For most, Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year. The holiday is filled with sappy love quotes, saccharine treats and sweet nothings in the form of heart-shaped candies and bouquets of roses. But not everyone is stung by the love bug. And there are some folks who just want to escape the onslaught of romantic gestures and cliches that go hand in hand with Valentine’s Day. Maybe you’re nursing a recent breakup or you’re simply not in the mood to bask in the hazy glow of budding romance on a day when just about everyone’s got love on their mind. Whatever your reasons, if you’re one of the many people who’s avoiding Cupid’s arrow this February 14th, here are 6 delightfully platonic and decidedly unromantic things to do in Austin on the big V day.
Daybreaker Cupid-Themed Dance Party at Antone’s
If you’re looking for an action packed adrenaline fueled way to kick off Valentines Day, check out the touring Daybreaker dance party. This totally sober early morning workout fiesta has hit up all the major party cities across the world including New York, L.A, London and Seattle, and they’re bringing the party to Austin the day before Valentine’s Day. The inspiration behind this high-intensity AM get together? It’s is a great way to blow off some steam, connect with cool people and get the blood flowing before heading into a long day at the office. At the Daybreaker Cupid-themed dance party you can expect the unexpected in the form of DJ’s, wacky outfits, tasty non-alcoholic beverages, live poets, harpists, mini burlesque popup’s and more fun surprises. Food, artists, fitness, friends…This is the most excitement you’re going to see before 9AM anywhere! This kitschy Valentine’s party takes place at Antone’s Night Club and starts bright and early with a warm-up couples and singles yoga session at 6AM. Then, at 7AM, it’s onto dancing, delighting and sober debauchery with your boo or your best pals. Swoon-worthy Boy-band PDA will be dropping beats as couples and singles sway and sweat for two blissful hours in a cuddly puddle of love and lost inhibitions.
No Scrubs 90’s Hip Hop Party at Speakeasy
Located in booming east downtown Austin, Speakeasy is a casual cocktail lounge and rooftop bar with great drink specials, live music and fun weekly events. The eclectic space is comprised of three different areas: the Mezzanine overlooking the main stage, the Music Lounge and the rooftop terrace known as Terrace59, where you can catch chill outdoor jam sessions under the night sky with a drink in hand. Speakeasy’s siptastic list of specialty drinks contains clever creations like The Perfect Storm with absolut vodka and main root beer, the Blackberry Bramble with beefeater gin and blackberry preserves and the White Mexican with Malibu rum and rumchata. They’ve also got a baller bottle service menu for the high rollers who aren’t messing around! Speakeasy hosts lots of local talent on their stages throughout the week. And since this Austin bar dances to the beat of its own drum, instead of going the traditional hearts and kisses route for Valentine’s Day, Speakeasy is hosting a no-nonsense No Scrubs 90’s Hip Hop Dance Party where you can forget about your woes and jam to all the great pre-Y2K hits. Head upstairs to the rooftop terrace at 9PM and groove to DJ KidGorilla spinning sick throwback beats from Beastie Boys, Wu Tang Clan and more. And absolutely NO love songs!
GalentinesDay at Icenhauer’s
For an awesome no-boys-allowed Valentine’s day treat, head to Icenahuer’s off Rainey St. in downtown Austin. This chic bungalow-style bar has a fabulous selection of craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails made with fresh muddled fruits and spices. If you’re thirsty for a feisty craft drink to get the girl’s party started, try the Jena with homemade pickle-infused Tito’s handmade vodka, the Ashley with hatch chili-infused Espolon silver tequila or the Liz with candied orange peel-infused Maker’s Mark. And if you’re searching for a perfectly platonic way to spend Valentine’s Day with your best squad, check out Icenhauer’s first-ever Parks & Recreation-inspired Galentine’s Day Celebration. This lavish ladies night features the aptly named “Leslie” and “Anne” cocktails – in honor of the beloved heroines of Parks & Rec. Plus sparkly goodies from special guest Kendra Scott, who will be gifting a piece of jewelry to the first 30 people who arrive! Icenhauers has also partnered with Zilker Belts, Bon Vivant Gift Boxes and Eberly for even more incredible giveaways throughout the night. So ladies leave your man at home and dance the night away to DJ Kay Cali at this awesomely girly galentines day celebration.
Anti-Valentine’s Dinner at Second Bar & Kitchen
Perched on the corner of bustling south Congress in downtown Austin, Second Bar & Kitchen is an upscale new American restaurant with an elevated tasting menu and sophisticated style. This classy lunch and dinner spot specializes in fancy snacks such as Black Truffle Pommes Frites and Smoked Salmon Rilettes as well as housemade pizzas and gourmet sandwiches. The staggering drink menu at Second bar and kitchen contains dozens of rich wines and craft beers as well as ciders and handcrafted cocktails such as the Heart of Darkness with dark aged rums, Re-Veiux with rye whiskey and vermouth and the Painted Mule with Meadow Tea and ginger beer. If you’re hungry for an indulgent Valentine’s Day meal but would rather skip the side of sappiness, check out 2nd Bar & Kitchen’s brooding Anti-Valentines Day Dinner at their downtown location. Instead of hearts and pastels, you’ll find somber decor and a staff in all black-attire. The unromantic a la carte menu will feature carnal delights such as Beef Tartare with tarragon cured yolk, Blood Sausage + Deviled Egg Puree with beet, rye crisp and cabbage and Chocolate Burrata with blood orange and rose. A completely un-sensual meal filled with stinky-breath-inducing foods to guarantee no romantic funny business whatsoever!
Anti-Valentine’s Day Party at Javelina
Another Rainey St fav, Javelina is a trendy dive bar with inventive craft cocktails, a savory regional Texas menu and plenty of laid back Austin vibes. This casual downtown hangout includes a spacious outdoor patio perfect for sipping a tall Texas Mule as well as a cozy indoor bar with wood-paneled walls and rustic-chic decor. The tempting menu at Javelina showcases some of the region’s best craft brews including Live Oak, Hops & Grain and Austin Beerworks as well as a small selection of red, white and sparkling wines and a handful of specialty cocktails. Try the playful Preacher’s Daughter cocktail with Elijah Craig 12 and domaine de canton ginger soda, the Irish Green Tea with Jameson and peach schnapps and the Margarita Flaca with Cabeza Blanco and Topo Chico. If you work up an appetite between drinks, nosh on fresh grill goodies like Green Chile Pork Cheese Fries, Blackened Fish Tacos or a mouthwatering handcrafted burger made with chuck and brisket angus and locally baked buns. Javelina plays host to a variety of outrageous parties and events including Flashback to the 80’s party, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia trivia and Game of Thrones watch parties. And during Valentine’s Day, Javelina is calling all the haters and anti-establishment rebels to protest the consumer-driven, arguably overrated holiday at their Anti-Valentine’s Day Party. So bring your biggest nay sayers and ne’er do wells and get ready to sulk to angst-ridden alt music as you sip tasty libations from Jameson and Heaven Hill and complain about how much you hate Valentine’s Day!
Big Fat Anti Valentine’s Day Party at Gourdough’s
Boasting two successful donut trucks and a south Austin location, Gourdough’s is known for their fantastic drink specials – at their south Lamar bar – and their insanely decadent and delicious donuts and famous donut burgers. You can grab a finger-licking snack to go at one of The Gourdoughs trucks, or stop by the public house for fun open mic nights, tasty beverages and gut-busting donut sandwiches and donut platters. If you’re all about the beef, try one of Gourdoughs donut burgers like the Ron Burgundy with fried egg, bacon and avocado, the Double D’s with blue cheese crumbles and Buffalo sauce and the Nacho Libre with spicy refried beans and chili. Or order something from the sandwich or platter side and sample some of Goudough’s signature savory/sweet recipes. And if you’re in south Austin with nothing to do and don’t feel like joining the masses of hopeless romantics in downtown Austin, head to Gourdoughs for their BigFat Anti-Valentines Day Party and enjoy $5 dollar cocktails to drown your sorrows and $5 decadent Nutty Valentine Donuts – because it’s not like you’re not trying to impress a date or anything…then work off your meal – – and work out some frustration – by taking a bat to a heart-shaped piñata in the middle of the bar!