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7 Cool Things to Do in Austin at Night

Skyline at night from across Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas, USA.
Skyline at night from across Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas, USA. | © Paul Nichol / Alamy Stock Photo
Although spending a day exploring Austin is the best way to soak up the sun, the Texas capital doesn’t truly come alive until the sun goes down.

Sure, when you come to Austin, one of your first thoughts is that you should hit the legendary bar scene and check out 6th Street at night. However, there are many other exciting (and less expensive) options for going out in the evening, and some of them are far more fun than getting your shoes sticky in a bar. Here are seven great things to do at night in Austin.

6th street, Austin © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

Park at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in

Movie Theater

This great drive-in shows both old and new movies, including indie films, arthouse, childhood favorites, and pop culture hits. You can even purchase a s’more kit and roast s’mores over a fire pit. Popular screenings include The Breakfast Club, Rent, Clueless, Ghostbusters, and Star Trek (50th anniversary addition). It is a small establishment and space is limited, so booking ahead of time is essential.

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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Dog Friendly


Outdoors, Local

Grab a club at Peter Pan Mini Golf

Sports Center
Show off your putting game at an old Austin original. The giant Peter Pan and T-Rex at Peter Pan Mini Golf have stood guard over the intersection of Barton Springs and South Lamar since 1948—longer than most native Austinites can remember. The company is family-owned and perfectly captures the city’s laid-back attitude. Several new fixtures were added in the last few years, and the whole course was recently renovated with bright, new colors. For adults, Peter Pan is BYOB friendly, so expect to see a few coolers being dragged along with golf clubs as groups play their 9 holes.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly


Sun - Thu:
9:00 am - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
9:00 am - 1:00 am

Watch movies at Deep Eddy Pool

Deep Eddy Pool takes outdoor movie night to a new level. Here, guests can watch new blockbusters and flashback favorites while swimming in the historic Depp Eddy Pool, originally built during the Great Depression.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Accessible (Wheelchair)


Outdoors, Historical Landmark
Mon - Fri:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Channel your inner wolf at Barton Springs Pool

Park, Swimming Pool
People swim in the outdoor swimming pool at Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas, on a hot sunny summer day.
Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas | © Adam Gasson / Alamy Stock Photo
Frequently featured in Texas films, Austinites everywhere recognized Barton Springs as the backdrop of a dramatic scene in Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (2011), a nostalgic ode to childhood in Texas. Located on the grounds of Zilker Park, the site is a recreational outdoor swimming pool filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. The pool itself measures three acres in size, and the underground springs help it maintain an average temperature of 68ºF–70ºF (20ºC–21ºC), ideal for swimming in Austin’s searing summer heat. Even better is Barton Springs at night. If it’s a full moon, you can hop into this natural pool and howl at the moon until your lungs give out with your fellow Austinites. Since this event only takes place once a month, there is an entry fee and space is limited to avoid overcrowding, so plan ahead and get there early!
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Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly


Outdoors, Photo Opportunity, Crowded

Sneak around the Firehouse Hostel

Firehouse Hostel, Austin
Firehouse Hostel is a very affordable accommodation option | © Firehouse Hostel / Hostelworld
Book with our partner Hotels.com
Just off 6th street, Austin’s liveliest stretch of nightlife, is the very affordable Firehouse Hostel. Once a firehouse built in 1885, it now serves as an updated hostel and lounge. The best part here, however, is not the hostel but the lounge. Hidden behind a bookcase, complete with a secret latch, is a speakeasy with deep colors, loud music, and craft drinks. If you make it in, be ready to sit back and relax in a completely different decade.
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Museum of the Weird

Curiosity Museum
This wonderfully odd museum is open until 12am for your viewing pleasure or puzzlement. Featuring a small collection, which includes the supposed body of a yeti, it’s the wild and wacky stories you hear from the employees that are half the fun of going here. Another fun fact: the apartment adjacent to the museum used to be the home of none other than Johnny Depp. If you love the weird and wonderful, you’ll enjoy our guides to the most unique experiences in Austin and our tour of Austins weirdest homes.
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Esther’s Follies

Bar, American, $$$
Calling Austin home for over 35 years, Esther’s Follies began in 1977 when Michael Shelton leased a small bar on 6th Street, which quickly turned into a performance space for improvisational dance, comedy, and song. A stage was built with the back facing 6th Street, which gives the club its unique feature of interaction between the performers and the people passing by on the street outside. Today, Esther’s Follies performs political satire and parody from Washington, D.C. to Austin. With the music, comedy, and the 6th Street interactions and distractions, Esther’s Follies is a one-of-a-kind comedy experience. If you love live music, be sure to check out our guide to the best live music venues in Austin.
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Downtown Austin © Peter Tsai Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
These recommendations were updated on April 3, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.