First dates can be difficult enough without the added pressure of planning the perfect date location. But in a city as diverse and weird as Austin, there are plenty of fun, creative alternatives to the average dinner-and-a-movie date. So why not make a big impression and take your first date outside the box to one of these great unconventional spots in Austin.
The Hideout Theatre – (Downtown)
Duration: 1 1/2 – 2 Hours
Located off popular Congress Ave., The Hideout Theatre is a unique experimental comedy club that is 100% improvised (meaning no scripts, no plots, and no rules!) This whacky improv club has all kinds of shows (rated around PG-13, so nothing too raunchy) from a 1960’s Star-Trek homage entitled “Star Trekkin” to the “Fancy Pants Mashup”, a riotous 20 person imrov show that is best described as “blind dating but with comedy”. Tasty snacks and beverages are provided by The Hideout Coffee House, which offers coffee and tea beverages as well as a small list of beers and wines. Or the two of you can grab a drink and a bite to eat right across the street at Small Victory, Roaring Fork, or Stephen F.’s Bar & Terrace (inside the Intercontinental Hotel). What better way to break the ice than by having an incredibly talented improv troupe break it for you through unpredictable antics and ad-lib dialogue. You and your date should definitely have an open mind and sense of humor going in, because there’s a good chance you could be part of the show!
Duration: No Limit
Brand new to the Austin bar scene, Vigilante is a one-of-a-kind board game bar that is totally dedicated to gaming of all types, from classic board games and RPG’s (role playing games) to the latest in digital games and custom tabletop games. With over 150 games to choose from in categories like strategy, trivia, humor, adventure and more, you and your date are sure to have a blast. Choose your game based on category, duration, number of players or atmosphere, then play the evening away while you sip on craft beer from fantastic local breweries like Hops & Grain and Austin Beerworks and munch on gaming-conscious ‘Americana Street Food’style finger foods. Get to know your date over a strategic and competitive game of Battleship, or test your date’s limits with a cheeky game of Cards Against Humanity. If you want to continue the evening after you’re done gaming, take your date for dinner and drinks afterward right down the street to Chago’s or Black Star Co-Op. Whatever direction you take, you’re sure to have a unique and fun first date! (Note: Vigilante Bar opens to the public January 27th, 2017.)
Duration: 1 Hour
Suspenseful, exciting and unpredictable, The Lockout definitely makes for a fun albeit unconventional first date! This thrilling live escape experience is designed to test your skills of deduction as well as your threshold for panic. First, choose a room from several exhilarating themes like “Casino Heist” and “WW3: The Conspiracy” to terrifying themes like “The Cursed Ship” and “Blue Meth Breakout”. Then you and your date have exactly one hour to work together, decipher clues and find your way out of the room. Not only will you learn a lot about your date in that one hour, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself in a locked room with no escape. After all the adrenaline wears off, you and your date can recover with food and drinks at nearby Barlata, Corner Bar or El Meson. If you think your date is the thrill-seeking, adrenaline junkie type, then you two have to try out this incredible “escape scenario” experience.
Crux Climbing Center – (Downtown)
Duration: 1 Day Pass
If you’re looking for a fun and active way to spend your first date, buy an all-day pass to Austin’s newest indoor rock climbing center, Crux. This swanky recreational center has several unique climbing areas to challenge you and your date, including the Bouldering Corral, which offers a variety of terrain in one unique space, the “Chill’s Lounge” Bouldering Cave, which has its own boulder roof and all the steep terrain you can handle and the Future Wall, the first climbing wall of its kind that can be morphed into different terrains to provide a unique challenge every time! The massive 22,000 sq. ft space also provides great jams from live DJ’s and a chill zone where you and your date can cool off and get to know each other between climbing sessions. FYI, if you and your date are first timers, your day pass includes climbing gear and a short beginner’s tutorial. And since your pass allows you to come and go as you please, take a break with your date and refuel at nearby places like The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery, Acai Hut, P. Terry’s Burger Stand or Taste of Ethiopia, then head right back to Crux for more climbing (if you’re still up for it).
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar – (East “Dirty”6th)
Price: $10/Person Cover
Duration: 2-4 Hours
A super fun and unique performance concept in Austin, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar offers fantastic live entertainment from Texas’s Top Performers as they melodiously battle on stage and play all the greats from classics and rock to pop and country. You and your date are in for a show, because everyone, including the wait staff and the audience (yes, that means you), sings and dances along. This unconventional first date is definitely not for the meek or timid! You can walk in at 7:30 PM, or be extra and reserve a table for two. Shows typically start at 8 PM, with performers rotating every hour on the hour. You and your date can sip on tasty craft cocktails from local mixologists while you put in requests for your all-time favorite tunes. They don’t offer food, but if you’re hungry you can bring in slices from nearby Hoek’s Death Metal Pizza, or take your date to an early dinner beforehand at Chez Nous. No matter what night you go, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is sure to provide plenty of engaging and ice-breaking entertainment for you and your date.