Things To Do When It's Cold in Austin

Winter has arrived in Austin. 

It's friggin' cold outside... mostly. To ease your winter blues,  we've compiled a few fun things to do when the temperatures start seriously dropping.



photo credit: Hotel Van Zandt Facebook

Patio Bar at Hotel Van Zandt

605 Davis St. 

Hotel Van Zandt is keeping it cozy with a giant poolside fireplace. They're also keeping it classy with their upscale vibe and poolside cocktails. Put on your favorite fancy outfit, grab your drink and enjoy views of Downtown at this posh patio bar.

Photo Credit: @Justinesbrasserie


4710 East 5th

Chic French eatery Justine's annual winter tent is back. Spend your winter in a warm  "old Hollywood" wonderland designed by Emily Hughes. Drink wine, eat french food and think about how you're just as cool as Lady Gaga, who stopped by Justine's for some escargot while on the Joanne tour. That photo may look too good to be true, but it's for real. 

* See our full list of Heated Patios in Austin


Highball Karaoke

1120 S Lamar Blvd

Whether it’s the world-famous themed karaoke rooms, weekly dance parties, our interactive events like Geeks Who Drink or Tittie Bingo, there’s always something fun going on at The Highball on South Lamar. It's arguably the best place to do karaoke in Austin, featuring seven meticulously conceived themed karaoke rooms that each come with a server who will bring you drinks and snacks. If you've still not experienced this, take a tour of the karaoke rooms here.


510 Congress Ave

Ego's is one of the best dive bars in Austin AND one of the best places to do karaoke. This little hole in the wall (literally hidden under a parking garage) on South Congress offers cheap drinks and a legit karaoke operation where you can impress friends with your knowledge of the entire Rolling Stones catalog. With free karaoke on Wednesday-Sunday, why wouldn't you do this?

* See our full list of Where To Do Karaoke in Austin.


Every Wednesday at Halcyon's Mueller location, you can play Who Wants a Dollar trivia. Why would you play? To win prizes and enjoy drink specials and make friends. Specials include $2.00 wells & Lone Star Tallboys, $4.00 drafts, and $5.00 classic cocktails. 

* See our full list of Where To Do Trivia in Austin.


Photo Via Roger Ho


605 Davis St

Geraldine’s has already made quite the impression on Rainey Street with their innovative menu and stellar stage, but it’s their cocktails that will keep you coming back again and again. Besides hosting an incredibly beautiful bar they have an impressive bar program to boot including the wintery Muddy Waters. While the cocktail is served chilled with cold brew coffee, the Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, averna, and orgeat are sure to warm you up from the inside out. Topped with condensed milk and nutmeg and the sweet treat is the perfect way to warm yourself up from fingers to toes. Click here to see the menu.

Ranch 616

616 Nueces St

Ranch 616 has whipped up a most spectacular cold-weather cocktail this year with The Holidazed (And Confused). The cocktail manages to capture many elements of holiday cheer with Casamigos Blanco tequila, 1921 Crema de Tequila, RumChata, Kahlúa, and Chameleon mocha cold-brew, topped with mint bitters, whip cream, nutmeg, and crushed peppermint. Alright, alright, alright. Click here to see the menu.

Second Bar & Kitchen

200 Congress Ave

You generally don't survive long on South Congress if your restaurant isn't top notch, and that's exactly why Second Bar & Kitchen isn't going anywhere. Seriously, take a good long gander at the above photo and try to tell us that that doesn't look like the best damn Irish Coffee you've ever laid eyes on. Though we can't reveal every carefully guarded component that goes into this concoction, we can assure that you will love it. At Second Bar, they don't so much make an Irish Coffee as finesse it into existence with the kind of care you'd expect to be reserved for members of the nobility. 

* See our full list of Where To Get Hot Cocktails in Austin.


Photo Credit: The Golden Goose

The Golden Goose

2034 S Lamar Blvd

Though The Golden Goose moved in to take over Horseshoe Lounge, the spirit of local neighborhood hang-out remains the same. However, instead of keeping it THAT old school, Golden Goose offers up an extensive selection of spirits and handcrafted cocktails. Try the “Pickle Drip”: Pickle juice and Dripping Springs vodka served martini style. 

Waller Creek Pub House

603 Sabine St

Tucked into Sabine along the river resides the Waller Creek Pub House - Austin's newest Americana bar and grill. Highlights include an extensive beer selection of over 30 beers on tap, largely craft beers and stand-alone spirits accompanied by great gastropub food and cool music floating from the speakers. Try any of your favorite local ales or some of the harder to find brews. 

Half Step

75 1/2 Rainey Street

This beautiful vintage bar brings new meaning to craft cocktail bar. The brainchild of three Los Angeles ex-pats and cocktail veterans, Half Step boasts a carefully executed mixology menu flaunting the latest techniques and ingredients without the pretentious attitude. Try the: beautiful “Prescription Julep,” a refreshing blend of rye, cognac, mint and sugar. 

* See a list of The Best New Places To Drink in Austin.


Photo Via Playland Skate Center

Playland Skate Center

8822 McCann Dr

There's no time like the present to polish all those skills that are completely useless in real life! Show off your Pacman prowess (and BYOB!) at Pinballz Arcade, put little kids to skeeball shame at Main Event or combine your love of food, booze, and entertainment at Punch Bowl Social

Pinballz Arcade

8940 Research Blvd

Located at 8940 Research Blvd. (near Burnet & 183) Pinballz offers a classic arcade experience with over 60 video arcade games and the largest selection of solid-state Pinball Machines to play in the country. Space Invaders, Street Fighter, Mario Kart, they've got it all. Take a virtual tour at

Austin Bouldering Project

979 Springdale Rd

You can now go bouldering indoors in East Austin. It's like rock climbing, without using ropes or harnesses. You don’t need to have previous experience, and typically if you can do other sports, you can boulder. Pretty much all you need is a pair of climbing shoes. Find out more at Austin Bouldering Project.


Photo Via Mandy Earnshaw

The Paramount Theatre

713 Congress Ave

In its 100 years of existence, the historic Paramount Theatre has had its fair share of excitement, hosting thousands of live events and movies ranging from vaudeville acts, classic singer-songwriters, comedians, and movie premieres.  

Alamo Drafthouse

Various Locations

Seeing a movie at Alamo Drafthouse is different than just about anywhere else. They do things their way, which includes kicking out guests who do annoying things like talk or text during the movie. They also show a diverse selection of compelling films, with a food and drink menu that pairs perfectly with them.

Violet Crown Cinema

2nd Street District

It's safe to say that Violet Crown Cinema is the nicest place to see a movie in town. It's a little pricier but worth every penny. Located on West 2nd Street, the theater serves up delicious cocktails and food in a cozy atmosphere. 


Photo Credit: Coldtowne Theater Facebook

Coldtowne Theater

4803-B Airport Blvd

As far as alternative comedy goes, Coldtowne Theater is one of the more happening spots in Austin. They've got a ton of eclectic, silly, and plain hilarious shows going on pretty much every day of the week. They've also got an enlightened policy on bringing your own beer to their venue.

Cap City Comedy Club

8120 Research Blvd

Cap City is the most reliable place in Austin to catch touring comedians in their natural environment. The north Austin venue consistently books some of the best comedic talent currently out there, so head on over and get to laughing.  

The Institution Theater

3708 Woodbury Dr

Local performance venue The Institution Theater has been bringing the laughs to Austin for years with their sketch shows, improv classes, and offbeat performances. Local talent fills the roster with weekly shows poking fun at everything from the Austin community, ladies nights, politics, and the 1970s.  


Photo Via Thunderbird Cafe

Thunderbird Cafe and Tap Room

2200 Manor Rd

1401 Koenig Ln

If you’re looking for a friendly spot to enjoy a good cup of joe, look no further than Thunderbird. The coffee is direct trade and they serve up fresh sandwiches, along with breakfast items and treats from local businesses. More interested in booze than brews? You’re in luck: there are 35 taps boasting awesome options. Check out their two locations 

Radio Coffee and Bar

4204 Manchaca Rd

Radio is equipped with a spacious patio and comfortable inside and, although it’s relatively new, is already an Austin staple. On the coffee front, Radio serves Stumptown, which sources the best coffees in the world and maintains a focus on building relationships with farmers. And along with beans, they’ve also got beers, plus finger-lickin’ good tacos, courtesy of the Veracruz All-Natural trailer parked outside. Because this is Austin…and what else are you going to eat?

Cuvée Coffee 

2000 E 6th St

The people at Cuvée take their coffee seriously, and you can taste this focus and passion in products like their single origin espresso and nitrogenated cold brew. (Not an aficionado? Those terms basically translate to "really awesome coffee.") And while Cuvée coffee itself is in high demand and can be found all over the country, the flagship store--the source of all that goodness--is right here in Austin on East Sixth. 

* See our list of The Best Coffee Shops in Austin.


Photo Via Harry Ransom Center

Harry Ransom Center

300 W 21st St

Harry Ransom Center is the University of Texas’- Austin library and museum featuring exclusive curated collections of literary and cultural significance. With a permanent art collection of over 65,000 pieces, an astounding book, manuscripts, and periodical collection, films, photographs and traveling exhibitions you can spend days here and still not touch see a fraction of what they have to offer.  

Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 Congress Ave

Located just three blocks from the state capital, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is the epicenter of Texas history and legend. Walk through the halls to discover the “Story of Texas” through curated exhibits, statues, and multimedia events. 

* Do a lot more exploring with our full list of museums in Austin.

Have more ideas on what to do when it's cold in Austin? 

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