AUSTIN (KXAN) — Forgot to reserve a table at a restaurant for Valentine’s Day or an anniversary? Looking for a fun or inexpensive way to experience the city with a loved one? KXAN staff compiled some ideas for Austin dates to help those who’ve just moved here and have yet to experience the city as well as those looking to reconnect with it.
Austin was named the best city for dating last year in a report from Sperling’s Best Places, partially for its abundance of date spots.
Picnic at Zilker Park
Whether it’s making the food yourself or picking something up to-go, if the weather’s nice groups are often seen gathering on blankets in the park in the heart of downtown Austin. People can also walk on the nearby Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike trail.
Or, before heading there, stop at a local book store or the Austin Public Library to grab something to read after the meal.
Texas-themed progressive dinner
Texans love Texas, and KXAN previously dug into why last year, so why not hit up some of the state’s staples? Start out at Buc-ee’s (if people don’t mind driving outside the city — the closest one is in Bastrop) for an appetizer of a favorite snack, then head to Whataburger for a main course and hit up the nearest H-E-B for dessert.
Go ice skating
A number of places in the Austin area rent out skates and give Austinites an excuse to hold hands as they make their way around the ice. Chaparral Ice in north Austin and Ice & Field at the Crossover in Cedar Park are two options.
Search for vinyls
Make a stop at Austin classics Waterloo Records on North Lamar Boulevard or Antone’s Record Shop on Guadalupe Street, which have both been around since the ’80s, one of the other stores scattered around Austin or find a hidden gem at one of Austin’s thrift shops.
For those musically-inclined but less interested in records, try creating a playlist together (bonus if it features some Austin artists) and listening to it during a walk together or making a meal at home.
Make each other Valentines (or other gifts) through classes at places like Craft on Springdale Road or grab supplies at Austin Creative Reuse on Wheless Lane to make something at home.
Snap selfies at Austin’s murals
Go for a walk or a drive around the city and stop at some of its iconic artwork for a photo (whether taken on your phones or with a disposable camera which can be printed out later). KXAN compiled a map of some of the city’s murals.
BONUS: Gift ideas
In addition to transforming some of the above ideas from a date idea into a gift idea (make a playlist or hand-craft a gift), members of the KXAN newsroom also thought up some practical last-minute gift ideas.
“Buy your boo some allergy meds!” suggested one news producer — especially if you’re in the midset of allergy season, which you can check on with KXAN’s daily allergy report.
Or, if there’s just been an ice storm like there was earlier in February 2022, think about tackling items on a honey-do list, like cleaning up and trimming trees in the yard or restocking a fridge.