Actually Fun Things to Do in Austin This Weekend

Super activities for Super Bowl weekend.

La Condesa
La Condesa
La Condesa

For many people, we know this weekend is about one thing and one thing only-the year-long culmination of football that is Super Bowl Sunday. But, for those who have about as much interest in watching the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they do in watching paint dry, we have put together some other great matches for you to enjoy during your free time-including puppies versus puppies, dinosaurs versus dinosaurs, and half-price oysters versus your stomach. 

Order every Super Bowl take-out special 

Sunday, February 7
Various locations
Okay, let’s get the big event front and center-and by big event, we mean the head-to-head between you and the game-day queso. While there are tons of great bars to check out the match-up in person, for those who want to stay home (and COVID-safe) there are also some great meal deals to make the day special as well. Suerte is offering a package that includes everything you need for brisket tacos, margaritas, and, of course, the previously mentioned queso. La Condesa‘s offerings include pork tamales, cauliflower chorizo, seven-layer dip, and paloma cocktail kits. Finally, Fresa’s is bringing the wood-grilled wings, poblano spinach dip, and jalapeño poppers. Be sure, for all the restaurants, to get your pre-order in-you don’t want to be left in the snack dust.
Cost: Suerte’s package is $125 (plus taxes and fees), and feeds 2 – 4 people. The packages from La Condesa start at $55 and run to $80. Fresa’s menu specials run from $12 – $38. 

Play the day away at Dreamland

Opens Friday, February 5
2770 W Hwy 290 Dripping Springs, Texas
Opening in Dripping Springs this Friday is the new 64-acre outdoor entertainment, recreation, and arts venue, Dreamland. We’re talking mini-golf, pickleball courts, and disc golf-not to mention, a beer garden featuring 50 local beers, hard seltzers, ciders, and kombuchas on tap to quench your thirst after all that athletic activity. For those whose dreams lean more towards the art world, Dreamland also has an impressive array of sculptures and murals made by artists from around the world. Their graffiti park, in which artists used repurposed rainwater storage tanks as their canvases, would make especially good content for your Instagram. 
Cost: Prices on activities, food, and refreshments can be found on their website

Jam out with a local legend 

Friday, February 5
Any Austinite worth their weight in breakfast tacos will tell you that Dale Watson is nothing short of city royalty. The country music legend will be showing off his trademark licks, and his equally slick trademark black suits, at another Austin staple-Downtown music venue, Antone’s Nightclub. Guests can purchase their tickets in tables of four-a set-up which allows for everyone to enjoy the show while maintaining proper social-distancing. Get ready for a night filled with great tunes, lots of Lone Stars, and some serious hometown pride. 
Cost: Tables for four start at $25 per ticket and go from there. 

See raptors on the big screen 

Friday, February 5
Doc’s Drive In Theater 
If the words “Welcome to Jurassic Park,” or the sight of a ’90s-era Jeff Goldblum lying seductively on a table, fill you with joy, we have the event for you this weekend. One of Austin’s best places to catch a flick, Doc’s Drive In Theater, is hosting the classic Steven Spielberg tale of capitalism-gone-wrong on their big screen this Friday. So pile your friends in a jeep capable of outrunning a T-Rex, sneak in some Barbasol cans full of alcohol, and enjoy when dinosaurs ruled the world. As for sexism in survival situations? We’ll discuss that later. 
Cost: Car slot, plus admission for one, costs $12. Additional tickets are $10 per adult and $6 per child. 

Participate in the Puppy Bowl

Saturday, February 6
Whether you’re a football fan or not, there’s one Super Bowl day tradition that we can all get behind-we’re referring, of course, to the Puppy Bowl. This year, the Austin Humane Society’s annual event will take place entirely online. Not only will there be adorable puppies vying for the title of MVP of your heart, but also trivia games, the Kitty Halftime Show, and a competition to name each team’s fluffy quarterback. Just don’t be surprised if there’s a touchdown of a new furry friend in your home shortly afterwards. 
Cost: Free to view, but fans can purchase a VIP ticket (which comes with the official Puppy Bowl T-shirt, Swag Bag, entry into the virtual trivia session of your choosing, and one entry in the Quarterback Naming Competition) for $35.

Treat yourself to an happy hour with oysters 

Every Saturday and Sunday, 3 – 5 pm 
Clark’s Oyster Bar
If you’ve been craving a trip to Boston, Seattle, or New Orleans recently, you can at least pretend you are there though the magical, briny flavor of the oyster selection at Clark’s. Their new weekend Happy Hour makes that transportation to flavor-town even easier-from 3 – 5 pm, on Saturdays and Sundays, bottles of wine are half-off, all oysters are 50-cents off, and oyster shooters are only $5. Basically, you can feel like your classiest, seafood-eating self, without having to spend all the clams you got (get that shellfish pun there?). 
Cost: Happy Hour prices listed above, but check out Clark’s online menu for more information. 

Wander through a vegan market 

Saturday, February 6
The Vegan Nom
What’s a better way to balance out the excessive meat-sweats of a Super Bowl weekend than a celebration of all things vegan? The Wandering Vegan Market is celebrating their four-year anniversary with a plant-powered bonanza at everyone’s favorite vegan taco mecca, The Vegan Nom. Wade through stands of vendors selling vegan food, including baked goods and burgers, as well as artisanal plant-based products, such as soaps, candles, and apparel. It’s enough to make you swear off brisket possibly forever-or, at least, for an afternoon. 
Cost: Free to attend. 

Groove out for a good cause

Saturday, February 6
If “Lukas Nelson” doesn’t immediately strike a bell, double-back on that last name-we’re talking Willie’s son, who is, himself, a great musician as well. Groove out to his country-rock jams this Saturday at the Dell Children’s Ball. The annual fundraiser, which supports the amazing and innovative work being done each and every day at Austin’s Dell Children’s Medical Center, is fully virtual this year-which means you can do good, and rock out, all from your own living room. We will leave the choice of whether or not to wear ballroom attire to sit on your couch up to you. 
Cost: Register by making a donation through their websiteSign up here for our daily Austin email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

FYI: We’ve also got you covered with comprehensive guides to NYC, Chicago, LA, SFMiami, DC, Boston, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Diego — just in case you’re ever out of town.

Molly Moltzen is a contributor to Thrillist.


Get Lucky at These Irish Bars in Austin

Drink a green pint on St Patrick's Day at these Irish bars in Austin.

Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel

In the midst of all the SXSW chaos, it helps to remember that there’s a rainbow at the festival’s end-that is, the hangover-blessing we’ve been granted of having St. Patrick’s Day 2023 fall on a Friday. Whether you attribute this small win to the Gregorian calendar or the luck of the Irish, it’s sure to amp up the already liver-damaging activities associated with this cultural celebration. However, √Čire is more than just leprechauns and Colin Farrell-it’s a breathtaking land full of warm, welcoming, and good-hearted people. Fortunately, there’s a way you can get a taste of the Republic’s spirit, and a dark stout, at the same time by hitting up one of Austin’s various Irish pubs. From cozy, intimate spaces decked out like small taverns in Cobh, to modern dives with all the party energy of Temple Bar, our list has the best spots in the city to “erin go bragh” all out on March 17.

Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys
Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys
Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys

B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub at Mueller

With a giant model of a beer tap literally decorating their front door, you can’t miss B.D Riley’s, nor doubt that this East Austin hang is a spot to down some serious brewskis. And its name, and perfect pours of Guinness, aren’t the only aspects they draw from the Emerald Isle-the entire pub itself was actually designed and built in Dundalk, Ireland, and shipped over for assembly in Bat City. Such authentic decor calls for equally authentic sounds, therefore, on St. Patrick’s Day, B.D. Riley’s will feature an all-day, four-artist bill of live, trad-inspired music. So, while you may not start the day knowing all the words to “The Galway Girl,” you are bound to sing along by last call.

Kelly’s Irish Pub

Bouldin Creek
Having only opened this past December, Kelly’s is the new kid with a brogue on the block. Occupying the space which formerly housed tapas restaurant Winebelly, this pub had big shoes to fill for South Austin barflies, but quickly won them over with an impressive whiskey selection and friendly atmosphere. A big reason behind the real deal √Čire vibes can, most likely, be chalked up to the fact that one of Kelly’s owners was actually born and bred in Ireland-and the dedication to delivering a true-to-life experience is evident in everything from the shepherd’s pie to the witty bartenders. For St. Patrick’s Day, they are getting the party started early with live music and an opening time of 8 am.

Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger's
Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger’s
Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger’s

Jack & Ginger’s

The Domain
While The Domain may boast more bars than you can shake a shamrock at, there’s only one spot in the North Austin entertainment behemoth that can be properly called an Irish pub: Jack & Ginger’s. Start off the night with selecting a tasting flight from their over 82 beers on tap, then, move onto shots poured straight from their Irish Whiskey Tours-after loosening up with a round or two, you might just find yourself with the gift of gab. And, before snapping a selfie over Jack & Ginger’s see-through glass floor, balance out that buzz with food offerings like a giant soft pretzel or a round of fried pickles.

Photo courtesy of Foxy's Proper Pub
Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Proper Pub
Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Proper Pub

Foxy’s Proper Pub

Here’s a spot that visibly radiates with Irish pride-at Foxy’s, the glow of green beams out from the bar’s lighted panels, and across their chandelier made of Jameson bottles. When it comes to cups and chow, their commitment to the theme continues-the use of the word,”proper,” in the pub’s name alone indicates you’re in for a heavy pour of the standards. Consequently, the taps are abundant with essential Irish sips, including Guinness, Magners, and Smithwick’s. With Lone Star on draft, there’s also a nod to Texas tradition as well. But don’t fear if you’re bored of beer-Foxy’s variety of whiskey-based cocktails will let you switch it up (and still keep it Celtic). March 17 will find them celebrating with live music, whiskey tastings, and swag giveaways.

Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel

Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery

Round Rock
Compared to a flight to Dublin, the 30-minute drive to Round Rock’s Cork & Barrel is much more convenient-not to mention, won’t require waiting in a TSA line. A mix between a modern Austin beer garden and a historical Irish pub, this spot’s spacious interior and expansive outdoor patio guarantees there will be enough room for the whole crew to cheer “sl√°inte.” And, their microbrewery’s signature beers are the ideal drinks to do such a toast with. The menu of specially crafted drafts includes a blueberry wheat, an Irish red ale, and a vanilla stout. This St. Patrick’s Day also marks Cork & Barrel’s two-year anniversary, and they are throwing down for the double-celebration with live music, yard games, Irish food specials, and plentiful amounts of green beer and Irish Car Bombs.

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Molly Moltzen is a Thrillist contributor.


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