What to Do in Austin at Night: 7 Epic Evening Activities

Austin is growing by the minute and as it grows, so does the list of interesting things to do in Austin at night.

From live music to the famous bat colony to haunted history tours and sunsets on the lake, there is an abundance of things to do and see in Austin at night.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an evening in Austin, here’s what to do in Austin at night!

view of texas state capitol building from congress street at night, one of the most haunted places in austin tx

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Laugh out loud at Esther’s Follies.

No trip to Austin would be complete without a stop at its most famous variety venue: Esther’s Follies.

Part improv comedy stage, part live music venue, and all parts entertaining, Esther’s is the place to go for your nighttime entertainment.

The show begins on the sidewalk, where you’re greeted by the doorman (i.e. sideshow barker) announcing to all passersby the events that have been scheduled for the evening.

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Some of the shows have been known to ask for audience participation.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll become part of the act!

Whether you happen to catch a magician or a musician, Esther’s will provide you with a night’s worth of entertainment you won’t soon forget.

microphone at a variety show

Check out Austin’s darker side on a ghost tour.

There are several options to choose from if you’re in the mood for a spooky, nighttime adventure.

Each tour includes several of Austin’s most historical buildings, like the capital and the famous Driskill Inn.

Bring a group and join up with your guide, who’ll take you on an expedition to some of Austin’s haunted hangouts.

At each stop, you’ll learn a little bit of Austin’s history and maybe snap a picture of a spirit or two (that being said, you don’t need to believe in ghosts to have fun on an Austin ghost tour!).

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From stories of crooked politicians to musicians who have passed on to another realm, the tales you’re told are sure to send a shiver up your spine.

This creepy Austin ghost tour will take you to visit some of the most haunted places in Austin and share the spooky legends associated with them!

Have kids with you but still want to explore?

This family-friendly ghost tour is a great alternative for travelers visiting Austin with kids.

Book your Austin ghost tour today!

black and white photo looking up at the texas capitol building in austin tx at night

Catch a classic at The Blue Starlite Drive-in.

Drive-in movie theaters are making a huge comeback, and thankfully the city of Austin has its local version of this much-loved piece of nostalgia.

The Blue Starlite is Austin’s take on the drive-in movie experience and has given it its own unique spin.

Each boutique theater has its own theme, and the capacity ranges from 15-40 cars per night.

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The aim at The Blue Starlight is to put emphasis on childhood and cult classics, indie and art house, and pop culture favorites.

Because each screen has its own flair, any night you stop by will provide its own unique memories.

And because each screen is unique to itself, this will give you the opportunity to take plenty of social media-ready photos!

two women sitting in the back of a car at a drive in theater, one of the classic texas summer activities

Enjoy a sunset from the water.

All aboard for a romantic, off-road view of the city!

A nighttime sailboat tour on Austin’s famed Lake Travis will treat you to a memorable sunset cruise, and what are quite possibly some of the most striking natural views near Austin.

As you set sail, you’ll take in the breathtaking views of gorgeous Hill Country as the sun lazily sets on the horizon.

While you journey down Lake Travis’s blue-green waters, you might also catch a glimpse of some of the most jaw-dropping homes that sit atop the rocky shoreline cliffs.

Book your Lake Travis sunset cruise today!

view of a sailboat on lake travis at sunset, one of the best austin evening activities

Soak up views of Austin’s bat colony at sunset.

Perhaps the most famous residents of the city of Austin are the nearly 1.5 million bats that call Congress Avenue Bridge their home from March to October each year.

The unofficial mascot of the city, Austin’s bats have been at the heart of its cultural center for decades.

Because these tiny and harmless little mammals head out for dinner at sunset, this makes bat-watching one of the most popular nighttime activities in the city.

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For an up-close and personal viewing, check out the designated bat watching areas both on the Congress Street Bridge and down below on the green area of the Austin American Statesman.

Care to observe and wonder from afar?

You can always watch the bats from below on Lady Bird Lake.

Whether you’re on a private tour boat or your own kayak, watching the bats at sunset is an event not to miss when looking for the best things to do in Austin at night.

people standing on south congress bridge with bats flying above the bridge

Enjoy an evening+ show in the Live Music Capital of the World.

Because Austin is known as The Live Music Capital of the World, you may have difficulty choosing where to begin on your auditory adventure.

What better place to begin your Austin evening, though, than checking out some of its iconic venues?

First, your guide will take you on a tour of Austin’s famous 6th Street, where they’ll point out some of the most historical music locales.

Then, as you explore downtown, be sure to keep your ears open for the next up-can-coming local artist or band.

Later on, check out some of the newer venues on the East side of 6th street before they become famous.

There’s something for everyone on this tour as Austin is home to every music genre from country, to blues, indie rock, and even classical.

This popular tour offers options both during the day and in the evening in Austin–we highly recommend taking the tour at night!

Book your Live Music Capital of the World tour today!

country music concert with crowd in the foreground

Try your hand at the Texas Two-Step in Austin at night.

Whether you’re a lifelong dancer or just trying it out for the first time, there’s no doubt that trying out the Texas Two-Step belongs on your list of what to do in Austin at night!

Iconic venues in town include The Broken Spoke and The White Horse, but they’re far from the only honkytonks in town.

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Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon is another popular option.

On Sundays, the Little Longhorn Saloon is also where you’ll find an infamous Austin pastime: Chicken Sh*t Bingo (which, yes, is exactly what it sounds like.

A total beginner? Call ahead and show up early, and you just may catch a dance lesson at the honkytonk before things really heat up in Austin at night.

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