Everything Fun You Can Do in Austin This Weekend

From a speedboat race to a queen-sized tribute to Cher, we’ve got you covered.

There’s no doubt you’ve been bombarded by the heat this week—and we don’t mean just the physical presence of 100-degree temperatures, but the news about it as well. It’s destined to be the hottest May on record ever in Austin, which gives us sweat-inducing anxiety about what the rest of this summer holds for our poor thermometers. However, the sensational activities in Austin never fail to provide some relief from the oppressive reality outside of your apartment door—and this weekend is no exception. While your body temperature may be far from cold, with the chance to laugh the night away with Hannah Gadsby or belt out “I Got You Babe,” at least some things this weekend will feel cool.

Friday, May 20
You know how the classic saying goes: The only things that will survive the end of the world are cockroaches and Cher. This Friday, the eternal icon turns 76, and Austin drag collective, Poo Poo Platter, is celebrating with a show worthy of her timeless music and seemingly ageless beauty (seriously, hit us with that skincare routine please). A Birthday Drag Tribute To Cher is going down at Downtown’s Elysium, with performances from Dragula’s Louisianna Purchase, as well as local queen, Bulimianne Rhapsody, and special guest appearances by Lady Lola LeStrange and Lady D. We suspect at least one “If I Could Turn Back Time” rhinestone jumpsuit will make an appearance, as well as plenty of the icon’s signature long hair flipping.
Cost: $10 at the door

Friday, May 20
The Far Out Lounge & Stage
May is Mental Health Awareness Month—and, this Friday, you can help fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues by stopping by at The SIMS Foundation’s For the Love of SIMS event. For those not familiar with The SIMS Foundation, they work to provide mental health and substance use recovery services and support for musicians, music industry professionals, and their dependent family members. With such strong ties to the music community, it makes sense that this benefit concert at The Far Out Lounge has a stacked lineup—three local favorites, Sir Woman, Max Front, and Primo the Alien, will be taking the stage. Additionally, there will be drink specials courtesy of Nine Banded Whiskey, as well as a vintage market and killer grub selections from The Far Out’s food trucks.
Cost: $15 early bird, $20 advance, $25 at the door, or $50 VIP Tickets

Saturday, May 21
The Paramount Theatre
If you laughed, cried, and fell in love with comedian Hannah Gadsby while watching her 2018 Netflix comedy special, Nanette, you can go through the full emotional spectrum again this Saturday as she performs live at The Paramount Theatre. The Emmy and Peabody Award winner will be hitting the mic with a whole new live show entitled, “Body of Work,” and, considering it’s her first tour since the pandemic, we anticipate lots of her signature comedic musings on the ways COVID affected the world. Add the majestic setting of The Paramount Theatre, and you got a Saturday night for the ages.
Cost: Tickets start at $39.75 per person

Saturday, May 21 - Sunday, May 22
Palmer Events Center
There’s no better place than Austin to get those coveted single-stitch vintage tees—and there’s no better place in Austin to find them, or anything thrifty, than the always epic City-Wide Vintage Sale. Taking place at the Palmer Events Center, you can expect racks upon racks of unique clothing, interior decor, and other tchotchkes that you somehow can’t live without. Keep an eye out for their open tables of discounted sweaters, cowboy boots, and costume jewelry—you may have to put in a little elbow grease to dig out the perfect find, but, rest assured, your hard work will be rewarded every time someone asks you, “Where did you get that?”
Cost: $8 per ticket for adults, free admission for children ages 12 & under.

Cumbia Night
Cumbia Night

Saturday, May 21
Hotel Vegas & The Volstead Lounge
Whether your aim is to get you and your partner out of the takeout-and-Netflix rut you’ve been in, or it’s to finally work on those two left feet of yours, both goals can be accomplished this Saturday at Hotel Vegas’ Cumbia Night. The 2/4 beats that help define the grooves of Latin America are sure to inspire even those who are dance floor-shy—especially after one or two shots of whiskey provided from Hotel Vegas’ always hospitable bartenders. And, with El Tule, Cinco Doce, and Sentimiento being the ones bringing the beats, you may not even need that liquid courage after all.
Cost: $10 cash at the door

Saturday, May 21 - Sunday, May 22
Marble Falls Lakeside Park
Pack a cooler pull of beers, take the hour drive out to Lake Marble Falls, and get ready for all the thrills and hoot-and-hollering of what is essentially NASCAR on the water. On Saturday and Sunday, the Lakefest Boat Races return to fill you with a genuine mix of fear and excitement as competitors race on the water at 200 MPH. Any gear-head out there will want to come if only to see the prize boats on display—feats of engineering with massive motors and psychedelic-looking paint jobs. However, even the mechanically-illiterate can get into a day by the lake with some brews—just make sure to steer clear of the splash zone.
Cost: Tickets start at $30, and go from there

Friday, May 20
Buzz Mill Riverside
Those who have already made it through every season of Seinfeld on Netflix (and, if you haven't yet, what are you doing with your life?), will get immediate reference to the mispronunciation of George’s last name that inspired the title of Friday’s “Can’t Stand Ya” comedy show. Going down at the Buzz Mill every week, this open mic involves some serious audience participation—the person on stage gets five minutes to do their thing but, if the crowd doesn't dig them, they can send them off before the clock times out by yelling “Can’t stand ya.” And, unlike George’s former gym teacher, you won’t get fired for screaming the phrase on the top of your lungs.
Cost: Free admission

Thursday, May 19 - Saturday, May 21
Butler Pitch & Putt
Want something a little more challenging than mini golf, and a bit more true to the game than Top Golf? Sounds like you should stop by South Austin, Butler Pitch and Putt, for one of their Night Golf events, which goes down every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On those nights, you can play your way through their nine holes with special glow-in-the-dark balls. And, even those members of your crew who don’t like golf will find something to love at this undiscovered gem at a spot—whether it be taking pictures with the giant Caddyshack-themed murals that line the course, to the absolutely delightful biscuit sandwiches from Little Ola’s available at their clubhouse.
Cost: Group reservations, which cover two to six golfers total, run $150

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Molly Moltzen is a contributor for Thrillist.