Austin’s Coolest and Most Romantic Spring Date Ideas
Spring is in the air—and so are some hot dates.
Spring in Texas can be as unpredictable as a blind date. It can raise your hopes with periods of perfect 80-degree sunshine, or dash your desire with weeks of dense, Amazonian-like rainfall. But, despite any weather-like fluctuations in your love life, there is always the chance for romance to bloom like springtime bluebonnets. Our spring date ideas for Austin will help you hatch a plan. From the grapes of South Africa to the amber current of the “Whiskey River,” there’s ample opportunities to grow a budding connection.
This March, you could get lucky in love at one of the celebrations centered around the artist’s 11th annual SXSW event. Although tickets to the week’s main bonanza of live music, Luck Reunion, were sold out quicker than you could say “on the road again,” Shotgun Willie has blessed us all with some additional opportunities this year to hang on his ranch in Spicewood, which is about a 45-minute drive from Austin. On March 15th, you can take your crush to a dinner they will never forget at Luck Presents: Potluck 2023 - Three Sisters. At the event, esteemed chefs will be cooking up dishes inspired by the crops of indigenous cuisine. After the feast, you’ll end the night on a sweet note with a performance from Willie. From there, the good times keep rolling with Luck Origins: New Orleans Takeover on March 18th, a day full of performances and food influenced by the spirit of New Orleans. And,on March 19th, sing your honey’s praises at Strange Things Happening: A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a tribute to the famed musician, co-hosted by Antone’s, Gibson, and Luck Presents. The nontraditional gospel brunch features a plethora of performances by an extensive lineup of artists, so, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy soul tunes with your soulmate.
Play for their heart (and bragging rights)
At The Domain, you can putt-putt your way to passion at indoor mini golf and restaurant, The Dirdie Birdie. Good times are par for the course as you play 12 holes designed as tiny versions of Austin landmarks and trippy neon portals. After, make whoever loses buy a round of Dirdie Margs and a post-green snack—we suggest their take on the blooming onion, The Birds Nest. A little further north, there’s the similarly-named restaurant and entertainment center, Spare Birdie, but despite the comparable moniker, it offers up a different grubbing and gaming experience. The menu at the full-service restaurant boasts everything from traditional bar fare, like chips and queso, to more upscale selections, such as fresh oysters and New York strip steaks. The generous drink pours at the large facility will only amp you two up for all the options for play (and, subsequently, flirty teasing) at Spare Birdie including virtual golf, string pin bowling, and billiards.
Wine and dine (and wine some more) your beloved
If you don’t know whether you want to meet your Hinge match for a second date by the time you two finish a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, you probably never will. So take all the pressure off the release valve and just clink a couple of glasses at one of Austin’s many current sommelier-approved wine bars. To impress the trendy, fingers-on-the-pulse type, head to the New York Times name-checked Birdie’s, where you can sip some Grüner Veltliner patio-side while getting to know each other over crowd-pleasing panisse. Or, you can take your date on a tour of South African flavors at Cape Bottle Room, a bright, modern East Austin space which specializes in sustainable vinos from the renowned wine-region. And, finally, you and boo can lean into the intimate mood of Rosie’s Wine Bar. This cozy Clarksville hideaway evokes the same kind of romantic ambience and exceptional wine list typically found at a European cafe.
Sow the seeds of romance by hitting a plant nursery
By planning a date which takes you two to Austin’s various garden emporiums, you can test your sweetheart’s ability to keep your love—and a snake plant—alive. Even those who lack a green thumb will enjoy walking the flora-laden aisles of the city’s various nurseries, each packed with a knowledgeable staff, ready to provide helpful tips should your plant-adverse crush decide to have another go at raising a burro’s tail. Start off at East Austin Succulents, where you can find individual cactuses and a variety of quirky pots to plant them in, as well as arrangements thoughtfully labeled with the amount of care they need. Right next door is Tillery St. Plant Company, where you can consider the landscape of your relationship’s future while strolling amongst the trees and flowers. Finally, hit up the urban oasis that is The Great Outdoors. Its on-site waterfall, plentiful oak trees, and tropical greenhouse is an ideal setting to watch your feelings grow.
Ghost Pepper Glass
Bring a new meaning to the term “hot date” by taking that Tinder cutie to a glassblowing class at East Austin studio Ghost Pepper Glass. There, fuel the flames of attraction, while getting up close and personal with some actual flames, as the studio’s instructors help you create your very own paperweight, dish, or other small object. You two have the option of either taking one of their popular Taste of Glassblowing workshops, which occur regularly on Fridays and Saturdays, or springing for a private, and more in-depth, two-hour long lesson. Either way, after playing with the molten glass, you can end the night with a refreshing beer at Friends and Allie Brewing, located right next door—a perfect way to cool down your body temperature, but keep your affections burning.
Feel the rush with extreme activities
Get your date’s heart to skip a beat by taking them on an out-of-the-ordinary adventure. While we don’t normally recommend mixing romance with sharp weapons, the one exception would be hitting up Urban Axes, where you and your cutie can take out some of that aggression about whose turn it was to do the dishes in a markedly healthy way. Even those who are skittish about their ability to chuck an axe will find comfort from the onsite Axeperts, there to guide you along your throwing journey. Challenge your date to see who can hit closest to the bullseye—loser has to buy drinks at nearby bar Kinda Tropical. Those looking for something equally daring should head to Uprise Circus, where they can fly through the sky in a personal trapeze class. This option won’t just leave you and your love on a physical high however, but an emotional one as well—tickets benefit Uprise Circus’ mission to provide outreach programming to disadvantaged and underserved children in Austin.
Take a day trip to Lockhart
Escape Austin’s bachelor and bachelorette party crowds by making the 30-minute drive out to Lockhart. This small Texas town has long been known as a barbecue mecca—you and your date can strive for the triple crown by feasting at legendary spots Black’s, Smitty’s Market, and Kreuz Market all in the same day. If you aren’t into getting a serious case of the brisket sweats, check out Little Trouble instead. You can still get your meat fix via the mouth-watering grilled ribeye and be sure to sip on the Dolly, a quirky cocktail served in a mammary-themed glass worthy of the Queen of Country herself. Later, walk it all off by browsing the amazing antique stores just off the town square, as well as local favorite Bluebonnet Records, where the knowledgeable staff will help get your musical stylings in tip-top shape.
Catch a drive-in movie
Level up the typical movie night with a trip to the drive-in. We mean, with trucks of every shape and size barraging the roads of Texas, you may as well put those spacious flatbeds to use. Pile lots of pillows and blankets in the back and park that big mac truck right in Doc’s Drive In Theatre or The Blue Starlite Drive-In. Check out fan favorites like The Shining or Beetlejuice, playing virtually every night of the week, all from the comfort of your private open-air lounge.
Have a picnic in the park
You know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The same can be said of this classic date idea—there’s no better wingman than Austin’s foodie delights and greenspace. With the multitudes of takeout options available in South Austin and a beautiful view of the city skyline, Zilker Park is the ideal location to get your picnic on. Grab some burgers and milkshakes at Sandy’s Hamburgers before walking over or, if you’re more of a foodie, you can pick up Loro’s brisket and cocktails in just a quick five-minute drive from the park.
Rate the city’s breakfast tacos
Challenge your date to help you settle the ultimate question: which place in Austin has the best migas? Start your journey at Radio Coffee & Beer where you can pair a drink with the selection from the Veracruz taco truck. Save room though for the massive portions at your next stop—Juan in A Million on Austin’s East side. Finally, figure out if you're meant to be by going to both local chain rivals Torchy’s and Taco Deli. Be warned though: disagreement over which one is best might be a huge red flag for a future relationship. Looking for other great places to grab some date night grub? Check out our list of Austin’s most romantic restaurants.
Take your dogs with you
We all know what’s really important in any potential relationship: What does your pet think of them? Throw them right in by bringing your furry friend along with you, especially if they have a dog of their own to join the party. Red Bud Isle, which sits on the right in the middle of the west side of Lady Bird Lake, is the perfect off-leash location for your meet-cute. Afterwards, the two of you and your pups can grab food and drinks at one of Austin’s many dog-friendly spots.