Kristy Owen - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

Kristy Owen

I am a realtor here in Austin, and clients are always asking for suggestions on what to do around town. So, I thought I would blog about my experiences, recommendations and what you have to do before you can call yourself a true Austinite.

1. Float The River: Simply said, this is an Austin Rite of Passage. We’re experts by now so we can provide everything including safe transportation from downtown Austin, tubes, and ice. 

2. Zilker Free Summer Musical: All Shook Up: This is a MUST DO for all ages. Thursdays-Sundays late July-August head to the Zilker Hillside for a five star performance. Don’t forget to pack a picnic, bug spray and a blanket.

3. Barton Springs Pool: no matter how hot it gets, this constant 68 degree spring fed pool will cool your core. 

4. Unplugged At The Grove: Summer in Austin is all about the free live music. Unplugged at the Grove is the longest running free music series in Austin. 

5. South Congress Hotel Pool Pass: This is summer’s best kept secret. Now through Labor Day, you can snag pool passes at the South Congress Hotel that will get you access to the rooftop pool and bar, and towels. Poolside dining is provided by Café No Sé. Guests can book their pool day at South Congress Hotel by emailing

When: Mondays – Fridays though Labor Day, 11 a.m.- sunset

Photo: Nick Simonite

6. Walk Dogs or Volunteer with Austin Animal Center:  How can you resist that sweet face?! Even if you can’t commit to owning a new dog, the dogs at the shelter always love the chance to get out of their cages and go on walks! 

7. Explore Austin on a Fat Tire Electric Minibike : This is not your grandma’s tour of the city. This is for adventure loving locals (or tourists) who want to experience Austin like never before.  

8. The Bat Boat Sunset Cruise on Lady Bird Lake: We’ve all heard about the city’s bat colony, but have you ever taken the time to go experience it for yourself? Our sunset bat watching cruises offer pizza from Via313, cocktails, live music, and more. 

9. Try Escaping From The Escape Game Austin: Need to escape the heat? This is one of our favorite indoor (and rainy day activities). Great for a group of friends wanting to try something “different.”

10. Rent a Fishing (or regular) Kayak from Rowing Dock: Did you know you can fish on Lady Bird Lake? 

11.  Waterloo Adventures: As any Austinite knows, the primary goal of any summer day in this city is submerge yourself in water. A new waterpark, Waterloo Adventures opens this month and we can’t wait to check it out!  

12. Deep Eddy Pool: Oh, Deep Eddy Pool. You are an Austin essential. 

Photo: Noel Bridges

13. Pool Burger: When you go to Deep Eddy Pool, the only way to follow it up is a stop here. Delicious burgers and frozen cocktails will keep you cool after the pool. 

14. Spend Time on the Lake: Float On Boat Rentals is our go-to for renting boats (and Captains, if needed) on Lake Austin or Travis. 

15. Free Concerts In The Park at The Long Center: Sunday evenings are for picnics and free live music. Each week features a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony. They will play a variety of music, everything from jazz and light classical, to pop selections and film scores. It’s a true Austin treat.

In Austin, we always need new things to do on the water. We’re basically aquatic creatures in the summer. Well now you can have a grand old time on Lake Travis with Waterloo Adventures, a locally owned and operated floating water park and challenge course that is a true evolution in water play!

Grab your pals and begin your awesome day with a boat ride to beautiful “Adventure Island.” When you arrive, you can throw yourself into a 45-minute, pulse-pounding session on their 600-foot state-of-the-art challenge course. It’s a series of floating obstacles like climbing walls, monkey bars, slides, hurdles, balance beams, bridges, and tons more fun. There are more than 70 different elements!

This is the ultimate bonding trip for family and friends—basically we are talking Ninja Warriors on the water! The park is scheduled to open on June 29th.

Click here to learn more and don’t forget that reservations are required! 

Tonight at the glorious Central Library, the Austin Symphony quartet will perform pieces from or inspired by Latin America. If you haven’t visited this temple to books and civilized society, then this is a fabulous occasion to see it for yourself. The Austin Public Library and the Austin Symphony and will host two other quartet performances this year on September 6 and November 1.

Central Concerts bring musicians and the community together for free live performances at the Central Library.

Free and open to the public!

When: Today, June 11th

Time: 7 – 8 p.m.

Central Library
Demonstration Area (1st floor)
710 W. César Chávez St.

Come to the Whip In today to celebrate the wonder and fabulosity that is rosé season! They will be pouring 60 different rosé wines from around the globe and $28 will get you five pours and complimentary bites, plus, additional glasses for $5!

Pink Mahal will also bring you a Latin music showcase for this year’s festivities. Tapas style Samosa Chat, olive-cheese skewers, and fresh fruit will be plentiful. The Latin music performances by the Susanna Sharpe Brazilian Trio and Rey Arteaga will be hot!

When: Today, June 9th

Time: 1 – 5 p.m.

Whip In
1950 S Interstate 35
Austin, Texas 78704

If you are looking for something different to do with the kids tonight, this longtime Austin tradition is a must-see for the whole family. Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble is bringing everything their repertoire has to offer including ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary. Presenting works from the artistic staff, resident artists, emerging choreographers, and guest choreographers, this show will surely inspire the artist in all of us!

Plus it takes place at the glorious Zilker Hillside Theatre, which means you can pack a tasty picnic and watch this wonderful show for free.

When: Today, June 2nd

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, 78746

The Zilker Summer Musical is a beloved Austin tradition, and this year the production is celebrating its 60th season! For a whopping 60 years, they’ve been putting on first-rate Broadway musicals at the park’s Hillside Theatre to audiences packed with families taking it all the magic for free. To celebrate this big anniversary, this summer the company is bringing us the Elvis-themed All Shook Up, which features the legendary singer’s top hits. The show opens on July 16, but if you can’t make the premiere, you’ll have 25 other chances this summer, every Thursday through Sunday until August 18.

Click here for all the details, including donor preview parties and insider access to the show.

A few pro tips for the uninitiated: Get there a couple of hours early to secure your spot with a blanket and some low-backed chairs, then go for a swim in Barton Springs! You’ll be so glad you did. It’s like natural air conditioning that lasts throughout the show. And pack a big picnic—everyone gets snacky at this thing.

When: Thursdays – Sundays through August 18th

Time: 8:15 p.m. (There are two acts, with a quick intermission!)

Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, 78746

We still have another year until Game of Thrones is back, so how are we supposed to entertain ourselves? Why, with super nerdy, down-in-the-weeds trivia of course! Come test your knowledge and win prizes. All that binge watching is about to pay off big time.  Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. It’s totally free to play, any more than six to a team and its -2 per player. No reserved tables so get here early for a spot.

21 and up!

When: Today, May 30th

Time: 7 – 10 p.m.

The Austin Winery
440 St Elmo Rd E, Ste A-1
Austin, Texas 78745

Mudbugs are on the agenda today! Swing by Jo’s at noon for some tasty crawfish! Sip on beer and do some old-fashioned South Congress people watching while enjoying live music from Emily Gimble and The Jo’s House Band. You better get the tasty little critters  before they’re gone!

When: Today, May 27th

Time: noon

1300 South Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704

Blues On The Green is Austin’s longest-running free music series and a can’t-miss summer experience. Veterans know the drill, but for first-time attendees here is the rundown: You can bring in two factory sealed water bottles, blankets, chairs, and your dog (he must be on a leash at all times). That is what is says on the website, but for the record I’ve never been sent away for packing wine in my picnic basket. My best piece of advice is to either ride your bike, carpool, take the bus, or walk if you can. Parking and traffic around Zilker tonight can be quite the headache.

For more Blues On The Green tips, click here.

When: tonight, August 2nd

Admission: Free

Music Starts: 8 p.m.

Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

Republic Square is excited to announce their first FREE fitness series at the square. The series kicked off May 7th with free classes every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday throughout the month. All classes begin at 6:30pm.

-Mondays: Find your inner wild with free yoga by Wild Heart Yoga! (May 7th, 14th, & 21st)

-Tuesdays: Show your strength with free rowing and circuit training by Rō Fitness! (May 8th, 15th, 22nd, & 29th)

-Wednesdays: Go Beyond the Barre with free classes by barre3! (May 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th)

-Thursdays: Interval Training with Orange Theory Fitness 

May is National Physical Fitness month – help celebrate in Austin style. Child-friendly activities will be provided each night, and all classes are free. See you at the square!

Republic Square
422 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78701