Spring in Austin is a glorious little window of mild weather that simply must be taken advantage of. Come out of hibernation, throw on some cut-offs, and maximize every minute. Since we have built our business around giving you things to do, here’s a comprehensive to-do list of springtime activities that will make these next few months unforgettable, and for more options, visit our year-round list of the Best Things To Do In Austin.
Live it up, friends.
There is so much natural beauty in and around Central Texas and if you live in Austin, chances are you don’t hate the idea of a nice long hike. Here are five tucked-away hiking trails in Austin we love.
Enjoy a fun and relaxing evening under the Austin sky. Blankets, lawn chairs, picnics, and dogs on-leash are welcome. There are great flicks this year—from The Little Mermaid to Zoolander; here’s the full schedule for Movies in the Park this season.
There is nowhere else on the planet where you can do this! While most people grab a spot on the bridge, there’s an even better way to watch Austin’s famous bats—from the rooftop deck of a gorgeous boat with pizza in one hand and a drink in the other! Click here to book your sunset bat cruise on Lady Bird Lake.
If you’re going to embark on this age-old journey of aquatic debauchery, you might as well do it right! This year, we’ve partnered with Austin Tour Company to offer public floats with added features that make it a floating party unlike any other. Get your tickets to float the San Marcos river and leave the driving to us.
We’re on a boat—no seriously! This brunch-time party cruise on Lady Bird Lake has great music, food, and beverages for you and your crew. Also, air conditioning, bathrooms, and views you can’t get on land.
Explore the best bites and sips our city has to offer with endless tastings from top Austin restaurants, appearances from big-time chefs, live music, and—because this is Austin—a gourmet taco competition. All this and more at Austin Food + Wine Festival. When: April 26th–28th.
This fest is a giant mishmash of food and music that could only happen in Austin. Created by James Beard Award-winner Aaron Franklin, Guerilla Suit principal and Mohawk owner James Moody, and Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland, it is a DIY casserole of the culinary and music world. When: May 23rd–26th. Click here for all the details on The Hot Luck Food and Live Fire Festival.
This event will feature up to 80 visual artists, designers, installation artists, artisans, and makers showcasing and selling their wares. Always fun for friends and family! When: Saturday, April 13th. Learn more about Art City Austin here.
18. Attend A Lavender Festival
Yes, because our part of the world is so extra, there are two options to choose from here:
And the 21st Annual Lavender Fest at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg will have cooking demonstrations, lavender presentations, artisan vendors, lavender luncheons, concessions, music, and wine tasting, too. When: May 4th–5th.
The Blanco Lavender Festival. Blanco will be in full bloom, celebrating this free festival’s 15th year. Guests can tour local farms, hear from expert speakers, enjoy live music, and sample speciality foods. When: June 7th–9th.
It wouldn’t be spring in Austin without fields of our state flower putting on a show. And weather conditions have made this year’s wildflower bloom super special. Pull over and take some iconic pictures of your family, friends, and, most importantly, your dog. Here’s a list of the best places to see bluebonnets in Austin.
16. Plant Your Own Garden
The Wildflower Center is hosting a native plant sale. Pick up a few things that will actually survive the Texas heat and beautify your own space. When: Saturday, April 13th. Details on The Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Sale.
Beginning just before sundown at the Zilker Hillside Theater, this Austin tradition will make you swoon and wish spring could stay forever. When: May 31st and June 1st. Learn more about Ballet Under the Stars.
The festival attracts hundreds of local and national artisans offering original handcrafted creations in a variety of mediums, from metal, wood, fiber, clay, leather, glass, and stone to repurposed materials of all kinds. It’s an Austin institution. When: May 4th–5th. More here on the Pecan Street Festival.
Good, clean fun for the whole family. Actually, not really—have you see this show? Come hang at Nickel City, they’ll be hosting Game of Thrones watch parties all season long. When: Sundays, April 14th–May 19th. C
This festival is basically the epicenter of the Keep Austin Weird movement. In fact, weird doesn’t even begin to describe this delightful event. Picture hundreds of people in costume dancing, sitting in drum circles, and running around maypoles to celebrate the fictional birthday of a fictional donkey. When: Saturday, April 27th. Details here for Eeyore’s Birthday Party.
The one, the only Ludacris is headlining ‘Made in Austin’ weekend on the LBJ Library’s lawn. Catch him after the big spring game. When: Saturday, April 13th.
This is the place for dogs in drag. This event is beloved by all who have ever come across it—it’s hard not to love animals in outfits. There’s a costume contest, too! When: Saturday, April 20th. Register your pet here for Jo’s Annual Pet Parade.
This is as heavenly as it sounds, Austin Motel and Joann’s Fine Foods have launched Full Moon Swims. Grab a drink from the pool bar and relax to some tunes from Sundown to pool close. When: The next one is Friday, April 19! Click here for all the dates for Austin Motel’s Full Moon Swims.
8. Booze On A Patio For Happy Hour
The Four Seasons restaurant, Ciclo, just launched a new happy hour worth visiting. Unwind from your work day and get a little fancy.
Looking for more happy hour options? Check out our list of happy hours around Zilker Park.
Feast on fresh crawfish straight from Louisiana, jambalaya, gumbo, étouffée, alligator, and more, plus the best barbecue & Mexican cuisine from Austin. Guests will be able to wash it all down with a variety of cold beers from Austin while they are enjoying the very best bands from New Orleans and Austin on one stage.
In addition to food & music, guests will also be able to purchase arts & crafts from numerous artists in various mediums including art, jewelry, and sculpture.
Garrison Brothers is challenging tastemakers to showcase their love of the Lone Star State by incorporating their bourbon into a unique concoction while competing against other top mixologists. When: Thursday, April 18th. Get tickets for the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl here.
This company allows you to start your own motorcycle gang, but subs in fat-tired electric minibikes for motorcycles, which are completely glee-inducing. Plan an outing with your buds/gals or go on a custom tour (they recently added food truck tours to their arsenal). It’s a great way to explore the city when it’s gorgeous out. More details here on Your Bike Gang.
We’re blessed to have access to so many water activities in the middle of downtown. Rowing Dock will help you get out on the water and see Austin from a whole new vantage point. With kayaks, standup paddle boards, and even fishing kayaks (you read that right), Spring is an excellent time to be out on the lake!
There’s no better time of year to check out this three-hour zipline tour that includes equipment, boat transportation, water, and a light trail snack. You also get access to a private beach where you can picnic, swim in the lake, play games, or just relax in a hammock. If you’ve got the nerve, you’ll have the time of your life.
Life is better on the lake, and Float On Boat Rentals offers ski boats for water-sports, and pontoon boats for chiller (or rowdier) party vibes. Their boats come equipped with yeti coolers, aux cables for your own jams, lily pads (google it), and even a boat captain so you can partake in an adult beverage or two and leave the navigating to the professionals.
Let’s face it, Texas gets hot in the summer, making Spring and Fall the ideal times of the year to enjoy the outdoors in Austin. Whether it’s camping, hiking, fishing, or generally enjoying nature that you’re into, you don’t have to venture far from downtown to disconnect. Here are five of our favorite state parks that are close to Austin.