks when they came back downtown to say, ‘Wow, where'd that come from?’”
About two weeks ago, Muth made a visit to the site, noticing restaurants and retail that hadn’t been there previously. Sixth and Guadalupe itself will include retail on the ground floor, adding to downtown’s growth even on the sidewalk level.
“Just looking out from the level 14th floor deck, I think we counted five or six, maybe seven new construction sites that are within blocks of this project. The area's rapidly changing,” Muth said.
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Two of Austin’s biggest celebrities are joining forces for a Q&A session open to the public.
Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey and former Longhorn Emmanuel Acho will meet at LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River St., on May 22 at 2 p.m.
The author behind New York Times bestselling book "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” Acho will be there to celebrate the recent release of his new book, “Illogical: Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits.”
Acho had McConaughey on his Youtube series of the same name in June 2020.
“Two of your favorite Texans in person and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. It doesn’t happen often and may not happen again, so bring your questions, bring a friend, and prepare to be inspired and entertained," Acho said on social media.
The event is organized in partnership with BookPeople and the Moody College of Communication. Tickets are available for $45.
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