Looking for indoor activities in Austin? You are in the right place!
As we know, Austin is built for outdoor hanging. There are outdoor and rooftop bars, restaurant patios, as well as all the bike and water activities you could possibly want. But sometimes outside just isn’t in the cards.
Maybe it’s that torrential downpour that came out of nowhere. Or maybe it’s the summer heat that has you scurrying for shelter, trying to keep your cool under a sun that has no pity and takes no prisoners.
Whatever the weather event, it’s important and sometimes necessary to have an indoor backup plan. As you may have guessed, The Austinot is here to help. Below you’ll find our top eight indoor activities in Austin. So stay dry, stay cool, and have fun!
Top Indoor Activities in Austin
1/ Catch a Flick
Sometimes you just want to a get lost in a film. For this coping mechanism, Austin has you more than covered. The sheer number of local theaters is formidable, and should not be taken for granted. Of course, we have multiple Alamo Drafthouse locations, where you can relax in comfortable chairs, eat delicious food, and chill out with a cocktail or beer.
Sure, you’re most likely looking to see the movie everyone is talking about, but Alamo offers throwback films, too.
Violet Crown shows old films as well as current hits, while AFS Cinema maintains a focus on local, indie, and foreign film. Both theaters come with a full bar, naturally.
➡️ Keep reading: AFS Cinema Is a North Austin Haven for Local Film Fans
And speaking of full bar, Moviehouse & Eatery makes the dining experience luxurious with food and drink.
Sure you love The Avengers movies as much as the next person, but are you looking for a film that will stretch your boundaries and challenge your perspectives? Then look no further than Bullock Museum Film Series.
Options abound when it comes to the silver screen in Austin!
2/ Check out a Library
You remember libraries, right? Those big thing with books made out of paper? Well, Austin has one of the newest and best libraries in the world, right in the heart of our city.
Austin Central Library not only has six floors of books you can check out, but it’s designed for visitors to spend hours there. I’m always blown away by the architecture and design of this beautiful building. Don’t miss out!
The library includes 14 shared learning rooms where you can hold meetings. There are computers for use everywhere, and space for just simply lounging.
Whether it’s at a table among rows of books, or on one of the decks overlooking Lady Bird Lake, or on the rooftop, make yourself comfortable and get as productive as you want–while avoiding the weather.
➡️ Keep reading: Virtually Tour Austin Central Library’s Impressive Six Floors
3/ Dig Into History
And speaking of libraries, have you been to LBJ Library yet? If not, move it to the top of your list.
Here you can learn about President Lyndon B. Johnson and his era. LBJ was a complicated man, but one worth learning about. His presidency shaped the country in countless ways, and this museum does a great job of showing his life and era in a fun, interactive way.
Another must-do in Austin is the Texas State Capitol Building, an architectural masterpiece that has served as the centerpiece of Austin since 1888. While the grounds surrounding the building are beautiful, you can spend hours inside the massive structure if you’re looking to avoid the heat or rain.
I recommend either a self-guided tour or joining a group to best learn the history of the capitol, as well as how it’s used today.
4/ Go to an Art Museum
Get lost in Blanton Museum of Art, both its permanent and rotating exhibitions.
Have children with energy? The Thinkery, a.k.a. the Austin Children’s Museum, could be just the thing.
Have fun, learn, appreciate the arts, and help your kids burn off energy. The museums of Austin serve all purposes when you need a break from the weather.
5/ Get Active
Maybe the little ones aren’t the only members of the family who need to burn off energy. Staying indoors can leave anyone feeling antsy and ready to get moving.
There are plenty of local options for such indoor shenanigans. Let’s start with the beloved Austin Bouldering Project. Here you can climb away, build that core, and live out your free solo dreams.
Looking for climbing, in addition to focused workouts? Try Crux Climbing Center, a holistic center with climbing and other workout options.
➡️ Keep reading: Crux Climbing Center Reaches New Heights With Upcoming Expansion
Maybe you’re less inclined to seek altitude and you prefer your sports a bit less sweaty. I recommend Dart Bowl, which has been helping locals avoid the weather for over 60 years.
Speaking of fancy shoes and fun for the whole family, Austin Roller Rink is always an option to remember. Remember, just because it’s raining or bordering 100 degrees, there’s no excuse not to be active.
➡️ Keep reading: Austin Roller Rink Provides Rock and Rolling Good Time for All Ages
6/ Chill at a Coffee Shop
Maybe it’s so nasty out that the thought of doing anything involving movement seems like a chore. If you want to curl up with a good book while you sip a delicious latte, then you have options.
Coffee shops are a big part of the Austin culture, and rain is one of the best reasons to spend a few hours in one of them. Do you get distracted by the Internet? Maybe check out one of our coffee shops without WiFi, like Cuvee.
Do you have work to do, but you can’t bear to do it any longer in your house or your apartment? Go to one of the many WiFi-supported coffee shops.
Feel free to pull “a Jonas” by starting with coffee to get the work flowing, and then switch to a local beer for the tail-end. Halcyon downtown is a great choice, as is the location at Mueller. There’s a good chance you’ll find me at Wright Bros. Brew and Brew on the east side.
Relax, cozy up, and let life slow down at a coffee shop. Austin offers so many quality choices, and you can always check out our coffee roundups for inspiration.
7/ Get Crafty
Feeling creative? The Austinot has options galore for how to get your craft on indoors.
CRAFT provides an avenue for DIY projects. The studio, located 10 minutes from downtown, encourages creativity and provides a library of tools and supplies. For when the weather sneaks up on you, take note that walk-ins are welcome.
Helios is another option if you want to learn how to make glass art, and Creative Side Jewelry Academy will help you design and make jewelry to your heart’s content. And finally, Austin Craft Lounge offers various crafty projects of all types.
➡️ Keep reading: Be Your Most Creative Self at Austin Craft Lounge
Austin Pottery is also a definite win. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, there are classes and workshops for you.
If you’re looking to engage your creativity, by yourself or with a group, then Austin has plenty of avenues for you to go down.
8/ Take a Cooking Class
One last suggestion! Use the weather as an excuse to build your cooking skills in a fun way. Central Market offers a cooking school that will have you eating delicious food that day, and days following.
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, an Austin staple, is another option. Schedule a cooking class and indulge in an evening of wine and cheese goodness.
Bottom line: avoid the rain; avoid the heat; and take advantage of all Austin has to offer. Options abound for those who want to stay dry and cool year-round.
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Like this list above? Check out our always updated Things To Do This Weekend in Austin